Re: GAO Report on Y2K problem

Gregory Alan Bolcer (
Fri, 08 May 1998 13:16:38 -0700

Okay, alternate opinion below....

> I've been finding it difficult to really assess what the Y2K risks really
> are, so I decided to read GAO-AIMD-98-85, "Year 2000 Computing Crisis:
> Potential for Widespread Disruption Calls for Strong Federal Leadership",
> available at:
> What I garner from this report is:
> - The FAA isn't going to make it, and airtravel in the US will be severely
> affected in early 2000.

People rather than put up with super-delayed flight times will
turn to the Internet in droves and find that they really can
accomplish work when they are not face to face. The productivity
paradox goes away and the GNP effectively doubles.

> - The DoD isn't going to make it -- hopefully we'll be at peace.

The DoD acquisition process grinds to a halt and the paperwork
self-implodes in one huge black hole similar to Terry Gillam's
dream sequence in the movie 'Brazil'. The US saves $600 billion
in one single year proving Harry Browne's point that you can in fact
balance the budget in one fiscal 12 month period.

> - The IRS isn't going to make it, and will be *very* behind in processing
> returns in Y2K. File early if you want a quick refund. :-)

People after partying like it's 1999 wake up and find that
they are still punch drunk and the IRS is so behind they won't
notice if they bend some of the tax laws that are going to be
reformed anyways. Taxes are severely underestimated and people
keep more of what they earn resulting in a huge economic expansion
and spending spree with people singing happy 'daze' are here again
while spending 10-30% of their income on things they really need
and want which initiates a domino spending effect and amplification
and all that. People find out that the US doesn't really need
a 16th amendment and it was only passed as a result of political
trick. In addition, Steve Forbes
dedicates a whole issue of Forbes magazine telling everyone how
right he was that government proceeds would be 20% more if we
went to a completely flat 17% tax.

> - Medicare payments could be at risk

People barter WWW services for their prescriptions and the
17% of people 65 and older in the Y2k become the keepers of
the holy Web by getting paid in drugs for finding broken links
on commercial WWW sites because webmasters under 65 are too
stupid to figure out how to use MOMspider. Because these people
now have a use vital to our economy, the average age raises
to 2^7 and Social Security really doesn't go broke as they
insitute means testing and raise the age to 2^8 to collect
your own benefits.

> Surprisingly, the report does give me some faith that Social Security
> payments will continue, which I had previously doubted.

See above.

> This report reminds me of those Star Trek episodes where the computer calmly
> announces, "the ship will self-destruct in five minutes". "The country will
> experience significant economic disruption in 1.5 years."
> - Jim

T. Kirk??