Economics

Obama's Green-Jobs Fantasy

Don't buy the president's environmental snake oil

|

Anyone who understands basic economics already knows that President Obama's $2.3 billion green-jobs initiative was snake oil. Now, thanks to Kenneth P. Green, we have statistics as well as theory to prove it.

In a new article, "The Myth of Green Energy Jobs: The European Experience," the environmental scientist and a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute writes, "Green programs in Spain destroyed 2.2 jobs for every green job created, while the capital needed for one green job in Italy could create almost five jobs in the general economy."

Ironically, Obama boasts his initiative "will help close the clean-energy gap between America and other nations." But Green says, "(C)ountries are cutting these programs because they realize they aren't sustainable and they are obscenely expensive."

Obama claims that if we "invest" more, "the transition to clean energy has the potential to grow our economy and create millions of jobs—but only if we accelerate that transition."

What could make more sense? A little push from the smart politicians and—voila!—we can have an abundance of new good-paying jobs and a cleaner, sustainable environment. It's the ultimate twofer.

Except it's an illusion, as economic logic demonstrates.

"It is well understood, among economists, that governments do not 'create' jobs," Green writes. "The willingness of entrepreneurs to invest their capital, paired with consumer demand for goods and services, does that. All the government can do is subsidize some industries while jacking up costs for others. In the green case, it is destroying jobs in the conventional energy sector—and most likely in other industrial sectors—through taxes and subsidies to new green companies that will use taxpayer dollars to undercut the competition. The subsidized jobs 'created' are, by definition, less efficient uses of capital than market-created jobs."

Green is using good, solid economic thinking. Many years ago, Henry Hazlitt wrote in his bestseller, Economics in One Lesson, "The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups."

In judging any government initiative, such as Obama's green-jobs plan, you can't look just at the credit side of ledger because the government is unable to give without first taking away.

Worse than that: Inevitably, more is taken away—destroyed—than is given because the government substitutes force and taxation for consent and free exchange. Instead of a process driven by consumer preferences, we get one imposed by politicians' grand social designs. It's what F.A. Hayek called "the fatal conceit."

So we shouldn't be surprised that green-jobs programs make energy more expensive. "(F)orcing green energy on the market (is) much, much more expensive," Green said. "Using Spain as a model, when you do the math, you realize that creating 3 million new green jobs could cost $2.25 trillion."

Of course, many people who push "green jobs" want the price of energy to rise so we'll use less. If the environmental lobby wants Americans to be poorer, it ought to come clean about that.

The advocates of such programs don't just misunderstand economics. They have lapsed into a pre-economic mentality. Rulers once believed they could do whatever they wanted, subject only to the physical laws of nature. If things didn't work out as planned, it was because the people had failed to cooperate. But as economist Ludwig von Mises wrote, once economics emerged as an intellectual discipline, "it was learned that in the social realm too there is something operative which power and force are unable to alter and to which they must adjust themselves if they hope to achieve success … ."

That "something" is inescapable economic forces like the law of supply and demand.

Green is right when he says, "Central planners in the United States trying to promote green industry will fare no better (than Europe) at creating jobs or stimulating the economy."

John Stossel is host of Stossel on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of Give Me a Break and of Myth, Lies, and Downright Stupidity. To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at johnstossel.com.

COPYRIGHT 2011 BY JFS PRODUCTIONS, INC.
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

NEXT: O Magazine on the Life-Changing Potential of MDMA

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. that makes 2 snake oil salesmen

    1. Isn’t snake oil what you use to keep your skin so scaly, rectal?

  2. Care to update us on the unions now trying to block the vote in Wisconsin by occupying the Capitol (illegally) and threatening Republicans?

    1. Imagine. Republicans try to covertly get their bill passed by circumventing normal procedures, and their opponents are up in arms. I guess they thought everyone would just raise their hands in a big “oh well.”

      I have said from the beginning that this was about political theatre for the Republicans. Every step they take seems aimed at proving that to be true.

      1. What about the compromise that was DIMISSED out of hand by the dems? They asked for this. They got it.

        1. I am not sure “the compromise that was dismissed out of hand” is a fair way to characterize things, but…It is assumed that the Democrats like political theatre and will jump at the chance when presented.

          1. That was the phrase NPR used yesterday to describe it- so I’ll use it with confidence that it is true.

            1. MNG said that NPR was beholden to its Republican masters.

              1. LOL, so he won’t mind if its federal subsidy is cut, right?

                1. No, he actually used it yesterday as an argument not to cut the funding.

                  1. Okay, I’m sure I don’t wanna know. I’ve already got a headache.

      2. Imagine. Republicans try to covertly get their bill passed by circumventing normal procedures, and their opponents are up in arms. I guess they thought everyone would just raise their hands in a big “oh well.”

        I have said from the beginning that this was about political theatre for the Republicans. Every step they take seems aimed at proving that to be true.

        This is likely true, but how is this any different from the typical actions of the Dems?

        People tend to understand that visible political action is theatrics, yet they accept it so long as it is supporting ideas they agree with.

        1. YES just like the dems did with Obamacare. By the way the the actions in both cases are legal.

      3. “Republicans try to covertly get their bill passed by circumventing normal procedures,”

        So I suppose fleeing to Illinois and hiding out to avoid doing the job you were elected to do is considered “normal procedure”, right NM?

        Go back to sleep.

      4. I have said from the beginning that this was about political theatre for the Republicans.

        Unlike the Union Kabuki Theater Group?

      5. Neu Mejican|3.10.11 @ 12:13PM|#
        “Imagine. Republicans try to covertly get their bill passed by circumventing normal procedures,…”

        Like showing up for work?

      6. Republicans try to covertly get their bill passed by circumventing normal procedures,

        Nothing covert about what the Repubs were doing – it was reported on in real time.

        As for circumventing normal procedures, I don’t see it. The collective bargaining bill could be passed with an ordinary quorum as a stand-alone bill. How is unbundling it from a fiscal bill “circumventing normal procedures”?

        I suppose, as someone who insists on normal procedures at all times, you have nothing but contempt for the fleebaggers, and for the unionistas now attempting to illegally shut down the Wisconsin legislature?

        1. RC,
          They circumvented the WI law regarding open meetings which require 24 hours notice.

          As for what the Dems are doing. Don’t confuse criticism of Republicans for support of the Democrats.

          1. they are at work doing their Job do they have to give 24 hour notice to do their job I don’t think so. though that would be a nice slow down of the government just think how a typical day would go
            “Here’s my 24 hour notice that I’m going to walk accross the hall to talk to Mr Smith about laws that were here to discuss”

      7. The only ones who could possibly be viewed as “circumventing normal procedures” are the dems who fled.

        Of course, if you consider not coming in for work and hauling ass out of state to spite the governor normal procedure then you might be more than a little confused on lots of things.

      8. As opposed to violating state law by fleeing the state to prevent a quorum?

      9. If by “circumventing normal procedures” you mean “stripping out the fiscal parts of a bill to make it into a non-fiscal bill”, then sure.

        But that would mean redefining “circumventing” to mean the opposite of what it currently means.

      10. I have said from the beginning that this was about political theatre for the Republicans.

        If by “political theatre” you mean “passing a bill that actually does something to solve a real problem”, then, again, you’re slipping into Orwellian doublespeak.

        1. Don’t tell me that the theatre has worked on ya prolefeed.

          1. Neu Mejican|3.10.11 @ 5:46PM|#
            “Don’t tell me that the theatre has worked on ya prolefeed.”

            Aww, how cute!

  3. Bastard Obama put me out of a job too. Says I “unfairly” took away jobs from other potential employees due to my superpowers and effciency.

  4. I am pretty sure the “create jobs” part of the argument is a rhetorical device to sell investment that is itself seen as a worthwhile investment. Investment in research and development of cleaner energy technologies is a good idea because cleaner energy technologies will themselves be a benefit. But in the current political environment no government program will be free of the “create jobs” accessorizing.

    1. But there is no PROOF they will have a benefit. The materials to create cleaner tech have massive environmental impacts themselves. Lithium batteries for electric cars- for example. The realty of plug in electric cars and the coal burning it would take to sustain a full US fleet of such vehicles- etc, etc.

      They are, at best, rife with unforseen consequences. At worst, they are lies told by those who stand to benefit financially at the suffering of the masses.

      1. Yes. The future is uncertain.

        Of course, I would point out, when someone says we need to develop “cleaner energy” you can’t say that it won’t be cleaner because then you are talking about something different than the desired technology…which is by definition cleaner.

        The realty of plug in electric cars and the coal burning it would take to sustain a full US fleet of such vehicles- etc, etc.

        The reality is that plug in electric cars powered by a coal burning plant have a carbon footprint equivalent to between 100 and 200 miles per gallon. Much better than the current gasoline powered alternative. The primary hurdle for electric cars is range due to the need for recharging.

          1. Neu Mejican|3.10.11 @ 12:29PM|#
            “http://blogs.cars.com/kickingt…..sions.html”

            Horseshit.
            Comes from:
            “self-proclaimed voice of a generation, and adept commentator on the state of the social and political fabric of the American character at the awakening of the 21st Century.”
            http://www.stephenmarkley.com/
            One more lefty propagandist.

            1. sevo,

              In case you aren’t clear on this…the source of the information is not how you determine its veracity. You shouldn’t ignore the source, but the information is either correct or not. His numbers are, certainly, back of the napkin, but they are accurate enough to make the point.

              1. Nothing termed at “Back of the napkin” is accurate enough to cite. If it’s your own work that you can show, fine- but citing a source that you admit is “back of the napkin” accurate won’t win you any arguments.

                1. I was trying to have a discussion, not win an argument. Do you dispute the numbers? They agree with more rigorous studies of the issue.

                  1. Neu Mejican|3.10.11 @ 5:15PM|#
                    “I was trying to have a discussion, not win an argument.”
                    Of *COURSE* you were.

                    “Do you dispute the numbers? They agree with more rigorous studies of the issue.”
                    In that case, cite the studies. Opinion pieces by lefty propagandists are NWS.

                    1. Do you have anything to contribute sevo?
                      Or is it just about the argumentum ad hominem all day everyday?

                    2. Neu Mejican|3.10.11 @ 6:40PM|#
                      “Do you have anything to contribute sevo?”

                      Aww, how cute!

              2. “In case you aren’t clear on this…the source of the information is not how you determine its veracity.”

                In case you’re enough of an ignoramus to think otherwise, opinion pieces by lefty propagandists are NWS.

                1. Not Work Safe?

                  Where do you work that political opinions are unsafe?

                  1. Neu Mejican|3.10.11 @ 6:41PM|#
                    “Not Work Safe?
                    Where do you work that political opinions are unsafe?”

                    Aww, how cute!

        1. The primary hurdle for electric cars is range due to the need for recharging any practical utility.

          Until they do something about the range, making it comparable to internal combustion, electric cars will be a plaything for the faithful and the yammering political class as useful props.

          1. The funniest part (to me anyways) about electric cars is how horribly they perform in the winter.

            People in Minnesota will not be buying a $20K car that only goes three miles when it starts getting below ten degrees. Hilarious.

            1. Just because they are not practical in all situations does not make them impractical in other contexts.

              Even the issue of range is not that important for a large percentage of drivers, particularly urban drivers, who don’t make long trips very often.

              A combination of Zipcar and your own electric beats with currently available options is both cheaper and has a smaller environmental footprint than a standard vehicle, for instance.

              1. Sorry Neu, but most people aren’t going to wear that hairshirt for some abstract principle with a nebulous value. Ask any parent who isn’t a eco-freak how much they’re willing to sacrifice in terms of kid-heavy schedules and serendipitous travel for an intangible and uncertain good that they themselves receive little benefit from.

                Give me a reason to switch from my IC engine powered vehicle. How will *I* benefit from reduced utility? Let’s not even go into the morality of expecting your neighbor to pay for part of your car.

              2. the issue of range is not that important for a large percentage of drivers, particularly urban drivers, who don’t make long trips very often.

                The issue of range is the main issue that has prevented electric cars from succeeding in the free market to begin with. Generous estimates state that- “Electric Vehicles’ Range May Be 30% Less in Cold Weather” ( http://www.associatedcontent.c…..tml?cat=15 ) . And that is under ideal circumstances where the car has been heated before it actually gets in to the cold weather. In urban Minnesota, for instance, where temperatures can average in the single digits during the winter an Electric cars range would become so debilitated as to make them bordeline useless.

                There is a reason these cars can’t compete in a real market, and that is because they can’t deliver what an IC engine can for the money.

                You can keep trying to justify it all you want, but without government subsidies and tax breaks for purchasing said vehicles we would not even be having this conversation.

                1. Again…you are confusing general utility with utility in specific contexts.

                  1. you are confusing general utility with utility in specific contexts.

                    No, I’m not confused at all. I’ll fully concede that in certain warm Urban environments electric cars might be an ideal solution for those who travel less than 100 miles a day and have immediate access to recharging stations in their homes, regardless of the environmental pro’s or cons. But this is a question for the free market to answer. Not a government dictate that takes more of my tax dollars to subsidize the construction and purchase of electric cars in areas where these vehicles would never under any circumstances survive in the free market on their own.

                    Your use of the word “utility” in this context is ironic to say the least.

                    1. Not a government dictate that takes more of my tax dollars to subsidize the construction and purchase of electric cars in areas where these vehicles would never under any circumstances survive in the free market on their own.

                      I believe this is called a strawman. When discussing whether or not electric cars are likely to find a viable market, they don’t need to be viable in all locations. I don’t remember ever seeing a recommendation that electric cars be forced on people in environment where they don’t work. Whether government subsidizes research and development for technology that will benefit some, but not all of its citizens is, perhaps, the larger question. Given that this will be true to some extent for all technology, well…

                    2. “When discussing whether or not electric cars are likely to find a viable market, they don’t need to be viable in all locations. I don’t remember ever seeing a recommendation that electric cars be forced on people in environment where they don’t work.”
                      And who decides if they “work” in that environment before they are forced on people?

                    3. NM,

                      It isn’t a strawman. People in Minnesota -where you would agree (I hope) would never realistically be able to use an electric vehicle for regular transportation during the winter- are currently paying federal tax dollars that first go to offsetting construction and R&D costs to build said electric cars, and then also to fund subsidies so rich trustafarians in Florida can get a $7500 tax giveaway for buying said electric vehicle.

                      This man is not made of straw.

                    4. Tman…I misunderstood your “force” sentence then, which seemed to indicate that electric cars were gonna be forced on the northlands.

              3. Just because they are not practical in all situations does not make them impractical in other contexts.

                Which is beside the point. The lefties are selling this “green living” concept as both an energy and industrial panacea. The reality is that it won’t be either.

              4. And hell, let’s not forget that a lot of the materials that we need to construct these so-called “green” energy products–like solar–don’t even exist in large enough quantities in this country to meet the inevitable demands of over 300 million people. So we’ll end up tied to the politics of foreign countries the same as we have been to the Middle East.

          2. Exactly. If the damn things were practical they’d have no trouble selling them–without the subsidy. It really pisses me off to pay taxes to help “sophisticated” hipsters buy a car that I couldn’t afford even if I did want one.

            1. rich “sophisticated” hipsters…

          3. The primary hurdle for electric cars is

            COST.

            When you make a car twice as expensive, so that you’ll never, ever recover the extra cost plus ongoing interest in the savings in fuel versus electricity costs, it won’t be very popular.

            1. Yes, cost is an issue as well, although less of one if the range issue can be solved. Take the Tesla, for instance. Lots of sports car enthusiasts would pay the premium price for it if it weren’t for the limited range (I know several personally for whom that is the only reason they have not purchased one).

              1. Car and Driver says the Tesla’s range is fine. It’s the cost and discomfort that are an issue.

                http://www.caranddriver.com/re…..-road_test

                1. ‘Scuse me?
                  “Regardless of where your mind is transported, your body will move only about 240 miles, at most, between charges, says Tesla.”
                  And then you can, if you spring for a bunch, be on your way again after only FOUR HOURS!
                  So, heading for LA means a 10 hour drive, minimum.
                  If that’s not griping about range, I’m not sure what it would be.

        2. Yes. The future is uncertain.

          An excellent argument for keeping an unwieldy, slow, and inefficient institution (the State) from taking control, and leaving it in the hands of the relatively nimble market, wouldn’t you say?

          1. Private industry has certainly benefited from technology transfer from government research over the years. Not sure how this issue will be any different.

            1. Neu Mejican|3.10.11 @ 6:13PM|#
              “Private industry has certainly benefited from technology transfer from government research over the years. Not sure how this issue will be any different.”

              You mean the research they had to pay for ad found some return from that? Oh, goody!

        3. Ok, now add the ore mining to create new cars, etc., etc. There is MORE than you are considering. As to this “Of course, I would point out, when someone says we need to develop “cleaner energy” you can’t say that it won’t be cleaner because then you are talking about something different than the desired technology…which is by definition cleaner.” That is retarded. So, if someone tells me they need to develop umpowered human flight, and I tell them they can’t because it would require power, then I’m not actually taking about what they are talking about?! Not smart.

          1. Spencer.

            Operating a vehicle accounts for the vast majority of its carbon footprint. Taking the factors you mention into consideration still gives the electric a foot up on gasoline powered vehicles.

            They are cleaner. Not “perfect” but cleanER.

            1. Re: Neu Mejican,

              Operating a vehicle accounts for the vast majority of its carbon footprint.

              Carbon footprint: A neologism that serves to give a sense of measure to a hobgoblin created by millenarists with a luddite bent.

              1. millenarists with a luddite bent

                Oh irony.

                1. Neu Mejican|3.10.11 @ 2:46PM|#
                  millenarists with a luddite bent
                  Oh irony.”

                  No, oh, the honesty.

                  1. sevo misses the irony…oh irony.

                    1. Neu Mejican|3.10.11 @ 6:14PM|#
                      “sevo misses the irony…oh irony.”

                      Neu fantasizes; oh the ignorance.

          2. So, you’re saying it doesn’t really help the environment to crush a shitload of cars poor people could have afforded and give subsidies to wealthy people to spend on new cars that didn’t need to be made at all?

            Damnit. Good thing it bought me votes or C4C would have been a total loss.

            (Suckers!)

        4. The reality is that plug in electric cars powered by a coal burning plant have a carbon footprint equivalent to between 100 and 200 miles per gallon.

          Didn’t Obama talk of “bankrupting” the coal power industry?

        5. The reality is that plug in electric cars powered by a coal burning plant have a carbon footprint equivalent to between 100 and 200 miles per gallon.

          So what? There’s been zero confirmation of convergence with observed data and climate models that would indicate a credible threat. Which is why warmists are deserting the field. The GHE itself is absurdly insufficient to ward of the looming ice age. interglacials lasting 10-12ky and we’re at about 11k. We could have 10ky.. or we might already be starting.

          You want to worry about something worry about the phosphate crisis in an ice age. Vastly shortened agriband and no fertilizer. Humans go bye bye. Should be a greenies wet dream.. except there won’t be much green about the planet.

          1. should have been “We could have 1ky”

        6. With electric cars all they talk about is the range. One of the things they don’t talk about is what happens to the range when you turn on the lights and heater. Most batteries are affected by temp, and don’t work very well at negative 20 degrees Fahrenheit. I live in Minnesota, in December and January the sun doesn’t rise until 8 AM or and sets by 4 PM. If you want to see out the windshield you will need heat. I think the Chevrolet volt is a step in the right direction however, the gas engine will be running all winter. Chevrolet should put a much more efficient generator, posibly a diesel, in the car.

    2. Neu Mejican|3.10.11 @ 12:10PM|#
      “I am pretty sure the “create jobs” part of the argument is a rhetorical device to sell investment that is itself seen as a worthwhile investment. Investment in research and development of cleaner energy technologies is a good idea because cleaner energy technologies will themselves be a benefit.”

      Put a price on those benefits, or admit there aren’t any.

      1. Of course there aren’t any. There are the ideas of concepts that there might be some- someday, maybe… What about the TIGERS?!

        1. Put a price on those benefits, or admit there aren’t any.

          False choice.

          1. Neu Mejican|3.10.11 @ 2:47PM|#
            “Put a price on those benefits, or admit there aren’t any.
            False choice.”

            Bullshit. If it has value, put a price on it or admit you’re an ignoramus.
            No false choice there, either. I’m tired of kindergarten ‘reasoning’.

            1. It is still a false choice.

              1. Neu Mejican|3.10.11 @ 5:48PM|#
                “It is still a false choice.”

                You saying so simply shows your ignorance.
                You claim “value” and yet you have no metric.
                I’ll have to guess that the ‘value’ will be, what salvation at the Rapture?
                Whatever it is, you can’t seem to find it.

                1. And, yet, it is still a false choice.

                  1. Neu Mejican|3.10.11 @ 6:15PM|#
                    “And, yet, it is still a false choice.”

                    and, yet, still a willful ignoramus.

                    1. Surely by now you could have come up with a better argumentum ad hominem.

                      Come up with a new insult or admit that you were wrong.

                    2. Neu Mejican|3.10.11 @ 6:36PM|#
                      “Surely by now you could have come up with a better argumentum ad hominem.”

                      Statement of fact /= ad hom.
                      You choose to be ignorant; I point it out.

                    3. sevo,

                      Statement of fact /= ad hom.

                      You don’t understand what argumentum ad hominem means do you?

                  2. Actually,

                    A false choice- being the presentation of a false dichotomy- assumes that there are alternatives to the two choices posed. IE, for us or against us. There is obviously a myriad of alternatives to these two.

                    However, the choice between value and no value has no such false dichotomy. Something either exists or it does not. There are no alternatives in this choice that are rational.

                    So, value either exists or it does not. If it does, it can be defined. If it does not, well, then it can be admitted to lack value.

                    The argument then is, can all value be measured monetarily. On some level, yes. This would be a subjective measurement that would require an explanation of the measuring system. For a bad example, say that a human life is “worth” the sum total of income earned by the individual throughout their lifetime. (not a good tool for measurement, but adequate for illustration).

                    Therefore, I conclude that there is no false choice here, just a shortcoming in finding a system for measuring such value… or your inability to admit that such value does not exist.

                    1. Spencer…if the choice were worded differently sevo might be able to avoid the false choice accusation. But the way sevo has worded it each time is as a false choice.

                      Put a price on it or they don’t exist = false choice.

                      It is false due to “a shortcoming in finding a system for measuring such value.” It’s existence does not stand or fall based on the difficulty in pricing. It certainly doesn’t stand or fall based on MY willingness to cooperate with sevo.

    3. What is the economical benefit of these clean energy technologies?

    4. “I am pretty sure the “create jobs” part of the argument is a rhetorical device… ”

      Otherwise known as a flat out lie.

    5. Re: neu Mejican,

      Investment in research and development of cleaner energy technologies is a good idea because cleaner energy technologies will themselves be a benefit.

      You’re begging the question, Neu. A good idea to invest in them because they’re a good idea? Gee, thanks.

      First of all, investing means applying capital to a project expecting a return. Right now, there’s NO discernable return on renewables except as a feel good scheme. Renewables simply cannot deliver the same return on investment as more efficient and compact energy systems like coal, gas, oil or even nuclear energy. The fact that wind is very suceptible to the cube of the speed of wind (v3) and that solar systems require ACRES of land to return the same power as a measly powerplant seems not to resonate at all in your little brain.

      1. OM…

        You are a bit off topic…notice that I said “cleaner” while you said “renewable.”

        As for the begging the question thing…whatever. The environmental impact of human activities is either something that you see as part of the value calculation or it is not. If it is part of the calculation, then “cleaner” is “better.” There is no need for external justifications like “jobs” or “economic growth.” But as will all value judgments, opinions will differ.

        1. Re: Neu Mejican,

          The environmental impact of human activities is either something that you see as part of the value calculation or it is not.

          And, surely, one can value what has not been priced… like licking your finger and putting it to the wind.

          If it is part of the calculation, then “cleaner” is “better.”

          Depends on what you mean by “cleaner.” My teeth are clean on my good estimation but my dentist (who wants my money very badly) may disagree with me.

          But as will all value judgments, opinions will differ.

          Which is why projects are not made based on opinions or good wishes; they’re based on prices, and prices come to be after a market clears. Saying “cleaner is better” does not give you any insight on potential returns in the future, because it’s nothing more than an opinion.

          As for the begging the question thing…whatever.

          Yeah. If I were a dishonest, hypocritical bastard, I would most likely brush it off, too.

          1. OM

            Yeah. If I were a dishonest, hypocritical bastard, I would most likely brush it off, too.

            Yes, I brushed off your inaccurate characterization of what I said.

            And, surely, one can value what has not been priced…

            Yep…people value many things that are not priced. Do you disagree?

            Depends on what you mean by “cleaner.” My teeth are clean on my good estimation but my dentist (who wants my money very badly) may disagree with me.

            No it doesn’t depend upon what I mean by “cleaner.” Cleaner is a scalar term. If cleaner is valued, then an increase is better. Not all incremental changes will be important, but that is a different question.

            Which is why projects are not made based on opinions or good wishes; they’re based on prices, and prices come to be after a market clears. Saying “cleaner is better” does not give you any insight on potential returns in the future, because it’s nothing more than an opinion.

            Research and development investment is speculative in nature. Best guesses based on a chance that a valued end will come about are as good as it ever gets. What insight do you think you are sharing here?

            1. “No it doesn’t depend upon what I mean by “cleaner.” Cleaner is a scalar term. If cleaner is valued, then an increase is better.”

              Cleaner is valued by who?

              The results of the market already show what people value by the individual choices they make.

              Those who put a premium on “cleaner” can go out and buy electric cars and/or start electric car companies on their own.

              Those don’t put a premium on it can continue to vote with their dollars for their own preferences for internal combustion engine cars.

              1. When we are talking about the development of new technology, we are talking about things that people can’t yet choose to purchase. The question is whether our society values cleaner energy enough to invest in research and development of that technology. That value judgment is more complex than simple market choices as it also involves the democratic decision making process that our society uses to make such decisions.

                Your vote seems clear.
                Others disagree.

                1. “When we are talking about the development of new technology, we are talking about things that people can’t yet choose to purchase. ”

                  Those who want to see it developed can do so on their own investment dime.

                  That is part of the market too.

                2. “The question is whether our society values cleaner energy enough to invest in research and development of that technology. ”

                  “Society” is not an entity that values anything.

                  It is merely a word for a collection of individuals.

                  1. “Society” is not an entity that values anything.

                    It is merely a word for a collection of individuals.

                    You are free to attempt to prove this assertion, but I am gonna guess we will continue to disagree after you’ve made your attempt.

                    1. LOL

                      It is a statement of absolute fact.

                      Whether you happen to agree to it or not makes no difference to me.

                    2. As expected.
                      You are not up to it.

                3. “That value judgment is more complex than simple market choices as it also involves the democratic decision making process that our society uses to make such decisions.”

                  Parsed:
                  “We have the guns, we’ll do as we please”

                  1. Your parser is broken, clearly.

                    1. Neu Mejican|3.10.11 @ 6:34PM|#
                      “Your parser is broken, clearly.”

                      I’m sure there’s a remedial reading course somewhere near you.

        2. It’s not that “cleaner is better” (which needs clarification). The question is how much is cleaner technology worth? What is the economic benefit?

          In other words, there has to be more to it other than, “It’s good for the planet,” or “It makes me feel good.”

          1. It’s hard to put a dollar value on the existence of low-lying island nations or animal species, or on the environmental status quo. But that value is certainly nowhere close to $0.

            1. It is hard to put a dollar value on not slipping into another ice age, or even just the economic hardships that would result from somewhat colder weather, but that value is certainly above $0.

              It’s actually pretty damn easy to price the value of the real estate on a small island using this newfangled invention called a “market”.

              1. prolefeed|3.10.11 @ 5:51PM|#
                “It is hard to put a dollar value on not slipping into another ice age, or even just the economic hardships that would result from somewhat colder weather, but that value is certainly above $0.”

                Re: the ice-age, I’d guess it’s not hared to put a value on that.
                Re: the somewhat cooler temps. That would be tougher, since some areas would gain and others would lose.

            2. Tony|3.10.11 @ 2:14PM|#
              “It’s hard to put a dollar value on the existence of low-lying island nations or animal species, or on the environmental status quo. But that value is certainly nowhere close to $0.”

              Not one of those is worth more than $0.00 to me.
              The presumption that the current range of species should be preserved, that current weather patterns are ideal, that people have chosen to live in historically-temporary land masses and wish to stay there are not supported by science. They’re romantic/religious claims
              Not worth $0.00 to me.

              1. sevo nobody gives a fuck what other human beings are worth to a sociopath.

          2. The question is how much is cleaner technology worth? What is the economic benefit?

            That is YOUR question…not THE question. Just like OM’s “begging the question” above, not everyone is asking the same question you are. Somethings are worth doing even if they do economic harm. Economics is not the final arbiter of all policy.

            1. No, no, no, my friend. Just because you don’t want to address the question does not mean that the question is not valid. Sure we could invest in “cleaner” technologies or we could do any number of other “noble” things. Eventually, someone will have to answer the question: At what cost?

              Tony says that the value is nowhere near $0. Is it closer to $1,000,000? One billion? Even one trillion? Or do you believe that there is no limit on what we should spend to satisfy these goals?

              1. And doubtless the people most concerned about economic cost will be the ones most willing to sacrifice people in other countries who had no role in the harm done in the first place.

                1. Tony|3.10.11 @ 4:46PM|#
                  “And doubtless the people most concerned about economic cost will be the ones most willing to sacrifice people in other countries who had no role in the harm done in the first place.”

                  Why, thank you Tony. Stupid strawmen are exactly what we need, and you’re the one to furnish them.

                2. And doubtless the people not concerned about economic costs will be the ones most willing to ignore the plight of people in other countries who starve, or freeze to death, as a result of colder temperatures or the economic fallout of statist attempts to cause this undesirable effect.

              2. The question is how much is cleaner technology worth? What is the economic benefit?

                These are two different questions. The first one does need to be answered. The second, not so much.

                1. “The first one does need to be answered. The second, not so much.”

                  Bullshit. If it has value, tell us how much.
                  Or shut up.

        3. but you’re only betting that it’s cleaner. You can’t prove that it is. You can’t prove there will be a positive envinronmental impact vs. (as the post the other day stated) people just driving more and using the same amount.

          1. Spencer…you’ve made this argument already. But it is still pretty weak broth to my mind. We certainly have the ability to demonstrate reduced environmental impacts and to address complications as they arise. That is what is currently occurring with fossil fuels. Benefits and costs are being weighed differently based on our increased understanding of the environmental impacts of a certain source of energy. It is shifting the discussion. Why the love for the status quo?

            1. No love for the status quo- also no love for the statist fix. This is a gamble that private industry should invest in, not public funding. I think electric cars are cool. I think trains are cool. I DON’T think that they are going to solve any problems- especially when they are forced down people’s throats.

              1. Research and development of new technologies that will inevitably be produced by private companies hardly seems like something that is “forced down people’s throats” to me. But we haven’t been talking about the shape of the policies here. You have been criticizing the idea that these technologies can be found and have positive consequences. That is a different argument than how the are paid for. The reasons for preferring private over public funding for their development have pretty much nothing to do with their viability as technologies. If you are trying to persuade people they are a bad idea to PUBLICLY fund, then stick to reasons that public funding is a problem. You’ll be more persuasive.

                1. “Research and development of new technologies that will inevitably be produced by private companies hardly seems like something that is “forced down people’s throats” to me”

                  It isn’t “inevitable” that private companies will produce the particular technologies that the statists want to push us all toward or that said technologies would ever become economically viable.

                  You want windmills, solar panels and electric cars? Develop and market them on your own dime.

                2. Neu Mejican|3.10.11 @ 5:31PM|#
                  “Research and development of new technologies that will inevitably be produced by private companies hardly seems like something that is “forced down people’s throats” to me.”

                  If they offer value to me and I pay them, and they use that money for R&D, then nothing of the sort happens.
                  If you are using tax dollars, that’s exactly what happens whether you see it or not.

                  1. Welcome to the world sevo. You are part of a society that has developed a decision making process. Sometimes (actually ever time) that process results in decisions that go against the wishes of some of the individuals in that society. I am pretty comfortable with the process our society uses. I don’t feel like it results in things being “forced down my throat” even when I disagree with the decision.

                    1. Neu Mejican|3.10.11 @ 5:57PM|#
                      “Welcome to the world sevo.”

                      I see. You have the guns.
                      The last refuge of statist fucks.

                    2. Yes Sevo,

                      “We have the guns” is the foundation of the US constitution…of course “we” in this case refers to “we the people.” It is too bad our “more perfect union” is not perfect, but there ya go.

                    3. Neu Mejican|3.10.11 @ 6:24PM|#
                      Yes Sevo,
                      “We have the guns” is the foundation of the US constitution…of course “we” in this case refers to “we the people.” It is too bad our “more perfect union” is not perfect, but there ya go.”

                      No, Neu, your willful ignorance is obvious again.
                      No provision of the Constitution includes government intrusion in technology development.

                    4. This is called the TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY and is, quite possibly, the most abhorrent thing humans do.

                      Also, one can not use a subjective tool of “i’m ok with it so you gotta be too” to determine what is and is not acceptable.

        4. “The environmental impact of human activities is either something that you see as part of the value calculation or it is not.”

          Then put a value on it; how much is it worth?

    6. NM: Would you agree that “rhetorical device” = lie?

      1. Ron Bailey,

        Not all rhetorical devices are lies.
        What an odd question.

        1. Wait…sorry. Misread what you were asking.

          You are asking if the rhetorical device used by Obama when he says “the transition to clean energy has the potential to grow our economy and create millions of jobs?but only if we accelerate that transition” is a lie.

          Well, not really. I think he is accurate to say that there is “potential” for these things to happen. How large a potential is a real question, but my point was that this is not the central reason that he or others support the policy. They support it because the value the central outcome, not the peripheral economic benefits.

          1. ^
            Doesn’t that make you dizzy?

            1. Only if you have difficulty with nuance.

              1. Neu Mejican|3.10.11 @ 6:25PM|#
                “Only if you have difficulty with bullshit.”
                FIFY

    7. Investment in research and development of cleaner energy technologies is a good idea because cleaner energy technologies will themselves be a benefit.

      Yeah if you call 2.2 jobs destroyed per ‘green’ job ‘created’ a ‘benefit’.

      Did you not read tho post you’re responding to?

  5. But what about the air, and trees, and fish and TIGERS? WHAT ABOUT THE TIGERS?!

    1. Bloody tigers.

    2. they need to be harvested for their Tiger Blood

  6. Nice to see Hazlitt, Hayek, and von Mises all mentioned in the same article, thanks!

    1. Hey, I’m pretty sure I’ve done that, too.

    2. i saw Hazlitt at LAMOMAM!

  7. Yo, fuck those man eating tigers.

  8. The logic of this article doesn’t hold up. It glosses over the fact that we are currently “invest”ing in coal and natural gas through massive government subsidies artificially manipulating the market. Removing those subsidies would allow for green energy to become more competitive on its own by closing the gap and letting consumers choose whether they want to pay extra to reduce the long term health and environmental costs of fossil fuels. A market is only free if the participants are making rational choices between products.

    1. Bill, can’t consumers already choose this? Aren’t they not choosing it in droves?

      I’m all for ending the subsidies too- but don’t let’s pretend that this will make everyone want to choose the more expensive product all of the sudden- especially considering that it’s not bringing the cost of green engergy down we’re talking about, but raising the cost of more traditional energy sources.

    2. Oh. Like excise tax on gasoline, right? Wait.

    3. It is common knowledge that all libertarians support government subsides for coal and oil. Common knowledge.

    4. No libertarian has any issue with removing any government subsidy. To the extent that fossil fuels are subsidized (for example, spending stupid amounts of money trying to keep a steady supply of cheap oil flowing from the middle east), those subsidies ought to be eliminated as well so that the true most preferred option wins.

    5. “. Removing those subsidies would allow for green energy to become more competitive on its own by closing the gap and letting consumers choose whether they want to pay extra to reduce the long term health and environmental costs of fossil fuels. A market is only free if the participants are making rational choices between products.”

      Fine. Drop those “MASSIVE SUBSIDIES” and we’ll talk.
      Or you could start by proving there are “MASSIVE SUBSIDIES”.

    6. I keep hearing about these massive subsidies. How is the nat. gas industry receiving massive subsidies?

      1. “How is the nat. gas industry receiving massive subsidies?”

        Not sure it is, but it’s not for a lack of effort on the part of T. Boone.

    7. Re: Bill,

      It glosses over the fact that we are currently “invest”ing in coal and natural gas through massive government subsidies artificially manipulating the market.

      The subsidies may be there (I seriously doubt they’re honest-to-God subsidies) but you cannot escape physics. Wind and solar are not and will not be as efficient and compact sources of energy as coal, gas, oil or even nuclear energy.

    8. The green tech industry doesn’t pay the bills around here, buddy.

      1. The green tech industry can’t pay its own bills without tax money.

      2. Re: Tony,

        The green tech industry doesn’t pay the bills around here, buddy.

        “We’re poisoning the well,
        we’re poisoning the well,
        Hi-ho the merry-oh,
        we’re poisoning the well!”

        1. Dude you really need to get your fallacy detector turned down a little.

          I am not trying to poison the well. I’m trying to say explicitly that reason is funded by interests that have no concern for “free markets” but with maintaining their existing gravy trains and hobbling competing interests. There is no other rational reason why this outfit spends so much time bitching about green tech subsidies (evil socialism!) and virtually none bitching about the much more substantial subsidies to oil and coal (free market! cheaper energy! uh… look, squirrel!)

          1. Re: Tony,

            I’m trying to say explicitly that reason is funded by interests that have no concern for “free markets”

            http://philosophy.lander.edu/logic/person.html

            1. When my point is that the entire debate is affected by dishonest motives, it is indeed an ad hominem, but it’s not a fallacious one, since it’s relevant to the debate.

              1. No, it’s not.

                1. When Tony gets busted for one of his many lies, the goal posts behave as if they are on wheels.

          2. Interests that have no concern for free markets may fund interests that do favor free markets all they like.

            Where does Reason favor any subsidies, dumbass?

            1. It’s not that it advocates for subsidies, it’s just that it’s pretty selective about the ones it criticizes.

              1. You’re searching for contradictions that aren’t there. Go get a fucking hobby.

              2. Tony|3.10.11 @ 5:33PM|#
                “Some bullshit I heard someplace”

                Thanks, Tony, you’re good at that.

        2. was that the Irish Rovers?

  9. The environmental movement of green jobs is more than a religion than science. Obama has jumped on that bandwagon long ago.

  10. I feel like I’ve read this article before. I guess I sort of always feel that way about Stossel articles, but this one in particular.

    Anyway, it’s always worth pointing out that Stossel is a paid spokesperson for AEI and AEI is primarily funded by oil money.

    Not saying he’s not entitled to make all the money he can, but he really should quote other sources in his articles if he wants to play at being a journalist.

    1. “Anyway, it’s always worth pointing out that Stossel is a paid spokesperson for AEI and AEI is primarily funded by oil money.”

      Prove it.
      “According to People for the American Way, corporate donors to AEI have included the General Electric Foundation, Amoco, Kraft, Ford Motor Company Fund, General Motors Foundation, Eastman Kodak Foundation, Metropolitan Life Foundation, Procter & Gamble Fund, Shell Companies Foundation, Chrysler Corporation, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, General Mills Foundation, Pillsbury Company Foundation, Prudential Foundation, American Express Foundation, AT&T Foundation, Corning Glass Works Foundation, Morgan Guarantee Trust, Alcoa Foundation, and PPG Industries.”
      http://rightweb.irc-online.org….._Institute

    2. Oh, and prove he’s “a paid spokesperson for AEI”

      Or…………..
      Shut up.

  11. The automobile has been around for about 120 years now. In the early 20th century the competing technologies were gas (and diesel), steam and electric. The shortcomings of electric vehicles then, which caused it to lose to gasoline, are the same today. Batteries are heavy and expensive. Range is limited. Performance degrades as the charge is depleted. Charging time is long. Here we are 100 years later and proponent are arguing as if this is some emerging technology that just needs some government money to be viable. The solution to these problems is just over the horizon. Promise.

    1. I’m sure that someday we will have a solution–a better battery, or some completely new idea. The thing is, the government can’t make that day come faster no matter how wonderful or smart Saint Barack is or how much money he pisses away. It will happen when it happens; that’s the way life is.

      But our state worshippers just can’t accept that.

  12. ” If the environmental lobby wants Americans to be poorer, it ought to come clean about that.”

    Well they tried to come cleam but they’d already tanken all the phosphates out of the detergents, so they’re still dirty as hell even after they washed themselves 50 times.

  13. Does it make a difference that the presumed penalties on the existing energy industry are also mythical or that the European examples presuppose identical private: gov’t relationships?

    1. ^?
      Try again?

  14. I just had a traumatic event as I relieved all those blocked out memories of Captain Planet being on my local Fox affiliate as a kid.

  15. relived too lol

    1. All I know is, if I had Captain Planet’s powers, I’d be a supervillain- killing those kids and taking the rings would be my first move. Second? HAIRCUT!

  16. I really have trouble getting worked up over $2.3 billion in the federal budget. That’s what, one-half of one-tenth of one percent? 1/20%? Budget * .0005?

    While we’re talking principles, the estimates I’ve read show $72b in fossil fuel subsidies from 2002-2008, $29b for renewables in the same time period. “Renewables” here include the ridiculous ethanol subsidies, so even less for things like solar and wind. The estimate comes from the Environmental Law Institute, so there’s certainly an agenda, but I haven’t read anything saying the numbers are wrong.

    1. Jersey Patriot|3.10.11 @ 1:33PM|#
      “I really have trouble getting worked up over $2.3 billion in the federal budget. That’s what, one-half of one-tenth of one percent? 1/20%? Budget * .0005?”

      Translated from lefty-speak:
      “We can’t afford what we’re already doing, so let’s spend some more!”
      —————————-
      “While we’re talking principles, the estimates I’ve read show $72b in fossil fuel subsidies from 2002-2008, $29b for renewables in the same time period. “Renewables” here include the ridiculous ethanol subsidies, so even less for things like solar and wind. The estimate comes from the Environmental Law Institute, so there’s certainly an agenda, but I haven’t read anything saying the numbers are wrong.”

      Translated from lefty-speak:
      “We can’t afford what we’re already doing, so let’s spend some more!”
      And more, from the ELI “report”
      “The subsidies examined fall roughly into two categories: (1) foregone revenues (changes to the tax code to reduce the tax liabilities of particular entities), mostly in the form of tax breaks, and including reported lost government take from offshore leasing of oil and gas fields; and (2) direct spending, in the form of expenditures on research and development and other programs.”
      Seems most of the “subsidies” are the losses of presumed taxation.
      Flagged for BS.

      1. Oh, the lower tax rate = subsidy game. I hate that game. Unless your are receiving a check from the Treasury, you aren’t getting a subsidy. Letting anyone, be they individual, corporation, or dog, keep more of their own money is not subsidizing them.

        1. Why doesn’t it amount to a subsidy if your tax rates are lower than your competitors?

          1. Re: Tony,

            Why doesn’t it amount to a subsidy if your tax rates are lower than your competitors?

            My neighbor being robbed and not I does not mean ipso facto the robber subsidized ME, you nitwit.

            “Up is down” – the mind of the Statist fuck.

            1. Are you even capable of making an argument in the context of reality?

              1. Re: Tony,

                Are you even capable of making an argument in the context of reality?

                You mean making arguments that agree with you? Because that is what you’re saying. This “context of reality” is nothing more than obfuscation, a canard, to hide very sticky facts, like, for instance: government steals.

                1. taxes = theft in bizarro world.

                  1. Jim|3.10.11 @ 3:02PM|#
                    “taxes = theft in bizarro world”

                    Jim = stupid bon mots.

                  2. I wouldn’t go so far as to say all taxes = theft. But income tax is most definitely theft.

          2. “Why doesn’t it amount to a subsidy if your tax rates are lower than your competitors?”

            First, money kept /= money received.
            Secondly, prove the taxes are “lower”.

            1. This was a hypothetical, what’s to prove?

              The large oil corporations manage to almost completely get out of tax obligations.

              1. Tony|3.10.11 @ 2:02PM|#
                “This was a hypothetical, what’s to prove?

                So it was bullshit? Fine.

                “The large oil corporations manage to almost completely get out of tax obligations.”
                Prove it.

                1. He doesn’t have to prove it; he just knows it to be so because he read it on his favorite lefty talking points forum.

                  1. “He doesn’t have to prove it; he just knows it to be so because he read it on his favorite lefty talking points forum.”

                    I don’t doubt he can prove that some years, some companies didn’t pay taxes. Some years some companies didn’t make a profit.

              2. The large oil corporations manage to almost completely get out of tax obligations.

                That is a load of horseshit. Exxon Mobil’s tax liabilities for 2009 were 75 billion out of gross revenue of 310 billion. How you figure that’s getting out of tax obligations is beyond me.

                1. Because he thinks a tax rate lower than 110% is “getting out of tax obligations”.

                2. Most of that goes to countries other than the US. They won’t disclose how much they pay the US treasury.

                  1. You know, I’m tired of you. Back your worthless assertions up or fuck off. Until you can break down how much of that 75 billion went to which country, you don’t have a leg to stand on. Come back with some data or STFU.

                  2. Tony|3.10.11 @ 4:52PM|#
                    “more bullshit I read someplace”

                    Thanks, Tony, you’re good at that.

          3. Why doesn’t it amount to a subsidy if your tax rates are lower than your competitors?

            Today, at 1:54 p.m., the hapless Tony unwittingly argued for a flat tax.

          4. Are you actually arguing against progressive taxation?

            1. I think he did.

            2. No, I’m talking about businesses, not people, who are not generally referred to as competitors.

              The correct analogy would be if two people making the same amount of money had different income tax rates.

              1. Don’t understand our tax code much, do you? It is entirely possible for two individuals making the same gross income to have radically different effective tax rates.

                1. Well, in his defense, I’m not sure anyone does.

                2. When did I deny that?

      2. Well guess what? Obama’s $2.3b are tax credits. Happy days are here!

        1. Jersey Patriot|3.10.11 @ 1:59PM|#
          “Well guess what? Obama’s $2.3b are tax credits. Happy days are here”
          Cite please.

          “Insufficiently profitable to receive tax credits, the wind industry has depended on an annual $3 billion federal grant program for renewable energy projects (also extended for another year in the new tax bill). In addition, wind and solar industries have received more than $30 billion in 2009 stimulus funds which require taxpayers to cover 30% of all renewable energy costs. Wind and solar operators also benefit greatly from Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) mandated purchase quotas set by many state governments.”
          http://blogs.forbes.com/larryb…..ent-tests/

          1. Prove it? Sure: CNN article.

            It was the second Google result for “Obama green jobs initiative”. Now I have taught you to fish.

            1. “Prove it? Sure: CNN article.”
              I stand corrected; the 2.3Bn is tac credits

              “It was the second Google result for “Obama green jobs initiative”. Now I have taught you to fish.”
              And I notice you’re incapable of fishing for the “annual $3 billion federal grant program for renewable energy projects (also extended for another year in the new tax bill). In addition, wind and solar industries have received more than $30 billion in 2009 stimulus funds which require taxpayers to cover 30% of all renewable energy costs.”
              Hint; don’t flatter yourself.

        2. Tax credit /= tax cut. You get an F.

    2. Further:
      I didn’t see any mention in ELI’s “report” about the offsetting taxes *received* for gas use.
      In 2009, the US used 138Bn gallons of gas ( http://americanfuels.blogspot……ption.html ). Between the federal $0.184 and a state average of say $0.22/gal ( http://www.gaspricewatch.com/usgastaxes.asp )
      seems those “subsidies” are offset by a tax income of $55.4Bn in 2009 alone.
      Some “subsidies”.

  17. RC,

    They circumvented the WI law regarding open meetings which require 24 hours notice.

    The statute reads:

    Public notice of every meeting of a governmental body shall be given at least 24 hours prior to the commencement of such meeting unless for good cause such notice is impossible or impractical, in which case shorter notice may be given, but in no case may the notice be provided less than 2 hours in advance of the meeting.

    It looks like the conference committee was posted two hours before it began, in which case it was legally noticed provided if 24 hour notice was “impossible or impractical.”

    Certainly 24 hour notice was possible. However, given the illegal (and foreseeable) attempt by the unions to completely shut down the legislature by occupying and attempting to lock down the Capitol, I think there is a fair argument that longer notice was impractical.

    I understand a legal challenge has been filed in Madison, so we’ll see what the courts say.

    1. However, given the illegal (and foreseeable) attempt by the unions to completely shut down the legislature by occupying and attempting to lock down the Capitol, I think there is a fair argument that longer notice was impractical.

      That argument COULD BE MADE, but I don’t think it holds much water. I wonder why you think, btw, that it is illegal for citizens to “occupy” their own capital building.

  18. How can you disagree with a synopsis about green economics by a guy whose name is actually Green?

    1. This line of reasoning makes more sense than what the taxes = theft crowd is arguing.

      1. Shut up dipshit.

      2. Jim|3.10.11 @ 3:04PM|#
        “This line of reasoning makes more sense than what the taxes = theft crowd is arguing.”

        HIH would *you* know?

  19. “The subsidized jobs ‘created’ are, by definition, less efficient uses of capital than market-created jobs.”

    Please give me examples of a purely “market-created” job (i.e. one that is NOT subsidized in any way). I’ll make this easy for you buy eliminating: The entire energy industry, agriculture, heavy manufacturing, banking, finance, large sectors of the arts and entertainment industry, most of the construction industry, healthcare, education, security (duh). We should remember that “the market” and “the economy” are human artifacts manufactured through the use of force and coercion to compel people and objects to interact within a specific framework. The “science” of economics provides the illusion that this process was natural.

    1. Kjob,

      Just because the market has long since been corrupted, doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work on it’s own.

    2. “We should remember that “the market” and “the economy” are human artifacts manufactured through the use of force and coercion to compel people and objects to interact within a specific framework. The “science” of economics provides the illusion that this process was natural.”

      Bull………………………
      shit

      1. Some history:
        http://www.edge.org/3rd_cultur…..index.html

        Libertarians should find many things to like in this…and, I am sure, things with which to quibble.

        1. “References to media ecologist and Toronto School of Communication founder Marshall McLuhan appear throughout Rushkoff’s work”

          You’re right about the second, and as to “history”, well…

        2. More:
          “Whether it’s being done in honest ignorance, blind obedience, or cynical exploitation of the market, the result is the same: our ability to envision new solutions to the latest challenges is stunted by a dependence on market-driven and market-compatible answers.”

          Yep, those darn ‘market-compatible answers’ are a real pain to those who prefer unicorns.

          1. I don’t think you are getting his main point. Maybe this will help.

            “We can develop local and complementary currencies, barter networks, and other exchange systems independently of a central bank, and carry out secure transactions with our cell phones. “

            1. “”We can develop local and complementary currencies, barter networks, and other exchange systems independently of a central bank, and carry out secure transactions with our cell phones. ”

              Now, try to make that compatible with:
              “Whether it’s being done in honest ignorance, blind obedience, or cynical exploitation of the market, the result is the same: our ability to envision new solutions to the latest challenges is stunted by a dependence on market-driven and market-compatible answers.”

              You’re good at slinging bullshit; you should be able to ‘nuance’ your way into proving “up” = “down”

      2. your thoughtful response is much appreciated.

    3. Tobacconist?

      Markets are created by necessity. They provide goods that people need or want. Odd that you feel coerced to interact within the market. Perhaps you could become self sufficient and live off the land. It has been done before.

  20. Operating a vehicle accounts for the vast majority of its carbon footprint.

    Carbon footprint: A neologism that serves to give a sense of measure to a hobgoblin created by millenarists with a luddite bent.

    1. Old statist proverb:

      “When in doubt, cromulgate*”

      *cromulent + promulgate

    2. You are repeating yourself again.

    1. holy shit. how did you do that?

  21. Investment in research and development of cleaner energy technologies is a s>good bad idea because cleaner energy technologies will not themselves be a have an ancillary economic benefit.

    Begs the question, of course, as to whether what makes an idea good or bad is the ancillary economic benefits. Money is spent to get something of value…

    1. “Money is spent to get something of value…”

      OK, what is that, and what is the value of that?

    2. No. Money is not always spent to get something of value. It can be spent to get something of perceived value, such as an investment in a Ponzi scheme. This does not mean it was actually spent on something of value, just that the spender was taken for a ride.

      This could never, however, happen to the government, right?

  22. Dang.
    Stupid tags.

    Investment in research and development of cleaner energy technologies is a good bad idea because cleaner energy technologies will not themselves be a have an ancillary economic benefit.

    1. If your statement holds to be true- then we should not invest.

      1. That depends upon what outcome we as a society value.

  23. Neu Mejican|3.10.11 @ 5:41PM|#
    “That depends upon what outcome WE as a society value.”

    Something stinky in your pocket?

  24. JW|3.10.11 @ 2:00PM|#
    “Sorry Neu, but most people aren’t going to wear that hairshirt for some abstract principle with a nebulous value.”

    Neu believes the values are somehow transcendent of mere monetary matters; you have to be on a higher plane to understand them, right Neu?

  25. Uh-oh, Stossel is dissing the Founders.

  26. Benjamin Rush wrote “many” books about masturbation? How the hell many chapters can you choke out of that topic?

  27. I knew it. Women are all whores. (Thaddeus’ own words.)

  28. Oh no he didn’t. Now he’s dumping on MLK.

  29. Up next, in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day, green jobs!

  30. Ken Green talking smack about green jobs. How ironic.

  31. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS CLIMATE CHANGE BEYOND NORMAL CYCLICAL TRENDS.

    1. I had to get that off my chest.

  32. “Pols: Heroes or Zeros?”

    I say queeros.

  33. Ha, footage of Freddie Mercury era Stossel gives his audience a laugh.

  34. awesome. your post is great. its worth reading. thank you.

    http://www.mbtshoesbest.com

  35. Film is a different medium than print. Rather than characters making speeches, Rand’s philosophy ought to be shown via the characters doing something interesting.

  36. Whoa…since when did you guys start doing game commentary?

  37. This movie has some lebron 9 for sale of the same flaws I saw in another attempt at a faithful adaptation of a work of fantastic literature long thought unfilmable, Zach Snyder’s 2009 version of Watchmen…That is, it lebron 9 china for sale struck me as a series of filmed recreations of scenes from the famous novel

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.