The Regulatory Pendulum Has Swung Too Far

The political dispute is not whether to regulate, but how much.

We need some regulation. Even the most bombastic conservatives recognize this. So everyone also should recognize that when President Obama says the GOP favors “dirtier air [and] dirtier water,” he is committing the fallacy of the false alternative. The political dispute is not whether to regulate, but how much.

Everyone also can agree that if an environmental rule can prevent 1 million birth defects at a cost of only one dollar, then the regulation merits adoption – and if a regulation would prevent only one birth defect at a cost of $100 trillion, then it does not. In the real world regulations fall within narrower parameters. And nobody knows for certain precisely how much misery a proposed regulation might prevent, or how much it might cost. Hence the bickering.

Take the EPA’s new rules on power-plant emissions. Emission controls are desirable as a general rule, since emissions are what economists call negative externalities: costs of production that are shifted to non-producers, usually without their consent. (Not all externalities are created equal. The aroma of a neighbor’s grill is not nearly as annoying as the whine from his leafblower.)

The EPA says its new rules will cost about $10.6 billion by 2016 – but will save anywhere from $59 billion to $140 billion in health costs, forestall  up to 17,000 premature deaths, and prevent up to 130,000 cases of childhood asthma per year. A big net win.

But Susan Dudley, who runs the Regulatory Studies Center at George Washington University, says the new rules will cost almost $11 billion per year. Industry sources estimate the real cost could be more than 10 times that much. And the Manhattan Institute’s Diana Furchtgott-Roth notes that the EPA’s estimates about asthma benefits seem, well, rather optimistic. In recent decades asthma has become more common even while air quality has improved. The Centers for Disease Control says “the causes of asthma remain unclear.” If the CDC is right, then the EPA is just guessing.

Naturally, liberals glom onto the EPA’s rosy figures while conservatives seize on the gloomier numbers from skeptics. People tend to reach conclusions first, then seek out supporting evidence and dismiss evidence to the contrary.

Whatever the merits of the new power-plant rules, though, it’s clear that the Current Occupant, as they used to call George W., has commenced an era of great new regulatory zeal:

* The Obama administration is finalizing an average of 84 “economically significant” rules (those costing $100 million or more) per year, compared to 62 for Bush and 56 for Bill Clinton.

* In May the EPA tailored new rules for greenhouse-gas emissions that, absent the tailoring, would have affected 6 million factories, landfills, and other sources – and required the EPA, by its own estimates, to increase its workforce from 17,000 employees to 230,000. The New York Times calls such tailoring “contentious.” 

* The Department of Labor is considering whether to require disabled individuals to make up at least 7 percent of the workforce of every federal contractor – not only in the aggregate, but within “each job group.” According to one summary, contractors would be required to collect and report data on “referrals from applicable employment service delivery systems . . . the ‘applicant ratio’ of known applicants with disabilities to total applicants . . . the ‘hiring ratio,’ . . . the ‘job fill ratio’ . . . . training programs and promotional opportunities for which applicants and employees with a disability were considered . . . a statement of the reason as well as a description of any accommodation considered when it rejects an individual with disability for employment, promotion, or training. . . . a record describing any accommodation that makes possible the selection of an individual with a disability for hire, promotion, or training,” etc.

Compliance cost for all of this? God only knows. Yet rules such as those pale in comparison to the gargantuan compliance burdens imposed by Sarbanes-Oxley  and (soon) Obamacare.

* Last summer the FDA carried out an armed raid on Amish farmers in Pennsylvania who were selling raw milk to eager customers.

* The Consumer Product Safety Commission may soon require expensive new flesh-sensing technology on all table saws. (This is being pushed by SawStop, the maker of the technology, which stands to benefit handsomely.) 

* Last year the CPSC recalled a half-million drop-side cribs because of “31 . . . incidents. In six of those incidents children were entrapped between the drop side and crib mattress. Three children suffered from bruises as a result of the entrapment.”

You could argue that when regulators recall a half-million cribs because of three bruises – instead of, say, sending crib owners a letter about potential bruising hazards – the  pendulum has swung too far. If you do, however, be prepared: You may be accused of wanting more dead babies by those who delight in the fallacy of the false alternative.

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  • CalebT||

    OT: If Ron Paul loses the Iowa caucuses, I propose the nickname "The Jordan Williamson of the libertarianism."

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3FHFgatOS0

  • Apatheist||

    That was brutal.

  • CalebT||

    Andrew Luck is the real deal. He was poised and efficient during that last drive. Cold-hard son of a bitch probably could've completed it for 10 yards to put the kicker in even better range.

  • ||

    He is really good. So is Blackman. Blackman looked like an adult playing against children on some of those pass completions.

    OSU won that game because they were just a little deeper and a little bit better conditioned than Stanford. At the end of the game Standford's defense was totally done. They couldn't stop OSU at all. In contrast OSU's defense had enough left to force Stanford into two long field goal tries. And that was the difference. Great game.

  • ||

    Yeah, well, I like some defense in my football.

  • juris imprudent||

    You must be drooling for that SEC re-match then.

  • ||

    Works for me. It's not like OSU could've done jack against either team, so that would've been boring in a different way.

  • ||

    Um, there's only one OSU. Please refer to them as Okie State.

    But seriously, has anybody seen or heard from groovus maximus lately? It was recently brought to my attention that he had gone MIA. I thought he was gone for the holidays, but he's been gone a lot longer than that.

  • Sudden||

    And I had picked that game correctly. Watch out for "Sudden Gambols for a First Down", undefeated in yesterday's picks (now that real teams that people care about are playing), and undaunted as he makes a run towards the top of the Reason College Pick'em.

  • ||

    He's become a Vicodin addict and is currently having sex with 13 and Cameron at the same time.

  • ||

    Don't like the branding? Then sue. Don't forget Oregon State in your complaint.

  • ||

    There is only one OSU. And it is not the Beavers and it is not the tattoo sellers. Sorry.

  • ||

    There was some good defense played in that game Pro. IT is just that the game featured five of the top 30 draft picks in this years draft and all of them played offense. Luck is the best QB prospect since Elway. No one is going to stop him cold. And no one at this level is going to stop Blackman. OSU's defense forced Stanford into two long field goals at the end of the game. Stanford shut down Blackman for two quarters and totally stopped OSU's running game. It was a well played game. 38-38 at the end of regulation is a bit high. But not that high. Consider the game of the century in 1971 was 35-31. You act like it was Baylor Washington.

    And don't give me the SEC defense BS. The Alabama LSU game was bad offense. I have seen plenty of great defenses play over the years. Better ones than those two. Hell Miami and FSU put out defenses in the late 1980s that had multiple future NFL HOFers on them. And the games they played were in the high teens.

    Great teams playing each other with great defenses is 20-17. 9-6 is just bad offense. The LSU Alabama game was the worst played 1-2 matchup in 60 years.

  • Sudden||

    The most disappointing part of the Bama/LSU match earlier this season, why the fuck doesn't Bama, a program that knows its defensive minded, invest a scholly in a decent fucking kicker? That is unforgivable.

    The fact that Bama lost to LSU at home meant that it should've been out of the national title game, eventhough they are IMO the best program in the nation. They're gonna lay a smack down on LSU this week, and Okie State will have a case to split the Nat'l Championship.

  • ||

    That is a good point Sudden. Alabama hasn't had a decent quarterback since Jeff Rutledge. For some reason they seem to recruit glorified high school quarterbacks. But they do run the ball and play great defense. You would think that that would put a premium on getting a great kicker and punter.

    But Nick Sabin is the same guy who talked Wayne Hizinga out of signing Drew Brees in favor of signing Dante Cullpepper. So personel decisions are not exactly his strong suit.

  • GH 2011||

    Do you fellas have ADHD?

  • ||

    Sudden,

    I think Alabama may be the better team as well. We'll see. What I don't expect is the same super-low score. The teams will gameplan differently to avoid that.

    About the kicker--absolutely. Back when the Bucs were just a top 1-3 defense without much offense, the reliable leg of Martin Grammatica was the difference between 500 and the playoffs.

  • ||

    How do you figure Alabama is better? They have no play makers on offense. Their best player is a bruising running back. Yes they have a good defense.

    I look at that game and the Honey Badger is the only guy on either team that really scares me. He is the only guy who you really have to game plan for and can actually change a game. And LSU's quarterback was just off of suspension in November. He has found his grove. He will play better this time. I don't see Alabama beating them.

  • ||

    Whatever. Both teams have been crushing other teams with their defenses all year long.

    It's incredibly rare that a team that's all offense beats a team that's all defense. Even though the hype almost universally goers towards the offensive team.

  • ||

    "It's incredibly rare that a team that's all offense beats a team that's all defense."

    Thirty years ago maybe. But today with the pass interference rules and the lose holding rules on the offensive lines, offense usually beats defense. Don't believe me? Look at the top four seeds in the NFL playoffs. Of them only Baltimore has above an average defense. Offense can and does win.

    And I like defense. But you have to have an offense too.

  • ||

    Yes, you can get away with it in the regular season. The rule changes and the conventional wisdom of the NFL has greatly weakened defense for most teams. In the playoffs, however, there are usually better defenses, and teams with them do better, by and large.

    Most teams aren't so extreme that you can say they have no offense or defense, and you also have to take into account that some teams simply don't match up well. A team that can pass all over people might get wiped out by a lesser team with a great pass rush. Speed defenses have trouble with power backs. Etc.

  • ||

    A lot of it is matchups. That is why you can't compare the result of one game to another. Stanford really matched up well with OSU. They didn't match up with Oregon at all. But OSU would have matched up great with Oregon. So change a field goal and Stanford beats OSU. But OSU would have likely beat Oregon.

  • 49'ers||

    Ahemmm!

  • Bill||

    Just looked it up on ESPN. Steelers and Houston along with Ravens have best defenses.

  • Sudden||

    It's incredibly rare that a team that's all offense beats a team that's all defense. Even though the hype almost universally goers towards the offensive team.

    And yet the NFL might be the exact opposite. Offense wins in the modern NFL, the Pats have a better chance at winning the AFC than the Broncos, and the Saints/Packers are likely to take the NFC over the niners.

    There might be a shift occurring, and admittedly, I would've much preferred to see Okie State battle LSU. The one thing that strikes me about LSU as opposed to say Stanford, is that LSU can really only run effectively, but can't pass the way Luck could. I think that would be a much better game than most people are claiming it would be.

  • ||

    Stanford can really run the ball.They have two first round draft picks on their offensive line and a very good tailback. I have numerous friends in the OSU athletic department. For what it is worth, all of them have told me that the OSU coaches privately feared a match up with Stanford more than they did with LSU. They felt LSU was a one dimensional offense that they could force turnovers on. But that Stanford was so physical and balanced and Luck so good an unlikely to throw interceptions that Stanford could dominate time of possession and keep OSU from scoring its usual 50+ points. And indeed that is exactly what Stanford did.

  • Sudden||

    And it makes sense... My belief about Okie State was that they felt they could score reasonably high point totals on anyone, but they'd be more afraid of a team that could both grind out the clock and demonstrate high effectiveness on both running and passing. Given that, Stanford was the scarier matchup.

    What we as fans missed out on was a chance to see how they could've performed against an elite defense. That is what I wanted to see.

  • Dick Fitzwell||

    "I would've much preferred to see Okie State battle LSU...I think that would be a much better game than most people are claiming it would be."

    Lots of people said LSU/Oregon was going to be a close game, too.

  • Sudden||

    I didn't. I had figured LSU would win the game fairly handily. I consider OSU to be better defensively than Oregon, and I think their offense is slightly better as well with a legit WR in Blackmon (Oregon had no such dominating physical presense, they're all scheme and speed based.)

  • Dick Fitzwell||

    I've rooted for the Tigers since I was a kid and I wish they had a chance to play OSU instead of Bama. Or Stanford for that matter. I wanted them to have the opportunity to beat as many different teams as possible.

    LSU has beaten 3 teams playing in BCS bowls this year. (sounds more impressive than it really is)

  • ||

    "It's incredibly rare that a team that's all offense beats a team that's all defense."

    You are just a Florida fan still scared by that Fiesta Bowl loss.

  • Gojira||

    Oh and Sloopy, I think you meant there's only one TOSU. No need to call them Okie State - OSU is fine.

  • Gojira||

    And I almost burned my Georgia jersey yesterday. Way to let the Big 10 claim they aren't irrelevant, assholes: they could have been shut out.

  • ||

    It's Richt. He just likes losing.

  • Gojira||

    You know, dawg fans (myself included) say that a lot, but really, that 2007 team that utterly destroyed Colt Brennan and his undefeated Hawaii was so fucking good by the end that it could have played in the title game.

    I think he's gotten a bad rap because he had to live through the Tebow years. Not too many coaches will look good against possibly the best college player of our lifetime.

  • ||

    Hold it. The Tebow cult has got to stop.

    Tebow was a very good college player. But he was not the best in this or any other lifetime. How can a guy who never set any national statistical records of note and never lead his team to an undefeated season be considered the "best of our lifetime"?

    My lifetime includes players like Barry Sanders who ran for 2600 yards, broke Byron White's 50 year old all purpose yardage record and ran for 300 yards or more four times in a single season when no other player had done more than once in the entire careers.

    My lifetime includes Tommy Frazier who lead his team to three straight undefeated regular seasons, two national titles and was a shanked field goal away from a third. Frazier's Nebraska teams would have picked their teeth with Tebow.

    My lifetime includes Vince Young who also had an undefeated national title and never lost three games in a year letalone four, which Tebow did his sophomore year.

    My lifetime includes Reggie Bush who once had nearly 500 total yards in a game.

    And I won't even talk about all of the lineman and defensive players who accomplished more than Tebow.

    Tebow was a very nice player. But this whole "he is best college player ever" BS has got to stop.

  • Gojira||

    I didn't say "ever", I said, "in our lifetime". I should amend that statement to, "within my lifetime", because, as you point out, you are incredibly old.

    ; )

    j/k I like your examples, but I think the closest I would come is Barry Sanders. Kellen Moore set all kinds of statistical records, but nobody seriously considers him one of the greatest, because stats in college are too influenced by system.

    I'm not in the "Tebow cult"; I think he's a terrible NFL player and that it was only a matter of time before good teams got film on him and was able to shut down the option. But it doesn't change the fact that I believe he was one of, if not the, best all-around player I've seen in my 30 years (of course, I wasn't really paying attention for the first decade and a half or so).

  • ||

    I am not that old. I was just paying attention from a very young age. He was a good player. But even at the college level, I would take Frazier and Young over him in a minute. Frazier was a better passer surprisingly enough and had the best instincts running the option I have ever seen. And Young was just an athletic God. He should have been a great pro had he not turned into a nut job. But in college he was amazing.

    Frazier only played 16 years ago and Young six. You should be able to remember those guys. In the end a lot of the respect for Tebow is that he was supposed to have been such a great "leader". That is fine as far as it goes. But if you are claiming to be an all time great based on your leadership at quarterback, you better have at least one historically great team you lead. And Young and Frazier have that (in Frazier's case two). Tebow doesn't.

  • ||

    I am not that old. I was just paying attention from a very young age. He was a good player. But even at the college level, I would take Frazier and Young over him in a minute. Frazier was a better passer surprisingly enough and had the best instincts running the option I have ever seen. And Young was just an athletic God. He should have been a great pro had he not turned into a nut job. But in college he was amazing.

    Frazier only played 16 years ago and Young six. You should be able to remember those guys. In the end a lot of the respect for Tebow is that he was supposed to have been such a great "leader". That is fine as far as it goes. But if you are claiming to be an all time great based on your leadership at quarterback, you better have at least one historically great team you lead. And Young and Frazier have that (in Frazier's case two). Tebow doesn't.

  • ||

    Yeah, well, I think you're running down Tebow a little bit. I actually hate the spread and had to be won over by Tebow's performances over time. He ran and threw pretty well at UF, and he was definitely a better passer than Frazier. However, I agree that Frazier was one of the best running QBs ever and the best I've seen at running the option.

    Don't know what "historically great" means. Tebow was part of a team that won national titles twice in three years. I suppose I'd say that UF's best national championship was the 1996 team, but in college football, it's a mess trying to compare when there is no playoff system.

    The best single player in my viewing lifetime? I hate to pick just one player in a sport that involves so many starters, but I guess I'd say Herschel Walker. He did more singlehandedly than just about any player ever.

  • ||

    Tebow didn't start in 1996. And Walker would be in my top ten. It is not that I don't think Tebow was a great college player. He was. I just don't think he was in the top ten of the players I have seen in my lifetime.

    And Frazier was a better passer than people think. His senior year he completed 54% of his passes and threw for 1400 yards, which is a lot in that offense. Yeah, Tebow was probably the better passer.

  • Gojira||

    Frazier was before my time (I only know him from reputation), but I did watch Young's entire career. He's a good comparison, but I don't think you can really put two guys from different eras side-by-side, esp. in college.

    Racking up big running yards out of the wishbone in the early 80s can in no way be comparable to what a dude does when operating in a spread-option. I suppose it's a moot point, since I don't think there can be an apples-to-apples on this particular topic.

  • ||

    Oh God Jim. the 1990s is not a different era from now. The 70s maybe. The 60s for sure. But not the 1990s. If you wanted to break down college into eras, it would be

    Pre 1908 before the legalized the forward pass and made most of the modern rules like six men on the line of scrimmage

    1908 to 1930 - modern rules but before the bigger schools and schools out west started playing serious football. These were the days when Harvard and Yale actually won national titles

    1930 to 1960 - big schools, modern rules, but no integration.

    1960-1990 - big schools, modern rules, but not quite yet big money

    1990 to the present

  • Jeremy||

    In the last two years, Cam Newton and Robert Griffin have both been running Qbs far better than Tebow ever was in college.

    He's not even in the top two of his style of his position in the last 5 years.

  • Sudden||

    I take it you picked Va Tech over Michigan tonight? So much for having a different pick to make up ground against you in the Bowl Pick'em.

  • Gojira||

    Uh trust me, you don't have to make up any ground against me.

    I had Penn St. over Houston (I thought Houston got exposed against So. Miss, but apparently I was very fucking wrong), Florida over TOSU, and Georgia over Sparty. So I'm pretty fucked right about now.

    But yes, I did take VaTech over Michigan, I believe (can't check it from work).

  • Gojira||

    Correction: I had Ohio State over Florida. Fuckin' special teams, how do they work?

  • Brett L||

    Yeah. Big 10 has fucked me. I also had Wisconsin to play enough D to win over the West Coast OSU. Only by betting on Houston and Ok State have I salvaged any of the 7 games so far played by a Big 10 school.

  • ||

    Don't remember. Maybe. I'm not very impressed with either team.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    I don't care for Auburn.

  • Zeb||

    I'd just like to take this opportunity to mention that football sucks and is really boring. Couldn't we pick one thread each day to discuss football on?

  • Old Man With Candy||

    Football is great. It's just that these guys are wasting intertubes space talking about kids's sports. Now, the 49ers-Ravens All-Defense Superbowl, that's adult sports.

  • CalebT||

    So, we've agreed that Ron Paul will be "the Jordan Williamson of libertarianism" and Barack Obama will be "the Trent Richardson of paternalistic statism"?

  • ||

    We need some regulation. Even the most bombastic conservatives recognize this. So everyone also should recognize that when President Obama says the GOP favors “dirtier air [and] dirtier water,” he is committing the fallacy of the false alternative.

    I'm not actually convinced that Obama is completely wrong on this point. It's become obvious over the course of the Republican primary that a significant chunk of the GOP actually believes as an article of faith that there's never any form of environmental regulation that has an acceptable cost-benefit justification.

  • romulus augustus||

    Yep, every damn one of them has advocated we shut down our municipal sewage systems and just pump the shit out to the curb.

  • Left wing dickhead||

    Carbon dioxide is just like raw sewage.

  • Typical Liberal||

    It's worse in some cases! CO2 causes death! Nobody ever died from sewage!

  • Wrong||

    THE body of a worker who went missing while carrying out work at Melbourne's main sewage treatment plant has been found.
    However, police say it will take some time to recover the body.

    The 52-year-old Endeavour Hills man - who was working for Melbourne Water - went missing while carrying out routine sampling work at Melbourne Water's Eastern Treatment Plant in Bangholme just after 7am (AEDT) yesterday.

    Rescuers spent more than eight hours scouring the massive network of pipes, tanks and drains to find the body just after 8pm last night.

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/ne.....6211145784

  • Typical Liberal||

    That's only because there wasn't a UNION to protect him against workplace dangers!!

  • ||

    Dude, it's Australia. That man was in a union. And he was also probably drunk.

  • ||

    I think we have established that sewage treatment has killed at least one person.

  • Pip||

    "Carbon dioxide is just like raw sewage."

    Then brush your fucking teeth.

  • ||

    So...every time you exhale, you've got something just like raw sewage coming out of your mouth and/or nose? It's not just when you're speaking??

  • anonymous commenter some guy||

    The Department of Labor is considering whether to require disabled individuals to make up at least 7 percent of the workforce of every federal contractor ...

    How many waivers do you think would go out in the first week of implementation?

  • anonymous commenter some guy||

    That was supposed to be a general comment, not a reply to JDB's BS.

  • ||

    It's rule like these and many that exist today as to why some businesses no longer accept applications because of the monitoring of those applications, they have to keep them for five years already, so now many business only hire people they know.

  • Blacksmithing||

    What evidence have you seen to support that view?

  • sarcasmic||

    Maddow said so so it must be true.

    He's right about everything.

  • Typical Liberal||

    Oh my god, you won't admit that the only reason people don't kill each other with co2 is because the government stops them!?!?

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    You're impressively good at this.

  • anon||

    Living in a 74% democrat district has made me well learned in their methods.

  • Radioactive||

    beware my CO2 death ray...HA, HA, HA

  • Dr. Doofenschmirtz||

    I doubt that it's more powerful than my CO2inator!!

  • ||

    I guess that is why the Republicans repealed every environmental law when they controlled Congress and the Presidency back in the 00s.

  • Richard Nixon||

    Oh wait.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    How many know that Nixon oversaw the restructuring of the executive branch that created the EPA in 1970? He also signed the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.

  • Almanian||

    *raises hand*

  • anon||

    Not enough. Not enough.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    ...and also the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Raises hand.

    Also know that Congress loves to hand off responsibility for regulatory decisions to the bureaucrats so they can claim that they didn't have anything to do with it unless it goes right.

  • sasob||

    I knew that. I also remember Tricky Dick's presidency. Obama is no Tricky Dick - he's just a dick - and alot worse than Nixon was.

  • Uh||

    Nixon carpet bombed Southeast Asia. Obama's foreign policy sins are molehills compared to that. I don't like Obama; I just don't think he is nearly as bad as Nixon was.

  • ||

    A lot of the legislation that is generally credited to LBJ's Great Society was actually passed and signed into law in the Nixon Administration.

    Reflecting on that, it's funny how often you hear Nixon being referred to as a conservative.

    Nixon was the Rockerfeller Republicans' last gasp before people realized that Goldwater was right.

  • BigT||

    Nixon also instituted price controls. He truly was a fascist (the economic kind).

  • mad libertarian guy||

    If people had realized that Goldwater was right, we wouldn't be in the statist mess we're currently in.

  • anonymous commenter some guy||

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/E.....t-Gingrich

    Actually, they all support some sort of regulation at some level. Most of them just want to either place stricter limits on the EPA's power or toss the regulatory power back to the States (where is belongs, according to the Constitution). Ron Paul would hand it over to the courts.

    Not so "obvious" now is it?

  • GILMORE||

    It's become obvious over the course of the Republican primary that a significant chunk of the GOP actually believes as an article of faith that there's never any form of environmental regulation that has an acceptable cost-benefit justification.

    This kind of idiotic statement is case in point of how the off-the-shelf Big Government Liberal argument works = apparently, opposition to massive regulation purely *in the name* of environmental benefit (regardless of any *actual* demonstrated environmental benefit) is tantamount to believing that we should be dumping pig-shit in the water supply and making sure every orphanage has its own garbage-dump in back so the kids can get a head start in their sewage-filtering career.

    Read = The interpretation is, "opposition to well-intended (but ultimately useless & expensive!) regulations is equivalent to actively endorsing the opposite!"

    See, if you fail to vote for things like the Kyoto protocol? You want everyone in Africa to die, don't you? You fucking racist. Why do you want all the polar bears to die too?!

    If you point out to any knee-jerk-"Green" that the Kyoto protocol hasn't done shit, never was intended to do shit, and was a pure, pandering political boondoggle that countries used to pretend they were Doing Something about some Really Big Problem simply to satisfy the hysterical liberal masses.... they'll nod, and go, "yeah, i *knew that* (I am not an ignorant *sheeple* like everyone else); but still, YOU WERE ACTIVELY AGAINST IT!@! AT LEAST THEY WERE TRYING!"

    Point being, they genuinely think that superficial, wasteful, meaningless policy is *not the point* -> the point is making sure that you maintain a sense of moral superiority by defaulting to any kind of policy that ostensibly pretends to be "for the environment".... regardless of what that policy is. The worst thing would be to oppose it! Those people want to destroy the planet!

    Like Gibson Guitars!!!
    http://informationliberation.com/?id=36326

    The wood the Government seized on August 24 is from a Forest Stewardship Council certified supplier and is FSC Controlled, meaning that the wood complies with the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council, which is an industry-recognized and independent, not-for-profit organization established to promote responsible management of the world's forests. FSC Controlled Wood standards require, among other things, that the wood not be illegally harvested and not be harvested in violation of traditional and civil rights. See www.fsc.org for more information. Gibson has a long history of supporting sustainable and responsible sources of wood and has worked diligently with entities such as the Rainforest Alliance and Greenpeace to secure FSC certified supplies. The wood seized on August 24 satisfied FSC standards.

    • Nearly two years later, no charges have been filed

    In 2009, more than a dozen agents with automatic weapons invaded the Gibson factory in Nashville. The Government seized guitars and a substantial amount of ebony fingerboard blanks from Madagascar. To date, 1 year and 9 months later, criminal charges have NOT been filed, yet the Government still holds Gibson's property. Gibson has obtained sworn statements and documents from the Madagascar government and these materials, which have been filed in federal court, show that the wood seized in 2009 was legally exported under Madagascar law and that no law has been violated. Gibson is attempting to have its property returned in a civil proceeding that is pending in federal court.

    But, see, if you dont support the Federal Government shutting down Gibson guitars... then CLEARLY you want to depopulate the rainforest! That's the only other option!

  • annonymous commenter some guy||

    Good god-DAMN, Gilmore. Kudos for the epic rant.

  • Playamanhattan||

    *Golf Clap*

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    It's become obvious over the course of the Republican primary that a significant chunk of the GOP actually believes as an article of faith that there's never any form of environmental regulation that has an acceptable cost-benefit justification.

    It's this kind of hyperbolic rhetoric that leads delusional paranoid schizophrenics to shoot congresspeople.

  • anon||

    I offer this type of rhetoric as proof that there is no God.

  • Loki||

    I offer this type of rhetoric as proof that people are retards.

  • ||

    USA is Fourth in regulatory freedom.

    Behind only Hong Kong, NZ, and Singapore.

  • shamalamadingdong||

    USA should be FIRST!!! In everything, God damn it!!!!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    And which Team is in charge, right this minute, shrike?

  • Unreasonable Voter||

    if a regulation would prevent only one birth defect at a cost of $100 trillion, then it does not.

    Hey, that's MY baby we're talking about. He's special. Fix him. Waaah.

  • ||

    Yeah. How dare they try to put a value on human life!

  • Glibertarian||

    Hey, HEY! There are profits to be made.

  • Almanian||

    If even ONE life can be saved, it's worth it.

    /derp

  • Mainer||

    Beat me to it. That's my favorite argument.

  • anon||

    OT: Holy shit the Republican establishment is scared of Ron Paul. It's all any of them are talking about today.

  • ||

    If he can win this, shit's going to get awesome for a while. Even if he stumbles later on.

    It would be great if he could win the nomination, because there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

  • Brett L||

    My hope is the "Nightmare Scenario" linked earlier. Paul 1st, Santorum and Romney in statistical tie.

  • ||

    Schadenfreude seems too tepid a word to express my emotions if Paul wins. Not that Iowa means that much for the rest of the election, but it would turn heads and could make a difference in upcoming states.

  • ||

    I'm still holding out hope that a big win in Iowa can give Paul just enough momentum to edge out Romney in NH too. It's a tall order but not impossible.

  • ||

    The pain! The pain!

  • This is my||

    failed attempt to be relevant on a website where I am despised.

  • Homer||

    Doh! Yeah right. That's not a word.

  • MWG||

    The tears! The juicy tears!

  • GILMORE||

    President Obama says the GOP favors “dirtier air [and] dirtier water,”

    HE'S RIGHT!!! SEE, JUST LISTEN TO THESE YOUNG REPUBLICANS!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5apEctKwiD8

    Sorry, that one was way too easy...

  • ||

    Even though it's 45 years old, it's still fucking bizarre to see English kids pretending to be old Southern black men. Isn't it?

  • GILMORE||

    Dude. *English*??

    You don't even know the song?... appalling.

    Dude. Lyrics. Standells. Charles River. Theme of the FUCKING RED SOX!??

    Ugh.

  • ||

    Like I said, English.

  • Voros McCracken||

    However a little known fact is that the Standells were actually from LA not Boston. Their manager, Ed Cobb, was from Boston and he's the one that wrote the song (he also wrote Good Guys Don't Wear White and Tainted Love).

  • GILMORE||

    I'm so rubbing that in some Sox fan's face at some point.

  • Radioactive||

    I've got something to rub in your face...asswipe

  • GILMORE||

    Whatever it is, it was probably imported from L.A.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    That's right, fuck the Red Sox.

  • GILMORE||

    LOL

    it's funny because its true.

  • robc||

    Everyone also can agree that if an environmental rule can prevent 1 million birth defects at a cost of only one dollar, then the regulation merits adoption

    Before you go lumping me in with the rest of you, I want to know whose dollar it is that is being spent and whether it was volunteered.

  • annonymous commenter some guy||

    It's coming from a national 3.34e-9$ personhood tax. If you're a person, you pay. Naturally, subsidies will be set up to help lower income folks and infants handle this unprecedented tax hike.

  • anon||

    Not to mention that such a scenario is completely fabricated.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    EPA engages in those types of calculations/estimations all the time in rulemaking. They have to estimate the cost burden of a regulation and its potential benefit. To do that, they have to estimate the rates of whatever harm the regulation is designed to address, and estimate the reduction in that rate that they think the rule will cause. EPA has in the past actually engaged in rulemaking to attempt to define the average value of a human life.

  • anon||

    Yeah, it's basically a huge circle jerk with the american public eating the cookie.

  • Brett L||

    Meh. We've been putting value on human life in the English Common Law tradition since before the Norman conquest. Its pretty common. We also price loss of limb, one or both eyes, hearing, full or partial, etc.

  • Zeb||

    Agreed. A human life does not have infinite value. And what about wars? If you believe that it is ever justified to fight a war as a nation (rather than everyone simply defending themselves as individuals when the invading army comes to their home), then there must be some value to human life that is significantly lower than the thing that the war is being fought over.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Wergild, man. Wergild.*

    *Old English for "man-price".

  • Major Johnson||

    Not so fabricated as you seem to think.

    There are plenty of people out there who still think welfare is a fantastic solution to poverty despite the destruction it's caused, they just think it isn't being done right yet and some tweaks will make it perfect.

    The war on drugs is an obvious failure that's made a worse problem than the drugs themselves, yet how many are crying for repeal?

    Many republicans think you should be forced to carry out any pregnancy, many even saying in cases of incest, rape, or probably death of the mother. The fact that we'd have quite a few million more unwanted children they then would complain about supporting if it weren't for abortions doesn't faze them at all.

    Check out some of the interviews of the OWS crowd, no amount of money is too much for our schools (or to pay off the loans they took to get an education), even if the education leaves us with adults unable to comprehend any text more complex than a bathroom sign, and even a picture helps.

    There are many on both sides of the aisle who believe that cost, whether in dollars or lives, doesn't matter at all in pursuit of their ideological Nirvana.

  • anon||

    Yeah, my main point was that there is no situation at all where one dollar could save 100 million lives.

    Ancillary point being there's no objective value to any human life. I'm reasonably certain that everyone here's life is subjectively priceless; as in, there are very few things one would sacrifice their own life for, and those things are impossible for the government to determine.

  • ||

    Assuming time travel were free, how about one bullet to kill Karl Marx?

  • Zeb||

    Someone else would have done what Marx did, or the vicious evil bastards of the 20th century would have found some other excuse to do what they did.

  • anon||

    Yeah Zeb, in a way I'm thankful for Marx. It led to brilliant thinkers like Mises and Hayek to create more powerful counterarguments.

  • ||

    If it only cost one dollar to prevent one million birth defects, and that dollar was yours, I would not hesitate to coerce you into spending it.

    And I would not feel the least bit guilt in doing so. At some point one million damaged infants outweighs the air of smugness one gets by being a Rothbard ® Pure ™ Libertarian.

  • anon||

    Even if we do assume the false premise here, I'm 100% positive someone would donate the dollar before it was coerced out of anyone.

  • Almanian||

    I'll buy that for a dollar

  • Almanian||

    "One Million Damaged Infants" would be an excellent album title.

    Not to mention a really cool poster!

  • annonymous commenter some guy||

    Not to mention a really cool poster!

    I picture a mosaic of 1 million abnormal infants that combine to form an image of the band's trademarked symbol: a pair of forceps grabbing a skull.

  • sarcasmic||

    Would it look a little like this?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Youthanasia

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Reminds me of the Dead Kennedys. After all, they had "Plastic Surgery Disasters" with a picture of a famine-stricken child's hand.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

  • robc||

    I would amongst the 1 million potential parents, someone would cough up a buck.

    Very coasean.

  • Major Johnson||

    I'm not so sure of that. Why would I give up my dollar when I can vote for some schmuck who promises to take someone else's dollar instead so I can spend mine on a new tune from the iStore.

  • robc||

    Then your kid deserves to be defective.

  • ||

    Why should he give a dollar, when the Save The Children Tax would only cost him $0.00001?

  • shamalamadingdong||

    I am a "small l" libertarian. If one dollar would prevent one million birth defects, I would happily contribute $1,000 of my own money. See, that's how voluntary contributions work.

  • Emperor Wears no Clothes||

    Brandy,
    You might try coercing that buck out of me, but after the first nickel I'd be coercing a bullet out of my gun and into your brain pan.

  • ||

    Classic libertarian internet tough guy post there, dude.

    Did you get a boner thinking about killing another person because they took your dollar?

  • Zeb||

    What if the dollar was collected through a single land tax?

  • ||

    This is one area that keeps me out of the anarcho-capitalist club: negative externalities. I do not see much evidence that a totally free market can adequately address negative externalities. Theoretically, a free market could handle all problems facing members of a society. But theoretically monkeys could also fly out of my butt. When has a real world market ever handled non-local pollution without resorting to government courts for enforcement of private agreements?

    As the old saying goes, utopia is not an option. A free market cannot successfully handle all instances of socially damaging externalities. And since government cannot either, we are left with how to choose between the solutions: take the moral high road and declare no government ever and never, amen and pass the hymnbook; or take a pragmatic approach and address a few of them through government action? Do we die of typhoid and cholera but ascend unto Heaven because of our righeous anarchism, or live healthy and prosperous but damned to hell for our regulation of public health?

    The social costs of a negative externality can be GREATER than the social cost of limited institutionalized coercion. I suspect this tradeoff is in fact the true origin of government. It's just cheaper in the long run to hire a sheriff.

  • robc||

    Free market != anarcho-capitalist.

    I agree with you on ancaps, but a free market requires rule of law and property rights, and those have got to be defined.

    Coasean bargaining requires property rights, which require a government. But its still a free market solution.

  • ||

    Even taking the anarchists out of the equation, it's still more efficient to use government regulation rather than reliance on self-regulation of a free market. That's because we do not live in a world populated by Homo Economicus.

  • l0b0t||

    Markets do not rely upon "self-regulation", they rely upon competition and consumer choice.

  • sarcasmic||

    If a factory pollutes a stream that runs through my property, in a free-market limited government world I could take the factory owner to court.
    Now if they pollute a stream that runs through my property, but the EPA says it's OK, I have no recourse.

  • ||

    It's one thing when you have one polluter damaging another's property, as in the case of the stream, but it's a whole other matter when everyone is the polluter.

    What if the pollution is a automobile exhaust. Do you sue every automobile owner within a hundred miles? Do all of them sue you in turn for driving your automobile? And wouldn't you end up with everyone paying damages to everyone else?

  • sarcasmic||

    If enough people truly cared then the market would respond with less-polluting cars.

  • sarcasmic||

    Ever heard of the Prius? That's the market's response to people wanting less-polluting cars. No regulation required.

  • ||

    Well, when benefits and burdens are shared by everybody, as in the auto exhaust example, I'm kind of wondering why any restitution is even needed.

  • annonymous commenter some guy||

    What if the damage done to your property is greater than the net worth of the factory? You could bankrupt them in court and still not be completely compensated.

  • sarcasmic||

    I never said it was perfect.

  • robc||

    And what if some broke dude drives his truck into your living room?

    Same thing applies.

  • annonymous commenter some guy||

    And what if some broke dude drives his truck into your living room?

    Same thing applies.

    Agreed. That's why pretty much every road is regulated with speed limits, stop signs and police patrols.

  • sarcasmic||

    That's why pretty much every road is regulated with speed limits, stop signs and police patrols.

    Those are revenue generating devices.
    Just because people in authority say those things are for public safety doesn't mean that they are.
    People with the power to inflict violence without consequence tend to be liars as well.

  • annonymous commenter some guy||

    Those are revenue generating devices.

    Correction: SOME of those are revenue generating devices. Others are used to keep unsafe drivers off the roads (with penalties ranging from fines to license suspension to jail time). If the roads were owned by private entities a lot of the same regulations would still be in place. They would probably be better enforced too. If you owned a road, wouldn't you want to keep drunk people off it? Most of your customers would want you to do so.

  • sarcasmic||

    Correction: SOME of those are revenue generating devices.

    Are you more likely to be given a ticket when you're the only guy on the road for miles, not posing a risk to others because there are no others on the road (other than the lurking cop), or when there's a ton of traffic?

    Oh, sure, the stated purpose of these rules is public safety, but in practice they're simply revenue generating devices.

    Others are used to keep unsafe drivers off the roads (with penalties ranging from fines to license suspension to jail time).

    Unless they're in jail there's no guarantee that they're not on the road.

    If the roads were owned by private entities a lot of the same regulations would still be in place. They would probably be better enforced too.

    Sign a contract of rules to follow, and if you break the rules you're not allowed onto the road.

    Sounds much better than what we have now.

    Where do I sign?

  • annonymous commenter some guy||

    Are you more likely to be given a ticket when you're the only guy on the road for miles, not posing a risk to others because there are no others on the road (other than the lurking cop), or when there's a ton of traffic?

    Oh, sure, the stated purpose of these rules is public safety, but in practice they're simply revenue generating devices.

    Exactly. This is one of the regulations that is primarily for revenue. But it also can improve safety through deterence. High speeds may not cause more accidents but they do make accidents more violent.

    Unless they're in jail there's no guarantee that they're not on the road.

    You don't need to guarantee that every crazy driver is off the road, you just have to deter many of them from being on the road. Fear of going to jail works just as well for some people. That's why they often take their licenses before putting them in jail.

    Sign a contract of rules to follow, and if you break the rules you're not allowed onto the road.

    Sounds much better than what we have now.

    Where do I sign?

    I agree completely. I'm all for private ownership of roads. I'm also all for regulating anyone who is driving 2 tons of steel at 80 mph 6 feet to the left of me.

  • ||

    I'm part owner of a private road, and I call bullshit on you. Yes, I'm a part owner of a private road. It's the road that runs through and around my condo complex. It is a genuine road, it is genuinely private, and I have 1% ownership in it. Guess what? We have a speed limit and a couple of stop signs. We don't post those signs as revenue enhancement schemes, but because we are deeply concerned for our safety, our families' safety, our guests' safety, etc.

    To suggest that public roads operate on a 180 degree diametrically opposite paradigm is ludicrous. There is certainly some revenue generating motivation, but denying there is any safety concern is so ridiculous is ceases to be funny.

  • Emperor Wears no Clothes||

    Your neighbours need speed limit signs to know not to speed through your condo complex?
    You live in a building full of retards, then.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Now if they pollute a stream that runs through my property, but the EPA says it's OK, I have no recourse.

    Not true. As with anything that involves federal legislation and lawyers, it's complicated. But very generally, just because they have a permit doesn't mean you still cannot sure them for damages caused to your property.

  • sarcasmic||

    How are they responsible? The government said it was OK, so how can they be held liable?

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Because if your actions cause damage to another, you can be held liable under traditional common-law causes of action. Just because you have an EPA permit to emit particulate matter does not mean you have a license to dump it all over my picnic table and my laundry that I hang out to dry on my clothesline. Just because you have an EPA permit to discharge treated effluent does not mean you have a licesne to let it pile up on my property downstream.

    Like I said, it depends on the facts of the case and the nature of the claim, but it is possible to sue for common law torts (trespass, nuisance, etc.) regardless of the fact that EPA has given the "polluter" a permit.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Also, read up on the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act and how it imposes strict liability various parties - again, doesn't matter if what you did was perfectly legal and in accordance with your permit - if your actions result in damage to others, you generally can be held liable for that damage.

  • ||

    Yup. Compliance with a federal law/regulation is not a safe harbor from common law tort suits.

    There are very few such suits. It is extremely hard to prove damages to an individual property owner.

  • robc||

    Coasean bargaining is more efficient than government regulation.

    Plus, who gives a fuck about efficiency?

  • roystgnr||

    These Homo Non-economicus folks, who can't be trusted to make decisions for which they reap the benefits and pay the costs themselves... how good are they at making decisions for which other people reap the benefits and other people pay the costs? Uniformly worse, right?

    Now, whose votes are responsible for deciding on those government regulations?

  • KPres||

    Also, slave labor is a more efficient way to motivate labor than wages and salaries.

  • ||

    Slavery is in no way economically efficient. The lost utility from slavery (human misery, future war/reconstruction costs, opportunity loss for the slaves, etc) outweighs the utility from saving on labor expenses.

  • annonymous commenter some guy||

    I agree with you Brandybuck. I also think some level of regulation is necessary to handle certain negative externalities. Particularly when a company uses technology that can potentially do much more damage than the company is able to compensate for. For example, a nuclear reactor operator might be worth $1B when their negligence could cause $10B in damages. Local or state government should be able to step in and regulate this operator.

  • robc||

    see below

  • annonymous commenter some guy||

    I don't see your point. How is typhoid like a nuclear reactor? Or are you saying the nuclear reactor is like a horse?

  • robc||

    My post below.

    The one with a bunch of COASEs.

  • annonymous commenter some guy||

    I see. It's more entertaining to ponder the link between nuclear reactors, horses and typhoid, though...

    Still, I'm not sure how I feel about Coase. It seems like following him would open up establishments to a form of negative externality extortion. I could purchase a plot in the middle of Manhattan and threaten to build a poorly maintained nuclear reactor on it. Everyone would know I couldn't possibly afford to pay the damages when my reactor fails. So they would have to pay an exhorbitant price to prevent me from building my reactor. I could essentially name any price up to the potential damages done by my reactor and it would be in their best interest to pay me.

    In other words, it seems like Coase's approach doesn't work when potential external costs are greater than the net worth of the offender.

    What am I missing?

  • robc||

    Criminal charges?

  • annonymous commenter some guy||

    Criminal charges? For what? Do you expect the inhabitants of Manhattan to let me build my reactor and let it fail just so they can send me to jail for criminal negligence? Again, it still would be in their best interest to pay me not to build it.

    And if the government makes it illegal for me to build my shoddy reactor in the first place... then they have instituted regulations against shoddy reactors. That is hardly a victory for Coase.

  • robc||

    Also, one of the factors in coasean bargaining is first determing who has the property rights.

  • annonymous commenter some guy||

    Actually, Coase argued that it doesn't matter who starts off with the property rights. He claims that the property will eventually end up in the hands of the person who can use it best.

    In my case, the value of the plot in Manhattan is much less than the damage that will be done by my reactor. So I can afford to buy the plot from whoever currently owns it and still expect a profit once my extortion is complete.

  • l0b0t||

    "Criminal charges? For what?"
    For extortion. Did you even bother to think this through?

  • annonymous commenter some guy||

    "Criminal charges? For what?"
    For extortion. Did you even bother to think this through?

    What extortion? I'm just building a nuclear power plant? I can't help it if I'm willing to accept a lot more risk than my neighbors... I mean, there's no guarantee that my reactor will fail.

  • robc||

    Negligent homicide.

    And a few other crimes based on negligence.

  • annonymous commenter some guy||

    I can only be charged with negligence after I have built the plant and let it go up in smoke. The point of my argument is that it will never come to that because my neighbors are better off buying the property from me before I build the plant.

    The only way they can stop me is to either call my bluff (is it worth the risk???) or to demand at least a limited amount of regulation of my property (no nuclear reactors allowed).

  • l0b0t||

    "What extortion?"
    Why, the extortion you admit is part of your plan - "...still expect a profit once my extortion is complete"

  • annonymous commenter some guy||

    "What extortion?"
    Why, the extortion you admit is part of your plan - "...still expect a profit once my extortion is complete"

    Naturally I wouldn't admit it was extortion if I was actually trying to pull this off. Come on. Where's your imagination?

  • robc||

    Wrong. Coase argues that when there are no transaction costs, it doesnt matter what the property rights are.

    However, he very much argues the exact opposite once transactional costs enter the picture.

    People want to simplify Coase to only the non-transactional situation, which is missing the whole point.

  • annonymous commenter some guy||

    OK. True enough. Please excuse me on this point. I'm new to Coase.

  • ||

    ROBC relies an awful lot on the Coase theory without once mentioning it is a theory based on an assumption of frictionless bargaining.

    How would bargaining be made frictionless in a totally free market society?

  • l0b0t||

    "When has a real world market ever handled non-local pollution without resorting to government courts for enforcement of private agreements?"

    I would first ask when has there EVER been a truly free market? Also, typhoid and cholera did not disappear because of government's beneficence. They disappeared because the market allowed the majority to switch from horse to automobile so that our cities were no longer ankle-deep in feces.

  • ||

    I did not say it was impossible for a market (free or otherwise) to adequately address externalities. I said it might be more efficient for a government to address some of them.

    I think it would have been far more efficient for urban governments to build sewers with taxes, than to patiently wait thousands of years for someone to invent the automobile.

  • sarcasmic||

    I did not say it was impossible for a market (free or otherwise) to adequately address externalities.

    True you never explicitly said that in so many words, but you sure implied it.

  • l0b0t||

    More efficient perhaps, but if that taxation is forcibly extracted, the moral repugnance of the theft far outweighs any claims to greater efficiency. Also, while urban governments have been building sewers for thousands of years, acceptance of the pathogenic theory of disease precedes the creation of the automobile by only a few decades (Vibrio cholerae, the source of cholera, was only isolated in 1854) and advocates of the theory had to fight for its acceptance against governments still clinging to the status quo of miasmatic spontaneity.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    The worst polluters have been statists like the Soviet Union.

    Therefore, a stronger state leads to worsening externalities.

    An an-cap state will consequently have less pollution than, say, the USSR.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    The worst polluter in the U.S. has been the United State military.

    Sorry to say it, but from what I've seen, it's true.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    United States military.

  • Zeb||

    The relation of degree of statism relative to levels of pollution does not have to be linear.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    The one area that keeps me in the anarcho-capitalist club is that even if your analysis is correct, the govmt, historically speaking, always manages to turn the "legitimate" excuse for force into a divine right of rent seeking. So fuck it. Negative externalities : just deal with it.

    Also, you have to consider all the positive externalities that the government gets rid of.

  • ||

    I do not see much evidence that a totally free market can adequately address negative externalities.

    And do you see much evidence that a Total State will, on balance/on net, reduce negative externalities?

  • MJGreen||

    It seems rather dogmatic to say that political action is required to fix a problem that voluntary action can't fix... when voluntary action hasn't been tried. The pragmatic solution would be to wait for issues to arise in a stateless society, and then consider resorting to politics.

    As an anarcho-capitalist, I can certainly imagine limited political solutions to troublesome local issues, though I can just as well imagine voluntary arrangements. Perhaps there will be enough local groups and individuals interested in dealing with an environmental issue to do so without compelling others to assist, and perhaps there are circumstances in which only some kind of tax will work. I don't know, because it's impossible to say a priori for all cases; it all depends on the unique circumstances of the time and place. But political action should not be adopted so cavalierly.

  • Gojira||

    The social costs of a negative externality can be GREATER than the social cost of limited institutionalized coercion.

    How very nice of you to volunteer my money for your subjective value judgement.

    But seriously, the flaw in your argument is the phrase, "limited institutionalized coercion". Because that may be what it starts out as, but it sure as shit ain't what it ends up (see government; United States for an example).

    The real question you should be asking is, "Do negative externalities outweigh the costs of a massive, intrusive, ever-growing regulatory state". Because that is what you inevitably wind up with once you start down that road.

  • robc||

    Oh, and in general, for the first time in 2012, I get to post this:

    COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE
    COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE
    COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE
    COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE
    COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE
    COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE

  • robc||

    Also, for the first time in 2012, I get to post this (which also applies all over this thread):

    FUCK UTILITARIANISM.

  • sarcasmic||

    +10000000000000000000000000000

  • Zeb||

    I'm still not convinced that you can be anything but an anarchist without some utilitarianism. You can't justify any coercive government without it. You just can't. And saying "but... Goedel" doesn't cut it. Goedel doesn't give you license to make any contradictory statement you want to. Even if you are willing to accept some undecidability in your thought, it doesn't change the definition of utilitarian. If you think that government should exist because it is better that it does exist than not, then you are a utilitarian.

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    If you think that government should exist because it is better that it does exist than not, then you are a utilitarian.

    Or some other kind of consequentialist. Or a deontologist who doesn't think that everything the government does violates whatever categorical imperative you believe in. Or a virtue ethicist. Or, indeed, a propertarian who thinks some amount of government can exist without violating the non-aggression principle.

  • robc||

    I think that governments exist. Anarchy is metastable at best, so can be ignored as irrevelent.

    I dont consider the impossible. An archy of some sort is gonna exist.

    As Hidalgo said: Or a deontologist who doesn't think that everything the government does violates whatever categorical imperative you believe in.

    I think that is it.

    Ive many times described my political beliefs as deontological realist libertarian.

    The realist is, amongst other things, acknowledging that anarchy cant exist.

  • robc||

    Goedel doesn't give you license to make any contradictory statement you want to.

    True, but since they are going to exist, it gives you some choice of which contradictions to go with, and the one that allows me to ignore the impossible seems pretty darn reasonable.

  • Almanian||

    Also for the first time in 2012:

    A. Barton Hinkle Heimerschmidt
    His name is my name, too!
    Whenever we go out, people always shout,
    "There goes A. Barton Hinkle Heimerschmidt!"
    LALALALALALALA....

  • Matrix||

    I was wondering when that was coming.

  • ||

    I would say it never gets old, but, it has.

  • Life On The Mississippi||

    When a river in good condition can enable one to save $162,000 and a
    whole summer's time, on a single cargo, the wisdom of taking measures to
    keep the river in good condition is made plain to even the uncommercial
    mind.

  • ||

    One can but admire the fearsome symmetry of regulation-

    The EPA wants $10 billion spent to save 10 thousand lives by removing 10 tons of mercury from outdoor air.

    It also seeks to cut power bills by $10 billion by mandating compact fluorescent bulbs that add 10 tons of mercury to indoor air.

  • ||

    Government's only core competencies are violence and self-perpetuation.

  • Typical Liberal||

    And JOBS! Obama's dropped the unemployment rate by 1.5% in JUST 3 YEARS!

  • Major Johnson||

    Actually the EPA wants the American people to pay $10 Billion more in energy costs while SAYING it will save up to 10,000 lives. I'll make you a much better deal, just send me a million dollars and I'll save 100,000 lives...really! I'll give you the details on how I can do that once your check has cleared.

  • anon||

    OK! Where in Nigeria do I send the money!?

  • fish||

    So what's your problem...again we have perfect balance.

  • db||

    It's going to cost a lot fucking more than $10 billion. And I say this as an expert in power generation and environmental control systems.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    The $10 billion doesn't include all the costs to the economy of higher power bills/brownouts.

    For you liberals out there, think of it like Keynes' multiplier effect, but in reverse.

  • db||

    I'm just talking about direct capital and operating costs to meet the regulations and maintain adequate reserve capacity. There are a ton of plant owners looking to retire older units that will not be able to meet the Hg emissions requirements cost effectively. This will require a significant amount of construction of new generation to maintain reserves. Given that up to an estimated 51 GW of generation is expected to be retired as a result of MACT and other newis regulations, andd compliant generation costs over $3000 per kW installed for the unit size class being replaced (not including carbon capture), that's about $160 billion in required new generation (assuming coal fired, witg SO2, NOx, and Hg removal).

  • GILMORE||

    The Department of Labor is considering whether to require disabled individuals to make up at least 7 percent of the workforce of every federal contractor – not only in the aggregate, but within “each job group.”

    I'm surprised they don't also demand 50% be retarded and incompetent. Maybe that just happens naturally already.

    Its amazing. Its almost like there's a specific department of Government devoted entirely to making sure that Government - all of it! - must be made *even less efficient*. Being horribly inefficient already is No Excuse! There must be *demonstrated decreases in productivity*, concurrent with increasing budgets! As a first step, they should create a commission to determine how much less efficient they could possibly be as an organization...for instance, by creating multiple overlapping divisions with similar mandates but ensuring neither have any actual direct responsibility... this will ensure decades of legal confusion, selective enforcement, and possibly even allow some bureaucrat to run on the platform of 'reforming' that system.

    That said...

    ...new flesh-sensing technology... developed by Barry White Laboratories?

    Mandate me, baby.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm surprised they don't also demand 50% be retarded and incompetent.

    That's what happens in government. And the less capable the person is of actually doing something, the more likely they will be put into a position of authority. After all, they can't do anything and they can't be fired. Might as well promote them.

  • Gimlet||

    Judge: Black church rightful owner of KKK store

    COLUMBIA, S.C. — After a lengthy legal battle between a black South Carolina church and members of the Ku Klux Klan, a judge says the church owns a building where KKK robes and T-shirts are sold.

    The judge last month ruled that New Beginnings Baptist Church is the rightful owner of the building that houses the Redneck Shop, and ordered the shop's proprietor to pay the church's legal bills.

    New Beginnings sued John Howard and others in 2008, saying the property was transferred to the church in 1997 by a Klansman fighting with others inside the hate group.

    Howard, formerly KKK grand dragon for the Carolinas, runs the store in Laurens, about 70 miles northwest from Columbia. There was no answer at the store Tuesday. Howard's attorney did not immediately return a message.

    http://www.ajc.com/news/nation.....87500.html

  • The Wisdom of Ron Paul||

    That is why I'm so encouraged by the return of chastity as an ideal among young people.

  • l0b0t||

    What is wrong with that?

  • The Wisdom of Ron Paul||

    Constitutionally & from the standpoint of our natural rights, we should be able to discriminate .in renting or otherwise using our property -sexually, racially, religiously, ethnically, or just because we don't like the person's face.

  • l0b0t||

    Again, why is that a bad thing?

  • sarcasmic||

    To put it another way, we should be able to say the word "no" without being taken to court.

  • feminists||

    NO MEANS NO!

  • annonymous commenter some guy||

    Newsletter? What newsletter? Seriously I haven't heard about the newsletter before. I also haven't heard about Ron Paul's disavowal of the newsletter or his apologies for not properly vetting a newsletter that was issued under his name, but not actually written by him. Finally, I am completely unaware of Ron Paul's long record of voting in the House of Representatives against bills that preferentially harm minorities.

    Thank you for bringing all this to my attention.

  • ||

    A military coup d'etat began in 2008 with the introduction of Sarah Palin as John McCain’s running mate.

    Obama is not the president, he’s the acting president. He disappeared for 2 weeks after his election win only to reappear looking exhausted sitting next to John McCain, with a bad poker face, for a press photo shoot. Obama is now a Pentagon puppet. Who did you think writes his teleprompter?

    This is the real story that the media is not and cannot report on. Here’s what Obama, Osama, Biden, Bin Laden, the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists, and Sarah Palin had to do with the last election and the military’s overthrow of our government.

    http://PalinsDirtyLittleSecret.blogspot.com/

  • ||

    Now that is first class crazy. So much better and more interesting trolling than what we usually get.

  • KPres||

    More believable than Tony, too.

  • l0b0t||

    "A military coup d'etat began in 2008 with the introduction of Sarah Palin as John McCain’s running mate."
    WTF?? Also, Smedley Butler wants you to know you are late by 75 years.

  • ||

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Warty, you have earned this.

  • ||

    If you haven't done it, I highly encourage you to go to his blog. A++.

  • ||

    Yikes. That is a spiraling tunnel of crazy. There were a lot of choice morsels to choose from, but for some reason this might be what I enjoyed most:

    Does Gayle King bare any resemblance to singer Whitney Houston?

  • ||

    CEO of Oracle Larry Ellison


    Character in first Die Hard named Ellis

    Don't be Ellis.

  • ||

    "Hey, babe, I negotiate million dollar deals for breakfast. I think I can handle this Eurotrash."

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Please post more!!! (Though you should put brackets around random nouns.)

  • ||

    If you go to the blog, you see this particular looney favors color-coded key words.

  • Almanian||

    "The code I will continue to reveal here was rapped around Sarah Palin in the last election."

    So she DID fuck that black guy! This is the bestr blog EVARRRR!!!

  • shamalamadingdong||

    THis is why I LOVE, absolutely adore, the internet!

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    ... Biden, Bin Laden..

    I see, get rid of the "n la" from Bin Laden, and you end up with Biden.

  • Ska||

    Langley....Loughner ... see if you get rid of the n le and um.. [add other stuff] see... totally um yeah david langley jared laughner. See?

  • Colonel Flag||

    Remove the 3rd, 5th,and 6th letters and you have RED DIGEST Comrade Burns!

  • l0b0t||

    Best episode ever!!

  • Loki||

    This comment nominated for "crazy tinfoil-hat wearing troll of the day" award (also known as biggest douche in the universe). Congratulations!

  • Tonio||

    Yes, this is some world-class krazee. But he's not being douchey.

    Biggest douche is you-know-who.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    SawStop isn't the cure-all they keep marketing; for starters, once the brake engages, you have to replace the (rather expensive) SawStop brake.

    It also doesn't work through gloves. Sometimes I like to wear gloves when handling wood all day as I don't like splinters or the dry, rough feeling you get.

  • ||

    SawStop isn't the cure-all they keep marketing; for starters, once the brake engages, you have to replace the (rather expensive) SawStop brake.

    Presuming it works as advertised (I saw a demo of it in action on the defunct show Time Warp), I'd say that's a fair trade-off between that and the cost of reattaching a finger.

  • Brett L||

    See, we can identify the cheapskates by their missing fingers. Another great way that choice in the marketplace is superior to regulation.

  • Emperor Wears no Clothes||

    If it saves even one finger, it's worth having the federal government force all table saw manufacturers to include the expensive saw brake on their units. You can never have enough $1200 table saws at Home Depot.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    It is not a good idea from a safety standpoint to wear gloves while using a table saw.

    Having to replace an expensive brake cartridge and top-quality saw blade - about $300, maybe $400. How expensive will it be to lose a finger or mangle your hand?

    I have had up to seven table saws in my workshop at one time. I have settled down to three - the smallest and lightest of which is a Delta Unisaw, which is good for nearly 500 lbs., with a 220v, 3 h.p. motor. My big saw is a Delta 12-14, which takes up to a 14" blade, 5 h.p. motor and weighs nearly 1,000 lbs.

    I'm not going to drop the money on a SawStop, but I can see it makes a hell of a lot of sense, particularly in school and employer/employee settings. Also, a hell of a lot of Joe Weekend Woodworkers never bother to take the time to truly understand the forces at work when using a tablesaw, and the real dangers of kick back and how to avoid it and other hazards. I have seen lots of YouTube videos of hobbyists showing off their tablesaws in which they demonstrate some very dangerous techniques.

    Which is not to say I believe the government should mandate SawStop-type technology on all saws - just responding to the assertion that it's expensive.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    This all depends upon whether or not SawStop works as advertised. If it has to compete in the marketplace, it will probably become a decent (and cheap) product; if we're all forced to use it sort of like tire pressure monitoring sensors after the Firestone incident, they'll be crummy, prone to false engagements, and expensive to maintain.

    And thanks for the tip on gloves, but the issue with SawStop is that it WON'T prevent a gloved finger from being cut off, regardless of whom that finger belongs to. It's essentially a false sense of security, unless an "all hands must be bare" policy is in force.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    It would appear that not only does SawStop work as advertised, but it also has done a good job of competing in the marketplace. They have been manufacturing and selling their own saws for several years now, and sales apparently have been pretty good.

    The CPSC regulation will not mandate the use of SawStop technology, per se. It is analyzing improved tablesaw safety requirements and taking comment on whether some kind of blade-stopping technology should be required. Another guy already has released videos demonstrating a competing technology he has created, which does not ruin the blade to stop it.

    Also - even if CPSC mandates blade-stopping technology, it won't affect the vast majority of woodworkers anyhow, because it will apply only to newly-manufactured machines. I have no reason and no intention of ever buying a new tablesaw and I never have, so I couldn't care less what CPSC requires for new machines.

    Sure, SawStop won't protect a gloved hand, but that doesn't mean it's not a good technology otherwise. Because it will protect an ungloved hand, and you shouldn't be wearing a glove when using a tablesaw anyhow.

  • Loki||

    Nobody likes the dry, rough feeling they get from handling their wood all day. That's what KY is for.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    We need some regulation. Even the most bombastic conservatives recognize this.

    Thank God I'm not a bombastic conservative, and realise we don't need any "regulation".

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    There are some regulations that are indeed valid; the issue is at what point is the line crossed into unreasonable, excessive or unnecessary regulation. Another isuse is how the regulations are implemented and enforced.

    But IMHO, either extreme - "We need more regulations to make sure (X) never happens" or "We don't need any regulation" is overly simplistic.

  • ||

    We need some regulation. Even the most bombastic conservatives recognize this

    Do not agree.

  • anon||

    The simplicity in your statement is akin to poetry.

  • ||

    Of course, this whole conversation is utterly pointless without some agreement on what we mean by "regulation."

    Does that mean any law? Are laws against murder "regulation"? If so, then I think its too vague to be useful unless we are discussing the merits of pure anarchism.

  • sarcasmic||

    I think of regulation as rules governing voluntary economic activity that are backed up with force. While it could be argued that murder for hire is economic activity, the guy on the receiving end might argue against it being voluntary.

  • cynical||

    Externality.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    OT,

  • Appalachian Australian||

    OT, what on earth is wrong with Alan Colmes?

    I can think of plenty of things to find wrong with Rick Santorum besides how he and his family dealt with their son dying two hours after he was born. And, hey, a liberal showing insensitive to a dying infant: that plays in really well to Santorum's pro-life narrative.

  • ||

    Meh. Take all the cheap shots at shitstain politicians you want, as far as I'm concerned. The truth is a lot of people do find what Santorum did creepy and off-putting. Plus it's a little rich for conservatives to whine about the lack of "sensitive" language.

  • ||

    Episiarch|1.8.11 @ 2:39PM
    Fuck the politician.

  • Montani Semper Liberi||

    Sleeping with a dead baby and taking it home to show your family is fucking weird to most people. Sorry if pointing that out offends you.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Speaking as someone who is pro-life, I find Santorum dragging his son's corpse, from the hospital, back to his house for his children to gawk at to be morally disgusting. A corpse should be treated with dignity, not used as an exhibit for a family sideshow. (And when you're finished, bring home a souvenir!)

    You wanted your kids to see their brother's face? Fine, have an open-casket funeral. That would be treating your infant son's corpse with the dignity it deserves. It was Santorum who was insensitive to long-standing cultural mores concerning how we treat our dead. His actions are a window into his own perverted world-view; he deserves nothing more than reproach and ridicule.

  • ||

    Speaking as someone who is pro-life, I find Santorum dragging his son's corpse, from the hospital, back to his house for his children to gawk at to be morally disgusting.

    Don't forget using his death as a campaign prop, too!

  • John Edwards||

    Say what, now?

  • ||

    A military coup d'etat began in 2008 with the introduction of Sarah Palin as John McCain’s running mate.

    Now, THAT'S how you troll.

  • ||

    Is anyone else a fan of both Clutch and Archer? Here's Neil Fallon being interviewed by Lana.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Clutch and Archer? Is that a comic strip?

  • ||

    Some truly fearsome beards there.

  • ||

    I decided not to shave for a few months. I'm starting to get into Neil Fallon territory, and it's awesome.

  • ||

    I hope your beard is garnering the approval and adulation it deserves.

  • ||

    It will. It will. I expect it to add 20 pounds to my deadlift, too.

  • ||

    In order to reply with something other than "that is hot" I will instead ask if you have any experience working with kettlebells? I am intrigued but have no fucking clue where to start so I'm going to see if a trainer can get me started.

  • ||

    I love my kbs. They're super fun, and juggling them is an easy way to impress people. They're really good for building strength endurance and conditioning, but not really so much for strength. Their nature makes it impossible to progressively load them like a barbell. So just be aware of what they can do, because there are hucksters who sell them as miracle fitness pills.

    I read one of Pavel's books a few years ago and then immediately went out and bought a 32kg one. So, don't do that. It took me longer than it should have to figure out how to use that heavy fucker. So if you buy one, don't do that. Start small.

    My suggestion is to check out that place in Redmond that I mentioned a while back, or someplace similar. They'll show you what to do.

  • ||

    Thanks. And juggling them is just one more reason you should join the circus so you can be where you belong, with the other freaks.

  • Brett L||

    I'm growing mine back. I shaved for a job interview that ended up being a phone interview. I'm not sure I can get to Neil Fallon, but it was lush and full and I miss it.

  • ||

    Government's only core competencies are violence and self-perpetuation.

    Reward failure.

    Punish success.

  • ||

    Too hard. Really its:

    Reward our friends (and ourselves).

    Punish our enemies.

    See, also, The Chicago Way.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    OT, Why Young Liberals, Like Me, Will Turn Out For Ron Paul. Occupier on HuffPo explains why she's a Paul supporter.

  • BakedPenguin||

    "The whole idea that you don't need to spend trillions of dollars to run a government really appeals to me,"

    One of us, one of us, gabba gabba...

  • robc||

    Did you see my post to you on AM links thread?

    I made loud beeping noises as I backed into the playoffs.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I missed the AM links, but I heard the news. It would suck indeed if after getting a major ass pounding from suck luminaries as KC & Buffalo, he would rise up to smite the Steelers. Never say never, but I'm thinking you're in for a thirsty January.

  • BakedPenguin||

    such luminaries.

    Actually, I guess it works as written.

  • ||

    She's just planning on poisoning Ron Paul and inheriting his money.

  • ||

    Goddamnit! Stop teasing me with such things and giving me false hope.

  • ||

    Stupid asshole of a cop just follows orders , scares the fuck out of 5-year old girl.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    (1) The girl is lucky she didn't have a puppy

    (2) The girl is lucky she didn't get any tears on the cop. That could be assaulting an officer.

  • Almanian||

    I am sensing sarcasam in your response...

  • Zeb||

    If the cops actually went to confront the little girl, that's messed up. But the library does have the right to retrieve their property when it is not returned as agreed. The library really should send out some warnings first. But the world is full of assholes who call the police first.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    When my property's been stolen, the cops haven't gone to retrieve it. Instead I've been told to pound sand, or interrogated as a suspect (as an insurance fraudster who arranged for his own property to get stolen and then reappear two miles away in broad daylight).

  • Loki||

    When my car got broken into a few years ago the cops didn't even bother to send out an officer to take a statement. They said if there were no eye witnesses or surveillance video they weren't going to bother. Apparently libraries, as government institutions have more pull with the police (surprise surprise).

    On a related note if you want to get away with breaking into cars, I highly recommend Aurora, CO as the place to go.

  • ||

    Too true, I learned the hard way that a CRX in Aurora attracts the thugs like nothing else. It only took replacing 3 radios for me to get a clue.

  • db||

    My house was robbed last year (they didn't get any guns, thank goodness) and the cops told me in a bored way that even an alarm isn't useful because they could never arrive fast enough anyway. Never found my property, never bothered doing anything about the crime; told me there hadn't been any other burglaries in the area recently. When I went to best buy to replaace my tv thee manager told me he had been selling about 5the a week

  • db||

    5 a week as replacements for stolen tvs. So the police are worthless. And now i have a video surveillance system witg off site monitoring because if the police wont show up, at least i can get pictures and sound.

  • ||

    Big metro PDs have almost universally quit investigating or following up in any way on residential burglaries.

    Because those are actual crimes, committed by actual criminals. Too hard. Much better to focus on the victimless crimes.

  • ||

    And because there's no money in it. But they'll pull people over for talking on their cellphone one after the other...to the tune of $250 + fees each.

  • Almanian||

    Not seeing the problem with this. First it's not returning the Lie Barry books - next thing ya know, she's a 1%'er not paying her fair share!

    Fucking right send the cops...

  • Tony||

    "Everyone also can agree that if an environmental rule can prevent 1 million birth defects at a cost of only one dollar, then the regulation merits adoption – and if a regulation would prevent only one birth defect at a cost of $100 trillion, then it does not."

    WHAAT?

  • Almanian||

    WE HAVE A WINNER!

    "If even ONE life can be saved..." Right, Tony? Amirite?

  • Brother Grimm||

    What if it's for the low, low price of your soul? And at what rate should those be taxed?

  • IRS||

    We're working on soul-taxing tables now.

  • ||

    Even Sgt. Dowd admits he wasn’t real keen on it.

    “Nobody wanted to, on this end to get involved in it,” says Sgt. Dowd. “But the library contacted us, and the chief delegated, and apparently I was one of the low men on the totem pole.”

    De LAWZ is de LAWZ!

  • ||

    Go over to Drudge and vote for RP on their caucus poll. And look at the results for added lulz.

  • ||

    It doesn't count! Paultards rigged the poll! Crazy, tinfoil hat, newzletters, trutherz, Iran, IRAN Ahhh!!!!!11

  • ||

  • sarcasmic||

    Nothing jury nullification can't fix.

  • ||

    There aren't twelve people in that entire city that are smart enough to nullify that law.

    I want to see them give this guy a pass because he's a former Marine, and see them fuck over all the other people who got caught up in the absurd and Unconstitutional law.

  • sarcasmic||

    Like they say, anyone who isn't smart enough to get out of jury duty is too stupid to be on a jury.

  • ||

    The only take-away lesson here is that the authorities are not your friends and should never be trusted no matter how good of a person you are.

    Lather. Rinse. Repeat as needed.

  • sarcasmic||

    Isn't that a given?

  • ||

    Evidently not.

  • Emperor Wears no Clothes||

    Or maybe you crazy-assed gun fetishists should just leave your dick extensions at home.
    What is it with you people? Does you learn to jones for guns from yer pappies? At school? In your place of worship? Or is it genetic?
    Because, seriously, you're all fucked up if you think it's somehow normal to go around carrying a pistol in your pants.

  • Loki||

    You certainly demonstrated the versatility of the word.

    Fuck the fucking fuckers!

  • Fuck Fucking Fuckers Local #82||

    Ain't NObody fuckin' NO one 'less we give the fuckin' say-so.

  • first||

    They say the best things come in small packages and Ira is living proof of this belief! Ultra petite and with the face of an angel Ira is perfectly formed.

    But don’t be fooled by her appearance, Ira is a full-blooded woman who knows exactly the effect she has on men. She loves all the pleasures in life, and is not afraid to go out and get them.

    Ira is living and studying economics in Budapest and her ambition is to work for a bank. She is professional, knows her "teenie-looks" career is short and is saving her model earnings for her own apartment. Ira doesn’t smoke or drink but loves to go out dancing and having fun.

    A very smart girl indeed!

    http://www.hegre-art.com/models#action=show&id=70

  • ||

    "In May the EPA tailored new rules for greenhouse-gas emissions that, absent the tailoring, would have affected 6 million factories, landfills, and other sources – and required the EPA, by its own estimates, to increase its workforce from 17,000 employees to 230,000. The New York Times calls such tailoring “contentious.” "

    ...holy shit! Can you send me the citations for this? (the NY times article and the EPA self estimate)

    I love Reason articles, but if they regularly had footnotes it would save me a lot of time googling...

  • ||

    Your gravatar looks like some nazi symbol.

  • db||

    Fuck gravatar. Minimum handle length, indeed.

  • ||

    Just because I've got a nice long handle and yours is short and looks like a penis with the head cut off, don't take it out on me. :-O

  • ']['{[]}{[]}[[_||

    I want what I want. I want what I want. I want what I want. I want what I want.

  • db||

    That's funny; I never noticed that before.

  • Mr. FIFY||

  • ||

    We were given a drop side crib for our new baby. I put 3 screws in it, and it will not be a bruising hazard. Even my left wing wife is fine with it...

  • Alarmist Leftist||

    Why do you hate your children? And why didn't you just have an abortion, so you wouldn't have to wind up subjecting your precious fucking Co2-emitting rug rat to possible bruising or even crib death?

  • Ace||

    Exactly. Abortions are the perfect solution. 100% of deaths occur because people are given life. If we could just prevent that, we could save SO MANY DEATHS!!!!

  • Any Liberal||

    Abort your babies... for the children.

  • ']['{[]}{[]}[[_||

    Why can't we sleep forever?

  • ||

    Re: The New York gun case:

    What if, in the event that he actually manages to win his party's nomination and get elected, Ron Paul issued an executive order classifying gun regulations (and perhaps other stupid horseshit) as insurrection, warranting capital charges for treason, and sufficient justification for directing the National Guard to remove any and all governments/agents of government that refuse to comply? Since federalism is dead, Congress is superfluous, and the executive branch has assumed a de facto incubation of venomous monarchy, who the fuck gives a shit anymore?

  • Any Liberal||

    There can never be enough regulation... otherwise, how can we be free?

  • ']['{[]}{[]}[[_||

    Why can we not be sober?

  • ||

    "Big metro PDs have almost universally quit investigating or following up in any way on residential burglaries.

    Because those are actual crimes, committed by actual criminals. Too hard. Much better to focus on the victimless crimes."

    if i can give a hint here in regards to this.

    if it is in your home and has a serial # on it, record the #.

    if it DOESN'T have a serial # , consider engraving your initials on it

    contrary to CSI bullshit, we solve most of these crimes by following the money/property.

    if your shit gets stolen and you don't have serial #'s for electronics, etc. - it's almost impossible, even if we find the shit in a search warrant, to find the owner, and prove its stolen

    if you have serial #'s, i can check WHILE IM TAKING THE REPORT if it has been pawned at any pawn shop in the country (that's online in LEADS).

    it's that simple.

    i make so many chargeable cases this way.

    rock solid.

    at least 1/2 our burgs we solve this way are a family member stealing the shit and pawning it for Oxy or heroin.

    also, for insurance purposes, videotape the contents of your house. makes it easy to see what is missing, and easy to prove to insurance company

    to reiterate : SERIAL #'S. RECORD THEM

  • ']['{[]}{[]}[[_||

    I just want to start things over

  • db||

    Yeah. That was all done. I gave them descriptions, serial numbers, everything. They _said_ they'd check the local pawn shops. Months later, I got pulled over for a burned out taillight; at the end of the stop I politely asked the officer if they had heard any leads on my burglary yet. The officer responded, "Oh, that was you? No, we thought we had some leads but nothing...mumble...mumble...have a nice day."

  • ||

    it;s automated now.like i said , if i know serial #;'s (or a very very very unique description, which almost is never the case), i can check every pawn store in the country in a few seconds. and if the item appears at a later date, i get a notification email.

    there is no WAY, i, or detectives would have time to look through pawn slips etc. to correlate with stolen property. thats a pipe dream

    we do it online now. instantly

    that;'s my point. with a serial #, it;'s an easy case to charge and with foolproof evidence.

    do it all the time

  • ']['{[]}{[]}[[_||

    Jesus won't you fucking whistle

  • ||

    The root of the apparent paradox of whatever-you-call-it of regulation is this: we live in a nation and world which has for nearly 10,000 years been set up entirely for the benefit of those on top of the heap. They were usually on top because their parents or grandparents were the biggest gang-bangers in the neighborhood. (remember? 'Scratch a king and you'll find a pirate') This brief interlude in which we in the U.S. live has been an episode of relatively sane governance, albeit directed to the same ends. After two hundred-plus years, most of the problems are caused by having quite a bit more government and government without foreseeable limits or restrictions on its power; and, of course, the aggregation of that period of law, rules, regulations and court decisions which produce crazy consequences. Many of those consequences - e.g. pollution - arise because by creating corporations the law allows people to avoid legal responsibility for the consequences of their acts as well as by allowing folks to own and benefit from ownership in a company that is an imaginary fictional person and not human without any liability for injuries. Not to mention real estate laws - including zoning and real estate agent licensing - which permit a person (e.g., me) to own part of a company (e.g., GE), live in a place where the company cannot dump its toxic consequences - whilst compelling others less favored in law and politcis to live where the consequences are dumped. Were we to actually have something more close to a free-market economy, such insanity would not exist and - IMHO - most if not all supposed 'market failures' would not occur. If that's a bit too dense for you - or you are too dense for it - imagine the result of going to a doctor whose treatments heal your current complaint but - unavoidably and inescapably - cause a different injury or disease. Now imagine that you can't figure out that causal connection and continue to see the doctor. It's as if you're blaming you intestinal parasites on your neighbor, when in fact your doctor gave them to you as part of his supposed cure of your partial blindness (which of course was caused by the doctor previously, etc, etc etc). Easier to understand?

  • ||

    If you want to get down to one of the biggest factors behind American asthma check out chlorine. Having worked for a chlorine manufacturer I can tell you to expect to find a lot of fallacies and propaganda type support, and unfortunately you'll also have to wade through otherwise honest scientific data that incompetently claims no link between chlorine and lung damage. (It's much easier to bet on yourself to lose the race, and then lose, than betting on the win and having to come through on that win)

    Water treatment facilities that are ahead of the curve have moved to ozone treatment which eliminates the #1 lung exposure to chlorine for most people : the municipal water steam in the shower.

    And if you've ever swam in a salt water pool versus chlorine you'll likely never want to swim in another chlorinated pool. You ever get that tightness in your chest, shortness of breath, or tingling sensation in your lungs after swimming in a chlorinated pool (particularly indoor)? Well, aside from so many studies claiming that's in your head or irrelevant to any lasting lung effects, you won't get that from a salt water swim.

  • ||

    the question is not whether, nor how much to regulate, but what and how.

    First, there are 3 markets, not simply free markets. Free markets shouldn't be regulated, but these are limited to those markets with ample competition and alternatives.

    Next, we have professional markets. These should be "regulated" by fiduciary law, not regulators.

    Finally, we have the utility/monopoly market. These are typified by no real competition, and no real alternatives. Put another way, these are essential, inelastic markets. These must be regulated, if not wholly socialized. This is inappropriate for other markets, but consider roads, water and sewage, which are wholly socialized in this country, versus electricity, cable and telephones.

    There are two special markets, I call professional monopolies where the confidential information and trust make these unique. These markets are "professional" however the principle/client and the payer are (often) necessarily not the same; namely major healthcare and commercial (retail) banking.

    The customer has no alternative in utilities, hence, he has no ability to boycott. These markets are vast, and their operations affect us all. They should be run on limited profits, and as efficiently as possible, as these firms are really a tax on all of us.

    I would never support market controls, regulations and intervention in the free market like those that are appropriate for these markets that we are essentially compelled to use.

    For regulation, I support fiduciary law as much as possible. Product liability laws and many of the objects of "tort reform" seek to limit this most efficient and essential regulator on business, the courts. When the courts are replaced by "regulators" we find regulatory capture, corruption and lobbying. We need to reconsider the roles of some elements of our gov't that we have tossed aside in answer to impetuous lobbying. Forget activist courts, what about activists legislatures that are barring courts from their traditional roles. The GOP in pushing for tort reform, has expanded gov't, bloated monopolies, and essentially raised "taxes" on us all. How do you like that electricity deregulation?

  • ||

    Perhaps "even the most bombastic conservatives recognize" the need for federal regulations, but libertarians don't.

  • ||

    A very brief search showed that 32 infant deaths have been reported due to drop side cribs, with 14 more suspected. Not injuries or incidents. Some of these deaths were due to DIY repair of broken cribs, and the overall number of deaths in relation to cribs sold is miniscule, but stating an inaccuracy will cost you credibility.

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