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Author Topic: What if?  (Read 17299 times)

Kevin Mahoney

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Re: What if?
« Reply #30 on: June 23, 2009, 04:57:01 PM »
You would think someone in Detroit might get their head outta their...

Now would that "someone" be OBAMA who seems to be doing the hiring and firing or the Taxpayers in general?

geoffbaker

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Re: What if?
« Reply #31 on: June 23, 2009, 05:31:54 PM »
You would think someone in Detroit might get their head outta their...

Now would that "someone" be OBAMA who seems to be doing the hiring and firing or the Taxpayers in general?

There are some bright spots; I think Ford will do OK as it resuscitates the Taurus (an excellent midrange car they let die to focus on Expeditions etc) and moves forward with the Focus.

GM could still pull a rabbit out of the hat with the Volt; but it needs to be cheaper.

Mostly, they need to take their best engineers who aren't musclecarheads and get them focused on developing the economies of production that have let the Japs and Germans make a healthy profit on every small car they make... which Detroit has ignored.

Currently, with the new union deals, they can easily compete with Toyota and VW... but only if they invest in lowering production costs, something they have not historically been good at doing.

If they fail ultimately, it won't be the unions fault, or the governments fault - it will be the failure of Detroit corporate culture, with its overpaid CEO's, it's vast arrays of lawyers, and its lazy selfassurance that whatever they want to make, Americans have no choice but to buy...

The other car companies are in on a secret Detroit hasn't figured out yet..

When you can build a small car and make a profit on it, then you make a profit on the big cars and trucks too... it's the only sane way to run a car company.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2009, 05:44:01 PM by geoffbaker »

geoffbaker

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Re: What if?
« Reply #32 on: June 23, 2009, 06:58:40 PM »
Geoff, Geoff, Geoff,

I always thought conservatives believed the 55 mph limit to be an unconscionable infringement on their Constitutional right to go very very fast...

By the very definition of conservative they would be the ones wanting to go slower.

just noticed this one Kevin...

If that definition was true, then conservatives would be conservationists as well, and we KNOW that ain't true...

Being a conservative, in my observation, has never been about conserving ANYTHING (let alone speed)... it's about blowing your resources just as fast as you can and calling it the 'free market' at work...

:D

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Re: What if?
« Reply #33 on: June 24, 2009, 03:02:04 AM »
just noticed this one Kevin...

If that definition was true, then conservatives would be conservationists as well, and we KNOW that ain't true...

Being a conservative, in my observation, has never been about conserving ANYTHING (let alone speed)... it's about blowing your resources just as fast as you can and calling it the 'free market' at work...

:D
::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) Perhaps a new frame of reference is needed.

This thread has gone way of topic.

Lets not confuse the issue and change the subject.  So back to " The Future Care ".  

 In the early 70's the OPEC oil embargo was full on . Dad could only gas up on odd days and we were told by the futurist  pundits that we did not have enough oil to make it to the 21st century . The assured us that that we would all drive the battery powered cars. The technology was being developed. That the break trough was just around the corner. 35 years is a long wait.

 The future is now and the future car is still not here.

 Until the Future Car arrives I think the modern clean burning TDI Diesel ( like you see in pick up trucks) is a viable option. When price of Hybrids can be brought to affordability for the common man, we could see more of them as well.

This http://www.legendarycollectorcars.com/featured-vehicles/smokey-yunicks-hot-vapor-fiero-51-mpg-and-0-60-in-less-than-6-seconds-see-and-hear-it-run-in-our-exclusive-video/ is another option that could serve our needs as a stop gap
until the quantum leap in battery technology occurs.






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Coronach

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Re: What if?
« Reply #34 on: June 24, 2009, 04:01:47 AM »
The general problem that "conservatives" (I'll throw libertarians into the mix as well) have with the national 55 MPH speed limit is the idea that the federal government is doing something that it has no authority to do, which is regulating travel on the roadways of the several states. Witness how they have to do it- they withold funding if states do not comply. Why do they do it this way? Because they have no direct means of mandating it. When you have to do an end-around on the constitution to achieve your goal, your goal is not constitutional.

Now, do individual states have the right to each set a 55MPH speed limit? Obviously, since that's how it was achieved last time. And, does fed.gov overstep its constitutional authority in other areas on a daily basis? Yes.

Mike
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clamp

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Re: What if?
« Reply #35 on: June 24, 2009, 08:09:23 AM »
I heard that Ford,--or was it GM?   has a room full of standby fitters on 40 dollars an hour just sat watching telly. These people are supposed to be able to take the place of someone going sick on the production line. Probably get overtime too.

      Its this wasteful attitude along with the corporate jet travel for the top executives that has bought the whole thing down.

     It does'nt matter that they have built tanks for the last 40 years. They can not compete no matter what they build.

     I heard the Volt is already built with inferior batteries so that a new wave of new Volts can be release shortly afterwards.

    Again typical Detroit attitude and wrong.
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Coronach

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Re: What if?
« Reply #36 on: June 24, 2009, 03:21:22 PM »
Quote
Quote
This is why I'm not worried about alternative energy. When the need presents itself (read: when gas gets expensive and stays expensive), creativity will kick in.
So here's a truly shocking thought... let's get a head start.

A national tax of $5 per gallon. Proceeds either fund alternative vehicles or pay off the deficit, you choose.
So, your solution to naturally low gas prices is to make them artificially high? Remind me never to vote for you. Add in the peril that we have seen quite plainly over the last year or so, that of governments that quickly develop a dependency on gas taxes and will seek to raise revenue "lost" when people use more efficient vehicles, and I think I can say with certainty that this is a truly horrible idea. Not to mention that the people it will hit hardest are the people who are lower class and lower middle class and drive to work for a living.

Here's a better idea; let market forces work. When gas hit $4.00 a gallon, we saw a sea change in people's driving and purchasing habits. Gas guzzling land yachts were on the auction block for pennies on the dollar, and you could not find a Prius or Civic sitting on a dealer's lot for more than a week. The market changed overnight, and it didn't require a single drop of government ink or legislative meddling to get it accomplished.

It just happened.

Mike
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geoffbaker

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Re: What if?
« Reply #37 on: June 24, 2009, 03:43:23 PM »
Let me see if I got this right... you want 'market forces' to solve this problem.

We've had the same problem for ninety years and market forces haven't solved it yet; here's why...

So long as gas is extractable, the people owning the land (OPEC) will charge as much as they can get away with to maximize profits - and cut production to artificially induce higher prices, whenever prices are low.

When gas gets too high and demand cuts back (people start buying efficient cars) OPEC immediately raises production, drops prices, and floods the market. People go back to inefficient cars, because they cost less.

That's market forces for you  and it will stay this way until gas runs out. Period.

We're talking about doing something that is in our nation's interest - not OPEC's (or Alaska's for that matter). This CANNOT be done purely by bowing to the gods of 'market forces'

So the government plays a role in setting an agenda and a goal, based on public demand as expressed in majority votes (electing a President committed to energy independence, not just one who talks about it) and figures out how best to achieve that goal.

As the goal is energy independence, one certain way is to artificially raise prices and use the revenues to fund either alternative vehicles or alternative fuels or an expanded electric grid, whatever.

Nothing complex about it.

But if you wait for market forces to fix this, you'll be waiting forever.

Just like if you wait for market forces to fix pollution - market forces don't care about pollution, people do.

Market forces don't care about anything except producing goods at the lowest price. So market forces would (and did) prefer slavery, as a system... except that we, as individuals, don't like that idea so we vote for a system that keeps market forces in check in certain areas.

Sometimes I really wonder why I have to keep explaining capitalism to conservative capitalists? There seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding of what 'market forces' are and how they work. I've had conservatives seriously tell me that market forces will solve pollution through the 'cap and trade' market (because they don't understand that the cap and trade market is a fiction, merely a way of government controlling pollution by creating a system that sort of looks like a market but is simply regulation at work.) I've had capitalists explain to me that they think the Chinese entrepreneur shouldn't be penalized by any tariff system and free market forces should be left to manage our trade with China.... - as if the Chinese entrepreneur isn't subsizided by a centralized Communist government, as if his workers aren't barred from any collective bargaining activity (because they don't need it living as they do in a worker's paradise); as if the Chinese entrepreneur doesn't contract out work to Chinese prison industries where Tianamen Square activists are still serving their twenty year sentences for asking for freedom... We aren't dealing with 'free market' forces in our China trade; we're dealing with a central Communist government manipulating its population with the goal of simply conquering our markets through government control ... which our capitalists like because it means cheap goods, that's all.

Now you're saying that capitalism will solve a problem where Arab oil producers can always artificially control the price of oil (and have controlled, since the formation of OPEC)... and how precisely can we do that? Short of invading?

We can't. All we can do is decide that as a nation, we don't have to play their game.

The solutions are obvious, and simple.

OPEC is, for the most part, a group of dictators running a cartel which is different from the drug cartel only in that it's legal and can cross any border. When they need more gold toilets in their palaces, they jack up the price. They are the largest funders of terrorists worldwide, who have killed thousands of Americans already.

Your solution to the problem? Let 'em keep doing it, it's "market forces" at work.

Remind me not to vote for you!
« Last Edit: June 24, 2009, 05:24:49 PM by geoffbaker »

REpozer

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Re: What if?
« Reply #38 on: June 24, 2009, 04:01:01 PM »
You left out one very important aspect to the free market system.
Domestic oil exploration and production.
That would solve allot.
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geoffbaker

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Re: What if?
« Reply #39 on: June 24, 2009, 05:34:50 PM »
You left out one very important aspect to the free market system.
Domestic oil exploration and production.
That would solve allot.


I doubt it, repozer.

The cost of production in the US is high because either we are dealing with tertiary oil extraction methods (already depleted fields) or the fields are located in extremely expensive territory - permafrost regions or offshore.

So long as OPEC (read, Saudi Arabia) can simply flood our markets with cheap oil whenever they want, they can bring exploration to a halt... every time.

Unless of course you want to subsidize domestic exploration through artificially cheap leases or tax cuts... but no, that's NOT market forces, dude... that's that pesky evil old gummint interventionism...

CAN'T HAVE THAT, now can we??

REpozer

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Re: What if?
« Reply #40 on: June 24, 2009, 10:44:11 PM »
Unless of course you want to subsidize domestic exploration through artificially cheap leases or tax cuts... but no, that's NOT market forces, dude... that's that pesky evil old gummint interventionism...
CAN'T HAVE THAT, now can we??
We could turn on the red flashing light and call it an emergency. No not  new taxes,....Yes , bailouts. Man we would be drilling in no time.

 I think all the new jobs being created will be in new politics.
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geoffbaker

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Re: What if?
« Reply #41 on: June 24, 2009, 10:58:47 PM »
And bailouts will be paid through ... deficit borrowing

And deficit borrowing will be paid through... taxes.

There really is no rabbit hole, and no magic act. We're just fooling ourselves.

The Democratic party is the party of taxes.

The Republican party, because it supports deficit financing without bothering to arrange to get the income to pay for such financing, is now officially the party of deferred taxes, which means it is the party of higher taxes, because, after all, deferred taxes equal taxes plus interest. Lots of it.

Eventually, most everyone will figure this out.

Now here's a thought.

How about we just tax foreign oil?

By artifically raising the price of foreign oil, we allow domestic oil value to rise without such taxes... which means exploration and profits for domestic oil producers.

And we cut our dependence on the Saudis.

And we use the revenue to give Billy-Jo and Bubba a "cash-for-clunker" low interest loan so they can trade in their Power Wagon for a Jetta TDI and because they're getting four times the mpg - even at $7 a gallon - it ends up costing them no more than it did before.

Of course, Detroit could profit from it, if they only made efficient cars... duh...

No, let's stick with market forces which are making the Saudis the richest people on earth and funding terrorism worldwide.

Much better.

Coronach

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Re: What if?
« Reply #42 on: June 25, 2009, 03:34:58 AM »
Allow me to Fisk this one...
Let me see if I got this right... you want 'market forces' to solve this problem.
Yes. Market forces will solve it, whether any of us like it or not. Market forces are reality. What market forces will do depends on how we try to distort them. You can put all sorts of rocks in a stream, but water will always flow downhill. Same idea at work here.
Quote
We've had the same problem for ninety years and market forces haven't solved it yet; here's why...

So long as gas is extractable, the people owning the land (OPEC) will charge as much as they can get away with to maximize profits - and cut production to artificially induce higher prices, whenever prices are low.
Right. OPEC is a cartel, but it does not control all of the oil. It can only control its portion of the oil, and the control is not absolute. Can it contract supply to drive up price? Yes. The only way this is different than any other supplier is the breadth of their control.
Quote
When gas gets too high and demand cuts back (people start buying efficient cars) OPEC immediately raises production, drops prices, and floods the market. People go back to inefficient cars, because they cost less.
Yes. And they can do this very easily because we adamantly refuse to extract our own oil. If we have enough production capacity to meet a significant portion of our own demand, they lose power. Can we out-produce OPEC? No. Can we completely remove that "lever"? No.
Quote
That's market forces for you  and it will stay this way until gas runs out. Period.
Right, and I don't really have a problem with it, as long as we remove restrictions on domestic production, because OPEC's power to drive prices up and down would be reduced.
Quote
We're talking about doing something that is in our nation's interest - not OPEC's (or Alaska's for that matter). This CANNOT be done purely by bowing to the gods of 'market forces'
Market forces are like the laws of physics. Ignoring them will cause you pain, and tinkering with them can cause an explosion. This can and will be solved via market forces, just like everything else. The only question will be how much misery and woe we will cause people until we let the market work.

OPEC manages to distort the market by holding a large percentage of the supply. We (by "we" I mean the West) further distort the market by not producing more, in essence driving their percentage up. Even with OPEC holding a huge percentage, they still are bound to the market. As you said, when they ramp up the price too much, we respond by developing alternative energy sources, and they're forced to increase production and drop price.
Quote
So the government plays a role in setting an agenda and a goal, based on public demand as expressed in majority votes (electing a President committed to energy independence, not just one who talks about it) and figures out how best to achieve that goal.
Let's see what the government has done...

E85. How's that for stupid?

CAFE standards. OK, fair enough, but they're not needed. When gas prices go up, demand for efficient vehicles goes up, and the problem is solved far more elegantly than having a "Car Czar" get government's sticky fingers further into the business world.

Taxes. Look at how government has responded to the fuel tax revenues dropping from people buying more efficient cars. It's laughable, and telling, all at once.

Quote
As the goal is energy independence, one certain way is to artificially raise prices and use the revenues to fund either alternative vehicles or alternative fuels or an expanded electric grid, whatever.
Until the revenue drops because we are actually using less gas. ;) My main objection to this, though, is the idea that we need government to solve the problem. No, we need private industry to solve the problem.

Quote
Nothing complex about it.

But if you wait for market forces to fix this, you'll be waiting forever.
Nonsense. Remember peak oil? There's a real belief that OPEC may not have the excess production capacity to flood the market again. Look at the price drop since the last year- that's decreased demand, not increased supply.
Quote
Just like if you wait for market forces to fix pollution - market forces don't care about pollution, people do.
I agree with you here. One thing cap and trade has going for it is it puts a market demand on cleanliness. It's an artificial market, as you say, but it is still a market- but that's about the only thing it has going for it.
Quote
Market forces don't care about anything except producing goods at the lowest price. So market forces would (and did) prefer slavery, as a system... except that we, as individuals, don't like that idea so we vote for a system that keeps market forces in check in certain areas.

Sometimes I really wonder why I have to keep explaining capitalism to conservative capitalists? There seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding of what 'market forces' are and how they work. I've had conservatives seriously tell me that market forces will solve pollution through the 'cap and trade' market (because they don't understand that the cap and trade market is a fiction, merely a way of government controlling pollution by creating a system that sort of looks like a market but is simply regulation at work.)
C&T's market can work, but the entire market is a fiction, arbitrarily created and just as arbitrarily distored. It also further centralizes power into megacorporations, since they're the ones who can afford to play the game.
Quote
I've had capitalists explain to me that they think the Chinese entrepreneur shouldn't be penalized by any tariff system and free market forces should be left to manage our trade with China.... - as if the Chinese entrepreneur isn't subsizided by a centralized Communist government, as if his workers aren't barred from any collective bargaining activity (because they don't need it living as they do in a worker's paradise); as if the Chinese entrepreneur doesn't contract out work to Chinese prison industries where Tianamen Square activists are still serving their twenty year sentences for asking for freedom... We aren't dealing with 'free market' forces in our China trade; we're dealing with a central Communist government manipulating its population with the goal of simply conquering our markets through government control ... which our capitalists like because it means cheap goods, that's all.
No argument here. Capitalism and the market only works when both sides are playing by capitalist rules. OPEC is violating capitalist rules by being a near-monopoly on a commodity, and we enable them by refusing the develop our own resources. We can't outproduce them, but we can blunt the sting. If they lean on the lever too much, we use less, and they risk slitting their own throats, so they back off.

Quote
Now you're saying that capitalism will solve a problem where Arab oil producers can always artificially control the price of oil (and have controlled, since the formation of OPEC)... and how precisely can we do that? Short of invading?
Oil is a finite resource. OPEC probably lacks the ability of flood the market again, and even if they do have it, oh, the horror! Cheap oil! If we're really afraid of these shenanigans, step one is to take the peaks and valleys out of the commodity market by controlling more of the supply. DRILL.

Quote
We can't. All we can do is decide that as a nation, we don't have to play their game.

The solutions are obvious, and simple.
DRILL. And, if they are still able to drive up price and keep it up, allow the market to push us to more efficient vehicles, like it just did. When that fails to take the sting out, alternative energies will become economically viable. OPEC is left with with the choice of dropping price, or being squeezed out of the market.

There are some who think that the US is playing a very, very deep game with respect to fossil fuels. We have a decent chunk of oil, either in ANWAR or in offshore reserves. We also have a HUUUUUUUGE supply of coal, which can be synthesized into liquid fuel (or used to provide electrcity for other purposes). We use comparatively little of either, preferring to buy OPEC's share. When OPEC runs dry (and that may happen sooner than we think, as their "proven reserves" are at least partially fiction), they will have a chunk of our money, and we will have a nice supply of fossil fuel salted away.

I dunno. This ignores the whole CO2 thing, but there are sequestration methods being developed that may well allow us to burn coal with relative impunity (at a lower EROI than just sending it up a smokestack, sure). The real problem with that theory is the relative fungibility of commodities.

Quote
OPEC is, for the most part, a group of dictators running a cartel which is different from the drug cartel only in that it's legal and can cross any border. When they need more gold toilets in their palaces, they jack up the price. They are the largest funders of terrorists worldwide, who have killed thousands of Americans already.
True, and we enable them play the game by just buying the oil and doing nothing else.
Quote
Your solution to the problem? Let 'em keep doing it, it's "market forces" at work.

Remind me not to vote for you!
No, my solution is to unshackle our industry, get government out of it, and allow the private sector to handle it. You say "OPEC just slashes prices!" to undercut alternative energies like cheap oil is a bad thing. That's us threatening to cut off their lifeline. Their response? Ramp up production, drop price. Problem solved- temporarily.

Long term solutions will happen when they lack the ability to drive down price. Will we be hurt economically when this happens until we adjust? Yes, if we have no ability to produce our own supply for short-term use. This is why domestic production capacity is so vital.

Mike
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Coronach

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Re: What if?
« Reply #43 on: June 25, 2009, 03:54:04 AM »
Quote
And bailouts will be paid through ... deficit borrowing

And deficit borrowing will be paid through... taxes.

There really is no rabbit hole, and no magic act. We're just fooling ourselves.

The Democratic party is the party of taxes.

The Republican party, because it supports deficit financing without bothering to arrange to get the income to pay for such financing, is now officially the party of deferred taxes, which means it is the party of higher taxes, because, after all, deferred taxes equal taxes plus interest. Lots of it.

Eventually, most everyone will figure this out.
This is my major malfunction with the Republican party. They have lost all credibility on fiscal responsibility under GWB. Of course, Obama is doing worse, but that's hardly a good thing.
Quote
Now here's a thought.

How about we just tax foreign oil?

By artifically raising the price of foreign oil, we allow domestic oil value to rise without such taxes... which means exploration and profits for domestic oil producers.
And, we pass the taxes on to the people who can afford it the least, the people who were struggling to make ends meet when gas was $4.50 a gallon. Upper middle class and the fat cats? They're fine. The average schlub with a commute gets crushed.
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And we cut our dependence on the Saudis.

And we use the revenue to give Billy-Jo and Bubba a "cash-for-clunker" low interest loan so they can trade in their Power Wagon for a Jetta TDI and because they're getting four times the mpg - even at $7 a gallon - it ends up costing them no more than it did before.
So, the solution is to take away with one hand and give with the other? I'd prefer to not play the shell game.
Quote
Of course, Detroit could profit from it, if they only made efficient cars... duh...
Detroit does. Not as many as the Japanese, but that will change, without CAFE standards, if gas stays expensive.
Quote
No, let's stick with market forces which are making the Saudis the richest people on earth and funding terrorism worldwide.

Much better.
No. Let's blunt their power by being able to make up shortfalls in supply with our own production. They're able to play the "oops, production just fell, now pay me $100 for a barrel" game because we can't make up a shortfall. If they're left with production falling (artifically) and prices NOT rising to match, they will be unable to play that game for long. Can we match their production long term? Obviously not. But if they're forced to actually take a pay cut to even play that game, they'll be less likely to play it. Furthermore, if they actually do run dry, we need our own supply on line to keep the lights on.
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geoffbaker

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Re: What if?
« Reply #44 on: June 25, 2009, 02:21:50 PM »
OK, I'm not going to respond point for point only because, darn it, it means way way too many boxes, OK? :)

We actually agree on some points (China, GWB).

But you are making a number of completely unsupportable assumptions.

1) That OPEC is losing the power to flood the market. There is no evidence of that whatsoever. The problem with OPEC is that it a combination of two things, evil and greed. I think the main 'governments' that produce most of the oil - a collection of Western hating, pro-terrorist 'princes' who rule with absolute authority and treat their women worse than dogs - are simply evil. Unfortunately, a number of other oil producing nations who are more or less decent - Canada, Mexico, Norway, Britain, Venezuela, Alaska ( :) ) go along for the ride and are happy to jack up prices whenever requested to make a few extra bucks; that's the greed part. But - and here's the important thing to remember - Saudi Arabia alone sits on at least one-fourth of the world's known oil reserves (the Ghawar fields); add in the rest of the Middle Eastern market (Bahrain, Kuwait, Iran, Iraq) and you can control the market. And they do.

In fact, the truth is that OPEC is becoming MORE powerful not less, because there are two sides to the equation, not one.

On the one hand, they control a large percentage of the supply which gives them great power.

On the other hand, india and China's rapid industrialization means that America no longer is the central focus of the other part... the demand. Instead of being the One Big Client (which confers a lot of power) we are now merely one in a growing number of clients begging for oil... and having to offer better prices in order to get it.

2) You make the entirely unsupportable claim that we are capable of producing enough oil for our own needs. Not true; there is not a single area - not ANWAR, not offshore - that currently has enough known reserves to do this. And they've been doing exploratory drilling on the North American continent for 90 years now, so there is very little that hasn't been tested. In fact most experts agree that ANWAR and offshore drilling - if fully exploited - will only offer a small percentage of the oil we consume on a daily basis. And this doesn't even cover the fact that wherever we drill, it's going to be EXPENSIVE, which means OPEC, by turning on the pumps a little harder at their easily accessible oil fields and feeding the pipelines that were built back in the 50's and are all paid off - can use their cheap oil to make the math impossible to work.

(Of course, we can make it work with enough gummint subsidies, but I'm figuring you don't support that, it isn't 'market forces')
Lastly, ANWAR holds perhaps 10% of America's oil consumption. By expanding now, we can bring that ten percent online by 2030... and guess what; by then Prudhoe Bay will be exploited; so that instead of gaining ten percent, at best we will probably LOSE a couple of percent.

Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that renewables, not fossil fuels, are the key...

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against more drilling. Hell, my folks get a check for a few cents whenever oil goes up, from quaternary production in Waggoner, OK; an old farm my grandad had.

It just won't be enough.

Now, if we went on a massive program of increasing our efficiency, we could actually decrease our need fairly rapidly to the point that current production would be sufficient... it is, as has often been stated, comparable to the Manhattan project, a vast investment... but the returns would be worthwhile.

We CAN produce Hummers that get 35 mpg.
But market forces won't do it.
WE CAN solve this problem; but not by letting OPEC tell us what to do.

And just drilling WON'T solve it sorry.

Coal gasification projects have been about as successful as ethanol, which is to say they are billion dollar boondoggles giving money to the poor pitiful coal industry to spend on skyboxes and getaways, with no actual end product in sight that isn't worse, in terms of cash investment vs return, than ANY alternative energy system out there, including wind, solar or hey probably capturing cow farts.

Here's something to think on...

Right now, TEP (Tucson Electric Power) pays real dollars to me if I install photovoltaics, or gives me rebates if I insulate or apply some other energy saving technology to my house which results in lower electric bills.

Why do they do something so crazy as to pay me to reduce the money I send to them each month? Because it has long been known that it is actually much cheaper and much easier to apply known techological efficiencies to the issue of supply and demand than it is to build new power plants. TEP gets a much bigger bang for their buck by having me install a water heater jacket than they do by building another five billion dollar coal plant.

THIS is the solution.

80 mpg small cars, and 45 mpg big cars. Ultra-efficient energy use at home and during the commute.

I've reduced my energy consumption (both in terms of commuting and in household use) by 50 percent by some very easy steps. We installed energy efficient lighting, turn ALL our electric devices (including modems and switches and hubs and those kind of things) off at night; we installed motion and time sensor switches; we cut our water use by installing foot operated sink valves; we stopped using the dryer; we harvest our water instead of sending it to the sewer. We bought LCD monitors and we got really good at turning things OFF. Result... major decrease in electric, gas and water utility bils.

For the commute; we bicycle four or five days a week instead of driving; and I use the RE for groceries, not the car. Those military panniers are handy.

This isn't difficult. And supported by an intelligent national energy policy (as opposed to the secret one sold to US oil interests in 2000 by Dick Cheney) we can actually make this LESS expensive for the average worker, rather than MORE expensive.

But drilling alone won't answer. Market forces favor the people who own the market... keep giving your money to the Saudi princes so they can buy white women as slaves and support terrorists... I'm done with that.

My bicycle operates on foot power. My RE on biodiesel made locally. My next investment will be a clean burning ultra efficient diesel car (maybe an old jetta) converted to run on biodiesel. Lastly, enough photovoltaics so i'm a net zero on the grid... putting back out as much as I use.

I'm happy to talk about all these issues, but we need to be DOING things too.

And 'freeing up market forces' won't fix it. No matter how many holes you put in the ground.

You know, the problem is that 'market forces' are dumb. I mean, way down, back-holler sister-kissing STUPID. Market forces react not to what will happen tomorrow (despite the fact that we can see it coming) but ONLY to what happenned YESTERDAY.

If market forces were smart, the railroad barons would have bought the road infrastructure, and the road barons the airports... and so on... doesn't happen. They peak, and fail, and a new entrepreneur and a new paradigm moves in.

If market forces really worked, then by default, GM would have had the Chevy Volt on sale in 2003, with an ad campaign all ready for those high gas prices in 2004 and 2005,. Why didn't they? Because market forces say "hey, we make money selling big pickups, lets sell more of them"... until the day that the market crashes and then they say "Boy do we have a lot of big pickups... hey, what went wrong, dude? Guess it's time for the big TruckTober Sellathon again!".

That's ALL market forces do.

It takes intelligent human beings working outside pure 'market forces' to solve these problems; because market forces don't know how.

The answer is here. Renewables and alternative energy and increased efficiency. We just need to get cracking.

Oh, yea... I should add since you brought it up, Obama isn't worse, he is MUCH MUCH better. The dollars are scary, i'd agree; but that is largely because of the mess inherited from GWB, the economic collapse CREATED by GWB which is drying up tax revenues and making the projections worse... and lastly, because he is actually being honest with his budget.. he is no longer hiding all the war spending in other budgets... shocking.

Did I forget to mention we don't torture anymore, and we're not likely to go to war just because it looks like it might be fun? That's a good thing, too.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2009, 04:01:02 PM by geoffbaker »