Tom McLaughlin

A former history teacher, Tom is a columnist who lives in Lovell, Maine. His column is published in Maine and New Hampshire newspapers and on numerous web sites. Email: tommclaughlin@fairpoint.net

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Subsidizing Stupid

I don’t want to buy any windmills and I don’t want to buy any solar panels. Most especially though - I don’t want to pay for other people to buy them either. But my government is taking my money and giving it to them. I don’t like that. I don’t like it one bit. If hippie greenies are foolhardy enough to pay more for their heat and electricity because it’s “green,” they’re free to do that. It would be none of my business as long as I didn’t have to pay for their silliness.
 
I don’t want to buy an electric car either - and I don’t want to pay for other people to buy them. But again, my government is taking my money and giving it to people who manufacture those cars - and more of my money to still other people who buy them. I don’t like that. It annoys me greatly.

There are lots of reasons why windmills don’t cut it as a power source, but the biggest is this: calm days. Sometimes the wind doesn’t blow. Sometimes it doesn’t blow for several days running. Ergo, no electricity. Whatever activities require it are not possible until the wind blows again whenever that may be. Sailboats have the same trouble; that’s why they’re only used for recreation now.

Here’s why solar panels don’t cut it: the sun doesn’t shine at night and days are often cloudy. What do we do on calm, cloudy days? We have to use the good old coal, oil, or natural gas generators. We have to keep that whole infrastructure in place and maintained on calm, cloudy days. Hippie greenies haven’t solved those problems and probably never will, but that doesn’t stop them from voting for “green” politicians who siphon money from my pocket to pay for their ridiculous notions.
 
There’s yet another major problem with windmills: When the wind blows hard for a day or two, the power generated - which the electricity utility is forced by government to buy at above-market rates no less - could burn up the whole grid causing extensive, long-term blackouts! Because of this, Maine utility companies have to spend $1.4 billion to beef up transmissions lines against those windmill surges driving up their transmission rates by 19.6% as of July 1, 2012. Transmission costs are about half my total monthly electric bill here in western Maine. In spite of enormous, long-term government subsidies - money from me and you, that is - windmills remain the most expensive way to generate electricity by far, and there’s nothing on the horizon to indicate that will ever change.

I have a generator to use when the grid shuts down, but I don’t want to generate my own power because it’s cheaper and more reliable to buy it from Central Maine Power (CMP). However, even when I send checks to CMP each month, much of that money goes to greenies and their windmills. That’s because CMP is forced by government to buy excess power from their windmills whether it’s needed or not and at inflated price as well! That means self-righteous hippie greenies can buy power at market rates when the wind doesn’t blow - and sell it at above-market rates when it does. This infuriates me.

I don’t want ethanol in my gasoline either, but I cannot buy gasoline that doesn’t contain it. Hippie greenies have forced that on me too. Worse, government is making me pay for ethanol even though it costs more than gasoline - and I get less energy from it. I have to pay for its subsidies in my taxes and I have to pay for it again when I pump it into my gas tank. I know government does dumb things, but I especially hate it when it forces me to cooperate in its stupidity. We’ve known since at least 2005 that it takes at least 29% more energy to produce a gallon of ethanol than you get from it when you burn it. Worse still, it damages small engines like my chainsaws, lawnmowers, four-wheelers, generators, and every other small gasoline engine most of us have. Can we please, please stop this ethanol craziness? Please?

Maine’s Governor LePage is negotiating with Quebec Hydro to buy cheaper, more reliable electricity, but his biggest opponents are the hippie greenies who want to keep their windmill gravy train rolling here. Since the November election, they’re back in control of Maine’s legislature and likely to thwart LePage’s efforts. Greenies love President Obama because he wasted somewhere between $80 billion and $90 billion of taxpayer money on “Green Energy” development, while doing his best to shut down cheaper, more reliable, more dependable sources of energy from fossil fuels.
Looks like I’ll be forced to subsidize all this greenie government foolishness for the next several years at least. Sometimes I wish I were as stupid as they are, because then it wouldn’t all piss me off so much.

Labels: , , , , ,

58 Comments:

Anonymous Eric said...

WAAAAAAHHHH, big baby doesn't care about polluting the earth and screwing it up for future generations, big baby only cares about himself and his wallet. ME, ME , ME!!!


Big baby need a tissue?

1/22/13, 12:40 PM  
Anonymous Ted R. said...

Surprised you left out one of Maine's biggest "winners" when it comes to the Hippe Green Windmilling subsidies......our ownest own Senator Angus King!

1/22/13, 12:49 PM  
Anonymous Fred said...

You think someone like Tom would have to sacrice a little tiny bit for the good of the future WITHOUT whining like a baby?

Thank god the generations that came before him didn't
have his selfish attitude or who knows where we would be.

1/22/13, 12:54 PM  
Anonymous Brian said...

Ah, yes, that “wasted” money spent of alternative energy. Like all that money the government wasted trying to come up with the internet. Ooops, that turned into a success. Or like all that money “wasted” on trying to come up with a cure for cancer and other diseases.
They say that some primates can consider the future when it comes to making decisions. Perhaps Tom can still work his way up the evolutionary chain.

1/22/13, 1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Impatience. Also a trait of babies and toddlers. If something is not perfected quickly then damn it, and stick with the status quo. Even if the status quo is polluting the sh$& out of the planet.

Why work on trying to make things better if we can't have it RIGHT NOW! ME, ME!

1/22/13, 1:43 PM  
Anonymous Paul said...

You would think Tom would be embarrassed slinking back in with a new post after avoiding questions on earlier ones. Oh well - when you have no pride or dignity......

1/22/13, 1:44 PM  
Anonymous Greg said...

Tom is so entertaining.

Stupid people are funny!!!!!

1/22/13, 1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you, Tom. Excellent piece.

All industry should be self sustaining and not subsidized by the government.

We are getting slammed here in California by very high electricity prices and it's increasingly difficult to pass these additional costs on to our customers.

Green energy is a form of double taxation. 1. Take my taxes. 2. Pay higher prices for goods and services.

You nailed this piece.

1/22/13, 2:02 PM  
Anonymous Larry said...

Once again you nailed it, Tom. We need more great thinkers like you. People who are only concerned with the here and now, and not get caught up worrying about our actions "might" cause disaster in the future. Who cares about "future" people? Trying to take our money to help people that are just babies now or not even born. CRAZY! Like "pollution" is even real. Conspiricies. The planet will be fine.

YOU DA MAN, TOM!!!

1/22/13, 3:16 PM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

Larry:

Almost half the money you greenies are taking is from babies not even born yet. You're sending them the bill, with interest, for your screwball technologies just so you and many of the posters above can feel morally superior to the rest of us who are forced to pay for it.

1/22/13, 3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If these new ideas are so great, why can't companies figure out how to sell them at a reasonable price so they they don't have be subsidized by our tax dollars. When we went from iron to steel in the 19th century, the govt didn't subsidize the steel industry. The plastics industry was not subsidized by the govt.in the 20th century. The electricity industry was not subsidized in the 19th century. Private businesses and industries should not be subsidized by tax dollars. This is a free, democratic, capitalist society. Not a socialist one, yet.

1/22/13, 4:30 PM  
Anonymous Peter said...

To the last anon and Tom - bone up on your history. There is nothing at all unusual about giving new energy sources a little help. It is, in fact, the American way.

qn.som.yale.edu/content/should-government-subsidize-alternative-energy

Energy subsidies have been a constant in American history, literally going back to the country's earliest days, and these subsidies have been crucial in America's overall economic development.

Although it is not at all apparent from the political discourse these days, the inflation-adjusted support for new energy sources is much lower today than it's been at any previous point in our history.

Growing supplies of new energy sources have been key to the continuous expansion of the American economy over time.
New energy sources did not simply emerge as the result of free-market forces. Rather, the government heavily subsidized each new energy source, often at both the federal and state level. On an inflation-adjusted basis, we learned, the subsidies for "traditional" energy sources in their early growth days—coal, oil, gas, and nuclear—were many, many times what we are spending on renewables today.

modern renewable energy sources are competing against enormous entrenched infrastructure. That is to say, today's renewables subsidies are performing the same task as yesterday's oil and gas subsidies: driving the sector's growth in order to further innovation, lower costs, and deliver a diverse and secure energy portfolio for future generations.

Just as critically, many early energy subsidies were never phased out, even as the energy source became ubiquitous and ostensibly "profitable." Put more bluntly, coal, oil, and gas aren't running in this race unaided; much of the time, as taxpayers, we continue to carry these industries on our backs. The best example of an industry with a massive, if largely hidden, history of special treatment is coal, which has gotten help for centuries—

It is simply false to describe renewables as sops of federal money; in fact, renewables get relatively less government help, not more, than their traditional competitors ever did.

1/23/13, 8:16 AM  
Anonymous Larry said...


Tom - you would rather have future generations live in a completely polluted world so that they can save some bucks?

"You can't fish, can't hunt, hell, you can't breath the air without getting sick, your land has been ruined by fracking, stay out of the water, but look at the bright side kid, we saved you enough money by eliminating subsidies that you can buy yourself a tank of gas or two. You're welcome kid! I was only thinking about what is best for you!"

1/23/13, 8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


It's called progress. Ask Germany. Not a Bunch of greenies. Just a country with vision and technology. Your attempt at politicizing solar and wind demonstrates you have not a clue. It ain't about politics tom. And, always know the source of your info. Meaning, the corporate media may have an agenda here other usa?

"Solar energy is on the rise in Germany, with a record 1.3 million photovoltaic systems in 2012. The increase comes as new consumer taxes on energy are to take effect in the country.
The recent solar boom means the alternative form of energy now reaches 8 million homes in Germany, a 45 percent increase compared to 2011, the German Solar Industry Association (BSW) said on Tuesday.
"Germany is now reaping the fruits of its efforts in solar technology," said the BSW's chief executive, Carsten Körnig. "Its share of the power supply has quadrupled in just three years. At the same time, the price of a new solar power system installation has halved."
The new numbers come as a consumer tax increase on energy takes effect. Starting this month, taxes will increase on consumer power bills from 3.6 euro cents ($4.76 cents) to 5.3 cents per kilowatt hour in a bid to help finance the cost of the country's switch to renewable energy.
For the average three-person household in Germany, that 47 percent increase will cost an extra 185 euros annually.
Solar energy currently accounts for about 5 percent of the country's total electricity usage, the BSW said. The association aims to increase that number to 10 percent by 2020 and at least 20 percent by 2030."

1/23/13, 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

EVERYTHING is politicized with Tom. Everything is "us" against "them". Tom would not know what position to take if he couldn't just have the knee jerk reaction to automatically think the opposite of what all those evil greenie hippy liberal progressive people.

I'm hoping that Obama will come out with the great liberal agenda telling people it is a good idea to breath.

1/23/13, 11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm picturing Tom holding his breath, hand over his nose, turning red and thinking "I'll be damned if I do what that leftist wants me to"

lol

1/23/13, 11:44 AM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

Once again Tom displays what a simple-minded bufoon he is. In his feeble attempt to take a poke at "greens" he reveals that he thinks being concerned for the environment means you are a communist!! His grasp on history, and what certain terms mean, is astoundingly pathetic.

And this guy was a teacher!

But it sure is fun reading his goofy little whiny rants.

1/23/13, 12:23 PM  
Anonymous pamela said...

The notion that it is "foolhardy" to make a little sacrifice for the benefit of your gandchildren is mindblowing to me.

How sad to have a mindset where everything revolves around money, where the almight dollar trumps the beauty of nature itself, and the world your ancestors will live in.

1/23/13, 12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Here’s why solar panels don’t cut it: the sun doesn’t shine at night and days are often cloudy. What do we do on calm, cloudy days? "

Ask Germany. They have a similar climate to maine. And it's working very well for them.

It seems that this is the result of the inept two,party thinking.
Time to think outside the box and start thinking, maybe, just maybe there are more than two sides to an issue.

1/23/13, 1:20 PM  
Anonymous Fred said...

I was goint to mention these naive statements too, but then I figured it just wasn't worth trying to explain to somebody who cannot figure out for themselves how these energies can work even if gets dark or calm. If a child needed this explained to them, that is one thing, but a grown man?!?

1/23/13, 2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I am a "hippie greenie". What a great term, it makes me giggle every time I say it or read it. It sounds like something my grandfather would say while talking about the "interweb" and the "rocketyhop" music of today.

Anyway, thanks for that - I'll be thinking of you being all irate and fuming as I go in my hybrid with my great milage!

Old people are cute, especially when they are all worked up over stuff they don't understand.

1/23/13, 3:26 PM  
Anonymous Al said...

As a former educator I'm a bit suprised you don't see this for what it is....all about money.

It seems the coal, oil in dirties may be a bit threatened with some competition?

And, it's beyond absurd that places like calif. az. Fla. Utah, etc. aren't using more solar to supplement residential power needs. Again, money money money

The technology is constantly evolving and this is an exciting the to live. There is no doubt a lot of corporate sabotage going on.

And, the other post is correct. Germany. Seems to be working for them

Just look at the horror of fukishima! Ask yourself why there is No Mention of it in the mainstream media at all!
It's a disaster over there. And the consequences are already proving devastating.

1/23/13, 6:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom sure is taking a great big old-fashioned ass-whuppin' on this one!

Great stuff!

1/23/13, 6:07 PM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

"Working very well for Germany," huh? They spent "hundreds of billions of Euros" in subsidies, and a euro is worth almost half again as a dollar.

After all that, Germany is experiencing the problems I described above. A quote from the London Daily Telegraph is instructive:

"The more a country depends on such sources of energy, the more there will arise – as Germany is discovering – two massive technical problems. One is that it becomes incredibly difficult to maintain a consistent supply of power to the grid, when that wildly fluctuating renewable output has to be balanced by input from conventional power stations. The other is that, to keep that back-up constantly available can require fossil-fuel power plants to run much of the time very inefficiently and expensively (incidentally chucking out so much more “carbon” than normal that it negates any supposed CO2 savings from the wind).
Both these problems have come home to roost in Germany in a big way, because it has gone more aggressively down the renewables route than any other country in the world. Having poured hundreds of billions of euros in subsidies into wind and solar power, making its electricity bills almost the highest in Europe, the picture that Germany presents is, on paper, almost everything the most rabid greenie could want. Last year, its wind turbines already had 29GW of capacity, equivalent to a quarter of Germany’s average electricity demand. But because these turbines are even less efficient than our own, their actual output averaged only 5GW, and most of the rest had to come from grown-up power stations, ready to supply up to 29GW at any time and then switch off as the wind picked up again.
Now the problem for the German grid has become even worse. Thanks to a flood of subsidies unleashed by Angela Merkel’s government, renewable capacity has risen still further (solar, for instance, by 43 per cent). This makes it so difficult to keep the grid balanced that it is permanently at risk of power failures. (When the power to one Hamburg aluminium factory failed recently, for only a fraction of a second, it shut down the plant, causing serious damage.) Energy-intensive industries are having to install their own generators, or are looking to leave Germany altogether.
In fact, a mighty battle is now developing in Germany between green fantasists and practical realists. Because renewable energy must by law have priority in supplying the grid, the owners of conventional power stations, finding they have to run plants unprofitably, are so angry that they are threatening to close many of them down. The government response, astonishingly, has been to propose a new law forcing them to continue running their plants at a loss."

You're not going to read anything like this from Stephen Chu or Angus King. All you hippie greenies can stay in your "renewable" utopia if you want, but keep your paws out of my wallet thank you.

Use your own money for your childish dreams and see how far you get.

1/24/13, 8:23 AM  
Anonymous Peter said...

A few more examples of "childish dreams"

*A man walking on the moon.

*Sailing around a "flat" world

*The light bulb, on which a Tom-like figure in the British Parliament said was "unworthy of the attention of practical or scientific men."

*The modern PC on which "experts" like John Von Neumann said "We have reached the limits of what is possible with computers."

*Television, on which the inventor of the vacuum tube said '.. it is an impossibility, a development of which we need waste little time dreaming."

Sound familar Tom? How would you like a world without these things, which we would have if people had a quitters mentality like you. Small minds have trouble conceiving great things.

1/24/13, 10:03 AM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

Fine Peter. Except for the lunar project, they were all developed with private capital, not taxpayer funds.

That's the way to go. If the technology was ready for prime time, private developers would bring it to production for the benefit of everyone.

That's capitalism. It works best. Ask the Chinese.

1/24/13, 10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You nailed it - Tom is a quitter.

If things aren't perfect right away, quit. Give up.

He has even quit thinking for himself and become just another little bitch to Big Oil, just like the Right Wing Media (Oil's biggest bitch) wants.

1/24/13, 10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ask the Chinese?? With their horrendous working conditions, child labor, and overall lack of human rights. THAT is what you point at as a success..THAT is what you would have us become?!!?

1/24/13, 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Peter said...

Columbus' journey was paid for by the Spanish government. Capitalists did not jump at the chance to invest in his trip.

The government was largely responsible for the develpment of the internet.

As pointed out before (and ignored by you) oil and other forms of energy were subsidized as well.


Private investors are not jumping into the alternative energy game as quickly as they would if the game, with the governments help of big oil, were not so rigged.

1/24/13, 10:19 AM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

The Chinese are slowly abandoning communism, or "collectivism" as our Dear Leader called it last Monday - part of his plans for the next four years.

Chinese economic success is due to their movement away from that. They're re-discovering capitalism. Much more effective than collectivism.

1/24/13, 10:21 AM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

Where's the evidence that government subsidized the oil industry as it started and developed? I don't know of any. The only subsidies have been in the form of tax breaks beginning during WWI.

Now we have fuel assistance programs which indirectly help sell more oil, but nothing like the way "Green Energy" funds are being used (wasted) now for startups.

There are dozens of Solyndras.

1/24/13, 10:38 AM  
Anonymous Peter said...

ok Tom, we will have to wait a decade or two to see what happens with China after their citizens have all their rights, and their cheap almost slave) labor does not exist anymore.

So let's not use that as your pie-in-the-sky dream. What examples do you have of unregulated pure capitalism being a lasting success? Will you resort to the claim that in worked for a brief period of time in the USA? It is hard to gauge how the economy would have fared without the massive re-distribution of wealth that went on with the taking of Indian land, and without the free slave labor that lasted for our countries first hundred years or so. So what examples do you have?

1/24/13, 11:01 AM  
Anonymous Peter said...

My first post talked about how during the key growth years of what would become our oil and gas industries, tax expenditures on behalf of producers averaged the equivalent of 5 percent of the federal budget. By contrast, the current support for renewables is barely a fifth that size, comprising less than one percent of federal spending. When you add the numbers up, you discover that, again factoring in inflation, $1.8 billion per year was spent on subsidies during the early years of the modern oil and gas industries, compared to just $400 million annually for renewables.

If you follow my link from that post you see another link giving a full 38 page report on subsidies for oil and other early enrgies.

1/24/13, 11:14 AM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

Much easier to point to the communist ones that have collapsed if they didn't allow free-market reforms. Cuba is relenting just in the past few months and we're in the death watch for North Korea.

Check out states within our own country. Those with the biggest governments and the most regulations are in decline. Those with the smallest governments and least regulations are growing.

The whole US under Obama big-government Keynesian programs? Stagnant.

I'm done here for a while. Gotta work on my book and next week's column.

1/24/13, 12:00 PM  
Anonymous Peter said...

Of course it is much easier to point to communist systems that collapsed because you have NO examples of a capitalist success story. Nobody here is advocating for communism, bt the way. A middle ground does exist.

As for our economy, it is better than when Obama took over.

1/24/13, 12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Tom you have hit another delightful low. I love reading our stuff to know what I'm not. If you get any madder, I wouldnt put it past you to go buy an assault rife and head for Mollyocket School for revenge.

1/24/13, 1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



China exploits people. Period. Suicide nets outside the iPhone factory!! Hello!!


Abandoning communism for capitalism? Hahahaha

1/25/13, 8:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, next time don't cut and paste the first article you see.


Renewable energy critics and opponents continue to zoom in on the intermittent nature of solar and wind energy in their efforts to undermine and derail the transition away from centralized, mass production of energy based on burning fossil fuels.
Even at this early stage of a much belated evolutionary process, empirical evidence and ongoing technological advances, as well as pro clean energy and sustainable development polices and market developments, highlight the fallacy of their arguments.
Observed evidence (two examples here and here) indicates that coupled with adequate grid infrastructure and energy policy reform, solar and wind power generation — on and off-grid — can reduce carbon and greenhouse gas emissions and enhance the security and resiliency of power supplies without putting an excessive burden on consumers.
Not only does this benefit the environment and the health, well-being, and opportunities of current and future generations, but it’s also generating thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of investment and tax revenue each year.

Clean Technica (http://s.tt/1yCto)
Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2013/01/17/rising-solar-energy-output-drives-german-french-power-prices-to-record-lows/#kVlcqtHVgxkgrYAW.99

1/25/13, 8:43 AM  
Anonymous tim said...

It's a process tom. Takes time. I dont necessarily agree that govt subsidies are the way to go. I get that.
How about nuclear? Ask Japan how that's working. Or, ask yourself why the media is mum on fukishima?

Renewable Energy & Clean-Tech Paves the Pathway

Among developed countries, sunny Germany’s been at the forefront of the global drive towards building low-carbon societies based on clean, renewable energy resources, such as solar and wind energy.
Decades of private sector lobbying and practices and government policy actions — related to the banking/financial and energy sectors in particular – all but brought down the US and international banking and financial system, led to global recessions, and have prompted wars, conflicts, growing inequality, and a pervasive sense of uncertainty and fear.
In contrast, federal government actions and energy policy reform in Germany have created an environment and conditions that have diversified, expanded, and made Germany’s economy more dynamic, robust, and resilient; driving employment to record-high levels and improving social and environmental conditions.
No doubt Germany is struggling to overcome obstacles and resistance to Premier Angela Merkel’s plan to eliminate reliance on nuclear power by building out solar and wind power generation capacity as replacements. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who cares to familiarize themselves with such revolutionary challenges. In fact, they make Germany’s success in this regard all the more remarkable.
Just yesterday, Bloomberg reported that contracts to deliver electricity for 2014 in Germany and France dropped to record-low levels. The reason? “Rising solar output is expected to cut demand for other electricity sources.”
Paraphrasing a research note from Per Lekander – an analyst at UBS’s Paris office — “As much as 18 percent of electricity demand may be replaced by solar panels not connected to Germany’s grid, reducing demand for other sources by 6 to 10 percent by 2020.”
“The unsubsidized solar growth should drive wholesale power prices further down,” Lekander added.
The availability of electricity generation capacity in Germany is expected to rise, with national electricity production forecast to increase to 64,200 megawatts (MW) on January 21 from 63,600 MW today, according to data from the European Energy Exchange’s Transparency Platform.

Clean Technica (http://s.tt/1yCto)
Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2013/01/17/rising-solar-energy-output-drives-german-french-power-prices-to-record-lows/#kVlcqtHVgxkgrYAW.99

1/25/13, 8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Soory fellas, Tom has gone back into hiding. He's like a wild hare, but instead of being spooked by sudden motions and loud noises, it is facts and rationality that scare him off. If you burst through his protective bubble, and present him with something that is not condoned by Faux News and the rest of his Right Wing Media, it kinda freaks him out.

"What, oil WAS subsidized when it was establishing itself? .....alternative energy can be successful and Germany HAS been proof of this?...b b but I wan't told this by Hannity and company, how could it be so? I checked all my right wing web sites and don't see this!"

1/25/13, 11:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom used the word "I" over twenty times, and "me" or "my" just as often.

Tom could care less how things effect others, or what they want.

A little self-centered, huh?

Tune in for the next column with some more gripes and whines about something that may be good for the majority, and for the planet, but angers Tom

The sign of a true capitalist - the only thing that matters is his money, at the expense of anything else.

1/25/13, 12:47 PM  
Blogger gaffer said...

Tom is correct and it will be know soon enough.
If these green energy ideas were any good they would fly on there own without government help. That is the way to look at all these ideas. If they are so good why hasn't some entrepreneur done something with it already?

1/25/13, 3:24 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

I'm not so sure your assessment of China is accurate. Here's a link to a Stratfor article that sees it differently
http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20100329_china_crunch_time

"STRATFOR thus sees the Chinese economic system as inherently unstable. The primary reason why China's growth has been so impressive is that throughout the period of economic liberalization that has led to rising incomes, the Chinese government has maintained near-total savings capture of its households and businesses. It funnels these massive deposits via state-run banks to state-linked firms at below-market rates. It's amazing the growth rate a country can achieve and the number of citizens it can employ with a vast supply of 0 percent, relatively consequence-free loans provided from the savings of nearly a billion workers."

Couple this with work environments comparable those that inspired the our turn-of-the-century labor movement, and their businesses' ability to pollute at will, suddenly China is not the shining example of Capitalism that it appears to be. Their 8% - 12% growth belie unlivable conditions for the vast majority of Chinese.

1/25/13, 4:54 PM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

Stratfor is a good source. I let my subscription lapse last year. Just couldn't keep up with all they were sending me.

I didn't give an assessment of China. I merely pointed out that they were making some free-market reforms by allowing some private business enterprises to exist. They moved off the dime from a radical-left-wing-communist economy and government to a one mildly open to other influences. Taking over wildly successful capitalist Hong Kong was a major influence.

Trouble is, they maintained their rigid totalitarian dictatorship infrastructure in the process, resulting in the abuses you describe.

China has its problems, but I would venture to say it would have collapsed entirely if it hadn't made some capitalist reforms.

Does it have a free-enterprise economy? No. Long way to go there, but they are our biggest creditor. They own our bonds, so they have us by the you-know-whats. Not a good place to be. That's why our dear leader bows to them.

1/25/13, 6:34 PM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

Tim:
Nuclear energy was heavily subsidized by the federal government. It was going to be "too cheap to meter" remember? Maybe you're too young, but I remember. Sounds a lot like "sunlight is free" and "wind is free" to me.

Nuclear power would never have been a viable business if not for the federal government and it still couldn't survive without extensive federal intervention for many reasons, but biggest being: what do we do with the spent fuel rods? We still don't know and the feds have to take ownership of them and "dispose" of them with taxpayer funds for at least 10,000 years! What's that going to cost?

I think we're even responsible for France's fuel rods, but I'll have to check that out. They were generating about 80% of their electricity this way last I knew.

Then there's the Price Anderson Act, which was necessary because no power plant could ever have gotten liability insurance. The PA Act allows for somewhere around $10-15 billion in insurance in case of a nuclear accident. It was fine for Three Mile Island, but it wouldn't have come close to compensating for the damage caused by something like Chernobyl or Fukushima.

Nuclear power isn't a viable energy source without massive government intervention and I don't support it for that reason. Never have. And it's hugely dangerous in ways we don't even fully comprehend yet.

Wind mills and solar panels are foolish pipe dreams at this point, but at least they're not dangerous, except to a few birds.

1/25/13, 6:52 PM  
Blogger Sam Stone said...

Just curious why I haven't seen any discussion about hydro power in this long spar. It seems like there are all kinds of arguments about different energy sources then we turn around and buy power from Hydro Quebec (not in our backyard). Water runs 24/7 in our own state and as dams are torn down we're expected to applaud? I really think we should be going with hydro power, environmental issues can be worked around since it's "just water". Build fishways around the dams and everyone is happy. What is the problem with that?

1/25/13, 7:37 PM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

Sam:

I have the same thoughts when I hear of environmentalists cheering the elimination of a dam. Early inland New England towns had multiple dams and used the power from them for grist mills, saw mills, fulling mills, and some were converted to hydroelectric mills.

Quebec has a marvelous resource in hydro power. Why not Maine? Environment purists, it looks like, the same ones who who look the gift horse of hydro-fracking for clean natural gas in the mouth.

Hippie Greenies are religious zealots of the Gaia God.

1/26/13, 7:08 AM  
Anonymous Tom said...

First, advances in technology are not instantaneous or perfect right out of the box. These ideas, whether you agree with them or not, are not only good for the environment in the long run but are also good for the businesses that they produce; and not just for the visible parts on the horizon. Second, that the government has a hand in something with the positive potential of these industries is not the first foray into advancing business and public interests--take the highly successful and still highly regarded TVA from more than a half century ago, including the many ways that it has helped the citizens of the seven states it affects. And third Mr. McGlaughlin, the petty name calling that is your normal mode of address is not only childlike and petty but it degrades any salient argument that you might otherwise have. I am shocked that someone with your demeanor had a career in teaching, especially history, which was also my major. I do hope that your attitude and ideology did not make its way into your classroom--for your students sake.

1/26/13, 3:01 PM  
Anonymous Alex said...

http://www.teslamotors.com/

Car of the year? There's a lot of work being done in electric/solar powered cars, and I wouldn't discredit it just yet.

1/27/13, 8:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The childish name-calling that Tom is so fond of is what let's me know that he is more concerned about making liberals mad than he is about the issues themselves or the facts involved. My guess is he had some traumatic experience in his younger days that has angered, and scarred him for life. Perhaps he was dumped by a "hippie greenie" girl?

1/28/13, 7:22 AM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

Nah. It wasn't that. I didn't go for those hippie-greenie girls. I think it was their hairy armpits.

1/28/13, 12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, dumped by a hair-pitted hippie greenie guy then. Makes sense when you consider your home-erotic photograph preference.

1/28/13, 7:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Make that homo-erotic.

1/28/13, 7:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And notice that Tom didn't deny the part about not caring about the issues but instead only being obsessed with bugging liberals...

1/28/13, 7:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom finally cracked when even the schools plump, hairy hippie girl turned him down. From that day on he swore he would hound liberals for eternity.

Little does he know that he simply became a laughingstock.

1/28/13, 7:08 PM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

It is fun teasing liberals, yes. And so easy.

So why do you keep coming back? Why not stick to Media Matters where you won't be annoyed?

Gotta post this week's piece now. Bye-bye!

1/29/13, 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If we liberals were annoyed by you we WOULDN'T come back. You come for the laughs you provide as the "straight" man, and the funniest part is you really don't seem to realize this. You really think you are "annoying" us!! You even thin it's easy!!!

This is why you are funnier than Colbert. We know that he is in on the gag, but YOU...

lol

keep it up big boy, don't get discouraged, I'm sure you really are annoying SOMEONE...

...probably other conservatives who you are helping to make look bad.

1/29/13, 10:24 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

"Stratfor is a good source. I let my subscription lapse last year. Just couldn't keep up with all they were sending me"

Stratfor offers a free membership with emails roughly one a week or as geopolitical hotspots demand. It's free and the emails, 1500 to 3000 words - more or less - are very comprenshive.

2/2/13, 8:22 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home