The search for the best middle-class tax cut
11 months ago
What Policy? Any Policy!
Teaching gave Hayek pleasure, though his difficulty with English hampered his ability to transmit his message. “All of us were excited to hear that Hayek had arrived,” recalled Theodore Draimin, an LSE undergraduate in 1932. “When we arrived for the first lecture he commenced to talk in English. After a few minutes, it became apparent that none of us could understand a word he said. Some suggested he speak in German. This he did, and those of us unable to understand had to leave the course.”
Here is how a colleague of General Flynn’s described the change in procedures on the ground: “What would normally happen is: the shooters would kick down a door and snatch everyone and drag them to the front room, and then take everything with them, and put it in a trash bag. The bad guys would be taken to a detention facility and the pocket litter would come back to [the intelligence analysts]. Flynn thought this was stupid. Instead, he gave the shooters—think of this—the Delta guys, mini cameras, and schooled them in some basic detective techniques. When you capture someone, take a picture of them exactly where you captured them. Take detailed notes of who was doing what with what. Don’t merge all the pocket litter.”
He continued, “Then, the shooters were supposed to e-mail back an image of the person they captured to Balad [JSOC’s intelligence headquarters], where analysts would run it through every facial recognition database we have, or fingerprints or names, or what have you. We’d get hits immediately. And so our intel guys would radio back to the team in the field, ‘Hey, you’ve got Abu-so-and-so, or someone who looks like them. See if he knows where Abu–other-person is.’”
And that’s what the shooters would do. They’d tell their captured insurgents that for a price, they could help them. A senior JSOC intelligence commander said, “They’d say, ‘I know you, you’re so-and-so. And if you want us to help you, you need to tell us where this other person is.’ And it would work. And then, when we got a new address, sometimes within twenty minutes of the first boot on the door, we’d have another team of shooters going to another location.” Follow-up interrogations were plotted out like dense crime dramas, with dozens of participants, including some by video teleconference.
Instead of three operations every two weeks, JSOC was able to increase its operations tempo (or “optempo”) significantly, sometimes raiding five or six places a night. This completely bewildered insurgents and al-Qaeda sympathizers, who had no idea what was going on. In April 2004, according to classified unit histories, JSOC participated in fewer than a dozen operations in Iraq. By July 2006, its teams were exceeding 250 a month. McChrystal’s operations center was open for fifteen hours a day, regardless of where he was. There is a strong correlation between the pace of JSOC operations, the death rate of Iraqi insurgents and terrorists, and the overall decline in violence that lasted long enough for U.S. troops to surge into the country and “hold” areas that used to be incredibly dangerous.They went from under 12 operations a month to over 250 a month! That's just insane! Ambinder & Grady don't mention it explicitly here but what I really think is the revolutionary thing is not the change in tactics per se but the trust and decision making placed in the hands of the "shooters". By empowering them to do the on the ground investigation and analysis it enabled the intelligence to be acted upon much earlier and more than likely put the enemy on their heals. A lot like when an offense goes no huddle in football and as a result of the defense not being prepared the entire momentum of the game shifts.
(People are) moving to places where job growth is heavily concentrated in non-export industries with very low productivity growth: largely health care and education.
Agricultural productivity pushed millions of farm workers off their land and created a large pool of poor, jobless workers. Finding employment for those workers became a high priority for southern politicians, many of which underwent a dramatic political transformation -- from a focus on protecting southern culture from the federal government, to aggressively recruiting new enterprises from the industrial portions of the country. State leaders began to wave generous incentive packages at northern firms, including tax breaks and right-to-work laws, in order to attract production facilities. And many were successful; industrial employment rose sharply across the south, turning the southern Piedmont into the country's second industrial heartland.That is from Ryan Avent's book The Gated City.