Sunday, February 28, 2010

Cruising the Web

Sunil Sharan who worked at the Smart Grid Initiative at GE explains why you can't look to ideas on greening our economy to create new jobs. Most of these jobs involve improving productivity which translates into unemployment for many people in the old-style industries.

In analyzing an Obama anecdote about the insurance policy that he had on an old clunker of a car that he had when he was a young man, Tom Maguire thinks that Barack Obama just doesn't understand the difference a driver having to buy liability insurance to get a license, and buying collision insurance. Then when he got in an accident and found out that his liability insurance policy wouldn't pay for fixing up his "old, beat-up car" Obama thought that was just unfair and now he wants to remedy that unfairness by making sure that people who didn't buy health insurance when they were healthy should get coverage once they get sick.
This is classic, generic Democratic paternalism - people can't be trusted to make their own decisions and they certainly should not be expected to endure the consequences of those decisions.


And speaking of Democrats who don't seem to understand what they're talking about, CBS News asks at its Econwatch blog, "Is Maxine Waters Really As Dumb As She Seems?" Ah, questions that just answer themselves.

Just in case you lost track, here's a handy summary of all the fun scandals that Charlie Rangel has been involved in. But if you can't understand why Nancy "the most ethical Congress" Pelosi hasn't thrown this guy under the Democratic bus, Steve Kornacki explains why she's tiptoeing around this.

Tom Coburn explains what is really broken in Congress. It's not the Senate with its arcane rules; it's the bad habits both houses and parties have of spending money that we don't have.

More problems for Nancy - she's having trouble getting the jobs bill through her caucus.

And another story I'm not weeping over - the Senate looks ready to drop its cap-and-trade proposal. John Kerry can't seem to push that baby through either.

And for sports fans: this is how bad things are for UNC basketball: the stores in Chapel Hill have put out football paraphernalia. That's just unbelievable for Chapel Hill just as March is starting.

Politico reports that conservative leaders are looking to purge their ranks of the crazies such as the birthers, truthers, and John Birchers. Such cleansing is healthy. If people want to indulge in such conspiracy-mongering, that's their business, but they shouldn't be used to taint the conservative message. And it's certainly more than liberals did when they had Code Pink and other radical groups who were willing to mouth any Bush-Cheney-Hitler comparison or Moveon.org when they ran the General Betray Us ad.

Protesters at Berkley trashed
a campus building and turned violent. They're protesting budget cuts that will affect the University of California system. Just what is it about a catastrophic financial crisis in their state that they don't understand? And how do they think that such behavior will help their cause? Do they just have protest-envy for old times at Berkeley?

23 comments:

Pat Patterson said...

Don't they play baseball at UNC?

Tacitus Voltaire said...

Most of these jobs involve improving productivity which translates into unemployment for many people in the old-style industries.

that would be an unbelievably perverse reason for declaring something bad since improving productivity is one of the most overwhelmingly popular ways to measure the success of a business strategy and the health of the overall economy. you are correct that it puts people out of work, but this never seems to be on the mind of the business titans and government economists who boast proudly whenever they can measure increases in productivity

they would find you attitude to be extremely anti- business and even "socialist"

Pat Patterson said...

But the promise was understood to be new jobs in addition to the old jobs. Yes, over a period of time productivity rises as new technology or training makes companies and workers more proficient but its perverse to have the government say we are going to make subsidies available for this company but not another company that provides the same service but differently.

Tacitus Voltaire said...

"reasoning" from the green jobs article:

In other words, instead of creating jobs, smart metering will probably result in net job destruction. This should not be surprising because the main method of making the electrical grid "smart" is by automating its functions. Automation by definition obviates the need for people.

boy! we'd better stop all that there new fangled automatin' nonsense we've been a-doin' with that there industrial revolution nonsense afore we all are run outta work!

seriously, it turns out that automation in practice ends up replacing low skill, low pay jobs with high skill higher pay jobs. for my entire 25 years in the software industry there have been so many high skilled high paying jobs in software automation (and all software is automation) that they have been importing engineers from india and all over the world too fill positions in the u.s.

very strange that when it comes to an industry that irritates the right wing, all of a sudden they are using arguments against it that make them sound like naive high school leftists

tfhr said...

Pat Patterson,

It may well be "perverse", but that's the Chicago way when it comes to politics and paying off friends.

tfhr said...

Pat Patterson,

It may well be "perverse", but that's the Chicago way when it comes to politics and paying off friends.

Tacitus Voltaire said...

It may well be "perverse", but that's the Chicago way when it comes to politics and paying off friends

um, what are you talking about?

John A said...

Implementation of improved technology (possibly excluding emtirely new tech) almost always involves loss of jobs. Undoubtedly the first time a lever was used to move a large rock the ten men who had been doing such moving complained that since a single person could now do it nine were being thrown out of work.

But we have repeatedly been told something quite different - that so-called "green" technology will itself mean MORE jobs, Which is why it is necessary to keep pointing out that is silly. And fraudulent, even generously granting for some the fraud may be inadvertent.

Tacitus Voltaire said...

But we have repeatedly been told something quite different - that so-called "green" technology will itself mean MORE jobs, Which is why it is necessary to keep pointing out that is silly. And fraudulent, even generously granting for some the fraud may be inadvertent.

and why would that be, exactly?

tfhr said...

TV,

Check out Spain's "green job revolution":

"For every new position that depends on energy price supports, at least 2.2 jobs in other industries will disappear, according to a study from King Juan Carlos University in Madrid."
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a2PHwqAs7BS0

Of course some of those jobs actually came to the United States, so I guess it isn't all bad...unless your a steel worker living in Spain.

Here's more:

“The study’s results show how such ‘green jobs’ policy clearly hinders Spain’s way out of the current economic crisis, even while U.S. politicians insist that rushing into such a scheme will ease their own emergence from the turmoil,” says Calzada. “This study marks the very first time a critical analysis of the actual performance and impact has been made."

And more:

"Pat Michaels, professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia and senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute, a free market group, told CNSNews.com that the study’s conclusions do not surprise him. He added that the United States should expect similar results with the stimulus money it spends on green initiatives."
http://www.cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=46453

Do you understand John A's point now?

tfhr said...

TV,

"The Chicago way", ever heard of it?

Go back and read Pat Patterson's comment and then come back here and tell me you've never heard of "the Chicago way".

Pat Patterson said...

And those subsidies are gone then many of those green jobs will simply be cost ineffective in the United States and moved, such as wind turbines, to plants in Mexico. Or even worse when MITI in Japan decided to concentrate on cement and ship building and utltimately gave up because of lower cost producers in other countries. But the Japanese, like Americans, lost billions of yen and dollars on favored industries that should have had the plug pulled years ago.

Jennifer R said...

With all this snow and blizzard - storms across the north US, Algorologists claim global warming will kill us all as this was the hottest winter in recorded history. No facts allowed, place your checks into the mail to the White House Global Warming Committee on Saving Planet Earth.

Tacitus Voltaire said...

Cato Institute

i'm well aware if the cato institute as closely associated with the republican party (often described as a "right wing think tank", but let's not be harsh), but i'm not aware of anything they ever predicted actually panning out. have you got any examples?

tfhr said...

TV,

Sniping at the messenger, eh? So because the UVA professor, a senior fellow of environmental studies and an advocate of liberty and free markets, says he is not surprised by the Spanish study or Spain's actual experience, you're just going to disregard the documented fact that jobs were lost during Spain's experiment. Now that's some objectivity! How about if you prove him wrong?

I'm perplexed that "Progressives" must attempt to smear those with whom they disagree. I wish you would tell us why you think Professor Michaels is wrong. Why is the Spanish study from King Juan Carlos University wrong? Did you even look at it? Tell us why Dr. Gabriel Calzada is wrong. There could be some value in such and exchange, but what did you do?

Here is a link to an English language copy of the study:
http://www.juandemariana.org/pdf/090327-employment-public-aid-renewable.pdf

I get the feeling that you're given to knee-jerk responses when challenged. It shows you're not well prepared to defend your point of view on the topic. Attacking the Cato Institute, a frequent critic of George W. Bush, instead of examing the data and refuting it suggests you're either not open to a debate based on the free and fair exchange of ideas or you're just lazy and given to engaging in smear tactics. Besides, you're just plain wrong if you say that the Cato Institute is anything other than a libertarian "think tank".

One more thing: I'm a conservative and as such, there are libertarians and no doubt members of the Cato Institute that would probably expect that I would not be likely to embrace many of their libertarian ideals. For instance, I staunchly oppose the Cato Institute's ideas on illegal immigration, a topic that they did share common ground with George W. Bush. Yet I will listen to them and NOT dismiss their opinions out of hand simply because we do not agree on all points. Tell us why "Progressives" or even some liberals hold opinions other than their own with such low regard? It's not just close minded, TV, it's rude.

Tacitus Voltaire said...

I get the feeling that you're given to knee-jerk responses when challenged. It shows you're not well prepared to defend your point of view on the topic

is this an attempt at humor? i thought you'd be asking me how i manage to get the time to write three answers with five paragraphs each to most of your posts?

but it's a simple, factual question - can you tell me about anytime they've ever made a successful prediction?

you didn't even attempt to answer it

as for any detailed, fact based analysis of whether or not "green based jobs" will or won't create jobs, net, i really couldn't do any better than you are doing by digging up a quote that supports your point of view

notice, if you will, that if i feel i know enough about the subject, i usually do my own analysis. i think quote-slinging is not the best way to conduct an argument

Tacitus Voltaire said...

you know, tfhr, you are, i believe you said, a former military intelligence analyst

yet, when asked about the measures you so passionately support or oppose, you are unable to tell me what's in them

none of you were able to tell me what was in the health insurance bills passed in the house and senate, or in the "patriot" act

i'll merely say you should really remedy this deficiency before attempting to debate

Tacitus Voltaire said...

knee-jerk responses

if you are so frustrated with being unable to defend your positions that you're just going to rant and spew, i don't know why i should expend any energy to engage you any more

tfhr said...

TV,

Yet you persist with these rambling, sweeping condemnations of the Patriot Act.

You've been asked repeatedly to provide the name of a person that has had their Constitutional rights or civil rights violated by the Patriot Act but you have not. You've been asked to demonstrate which of your Constitutional rights or civil rights have been violated by the Patriot Act and of course you have not.

Now you want others here to tell you "...what was in....the "patriot" act." Go read it. When you're done with that I suggest that you read both the House and Senate versions of Obama's health care scam.

I won't hold out much hope for it but maybe you'll have a moment of clarity. Maybe, after you've vented and raged over how you fear you'll be spied upon by Bush's all seeing eye, you'll take an objective look at government intrusion into health care.

First, you'll see that these scams not only fail to lower costs but will also increase the national debt by trillions of dollars over the next 10 years.

Second, you may begin to ask yourself why you are so concerned about the targeted efforts made to prevent terrorists attacks but you have nothing to say about government intrusion into medical records, health care consultations, or treatment options.

Blue pill v. red pill, TV. That's not just a quote from a movie, Barack Obama actually used it in a most telling way and I don't particularly care for the idea of government making choices for me.

This spells it out nicely:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egcIKZoNGd8

As the clip progresses we are offered an option of a pain killer instead of surgery. Thanks Doc! Sure is a relief to know the government is there to help with that decision!

Tacitus Voltaire said...

You've been asked repeatedly to provide the name of a person that has had their Constitutional rights or civil rights violated by the Patriot Act but you have not. You've been asked to demonstrate which of your Constitutional rights or civil rights have been violated by the Patriot Act and of course you have not.

i'd work on my reading comprehension if i were you

wall st journal

On the terror front, many Tea Partiers question the very notion of a war on terror, and see some law-enforcement policies adopted in its pursuit as unacceptable intrusions on American liberties...

...In significant sectors of the broad Tea Party movement, the war on terror, and the intelligence and law-enforcement policies originally crafted by the administration of Republican President George W. Bush to fight it, arouse sentiments ranging from suspicion to hostility.

As much as anything, the Tea Party movement is animated by antipathy toward government intrusions into private lives, and for many that extends toward intrusions with the stated goal of smoking out terrorists.

On that front, the movement in some respects has more in common with libertarians than with traditional Republicans such as former Vice President Dick Cheney, tireless champion of the Patriot Act and aggressive tactics in rooting out terrorist threats.

At the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington two weeks ago—an annual gathering of conservative activists that this year had a distinct Tea Party overlay—one panel discussion was entitled "Why Real Conservatives are Against the War on Terror."

In a paper prepared for that event, Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer now a fellow at the American Conservative Defense Alliance declared: "Fear has been the key to the door for expansion of government and government powers and the people in charge in Washington have seized the opportunity. It has also eroded the liberties that have defined us as a nation."

Similarly, the Web site of Oath Keepers, an organization of present and former military and law-enforcement personnel who say there are some government orders they won't follow, declares: "We will NOT obey any order to detain American citizens as 'unlawful enemy combatants' or to subject them to trial by military tribunal."

One sign of how these tensions can divide, former Rep. Bob Barr got a combination of cheers and boos when he delivered a speech at the CPAC gathering urging that Americans "not be seduced by that siren of security over freedom."

Pat Patterson said...

Or more accurately TV will have "...vented and raged," then checked out Huffington Post or Think Progress to find out what he should think.

Tacitus Voltaire said...

You've been asked repeatedly to provide the name of a person that has had their Constitutional rights or civil rights violated by the Patriot Act but you have not. You've been asked to demonstrate which of your Constitutional rights or civil rights have been violated by the Patriot Act and of course you have not.

please see above thread under


Monday, March 01, 2010

Cruising the Web

for a full answer

Pat Patterson said...

A full answer would be to cite anyone who has had their rights taken away. And isn't this rather moot considering that this aspect of the Patriot Act is now back in the area of responisbility of the FISA courts.

The only real difference is that the agency that is listening to overseas calls used to have to shut down immediately when an American was involved and obtain a warrant. The difference is that now the listening can go on and within either 60 to 90 days a warrant must be obtained and no act can be taken, such as arrest or background check until a warrant is obtained.

There are only two circumstances that would allow the listening to go on but still needing a warrant to arrest or bring charges against are that of an ongoing criminal investigation whenever a new name comes up or a call made by someone on a watch list to an American citizen. The former requires a warrant to start the eavesdropping and the latter requires a warrant at some point, not immediately, whenever a new name turns up. But in either case a warrant has to be obtained before wiretapping can begin on the second person.