24 November 2008

Bomb Shelter Living, Real and Metaphorical

These days, when someone talks about their bomb shelter you can never be quite sure whether they are speaking metaphorically, or realistically. People who have lost significant amounts of their life savings at the hands of Ivy League Wall Street Wizards may be stunned enough to start looking for fallout shelters.

One community in Switzerland is turning their once-obligatory fallout shelter into a hotel.
Each Swiss community has a nuclear bomb shelter for its residents, built during the days of the Cold War.

With the threat of nuclear confrontation gone with the collapse of communism, the bunkers are viewed by most Swiss towns as nothing more than a deep hole on the municipal budget.

"The town asked us to convert the bunker and we decided to launch the zero star concept," said Frank.

The only condition the town placed on the twin brothers was that they make it available within 24 hours in case of an emergency. _AFP
Cute. The "Zero Star" concept, as in "ground zero" hotel, zero out of five stars. They claim the beds are comfortable, and guarantee a quiet night's sleep--Vladimir Putin and Mahmoud Ahmedinejad willing, of course.

Utah Shelters is one company in Utah that still builds and sells fallout shelters to the general public. Mormons are well known for promoting the storage of food and water for extended emergencies, and the concept of emergency shelter fits well with the "preparedness theme." Interested parties can contact them at www.disastershelters.net.

These days, most buyers of emergency shelters are probably concerned about economic or climatic catastrophe, rather than all-out nuclear war. The current contraction in the financial industry is apt to lead to at least short-term contraction in the larger economy. But unless Obama does what he promised to do, the US and world economies should find their way back. Of course, if Obama does go after the private sector the way he has hinted, promised, and "beat-around-the-bush", the economic downturn may get much harsher and last many multiples of time longer than necessary--like the 1930s depression under FDR. We hope not.

Unfortunately, at this point Obama brings nothing but uncertainty and inexperience, both of which can be murder on the plans of investors, startups, venture capitalists, and potential lenders.


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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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