Nobody doubts that planes resembling World War II-vintage Thunderbolts are cheaper to operate than modern jet fighters. The reason armed forces around the world turned to jets two generations ago was because every aspect of their operational performance is superior to that of turboprops. If the Air Force had come up with the idea of using warmed-over Thunderbolts to fight rag-tag jihadists before 9-11, it might have looked smart. Now it just looks out of touch with reality. Here are five reasons why.
The nuclear energy industry has not fared well in popular culture of late, but there are some facets of what it does that are genuinely indispensable. Nuclear propulsion provides Navy aircraft carriers and submarines with unlimited range. Nuclear power plants remain a crucial part of the electric grid. And nuclear propulsion of spacecraft may be the safest, most affordable way that NASA can put U.S. astronauts on Mars.
The last plant in the U.S. that can build tanks is a sad symbol of America's industrial decline. Located in Lima, Ohio, midway between Dayton and Toledo, it currently produces only one M1A2 Abrams tank per month. During the Reagan years, it turned out 60 per month. Another 60 were built each month at the Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant, but that site was closed during the Clinton years. So now there is only Lima, assembling a mere dozen tanks per year.
One unique feature of recent local minimum wage battles is the focus on franchise businesses.
In Seattle, for instance, a minimum wage of $15 took effect in 2015 with multiple phase-in paths that depend on the business size (as measured by number of employees), with smaller businesses being granted more time to adapt to the mandate. Under the Seattle law, an independent, locally-owned franchise business is treated like the larger corporate entity from which the franchise business gets its brand-name and trademark.
When the Army and Air Force split to become separate military services after World War Two, the Air Force got almost all of the fixed-wing aircraft, and the Army got almost all of the helicopters. Today, 70 years later, the U.S. Army is the biggest operator of helicopters in the world, and every facet of its approach to conducting land warfare is shaped by the availability of vertical-lift assets.