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Dumb as we wanna be

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Old 04-30-2008, 06:33 AM
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Default Dumb as we wanna be

Excellent article by Thomas Friedmann, this is in relationship to the "gas tax holiday" that the pres candidates are proposing.



http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/30/op...html?th&emc=th
 
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Old 04-30-2008, 09:41 AM
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Default Re: Dumb as we wanna be

a snippet:

" The McCain-Clinton proposal is a reminder to me that the biggest energy crisis we have in our country today is the energy to be serious the energy to do big things in a sustained, focused and intelligent way. We are in the midst of a national political brownout. "
 
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Old 04-30-2008, 09:57 AM
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Default Re: Dumb as we wanna be

Originally Posted by fernando_g View Post
Excellent article by Thomas Friedmann, this is in relationship to the "gas tax holiday" that the pres candidates are proposing.



http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/30/op...html?th&emc=th
Brutal.

What can the individual do?
Buy gold, guns, stockpile food, draw down debt.......pray?
 
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Old 04-30-2008, 11:28 AM
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Default Re: Dumb as we wanna be

Friedman is philosophically right on here. However, there is a nuance that he missed. He seemed to relate the expiring tax credits for renewables to oil usage. Since the renewables in question (wind, solar) are only used for electrical generation, they don't directly impact liquid fuels. The only government actions that could impact gasoline would be ethanol (questionable value) and development of electric/PHEV auto technology. That support, to the extent is exists, is not currently at risk.
 
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Old 04-30-2008, 01:00 PM
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One sad thing about all this political bickering is -as Mr Friedman correctly points out- that the end result is that the USA has fallen behind in the next major global growth industry: renewable energy and its efficient use. Which would provide thousands of new high paying jobs and billions in technology exports.

We at this forum are painfully aware of this fact.
 
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:21 PM
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Default Re: Dumb as we wanna be

Meanwhile, Massachusetts has taken matters into their own hands. And a very large solar panel manufacturing plant has opened in the former Ft. Devens site thanks to incentives by the state government. They have plans to quadruple the size of the plant, as well as build more. Evergreen Solar is the company, I believe they are German based.

http://www.evergreensolar.com/app/en...ruction/devens
 
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Old 05-01-2008, 11:21 PM
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Default Re: Dumb as we wanna be

Taxpayers should not be subsidizing solar power or alternative power of any kind. That's not the role of government. Let entrepreneurs finance these things and if they are successful, let them enjoy the profits. If they are not, let them, not taxpayers, eat the costs.
 
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Old 05-02-2008, 09:22 AM
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Default Re: Dumb as we wanna be

Long term investment in research for the public benefit is *absolutely* the role of government. Inertial barriers to innovation can be overcome to create shifts in industry focus with the proper incentives- the entire energy industry is so heavily subsidized by the government in so many different ways already that adding new players would require similarly intense subsidies just to begin to make competition possible on a level playing field. That's leaving aside the not-insubstantial startup costs and initial capital that any new or emerging business would need, and which disadvantages them against the established (dirty) means of production.

But that isn't even the issue here. The issue is the existing gas tax. Taxes affect the prices of the goods they apply to, and every economist able to scream reacted with horror, derision and condemnation when Clinton decided to support McCain's proposed 'tax holiday' plan. The fact that he's been talking about it for a while without generating this much comment reflects the fact that it simply wasn't taken seriously coming from him. When she lends her support to it and calls it 'bipartisan,' that lends the wild-eyed notion a level of legitimacy that it simply doesn't deserve.

As the economists have explained, not only would the plan, if you can honor it with such a title, result in INCREASED gas prices, but it would have perverse impacts on the global warming problem, probably hurt our economy, and be a significant windfall for the people selling us oil. Even if the price increases were small, and only offset the amount of the tax, leaving the price at the pump unchanged in total (best case scenario, really), that increase in price would go straight into the pockets of the oil companies and oil-producing nations, instead of, as the gas tax does, into a national fund for the maintenance and repair of our roads and bridges. To make up the difference in funding for those desperately needed repairs, we would increase the national debt (mostly to China- IF they continue to lend us money) which has to be paid back, with interest, by our kids down the road. That's the last thing our economy needs right now.
 
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