the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Tell us what you really think

Posted by Jeff Id on January 7, 2011

Judith Curry has a post on Libertarians and environment.  Apparenlty, I’ve been keeping my opinions to myslef too much lately because after reading the following sentence, I let loose with a chapter size description of my opinions.  It’s like I don’t have a blog or something.

So why do Libertarians seem generally to be opposed to the idea of AGW and policies like carbon cap and trade?

Judith,

Thank you for your accurate description of the Air Vent. It’s quite rare to see really.

Climate change is a separate issue from politics. Politically, I see liberals state that liberalism is about personal freedom followed by conservatives want to control your choices, as a form of cognitive dissonance. Perhaps it was that way a hundred years ago, but definitely not today. Liberal social policies/freedoms only reach as far as sex and drugs, everything else is about cracking down on personal choice. Which schools, foods, fuels, lightbulbs, money, exercise, insurance and even thoughts you should accept are dictated in modern democratic dogma. On that line, I’ve always found religious conservatism to be another form of the same thing, freedom for everything except sex and drugs-which should be dictated by government. — It’s oversimple but basically my thinking.

Then you have those of us who just want the government to stop making these decisions for us. Everyone has their pet peeves in the world if they are allowed to make choices for others in democracy, freedoms gradually vanish. I would just like to be given the opportunity to live life as I see fit, without all the rest of the world telling me what is the best food to eat, where to spend my money or which fuel I should burn. Nobody is qualified to make those choices for me, I do just fine on my own, and I’m not even considering making them for you.

With respect to climate change science, all this means precisely nothing. Physics will determine how bad CO2 really is so I work hard to make sure political views do not influence math results. Solutions to AGW are a 100% political issue though, and currently the environmental movement is controlled by some very socialist leaning people. All you have to do is read the UN’s agenda 21 to understand that the current AGW movement is coopted by global scale political groups who want to press their enlightened socialist views on the subjected public.

http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/

You do actually have to read it of course, and not just the pretty pictures.

Nothing would be worse than surrendering personal decision making to the likes of Rajendra Pachauri. The people at the top of the AGW scandal are very corrupt, typically (not atypically) have multiple conflicts of interest and a great deal of money to gain from promoting the scam of extremist AGW – not to be confused with actual physics. Al Gore is abused enough but a perfect example. Unfortunately, there seems to be quite a few scientists caught up in the game themselves.

So when people see Libertarian resistance to the solutions of AGW, they shouldn’t be surprised. The UN stands for everything I despise about human politics, were it my choice, the UN would be the first funding cut the US government made – and I do know it is used as a coercion tool to force smaller governments to stay in line. It is a highly corrupt and IMO evil organization bent on ever expanding global governance and personal influence. It needs to be dismantled before it grows any more.

Now most people in the world have a very limited understanding of Libertarian or conservative thought. This is a result of the constant, never ending propaganda pushed by global news organizations. Try to find a conservative statement on UK television – it’s not easy. Europe, China, Russia, Mid East, all have been completely buried in government control for so long, the people don’t see anything wrong with the government dictating your lightbulbs.

There is another way folks, and it’s a lot cheaper and a lot cleaner way to live.

I randomly leave my lightbulbs on at night 8 months out of the year, without concern. Why? Because they are heaters. If the light is on, I’m running the furnace less. Buying an LED light for my house, is a complete waste of money and I know a bit about LED lights. I don’t need regulations and enforcements to make that choice and many who read this comment will be surprised that I could be so wasteful. If you hold that opinion, it is proof that you are not smart enough to have an opinion on this matter for me.

But this is also about oil. People are buying into wind, wave, biofuel, solar etc. Some day solar will probably work, but today, not one of these technologies is anything more than a complete disastrous waste of money. Yet that’s the decision governments are making based on pretty thoughts and wonderful marketing of a green world. It is no irony that the green campaigns were designed by the same governments.

We have very limited options for energy today that can make a real dent in our needs. Nuclear and various forms of fossil fuel. What people have forgotten is that the government isn’t required to implement energy beyond creating a structure which allows corporations the freedom to do it themselves.

As a conservative who doesn’t care what you do in the bedroom, every time I see a wind farm, I want to curse at the waste and stupidity of humans. When I get emails about new regulations for trucking fuel economy, I wonder just how stupid people have to be not to realize that fuel is one of the biggest considerations in shipping and you can’t dictate physics of internal combustion. You are just adding cost to get the basic distribution of goods done. When you stop and start drilling, all you do is add cost to energy and everything else, in a world just lifting itself from poverty. If you don’t think that higher cost energy is Obama’s intent, you haven’t paid attention – and it is dangerously stupid in my opinion.

None of this is helpful. If the UN is right, and global warming is so dangerous, the current policies of the world’s governments will have impoverished industry so badly that any attempt at a ‘real’ solution will be impossible. My solution to CO2 output is to have the courage to do nothing. Not one thing, build nukes if it makes you feel better but with countries building coal plants every week, no amount of self inflicted energy cost will make the slightest dent in output. By doing nothing, we can provide the cheapest energy and maximize technological output until the day when we have the ability to do something. My solution also has the benefit of continuing to prove to our overgovernmented global population that we don’t need 2 people in government for every civilian in order to get by.

Of course to those indoctrinated by belief in puling the right government lever to solve every problem, I’m just a dumb anti-science conservative ….. dreaming.


59 Responses to “Tell us what you really think”

  1. kim said

    Energy is the new labor, and all the mistaken and outworn formulae used to lie about labor are now used to lie about energy.
    ===============

  2. Kevin said

    AMEN, Brother!

    Do you know why you never see conservative Christians having sex standing up? It might lead to dancing. haha….

    Alright, interesting ideas. I always struggle with the libertarian view. I like it, but unfortunately, the laws appear to be made for the lowest common denominator (the herd). While I think I am paying attention better in a car when I am speeding, the laws tells me i can’t. So I slow down and get bored and pull out my blackberry, etc. While the grandma in front of me doing 2 miles below the speed limit keeps crossing the double yellow line. Which is more likely to cause an accident? Speeding or crossing into the on-coming traffics lane? And the officer who pulls me over for speeding won’t be impressed with my Air Jordan-like driving skills explanation. I’m stuck in a world of lame-ass drivers.

    I would hope you might like conservatives when it come to fiscal issues. In the US, liberals like to take my money and use it as they see fit. Conservatives tend to let me keep my money to use as I see fit. An oversimplification, but something like this. Unfortunately, there are no viable Libertarian candidates in any real power broker positions….so what we have is libertarians living in a liberal or conservative environment. In reality, there will always have to be compromises. I don’t like it either, but the choices are slim.

  3. j ferguson said

    Jeff Id. I’m staggered that Judith could ask this question, assuming it wasn’t rhetorical. How could she be so oblivious as to imagine that there aren’t a lot of us out here that are not enthusiastic about contributing one way or another to far fetched schemes to solve problems the existence of which we’re unconvinced.

    It was bad enough when she worried about the skepticism of various conservative and/or religious subdivisions with the implied wondering at “how can they be so blind.”

    But this question with regard to Libertarian attitudes toward commitment of other people’s money to ineffectual and badly conceived schemes really is over the top.

    Is she so ensconced in academia that she has no idea whatever about the outside world? And if so, how can she have th hubris to imagine that she has any business “informing” policy as she puts it. Better that she convey the science.

  4. Bad Andrew said

    My educated surmise is that Judith Curry asked the question rhetorically, like J Ferguson has commented.

    JC’s Question Translated: “Why would anyone have beliefs that are different from mine(’cause mine can’t be wrong)?”

    She’s an indoctrinated statist. The politics may be negotiable, but the faith is unshakable.

    Andrew

  5. j ferguson said

    Bad Andrew,
    You’ve confirmed my suspicion. If she’d only stick to the science.

  6. Scott B said

    @Kevin:

    “In the US, liberals like to take my money and use it as they see fit. Conservatives tend to let me keep my money to use as I see fit. An oversimplification, but something like this. ”

    Both parties take our money and use it as they see fit. Liberals use it towards their interests like welfare programs. Conservatives use it for their interests like foreign wars. The each have different rhetoric. In results they’ve both been two sides of the same coin for at least the last 30 years.

  7. j ferguson said

    #6 Scott B
    “Both parties take our money and use it as they see fit. Liberals use it towards their interests like welfare programs. Conservatives use it for their interests like foreign wars. The each have different rhetoric. In results they’ve both been two sides of the same coin for at least the last 30 years.”

    Bingo. That’s why I am unconvinced that voting conservative will keep more money under my direct control. You pick your poison.

  8. kim said

    Oh, sure, I agree the World’s Cop, usually a coalition of functioning democracies, could use a raise, and the support of the pacific communities.
    ==================

  9. Kenneth Fritsch said

    Early in Judith Curry’s blogging proclamations about the politics surrounding AGW and mitigation thereof, she claimed in a discussion that she considered herself a libertarian. She then proceeded to lambast Reason for its libertarian views on AGW mitigation. I strongly suspected at that time that Judith was naive when it comes to politics and nothing she has said since has changed my mind on that matter.

    I do, however think that a libertarian, knowing that the current political means to AGW mitigation would be heavily government based as opposed to something more market oriented, want less uncertainty of the extent and consequences of AGW. On the other hand, it is rather easy to see an advocate or scientist or advocate/scientist who is also a believer in big and bigger government not needing any evidence of AGW levels and consequences, since many with that political philopsophy would prefer that government were heavily involved in these matters already and as a matter of principle. The evidence they would seek is primarily to convince others and that perhaps is why the science appears to be influenced by marketing approaches.

  10. Neil said

    The growth, both physically (population) and in wealth/economic sense of mankind over the last 100 years is creating and hightening the perception and reality of scarcity. This manifests itself in all walks of life, from the debate about urdan sprawl and “smart cities” including public transport etc to the avaliability of water or even places to go fishing.

    Scarcity is a fundamental proposition of economics. Pareto optimality and the theory of second (and third best), demand and supply curves are all aspects of economics that are based on scarcity (either a lack or alot of scarcity) and their consequence for price, production, wealth etc and of course externalities.

    The funadmental problem with AGW is that the alledged problem, externalities associated with the emmission of CO2 is viewed by many an extremely long bow between cause and effect. Most externalities or direct property right issues that mankind has addressed are very physical and consequently tend to be very local, land rights, smog reductions, water quality etc. Usually we can notice if someone is trying to build a fence on our land, or is dumping waste in the local river. Addressing these property rights and externalities is usually hard to argue against; “its my land, I paid for it, get off” or “we all need clean water”.

    But with CO2 and AGW we are told it is a “tradgedy of the commons” of immense and never before seen proportions. The problem I have is I cant tell if the experts are telling the truth, and I dont trust them just because they are experts. So I read, I read blogs I talk to people etc and I still cant tell.

    On that basis I really struggle to accept the creation of emmission property rights for CO2. I dont trust politicians and others who tell me it will be fiscally neutral etc. If the objective is to change the patterns of consumption and production there must be a relative change in the real prices of the goods affected. If the substitutes are only ecomomic given the imposition of the tax, ie they have a real cost that is higher then the now taxed substitute I can not be kept neutral, even with tax recycling.

    Dont talk to me about equality, fairness or the precautionary principle.

    Neil

  11. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by redditpics and Science Blog News. Science Blog News said: Tell us what you really think: Judith Curry has a post on Libertarians and environment. Apparenlty, I’ve b… http://tinyurl.com/2bedk3x [...]

  12. stan said

    I’ve had liberal CAGW believers (some with really high IQs) tell me that the science regarding global warming doesn’t matter. In their view, all the proposed measures for govt “solutions” would be good ideas regardless.

  13. I read her post (Judith’s), but decided not to get involved in a politican discussion on a climate blog. I see I missed a doozy of a response from you!

    The reason you have a top blog and I do not is that you express your ideals better than I ever could. But I will bookmark this one the next time I hear someone who is clueless about libertarians or conservatives spouting non-sense.

    Well said!

  14. stan said

    re: “political solutions”, Tom Nelson posted a link to this http://blogs.forbes.com/williampentland/2011/01/07/climate-scientists-deepening-skepticism-of-democracy/

  15. Stacey said

    The statement by Judith Curry is patently wrong, recent polls would indicate that the people skeptical about AGW can’t all be libertarians or conservatives.

    When science is served by scientists who can’t stay above politics in their work science is brought down low.

    My view, for what it’s worth, is that the fight against alarmism is best served by setting politics to one side. I think that Steve McIntyre is an exemplar of this approach.

  16. CTD said

    I’m right with you on most fronts, but I wonder why the animus against wind power? It’s relatively expensive right now, sure, but it’s also non-polluting, sustainable, and the Kennedys hate it.

  17. DeWitt Payne said

    Libertarians are opposed to cap and trade for the simple reason that it won’t work as advertised. It’s a scam designed to reward some and punish others. Even James Hansen is opposed to cap and trade (or more accurately, cap and charade). Any actual reduction in CO2 emissions would be purely coincidental. This isn’t theory. It’s been tried in Europe. But hope seems to spring eternal in some minds. It sort of worked for sulfate emissions, but that is in no meaningful way comparable to CO2.

  18. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: CTD (Jan 7 15:53),

    I wonder why the animus against wind power?

    Wind power will always be more expensive than a centralized generation system. There’s a limit on generator size so there’s the expense of the grid connecting the generators together. Regions suitable for wind generation are usually nowhere near where you need the power so there’s more expense to connect a wind farm to the main grid. Finally, there’s the control problem in the absence of inexpensive high capacity storage. Even T. Boone Pickens has given up on his grandiose wind farm scheme.

    Solar photovoltaic has similar problems unless you can somehow put them in geosynchronous orbit at a reasonable cost. Solar thermal, less so because thermal storage is far less expensive than batteries ever will be.

  19. Cap and Trade (as a side issue from Libertarianism) is only favored by the rich. For as Al Gore pointed out, it will basically move some items out of the reach of most people and into the realm of the rich elite only. It will not reduce CO2, but will just make the richest the most immune from the costs of it.

  20. Kramer said

    Jeff Id,

    I’m in agreement with what you wrote.

    I will add one thing, and that is that I see AGW being used to fulfill the NIEO which fizzled out in the 80′s.

  21. Kramer said

    Bad Andrew… the same BadAndy from Ars?

  22. Sam said

    Libertarians are in favor of free markets. Cap and trade is a market which would be created and sustained by government. Cap and trade is not a free market, therefore, libertarians are opposed to cap and trade.

  23. kuhnkat said

    “While the grandma in front of me doing 2 miles below the speed limit keeps crossing the double yellow line. Which is more likely to cause an accident? Speeding or crossing into the on-coming traffics lane?”

    It would seem Granny does better!!

    http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2011/tables/11s1113.pdf

    Notice males have about 3 times as many accidents as females. As a lifetime motorcycle rider I find it irritating the number of people who THINK they can do a reasonable job of operating their vehicle while doing ANYTHING else!!

  24. Bad Andrew said

    Kramer,

    Nope. Whats Ars?

    Andrew

  25. mikep said

    Whether or not man-made emissions of CO2 are likely to cause major warming and what the consequences of any such warming would be are issues of what is true, and in no way depend on what values people hold. Best keep politics out of this altogether. This whole discussion has a slightly surreal feel to it on the Eastern side of the Atlantic, where religion is taken much less seriously than in the US and liberal is not a dirty word (at least before Nick Clegg helped form the coalition government). In US terms I am certainly a liberal and think government has an important role to play in making society better. But I think the evidence for CAGW is very weak, especially the tree ring temperature reconstructions and the over reliance on models. But let’s get back to talking about, or even better doing, science and not waste time on politics.

  26. [...] 5. the Air Vent on Tell Us What You Really Think [...]

  27. Superb, Jeff. This post says it all and I’m sure will long be used to demonstrate the criticial thinking that has led many of us to take our ‘sceptical’ position and reject state interference in our lives.

  28. Phil R said

    j ferguson said
    January 7, 2011 at 11:33 am

    #6 Scott B
    “Both parties take our money and use it as they see fit. Liberals use it towards their interests like welfare programs. Conservatives use it for their interests like foreign wars. The each have different rhetoric. In results they’ve both been two sides of the same coin for at least the last 30 years.”

    Bingo. That’s why I am unconvinced that voting conservative will keep more money under my direct control. You pick your poison.

    In general, I agree and it may come down to a matter of degree. I think in general you will keep more of your money longer under Republicans.

    Also, I’d like to make a point that “conservative” and “Republican” quite often are used synonymously, but they are not. Republicans tend to be the more conservative party, but not all Republicans are conservative. Conservativism is more of a philosophy while Republicanism is just one of two big political parties.

  29. Phil R said

    PhilJourdan said
    January 7, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    Cap and Trade (as a side issue from Libertarianism) is only favored by the rich. For as Al Gore pointed out, it will basically move some items out of the reach of most people and into the realm of the rich elite only. It will not reduce CO2, but will just make the richest the most immune from the costs of money from it.

    There, fixed. :)

  30. Great rant Jeff. You do a good job of articulating your thoughts.

    Acting ‘for the greater good’ is something many of us aspire to, but in common with many here I want to decide for myself what I think the greater good is. I certainly don’t want to be told by some arrogant authority that thinks the general population is incapable of understanding complexity and making informed choices, nor do I want to be forced to do something, because of that authority’s idea of what is for the greater good, either by law or artificial inflation of cost.

  31. Retired Engineer said

    There are very few Conservatives in our government. And few true liberals, who really believe in expanding personal freedom. We do have a lot of self proclaimed Progressives and Socialists, who think “the gentlemen in DC know more how the people should live than the people themselves” (to paraphrase Thatcher) (for some reason, those gentlemen always seem to exempt themselves from the rules they impose on the rest of us)

    I am an unapologetic Capitalist. Capitalism is good for the economy. A good economy is good for the country. If we can keep the “Saviors-of-the-World” from messing up the system with their well intentioned and totally incompetent ideas, we will have the wherewithal to really fix the problems that do arise.

    Capitalism creates wealth. Socialism does not. Wealth solves problems. Good intentions are great for paving the road we’d prefer not to take.

    At least that’s what I think.

  32. Brian H said

    Edit notes:
    Jeff! You almost made all the way — but “pulling”, not “puling”. The latter means crying weakly.
    Neil: Neither “allege” nor “tragedy” needs a ‘d’ before the ‘g’.

    As for libertarianism, its fears of statism are now very pertinent; this CO2-based push to control the world’s energy production and use is the Big One. That’s a mandate that leaves damned few stones unturned.

  33. Stilgar said

    “So why do Libertarians seem generally to be opposed to the idea of AGW and policies like carbon cap and trade?”

    Because we think people should be free to do as they want unless a thorough, objective, reason can be proven as to why an action should be restricted and that restriction should be as limited as possible to preserve freedom.

    AGW is is built upon the precautionary principal, which is the exact opposite of what libertarians believe (you should be restricted until you can prove your actions are safe).

    If the action has not been proven (even if it is not certain proof, at least a good understanding of the actions and the consequences of what could happen is needed), why would I even consider a restriction?

  34. Kan said

    “and the Kennedys hate it”

    With this very simple, powerful statement, you changed my mind. Who knew that a proper slogan really can work.

    Let’s build!

    (Brian H – please note the proper use… :) )

  35. kuhnkat said

    Brian H,

    “Neil: Neither “allege” nor “tragedy” needs a ‘d’ before the ‘g’.”

    OK OK, we are obsolete!

    http://www.encyclo.co.uk/define/alledge

  36. Beth Cooper said

    Agree with every word, Jeff.
    Here’s a pertinent comment from Ric Locke on WUWT (8th Jan.)
    “The Precautionary Principle tells us that we should never, ever turn our affairs over to ideologues with an agenda.”

  37. galileonardo said

    Jeff,

    Thanks for yet again shining the floodlight on the politics of AGW theory, its cornerstone in my opinion. Too many people underestimate how important the socialist-activist element is to this argument. I have likened it in your vent venue to the 10,000-pound elephant in the room, yet I have often been labeled a conspiracy theorist, and far worse, for even wanting to discuss it.

    Figures for the Earth’s carrying capacity from the anti-human crowd should be worrisome to most everyone, but I suppose it is better for the survival of the flock’s fragile personal facades to continue bleating and shouting “denier” than it would be to strip back the veneer and see what really is at the core of their beliefs. Rather sad really, and especially so when, as you noted, it is skeptics that are labeled anti-science.

    Although I have used the road-to-hell phrase in the past here, I will refrain from doing so any longer as it does a real disservice to the notion of good intentions. That the UN has evil intent from the standpoint of us pesky little humans is, to borrow another phrase, unequivocal.

    Thank you too for pointing out the importance of the relative personal freedom afforded to us in the US (at the moment) that has gone wanting in much of the world, and largely, and kind of depressingly, without much of a fight. This is a special place. Understatement I know, but really what we have here is such a rare, yes tarnished, gem that is truly remarkable and unprecedented in human history.

    For all of the warts that form in a society such as is, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Where would you rather be? Iran? China? Even Europe as you said? The control-freaks have gotten hold of so much of the world, the norm now propagandist education and media indoctrination, that the pending, dare I say, “good-vs-evil” battle that is in store for us will be a real test of humanity and its (hopefully) long-term future.

    As a father like you, I yield not. Umm, never in fact. I was born into a dictatorship but was lucky enough to have parents who freed me from that prison before I was even able to speak. So I appreciate this place, a lot. When I look into my son’s eyes, I melt for him. I do not say this to my childless friends and family, but I really don’t think you experience the full spectrum of love until you have a child. I will fight for his freedom and future until my last breath.

    Please keep up the awesome (and IMO under-appreciated) work. It is a tremendous effort and I thank you for it. Since you confessed to your incandescent indulgence, I’ll leave you with the link I have used often (here too I know) in debating CFL-advocates. I guess we don’t already have enough mercury pollution. Cheers!

    http://www.maine.gov/dep/rwm/homeowner/cflreport/appendixe.pdf

  38. galileonardo said

    I forgot to include this, and I’m guessing you may have seen it as it’s old news, but the notion Lovelock expresses here captures the pending battle well:

    “Even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while.”

    Ding-ding.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/mar/29/james-lovelock-climate-change

  39. kim said

    G, I like to remember that the road to Heaven is also paved with good intentions.
    ===========

  40. galileonardo said

    Kim, very true. Thank you very much for that reminder.

  41. Geoff Sherrington said

    It helps to categorise this way.

    A government can assume a very wide range of powers and take the required taxes to execute them.

    OTOH, a government can start with a clean slate and ask what can be done better collectively than individually, and tax accordingly and minimally.

    Most advanced governments have tended too close together at the center. I keep telling our newly elected State government to explain with each new policy decision that it is a Conservative decision and that it differs from the Socialist approach in the following specified ways …. We have to remember that even here, fairly close to Nirvana of our times, there are many voters who have never really been exposed to Conservative politics. It’s sad that many, especially immigrants, have mostly known weak or strong versions of Communism, a system that has failed time and again.

    The UN climate change agenda is too close to the solutions of Chairman Mao, who rewarded the intelligentsia with execution, disgrace and humiliation like cleaning public toilets.

    When were YOU last asked if you wished to participate in any AGW corrective measure?

  42. Bart said

    Jeff,

    “I would just like to be given the opportunity to live life as I see fit”…

    I agree, as I think almost everyone would. But I would make an important addition:

    …in a way that doesn’t negatively interfere with other’s opportunity to live their lives as they see fit.

    I discussed those themes before:
    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2009/05/25/freedom-and-responsibility/

    And of course I’m in total agreement that “With respect to climate change science, all this means precisely nothing.”

  43. Andrew said

    Ugh. Trying not to vomit. The phrase “patently absurd” comes to mind.

    Let’s begin by asking Judith to please seperate the politics from the science for at least two seconds. Instead of asking a loaded compound question, I think the more interesting questions would be:

    Why does it seem like libertarians oppose “THE SCIENCE”tm?

    Why do libertarians oppose cap and trade?

    The latter question is so obvious only a complete idiot could not see the answer:

    BECAUSE IT IS A MASSIVE FREAKING DISTORTION OF THE MARKET!

    The latter part of Judith’s question is so infuriately ignorant that, well, I may lose my lunch (before I’ve had it mind you!) from pure nauseation.

    The former question is of course meant to indict a political point of view which the author finds they disagree with. I say “the author” because I have seen this before. It is also infuriating, but I’m used to it by now. Let me put it in a way that I can, however, stomach to answer it in:

    The primary defenders of AGW orthodoxy invariably take a far-hard-communist-left view of the issue blaming it on capitalism directly or indirectly. Libertarians are JUSTIFIABLY paranoid about far-left attacks on capitalism, and will, as they SHOULD, attack such assaults from every concievably direction imaginable. If “THE SCIENCE”tm makes the decision to stand athwart this assualt, then so freaking be it.

    I told you all that Judith was a leftist who shouldn’t be put on a pedestal, but does anybody listen to paranoid kooks like me? No

    Excuse me while I puke.

  44. Phil R #29 – Good fix! But I was trying to be generous.

  45. Kevin said

    #23 Kuhnkat

    O/T…interesting stats. In the big picture it’s likely that many Seniors don’t drive which would skew the numbers against the 25-55 working class. Also the stats don’t mention time of day which is a factor. The safest time to drive is between something like 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM. Accidents tend to go up exponentially after hours and on weekends. As well, the number of medicated drivers is going up.

  46. Paul in Sweden said

    “Climate change is a separate issue from politics.”

    Jeff, As climate always changes and the issue is really CAGW and the futile policies that governments are enacting I feel CAGW is an issue of politics.

    The study of climate as a science issue must continue and mature. I want our scientists to one day be able to be able to predict which areas will have drought or flood and offer guidance to the agriculture industry & municipalities on matters of crop choice and water management.

    On the United Nations, I am all for the United States defunding the United Nations and getting that cesspool with all the associated embassies off of US soil! What I would really like to see happen is the entire United Nations relocated to zero carbon buildings located on the Gaza strip where the world’s diplomatic elite can supervise first hand the fruits of their labor.

  47. woodNfish said

    I have one small quibble with your statement Jeff. I think you mean fundamentalist Christians when you write conservative Christians.

    And as a conservative, I want everyone, including the government, to mind their own damn business and quit minding mine. As a Libertarian, I want VERY limited government and not the police state we call the USA as it is today. And I wouldn’t think of telling another adult how to live or behave nor get between a contract between two adults and an person and a business if both parties have freely agreed to the contract.

  48. 50something said

    @Retired Engineer #31

    “Capitalism creates wealth. Socialism does not. Wealth solves problems.”

    explain please how the top 1% of Americans who are making more than the bottom 50% are solving our nation’s problems…

  49. explain please how the top 1% of Americans who are making more than the bottom 50% are solving our nation’s problems

    That is not correct. the top 1% pay more taxes than the bottom 50%.

    But for the sake of argument, we will leave your statement alone if you can answer this question:

    How many people did the bottom 50% hire and how many did the top 1% hire?

  50. Jeff Id said

    In America, companies don’t pay taxes the business income is added to the business owner’s income so the owner becomes a 1%er even if the money was sunk into the business.

    The 1% line is one of the most disingenuous/ignorant arguments the left can make. Look at how much the bottom 50% has in comparison to the rest of the world and you will have your answer.

  51. woodNfish said

    Jeff Id: “In America, companies don’t pay taxes the business income is added to the business owner’s income so the owner becomes a 1%er even if the money was sunk into the business.”

    Huh? I agree that companies pass on the cost of taxes to their customers as an operating cost, but I don’t understand the last part of that statement at all. Maybe in a sole proprietorship that is true, but not for a corporation, public or private.

  52. Jeff Id said

    #51, S-corps and LLC’s — IOW the vast majority of corporations do not pay taxes. They report income which is passed to shareholders who pay the taxes. That is why the over 250K earners BS from Obama was a job killer. Two gas stations and you’re in the crosshairs.

    Spend all your profit to put in some new eco-friendly tanks – doesn’t matter. You can write that expense off after X years.

  53. woodNfish said

    Sorry Jeff, I think you are wrong on this for most corporations. I don’t know about S-corps and LLC’s, but regular corporations do pay taxes. However, they cover the cost by charging more for their products. I don’t get anything from companies I own shares in unless I sell my shares, and dividends are taxed twice. And yes, there are plenty of ways for corps to avoid taxes. Just read the recent story how google ends up only paying about 2% on their billions.

  54. Jeff Id said

    WoodNfish,

    Sorry, I’m not wrong this time. Having owned a half dozen companies to date, I’m fairly certain how my taxes work.

    I’m also familiar with being screwed out of more than I should be. When I was in my 20′s I took home 96K – according to big government in one year — I paid taxes of 45, the next year I made 24K and while I didn’t pay much tax, I didn’t eat much food either. In reality my 96 was only 60 take home and the rest was invested into infrastructure which was later lost. It is the curse of the job maker.

    We are expected to invest, we are expected to risk all, yet we are taxed out of our earnings if we happen to be lucky enough to get them. Americans really need to get wiser about the world and what makes a nation succeed.

    I don’t know the Google story, but I do know that if you believe they paid 2% and you believe they should have paid 30% then you haven’t read the detail enough. The govt gets their pay my friend — always.

  55. Kan said

    Woodnfish

    Jeff is correct – the majority of Corporations in the United States are S corporations, in 2003 roughly 62% of all corporations were S Corporations. The number has increased since then due to legal advantages over Sole proprietorship.

    http://www.irs.gov/taxstats/bustaxstats/article/0,,id=96405,00.html

    These corporations are limited to the number of share holders, and the tax liability is directly held by the shareholders.

    http://www.usa-federal-state-company-tax.com/s_corporation.asp

  56. woodNfish said

    Jeff: The govt gets their pay my friend — always.

    Yes, I agree, Jeff. We are talking about two different kinds of corps. You are talking small corps where the owner finds incorporation gives him more legal protection than a sole proprietorship. Yeah, there are a lot of them. Most are one person shops and don’t make any real money. I’ve owned a few of those myself. These are private corps and their shares are not publicly available.

    Large public corps that trade on the exchanges are a different matter, and those are the ones I am talking about. They determine how much profit they want to make and they figure out what their fixed and variable expenses are and price their products accordingly to make their net.

    Here’s the google story. Read it and weep:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-10-21/google-2-4-rate-shows-how-60-billion-u-s-revenue-lost-to-tax-loopholes.html

  57. Jeff Id said

    #56 My last ‘small’ corp had 80 people. My current one has 15 and will be over 25 this summer.

  58. Jeff Id said

    #56, The hiding of income works because of the way the US structures its corporate tax. Calling it ‘lost revenue’ rather ticks me off but the way we tax business incents companies to base themselves overseas and then hire accountants to argue how much cost the service incurred when the cash is imported. HongKong doesn’t tax business at all, only individuals are taxed. If you want jobs to come back here, we should stop the practice immediately.

    Most mid size corps are S corps or LLC’s as well.

  59. woodNfish said

    #57, I didn’t say all corps never got anywhere, but you know as well as I do that most businesses fail within their first 5 years. Let’s just let this go Jeff. It really isn’t important.

    #58, I agree. I’m a libertarian just like you, Jeff. I want to end the government strangulation that is sending our jobs overseas. American made tools used to be the best in the world. Try finding some now. We used to build ships here, but the unions destroyed that industry, and the government drives ship registry offshore. When it comes to jobs, our government is the enemy.

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