Barack Obama

President Obama, Please "Cede Wind and Solar" to Germany and China

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Wind Turbine
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Back in March, 2012 President Barack Obama declared in a speech on "American-Made Energy" at the Ohio State University that …

…I am not going to cede the wind and solar and advanced battery industries to countries like China and Germany that are making those investments. I want those technologies developed and manufactured here in Ohio, here in the Midwest, here in America. By American workers. That's the future we want.

That's not the future we want, as the recent turmoil over Germany's failed solar and wind policies clearly shows any dispassionate non-ideological observer. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper is reporting a new study by Germany's government-appointed Expert Commission on Research and Innovation that finds Germany's aggressive renewable fuels policy under its Renewable Energy Resources Act (EEG) is near complete failure. The commission concludes that the renewable fuels subsidy programs under the EEG neither protects the climate nor spurs innovation and therefore should be entirely abolished.

The Britain-based Global Warming Policy Foundation summarizes the newspaper report:

The expert commission lists a number of reasons for their radical advice: There is the spiraling cost of 22 billion euros in green energy subsidies last year; there is also the over-estimated impact of climate change and especially the threat posed by the promotion "very low technology-specific innovation impact in Germany " . The technology argument in particular plays an important role in the political debate. […]

The EEG stipulates the subsidies for the sale of electricity from renewable energy sources. This enlarges the market for renewable technologies. The result is that the subsidies incentivise companies to exploit market potential rather than invest in research and development. Due to the rapid expansion of old technologies, accompanied by cost reductions, barriers to entry for new technologies could also emerge. The conclusion of the expert committee is devastating:  "The EEG can not be justified in its current form, not least from the perspective of innovation policy."

"For both reasons, therefore, there is no justification for the continuation of the EEG ," concludes the report which will be presented to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday.

The result of Germany's drive to make energy more expensive is that companies are fleeing Europe to make investments elsewhere. As the Financial Times reports:

BASF, the world's biggest chemical maker by sales, will make the most of its capital investments outside Europe for the first time, as it responds to the continent's higher energy costs and growing demand in North America and emerging markets such as China….

"In Europe we have the most expensive energy and we are not prepared to exploit the energy resources we have, such as shale gas. We have relatively high wage costs and we have a stagnating market," said Kurt Bock, BASF chief executive. 

Mr Bock has been a prominent critic of German and European Union climate and energy policies, arguing these are ineffective, raise costs for industry and cause job losses.

President Obama, please cede failed subsidy and industrial policies to Europe. Steeply rising energy prices and further deindustrialization is not the future you should want.

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127 responses to “President Obama, Please "Cede Wind and Solar" to Germany and China

  1. Wind and solar have been around my entire lifetime and are no closer to mass market-ready than before. Besides, isn’t it usually the green crowd that leads the squawking when windmills take out a few birds?

    1. I thought the bird was the first to squawk.

      1. greens are like the Lorax in Dr Seuss. They claim to speak for creatures and objects that “cannot” speak for themselves.

        1. Things won’t get better unless one socialist cares a whole lot, they just won’t.

    2. The green crowd squawks about anything and everything, logical consistency and burdens of proof be damned. That lack of consistency makes climate change politics the perfect vehicle for expanding arbitrary political power.

  2. Nice. I love those catastrophic failure pix.

  3. Like the US wouldn’t ultimately subsidize any European green energy initiative.

    1. We already sort of do, since our subsidies cause utilities to buy Vestas (?) wind turbines and solar crap from Germany and Spain.

      Also, the BASF story makes sense as NG is a big feedstock for chemicals and plastics and if it’s dirt cheap in the US, good place to open a factory.

  4. The triumph of wind, solar and electric cars is always just over the horizon.

    1. I ocularly perceive what you accomplished at that location.

    2. There really are no “electric” cars. We should begin calling them what they really are: Coal powered automobiles.

  5. Back in March, 2012 President Barack Obama declared in a speech on “American-Made Energy” at the Ohio State University

    Yeah, go Bailey!

  6. This is a case to end the subsidies – not cede the entire industry to others.

    End the O&G subsidies too.

    1. This is a case to end the subsidies

      Which is obviously what he meant by “cede the industry”…

      End the O&G subsidies too.

      What subsidies?

      1. PB is too stupid to see the difference between an actual subsidy, where money is taken from one party and given to solar and wind companies, and tax breaks where oil and gas companies get to keep their own money.
        One is an actual transfer from one party to another, the other is one party being forced to pay less to the government.
        But PB is too stupid or dishonest to see the difference.

        1. But PB is too stupid or dishonest to see the difference.

          And damn but is it hard to tell which it is most days.

        2. We’ve discussed this before, you idiot. A special tax break designed for one industry alone is a subsidy.

          1. A tax break is when I hold a gun to your head and demand ten dollars instead of the usual twenty.

            A subsidy is when I hold a gun to someone else’s head, demand ten dollars, and then give it to you.

            Moron.

            1. Well then you would favor accelerated depreciation JUST FOR GREEN ENERGY alone, right?

              Moron.

              1. GAAP is a libertarian plot.

              2. So you still cannot comprehend the difference between being allowed to keep money that was yours to begin with, and having money taken from someone else and being given to you.

                You’re dumber than Tony.

                1. Well then you would favor accelerated depreciation JUST FOR GREEN ENERGY alone, right?

                  Answer the question, you stupid jackoff.

                  1. Your question is meaningless.

                    1. Your question is meaningless.

                      Bullshit. You are too fucking stupid to understand it.

                      Why not give all green energy companies a 50 year federal and state tax exclusion? You would favor that since no one else is being “robbed” – don’t you?

                      C’mon. Answer this question. I want to see you backpeddle, you blustery fuckspittle.

                    2. What I favor or don’t favor is irrelevant.

                      All I was doing was pointing out the fact that you are too stupid to understand the difference between taking from one party and giving to another (subsidy), and allowing a party to keep their own money (tax break).

                      You’ve made it clear that you consider those two things to be the same, which puts you on the same level as Tony.

                      Not taking is giving and not giving is taking, right PBTony?

          2. What are the special tax breaks designed only for O&G? Whenever I’ve dug into this, it always turns out that the “special breaks” for O&G are things like quick depreciation schedules that all, or at least most, companies get.

          3. A special tax break is a tax break. If the money you are “being given” was yours to begin with, you weren’t given anything. Try rubbing together a couple of your brain cells to see if some logic is produced.

      2. What subsidies?

        Quoted for emphasis.

        1. BZZZZZZT!

          These subsidies are delivered through the tax code but they are essentially no different from government spending programs that provide money directly.

          Lol. You’re so fucking stupid you still make the joke even after the punchline was blown.

        2. This article pretty much confirms what I suspected- the “special” tax breaks are just accelerated depreciation rules. And every sector of American industry is getting those, so there is nothing “special.”

          1. I’m not getting them – and I’m depreciating at an alarming rate!

    2. Not having the government dump incentive destroying subsidies into the energy market isn’t “ceding the entire industry to others”.

    3. The industry cannot exist without subsidies. Which was the point from the beginning.

      There will be a new energy source when the current source becomes more expensive than the alternative. PERIOD!

  7. You’re asking Obama to end a program that’s expensive, useless, and entirely symbolic? HAHAHAHAHAHA!

  8. Silly Bailey, the results don’t matter – this is all about GOOD INTENTIONS!1!!

  9. What, you mean reality is real? You mean all those things I learned in school about physics and economics are mandatory? There are no leprechauns and unicorns?

    *sad face*

    1. I am sorry Francisco, but no you father doesn’t own the electric company, gas doesn’t come from the pump and electricity doesn’t come from the outlet.

      It is a big icky world out there that requires us to do all sorts of really uncool things to keep the lights on.

  10. The result of Germany’s drive to make energy more expensive is that companies are fleeing Europe to make investments elsewhere.

    Ron. I would just like to point out that carbon taxes, something you at least at one time were in favor of, would have exactly the same effect.

    Any effort to get the market to use forms of energy it is not already using is going to make energy more expensive. If those forms of energy you are promoting were not more expensive, they would already be used without your help.

    One of the fastest and best ways to make a country poorer is raise the cost of its energy production.

    1. I thought libertarians did not support political interference with markets for moral as well as practical reasons. Then there’s Ron Bailey, Nick Gillespie, Matthew Feeney, Steve Chapman and Shikha Dalmia regularly providing exceptions for their own personal favorite political interventions.

      1. so which anti-reason troll is this now?

        1. Wait, does pointing out logical and moral inconsistencies in the reasoning at Reason make him/her an anti-anti-reason, anti-Reason, or anti-anti-Reason-reason troll?

          1. I didn’t see him actually point out any inconsistencies.

          2. Argue the points, not the person. The hallmark of the anti-reason troll is that he has a chapped ass about the magazine’s personalities and attacks them personally whenever possible.

            1. Argue the points, not the person.

              *snort*

              That’s rich, coming from you.

              1. I did argue the points. I pointed out that certain Reason staff members are not consistent with the libertarian values they claim to hold. I didn’t call them smelly poopyheads.

          3. I’m on reason daily and buy subscirptions for my family members and donate to the reason foundation. But none of that matters because I don’t need to prove my allegiance in order to criticize. But still I’m an anti-reason troll when I disagree? Or even just pointing out inconsistency?

            1. you didn’t point out anything. you made allegations against people by name with no proof.

            2. Argue the points, not the person. The hallmark of the anti-reason troll is that he has a chapped ass about the magazine’s personalities and attacks them personally whenever possible.

              I didn’t see him actually point out any inconsistencies.

              I didn’t think that my single post had to encapsulate all my criticism of the positions of Reason staff in order for it be valid.

              1. you didn’t point out anything. you made allegations against people by name with no proof.

                In order to say that some libertarians hold rather unlibertarian positions, I must provide a detailed indictment. Okay massa, I be good.

                Dalmia- “Living wages aren’t so bad”

                Gillespie- “I love me some traditional welfare state.”

                Ron Baily- “I love me some vaccination so much that I should be able to sue your pants off when you don’t.”…”I also love me some carbon credits.”

                Feeney- “Rand Paul is a filthy plagiarist and No True Scotsman like me. By the way I love me some living wages.”

                Steve Chapman- If you really need me to explain his inconsistencies you’ve never read a Steve Chapman article.

                Will this “proof” will mean that you like me and we can get an apartment together finally?

                  1. One wonders what level of “proof” is required or sufficient to support an opinion.

                    It’s also a little ironic that you respond to the examples you requested with the internet equivalent of “I’M RUBBER YOU’RE GLUE!”

                    The Reason staff warms the cockles of your heart. Maybe even the subcockle area. Congrats. Why do you care if somebody else is less enamored of a couple of writers than you are?

                    “STOP NOT LIKING THE THINGS I LIKE!”

                    1. One wonders what level of “proof” is required or sufficient to support an opinion.

                      It’s also a little ironic that you respond to the examples you requested with the internet equivalent of “I’M RUBBER YOU’RE GLUE!”

                      The Reason staff warms the cockles of your heart. Maybe even the subcockle area. Congrats. Why do you care if somebody else is less enamored of a couple of writers than you are?

                      “STOP NOT LIKING THE THINGS I LIKE!”

                      My thoughts exactly. Enough with the cockle warming, I say.

                1. No offense FS, but I don’t need you to explain. Need you to provide links so I can see the context for myself, rather than take your interpretation at face value.

                  Every single one of us carves out exceptions to some degree on certain issues. Libertarianism has a few dark corners. But by and large the Reason staff is fairly consistent with adhering to libertarian principle.

                  I think anyone claiming otherwise is being disingenuous.

                  1. intellectual dishonesty FTL

                    So we aren’t getting an apartment together? Fine then.

                    No offense FS, but I don’t need you to explain. Need you to provide links so I can see the context for myself, rather than take your interpretation at face value.

                    No offense Fran, but I don’t need to scour the interwebs for direct links because you have an inability to use google and/or the search function at Reason.

                    I referred to their self-professed positions, I’m not claiming conspiracies or extramarital affairs. I’m not offering secret information here, it’s all out there. Want to find out whether Matthew Feeney supports living wages? Google it, or read his stuff.

                    I never said we should burn down Reason HQ and lynch the staff. I said that some of the staff apply their principles inconsistently. I don’t see how this information is all that groundbreaking unless you’re emotionally invested in some kind of idolatry of Reason writers.

      2. Advocating a sales tax on something–instead of income, corporate, or capital gains taxes–is not advocating for government interference in the economy.

        It’s advocating for less interference in the economy.

        And if you ask me, anybody that doesn’t want to get rid of the income tax and replace it with a sales tax–if that means doing so might be good for the environment? Is a phony libertarian.

        1. I am anti-sales tax but not because of the environment. I think it is an inefficient tax, is regressive as hell, and is too hidden and too easy for Congress to raise.

          1. You say regressive as though it’s a bad thing. Bout fucking time the other half had some skin in the game.

            1. We need a flat tax not a regressive one. Regressive is just as unfair as a progressive one.

              You are right, everyone should have some skin in the game. You can do that via a flat tax.

              1. “Regressive is just as unfair as a progressive one.”

                I don’t owe you money because I earned it, John.

                I owe you nothing except respect for your rights, and I insist that you respect mine.

                Imagining we have a right to other people’s money because they earned it is the essence of socialist wealth redistribution. That’s all the income tax is–whether the rates increase across the spectrum or stay flat.

                The socialists want to redistribute wealth through government spending. That is why we have an income tax.

                That is why I’m required to report how much money I make to the government or possibly face criminal prosecution. How could that possibly be okay from a libertarian perspective?

              2. A flat tax simply means the rich pay more for the exact same government services (IOW the rich subsidize the poor). If you want to go to a flat fee, I’m in.

                The thing about a (flat) sales tax is that it is at least voluntary to some extent.

                1. No Fransisco, a flat tax means everyone pays the same percent of their income. That way taxes don’t affect the marginal value of income. That makes things more efficient.

                  To achieve your goal, you would want a fee based tax system where everyone paid a set amount every year. I suppose you could do that, but it would be real hard to collect from people who couldn’t pay and you would play hell raising much money.

                  You are always going to at best have a flat percentage system because you are always going to have people who just can’t pay. So your dream of total tax equality is never going to be reached. The better way is to take a flat percentage and call it a day.

                  Lastly, there is no way to judge how much “good” someone gets out of paying taxes. Some people get all kinds of good and other hardly any at all. Where they are on the scale has nothing to do with their income. So you really can’t base taxes on that concept.

                  1. So your dream of total tax equality is never going to be reached.

                    John

                    Bullfuckingshit!

                    If this government was doing ONLY what it is supposed to do (i.e. protecting the rights of the individual) you could run the fucking thing on less than $1T a year. That’s $3225 for every man woman and child. THAT is easily doable. AND it would have the added benefit of keeping the growth of government in check as you will not be able to raise taxes on the poor.

                    Getting there? Your right. I’m thinking more for the next system after the US collapses.

                    1. That’s $3225 for every man woman and child. THAT is easily doable

                      In bizzaro world maybe. There are millions of people, orphans, homeless, criminals in jail, old people with no income who live on the charity of their families who would have no hope of paying that. You can’t get money from people who don’t have it. So that money would be made up by other people or not collected but still leaving some people paying and others not.

                      Jesus you are normally not this fucking stupid. Don’t let dogma and ideological purity cause you to think stupid things. No ideology or dogma fits perfectly into the real world. Thinking it does causes you to believe really dumb things and this is one of them.

                    2. Jesus you are normally not this fucking stupid. Don’t let dogma and ideological purity cause you to think stupid things. No ideology or dogma fits perfectly into the real world. Thinking it does causes you to believe really dumb things and this is one of them.

                      Fuck you John, you arrogant cock. If you have an argument, make it. I’m not going to listen to ad homs from you.

                      As to your actual argument, you solve it yourself when you use the word charity. CHarity is voluntarily taking care of those that cannot take care of themselves. NOT government forcing me to.

                      Of course not everyone is going to pay it. But that is the expectation, and you make it abundantly clear that if you aren’t you are not doing your part. As opposed to now, where the fucking deadbeats are hidden in the tax code and made to feel that it’s okay for someone else to be paying their freight.

                    3. Of course not everyone is going to pay it. But that is the expectation, and you make it abundantly clear that if you aren’t you are not doing your part.

                      Yeah, the whole point of your system is so that everyone pays. So there being an exception defeats the whole purpose. No shit, there are exceptions. There always are. So what is the point of adopting a system because it makes “everyone pay” when in reality it won’t do that anymore than any other system?

                      And as far as “not doing your part”, fuck you with that shit. Since when is every human being a tool of the state owing a fixed share regardless of circumstances? That is downright fascist.

                      Taxes are a necessary evil to be collected in the least damaging way possible. They are always going to be unfair and somewhat uneven. So committing to the fetish of “fairness” or “equality” with them is counter productive and stupid.

                2. “The thing about a (flat) sales tax is that it is at least voluntary to some extent.”

                  Yeah, that’s right. You can choose not to pay the tax.

                  I can accept the idea that I should have to pay a tax to use the streets, etc.

                  But I will never accept that I owe the government money because I earned it.

                  There’s more than one moral dimension to this, too. It’s not just that it’s immoral to take people’s money because they earned it–it’s also that the income perpetuates a certain value system, in which taking things that don’t belong to you is perfectly acceptable.

                  If you wonder why more people today have a sense of entitlement? Well, here’s a likely suspect. Maybe it isn’t just because the government gives away so much stuff. Maybe it’s because they takes so much money from their earnings–with impunity–too.

                  1. Ken,

                    I don’t see how the government making me pay them because I want to buy something is any morally better or worse than saying I owe it to them because I earned it.

                    If that makes you feel better, good for you. But I don’t see how that is any sort of a significant moral distinction. Since when is my “earning income” somehow better or sacrosanct than my spending the income? I don’t see any difference. It is still my money in both cases.

                    1. I don’t see any difference. It is still my money in both cases.

                      You can avoid the sales tax. You can’t avoid the income tax. For me, that is a big difference. I would love to see a national sales tax as the only tax at the federal level.

                    2. You can avoid the sales tax.

                      Not if it is uniform. Either I can’t use my money for anything or I buy something that the government has chosen not to tax, which is nothing but a special incentive the government has created. By your logic, income tax is avoidable since you can avoid it by making the forms of income that are not subject to the tax.

                      I would hate to see a national sales tax. It would sky rocket as politicians realized people didn’t notice it as much as they do the income and it would be just as prone to graft as various favorite industries got their products to be exempt.

                      In an ideal world, it could work. But we don’t live in an ideal world. We live in a world where the political class cannot be trusted with such power.

                    3. In an ideal world, it could work. But we don’t live in an ideal world. We live in a world where the political class cannot be trusted with such power.

                      That’s why you write your tax code into your Constitution.

                    4. That’s why you write your tax code into your Constitution.

                      LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

                      Because the Constitution can’t be amended or just tortured to mean what the political class via the courts want it to or anything. Really. Just fucking stop it. On rainbow puppy island, I am sure a constitutional limit of a 5% national sales tax would work great. Tell me when the next flight for there leaves.

                      Back in the US of A, that limit would be effectively meaningless withing a decade.

                    5. Okay you little snot nosed fucking cunt. It’s apparent you have no intention of having a rational conversation. I don’t know what your fucking problem is this morning, but I’m not going to sit here and be insulted.

                      That’s twice, and I’m fucking done with you.

                    6. “You can avoid the sales tax.”

                      And that doesn’t even take all the market efficiencies of making the tax a sales transaction…

                      Note, too, when the economy goes into recession, tax revenue goes down, encouraging budget cutting rather than stimulus.

                      Right now, if you want to lower taxes during a recession, you need an act of Congress and the signature of the president.

                      You don’t need that with a sales tax. When spending goes down during a recession, people buy less, and tax revenue goes down.

                    7. And that doesn’t even take all the market efficiencies of making the tax a sales transaction…

                      That is completely counter to reality Ken. Sales taxes are transaction costs. They create inefficiencies. Since you only have to pay the tax when you sell the item, there is an incentive to make as few transactions as possible. This encourages vertical integration of industries where it otherwise wouldn’t occur. If I own the coal mine, I don’t have to pay the sales tax when I get coke for my steal mill, where as I would if I bought it on the market.

                      Sales taxes create all kinds of second order effects in inefficiencies. In fairness all taxes do. But please stop claiming they are without inefficiencies. It is just not true.

                      It never fails to amaze me how people who claim to love the free market so often have no idea how it actually works in practice.

                    8. “But please stop claiming they are without inefficiencies. It is just not true.”

                      I didn’t say there weren’t any inefficiencies associated with sales taxes.

                      I did say that compared to income, corporate, and capital gains taxes they’re nothing. It’s a question of magnitude, right?

                      Relatively speaking, one is kid jumping on a bed, and the other is a magnitude 7.0 on the Richter scale. Let’s stop pretending that because a kid jumping on a bed also makes a lot of noise, we shouldn’t stop creating massively destructive earthquakes for ourselves.

                    9. I don’t see how the government making me pay them because I want to buy something is any morally better or worse than saying I owe it to them because I earned it.

                      Because if you exempt food and clothing, you have a choice to not pay.

                    10. Hell, you can grow your own food, too.

                      I know some Rastas down on the beach in Venice who make their own clothes.

                      They sell them to tourists for profit, too.

                    11. That is idiotic Fransisco. That is like saying if the government put a million dollar tax on every weapon except handguns that wouldn’t be an infringement on your second amendment rights. Hey, if you just buy handguns, you don’t have to pay the tax.

                      Sorry, but if you just buy what the government says you can, you don’t have to pay doesn’t make a tax any less of an infringement on my freedom.

          2. Then make food, clothing, medicine, and housing exempt from the sales tax. Those are the things poor people spend most of their money on, anyway. Add shelter and energy costs if necessary/applicable.

            1. But then you end up with something just as complicated and prone to graft as the income tax. And once you start exempting things you will get into all kinds of second order effects.

              To me the better way is a straight up flat tax on all forms of income. I might grant a lifetime exemption of say a million on savings and capital gains. We need to encourage the middle class to save more and that would do it.

              Beyond that, one form of income should not be favored over another just like one form of spending should not be favored over another.

              1. We need to encourage the middle class to save more and that would do it.

                Who is this we you speak of?

                1. The government. The government is going to collect taxes somehow. And how it collects it is going to necessarily affect incentives. So the argument that the government shouldn’t have preferences doesn’t apply here. Unless you want to get rid of taxes and government all together, your tax policy is going to affect incentives and you need to make a decision on what incentives you want it to affect and how.

                  Sorry but the standard Libertarian line doesn’t apply in this case. Given that we have to choose the effects, we are better off choosing a system that encourages the middle class to save.

          3. By way of comparison, there’s nothing inefficient about sales taxes. Sales taxes are more subjected to market forces than any other form of taxation. Hell, consumers are figuring in the cost of the tax every time they make a purchase!

            Consumers and businesses get to decide whether the tax is acceptable every time they make a purchase! All those millions of consumers and businesses deciding on whether the tax is worth it–dozens of times a day every day–what could be more efficient than that?

            That doesn’t even compare from an efficiency perspective to corporate or income taxes. I owe you money because I earned it? The more good I do the economy, the more the tax hurts? Income taxes and corporate taxes are about the most inefficient forms of taxation possible.

            1. Hell, consumers are figuring in the cost of the tax every time they make a purchase

              Not always. A VAT tax is hidden. The price is what it is to the consumer. Sure it is there, but most people won’t bother to notice after a while.

              And sales taxes can be just as inefficient as income taxes. You can over emphasize savings just like you can over incentivize consumption. Japan did this. If your savings rate is too high, you don’t have a domestic market large enough to drive your economy. Once Congress saw the gravy train of the hidden VAT, no way would they resist raising it too high.

              All of the inefficiencies you point out to the income tax can be fixed by a flat tax. And yes, I would get rid of the corporate income tax. I would tax personal income and nothing else.

        2. At what point did anyone anywhere propose a carbon tax to replace ANY other form of taxation?

          1. Oh, I’ve been proposing it for a long time. Years.

            And it derives necessarily from the stated goals of the environmentalists who want to combat global warming.

            Because of the magnitude of the problem, to fix AGW–according to their models–we would have to tax carbon emissions at such a high rate, it would bring in as much as our economy currently bears in income taxes, corporate taxes, and capital gains taxes–all put together. There’s no way the economy can bear that tax burden without collapsing, so they’re gonna have to pick and choose…

            In fact, if we maintain our current tax rate as a percentage of GDP, we’re gonna have to get rid of every other tax–other than a carbon tax–in order to satisfy their models and save the world from global warming. The American people will never support that level of taxation–if they ADDED a carbon tax big enough to solve the problem on top of all the other taxes we pay.

            In the meantime, I’m more than happy to pay a carbon sales tax rather than income, corporate, or income taxes–all three? Are you kidding?! I’m happy to do that even if global warming is a hoax. I’ve been looking for way to get rid of income taxes all my life.

            1. So the left needs to split.

              Anybody that isn’t willing to save the world from global warming–if doing so means they can’t redistribute other people’s wealth through income, corporate, and capital gains taxes?

              Is a phony environmentalist. They’re really socialists is what they are. And if that causes a big split on the left? Then I think that’s great.

              Meanwhile, anybody who doesn’t want to get rid of the income, corporate, and capital gains taxes on the right–if doing so means giving in to something that matters to environmentalists?

              I’m gonna call them phony capitalists. Because without income, corporate, and capital gains taxes in this country, we’ve made a giant leap towards eradicating socialism in this country–permanently.

              1. Fair enough as far as you’re concerned, but that’s never really been floated as a serious policy proposal in political circles and it certainly wasn’t what Bailey was defending when we wrote in support of carbon taxes.

                Of course, regardless of what it is that you tax, it’s necessarily going to be oppressive to sustain our current level of spending. There are practical advantages in terms of incentives to choosing one type over another, but at the end of the day you’re still getting bled. Americans still can’t reconcile their dueling desires for libertarian taxation and a Marxist welfare state.

                1. Libertarians proposing resolutely anti-liberty proposals because that proposal is less anti-liberty than the another anti-liberty proposal is a bit ridiculous.

                  It’s like libertarians supporting the extermination of all but one Native American because that’s not as bad as exterminating every single one of them. Ergo, win for liberty.

                  1. What’s anti-liberty about sales taxes. Have you read the rest of this thread?

                    1. What is anti-liberty about taxes you say…

                      Do I need to answer that, or is this some sort of sick, tasteless rhetorical question?

                  2. What’s anti-liberty about sales taxes. Have you read the rest of this thread?

                  3. What’s anti-liberty about sales taxes. Have you read the rest of this thread?

                  4. What’s anti-liberty about sales taxes. Have you read the rest of this thread?

    2. something you at least at one time were in favor of

      Up to and including the last time he wrote on the subject to the best of my recollection.

    3. “Any effort to get the market to use forms of energy it is not already using is going to make energy more expensive.”

      How much of our military budget has the effect of keeping the price of oil down for countries like Germany?

      Some of these technologies would make a lot more sense if the U.S. taxpayer weren’t effectively shouldering the real price of oil for German consumers, too.

      You know, they don’t have any oil in Germany. They don’t have any in Japan, either. How much would those consumers be paying if it weren’t for the trillions American taxpayers have spent on our military?

      1. How much of our military budget has the effect of keeping the price of oil down for countries like Germany?

        That is fucking idiotic Ken. What you are telling me is that the only reason we aren’t using these products is because the middle east hasn’t devolved into chaos thank the the US military.

        First, that is complete fantasy. What do you think the Arabs are going to do with that oil if not sell it? We could go fortress America tomorrow and I am pretty sure everyone who has oil is going to still want to sell it.

        Second, even if it were true, the US military budget is so far removed from the actual price of oil is it a meaningless point. If no one in the world had any government, what would the price of oil be? By your logic every dollar of tax money is subsidy to the evil fossil fuels. Yeah, the US and most countries like a stable and peaceful world in which to do business in and that generally means the price of oil is lower for that. But that doesn’t make oil any more or less subsidized than any other product.

        These forms of energy suck. They are expensive and unreliable. Stop with the fantasy that they would really work if we just made things fair.

  11. “The result is that the subsidies incentivise companies to exploit market potential rather than invest in research and development. Due to the rapid expansion of old technologies, accompanied by cost reductions, barriers to entry for new technologies could also emerge.”

    Honestly!

    It’s hard enough for new technologies to compete in the marketplace without competing with government subsidies.

    …but it’s hard enough for some older technologies to compete with fossil fuels without having to compete with newer technologies that are getting subsidies, too.

    “Based on recent prices, ground-source heat pumps currently have lower operational costs than any other conventional heating source almost everywhere in the world. Natural gas is the only fuel with competitive operational costs, and only in a handful of countries where it is exceptionally cheap, or where electricity is exceptionally expensive.[4] In general, a homeowner may save anywhere from 20% to 60% annually on utilities by switching from an ordinary system to a ground-source system.[38][39]”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G…..#Economics

    1. Why didn’t you C&P these parts?

      Capital costs may be offset by government subsidies, for example, Ontario offered $7000 for residential systems installed in the 2009 fiscal year.

      Governments that promote renewable energy will likely offer incentives for the consumer (residential), or industrial markets. For example, in the United States, incentives are offered both on the state and federal levels of government.[50] In the United Kingdom the Renewable Heat Incentive provides a financial incentive for generation of renewable heat based on metered readings on an annual basis for 20 years for commercial buildings. The domestic Renewable Heat Incentive is due to be introduced in Spring 2014.[51]

      If you’re going to lament subsidies, as a libertarian, please lament them all.

      1. I was just giving one example of an older technology that’s being forced to compete with a new technology, when the newer technology is highly subsidized.

        In Germany, geothermal heat pumps would be more competitive–across the board–if there were no subsidies for anything. Given how little natural gas is in Germany, geothermal heat pumps may be even more competitive than natural gas.

        The point is that they were touting solar–I think for reasons other than the environment. They wanted to nurture an industry so they could create jobs. That’s what it was to Obama in the U.S. There’s not much new technology–or new manufacturing jobs–in geothermal heat pumps. It’s a heat pump and some hose!

    2. Ken,

      If the new technology is good enough to justify its adoption, it will get adopted eventually.

      What you are forgetting is capital costs. Being better than current technology is not good enough. The new tech has to be so much better it justifies the cost of switching.

      1. The capital costs of solar aren’t negligible either–and they’re less so because of government subsidies for solar.

        And I don’t believe Germany has a lot of natural gas.

        Geothermal heat pumps might be the market low price leader–even taking capital costs into consideration in Germany. …and that’s not even taking the fact that the U.S. is spending trillions of dollars to keep the cost of oil down through military spending.

        1. A lot of things might be true Ken. If they are, they will happen. What you are telling me is, if everything I hope is true is, this will work.

          You know how much money it would cost to put geothermal heat pumps in every fucking house in a country the size of Germany? You buy a hell of a lot of gas from Russia or coal from the US for that kind of money.

          Why do you believe in these fantasies. Solar isn’t going to work, ever. You need power to be consistent and available. Getting a ton of power on a sunny day doesn’t cut it, even in a place where the sun shines all of the time, which is not most of the world.

      2. Incidentally, cost savings can and do finance up front capital costs.

        You put the system in when you’re digging your footers on a new building anyway, and it makes even more sense.

        I’m not saying they’re the solution to everything, and everyone should go out and buy one.

        I’m saying they’re competitive with solar–and in places without much natural gas, they may be the most competitive thing on the market.

        Hell, they last for like 30 or 40 years. The working parts consist of a pump in your garage.

        1. Incidentally, cost savings can and do finance up front capital costs.

          Yes. And if they did, people would be doing it. They don’t and thus these technologies don’t get adopted absent government interferences.

          and for the last fucking time, the US could disappear and the Arabs would still be selling oil. What the fuck are they going to do with it? Drink it?

  12. Steeply rising energy prices and further deindustrialization is not the future you should want.

    However it is exactly the future that he does want.

    1. yada yada necessarily skyrocket blah blah look, a squirrel, blah blah

  13. Back then, Obama was touting green technologies being made in America primarily as a jobs program. This is why he was underwriting companies like Solyndra, too. He was hoping to bring displaced UAW workers, et. al. into “green economy” jobs.

    In other words, their economic illiteracy isn’t just restricted to not knowing anything about how to create sustainable* jobs. Take a look at what their subsidies do to the real environmental solutions where the rubber meets the road, and their incompetence and ignorance of economics is making the environment worse than it would be otherwise in the name of saving it, too.

    *I made a funny!

    1. Obama’s executive branch of government is the biggest polluter in the United States by a wide margin. A margin so wide, that you could fit three of them into Sandra Fluke’s sniz.

  14. Tough days for the Church of Carbontology and all their windmills and rainbows. Now even the trendy Europeans are going “WTF?” as they slowly wake up in some eco-tourist hotel after getting roofied, groped, and robbed by the likes of Michael Mann.

    1. Church of Carbontology

      Always fun to re-read this bit by Mike Crichton ever so often to remind myself of the mentality we’re up against with these people.

      1. Wow, thanks! I’d always quoted Feynman’s discussion of Cargo-cult science and some of G. K. Chesterton’s work. But this is just as good and way more contemporary/familiar. Too bad he’s gone.

      2. He died way too young.

  15. The EEG stipulates the subsidies for the sale of electricity from renewable energy sources. This enlarges the market for renewable technologies. The result is that the subsidies incentivise companies to exploit market potential rather than invest in research and development.

    I feel like Waylon Jennings needs to start narrating this stuff;

    “Now, I dunno ’bout you, but when I hear that the Germans have a plan for energy reform, I get the idea that people oughta pay attention…”

    “…Once again, the market snookered the Top Men and their Best Laid Plans again! But you better believe that the Top Men aren’t ready to give up yet and that ‘ole market will never run out of tricks.”

  16. As per my comment on “Global Warming” last night – THIS IS WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT.

    People can “agree” 100% about the so-called ‘settled science’ that the Prog/Greens want to foist on the public. We can ACCEPT all that. We can *assume* the worst forecasts in the climate models – even though they’ve already been demonstrated to be fraudulent….

    …and we can STILL, 100% call your stupid green-energy policy a heaping crock of useless shit WITHOUT ever even addressing the underlying “problem”? WHY? because it does nothing about the problem, and in fact may make things worse by eating up billions of $ in efforts distracting people from useful, rational economic behaviors.

    *This* is the debate they don’t want to have, so instead they accuse critics of being “against the science”. Its a bullshit rhetorical gimmick and Matt, Kmele, Kennedy should have ripped those people’s head with this point.

  17. I demand H&R provide me with links to sweet salty Green-tears over the failure of their most prominent Enviro-friendly national policy.

    Mother Jones, perhaps?

    1. I think they are mostly in the denial stage right now. They still believe. The tears are probably a year or two off. None of them seem to have noticed that Europe is throwing this shit in the trash can and going back to effective forms of energy production.

      1. The tears are probably a year or two off.

        There is an actual Carbontology calendar: The 2014 UN Carbontology Confab sometime this summer in New York, and then another in Paris sometime in 2015.

        The Paris confab is where all Carbontology’s chips are on the table, because that’s the date when the big Carbontology treaty that institutionalizes funding for their cult via public teat in perpetuity is supposed to be made.

        Beware.

  18. “Steeply rising energy prices and further deindustrialization is not the future you should want,” but that is precisely what the entire radical left DOES want.

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