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Does Anybody Out There Understand Economics

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In tonight's address, Bush will be "proposing to set the amount of ethanol and other alternative fuels that must be blended into the fuel supply at 35 billion gallons by 2017, up from 7.5 billion gallons in 2012." (http://www.comcast.net/news/index.jsp?cat=GENERAL&fn=/2007/01/23/568909.html)

David Pimental, a leading Cornell University agricultural expert, has calculated that powering the average U.S. automobile for one year on ethanol (blended with gasoline) derived from corn would require 11 acres of farmland, the same space needed to grow a year's supply of food for seven people. Adding up the energy costs of corn production and its conversion into ethanol, 131,000 BTUs are needed to make one gallon of ethanol. One gallon of ethanol has an energy value of only 77,000 BTUS. Thus, 70 percent more energy is required to produce ethanol than the energy that actually is in it. Every time you make one gallon of ethanol, there is a net energy loss of 54,000 BTUs.
Ethanol Fuel from Corn Faulted as ‘Unsustainable Subsidized Food Burning’

:D;):D

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Oh my, Mexico might invade us once they hear of Bush's plan which dramatically increases the demand for corn. Mexico has a few problems with corn as it is. From the BBC.

Last Updated: Friday, 12 January 2007, 14:38 GMT

Mexico leader in tortilla pledge

Mexico's President Felipe Calderon has pledged to intervene to tackle the soaring price of tortillas, the flat corn bread which is a local staple.

The price of tortillas, the main source of calories for many of Mexico's poor, rose by more than 10% last year.

Mr Calderon said the government would clamp down on speculators and search for cheaper providers of corn.

But he ruled out imposing subsidies or price controls, which were lifted in the late 1990s.

"We will take all the measures within reach of the federal government to avoid escalating prices," Mr Calderon said.

In the meantime Mr Calderon has told his agriculture secretary to import corn to ease the problem.

I don't care if it's brought from thousands of kilometres away, the most important thing is that this [shortage] is not used as an excuse to raise prices," he said on Thursday.

Earlier this week, angry housewives heckled Mr Calderon at his public appearances, pleading with him to bring tortilla prices down.

"When there isn't enough money to buy meat, you do without," one woman in Mexico City, Bonifacia Ysidro, told the Associated press. "Tortillas you can't do without."

Ms Ysidro said she paid 25 pesos - about a sixth of her family's daily income - for enough tortillas to feed her family of six.

Monopoly probe

On Thursday, government officials from the Federal Competition Commission said that they were investigating claims that tortilla companies around the country were manipulating prices and restricting supplies to boost profits.

"If we detect monopolistic practices, we could impose fines of up to 70m pesos [$6.4m]," commission director Eduardo Perez Motta said in a statement.

Under the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, Mexico used to get cheap corn imports from the US, but Mexico's Economy Minister Eduardo Sojo said that with more US corn being diverted into ethanol production, supply was dwindling.

Note that last sentence. No more cheap corn.

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And to answer Paul's question in the subtitle, "Please remind me why I voted for Bush":

kerry.jpg

;)

But, I feel your pain. I can't bear watching Bush's address tonight.

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And to answer Paul's question in the subtitle, "Please remind me why I voted for Bush":

kerry.jpg

;)

But, I feel your pain. I can't bear watching Bush's address tonight.

Thanks for the reminder. I needed that.

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Yup, the fact that ethanol is not a source of energy, but a net drain has been known for a while. It's also supposed to be very corrosive to metal.

Let's face it, it's about morality, not economics.

Speaking of which, have you seen John Edwards' blog on economics?

Check this out, you won't believe what you're reading:

Edwards Blog

"Our analysis leads to some conclusions that many will perhaps find stunning:

*Even a steeply progressive income tax---right up to 99% on the highest incomes---would impose no loss of purchasing power on wealthy income earners.

*Reducing the income tax rates of rich citizens will weaken the economy if Congress cuts spending to pay for the tax cuts.

*Increasing the amount of taxes collected from wealthy citizens will actually provide a stimulus to the economy.

*The rich cannot get richer---in real terms---by getting their taxes cut, but they can become richer if they pay more in taxes.

*The government is a major producer of Real Wealth.

*An increase in the size of government is almost always quite desirable."

*Wealthy citizens who are wise should be lobbying for an increase in government spending and an increase in their tax rates."

Later Edwards went on to theorize that the sun is made of ice, sub-atomic particles are too big to be seen with the naked eye, and gravity is what keeps airplanes in the sky. ;)

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While we're on the topic of crazy Moonbats, here's one of the worst:

http://www.hillaryclinton.com/feature/video/?sc=8

How does she plan on making America self-reliant with respect to oil? By preventing exploration of ANWR? By taxing oil-corporations? By enacting new green-legislation? Or how about her hinted health-care plan, is she planning on modeling the US after the stunning success of the failed Canadian "free" health-care?

Seriously, after reading the insanely false economic thoughts of Edwards, then watching this video of Hillary, as well as monitoring and listening to other Moonbats, I have to ask: HOW on Earth can a human being hold onto ideas with such tenacity that have been demonstrated time and again by history to be stupendously wrong? Is this no longer an issue of being honestly mistaken, but rather willful evasion of the facts of reality?

I would think that in a logical world, someone with even the most cursory of education in history, science, and economics could see the folly in virtually any and all of the Dem's policies/beliefs.

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I would think that in a logical world, someone with even the most cursory of education in history, science, and economics could see the folly in virtually any and all of the Dem's policies/beliefs.

How many people get even a cursory education in any of those subjects nowadays?

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It is pretty ironic, considering what has been said here and the content of the list itself, that the list of conclusions on Edwards' blog is qualified by saying, "If you've ever taken an introductory course in economics, you should be able to follow all of the arguments that are made."

Maybe all of us took the wrong introductory courses.

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Yup, the fact that ethanol is not a source of energy, but a net drain has been known for a while. It's also supposed to be very corrosive to metal.

Let's face it, it's about morality, not economics.

Speaking of which, have you seen John Edwards' blog on economics?

Check this out, you won't believe what you're reading:

Edwards Blog

Later Edwards went on to theorize that the sun is made of ice, sub-atomic particles are too big to be seen with the naked eye, and gravity is what keeps airplanes in the sky. ;)

Haha, you know what's sad? I haven't gotten much sleep lately and for some reason I thought that was an Objectivist making a spoof on the current bizare ideological state of many politicians. Apparently, we no longer have to exaggerate to prove our point. :D

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I noticed, at the beginning of the state of the union address, President Bush spoke about small government, balancing the budget and annihilating the federal deficit in five years (the exact quote in context seemed to imply the $8 trillion public debt).

Meanwhile the United States is by my calculations $55 trillion (or $53tln according to the Comptroller's report a month ago) in debt, this $55 trillion includes the public debt as well as future maturity of current obligations in the existing social security and health care systems as well as foreign government bonds.

Two months before the Comptrollers December report, I sat down and worked out the real US debt. When the report came out I realized that even without 'inside accounting' I was pretty close.

2006 was the first year the treasury put on its public books the Social Security and health care entitlement estimations, present and future -- strange that.

You voted for Bush because in his state of the union, even though not in the same sentence, he outlined, albeit vaguely, the 'extremist', 'radical ideology of hatred' and 'totalitarian' goals of the enemy.

I think there is still the possibility of what I call the philosophic miracle, the longer the United States stays in Iraq, the worse it gets, and the more likely the United States is 'locked' into the arm wrestle, the more likely events will create conditions in which the airs clear to clarity and rational judgment -- allowing the protrusion of interpretations of events to lead to reactions to such events that constitute nothing other than the moral imperative.

The more people think, the more people accept the right premises implicitly, even inconsistently, this provides discourse that will lead towards the right tactics.

Observe that in the state of the union the President mentioned the throwing away with needless restrictions (in regards to engagement in Baghdad) -- Syria and Iran were mentioned -- slowly and slowly the things we root for are slowly assimilating into political discourse.

I think all Objectivists need a map to the Republic of Chile, as on arrival they will realize that this was not just a holiday, but an economics lesson.

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"Does Anybody Out There Understand Economics, Please Remind Me of Why I Voted for Bush"

Well, I didn't vote for Bush. ;)

Bush's one major economic achievement as President was the reduction in taxes on capital gains and dividends. This is a far more effective tax cut than a reduction in other forms of taxes, because it directly reduces the taxes on capital. I would contend that a good deal of the economic growth we have experienced during the Bush Presidency (but by no means all of it) stems from these cuts.

Unfortunately, the tax cut was temporary. It is likely that in 2010 this tax cut will transform into one of the largest-ever increases in taxes on capital gains and dividends if it is allowed to expire by a Democratic Congress, which seems likely.

Bush could only make his singular achievement in taxes temporary while enacting a laundry list of more or less permanent destructive policies, because Bush was a contradiction from the start. He was a "compassionate conservative." That, combined with pragmatism, just made him the second in a new breed of ugly "big government Republicans." (The first modern-day "big government Republican" was Richard Nixon. A "laundry list" of his economic crimes does exceed that of Bush.)

So, what is the rest of Bush's economic legacy?

* enactment of a major new welfare entitlement, prescription drugs for the elderly;

* a permanent major increase in business regulation (Sarbanes-Oxley), and entrenchment of a hostile, anti-business regulatory stance at the SEC and other agencies;

* new subsidies for economically destructive and politically-connected producers of energy such as ethanol, wind power, solar and "clean" (read: uneconomic) coal power;

* new regulation and subsidies for public education;

* new tariffs on steel and other products, and stepped up enforcement of so-called "anti-dumping" laws on foreign trade;

* failure to advance the cause of global free trade in recent global trade negotiations, in part due to his hypocrisy on this issue (see above); and

* vigorous antitrust enforcement, blocking many economically beneficial mergers.

While doing all of this, Bush never once raised his veto pen except on the religious issue of stem cell research. As a result, under his watch,

* federal spending grew at an unprecedented rate, resulting in large budget deficits; and

* federal "ear-mark" spending for pork barrel projects reached levels not seen in any Administration of either political party.

Bush managed to distort the traditional Republican image as being avowedly pro-free market into one that is simply seen as corrupt. The Republicans aren't "pro-business" as such, they are simply supportive of their politically-connected business friends. The energy subsidies, run-away federal spending and corrupt ear-marks that Bush either actively encouraged or did nothing to prevent, fostered this image.

But more important than the specifics of Bush's economic failures is the ideological damage he did to the Republican Party by saying he believed in "compassionate conservatism" -- and meaning it.

This "compassionate conservatism" made the Republican Party safe for the likes of Governors Romney of Massachusetts and Schwarzenegger of California and their efforts to socialize medicine.

Under Bush, "compassionate conservatism" has become "Big Government Republicanism" with the result that, on economic matters, the Republican Party is hardly any different than the Democratic Party in the minds of voters. Because of this tarnishing of the Republican Party, Bush helped pave the way for the Democrats to grab more power.

Contrast Bush's economic record with that of his predecessor, Bill Clinton. Clinton was no friend of capitalism. Yet, faced with pressure from an energized Republican House, he passed welfare reform. Faced with the same pressure, Clinton enacted the North American Free Trade Agreement, which has been a boon to the United States, Canada and Mexico (especially the northern maquiladora region). Faced with Republican pressure, he did not enact any major new regulatory programs, even going so far as to say that, "The era of big government is over." As a result, the 1990s was a prosperous period.

Which is worse? A "compassionate" Republican President with his own party controlling Congress, or a Democratic President with an energized Republican Congress in opposition? I contend that the latter combination produces better policies.

Unfortunately, the magnitude of Bush's failure is such that we may end up with a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress. If that transpires, I would argue that it was Bush's contradictory root premise that attempted to combine Christian altruism with egoistic capitalism (and leavened with pragmatism) that paved the way.

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Speaking of which, have you seen John Edwards' blog on economics?

Check this out, you won't believe what you're reading:

Edwards Blog

Later Edwards went on to theorize that the sun is made of ice, sub-atomic particles are too big to be seen with the naked eye, and gravity is what keeps airplanes in the sky. ;)

That blog entry is truly incredible, beyond belief. But, unless I am misreading things, this tripe was written by someone else, not John Edwards. Right?

(That a presidential candidate could allow this on his public blog, is bad enough.)

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That blog entry is truly incredible, beyond belief. But, unless I am misreading things, this tripe was written by someone else, not John Edwards. Right?

(That a presidential candidate could allow this on his public blog, is bad enough.)

I just realized, you're right. I assumed a blog was ones personal notes, but that is by someone else named James Kroeger.

I wonder if it's one of those "trial balloons" you hear about every so often.

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It is pretty ironic, considering what has been said here and the content of the list itself, that the list of conclusions on Edwards' blog is qualified by saying, "If you've ever taken an introductory course in economics, you should be able to follow all of the arguments that are made."

Maybe all of us took the wrong introductory courses.

Try reading the author's rationalizations here. LOL: " a great effort should be made to educate the public in order to minimize a serious backlash by The Uninformed."

James%20J.%20Kroeger.jpg

James is a ‘Philosopher Economist’

Who possesses ‘only’ a Master’s Degree in Economics

(From the University of Texas at Arlington)

You decide if that is enough...

Lady Brin

------------------------------------

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Try reading the author's rationalizations here. LOL: " a great effort should be made to educate the public in order to minimize a serious backlash by The Uninformed."

James%20J.%20Kroeger.jpg

James is a ‘Philosopher Economist’

Who possesses ‘only’ a Master’s Degree in Economics

(From the University of Texas at Arlington)

You decide if that is enough...

Lady Brin

------------------------------------

I think that's an example of all the wrong introductory courses.

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