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post #51 of 64 (permalink) Old 08-10-2008, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Botnst View Post
#1 -- I would substitute teh word, "energy" for oil. But that's my opinion.

#2 is an opinion, not a fact.

#3 contravenes about 300 years of history.

#4 is untenable because #2 is an unsubstantiated opinion (what some may call a faith-based fact) and #3 fails the historical test.

B
And that would be great if the word energy was able to be substituted for the word oil. But right now, we derive the bulk of our energy needs from oil. Tell me what else competes. Other than coal and natural gas for electricity, our diet is overwhelmingly based on oil, as is, therefore, our industry and our economy. Edit: Fully 40% of the US' energy needs were met using oil in 2004, while less than 23% were met with natural gas and a similar value for coal. These sources are on a steep climb to hose old plants will be on the wrong side of their design life, which will drop that burden on the petroleum, coal and natural gas sources. So, losing 40% of your energy supply is not something that the economy and American way of life can likely endure. Drilling to bring that point to us faster is not going to make it any easier to overcome. Even with those free market forces, which we have seen time and time again since the first OPEC oil embargo don't have a chance to beat back this behemoth.

Contravenes is a nice word, but selecting it lends little more credence to your contention that there is a viable example in history that compares with our present situation, including the geopolitical situation that feeds off our addiction to oil, and has grown to engulf our energy policy making in a viscous black goo that prevents anything meaningful from happening.

We differ in our opinions. My opinion is that your opinion not only substantively mimics the faith of religious zealots, it is flat wrong in its view of the facts. In your opinion the glowing warmth of the words "free market" and "private sector innovation" seem to just fuzz over the details, giving you comfort and joy. Sounds very much like a religious event. And as we all know there is no discussing reality with religious zealots.

While I think the Europeans can show us a thing or two, even the French, about alternate schemes that combine effective conservation (typical European auto average fuel economy is mid to high 30's in mpg, while we are mired in the low 20's and resorted to buying SUV's that were exempt from the CAFE standards to make sure our free market and innovation drives were used to burn more fuel instead of less more than 30 years after the first OPEC embargo showed us we can't afford our habit) and a healthy combination of nuclear, wind, photovoltaic and geothermal. Those changes just aren't coming to pass without leadership from the government.

Jim

Last edited by JimSmith; 08-10-2008 at 09:09 PM.
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post #52 of 64 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 11:27 AM
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"We differ in our opinions. My opinion is that your opinion not only substantively mimics the faith of religious zealots, it is flat wrong in its view of the facts. In your opinion the glowing warmth of the words "free market" and "private sector innovation" seem to just fuzz over the details, giving you comfort and joy. Sounds very much like a religious event. And as we all know there is no discussing reality with religious zealots. "

Oh yeah, well your a statist egg-sucking dog and your mother smells of elderberries!

In other words, why don't we allow each other to make our own arguments instead of mischaracterizing them and then subjecting them to ridicule? Why not simply ask me the context and evidence in support of my argument?

The biggest problems we are facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all and thatís what I intend to reverse.

~ Senator Barack H. Obama
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post #53 of 64 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 02:54 PM
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Bot,

Works for me. Jim
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post #54 of 64 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 05:58 PM
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My argument speaks to the general sweep of history, not to the particulars of a given event. History has clearly demonstrated that free markets and liberty are entwined. Before individual states lost control of trade, the economies were controlled by local conditions and there was virtually no freedom for anybody outside of the nobility. For example, the Magna Carta, that revered document of liberty, was written by the nobility to control the monarch. None of them gave a shit about the peasantry.

But as different forms of trade that avoided absolute state control began to emerge, like the Hanseatic League and other European trade guilds (THE HANSEATIC LEAGUE). Long distance trade that exceeded the monarchs financial capacity led to the slow dissolution of the power of the nobility and the rise of the merchant class. As wealth shifted slowly to commoners, power followed. Since the population of wealthy commoners was far larger than the nobility, power had to be shared or power would be seized. This resulted in the many revolutions and wars in Europe from the Elizabethan Age all of the way up to our present-day struggle for ... oil. Energy -- the fundamental necessity of life in any age.

The twin demand of all societies and all cultures for increased personal wealth and increased liberty is still driving the conflicts in the world today.

Yes, there are important differences between each conflict and the magnitude of the role of liberty and of wealth in each conflict varies. But I believe that in any conflict one will find those 2 issues as the fundamental drivers, whatever else is in play.

B

The biggest problems we are facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all and thatís what I intend to reverse.

~ Senator Barack H. Obama
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post #55 of 64 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Botnst View Post
My argument speaks to the general sweep of history, not to the particulars of a given event. History has clearly demonstrated that free markets and liberty are entwined. Before individual states lost control of trade, the economies were controlled by local conditions and there was virtually no freedom for anybody outside of the nobility. For example, the Magna Carta, that revered document of liberty, was written by the nobility to control the monarch. None of them gave a shit about the peasantry.

But as different forms of trade that avoided absolute state control began to emerge, like the Hanseatic League and other European trade guilds (THE HANSEATIC LEAGUE). Long distance trade that exceeded the monarchs financial capacity led to the slow dissolution of the power of the nobility and the rise of the merchant class. As wealth shifted slowly to commoners, power followed. Since the population of wealthy commoners was far larger than the nobility, power had to be shared or power would be seized. This resulted in the many revolutions and wars in Europe from the Elizabethan Age all of the way up to our present-day struggle for ... oil. Energy -- the fundamental necessity of life in any age.

The twin demand of all societies and all cultures for increased personal wealth and increased liberty is still driving the conflicts in the world today.

Yes, there are important differences between each conflict and the magnitude of the role of liberty and of wealth in each conflict varies. But I believe that in any conflict one will find those 2 issues as the fundamental drivers, whatever else is in play.

B
There is nothing in that set of paragraphs that I disagree with - my view of how liberty and wealth play in resolving the energy conflict without a physical revolution requires some intervention through leadership by our government. In this case the changes that are needed have to address the hundreds of billions of dollars invested in the oil refining, distribution and retailing facilities that provide the refined products to the public. We don't have a hundred years to make the change, and I personally don't want to see our government overthrown and rioting in the streets, etc. that comes with a revolution as a result of inaction until it is too late to adequately serve the population's need for energy. That will also bring chaos to liberty and wealth while things shake out.

The problem we face has been looming for more than 30 years. The free market, liberty and wealth have done little to avoid just running out of oil and letting everyone shrug their shoulders and ask "now what?" at the point where we can't sustain our population. The changes needed involve so many people, and so much energy that a new infrastructure will take too long to be installed and made serviceable even if the solution to "what comes after oil?" is known ahead of time, to prevent some serious downtime. So, my interest is to get the job of defining, engineering and building some options sooner rather than later. We want to engineer the answer, unlike the way our systems were installed for delivering energy. Our electrical infrastructure is a conglomeration of junk that evolved in the 1920's through the 1950's. Europe has a whole new infrastructure that has been kept current (thanks to the Marshall Plan) and so does Japan. Most other evolving nations are not buying US equipment as it is still ancient and out of date. Anyway, the point is to do it efficiently it needs to be used for a while in a smaller scale to learn how to best and most efficiently evolve it regardless of what "it" is.

So, I just don't see the two characteristics you have identified being capable of a preemptive strike on a problem of the magnitude of a sudden drop in the supply of oil because we have really begun to run out. And that is whether or not it happens in my, or my children's or their children's lifetime.

I do believe "American ingenuity" and drive can get us out of this and any other similar socio-technical problems. We just need leadership from our government to make it happen. It would be great if they figured out how to make it happen without a bill accruing to the taxpayers. But, unfortunately I don't see the historical record that says the private sector will start on this problem until we run out of the energy needed to actually work on the project. Private industry is just not built to solve problems that surface and then fade and surface and fade, especially when the capital costs are so huge. So I see a bill to the taxpayers in the form of tax incentives or direct expenditure of money collected by the government through taxes as being vital to getting to work on this issue before it screws us and the rest of the world up.

But, hey, that is my opinion. Jim
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post #56 of 64 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 09:00 PM
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There is nothing in that set of paragraphs that I disagree with - my view of how liberty and wealth play in resolving the energy conflict without a physical revolution requires some intervention through leadership by our government......
But, hey, that is my opinion. Jim
That is exactly in disagreement with what I said in those paragraphs. In history, governments have always, always, always becoming the master, not the servant of the people. Wealth is power. Every tyrant consolidates power by controlling the means to wealth.

By allowing the government to manipulate, rather than merely regulate markets we hand to the government the power over wealth creation. That is more than the keys to the treasury, it is the key to unlimited power over the people.

B

The biggest problems we are facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all and thatís what I intend to reverse.

~ Senator Barack H. Obama
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post #57 of 64 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Botnst View Post
That is exactly in disagreement with what I said in those paragraphs. In history, governments have always, always, always becoming the master, not the servant of the people. Wealth is power. Every tyrant consolidates power by controlling the means to wealth.

By allowing the government to manipulate, rather than merely regulate markets we hand to the government the power over wealth creation. That is more than the keys to the treasury, it is the key to unlimited power over the people.

B
I guess I was not direct enough. Energy is becoming like air to human survival. We are not capable of burning a little fire outside our caves to stay warm and cook our food anymore - most of us would not survive that kind of transition and it wouldn't be long before the sheer number of humans would consume every toothpick available to burn.

So, I don't believe in the instances of "goods and services" vital to survival, like air and now energy, the rules of the road that have proven successful for bread, butter, vegetables, then mechanical bits and pieces and now electrical bits and pieces as you described them, apply. So, where your philosophy applies I have no issue - I agree. Where it doesn't apply I just don't think it applies. Such as in cases where the means for the common guy to provide for himself or choose to use the gasoline from an Exxon or Chevron or Texaco or Sunoco or Chavez Fuel pump does not exist. We have no ability to make a choice, and no one has the realistic ability to raise the capital to build an alternate infrastructure. Not even the existing oil companies by themselves in a decade or so. We are hostages to the system that free markets and innovation have created specifically because the free market was not adequately regulated. The start up costs for a realistic competitor or alternate are so high, it is impractical or unrealistic to assume the market forces in a free society and free market that have historically enabled another baker to get started if the demand for baked goods exceeded the local supply, or if a new kind of baked product was "invented" that brought joy and pleasure to the consumers. In the first case, I have already stated my case that the costs are too high for private citizens to "start up" an alternate solution by themselves as they can with a bakery. In the second case, there is no distinguishing effect when you turn the light on and the power was made by splitting an atom, or burning coal, natural gas or bunker oil. That makes it is hard to even distinguish one's new energy source when you use the existing infrastructure to deliver it to the consumer.

The point is those free market forces, in the situation that has evolved in the last 100 years is not conducive to being solved by free market forces. So, by default they don't apply.

Being a free society carries with it certain responsibilities to act reasonably. In the USA we are like monkey who learned to press the pleasure button continuously in some psychological test, until he stopped moving and lost interest in doing nearly anything a normal monkey does. We have not shown the collective characteristic of being reasonable. Our system begs for action to regulate certain behaviors because we have shown it is not within the range of responsibilities will accept to behave reasonably when it comes to energy consumption per capita.

This is all fine when it merely affects a minority of people who fail to act reasonably. When it affects us all, there needs to be some government action to prevent the affect from being seriously detrimental to the well being of the whole population. Serious energy shortages will have a detrimental effect on every aspect of American life, for all of us. So, it is incumbent on the government to regulate it rather than let our inability on a personal level to act reasonably.

Jim
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post #58 of 64 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 10:26 PM
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I guess I was not direct enough. Energy is becoming like air to human survival. We are not capable of burning a little fire outside our caves to stay warm and cook our food anymore - most of us would not survive that kind of transition and it wouldn't be long before the sheer number of humans would consume every toothpick available to burn.

So, I don't believe in the instances of "goods and services" vital to survival, like air and now energy, the rules of the road that have proven successful for bread, butter, vegetables, then mechanical bits and pieces and now electrical bits and pieces as you described them, apply. So, where your philosophy applies I have no issue - I agree. Where it doesn't apply I just don't think it applies. Such as in cases where the means for the common guy to provide for himself or choose to use the gasoline from an Exxon or Chevron or Texaco or Sunoco or Chavez Fuel pump does not exist. We have no ability to make a choice, and no one has the realistic ability to raise the capital to build an alternate infrastructure. Not even the existing oil companies by themselves in a decade or so. We are hostages to the system that free markets and innovation have created specifically because the free market was not adequately regulated. The start up costs for a realistic competitor or alternate are so high, it is impractical or unrealistic to assume the market forces in a free society and free market that have historically enabled another baker to get started if the demand for baked goods exceeded the local supply, or if a new kind of baked product was "invented" that brought joy and pleasure to the consumers. In the first case, I have already stated my case that the costs are too high for private citizens to "start up" an alternate solution by themselves as they can with a bakery. In the second case, there is no distinguishing effect when you turn the light on and the power was made by splitting an atom, or burning coal, natural gas or bunker oil. That makes it is hard to even distinguish one's new energy source when you use the existing infrastructure to deliver it to the consumer.

The point is those free market forces, in the situation that has evolved in the last 100 years is not conducive to being solved by free market forces. So, by default they don't apply.

Being a free society carries with it certain responsibilities to act reasonably. In the USA we are like monkey who learned to press the pleasure button continuously in some psychological test, until he stopped moving and lost interest in doing nearly anything a normal monkey does. We have not shown the collective characteristic of being reasonable. Our system begs for action to regulate certain behaviors because we have shown it is not within the range of responsibilities will accept to behave reasonably when it comes to energy consumption per capita.

This is all fine when it merely affects a minority of people who fail to act reasonably. When it affects us all, there needs to be some government action to prevent the affect from being seriously detrimental to the well being of the whole population. Serious energy shortages will have a detrimental effect on every aspect of American life, for all of us. So, it is incumbent on the government to regulate it rather than let our inability on a personal level to act reasonably.

Jim
For the BWOTers who don't have the time to read that piece of opinuendo, what Smithee is saying is that no alternative energy source is profitable and the government must subsidize it in the meantime, until the same government can kill off BIGoil with taxes and eminent domain appropriation of its assets to give to the alternates. In the meantime, our oil will still be available.

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post #59 of 64 (permalink) Old 08-12-2008, 09:06 PM
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For the BWOTers who don't have the time to read that piece of opinuendo, what Smithee is saying is that no alternative energy source is profitable and the government must subsidize it in the meantime, until the same government can kill off BIGoil with taxes and eminent domain appropriation of its assets to give to the alternates. In the meantime, our oil will still be available.
I never attempted to pass my "opinuendo" off as anything more and I note you have taken great care to mis-characterize it for you own "opinuendo" benefit.

I never once suggested "Big Oil" needs to be abolished or penalized for being "Big Oil." My point is "Big Oil" is in the business of making money, and saving America's ass when it comes to having a stable, independent energy source is not their charter, so counting on them to do so is misplacing your trust. Not because "Big Oil" is bad, but because that is not their mission. And, due to the investment needed to fix our future supply of nearly unlimited energy consumption it is not going to be fixed by the typical "market forces." The problem is huge when you consider all that needs to be done. It therefore falls on the government's shoulders to LEAD. No freebees, necessarily, but LEADERSHIP, which may adversely affect "Big Oil" but, that is a consequence of facing facts.

In this day and age of every BIG bank or other corporate entity teetering on the brink of failure requiring a government bailout to prevent the economy from sinking further into its own quagmire, there seems to be an attitude that the risk of private industry failing is a burden the public should bear with taxes. While executives are rewarded for poor leadership.

Poor leadership is being rewarded at every corner in the country. Which amounts to cultivating a no leadership culture in government, industry and the military. That is not what made America great. Personal responsibility, accountability and leadership made America great.

Facing our looming energy crisis timely is a mark of leadership. To leave it to the point where the farm animals realize it is too late, waiting for "market forces" to address the issue in the absence of any real and applicable data that suggests market forces can and will address the problem is like denying your sick child medicine because your religion suggests he or she shouldn't need it if God wants the kid to live.

Jim
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post #60 of 64 (permalink) Old 08-12-2008, 09:21 PM
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I never attempted to pass my "opinuendo" off as anything more and I note you have taken great care to mis-characterize it for you own "opinuendo" benefit.

I never once suggested "Big Oil" needs to be abolished or penalized for being "Big Oil." My point is "Big Oil" is in the business of making money, and saving America's ass when it comes to having a stable, independent energy source is not their charter, so counting on them to do so is misplacing your trust. Not because "Big Oil" is bad, but because that is not their mission. And, due to the investment needed to fix our future supply of nearly unlimited energy consumption it is not going to be fixed by the typical "market forces." The problem is huge when you consider all that needs to be done. It therefore falls on the government's shoulders to LEAD. No freebees, necessarily, but LEADERSHIP, which may adversely affect "Big Oil" but, that is a consequence of facing facts.

In this day and age of every BIG bank or other corporate entity teetering on the brink of failure requiring a government bailout to prevent the economy from sinking further into its own quagmire, there seems to be an attitude that the risk of private industry failing is a burden the public should bear with taxes. While executives are rewarded for poor leadership.

Poor leadership is being rewarded at every corner in the country. Which amounts to cultivating a no leadership culture in government, industry and the military. That is not what made America great. Personal responsibility, accountability and leadership made America great.

Facing our looming energy crisis timely is a mark of leadership. To leave it to the point where the farm animals realize it is too late, waiting for "market forces" to address the issue in the absence of any real and applicable data that suggests market forces can and will address the problem is like denying your sick child medicine because your religion suggests he or she shouldn't need it if God wants the kid to live.

Jim
To save the reader some time, what Smithee is saying is that centralized government planning provides more leadership in solving the so-called energy crisis than does private industry motivated by profits. He says what made America great was personal responsibility, accountability and leadership. Those people must have all been government employees. I wonder if he's thinking of the USSR, for example.

Charter member of the Vast Rightwing Conspiracy and proud of it.

God Bless the America we're trying to create.
--Hillary Rodham Clinton
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