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Observing Editor

One adventuresome atom

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The administration has made it clear that vast appropriations are immediately required for continuing defense of the nation and national interests abroad. In the face of a sluggish economy and weak tax collections, these expenditures will no doubt accelerate the expansion of the Federal deficit. The effects of increasing the debt load further are uncertain, but as we discussed last week, the consequences could be dire.

It is a against this sombre landscape of fiscal gloom that the beacon of science shines out like a new dawn: I am pleased to announce that after countless man-years of effort, engineers at Glob Labs have developed a practical plan for disposal of the national debt. With only a modest investment of public funds, Glob Industries can immediately begin construction of a debt-works that will first consolidate the ambient debt into its liquid form for temporary storage in leaden tanks. These billion-gallon tanks will feed into a second section of the works, where the crude debt will be heated by the combustion of worn-out paper currency obtained by the rail-car from the Federal Reserve. The resulting debt vapor will then be subjected to fractionation in vast distillation towers, using techniques pioneered by the petroleum industry.

The weighter investment-grade debt will collect in the lower sections of each tower, and after cooling it will solidify into a ruddy mass that can be carved into bricks and stored safely in vaults. Glob Labs have determined that this grade of debt is metastable, with a half-life ranging from 3 to 30 years depending on its precise composition. This debt gradually decays into other debt of greater mass, with the net result being an increase in the density of the material over time. This wonderful property suggests a range of uses for the material, ranging from ballast to building foundations to applications in nuclear waste disposal, provided of course that the debt is carefully insulated from any real assets, which it will corrode upon contact. There is of course a slight risk that stockpiles of this condensed debt could eventually achieve densities that trigger collapse into a fiscal singularity, but our physical accountants assure me that the risk of such a catastrophe is extremely remote for the next five years at the very least.

The lighter, more volatile grades of debt will collect in the upper portions of the distillation towers. At room temperature, this debt is a pale ruby fluid that is extremely sensitive to local economic conditions. Glob Labs has patented the manufacture of fiscal thermometers utilizing this substance as the active ingredient. Under sound economic conditions, the fluid remains quiescent, however in an environment of restricted cash flows and diminishing returns, the fluid will darken and expand in volume proportional to accumulated losses.

By introducing one of these thermometers into either the front or back office of a business and taking a measurement, it is possible to correlate the appearance of the company’s books with the reality of its financial health. The Glob Industries Type 3 fiscal thermometer fits easily inside a briefcase, and we project that this product will sell well to financial services firms, investment banks, and even individual investors. With every unit sold, a portion of the national debt will be safely harnessed for productive uses.

Glob Labs are working on miniaturization of the thermometer to enable financial checkups of individuals using the same technology, which will enable us to sell in bulk to consumer lenders, landlords, and employers. Please direct any enquiries regarding these products to Sales, Glob Industries, care of this column, and include your business card for faster reply.

Returning to our consideration of the debt refining process, the very lightest fractions of the debt are irreducible to solid or liquid form under normal temperatures and pressures. These correspond to the gaseous fractions of petroleum which are traditionally burned off in flares from the distillation towers. Disposal of gaseous debt in the same way would be disastrous, as demonstrated by work at Glob Labs. After retrieving what records could be salvaged from the Experimental Debt Reduction laboratory, sadly destroyed, engineers focused on containment mechanisms for the most volatile debt.

Testing revealed that even the heaviest pressure cylinders could be rendered buoyant with gaseous debt, which possesses several orders of magnitude more lifting power than hydrogen under most economic conditions. Our engineers are thrilled with the prospects of not only reviving the dirigible industry, but also revolutionizing real estate across the country. Given the abundance of the Federal debt and the vast lifting power of the gaseous fractions, there is no reason to limit application to simple airships. Entire buildings or complexes could be suspended from networks of baloons filled with gaseous debt, allowing for the flotation of infrastructure that would otherwise contend for ground resources.

Imagine vast solar-powered factories drifting above the landscape like boxy clouds, kept aloft by bunches of silver bubbles, each filled with the refined gases of the purest pink debt. Below, the former sites of industrial works would be landscaped into parks, allowing children to play in the shade of the hovering factories. Initial tests using the lighter-than-air craft Venture Cap to float a bit-recycling plant over the San Francisco Bay have proven that this idyllic future is within our grasp. Simulations at Glob Labs indicate that entire industries can be floated off the surface of the earth utilizing refined debt.

We can have a garden planet and yet maintain the heaviest of industries. Our national treasury is an inexhaustible mine of debt that can be used to lift our troubles. I urge you to support Glob Industries in its efforts to bring these plans to reality, today. We are currently engaged in raising funds for the construction of the superlifting dirigible Capex, which will be used to demonstrate the buoying power of debt around the country. Send for a prospectus for Series X Glob Industries bonds, now on offer, care of this column. Cleaning up the debt is our responsibility, and we should reap the benefits for ourselves and our descendents.