Why Capitalism Isn't Going Anywhere

It's the only system known to humanity that increases both growth and freedom.

At the height of the financial crisis in late 2008 and early 2009, a wave of articles declared the end of capitalism. A half-dozen reporters writing about the issue called Allan Meltzer, who since 1957 has been teaching about capitalism at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Five of the calls he answered. The sixth was from a reporter of Die Zeit, the German weekly, who, as Professor Meltzer recalls it, asked, “Professor, what do you think about the end of capitalism?”

Professor Meltzer replied that that was the stupidest question he’d been asked in 50 years.

The reporter hung up the phone before Mr. Meltzer got to explain why, but the fuller answer is in Mr. Meltzer’s new book, Why Capitalism?, which Oxford University Press published this week.

The book is short — just 160 pages — but its simple, clear, and direct language makes a big point: that capitalism “is the only system known to humanity that increases both growth and freedom.” As a result, far from ending, capitalism has spread to formerly socialist or communist enclaves such as Eastern Europe, India, and even China.

The book is not simply a paean to capitalism, though. It’s also a look at some of the problems the country is facing, including the decline in the value of the dollar, the financial crisis and its aftermath, and the federal debt and deficit.

Mr. Meltzer’s three laws of regulation help in part to explain the crisis. The first is that “lawyers and bureaucrats regulate,” but “markets circumvent regulation.” Second, and related, is that “regulations are static. Markets are dynamic.” Third, “regulation is most effective when it changes the incentives of the regulated.”

While Mr. Meltzer does not favor a return to a gold standard for the dollar, he does acknowledge that when it existed, “governments could not run large, continuous, peacetime budget deficits.” The nation’s current fiscal trajectory, he says, is unsustainable: “Either the United States voluntarily adopts fiscal discipline or eventually it will face a crisis with rising interest rates and a falling currency.”

The book is sprinkled with policy recommendations. World Bank loans should go to “poor countries that adopt pro-growth policies,” rather than to countries such as Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and Turkey that can borrow in the capital markets. The Federal Reserve “should adopt and announce a rule announcing what output and inflation combination they intend to seek over the next two or three years. If the Fed fails to achieve its targets, it should offer an explanation along with the resignations of the responsible officials.” Banks should be required to hold more capital relative to their assets, and stockholders and managers, rather than taxpayers, should bear the burden of losses.

In a phone interview, I asked Mr. Meltzer if his plan for increased bank capital requirements conflicts with Meltzer’s first and second laws of regulation. He said the case for regulation is in situations where private costs and social costs differ, and he counted banks as such a case: “banks took a lot of risks, and we the public paid for them.” The trick is to craft any regulation so that it complies with Meltzer’s third law, changing the incentives not of the regulators, who, he says, “completely failed,” but of the bank managers and stockholders.

As a resident of Pennsylvania, Mr. Meltzer was represented in the United States Senate for 12 years by Rick Santorum. I asked the professor whether he thought Mr. Santorum, now running for president as a Republican would be a good advocate for capitalism. Mr. Meltzer responded that while Mr. Santorum is “very strong” on “family values,” other issues more at the fore now — the deficit, the debt, the growth rate — “aren’t the places where he’s very strong.”

The list of living Americans who served in both the Kennedy and Reagan administrations and who are still writing books and teaching courses is a short one, a fact perhaps not lost on the students who fill up Professer Meltzer’s elective class on capitalism at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business. The university limits the size of the class to 60, and Mr. Meltzer mentions that even some other faculty members show up.

For those of us who haven’t had the opportunity to be colleagues or students of Professor Meltzer’s, Why Capitalism? is an excellent introduction. And at a list price of $21.95, compared to the $54,800 a year in tuition and fees (excluding room and board) that the Tepper School charged students who started in Fall 2011), it leaves the potential purchaser with plenty of money to spend or save mostly freely. For it turns out that, reports to the contrary notwithstanding, the capitalist system is far from dead, thanks to articulate defenders like Mr. Meltzer and, also, to its own formidable inherent advantages.

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  • NotSure||

    Capitalism could never go away, other than perhaps a Trotskyite world government, but even in that scenario a black market would probably become so big that it eventually would overthrow that system.

    The problems that are happening in the West is not because of capitalism but because of the overly generous welfare state.

  • we||

    If servicing Eleven Nimitz-class aircraft carriers through the Chinese bond market counts as "welfare state" then yes.

  • Cytotoxic||

    That's not the biggest expenditure by far.

  • ||

    Do you pleasure yourself with thoughts of Ayn Rand bearing her considerable midrift?

  • Cytotoxic||

    ...

  • ||

    It's "baring her midriff" you illiterate boob. Better take a remedial English course and spend less time reading DNC talking points.

  • ||

    LOLOLOLOL! @ John.

  • goober1223||

    You best start towing the lion or you'll find yourself on the other end of these pathetic insults!

  • du lich||

  • ||

    Pffft. Bear midrifts don't do it for me. Now illiterate boobs, THOSE are hot.

  • Seaport Hooker||

    Honey, you said a mouthful.

  • Tony||

    Untrue. Any program administered by those as smart and enlightened as myself do not cause problems. Better to blame a system where the peons make their own, inevitably incorrect, decisions.

  • Karl Marx||

    Well said, my boy! (I am so proud)

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Hitler was an amateur compared to you guys.

  • ||

    Just wait until he gets into the pros. I bet he will be a first round draft choice.

  • Mike M.||

    Horrible spoof. Z-.

  • ||

    I can never tell spoofTony from RealTony.

  • ||

    There is no real Tony. They are both (all?) spoofs, whether they know it or not.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    It's pretty simple.

    SpoofTony is forthright with his disdain for you making your own life decisions.

    RealTony has to be suckered into admitting to it. Until you've got him pissed-off he works very hard to cloak his intent in cheery rhetoric.

  • Tony||

    No, anytime that people are left to make their own economic decisions, the rich get all the money and everyone else gets poorer. The fact that you libertards can't figure this out is either pure stupidity or willful ignorance.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "All" the money.

    God, you're a stupid shit.

  • ||

    To "It" any one who has more tham "it" does .....Has all the "money".

    ....and since "it" does not know how to do anything to make money that means "they" stole it from "it".

    Right?

  • WWNGD?||

    Black Market? That can be squashed if cameras were on every street corner, on every phone, in every computer and the government tracked you on the internet. Thankfully that will never happen. (he said sarcastically)

  • LarryA||

    Such a state would quickly result in a black market in privacy.

  • Copernicus||

    This sounds like a delicious plot for a future Neal Stephenson novel.

  • Barack the Jaunty Future King||

    We definitely need more cameras, along with the surveillance I have decreed being carried out right this minute... tracking every one of you racist fuckin' crackers saying bad things about Me.

    You just wait, you sniveling punks. The best is yet to come, and by Me there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

  • ||

    Jesus H. You all get yourselves so busy skewering the powerful that you can't tell the difference between a party and a president who put privacy atop the agenda (Dems, Obama) and those who trample it (Reps, Bush)?

    You guys need to find at least SOME shred of rational acceptance of a legit role for progressive government. Otherwise you're no different than pissy anarchist teenagers who say "You can't control me mom and da... uh, I mean federal government."

  • sk||

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  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I don't want your money, money can't bi me love.

  • Realist||

    "The problems that are happening in the West is not because of capitalism but because of the overly generous welfare state."
    Which is one of the faults of Democracy.

  • Jungus||

    Knew a guy from Poland back in the Iron curtain days. He told me about how people would trade favors (sex, food, booze) to commissars for better apartments, luxury items.

  • we||

    Whatever "capitalism" is, I agree it's here to stay. It's like sunshine... or drug murders. It's just part of the world as it is now.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    I prefer to say Free Market. Capitalism, as it is used in that pejorative Marxist way is both disingenuous and deceptive. Besides, Free Market polls better.

  • ||

    "Free market" is exactly that: free. It doesn't inherently prioritize "right wing" capitalism over left-wing versions of voluntary social organization (cooperatives, communes, tribes, etc). Individuals can organize themselves into the small scale economies and societies they prefer through contract, and prevent the rival systems from intruding or imposing values upon them by force. Libertarian capitalism and libertarian socialism (not inherently a contradiction) are two sides of the same coin and can accomodate each others' existence through non-aggression.

  • Socialists||

    Yeah, well... we don't do non-aggression all that well.

  • ||

    Do "capitalists" do non-aggression all that well, if we're talking about how it is executed in practice, and not in theory?

  • ||

    Yes.

  • yonemoto||

    I'd call myself a libertarian socialist - I believe there is a moral obligation to serve society but like most morality government should butt out. The other douchebags that call themselves "libertarian socialists" see a morally acceptable use of force to counter the accumulation of capital, or to forcibly redistribute capital, which I don't believe in.

  • yonemoto||

    ...which is why I don't call myself a libertarian socialist.

  • ||

    What's voluntary socialism?

  • Jeffersonian||

    The same thing as pushing a chain up a hill.

  • ||

    Another oxymoron?

  • Maxxx||

    A family, a church, a legitimate charity.

  • ||

    I don't consider myself a socialist, but I'm also neither a corporate capitalist nor an Objectivist who believes collectivism is an inherently bad idea. I think there's merit in both individualism and cooperation, and the most optimal society will allow their coexistence. Cooperation only has merit when it is voluntary, but I also believe it is in our nature to cooperate, and not solely out of self-interest.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Objectivists have nothing against cooperation. It's selflessness we got a problem with.

  • HermanLame||

    Look into Seasteading.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    "Libertarian socialists" find the use of force acceptable to enforce compliance with the socialism, and therefore there is nothing "libertarian" about them in the context of preferring individual liberty. If the socialism in "libertarian socialism" was voluntary, it would be a free market.

  • ||

    That's exactly what I said. Socialists can pool their resources and labor, form their own voluntary collectives via contract, and can enforce their own value systems internally without imposing any force against you or I, and without demanding the government enforce their values upon us.

    There's technically no inherent contradiction between socialism and free markets, in the same way there's no inherent conflict between Christianity and libertarianism. The values one lives by need not be the values one imposes by force upon others.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Except that "libertarian socialists" really do prefer the use of force to involuntarily make everyone a socialist. That is why none I am familiar with are anything close to libertarian. They just use sophistry to argue that their form of mandatory socialism will be "voluntary" somehow, the same shit Stephen D. (Tony) uses to convince us taxes are "voluntary".

  • ||

    All the Christians I know personally want to impose some form of biblical-based values by law upon society and interfere with private contracts. Does that mean Christians can't be libertarians, and vice versa?

    Socialism is a form of economic organization that values egalitarianism instead of control of capital. Like capitalism, in practice that can range from total statism to total anarchy. Sure, most socialists are certainly on the statist side, but Bakunin, Proudhon, etc. were not statists and they were socialists/mutualists.

  • Empress McNastyPants||

    I think those so-called Christians you personally know need to reconcile those ideas with the idea of free will and choice espoused by the Bible. I'd say Christianity, per biblical doctrine, easily squares with libertarian values.

  • ||

    Luk 19:27 "But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me." That's Jesus speaking in a parable about himself. How very libertarian of him.

  • Emperor Wears No Clothes||

    "All the Christians I know personally want to impose some form of biblical-based values by law upon society and interfere with private contracts."

    You don't get out much, do you? Who do you hang out with, Hindus?

  • ||

    Superb comment. Example I would bring up is the kibbutzim in Israel. Small percentage of the population at the height of their popularity, but they still work because the folks that stay there are there VOLUNTARILY and are not threatened to stay. In fact, the only threat is being kicked out if not following the rules of the kibbutz. It is the coercive nature of any sort of nationalized socialism that makes it so immoral (besides the fact it doesn't work, economically, for many reasons). But there is room for other arrangements in a land of truly free markets. The kibbutzim must sell their goods in that free market and thus still deal with prices and profits like any corporation.

  • ||

    Even in White Indian's fantasies, every time he trades a few raccoon pelts for a night of bopping the shaman's daughter, it's capitalism. Capitalism ain't going nowhere.

  • NotSure||

    I suspect that in his fantasies, the shaman's daughter does it for free, turned on by his intellectual prowess.

  • RoboCain||

    You misspelled "son".

  • Shaman's daughter||

    Fat Indian? Ewwwww....

  • shrike||

    Banks should be required to hold more capital relative to their assets, and stockholders and managers, rather than taxpayers, should bear the burden of losses.

    I swear I haven't read his book but he is spot on. I agree 100% with this article. Bank regs are 100% necessary since deposits are publicly insured.

    Too bad Mr. Meltzer fails the LP purity test but he is in good company. Good article, Stoll.

  • NotSure||

    Circular logic, deposits are publicly insured because of government, therefore more bank rules from government.

    Deposits should have to be publicly insured.

  • NotSure||

    Deposits should NOT have to be publicly insured.

  • Almanian||

    JINX!

  • Almanian||

    I hope you meant to say, "deposits should NOT be publicly insured", cause "Reason" duh!

  • shrike||

    Yeah, I went through an argument of about 50-60 posts with someone here on the FDIC (they said it was useless). But its not going away. Arguing with pedants is a waste of time.

    That is why I say that Mr. Stoll and I will just have to fail the LP purity test and find another party (no big deal here).

  • NotSure||

    For someone who says he supports Hayek, you do not seem to support any of his ideas. I am talking about his support for free market money here btw.

    As for the whole "purity" and "principle" thing you like make into a slur, there is nothing wrong with having them.

  • shrike||

    The Free Banking Era was a total failure although in theory looks nice. Its just not a fight to undertake when Medicare is about to bankrupt us. The puny little FDIC has a tiny cost attached to it.

  • NotSure||

    No doubt you are talking purely from an American perspective, go further back.

    Banking evolved from free markets first, then the government rules came later. I am first talking about the city states of Italy and then later the Dutch and English. The fact that the Industrial revolution happened in those places first and not highly regulated China (it was) cannot be ignored.

  • shirk||

    I can ignore anything!

  • Mr Whipple||

    Banking evolved from free markets first, then the government rules came later. I am first talking about the city states of Italy and then later the Dutch and English. The fact that the Industrial revolution happened in those places first and not highly regulated China (it was) cannot be ignored.

    but Graeber

  • Daniel||

    Actually, free baking was quite successful in places like Sweden and Scotland in the 19th century ...

    The gold standard is a "barbarous relic", but the thought of a single institution having absolute power over monetary matters is quite terrifying ...

    Free banking should definitely be revisited.

  • Mr Whipple||

    The Free Banking Era was a total failure although in theory looks nice.

    Unfortunately, when you actually look at the free banking era, it wasn't really free banking, and it wasn't really as bad as you might think. It was bad, but getting better until....Lincoln.

    What is was:

    http://www.frbatlanta.org/filelegacydocs/ACFCE.pdf

    What it should be:

    http://www.econlib.org/library.....Cover.html

  • Mr Whipple||

    You might also want to check this out for more detail:

    http://mises.org/document/1022

  • Amakudari||

    The puny little FDIC has a tiny cost attached to it.

    Uh, TARP? FDIC clearly didn't have any capability to bail out any of the money center banks, and it's completely unreasonable to say the cost is just the FDIC premia paid by banks. FDIC insurance is only for banks around WaMu size and below, which currently only account for around 50% of the nation's deposits. The rest of deposits are insured by TBTF logic.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Deposits should NOT have to be publicly insured. And stop pretending you know anything other than dick about financial policy.

  • shrike||

    Fine, you take that fight up. I will remain in the real world.

    The FDIC does not diminish capitalism one iota - see Meltzer above.

    Who the fuck are you anyway?

  • Gojira||

    Actually I would say it removes some layer of moral hazard. If people were really concerned about their deposits, they would be much, much more careful about with whom they chose to conduct banking business, and the most irresponsible players wouldn't have the capital from demand deposits to engage in quite so many risky behaviors.

  • shrike||

    That is perfectly logical but financial panics are systemic where good actors get taken down by credit freezes brought on by the bad actors.

    Wachovia and WaMu failed with Citi and Bank of America next until intervention arrived.

  • Gojira||

    Then people who are risk-adverse should probably not engage in much banking.

    Banks are not entitled to exist, and available credit is not a right. If the scope of banking is dramatically reduced by a risk-adverse public, then so be it.

    You'd probably see a lot more credit unions and community banks open up, where interpersonal relationships and community ties help to mitigate against those risks. Panic-induced drops in stock price or credit freezes are much less likely to dramatically affect small-scale operations like that.

  • Maxxx||

    You'd probably see a lot more credit unions and community banks open up, where interpersonal relationships and community ties help to mitigate against those risks.

    Small banks are more prone to runs and panics than larger ones. The ban on branch banking was a major factor in the turbulence of US banks in the 19th century compared to those in other countries.

  • Gojira||

    Oh, and btw, I'm sure a private deposit insurance market would open up, and banks would advertise that they participate in such a plan.

  • yonemoto||

    not a problem if you don't have inflation. Just bury your money in a jar and dig it up later. You need interest bearing accounts if government creates inflation, and having to lend your money out incurs counterparty risk, the accumulation of which ultimately creates this "systemic panic"

  • Amakudari||

    Wachovia and WaMu failed with Citi and Bank of America next until intervention arrived.

    Wachovia failed but its deposits were unaffected.

    And you can have private insurance for deposits. Furthermore, you might actually have a company that really threatened to raise premia for banks that dialed up the risk, as opposed to the damn opposite (cf. GMAC/Ally Bank).

  • NotSure||

    Real world ? coming from the guy saying that the "Christian Taliban" is after him.

    Who the fuck are you ? You going to pretend you own a yacht, get job offers from Morgan Stanley and date super models ?

  • shrike||

    I live in Georgia. That should dispel all your leading questions.

  • NotSure||

    There are Christian Taliban in Georgia ? Is there a vast media blackout that only you are reporting about it ?

    I did quick search about swingers clubs in Georgia, seem to be a lot of them there. I will probably find the same about strip clubs, pagan societies, and many things the Taliban would not like.

    The only Taliban living there are in your head, but lets give you the benefit of the doubt and say it is all true, WTF are you still doing there ? You are such a financial wiz you could be sailing your yacht into Monte Carlo.

  • Bill||

    Some people don't care for Colonel_Angus. Others get tired of Colonel_Angus after awhile. But, I, myself just love Colonel_Angus.

  • shrike||

    My nickname in college was Colonel Anus.

  • H8erade||

    You flatter yourself. You're a Major Anus if ever there was one.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "Arguing with pedants is a waste of time."

    But it's FUN poking you with a wooden spoon, shrike.

  • James C. Bennett||

    "Bank regs are 100% necessary since deposits are publicly insured."

    Mafia logic. We provide your business with protection - whther you want it or not - so we get to tell you how to run your business.

  • we||

    ("Mafia" = "the voting public")

  • shrike||

    Mr. Meltzer is arguing for capitalism - not for libertarianism.

    The only legititmate function of the state is to protect property (in this case from thieves who work for banks).

  • Cytotoxic||

    And of course the way to 'protect' property is to steal it from the public, create moral hazard, and then fuck the system with more of the same.

  • shrike||

    Did Meltzer say that? Is that how you interpret "higher capital requirements"?

  • Cytotoxic||

    That's the ONLY way to interpret the FDIC and, to a lesser extent, higher capital requirements.

    Guess what the banks do to compensate for the lower return that comes as a results of higher capital requirements (an idea spouted so often you'd think it was a fucking economic panacea and blowjob generator)? Bank take their invest-able assets and put them into higher return ie higher risk investments. Great job asshole. Guess you had to break the system to save it?

  • shrike||

    Amazing. There is no smaller government with a purist - it has to be Zero Gov.

    Enjoy that 2%.

  • ||

    Are libtards better investors than paultards?

  • shirk redux||

    I wholly concede the point.

  • Almanian||

    What others have said - "capitalism just IS."

    See also: "black markets"

    PS RAAAAAAAAAAACIST!

  • Fernando||

    As long as profit remains the number one motive, then we will be stuck with capitalism. Once we realize that people have value, we can be done with this mess.

  • Almanian||

    Thanks for making me snort pop out my nose. That was good.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I swear it's almost like he's talking English.

  • Citizen Smalls||

    Once we realize that people have value, we can be done with this mess.

    Why, I myself fetched $30,000 on the black market. And that was in 1954 dollars.

  • Brett L||

    Shit. I can only get that value for you now if you're under 35 and I part you out.

  • Jumbie||

    Can I have the left eye?

  • Jumbie||

    I'm bidding $4.50

  • A Serious Man||

    Capitalism acknowledges that all people have productive value. Of course we aren't robots, if you want to treat some people better than others (and we all know socialists don't care about all people, just the one poor and vulnerable enough to vote for them) then you are free to do so.

    So in summation: capitalism = profit motive. Socialism = power motive.

  • ||

    Equating money = power is the basis of capitalism.

  • ||

    money = power is the basis of capitalism life.

    FTFY

    (And I don't care if you use pooka shells or rabbit hides or fiat currency, all of those are a form of money)

  • NotSure||

    I don't know if this is a spoof or not. In case it is not. You must ask yourself what profit means, if you work the whole day doing something, don't you agree that you should be rewarded for that. As for "too much" profit argument, surely the amount of money earned should be up to the parties involved in the venture.

  • Ballz||

    mmmmmmmmmm people burgers

  • ||

    Once we realize that people have value, we can be done with this mess.

    SHHHHH. Guys, don't explain the joke to him. He's been working for free for years.

  • Seinfeld||

    KRAMER: What did you want to see me about, Mr. Leland?

    LELAND: Kramer, I've.. been reviewing your work.. Quite frankly, it stinks.

    KRAMER: Well, I ah.. been havin' trouble at home and uh.. I mean, ah, you know, I'll work harder, nights, weekends, whatever it takes..

    LELAND: No, no, I don't think that's going to, do it, uh. These reports you handed in. It's almost as if you have no business training at all..

    I don't know what this is supposed to be!

    KRAMER: Well, I'm uh, just--tryin' to get ahead..

    LELAND: Well, I'm sorry. There's just no way that we could keep you on.

    KRAMER: I don't even really work here!

    LELAND: That's what makes this so difficult.

  • ||

    Fernando....dude......That is fucking hilarious! You win the thread with that sarcasm.

  • thirtyandseven||

    I second this motion.

  • Maxxx||

    Once we realize that people have value, we can be done with this mess.

    You mean like in the old South?

  • A Serious Man||

    Socialism: THIS time it will work!

  • Tony||

    Great thing about capitalism is that whatever happens, it worked!

  • A Serious Man||

    Says the jackass typing on a computer. Government cuts of our leg and hands us a crutch. Useful idiots like Tony then preach to us that without government we wouldn't be able to walk.

  • Tony||

    Says the guy typing stuff on the Internet.

  • NotSure||

    Last time I checked, you are a guy typing stuff on the internet as well.

  • Tony||

    Yes, but I suck the dick of the government that created the internet, so I'm not a hypocrite like you.

  • Coeus||

    You can't give the government credit for building a house when all they did was drop a brick on the ground.

  • Tony||

    Oh yes I can.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Oh sure, on paper it looks like a good idea. But it'll never work in the real world.

  • rts||

    who started in Fall 2011)

    Mismatched paren. My brain exploded.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    I can't tell what the sign says that everyone is waiting in line to reach. Does it say "Bread ration registration"?

  • Gojira||

    It's set now, during BO's presidency, so I imagine it's the unemployment line.

    At least with Ricky Cumsharts as president, there will be one less line to stand in (the contraceptive line).

  • OWS VPS||

    Industrial capitalism as we know it can't survive the end of cheap oil.

  • ||

    I agree. Capitalism evolves as market conditions and values change.

    Capitalism is far more revolutionary than most of the Marxian ideologies, which usually stagnate into a unmoving, unsustainable behemoth State that people are forced to rely upon.

  • OWS VPS||

    Who says Marxism is the only other answer?

    Marxists also bought into the myth of the infinite growth. The goal of every Five Year Plan was growth, growth , growth, boost the GDP.

    I'm saying we need to look beyond that.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Look beyond it to what?

  • ||

    Sounds like you want essentially the Luddite/Amish system. Except for the fact that the Amish voluntarily choose to forsake technological advancements, despite their widespread availability.

    Assuming humans could possibly ever use up every non-renewable resource on earth (including recycling all matter until it is expended) to where we would be forced to live in such a system, my belief in economic laws of the market would be severely shaken. And to assume renewable alternatives would not evolve to fill the gaps - would shake my faith in the promise of technological advancement.

    Until that possibility is anything but infinitesmally small, you're making huge flights of fancy that are devoid of real world economics and technological realities as we know it.

  • ||

    "....making huge flights of fancy that are devoid of real world economics and technological realities as we know it."

    Once I see OWS I immediately assume that is what we are going to be dealing with.

  • Jeffersonian||

    "The superficial distinctions of Fascism, Bolshevism, Hitlerism, are the concern of journalists and publicists; the serious student sees in them only the one root-idea of a complete conversion of social power into State power."

    - Albert Jay Nock, "Our Enemy, the State"

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Dig the irony of an Occutard, pretending to disparage Marxism.

  • ||

    like amerika!

  • IceTrey||

    Four words: Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors.

  • rather||

    What an asshole; the German's 'stupid' question was likely a conjugation issue

  • NotSure||

    Germans on average speak English pretty well, especially businessmen and academics. Die Zeit is moderate left leaning, similar to New York Times, the question is not surprising at all.

  • NotSure||

    Doubtful, the guy was a reporter for "Die Zeit" and would know English well.

  • rather||

    He didn't put a name in the story but http://www.zeit.de/zeit-magazin/index is German only

  • Joe M||

    Semi-related tidbit. Don't know how it popped into my head, but I was thinking about some old 80s commercials. Anyone remember that old electronics equipment store Federated, with Fred Rated (Shadow Stevens)?

    In one commercial, they were advertising a VHS VCR on sale for $250 dollars! That's about $525 today. Then I saw a commercial in which a brand new 1985 Dodge Ram was $7000, which is about $14,750 in 2012 dollars.

    So let's see. You can get a DVD player for $30 these days, which is ~$14 in 1985 money. Meanwhile, a new Dodge Ram costs at least $25k, almost $12k in 1985 dollars.

    Now guess whether it's the electronics or auto market that has had more government meddling?

  • Bill||

    Don't try to fool us with your "magical" free market thinking.

    Once you realize the value of peeple, you will understand that logic, reasoning, and real world examples mean nothing. Only intentions matter!!

    If you don't realize the value of peeple, you will be assimilated.

  • ||

    Oh yeah? Just go ahead and try and buy a new VCR today, for any price!

    Market failure!

  • Auric Demonocles||

    For a high enough price you could buy the patent, a factory, materials, and labor and get one made for you.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Best buy is still selling both new and refurbished VCRs, if you don't mind getting a DVD player too.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Amazon.com, $86.

  • ||

    Nobody likes a smart ass.

  • Jeffersonian||

    I pride myself on alienating any and all.

  • ||

    WELL IT WORKED.

    [slam] [stomp stomp stomp]

  • Joe M||

    There are used VCRs on Amazon, a plethora of brands, for $9.95.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Are you trying to be smart-assier than I, joe?

  • Joe M||

    I'm the smart-assiest!

  • ||

    No, but I am! I have it on good information that the last woot.com "bag o' crap" for $5 contained a new VCR.

  • ||

    Ding, ding, ding...we have a winner!

  • Apatheist ಠ_ರೃ||

    For a good example of how annoying both American Socons and European lefists are read the comments on this article:

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/buzzfe.....nasia-clai

  • Gojira||

    This is my favorite. It sidesteps the conservative/liberal bitch-fest and just calls these people out:

    Whether you are Dutch or American, you are still a candy-ass if you are waiting for permission or for a doctor to say “ok, you can die”. Seriously, stupid people manage to kill themselves unintentionally every day so apply yourself people.
  • ||

    Whoever that is, they deserve some kind of very sexy prize.

  • ||

    Johan Hoogboom
    Actually, we care for our old by providing them with universal healthcare and a good pension system. Something completely alien to the US. And when someone is in a vegetative state or has to endure excruciating pain, they can opt to end their lives. More people die due to lack of access to basic healthcare in the land of the free.
    Reply · 25 · · 2 hours ago

    It's a smugslide!!!

  • OWS VPS||

    Every word of that comment is true, Warty. You disputed nothing in it.

  • Jeffersonian||

    All of it behind our defense shield.

  • R||

    Four words: Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security.

  • ||

    “There are two things I can't stand in this world: People who are intolerant of other people's cultures; and the Dutch.”

  • thirtyandseven||

    There are also more people who drink beer in the US. And more people who play golf, while breathing oxygen.

    Must be a nation of drunk drivers in golf carts hogging up all the air.

  • OWS VPS||

    Industrial corporate capitalism can only last as long as the cheap oil that fuels it.

    We live in on a finite planet--it would take five Earths to give everyone in the world an American standard of living. Sooner or later (probably sooner) we're going to hit hard limits to growth.

  • Bill||

    I think I've heard this one before.

    Try something more original.

  • OWS VPS||

    Notice the libertarians won't dispute my premise or offer any counterpoints.

    Nope. We'll never run out of oil, right? HUMMERS FOR EVERYONE!

  • NotSure||

    It will not last forever, but the "oil is about to run out" argument is pretty old and the world did not end on its predicted time. When oil does eventually run out, the best alternatives will come from the markets not government.

  • OWS VPS||

    There are no alternatives. Forget gasoline, what is going to replace jet fuel? Fertilizer for our food? Plastics?

    We live on a finite planet with finite resources. There's not magical free energy.

  • Cytotoxic||

    We get it: industrial collapse is your porn. That doesn't mean we have to indulge your bullshit 'peak_____' theories that forever fail to come true.

  • RoboCain||

    Exactly.

    The stone age didn't end because they ran out of rocks, but because they invented bronze.

  • OWS VPS||

    It would take five planet Earths to give everyone an American standard of living.

    Finite resources. Finite planet with a finite carrying capacity. We only have one.

  • RoboCain||

    I don't know how many "planet earths" it would take to give everyone an American standard of living, or how that is even a relevant question.

  • NotSure||

    I don't know where you get this number from, but the alternatives now and in the future are not impossibilities. Nuclear power, fusion, solar energy captured in space, even solar energy on earth, coal can be converted to oil. By the time these things run out, there will be mining operations on Saturn and energy capture from the sun that will provide more than enough.

    Yes, eventually the universe will suffer heat death, but that is so far away, there is not point talking about it now.

  • Emperor Wears No Clothes||

    But, but but....think of the CHILDRUNZZZ!

  • ||

    Of course, Old White Savage, it would take 15-20 Earths for everyone to live according to your vision. But that would be factual.

  • OWS VPS||

    And just because people have been wrong about the specific time does not, in fact, mean economically recoverable oil will last forever.

  • ||

    People are already converting gas-powered cars to biodiesel to save money on gas. What makes you think as prices for gas rise and/or gas supply become unstable, converting everything to alternative fuels won't become an economically viable and desireable option?

    Gas won't "run out", by the way. The laws of supply and demand indicate the price will just become impractical.

  • OWS VPS||

    And what will replace it? Also remember our *entire infrastructure* is built around cheap gas and happy motoring.

    And you still haven't found out something to replace jet fuel, or fertilizer that makes feeding billions of people with cheap food possible.

  • Shikha Dalmia||

    Mexicans!

  • RoboCain||

    You mean the way we replaced horses and manure?

  • ||

    Could be solar, or hydroelectric, or biodiesel, or wind, or nuclear, or fusion. There's lots of alternatives to gas-powered technology. Many of those alternatives are just not economically competitive at this moment because the gas supply is still relatively abundant and efficient. Technology will evolve, especially as gas becomes a less cost-efficient option.

  • OWS VPS||

    Still haven't explained the replacement for jet fuel or fertilizer.

  • Sevo||

    OWS VPS|2.20.12 @ 6:44PM|#
    "Still haven't explained the replacement for jet fuel or fertilizer."

    Well, I can explain it: You're an ignoramus.
    The fact that you demand someone 'explain' future developments makes that clear.

  • ||

    Um, I just listed five or six possible alternatives to jet fuel. Fertilizer worked well for all centuries when it came from cow's butts.

  • OWS VPS||

    Or plastics, for that matter.

  • ||

    If you think about how much plastic is thrown away without a second thought by most people, that should be your first indication that you're getting way ahead of yourself and that petroleum remains plenty abundant and cost effective to cheaply use in disposable packaging.

    And by the way, have you never heard of polylactic acid (PLA)? For someone warning about economic end times due to an energy collapse, you sure don't seem to be up to date on advancements in actual technologies and materials.

  • thirtyandseven||

    If you think...

    You lost him here.

  • R||

    You know where there is a metric shitload of various hydrocarbons floating around doing absolutely nothing? Space. Titan, for instance.

    This is not mentioning the fact that it's pretty damn easy to synthesize petrolium; it simply isn't cost effective to do so at this time.

    Peak oil is nothing but the hyperventilating paranoid delusion of statist fucktards like yourself.

  • ||

    Soylent Green. With that we could feed the world.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Do your part now, OWS... kill yourself.

    Otherwise, how will we know you actually care about the fate of humanity?

  • Maxxx||

    When oil does eventually run out, the best alternatives will come from the markets not government.

    Correction:

    Oil will never 'run out'. It will become increasingly expensive, as it become scarcer, until several alternative are less expensive than oil, at which point it will stop being used.

  • RoboCain||

    And socialism would increase the amount of fossil fuel? Because I don't remember the Soviet Union running on windmills and unicorn farts.

  • OWS VPS||

    We're going to have to think beyond capitalism and beyond socialism--to a sustainable, static-state, no-growth economy.

  • RoboCain||

    Well, so far no one has invented one.

    Regardless, the best way to come up with more thoughts, is to have a free market of ideas, not centralized education and thought police.

  • OWS VPS||

    I think tax incentives to use less and consume less and to have smaller families are a good place to start.

    Incentivize the correct choices, don't force.

  • ||

    So in other words, you support a higher tax rate for single moms with six kids instead of an EITC, right?

    How heartless of you, you dirty right winger.

  • OWS VPS||

    Yes.

    I think the first kid should get a 100% free ride for his education, healthcare, etc. You pay for all that for your second kid. After that, you pay a steep penalty.

    Big families should be a luxury restricted to those who can pay the penalty in a world of diminishing resources.

  • Jeff||

    Taxation is force, occutard.

  • Buddy Bizarre||

    Why are you telling us? Currently in the US the fertility rate is 2.1 which is replacement level. The only reason population grows in the US is due to immigration. Western Europe is entirely below replacement fertility levels. It is only 3rd world countries that have growing populations due to birth rates.

    I suggest you start traveling the world & pushing your ideas & see how well they're received.

  • OWS VPS||

    I'll have you know that I've been punched out in all 50 states and several territories.

  • thirtyandseven||

    Big families should be a luxury restricted to those who can pay the penalty in a world of diminishing resources.

    Alright, no one is this stupid. Which one of you smartasses invented OWS?

  • ||

    OWS is clearly Off-White Savage, under a new nom de keyboard.

  • BigT||

    Big families for the 1%!! Occupy the maternity ward!

  • RoboCain||

    Armed robbery is force.

    Regardless, you don't need taxes to raise the price -- a free market does that automatically.

  • OWS VPS||

    Yes but not quickly enough. The free market thinks short term.

    We need long-term thinking to get through the coming energy crisis and the ultimate transition to a no-growth economy.

  • Cytotoxic||

    "-to a sustainable, static-state, no-growth economy."

    ie the dark ages. How about FUCK YOU?

  • OWS VPS||

    The end of cheap oil is going to fuck us all, friend.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Nope just statist assholes like you and the countries you preside over. Besides that isn't happening for hundreds of years. Tight oil, shale oil, and shale gas are ultra-plentiful. Sorry about your porn.

  • OWS VPS||

    Plentiful, but expansive to extract.

    Under the ENTIRE surface of the US there's only enough known oil reserves to power us for 4.9 years at current rates of consumption, and most of that is extremely costly to extract.

    At some point this is going to become too costly. And this point is rapidly approaching.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Under the ENTIRE surface of the US there's only enough known oil reserves to power us for 4.9 years at current rates of consumption

    Lies.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Under the ENTIRE surface of the US there's only enough known oil reserves to power us for 4.9 years at current rates of consumption

    That is just pure bullshit.

  • thirtyandseven||

    Under the ENTIRE surface of the US there's only enough known oil reserves to power us for 4.9 years at current rates of consumption

    hahahahahahahahhahahahaha

  • robert||

    "Plentiful, but expansive to extract."

    Problem solved, alternatives become reasonably priced replacements when the time and technology comes.

  • HermanLame||

    Free markets are more responsive and flexible than government.
    Not to mention the people in government have the same selfishness you statist fuckfaces are alway screaming about. Just this time, it's decoupled from having to compete and be responsive to consumers in the market.

  • ||

    First off - You are a fucking retard.

    Secondly, fuck you very much. If you want one child or no child society move to china.

    Thirdly, the entire population of the world could fit inside the continental US (it would be cramped as all fuck, but that's besides the point) leaving the ENTIRE REST OF THE WORLD for various land uses.

    Take your finite resources, overpopulated bullshit and sell it somewhere else.

  • ||

    I remember reading somewhere, that if the population density were on a par with Tokyo or Shanghai, you could fit the entire world's ppoulation into the state of Texas.

  • ||

    I remember reading somewhere, that if the population density were on a par with Tokyo or Shanghai, you could fit the entire world's ppoulation into the state of Texas.

    Nope, you don't even have to be close to that dense. If all 6 billion humans lived in the state of Texas there would be over 1,000 sq ft per person.

  • ||

    I was being generous and giving every man, woman, and child alive today an entire acre.

  • Jerryskids||

    I think tax incentives to....have smaller families are a good place to start.

    Incentivize the correct choices, don't force.

    Ah, there's that penny I was looking for! I knew it would drop sooner or later.

    See, the problem is other people. So messy having other people running around pursuing happiness in their own way instead of doing what I tell them to do. You know, having the freedom to innovate, to think, to do, to not settle for a static-state no-growth future, being incentivized to produce what other people want by filthy lucre instead of a bullet to the back of the head.

    BTW - we had a sustainable, static-state, no-growth economy for about a thousand years. It was called the Dark Ages.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Those would be *regressive* taxes, OWS.

    Apparently, you're okay with that.

  • ||

    That doesn't prevent the present administration from trying.

  • ||

    Under Obama we already have a static-state, no-growth economy.

  • Alack||

    Industrial corporate capitalism can only last as long as the cheap oil that fuels it.

    If only there were a rationing mechanism built into capitalism that relied on self-interest and would encourage people to use less of something as its supply decreased, thus funneling additional funding, research, and other resources into alternative means of production!

  • OWS VPS||

    Except that on a finite planet, there are only finite energy resources.

    It’s a fool’s bargain to use up a resource assuming that the next will come along to take its place.

    I bet you gamble away your entire paycheck every week too. After all there will always be another.

  • Alack||

    In all of the universe, there are only finite amounts of all types of resources, since there is only so much matter to go around. We try to use the resources that exist in the most efficient ways we can devise in order to maximize satisfaction; as such, a price mechanism serves to ration what exists in such a way that more-desired ends are pursued in greater proportion than less-desired ones.

  • OWS VPS||

    Right, and soon it will be prohibitvely expensive to live the western consumer lifestyle, and so growth will end.

  • ||

    Not really. It will just be more economically profitable to invent technology to harness alternative forms of energy that require lower consumption of limited resources.

    Were you one of the Club of Rome folks who predicted half the Earth would starve to death by the turn of the century, only to be proven wrong by Norman Borlaug and the Green Revolution?

    Without government interference, production gets cheaper, safer, cleaner and more efficient as time goes on and knowledge and technology advances. The only way we'll be suddenly surprised and our entire lifestyle will come to a screeching halt (vs. a gradual adaptation) would be if some government interferes with the supply of energy. In essence, if it's not a free market - thus validating our entire point.

  • OWS VPS||

    Cleaner? Hardly. The planet is worse off today than 100 years ago. Much worse off. We've just outsourced the dirty work to the Global South in an act of environmental racism on a global scale.

  • Ska||

    Mmm....environmental racism....

  • Cytotoxic||

    The planet is worse off today than 100 years ago.

    CITATION NEEDED

  • ||

    A factory today pollutes far less than a factory 100 years ago (and a factory in the First World pollutes less than a factory in the Third World).

    And as standards of living rise (which they always seem to do in freer markets), people decide they don't want to live in filth and environmental conditions rises in the hierarchy of needs and pushing the market towards cleaner practices. They start to expect the courts to enforce their own property rights and not just the property rights of the polluting businesses. Property rights have advanced to where individuals and communities damaged by pollution can claim a tort against the business.

    Workers expect to work in safer conditions and expect to be able to claim damages against employers that practiced poor safety standards that damaged their health.

    In a true free market, they could take that tort directly against the owners who profited off the pollution (as opposed to corporatism that shields the owners from liability.)

    None of this requires massive regulation, just a consistent enforcement of property rights, and punishment against violations of individual rights and contracts.

  • JoeM||

    Ugghh... We might live on a finite Earth, but the Earth is not a closed system. We receive immense amounts of energy from the sun. There are also many other sources of energy (nuclear fusion, fission, geothermal, wind, etc) that will power the Earth for a long long time.

    So much time in fact, that by the time we're even concerned about our next source of energy we'll no longer be living on just Earth.

  • Jeffersonian||

    OMFG!! We're going to run out of oil one day! We'd better give a screeching band of street theater empresarios all of the money and all of the power, FAST!!!

    Yeah, that's gonna save us. The poli-sci and gender studies fucksticks have all the answers.

  • Aspy||

    I'm sorry, but energy is constant -- neither destroyed, nor created. Physics dude, what a bitch.

  • JD||

    E=mc^2

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Here you go, OWS:

    http://vhemt.org/

    Get crackin'! Every moment you're alive, you're killing your fellow humans!

  • ||

    There is. It's called price.

  • ||

    OWS, are you part of the 'truth squad'?

    Are you 'engaging' with undecided voters online? Looks like you are winning us over!

  • Kaokrono||

    By the time we would be close to hitting that limit won't we be mining the moon?

  • RoboCain||

    But it will only by one guy they keep cloning.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    OWS VPS would approve.

  • ||

    But then we'll be hearing:

    Except that on a finite planet moon, there are only finite energy resources.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Fuck. I've been arguing with these "post-scarcity", "Resource Based Economy", "Venus Project", "Zeitgeist" idiots for the last three days. They just don't get it.

    Hey, go make me a fucking paperweight on your POS 3d printer, beatch. And, be careful what you wish for.

  • Jeffersonian||

    I had a PhD Electrical Engineering professor tell me in 1981 that we would be out of oil in...wait for it...1997, at the latest.

  • ||

    My father switched his major from petroleum engineering to metalurgy in 1962 because his professors told him oil would not last long enough for him to have a decent career.

  • Jeffersonian||

    And here I thought we hit Peak Bullshit a lot later than that.

  • ||

    While resources might be finite, unfortunately we will never reach Peak Retard.

  • ||

    "Another world is possible."

    I've always wondered what planet these people are from.

  • Fernando||

    You can pay your workers and still bathe in hefty profits. OR not.
    You know what, FUCK IT. Raise profits a few hundred thousand dollars simply by cutting employee benefits by 15%. Your shareholders will love you.

  • mr simple||

    And since you workers are your property they will have no choice but to keep working for you, right comrade?
    Don't try to counter with the facile argument of current high-unemployment, as that is, at this point, mostly government caused.

  • Fernando||

    There you go making workers just another variable in an equation, and ignoring the fact that they are human beings.

  • Jeff||

    There you go being a fucking dumbshit.

  • ||

    He's got you there.

    They're human beings, mr simple. Human beings.

    PWND

  • NotSure||

    There are good and there are bad bosses towards their workers. Even the good bosses however need to think about profits. A boss who does not care about making profits ultimately harms his workers if his company goes under. Not caring about profits is not cold or inhuman, it is basic human nature and simple common sense.

  • ||

    Yeah mr simple, they are human beans.

    Why do you hate the CHILRENZ?

  • MJ||

    What goes out cannot exceed what comes in for very long. Workers are in the equation whether it offends your sensibilities or not.

  • ||

    Human beings mr. simple. They are human beings and you should be crying in your hands about their fate.

    /sarcasm

  • ||

    Raise profits a few hundred thousand dollars simply by cutting employee benefits by 15%.

    Sounds like someone didn't demonstrate any value to the boss at pink slip time.

  • ||

    Another world,..........

    sounds like some lyrics to a popular song?

  • ||

    Dude is making a whole lot of sense man I mean like seriously.

    www.Totally-Private.tk

  • not quite dead yet||

    Why do so many of you fools suppose ours is a capitalistic society? We slave away for paper dollars printing by a government propped up by an elite group of rich people. There is no capitalism. There is only feudalism. You will die a serf!

  • with a stick||

    fun

  • the bilover||

    We have nothing to lose but our chains! and our federally insured mortgages! and our food stamps! and unemployment benefits! and hot bisexual action for free on the internet!

  • OWS VPS||

    I don't think you all get it.

    We've passed peak oil in 2006.

    We're rapidly running out of oil *right now*.

    If we don't get smart about the transition through planning, the transition will smack us on the face and we're going to end up shivering in the dark, stranded in unwalkable suburbs with unfuelable cars, with not enough food in the supermarket because the cheap oil-based fertilizer that makes it possible is unavailable--we will have all burned it up in our SUVs.

  • RoboCain||

    No, you don't get it.

    We've been running out of oil since the very first well.

    The way to "get smart about the transition" is a free market. And it is government planning that will lead to the most cold, starving people. Why do you hate people?

  • OWS VPS||

    The free market has not developed a replacement for cheap abundant oil which our entire economy runs on.

    Again, peak oil passed in 2006. With rapidly rising demand in India and China, we're going to run out very rapidly.

    Gas is already climbing towards $5/galloon.

    How much more does it have to be before the Free Market Fairy gives us cold fusion or whatever you think will happen? And that still won't replace the oil-based fertilizers the "Green Revolution" is dependent on.

  • RoboCain||

    "The free market has not developed a replacement for cheap abundant oil which our entire economy runs on."

    But it will if you let it. You don't want to let it because you fear success.

  • OWS VPS||

    MOTOR-CARS WILL BE THE DEATH OF US ALL! AIIIIIEEEEEE!

  • ||

    And CHILRENZ?

  • A Serious Man||

    Good God, people have been spewing that crap since the 70s. We can invent an alternative fuel source (think nuclear, helium-3 from the moon, natural gas, etc) assuming the government doesn't strangle it with regulations written by politicians that have been bribed by rent-seekers in non-sustainable industries.

  • ||

    I don't think you all get it.

    No, I don't think you get it.

    Ever heard of natural gas? Hydraulic fracturing? Enough domestic gas to run this country for centuries? Ever heard of nuclear fission?

    Your lack of confidence in human ingenuity is appalling.

  • OWS VPS||

    Fracking is environmental racism of the worst sort.

    Nukes? Worked out real well for the Japanese, didn't it?

    And gas? Really, kid? A fart joke? Grow up.

  • Ska||

    This might be the post of the day. Kudos to you, friend.

  • ||

    So now we truly come to it. You are essentially against ALL energy. You are a human hater.

    Fracking=safe
    Nucs=safe (and carbon free if you believe such bullshit)

    Not sure where you see a fart joke.

    You are and will be against any form of alternate energy presented, facts be damned. You are an enviro-nut, human hater masquerading as concerned citizen.

    Environmental racism? What the fuck does that even mean?

  • Ska||

    I think he's just saying that Canadians are negroes.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Environmental racism? Are we only using the white natural gas brought up by fracking? Putting the black gas into a separate but equal tank?

  • Cytotoxic||

    ...forced to ride at the back of the tanker, until one molecule stayed up front.

  • ||

    +1 internet to you my good sir for coating my keyboard in coffee.

  • OWS VPS||

    Nuclear fission? Ever hear of Peak Uranium?

    Fracking is deadly for the environment, it pollutes the groundwater and possible causes earthquakes.

  • OWS VPS||

    I'm sooooo full of shit. And we can use my shit for the organic urban farming! Yeah!

  • ||

    Man, where do you idiots come up with this shit? I really want to know where the fuck you get this kind of shit from.

  • ||

    Natural gas spot prices have dropped $3 in the last two years (see chart). Seems like a nice alternative. How's that whole substitution effect work?
    http://205.254.135.7/naturalgas/weekly/

  • OWS VPS||

    Ever hear of peak (insert energy source here)?

  • Aspy||

    No, but I know peak intelligence when I see it.

  • ||

    Because nobody farmed without petroleum based fertilizer before?

    Keep on talking retard.

  • ||

    Shh... we don't talk about clover and manure any more, those are SOOOO pre-industrial.

  • ||

    Retards are abundant and renewable. Perhaps they would provide a good energy source, and improve the gene pool at the same time?

  • ||

    I am intrigued by your theory. Do you by chance publish a leaflet or newsletter?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Do you drive a gas-powered vehicle, OWS?

    Do you use ANY device or appliance that doesn't run 100% on "renewable" energy?

    That's what we thought.

  • ||

    a sustainable, static-state, no-growth economy.

    "No bread today. Nails. Bread next Thursday, maybe."

  • OWS VPS||

    That will indeed be the result if we don't prepare.

    But if we do, you'll get to snack on organic vegtables grown locally on an urban farm, with enough meat weekly to meet your protein needs--all organic, all sustainable, all delicious.

  • RoboCain||

    Just like they do in North Korea? Got it.

  • OWS VPS||

    North Korea is a great example of what happens to an industrial society once they run out of cheap oil--in this case in the form of Soviet subsidies.

  • ||

    North Korea is a great example of what happens to an industrial society once they run out of cheap oil freedom.

    FIFY

  • Jeffersonian||

    No, Frisco, it's just that NK is experiencing its 263rd straight quarter of bad weather. Really.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Find an expatriate North Korean, and ask him/her how fucking wonderful life was in the mother country.

    Stupid fuck.

  • OWS VPS||

    Exactly. Their standard of living is much more sustainabler than that of the stupid South Koreans.

  • OWS VPS||

    It wasn't sustainable.

    It was dependent on cheap, subsidized energy from the USSR. Once that stopped, they collapsed.

    North Korea is just what a miniature-scale post-oil society looks like without proper planning for the transition.

    And again, Marxist Socialists are just as obsessed with unsustainable GDP growth as capitalists are.

    We need to stop growing.

  • Jeffersonian||

    How much petroleum does Hong Kong extract on a given day? Singapore? Switzerland?

  • ||

    Uh, North Korea stopped growing because they have been ruled by megalomaniacs and isolated themselves from the world. Not because energy ran out. They "stopped growing" intentionally, which is exactly what you're asking us to do.

    Why the fuck would we want to be like North Korea?

  • RoboCain||

    South Korea is Best Korea!

  • OWS VPS||

    When the oil runs out you won't be able to tell one Korea from the other, maaaan. WHOA.

  • RoboCain||

    RACIST!

  • Cytotoxic||

    "all organic, all sustainable, all delicious."

    If your idea of delicious is shitty, weedy vegetables covered in scabs and crap. So you go right ahead I'll eat real food.

  • ||

    Heh. Anyone who thinks organic is a good idea hasn't spent hours picking the gods damned nasty green and yellow caterpillars out of their broccoli, thinking they finally got them all and still biting into one of them little fuckers.

  • somebody stop me||

  • A Serious Man||

    Nice body, but the face is a 5.

  • RoboCain||

    You can't see her eyes.

  • Apatheist ಠ_ರೃ||

    It's hard to know with those cumblockers on her face.

  • OWS VPS||

    Nice face, but the body is ecologically unsustainable.

  • Cytotoxic||

    +all

  • OWS VPS||

    The End of Growth as we know it, and what a Steady-State Economy will look like:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/.....y?via=user

  • Jeff||

    No oil = no Daily Kos, right? So there is an upside.

  • ||

    Don't get too excited, dude. If you look at the known reserves in the ground, today, they are greater than the known reserves a year ago. We haven't even begun to go deep, nor convert the masses of shale oil.

  • RoboCain||

    Nigger, you just went full retard.

  • Ludwig von Mises||

    ::face-palm::

  • Kos||

    We're going to run out of oil, so you all have to do what I say!

  • MJ||

    "Two basic physical magnitudes are to be held constant: the population of human bodies and the population of artifacts (stock of physical wealth)..."

    Last day, OWS VPS. Carousel begins...

  • ||

    Totally awesome Logan's Run reference.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I'd rather tear out my own pancreas and beat myself to death with it, before reading the Daily Goddamn Kos.

  • OWS VPS||

    Life after the end of economic growth PLEASE READ THIS POST:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/.....th?via=tag

  • ||

    OWS, Perhaps instead of transgender studies, microaggressions, and lesbian poetry, you should have taken a few physics, chemistry, geology and economics classes.

  • ||

    North Korea is a great example of what happens to an industrial society once they run out of cheap oil.

    Remind me; when was North Korea an industrial "society"?

  • OWS VPS||

    P Brooks--

    North Korea actually was growing faster than South Korea in the 60s and 70s, and actually had a better standard of living.

    It stalled in the 80s, and with the collapse of cheap oil from the USSR, fell off a cliff.

  • Jeff||

    Yeah. It wasn't the inevitable failure of central planning. It was TEH END OF CHEAP OILS!!1

    Shut the fuck up, seriously.

  • OWS VPS||

    Indeed it was.

    The collapse of the USSR and the Eastern Bloc had more to do with oil prices than it did with Ronald Reagan.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Lies.

  • OWS VPS||

    The economy of the USSR was dependent on oil exports.

    When the '80s oil glut hit, it was the beginning of the end.

    Oil prices can explain just about everything int he past 70 years.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Except you just fucking said that North Korea collapsed due to A LACK OF CHEAP OIL.

    Also, Saudi Arabia and others didn't collapse, largely due to a lack of communism.

  • Sevo||

    OWS VPS|2.20.12 @ 7:08PM|#
    ..."Oil prices can explain just about everything int he past 70 years."

    This is GREAT, but Konocti closed a couple of years ago.
    The best gig I can find you is a dinner club in Des Moines; two nights, $200/night and spaghetti.

  • Buddy Bizarre||

    Citation?

  • OWS VPS||

  • ||

    So, reason, just how much rectal's trolling are you going to tolerate, anyway? All of it, apparently.

  • RoboCain||

    Oh, that's who it is? My bad. I thought it was just some random asshole.

  • OWS VPS||

    I'm not "rectal", nor White Indian.

  • ||

    Dude, almost all the trolls are her nowadays. This asshole, the anonopussy, and White Indian are just personas she assumes. Haven't you noticed that we're in the middle of an especially bad one of her manic phases now?

  • RoboCain||

    Dammit Jim, I'm an engineer not a psychiatrist!

  • OWS VPS||

    You're seriously misled if you think that.

    I'm part of Occupy Wall Street, Virtual Public Spaces.

  • Bingo||

    How many times have we pointed this out and yet they still keep responding to her is pathetic.

    STOP RESPONDING TO RECTAL YOU FUCKING MORONS

  • ||

    You may be right Warty. I go back and forth on it. Each troll has a highly distinctive personality and they really never overlap. They come from a variety of backgrounds. Rectal would need to be fairly intelligent to run them all and keep them straight. I don't see that from her blog.

    I could be wrong. She may be the ultimate, evil, feminist, nut-job.

  • ||

    Email one of us in the Axis.

  • ||

    Done.

    What about Tony?

  • ||

    Was once real, but that was a long time ago. Now the best guess is that he's a regular playing a liberal dipshit character.

  • ||

    Okay, I feel stupid. Argued with him all afternoon.

    Goddamn it! Aren't there any real trolls out there?

    And FUCK YOU to whoever I wasted the day on!

  • ||

    Francisco:

    Chrome + Reasonable.

    That is all.

  • ||

    Thanks for the heads up,I just added this to my Chrome.I have only been coming here for a few months and I love the commentary section.Way more entertaining, educational and fun here than most other places like this on the internet. If only you could call someone a"state fellating pig fucker"on huffpost or national review online every time it was appropriate.The"Troll Scrolling"can get tedious,one has to wonder what kind of person would go to such lengths to reach the springs I enjoy drinking from for no other purpose than to shit in them and leave.I could name at least six off the top of my head that I have even gone so far as to feed accidently,no point naming them as some form of fame or infamy seems to be their primary motivation,much like the kinds of serial killers/mass murderers that do their deeds in some spectacular public setting like a playground or school.It's by far much more annoying and effective to just ignore them,unless of course you're bored or just feel like blowing off some steam by beating some poor beast far too stupid to realize what's happening.Pointless I know,but a guilty pleasure I can't help indulging in from time to time. Besides one might rationalize"If it makes me feel better,entertains everyone else and IT is too dumb or crazy to know the difference that's like a win/win/win scenario right?

  • ||

    I concur. There is no Tony.
    WI is not jason godesky. As much time and effort as that troll puts in here, there seems to be nothing about it on the dipshit's facebook page. Besides, WI has never actually professed to be Jason, that I know of.

  • Bingo||

    She's a writer. She's insane. She has no life. She hates libertarians. Combine all 4 of them and you have a recipe for crazy lady posting nonsense all day and copying-and-pasting bullshit from a myriad of sources just to shit all over this website for 12+ hours every day during her manic phases.

    She needs therapy.

  • ||

    PLEASE READ THIS [Daily Kos] POST

    Nyet.

  • ||

    Your lack of confidence in human ingenuity is appalling.

    Totalitarianism is not noted for its endorsement of innovation.

  • ||

    Last week there was some show about Doomsday Cultists on. It was so stupid, I couldn't stop watching. There was some dumpy chick from Houston(!) who is convinced the oil supply is going to dry up, like... OVERNIGHT. She was laying in her stash of supplies to leg it out of town under cover of darkness to her secret hideout.

    Where do they find these dopes? Do they just put out a casting call at Kos?

  • OWS VPS||

    I can't believe no one on this site has ever heard of Peak Urianium.

    If the entire world scales up to run on nuclear power, uranium depoists would be exhausted very quickly.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Unless we used ultra-abundant thorium. Can we just burn your people for energy and food? It's ecologically sustainable!

  • Sevo||

    You know who else got people to gambol into ovens...

  • Cytotoxic||

    Sweeney Todd?

  • ||

    Hansel and Gretel?

  • Jeffersonian||

    "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."

    Mencken

  • A Serious Man||

    "The collapse of the USSR and the Eastern Bloc had more to do with oil prices than it did with Ronald Reagan."

    Nonsense. The collapse of the USSR and Soviet Bloc had nothing to do with the price of oil or Reagan and everything to do with Rocky Balboa.

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

  • OWS VPS||

    Rocky was only able to become the champion because of cheap petroleum subsidized by the Global South.

  • NotSure||

    You got is all wrong, David Hasslehof ended the cold war.

  • NotSure||

    You got it all wrong, David Hasslehof ended the cold war.

  • OWS VPS||

    You got it all wrong. David Hasselhoff started the Cold War. Then we hit peak oil and Baywatch got canceled. Ronald Reagan had nothing to do with it, despite what your Republican fairy tales tell you.

  • ||

    North Korea is just what a miniature-scale post-oil society looks like without proper planning for the transition.

    "Proper Planning" as in,

    1) Don't murder all the farmers.

    2) Don't eat the mules.

    3) Don't burn your seed stock for heat.

  • A Serious Man||

    Totalitarianism is an acceptable cost for Frenando and the OWS guy to have their alternative, steady-state economy. Morons.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Of course. People won't stop trying to improve their circumstances unless you force them to.

  • Sevo||

    Regardless of the qualifiers, NK certainly *isn't* lacking for 'planning'. And the 'planning' is being done by the Top Men.

  • Fernando||

    Embrace the Alternative Economy

  • Embrace||

    some rusty open garden shears.

  • ||

    I asked Mr. Meltzer if his plan for increased bank capital requirements conflicts with Meltzer’s first and second laws of regulation. He said the case for regulation is in situations where private costs and social costs differ, and he counted banks as such a case: “banks took a lot of risks, and we the public paid for them.”

    I find it incredibly frustrating when my fellow capitalism enthusiasts suggest that entrepreneurs may have been responsible for what George Bush and Barack Obama did.

    TARP was not necessary. Bush and Obama chose to do it--they didn't have to. Squandering the repaid TARP money, after Wall Street paid it back, was not necessary--they could have chosen to retire debt with it. They chose not to--and that's our politicians' fault.

    Our politicians using taxpayer money to reimburse banks for the risks they took doesn't justify regulating the banks and limiting the amount of risk they can take. Our politicians using taxpayer money to reimburse banks for the risks they took DOES justify limiting the amount of leeway our politicians have in what they do with taxpayer money.

    How bad does it have to get before we stop punishing the banks for what our politicians did and start punishing our politicians for what our politicians did? Just because Obama blames somebody else for what he himself CHOSE to do? Doesn't mean it's true!

    "They made me do it!"

    *raspberry*

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWGn6_EH2gM

  • ||

    How bad does it have to get before we stop punishing the banks for what our politicians did and start punishing our politicians for what our politicians did?

    Government never accepts blame. They have the guns, which directly translates to, the government lays the blame.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    While Mr. Meltzer does not favor a return to a gold standard for the dollar, he does acknowledge that when it existed, “governments could not run large, continuous, peacetime budget deficits.” The nation’s current fiscal trajectory, he says, is unsustainable: “Either the United States voluntarily adopts fiscal discipline or eventually it will face a crisis with rising interest rates and a falling currency.”

    A constitutional amendment stating that the government may not borrow money save in the case of a formal declaration of war by the Congress against another nation. In such case, all borrowing is to be used for the express purpose of war material and military payroll.

  • Sevo||

    "A constitutional amendment stating that the government may not borrow money save in the case of a formal declaration of war by the Congress against another nation. In such case, all borrowing is to be used for the express purpose of war material and military payroll."

    Maybe, but we already have A-1, and the screams when the court agreed that "congress shall make no law..." is still ringing in my ears.

  • ||

    A constitutional amendment stating that the government may not borrow money save in the case of a formal declaration of war by the Congress against another nation. In such case, all borrowing is to be used for the express purpose of war material and military payroll.

    If they had to choose between starting a pointless war OR not being able to spend more money? I'd feel sorry for whatever country was on our shit list that week.

    They won't do what needs to be done to get the budget under control until the American people refuse to let them get away with what they're doing anymore.

  • Cytotoxic||

    But they won't be able to spend any of that money on non-war. Non-war has higher priority than war for the US-and indeed all-government(s). See 'Europe' for instance.

  • Dekedin||

    Are there no evening links today? Here's an interesting article.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sci.....-year.html

    "Test tube hamburgers to be served this year"

    And the best part...
    "The work is being financed by anonymous and extremely wealthy benefactor who Prof Post claims is a household name with a reputation for "turning everything into gold"."

    While that paragraph sounds kind of weird, it's nice that this is being paid for privately. Capitalism, fuck yeah!

  • ||

    "In October we are going to provide a proof of concept showing out of stem cells we can make a product that looks, feels and hopefully tastes like meat."

    Why do I feel the sudden need not to eat a hamburger?

  • db||

    My lifetime goal of eating Kobe Beef Sukiyaki in space (can you imagine a messier meal?) inches ever closer.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    So I was busy following all relevant regulations for hiring employees and noticed this "new hire reporting" mandate the federal government has forced on the states.

    In the past, the federal government gained knowledge of a worker's whereabouts when quarterly tax reports were filed, which were then used for purposes such as child-support enforcement.

    Now all employers are required to report both employees and independent contractors to their home state within 20 days. This then gets aggregated and sent to the federal government.

    This provision got snuck in one of the "recovery" bills under the guise of helping children (who would want to be against that?) But nobody really seems to be talking about the fact the federal government feels the need to track the whereabouts of citizens down to a 20-day window.

  • Sevo||

    A-A,
    40 years ago, I was part owner of a business in an idustrial section of a CA city. We 'hired' one of the kids who sort of hung around after school to sweep the floors. He got used to showing up on time, got some pocket money, and probably went on to making a living.
    I now own another business, and wouldn't dare. He could sue for minimum wage, lack of benes, etc.
    Who wins here? Easy: The politicos who claim to be interested in 'creating jobs'.

  • Daniel||

    I'm sure Dr. Meltzer is a respectable academic, but I don't consider it capitalism when the currency is controlled by a cartel.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I will not declare P.M. Links dead as it is Presidents Day. But we'll just see what tomorrow, Vice Presidents Day, brings.

  • Sevo||

    No PM Links tonight (hey, you guys work for the gummint?!), so here's an Occupy protest I can agree with:
    "As many as 700 peaceful Occupy demonstrators gathered outside San Quentin State Prison this afternoon as part of a nationwide effort to call for prison reform."
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/......DTL&tsp=1

  • team hot and not fight||

  • db||

    OK, which one of us is Randall Munroe?

  • Alice Bowie||

    I Hope capitalism is here to stay.

    However, regardless of how smart libertarians or the rich may think they are, if too many people feel left out of the so-called American dream and the same crack-down on labor and teacher unions occurs to police officers, we can see a violent revolution in the US that can destroy our current capitalist system...which I agree is the best economic system to date.

    The masses don't vote for the likes of Yugo Chavez because they hate capitalism.

    There are 100 people and about 95 balls. One person has 80 balls. Another person has 10 balls. The other 98 people are left to fight over the remaining 5 balls. Remember, there are 98 people fighting over 5 balls. And, as their quality of life goes down and they are required to compete with labor standards of FOXCONN and other, don't be suprise how those 98 people may react.

  • AB cont'd||

    Please ignore the role of government in that concentration of wealth. Please.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Government is CONTROLLED by commerce. This entire idea of too much government interference with business is a libertarian farce. Business pretty much owns the government and uses the government to run out competition and all sorts of stuff.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Isn't that what he just said?

  • Alice Bowie||

    No. He thinks a bunch of liberals and labor and teacher union people run the entire government while the entire commercial community sits there hopeless.

  • Dúnadan||

    Hmmm. Psychic or psychotic? It's so hard to tell.

  • Sevo||

    Both? I'm not ruling it out.

  • Jeffersonian||

    So your beef is the wrong special interests are running the government?

  • Sevo||

    Or Alice isn't among the recipients of the largess.
    I'm guessing the latter.

  • thirtyandseven||

    ...which is exactly why we need to aggregate more power into government hands.

    Plus, [ROADZ].

  • Sevo||

    "Business pretty much owns the government and uses the government to run out competition and all sorts of stuff."
    Uh, Alice, who has the guns?

  • Cytotoxic||

    She thinks it's the Umbrella Corporation.

  • Sevo||

    "In other news, the government has decided to yield all law enforcement to the Umbrella Corporation. The FBI, TSA, the military and all local law enforcement organizations are directed to hand over their weapons at noon tomorrow."
    Yep, missed that story. Must have been buried under Mrs. Obama's latest dietary directive.

  • ||

    The Left are sure that the rich run the government by proxy and use the government as a socialist backstop for everytime a 1% big money crony capitalist chips a nail or needs a new superyacht. The Left think that capitalism is privitising of profits and socialising of losses.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Is that a four-cylinder Yugo Chavez?

    If you think pre-Hugo Venezuela was a free-market free-for-all, you're delusional.

  • Sevo||

    "There are 100 people and about 95 balls. One person has 80 balls."

    Yep, and we're still all (nearly 7Bn of us) eating the same amount of lichen off those three rocks.
    Alice, did you read history from the commix section of the book shelf?

  • Alice Bowie||

    No i tride 2 but it wuz 2 hard

  • Sevo||

    "And, as their quality of life goes down and they are required to compete with labor standards of FOXCONN and other, don't be suprise how those 98 people may react."

    You truly are an ignoramus.
    I'll presume you're too young (rather than too stupid) to have heard the same crap in the '60s about how Japanese labor was going to force all of us to eat rice. With no soy sauce.
    Well, guess what. Instead of US workers getting lower wages, the Japanese workers got higher wages! Imagine that: A race to the top!
    But to luddite ignoramuses who believe markets are static, that CAN'T HAPPEN!

  • Dúnadan||

    The problem is that when you give somebody the power to take those balls away by force the two guys who know how to make balls decide they aren't all that interested in making balls anymore. When those balls are worn out you end up with one guy with 8 balls, another with 1 ball, and 98 guys fighting to remember what a ball even looks like. Then some "people's hero" jackass gets into power grabs those balls "for social reform," shoots the two ball makers, saws the all into 4 pieces and no one has a ball or any chance of ever having one.

  • Sevo||

    Dúnadan|2.20.12 @ 9:36PM|#
    "The problem is that when you give somebody the power to take those balls away by force the two guys who know how to make balls decide they aren't all that interested in making balls anymore. When those balls are worn out you end up with one guy with 8 balls, another with 1 ball, and 98 guys fighting to remember what a ball even looks like. Then some "people's hero" jackass gets into power grabs those balls "for social reform," shoots the two ball makers, saws the all into 4 pieces and no one has a ball or any chance of ever having one."

    I'll bet the South Park guys would have a ball (!) with this...

  • Mr. FIFY||

    It's up to the people to *not* resort to senseless violence, Alice. No one is forcing anyone to commit armed revolt.

    Self-control. How do it work?

  • ||

    Are you trying to argue that you are worse off economically than your parents were 30 years ago?

    Also, there is NOT A FINITE AMOUNT OF MONEY IN THE WORLD. The sooner you realize that the sooner we can have a grown up discussion.

  • Vote Democratic ||

  • More Democrats||

    Get in on the scam!

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Some words of wisdom from a group of rebels who once held a meeting in Philadelphia. Not our Founding Fathers.

  • robert||

    That episode was just on CC about an hour ago.

  • Alice Bowie||

    So, who was it that created our overly complicated tax code where middle class w-2 workers living at or around the median income pay a significant higher income tax rate than that of Mitt Romney?

    Was it the factory worker? Or was it the Factory owner, who put corporate lawyers and accountants into congress and the government to create such a tax code?

    As much as these bozos call for a flat tax, a flat tax is the last thing business people and the rich want. They need something rather convoluted so that no one understands it so that they can pay less.

  • thirtyandseven||

    Good, so it's settled.

    A flat tax it is.

    You get to stick it to the rich, and we get a flat tax. Everyone wins.

  • A Serious Man||

    So you acknowledge that special interests control the government. And yet you want to give the government more regulatory power because.....suddenly they don't have influence?

  • Sevo||

    Alice, who has the guns?
    How stupid are you?

  • Sevo||

    "Alice Bowie|2.20.12 @ 9:34PM|#

    So, who was it that created our overly complicated tax code where middle class w-2 workers living at or around the median income pay a significant higher income tax rate than that of Mitt Romney?"
    The government, that's who.

  • Dúnadan||

    Funny, I get the same number of votes per candidate now as a semi-retiree as I did when I was young and broke, which oddly is the same number of votes I have as a stock owner, and had as a business owner.

    How many votes do you get?

  • ||

    How many votes do you get?

    Well, since my income is taxed based upon a percentage, don't I also receive some percentage of a vote? What?! I have exactly the same number of votes as Mitt Romney?!! He paid millions in taxes last year, didn't he? I only paid a few thousand. Wow, that really IS unfair.

  • ||

    How many votes do you get?

    How many choices did you have?

    America is a socialist state with a duopoly of governing socialist political parties. Both of the socialist parties of America are committed to programs of borrowing huge amounts of money to fund social spending and interventions.

    For example when the shit hit the fan in 2007-08 both parties worked together for the social good seamlessly, immediately taking on the debts of troubled banks.

  • ||

    BTW - I am not American so don't really understand how it is Americans think they don't live in a democratic socialist state?

    Massive spending - check.
    Funded by massive social borrowing - check.
    Supporting a large complicated state - check.
    With government must make a decision attitude - check.

    I've been interested in world politics for 15 years and there hasn't been any exceptionalism in that time. America is a democratic socialist state where subjects get to choose between 2 flavours of socialism. Same as Europe, same as round here. Don't know when it started being socialist, maybe in the 1920s or maybe in the 1960s, but I can't see how America could be described as anythingelse.

  • Cytotoxic||

    so when Iceland and the Baltic states and all the other flat-taxers went flat-tax, what do you think happened first Bowie? They sure as hell didn't empower the government or stick it to THE KORPORASUNS. They were smart and didn't listen to idiots like you.

  • Alice Bowie||

    ummmm mit romny off shored all his money their and now a singel mother of 3 has to pay liek 10000% of her moneys in taxs while romny doesnt its bad!

  • thirtyandseven||

    ROFL

  • insensitive monster||

    So, who was it that created our overly complicated tax code where middle class w-2 workers living at or around the median income pay a significant higher income tax rate than that of Mitt Romney?

    The same entity that allows 46% percent of the people to pay no income tax? And probably not the 46% you think it is. IDIOT!

  • Alice Bowie||

    i heard mit romey pays 0% taxs rachel meadows said it on msbnc and shes a ROADZ scolar

  • Socialism is Murder||

    Yep and I heard on that same show that Koch Bros are bad and pay no tax and Soros is a benevolent peace-lover who only receives good subsidies.

  • ||

    middle class w-2 workers living at or around the median income pay a significant higher income tax rate than that of Mitt Romney

    That is a flat out fucking lie Alice. The median income last year was around 32k. If you took just the standard deduction and exemption your tax would be about 1,300 (married filing jointly). This gives you a rate of 4%. Romney supposedly paid 13.9%.

    But I know people like you can't be bothered to do the math to actually back up your bullshit claims.

  • Jerryskids||

  • Sevo||

    "Do we need any better sign that these massive livestock operations are a bad idea? Big Pork made Mother Nature angry."

    Yes, we do need a "better sign", especially since inanimate objects can't "get angry".
    Silly article about a technical problem that will be solved by those making money from their efforts.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Do we need any better sign that those who are inclined against modern livestock ops are vacuous dolts who can't make a serious argument? HERM DERM BIG PORK MAKE ME ANGRY

  • Maxxx||

    Yes, we do need a "better sign", especially since inanimate objects can't "get angry".

    Mother nature is just a figment of some douche's imagination, not even an inanimate object.

  • Jerryskids||

    I don't know why this thread made me think of exploding pig shit. Is that a sustainable energy source?

    Self-frying bacon! They ain't got that shit in North Korea!

  • Sevo||

    Jerryskids|2.20.12 @ 10:23PM|#
    "I don't know why this thread made me think of exploding pig shit. Is that a sustainable energy source?"

    I don't know either, but the folks dealing with the problem may find it is. We'd get pork and energy!

  • Jerryskids||

    Yeah, but them greedy bastards would make money off of it! Wouldn't we all be better off in a static-state, zero-growth economy where we all wind up shivering in the dark, stranded in unwalkable suburbs with unfuelable cars, with not enough food in the supermarket because the cheap oil-based fertilizer that makes it possible is unavailable? You know, like North Korea?

  • Jerryskids||

    Yeah, but them greedy bastards would make money off of it! Wouldn't we all be better off in a static-state, zero-growth economy where we all wind up shivering in the dark, stranded in unwalkable suburbs with unfuelable cars, with not enough food in the supermarket because the cheap oil-based fertilizer that makes it possible is unavailable? You know, like North Korea?

  • Socialism is Murder||

    Good argument, I'm convinced!

  • Sevo||

    OK, but you left out the [sarc] - [/sarc] notation

  • Amakudari||

    What?! I have exactly the same number of votes as Mitt Romney?!! He paid millions in taxes last year, didn't he? I only paid a few thousand. Wow, that really IS unfair.

    Yeah, but he can buy your vote with, like, ads and stuff! Just like Meg Whitman and Steve Forbes did! And that's why Newt Gingrich became super popular after Sheldon Adelson gave him $10 million.

  • ||

    Like Obama did?

  • Amakudari||

    No, Obama actually did the smart thing and made the most outlandish promises that 53% of the voting public would find plausible.

  • Fernando||

    He just needs another chance.

  • Sevo||

    Or three. It took FDR that long.....

  • Fernando||

    I got a President's Day joke for you Americans.

    Knock Knock.

    - Who's There?

    You dumb Americans elected the Bush idiot twice.

    HAHAHA

  • Cytotoxic||

    Thrice when you include Voice-Beautified BlackBushObama.

  • Bingo||

    I'm disappointed at the lack of coverage of what happened to Jotform recently.

    tl;dr: .gov shuts down a web company for no reason at all.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articl.....t-us.shtml

    http://www.techdirt.com/articl.....ened.shtml

    Great quote from hacker news:

    Today's sysadmin todo list:

    0. Get corporate membership with EFF.

    1. Identify all applications with user-generated content.

    2. Move all associated domains to a non-US based registrar.

    3. Migrate DNS, web serving and other critical services to non-US based servers.

    4. Migrate yourself to a non-US controlled country.

    I'm sorry for US sites and users. Your government is hell-bent on turning the internet into a read-only device like TV, easily regulated and controlled. The population will be required to sit quietly and keep their eyes glued on the screen so they don't miss the ads, with any infringers deemed terrorists and pedophiles and thus deserving of summary punishment by DHS squads.

    Hopefully the internet will route around the damaged segment, and the rest of us can continue to enjoy the amazing interactivity it has brought our society.

    How the fuck can a US government agency effectively shut down a business at whim with no court order? Why would any web company bother hosting services in the US if this continues?

    I can't believe that stuff like this happens and people don't care. The US is on the road to strangling one of its only growth industries, and I'm sure there will be ex post facto legislation down the road to further legitimize these sorts of acts. SOPA doesn't even need to happen, the power and will to do it is already in place.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    The seizure of JetForm by the Secret Service:

    Made possible by/authorized by the Obama Administration.

    No wonder he wants a second term.

  • OWS VPS||

    I approve!

  • FCC||

    Just waiting for the President to give us permission to shut the internet down.

    In the meantime, we'll just fuck with people at random.

  • Bingo||

    Hey rectal: THERAPY. You can do better than this.

  • Bingo||

    Soon to be continued by either party.

    It's like trying to play Monopoly without a rulebook and a banker who is a big fan of Calvinball.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    The one in charge, now, is mostly responsible for shit like this AND this:

    http://www.examiner.com/homela.....s-straight

    Yeah, if/when Team Red gets their claws back into our shoulder-meat, they'll be the ones keeping tabs on American Dissidents. But for now, it's Team Blue doing the Big Brother Shoving His Cock In.

  • Bingo||

    Jesus fucking christ, I need to emigrate. Good luck with your country, y'all.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Wish I could leave. But I plan on killing myself before I let myself be dragged off to a concentration camp.

  • Bingo||

    Personally I prefer Caribbean islands, South America, Southeast Asia, or Eastern Europe. Also: not being in a concentration camp because of some weird sense of nationalism.

    And the women are hotter outside of concentration camps. Q.E.D.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    If I could save up a mad roll, I'd leave... but I'd need several mad rolls to save my family.

    Better to burn out, than to fade away, in such a predicament.

  • Bingo||

    You need essentially the cost of a house to separate yourself from the US. People regularly buy houses to support families, why not buy a ticket that will enable your children the opportunity to live in a free world? (and yourself along with it).

    I've been thinking about this a lot, and my immigrant ancestors didn't emigrate to a superpower, they emigrated to the place that gave their children the most opportunity. I think we've reached a peak in the opportunity the US can give our children, everything from here is downhill.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I couldn't just take my child, I'd want to save my brother, sister, my sister's child and husband... and I only have one house to sell. And, quite frankly, I couldn't get much out of it if I *could* sell it.

    I don't know what the hell to do.

  • Bingo||

    Also if Nick or Matt or Lucy or Mike want to linkwhore, you can totally do it by doing an interview on this and submitting it to basically any tech news aggregator. This is a big story.

  • Amakudari||

    And now JotForm (the main .com domain) is back up.

    What gives?

  • Bingo||

    They took it down with no given reason and brought it up with no given reason (drink x2!). It's seriously weird.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Just for shits and laughs, go to DemocraticUnderground and enter "JetForm" or "GoDaddy" in their search engine.

    Apparently, they're okay with this, because no one there is bitching about it. And DUers LOVE to bitch.

  • Bingo||

    Jotform**** get it right.

    It's a site where you build fucking webforms. God knows how it came under the crosshairs of the administration. Webforms, the greatest threat to freedom as we know it.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Shit, I misspelled it. Fail on me.

    Still no mention of JotForm on DU, which means they're cool with it because their Team is behind it.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Dry well here, too:

    http://search.huffingtonpost.c.....er_form_v1

    I'll be dipped in hog-fat and flash-fried before I search for this on the Kos, though.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Did find some stoopid, though:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....r=Politics

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    You could swing a dead cat, and hit "stoopid" on HuffPo.

  • Cat-Swinging Permit Office||

    Not without visiting us, first.

  • Kibby||

    Thanks for the tea all over my laptop.

  • Bingo||

    FWIW I don't think any major news outlets have covered it aside from some (relatively) small-scale bitching in the tech community. It deserves a lot more coverage because essentially the government is shutting down a business at whim. On the tail of the Megaupload shutdown this is a very scary trend.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Maybe, but the story's old enough now, that surely it will gain SOME coverage outside the tech chatterers.

  • Tony||

    I don't know why you idiots are whining about this. Just let Obama do his job.

  • shrike||

    As long as they target Christ-fags, I'm down with it.

  • Max||

    *fap fap fap*

  • Amakudari||

    Next up, the deviants at SurveyMonkey.

  • ||

    well, it's not technically "capitalism" since he's a public employee, but here is Dep. Sandberg (the cop who shot the guy in san clemente recently) income in 2007:
    Name: Sandberg, Darren E
    Title: Deputy Sheriff II
    Agency: Orange County Sheriff-Coroner
    Division: Mission Viejo Police Svc.
    Hire date: 5/6/1994
    2007 BASE
    $82,776
    PREMIUM
    $4,475
    OVERTIME
    $54,207
    TOTAL
    $141,45

    of course, I just got paid about $68 an hour to drive a police car at high speed around a race track, so i am not complaining :)

  • Mr Whipple||

    Hydrogen Moderated Self-regulating Nuclear Power Module

  • ||

    Capitalism is just melding with Socialism, as Socialism is with Capitalism. There are no pure economic systems.

  • sethco||

    regulated capitalism, yes

  • Moogle||

    The anti-capitalist rhetoric amongst the younger generations is getting pretty depressing, though, especially in the geekverse of all places- a community served more by the technological fruits of readily available capital than any other on the planet. Some of these people will call you an evil Nazi if you so much as run a business out of your home with two employees and a multifunction printer.

  • luonghuyen||

    The list of living Americans who served in both the Kennedy and Reagan administrations and who are still writing books and teaching courses is a short one

  • peter jackson||

    Capitalism is economics. When capitalism goes away, so does economics, and we're back where we've spent most of our history: the muck. Nasty, brutish, etc.

  • ||

    Lol, capitalism. Where "capitalism" is defined as "anything to the political right of Trotskyism". Nothing resembling the textbook definition of capitalism has ever been practiced in America. Arguably the closest thing to it has been the black markets that emerge in the more oppressive socialist/collectivist marketplaces. Capitalism in any authentic sense of the term is long since dead and buried, and it's not about to experience any sort of miraculous resurrection. The most we can hope to celebrate in the future is a slightly less restrictive and liberalized collectivist market.

  • ||

    *...and more liberalized

  • ||

    Capitalism's biggest problem is its advcates' incompetence. Most Americans don't know what capitalism is or how to distinguish it from socialist and mixed economies. Even so, these same ignoramouses blame capitalism for the mortgage meltdown, financial crisis, recession, and bailouts. But America hasn't practiced capitalism since the 1930s, and its advocates are too clueless to point this out (except Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin, of course).

    So maybe it's time we give capitalism another try.

  • Coach Panto||

    Capitalism is antithetical to the Kleptocracy.

    1. All governments tend towards kleptocracy.
    2. A constitutional republic slows this tendency, but only can reverse it if the kleptocrats are regularly removed or replaced.
    3. Capitalists become kleptocrats when they accept governemnt subsidies or other favors.

  • Halong Bay Tours||

    So great to see your site and writings! Thank you so much!

  • New John||

    I'm growing very tiresome of people saying capitalism is falling (especially those who add that it is evil). Capitalism is the only found way of economic theory that provides a sense of individualism, freedom and peace of mind.

    The confusion is corporatism (crony capitalism) with government involvement. As in government stepping in the way to keep businesses from failing. Also the incentives Donald Trump is so behind where the federal government gives incredible tax breaks to big businesses as an incentive to promote good business and money flow. This actually has a negative impact as we've seen evident in the past 5 years.

  • 4thaugust1932||

    USA work/student visa and outsourced IT/BPO projects must be pegged to Human rights/Caste system in CHINDIA.
    http://www.rediff.com/business.....110504.htm
    http://news.rediff.com/report/.....-abuse.htm

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