The eUS Achilles Heel and why we won't fix it

Day 500, 11:19 Published in USA USA by ssomo
This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children...This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. -- Dwight D. Eisenhower, 4/16/53

Fifty years ago, Ike spoke these words as a former Supreme Commander during World War II and as a newly elected president of the RL United States. He understood -- as the admin does who created this game -- that IRON is a vital resource in conducting war.

That’s right: IRON is our Achilles Heel. The admin knows it. Everybody knows it. Failing to strengthen this vital industry weakens us militarily, diplomatically, and economically.

It sends one signal loud and clear: The eUS is too dumb to cover its ass.

Some background
For those new to eRep, iron is the resource material (RM) used to make weapons. Weapons are used to fight battles during wartime. The top war-making countries, Romania and Indonesia, have ‘high’ iron producing regions. ‘High’ iron regions produce twice the amount of iron per unit of productivity that ‘medium’ regions produce. That is to say, ‘high’ RM regions are twice as efficient as companies set in ‘medium’ RM regions.

The Achilles Heel
For reasons best known to the Romanian admins running eRep, the eUS has no ‘high’ iron producing regions. Never mind that the Iron Range of Minnesota produced records amounts of iron ore during the first half of the 20th century. Whatever.

Instead, we have four ‘medium’ iron-producing regions: AZ, NJ, NV, and UT. This means we need two iron mines here in the eUS to produce the same amount of iron as a ‘high’ iron region elsewhere.

We produce much less iron than we need. Without a robust domestic iron industry we must rely on external sources for iron. Right now that means Spain and Romania and to a lesser extent Norway. For example, we have no Q3 iron companies in the eUS, yet around 40% of the iron for sale on the market is Q3 iron.

During Operation Taco Bell, when both iron and weapon prices tripled, it was painfully obvious – during a national emergency – why we need this part of our economy to be strong.

Why this won’t get fixed – without your help
The people running the eUS like low import taxes on all resource materials. Correction: Import taxes on wood, oil and grain -- our 'high' RMs -- stand at 30%. This is an ideological bias based on RL economics – that ‘free markets’ are the magic bullet for economic prosperity and that raising import taxes on a vital national resource like iron is somehow ‘socialism,’ ‘isolationism,’ ‘economic nativism,’ or just plain ‘stupid.’

But here’s the second, less articulated reason: Many eUS-owned companies operate overseas. For example, much of the iron on the eUS market now comes from Spain – and many of those companies are owned by eUS citizens.

The solution
Surrendering the domestic iron industry to be overrun by foreign iron -- even as we prepare to spend thousands upon thousands in GOLD, collected from workers as income taxes, to defend this nation -- is a self-defeating policy that will be exploited again and again by our friends and adversaries alike.

We need to level the playing field for domestic iron by raising the import tax on iron to 50%. The math is easy. Foreign iron firms can produce twice as much per person per day; therefore you tax them 50% to level the playing field. The best part: eUS taxpayers won’t spend a dime for this solution.

Everyone knows it's an eWorld of chaos out there. However, we have a choice. We can strengthen eAmerica by reducing our economic weaknesses. Or we can drift along on foreign iron leaving our fate in the hands of others.