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  #201  
Old 04-14-2012, 04:12 PM
Eric the Green Eric the Green is offline
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Originally Posted by Isis of the Well View Post
Let me explain, I used to be a hardcore lefty. I believed in Social Democracy, specifically the Nordic Model.

I still do, however those countries are just special cases of humanity. It can't happen here, it's not in our mindset and our government is too corrupt.
We are just stuck in old ways. We will eventually learn that the Nordic way is better. Humanity is not that different from place to place.
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So IMO how can we bring power to the working/middle classes and small business and end our oligarchy?
Less government.
See, I used to hate the free market but I realized we don't really have one!
There are so many subsidies/breaks/rules that big business gets, and that is NOT free market. Right? It should be less government intervention, not giving breaks to business.
Most progressives agree.
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IMO the only way to empower the masses is to:
. Greatly reduce our burden.
Between federal and state income tax, payroll taxes, outrageous property taxes here in NJ...god that must be like 40ish% for a MIDDLE CLASS family!
Obama has targeted $250,000 as wealthy, but if you make that and live in New York City...between Fed, State, City and property taxes...I believe its near 50% they pay! 250K is not a lot, that's not fat cat wall street money!
It's way more than most people get. I shed no tears for the suffering folk who make $250,000 a year. Obama's "targeted" group would not be paying much more than they do today under his plan, and the feds need the money. These rich folks can deduct local and state taxes anyway, can't they?

I can't say whether I think taxes in New York and New Jersey are too high. CA has reduced property taxes, of course, but let off big property owners too much. Much more is needed to empower the masses than by reducing taxes. It's high prices that need to be reduced on things like health care, education, transportation, housing.... and the low salaries people get today, what with the low minimum wage, free trade and weak unions, the makes it too hard to pay for many basic things people need. Wealth inequality and declining social mobility is what is holding down the people-- more inequality and less upward mobility here in the USA than in other developed countries.
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To relieve this tax burden that chokes middle/working class and small business government needs to be reduced. Drastic cuts to defense spending, and make reasonable cuts to domestic government.
The main thing that will cut federal government costs (besides defense cuts, and keeping interest rates low) is to have everyone contribute to health care, and to bring down medical costs. We need to do most of the domestic spending we are doing, and if the economy remains stalled, we need to do more.
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End subsidies and corporate welfare and promote an actual free market in things like health insurance and energy.
Subsidies and breaks are good for new start up businesses that are in the national interest-- like green energy today, and the space program in the 1960s that spawned the computer industry. Permanent support after that should be cut or eliminated.
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a generally free market, but not 100% with light but reasonable regulation.
It's good to hear your views on the progressive movement. But I think we need more regulation than we have now. And our corporations that are too big to fail, ought to be broken up.

A free market can only remain free if it is regulated, so that one or a few companies cannot dominate the market, gamble with peoples' money, and rip off consumers. Free competition can only be protected by the government.
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  #202  
Old 04-14-2012, 04:28 PM
Eric the Green Eric the Green is offline
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Originally Posted by XT View Post
That's like saying we need to change our entire system because our one vote doesn't count. No, of course your one decision is not going to change the market. That doesn't mean that you don't have choices you can make, and it doesn't mean that in the aggregate that things won't change if enough people make the same decisions. Since you are so focused on the price of gas, if it rises high enough then there WILL be change. The Market(tm) will force a change.

So, the REAL question DOES hinge on what you should or shouldn't buy, multiplied by several hundred million of your fellow Americans, and impacted by several billion other humans throughout the world who are also part of the decision cycle. I realize that you don't get it, but if you want REAL change there is already mechanisms in place to effect that change.
You are going in circles here. You are entitled to your opinion, but you think the free market will adjust fast enough so that climate change and shortages will not hurt us. I disagree. The government needs to act to make the shift happen faster than what higher prices and consumer choices will do. It is acting, in my state at least; and it needs to continue to act, and more needs to be done
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So much ignorance, so few words. People who have to to work in the real world and attempt to buy oil certainly DO worry about a drop in oil production from a single major producer, such as Libya. It can certainly cause short term shortages, but mainly it causes disruptions in the market due to logistics and that whole supply and demand thing that you also seem unable or unwilling to grasp. If supply drops but demand goes up then the price goes up. If supply goes up and demand drops then the price goes down.
Only because people decide they can make more money because more people want what is scarce. It is not a law, it's a habit.

But be that as it may, I don't agree that worries about what might happen in far distant places should be charged to people at gas stations. Gas supplies in the USA would not have been affected by Libya, since it is only 2% of world supply, and far less than that in America. So why should worries by a few folks who control the whole world's oil market, be charged to me? If that's the way it is, then it's a stupid system. Oil companies who ship their products directly to gas stations, can get crude from many different suppliers directly.
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The auto industry didn't kill the electric car...here's a news flash, you could go out and buy one right now, today.
Why deliberately evade my point, and then call me ignorant? You know very well there was a documentary about GM killing the electric car decades ago. If they hadn't done that, we'd have all electric cars by now. That's the point. This shift has been delayed for over 40 years. It should not be left to car companies to decide on conversion.
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If you want one that has a similar performance envelop to your current car it's going to cost you around a hundred thousand dollars, but they are out there. They are very expensive due to their use of those rare earth metal thingies that you don't want to know about, there were safety and longevity concerns (there still are) in the past, and they didn't perform as well as ICE vehicles. No one would buy them, so companies didn't make them. Even today, they are a niche market, despite the fact that gas costs more today than in the past. It's a ridiculous conspiracy theory that Big Auto Killed the Electric Car(TM) and doesn't match the facts.
I know about most of the facts about electric cars; maybe not every detail. But I know some of these metals are mined domestically now, not just in China; and battery materials can be recycled. Electric cars cost about the same as others now, and the price is becoming reasonable. Government rebates help too, as they should. It didn't take a "conspiracy" to kill the electric car; what a ridiculous charge. The car company executives just decided to kill it because they wanted to keep the more-convenient status quo than try something more risky. That's why government is needed to cushion the shift. CEOs make decisions; that's what they do. Calling this conspiracy is just looney sloganeering and you ought to know better than engage in it.
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Again I ask...why hasn't anyone else done so? Ok, the US is corrupt and evil and in the pocket of Big Business, and especially Big Auto and Big Oil. Got that...it's standard screed. But why hasn't Europe done it? They have stronger regulations and their people are more willing to go by fiat government dictates. They also signed the Kyoto Accords and were bound to heavily reduce CO2 emissions. So, why didn't they do it? Oh, that's right...Big Auto forced them to not make the change. Ok, why not Japan? Oh, that's right...Big Auto forced them. Well, why not China then...still a communist country. Hell, by fiat they forced millions from their homes to build a big dam....oh, that's right, Big Auto forced a totalitarian communist government to buy NEW ICE cars, instead of just going to magical AEV technology that only an American company could possibly have developed (well, unless all of the other foreign auto manufacturers, even those who have spent billions on R&D for alternative fuels and battery system are all in on the CT).
They ARE doing it faster than we are. Countries like Denmark are almost carbon neutral. I already gave you the answer; oil and car companies prefer to do what is convenient and what they already know and what makes them money.
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Lastly, the 'all-holy MARKET' is you and me and everyone else who buys things. You might want to try and wrap your head around that.
It should not be held holy, as YOU hold it. It needs to be regulated, controlled and directed toward the best interests of the people. That is not happening.
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LEARN something about the subject and THEN discuss it.
Well then I'll have to look into what you wrote here more when I have time, and get back to you and see if I can refute some of your charges against me.

Last edited by Eric the Green; 04-14-2012 at 04:33 PM..
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  #203  
Old 04-14-2012, 04:58 PM
Absolute Absolute is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric the Green
But be that as it may, I don't agree that worries about what might happen in far distant places should be charged to people at gas stations. Gas supplies in the USA would not have been affected by Libya, since it is only 2% of world supply, and far less than that in America. So why should worries by a few folks who control the whole world's oil market, be charged to me? If that's the way it is, then it's a stupid system. Oil companies who ship their products directly to gas stations, can get crude from many different suppliers directly.
Oil is shipped across the world as a matter of course - the middle east produces a lot of oil, and Europe, the US, etc. consume a lot of it. So, oil pretty much always has to be transported in order to get to its final destination.

This means that the producers of oil are free to ship their oil to whoever is willing to pay the highest price. So, if a disruption in Libya causes oil prices in Europe to rise, producers who would normally ship oil to the US will ship to Europe instead. This will cause a shortage in the US, and prices in the US will rise as a result.

To use your example - a gas station will call up his oil supplier and say "I need 10,000 gallons at $3.00 / gallon", and the supplier will say "Europe is short on oil because of Libya's disruption, I can sell it for $3.50 / gallon if I ship it there, and it only costs me $0.10 / gallon to do so." The gas station owner, not wanting to run out of gasoline to sell to his customers, then says "Okay, I'll give you $3.40 / gallon". Repeat thousands of times across the US, and voila - prices in the US rise as well.

I don't understand what is objectionable or "stupid" about this system. You end up paying a higher price because the people in Europe, or Africa, or Russia, or wherever, are willing to pay a higher price.
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  #204  
Old 04-14-2012, 05:06 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
Well, maybe I haven't been good enough in justifying some of my positions, but then when you say other progressives are just as bad as me, you make my point. It is not me you are criticizing, but progressives, saying they are all as naive as you claim that I am.
No, it's you.

There are lots of folks, on the SDMB and in real life, who can make a coherent defense of their positions and suggestions. Even when I don't agree with them, at least they have a basic understanding of economics, the law of unintended consequences, and one of the basic understandings of adult life - that most problems with simple solutions have been solved already.

You - not so much.

Regards,
Shodan
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  #205  
Old 04-14-2012, 05:24 PM
Blake Blake is offline
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
No, it's you.

There are lots of folks, on the SDMB and in real life, who can make a coherent defense of their positions and suggestions. Even when I don't agree with them, at least they have a basic understanding of economics, the law of unintended consequences, and one of the basic understandings of adult life - that most problems with simple solutions have been solved already.
Exactly.

This has always been one of the biggest problem with these freshman screeds. They start from an assumption that the problem is really simple, if only everyone would listen. They ignore completely the idea that maybe people over 20 have given these problems some thought before them, and maybe the current system is the best that can be devised, shitty though it may be. They are based upon a total ignorance of the unpleasant consequences of doing things like outlawing political lobbying and political spending, consequences that those of a us just a little older are well aware of.
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  #206  
Old 04-14-2012, 07:02 PM
XT XT is offline
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Originally Posted by Eric the Green
You are going in circles here. You are entitled to your opinion, but you think the free market will adjust fast enough so that climate change and shortages will not hurt us. I disagree. The government needs to act to make the shift happen faster than what higher prices and consumer choices will do. It is acting, in my state at least; and it needs to continue to act, and more needs to be done
No, you are shifting the goalposts of the discussion. I never said anything about global warming or climate change in this thread, nor was the topic brought up. My points have been pretty linear in this thread, so your assertion that I'm 'going in circles' is about as well founded as your economic theory basics...which is to say they aren't.

As for your overall point in this paragraph, is the government going to suddenly get totalitarian and absolute powers to go against the will of the majority of Americans? Or, are Americans going to suddenly either give that power to the government, or have a sea change in their politics that would allow such a radical change? Unless your answer is 'yes', then I'd say that market forces are going to get it done faster than fantasies of fiat government being able to use it's iron head...er, hand...to simply 'fix' these sorts of problems in quicker time frames.

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Only because people decide they can make more money because more people want what is scarce. It is not a law, it's a habit.
This doesn't even make any sense. Seriously, you think people use oil because some traders want to make money and out of habit? Where do you get this stuff from. Let me ask you something chief...do YOU have an all electric vehicle? If not, why not? Just habit? The desire to give Big Oil and Evil Mustache Twirling Speculators money??

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But be that as it may, I don't agree that worries about what might happen in far distant places should be charged to people at gas stations. Gas supplies in the USA would not have been affected by Libya, since it is only 2% of world supply, and far less than that in America. So why should worries by a few folks who control the whole world's oil market, be charged to me? If that's the way it is, then it's a stupid system. Oil companies who ship their products directly to gas stations, can get crude from many different suppliers directly.
But your ridiculous opinion here is based on conclusions you are drawing without having a clue how it all works! It's like giving your opinion on the limitations of the speed of light by indicating you don't think that's right and basing it on kindergarten ideas of peddling faster to make the trike accelerate...perhaps with an idea that if only you could go downhill a bit more and get a nice tail wind that you could show those physicist types they are wrong, youbetcha!

Sorry, but there aren't enough 's available to demonstrate how ridiculous it is for you to make assertions based on conclusions you are drawing using your own ignorance and rhetoric to fuel them. That's why I've repeatedly told you that you shouldn't talk about stuff you have zero understanding of, because it makes your assertions look silly.

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Why deliberately evade my point, and then call me ignorant? You know very well there was a documentary about GM killing the electric car decades ago. If they hadn't done that, we'd have all electric cars by now. That's the point. This shift has been delayed for over 40 years. It should not be left to car companies to decide on conversion
Um...because I didn't evade your point? Let me be plain...the assertion that GM killed electric cars decade ago is complete horseshit that is not substantiated by the facts. It's pure, unadulterated CT non-sense. THAT'S the point. That you don't get it is, well, militantly unsurprising at this point in the discussion.

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I know about most of the facts about electric cars; maybe not every detail. But I know some of these metals are mined domestically now, not just in China; and battery materials can be recycled. Electric cars cost about the same as others now, and the price is becoming reasonable. Government rebates help too, as they should. It didn't take a "conspiracy" to kill the electric car; what a ridiculous charge. The car company executives just decided to kill it because they wanted to keep the more-convenient status quo than try something more risky. That's why government is needed to cushion the shift. CEOs make decisions; that's what they do. Calling this conspiracy is just looney sloganeering and you ought to know better than engage in it.
Well, do you have a cite that the rare earth metals used in producing the advanced batteries for AEVs and hybrids are mined in this country? Please back up your horseshit with some cites, because the last time I checked China was the major producer of those resources, and they have started curtailing or limiting their export. We HAVE rare earth element resources and reserves in the US, but we don't mine them by and large...certainly not to any great extent. Do you know why?

Hell, what am I saying...of COURSE you don't have a fucking clue why we don't mine them here...you are under the delusion we are in some sort of meaningful quantities. So, rather than attempt to make you think or have a rational discussion with you, let me just tell you...mining them has a large negative impact on the environment....which means it's both unsavory AND expensive for us to do so. China, of course, being the workers paradise and all, doesn't have that problem, since workers are cheap and who gives a fuck about the environment over there?

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They ARE doing it faster than we are. Countries like Denmark are almost carbon neutral. I already gave you the answer; oil and car companies prefer to do what is convenient and what they already know and what makes them money.
Cite? But let's pretend they are. My question is why haven't they done as you suggest...i.e. why haven't they enacted regulation such that all new cars HAVE to be electric (or maybe hybrid)? You haven't answered the question I've asked you...nor have you adequately answered the question you seem to think you have, since YOU'VE PROVIDED NO FUCKING DATA TO BACK UP YOUR ASSERTION THAT OTHER COUNTRIES ARE DOING IT FASTER THAN WE ARE. *thunk thunk thunk* Is anyone home? Is this mike on? Do you get it NOW?

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It should not be held holy, as YOU hold it. It needs to be regulated, controlled and directed toward the best interests of the people. That is not happening.
Seriously...no one could be this dense. You are either not reading what I'm writing, you are using babble fish to translate it into Swahili using an old Latin dictionary, something else I'm not going to mention in this forum...or you are pulling my chain. Assuming the later or some variant there I'm going to take it that you are not discussing this stuff in good faith and leave it at that, unless someone else wants to tell me how what I wrote in any way resembles the above.

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Well then I'll have to look into what you wrote here more when I have time, and get back to you and see if I can refute some of your charges against me.
What, again? I'm tired of doing that, especially since it's clear you aren't getting it, and based on the last are either not reading what I'm writing or are arguing in bad faith.

-XT

Last edited by XT; 04-14-2012 at 07:03 PM..
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  #207  
Old 04-15-2012, 12:11 AM
Eric the Green Eric the Green is offline
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Originally Posted by XT View Post
You are right...those stats ARE easily accessible. I figure you didn't go get them because you knew they would make you look even more foolish and clueless about this stuff. I've tried to give you this advice before, but her goes again...don't talk about subjects you know nothing about, and don't make assertions based on your lack of understanding and ignorance. LEARN something about the subject and THEN discuss it.
You are so confident that I am ignorant, that you are making yourself look foolish. First website that came up confirms my figures:
http://gasbuddy.com/gb_retail_price_chart.aspx
So don't talk about subjects you know nothing about, and don't make assertions based on your lack of understanding and ignorance. LEARN something about the subject and THEN discuss it.
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Horseshit. Click on the second link I provided above. Again, you don't know what you are talking about. And oil companies don't make more profits than any company ever, not in relative or absolute terms. Again, your ignorance is just rhetorical bullshit that you spout off without any actual knowledge on this subject. I was doing a quick search for a link for this, but instead I found this one which is pretty interesting, even if it doesn't address your ridiculous assertion here.
Yeah, argue by changing the subject and calling me names.
It is really tedious to have to research subjects that everyone already knows about, just to answer name-calling from such as you.

But here's one:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/0..._n_913452.html

Here's another:
http://www.americanprogress.org/issu...nner_year.html

and another
http://abcnews.go.com/Business/high-...2#.T4pSrrNYu8c (with videos)

and here is wikipedia list of biggest profits ever earned.

YOU are the one who doesn't know what you are talking about, as was obvious to any informed person in the first place.

President Obama says: "the problem is not the supply. It is the bets being made. We going to monitor speculation..." see the video at the ABC link. You are insulting me, and the president too, because he's saying what I'm saying. So you and Blake think I'm a freshman writing screeds, but you are also calling the president the same thing. You think our president is a freshman who writes screeds, XL? Do YOU Blake?


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Who decides what constitutes a 'fairly reasonable price hike' constitutes? And what happens if the price of whatever fuel or energy they are providing to their customers spikes? Well, as you indicated the commission does...which is another way of saying that the government and taxes are paying to smooth out those prices for you. At a guess this is a factor in why CA's energy utilities and policies are all screwed up...people aren't seeing the real costs of their energy use reflected in their bill, so are using all they want while simultaneously supporting efforts to get rid of coal fired power plants (and blocking new nuclear plants) in the state. I don't know that's what's happening, mind...just a guess on my part, and there are probably several other factors I'm not aware of, but that's a standard result of taking The Market(tm) out of the equation. And this is something you want to increasingly do on many other fronts...and without understanding of how any of it works.
How silly can you get. People don't know what unfair prices are? Can people look up to the sky and see whether it's raining or not?

I think they can. Free marketeers like you trot out this free market delusional nonsense to justify every injustice there is. What is clear, is that what you claim is "how things work," is really how they are NOT working for the people. The only thing more clear than that, is that you folks who are so mindlessly defending the status quo, are the ones who are causing all the problems in this declining country.

My utility gives me info on where energy comes from and what it costs. The last thing we need is coal, and for you to defend the need for it is the height of superstitious gullible nonsense. Your "guess" is so off the mark as to reveal just how uninformed you really are. Using all we want, eh? Do I have to "research" the stats I have in my own World Alamanac that California is one of the most efficient states in energy use in the country? What state are you from, Texas? I bet you don't even know how bleepin' inefficient you are. Again, you should do some research and know what you are talking about before you make accusations against us in California.
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I don't think CA is a good model that the rest of the US would want to emulate, to be honest. Though you guys did have the Governator, which was kind of cool.

-XT
No, we have a cool governor NOW, not last year. We have a real one now, instead of a stupid, muscle-bound Hollywood action hero merely acting the part. Not the first time we made that mistake, to the horrible effect on the rest of the country when he was installed in the White House by all you rich folk! YOU BET we are a good model, and we will get more so in the coming years with all the reforms we are making, and will make. I bet you don't even know what those are-- you being so uninformed about anything that really makes a difference for the better.

Last edited by Eric the Green; 04-15-2012 at 12:12 AM..
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  #208  
Old 04-15-2012, 12:31 AM
Eric the Green Eric the Green is offline
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Originally Posted by XT View Post
No, you are shifting the goalposts of the discussion. I never said anything about global warming or climate change in this thread, nor was the topic brought up. My points have been pretty linear in this thread, so your assertion that I'm 'going in circles' is about as well founded as your economic theory basics...which is to say they aren't.
What an incredible statement. Shifting the subject? I suppose, if you want to ignore the reason why we need to make the shift with government help, instead of just letting the market dictate which cars we buy just on the basis of which one is cheaper. You are going in circles over and over again. You keep asserting that we have a choice by what we buy. Nonsense and I already answered you, I'm not going to repeat it again.
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As for your overall point in this paragraph, is the government going to suddenly get totalitarian and absolute powers to go against the will of the majority of Americans? Or, are Americans going to suddenly either give that power to the government, or have a sea change in their politics that would allow such a radical change? Unless your answer is 'yes', then I'd say that market forces are going to get it done faster than fantasies of fiat government being able to use it's iron head...er, hand...to simply 'fix' these sorts of problems in quicker time frames.
Free marketeers use slogans about freedom and totalitarian to deceive. You are doing that now, and it is really tiresome. What I recommended is that government set fuel standards so high that only vehicles that don't use gas anyway will be able to meet them. CA has already gone far down that road, and I hope for all of our sakes that it works. Asking huge monolithic dictatorial corporations and their CEOs to make what the world needs is not totalitarian, it is doing what is needed. Maybe a few CEOs will have to do what is inconvenient, but that is the extent of what you call "totalitarian." Market forces get it done faster? We've been waiting for 40 years now and they did nothing at all, except resist as much as they could, using your slogans to put dumb politicians in office who will do your dirtywork.

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This doesn't even make any sense. Seriously, you think people use oil because some traders want to make money and out of habit? Where do you get this stuff from. Let me ask you something chief...do YOU have an all electric vehicle? If not, why not? Just habit? The desire to give Big Oil and Evil Mustache Twirling Speculators money??
I was just pointing out that supply and demand is not a "law," it's a habit. You are changing the subject. Supply and demand happens, that is clear. What is not clear is that economists can successfully make it out to be a "law" that HAS to happen. No, people don't have to raise prices just because people are more willing to pay them for a product that is more scare than it was before. But yes, it happens a lot, because people are greedy, and people do it out of habit. My point was not about oil per se. The law of supply and demand is psychological, or religious if you will. It illustrates one of the 7 deadly sins. Understand? I bet you don't.

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youbetcha!
You are a Sarah Palin fan too. I would have known.
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the assertion that GM killed electric cars decade ago is complete horseshit that is not substantiated by the facts. It's pure, unadulterated CT non-sense. THAT'S the point. That you don't get it is, well, militantly unsurprising at this point in the discussion.
I don't see here that YOU have posted any evidence for this claim. I already posted a link here to the Heat documentary, where this is reported.

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Well, do you have a cite that the rare earth metals used in producing the advanced batteries for AEVs and hybrids are mined in this country? Please back up your horseshit with some cites, because the last time I checked China was the major producer of those resources, and they have started curtailing or limiting their export. We HAVE rare earth element resources and reserves in the US, but we don't mine them by and large...certainly not to any great extent. Do you know why?
I won't answer you until you learn how to spell the word I italicized. I already corrected you and you ignored me. Show me you can learn something, and THEN I'll get back to you on this one.
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My question is why haven't they done as you suggest...i.e. why haven't they enacted regulation such that all new cars HAVE to be electric (or maybe hybrid)? You haven't answered the question I've asked you...
I already did. The companies find it easier and more profitable to do things the old way
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YOU'VE PROVIDED NO FUCKING DATA TO BACK UP YOUR ASSERTION THAT OTHER COUNTRIES ARE DOING IT FASTER THAN WE ARE.
I posted about China. In a sense you are correct, they haven't YET put out more EVs on the road than we are. But they are revving up to do so, and by 2020 will have 35% of the market. Follow the link. They are also faster in solar energy, and so is Europe. You really dispute that?
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What, again? I'm tired of doing that, especially since it's clear you aren't getting it, and based on the last are either not reading what I'm writing or are arguing in bad faith.

-XT
You seem to have a compulsive need to reply and argue against anything I write, usually with irrelevant insults. Thanks for the tribute, but really, it is rather ridiculous.
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  #209  
Old 04-15-2012, 12:39 AM
Eric the Green Eric the Green is offline
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Originally Posted by Absolute View Post
Oil is shipped across the world as a matter of course - the middle east produces a lot of oil, and Europe, the US, etc. consume a lot of it. So, oil pretty much always has to be transported in order to get to its final destination.

This means that the producers of oil are free to ship their oil to whoever is willing to pay the highest price. So, if a disruption in Libya causes oil prices in Europe to rise, producers who would normally ship oil to the US will ship to Europe instead. This will cause a shortage in the US, and prices in the US will rise as a result.
But normally the USA does not get much oil from the Middle East. You point may be logically plausible, but since there was never any shortage resulting from the Arab Spring in the USA, it apparently does not work out in real life. THe USA still has enough sources that it does not matter if prices go up in Europe. If Europe does not need the extra gas, it won't be shipped there just because the price rises. If more is shipped there, the price will probably fall again soon anyway.
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I don't understand what is objectionable or "stupid" about this system. You end up paying a higher price because the people in Europe, or Africa, or Russia, or wherever, are willing to pay a higher price.
It is stupid, because we are paying among the highest prices ever just because oil speculators get rich bidding up the price of oil because of worries over things that don't happen and have no effect on oil supplies here or anywhere.
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  #210  
Old 04-15-2012, 07:25 AM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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This is absurd. The OP is basically creating a Great Debate sampler.
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  #211  
Old 04-15-2012, 08:11 AM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
But normally the USA does not get much oil from the Middle East.
You keep making these statements that are not simply false, but ludicrous. Do you really not know where Saudi Arabia is located and how much oil we buy from her?
Quote:
THe USA still has enough sources that it does not matter if prices go up in Europe. If Europe does not need the extra gas, it won't be shipped there just because the price rises. If more is shipped there, the price will probably fall again soon anyway.

It is stupid, because we are paying among the highest prices ever just because oil speculators get rich bidding up the price of oil because of worries over things that don't happen and have no effect on oil supplies here or anywhere.
Look, you have already demonstrated, over and over, that you do not have even the slightest clue on economics. That's probably the one and only thing you have proven in this thread.

You can stop doing it now. We all get it. Your entire position is based on things that either you do not understand, or are provably wrong. Go ahead and base your new progressive movement on them - the country can use a good laugh right now.

Regards,
Shodan
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  #212  
Old 04-15-2012, 09:00 AM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
It is really tedious to have to research subjects that everyone already knows about, just to answer name-calling from such as you.

But here's one:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/0..._n_913452.html

Here's another:
http://www.americanprogress.org/issu...nner_year.html

and another
http://abcnews.go.com/Business/high-...2#.T4pSrrNYu8c (with videos)

and here is wikipedia list of biggest profits ever earned.
Your claim was that the price of oil had tripled in a decade, and had never been so high or so volatile. XT's link shows you to be wrong, and none of your links address the claim.

And your notion that oil prices are set by speculator's fiat is also wrong, and has been refuted.

I think you might want to change hobbyhorses - that one is pretty much blown to flinders.

Regards,
Shodan
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  #213  
Old 04-15-2012, 09:05 AM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Oh, and by the way - those hideous, price-gouging oil companies who are raking in obscene profits? Net income per dollar of sales is a bit under 7%. Roughly on a par with the cruel oppressors who make furniture.

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Shodan
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  #214  
Old 04-15-2012, 11:17 AM
elucidator elucidator is offline
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The American Petroleum Institute? Gosh, can't get more objective source of facts than that! Got the "American" right there in the name! Sure, when you google them, they are the most prominent lobbying group for the oil industry, but that doesn't mean we can't simply trust their numbers and facts, these people have been on TV, and, as everybody knows, you can't say it on TV if it isn't true!

As for the cruel oppression of furniture manufacturers, I have no opinion on that, but to point out the Ikea is clearly staffed by fiendish Nazis bent on world domination by means of frustrating the living shit out of their customers.
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  #215  
Old 04-15-2012, 11:41 AM
XT XT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric the Green
You are so confident that I am ignorant, that you are making yourself look foolish. First website that came up confirms my figures:
You mean the one I posted a link to that you didn't bother to click on earlier? THAT cite? Let me ask you something basic...what's 3 times $1.86? (We'll leave aside inflation and adjusted dollars and all that complicated stuff)

Quote:
Yeah, argue by changing the subject and calling me names.
No, you are talking apples and oranges. You didn't click on any of the links or cites I provided, and your lack of basics means that we can't have a meaningful conversation about any of this stuff. I'll give you a hint though...if I sell a million widgets at 7% profit, I'll make more gross than if you sell a thousand of them at 50% profit...but your profit margin will be higher because, you know, 50 is a bigger number than 7 (well, maybe you didn't know that...what did you get when you multiplied $1.86 times 3 again?).

As for your cite, I skimmed them...something it would have been nice if you had done for me, but obviously it was asking too much (it IS pretty funny that you use a cite that I provided earlier to prove yourself wrong though). Since you haven't even been able to demonstrate a basic grasp of the fundamentals there is no point in me going through them, since they are talking about different things AND they have a distinct spin in how they are presenting their arguments. Maybe someone else would like to read through and explain why your linked cites don't really address the question we were discussing...it seems too much like beating my head against the wall from my perspective.

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President Obama says: "the problem is not the supply. It is the bets being made. We going to monitor speculation..." see the video at the ABC link. You are insulting me, and the president too, because he's saying what I'm saying. So you and Blake think I'm a freshman writing screeds, but you are also calling the president the same thing. You think our president is a freshman who writes screeds, XL? Do YOU Blake?
President Obama is a smart guy...and I have no doubt that HE understands at least the basics....but this is pure political fodder here. It's just populist drivel intended to buck up the troops and make the faithful feel warm and fuzzy.

I'm not insulting you OR the President, chief. HE'S making a political speech, not debating the issues. Putting yourself on par with him is laughable.

Oh, and the name is XT, not XL...though I have begun to put on my winter fat early this year. Can never be too prepared for the next winter after all...

Quote:
How silly can you get. People don't know what unfair prices are? Can people look up to the sky and see whether it's raining or not?
No, of course not. Look at yourself. You don't have any idea what a fair or unfair price is because you don't have any idea how prices are set or why they are what they are. You think that prices are arbitrarily set by speculators who charge what they want and that people will just pay. Any attempt to try and explain to you why the price of gas at the pump is what it is continues to be met, by you, with more ignorance. You don't know. You don't want to know. You merely want to expound on a subject you don't understand using Obama sound bites (probably taken out of context or given to a specific audience for a specific purpose) and Huffington Post articles that are both slanted AND are talking about something different than the topic we were discussing.

Quote:
I think they can. Free marketeers like you trot out this free market delusional nonsense to justify every injustice there is. What is clear, is that what you claim is "how things work," is really how they are NOT working for the people. The only thing more clear than that, is that you folks who are so mindlessly defending the status quo, are the ones who are causing all the problems in this declining country.
If only you get on top of a really, REALLY big hill and if the wind is blowing behind you, then you can peddle that trike past light speed. You Special and General Relativist guys love to trot out this 'light speed limitation' stuff, as if it's the be all and end all, but it's just mindless defending of the status quo. Hell, I bet you guys believe in gravity too...right? Am I right? Ha!

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No, we have a cool governor NOW, not last year. We have a real one now, instead of a stupid, muscle-bound Hollywood action hero merely acting the part. Not the first time we made that mistake, to the horrible effect on the rest of the country when he was installed in the White House by all you rich folk! YOU BET we are a good model, and we will get more so in the coming years with all the reforms we are making, and will make. I bet you don't even know what those are-- you being so uninformed about anything that really makes a difference for the better.
For the humor impaired, of which you are obviously one (there are 12 step programs out there that could help you to find or perhaps develop a sense of humor...you should definitely join up, and perhaps take a basic economics class as well while you are at it), I was making something that the rest of us call 'a joke'. Feel free to look that term up. I'd give you a link, but then you'd probably go out and find the same cite, link to it in a new post and explain to me how your cite is better than mine, and proves your point that humor doesn't actually exist.

-XT
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  #216  
Old 04-15-2012, 11:43 AM
XT XT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elucidator
The American Petroleum Institute?
Well, you could have read my earlier link to FactChecker...though, perhaps you feel they are biased as well?

-XT
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  #217  
Old 04-15-2012, 12:15 PM
XT XT is offline
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One last thing then it's off to the air port...I'm sure the thread will perk along swimmingly from here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric the Green
You are a Sarah Palin fan too. I would have known.
Sure I am man. You are spot on in this, as in your other assertions and analysis of diverse topics ranging from basic economics to commodities trading to electric vehicles and production of batteries and hybrids.

Quote:
Free marketeers use slogans about freedom and totalitarian to deceive. You are doing that now, and it is really tiresome. What I recommended is that government set fuel standards so high that only vehicles that don't use gas anyway will be able to meet them. CA has already gone far down that road, and I hope for all of our sakes that it works. Asking huge monolithic dictatorial corporations and their CEOs to make what the world needs is not totalitarian, it is doing what is needed. Maybe a few CEOs will have to do what is inconvenient, but that is the extent of what you call "totalitarian." Market forces get it done faster? We've been waiting for 40 years now and they did nothing at all, except resist as much as they could, using your slogans to put dumb politicians in office who will do your dirtywork.
You wouldn't know a 'free marketeer' if one put on mouse ears and bit you on the ass. You are right about one thing though...this is past tiresome, since you don't have the ability to read and comprehend what I'm actually saying. Instead I get a tape recorder screed that doesn't really bear much resemblance to the point I was attempting to beat into you. Let me translate what I was saying in the part you quoted here, since you didn't get it....the only way you could force the radical changes you propose is either if the government could overrule the voting public or if there was a huge shift in the voting public's stances. Contrary to your fantasy, people buy and use gasoline because relative to the alternatives it's still CHEAP. That's why you don't see a huge shift in people going out to buy AEVs or even hybrids.

Quote:
I was just pointing out that supply and demand is not a "law," it's a habit. You are changing the subject. Supply and demand happens, that is clear. What is not clear is that economists can successfully make it out to be a "law" that HAS to happen. No, people don't have to raise prices just because people are more willing to pay them for a product that is more scare than it was before. But yes, it happens a lot, because people are greedy, and people do it out of habit. My point was not about oil per se. The law of supply and demand is psychological, or religious if you will. It illustrates one of the 7 deadly sins. Understand? I bet you don't.
So, I'll take that as a 'no...I don't have an electric vehicle, and no, I don't want to answer why that is'. I'd ask you if you 'understand' what I'm getting at, but I already know the answer...you don't get it. You want to simply run your rhetoric recorder and spew out horseshit.

Quote:
I don't see here that YOU have posted any evidence for this claim. I already posted a link here to the Heat documentary, where this is reported.
It's not up to me to debunk every conspiracy theory and horseshit claim. Especially one as stupid as this one. We HAVE all electric vehicles TODAY...and they are a niche market. That's after about 2 additional decades of development in battery technology. It's ludicrous to assert that GM killed the electric car decades ago, as if only GM could possibly produce one. But, if you want a cite for it (not that it will do any good...hell, you didn't click on any of my earlier ones after all), here you go.

From the cite:

Quote:
One of Americaís most enduring conspiracy theories, right up there with Roswell and the Grassy Knoll, is that Big Auto conspired with Big Oil to kill the electric car. The mass reclamation of leased EV1s that ended GMís troubled electric-car program (as chronicled in filmmaker Chris Paineís disingenuous documentary "Who Killed the Electric Car?") was all the most rabid theorists needed to prove their point.

GM didnít kill the electric car. Big Oil didnít kill the electric car. The EV1 was dead on arrival.

Back in the early 1990s, I attended an electric-vehicle conference where one of the speakers was a Hughes Aircraft vice president called Howard Wilson. Hughes had been acquired by GM in 1985 for $5.7 billion at the urging of chairman Roger B. Smith, who somehow reasoned a company that built rockets might have some useful technology to transfer to a company that built Chevys. Wilson was the man Hughes put in charge of figuring out exactly what those technology transfers might be.

Wilson had worked on the GM Sunraycer, the solar-powered car that drove 1867 miles across Australia on the energy equivalent of five gallons of gas. But he was at the conference to talk about GMís electric-car program, which was then taking shape back in Detroit.

GMís electric car was based on the Impact concept unveiled by Roger Smith at the Los Angeles auto show in January 1990. Smith was anxious to prove his expensive Hughes acquisition actually delivered technology transfer to the auto industry, even though Hughes technology used in the car was minimal. The Impact, like the Sunraycer, was largely done by engineers at AeroVironment, the blue-sky engineering shop run by Paul MacCready in Californiaís San Gabriel valley. To everyoneís surprise Smith announced GM would build a production version.

Apparently encouraged by Smithís commitment to the Impact, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced in September that year plans to mandate that two percent of all cars sold in the state by 1998 would be zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) ó to all intents and purposes, electric vehicles. Only problem was, electric vehicles were a long, long way from being viable alternatives to conventional gas-powered cars for L.A. commuters. And Howard Wilson knew it.

The problem, as always, was the battery. "Scientifically [battery] storage is all right," wrote Thomas Edison in 1883, "but commercially, as absolute a failure as one can imagine." More than a century later, nothing had changed.
As with many conspiracies, this one hinges on the people perpetuating it being ignorant of things like the facts (and in this case economics, production, markets, engineering, etc etc).

Quote:
I won't answer you until you learn how to spell the word I italicized. I already corrected you and you ignored me. Show me you can learn something, and THEN I'll get back to you on this one.
Don't answer, but you look like fool for pointing out your own board ignorance. The word 'cite' is short hand on this board (and many other boards) for 'citation'. It's not, as you seem to think, a misspelling of the word 'site'. Feel free not to answer me, however...it would actually be better that way.

Quote:
I posted about China. In a sense you are correct, they haven't YET put out more EVs on the road than we are. But they are revving up to do so, and by 2020 will have 35% of the market. Follow the link. They are also faster in solar energy, and so is Europe. You really dispute that?
35% of WHAT market? Based on what? China is buying ICE (that's short for Internal Combustion Engines, so we don't get into another spelling or syntax dispute here) vehicles, at staggering rates. They are buying SOME hybrid and AEVs, but the numbers are trivial. Again, do you have a cite that China is building their EV or hybrid numbers faster than the US? As a bonus, why isn't China mandating, by fiat in the way you suggest, that their citizens who are buying new vehicles HAVE to buy EV or hybrid vehicles? And, since China is building up it's personal transport fleet now, why aren't their citizens just buying hybrids or EVs instead of ICE? Status quo? How could it be?

What I dispute is your understanding of what is being discussed here AND your assertions. Do you have a cite that solar power is growing faster in Europe than in the US? Who has the larger install base TODAY? Who has the larger install base in solar or wind TODAY?

Quote:
You seem to have a compulsive need to reply and argue against anything I write, usually with irrelevant insults. Thanks for the tribute, but really, it is rather ridiculous.
As with seemingly every facet of this discussion, you draw the wrong conclusion.


And with that I bid you ado. Perhaps some other 'dopers would like to continue the discussion with you. There are many who feel much as you do, so perhaps some of them will wander in to give you some much needed support. Perhaps some of the boards highly intelligent and knowledgeable liberals or progressives will wander in to explain to you what we have been trying to talk about, and maybe give you some clues about reality verse wishful thinking, and perhaps a lesson or two on the basics of economics and General and Special Relativity wrt trying to get your trike to go faster than the speed of light if only you had a large enough hill to start from.

To paraphrase form the Holy Grail: Lancelot, Galahad, and I will wait until nightfall, and then leap from the rabbit, taking the French by surprise...not only by surprise, but totally unarmed.

...

...

Er....er....well, what if we built this large wooden badger...

-XT
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  #218  
Old 04-15-2012, 12:41 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Originally Posted by XT View Post
Let me ask you something basic...what's 3 times $1.86?
It's whatever the oil speculators want it to be.

Duh.

Regards,
Shodan
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  #219  
Old 04-15-2012, 03:00 PM
elucidator elucidator is offline
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Originally Posted by XT View Post
.....Er....er....well, what if we built this large wooden badger...
Badgers? Badgers!!?! We don't need no steenking badgers!
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  #220  
Old 04-15-2012, 04:10 PM
Eric the Green Eric the Green is offline
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Originally Posted by XT View Post
You mean the one I posted a link to that you didn't bother to click on earlier? THAT cite? Let me ask you something basic...what's 3 times $1.86? (We'll leave aside inflation and adjusted dollars and all that complicated stuff)
You still don't know how to spell cite/site.
The chart confirmed exactly what I had thought. That was $1.67 I believe, and rose up over $4 within 4 years, and now it's back.

Quote:
No, you are talking apples and oranges.
Good, they are delicious.
Quote:
it seems too much like beating my head against the wall from my perspective.
Good, I really don't want you to hurt yourself.

Quote:
President Obama is a smart guy...and I have no doubt that HE understands at least the basics....but this is pure political fodder here. It's just populist drivel intended to buck up the troops and make the faithful feel warm and fuzzy.

I'm not insulting you OR the President, chief. HE'S making a political speech, not debating the issues. Putting yourself on par with him is laughable.

Oh, and the name is XT, not XL...though I have begun to put on my winter fat early this year. Can never be too prepared for the next winter after all...
OK XT. I am not the president, but it is interesting that he said the same thing I did. You can spin that however you care to.

Quote:
No, of course not. Look at yourself. You don't have any idea what a fair or unfair price is because you don't have any idea how prices are set or why they are what they are. You think that prices are arbitrarily set by speculators who charge what they want and that people will just pay. Any attempt to try and explain to you why the price of gas at the pump is what it is continues to be met, by you, with more ignorance. You don't know. You don't want to know. You merely want to expound on a subject you don't understand using Obama sound bites (probably taken out of context or given to a specific audience for a specific purpose) and Huffington Post articles that are both slanted AND are talking about something different than the topic we were discussing.
Good analysis there. But I deny it.

Quote:
If only you get on top of a really, REALLY big hill and if the wind is blowing behind you, then you can peddle that trike past light speed. You Special and General Relativist guys love to trot out this 'light speed limitation' stuff, as if it's the be all and end all, but it's just mindless defending of the status quo. Hell, I bet you guys believe in gravity too...right? Am I right? Ha!
Physics has a certain truth to it, within the limitations of its field.

Quote:
For the humor impaired, of which you are obviously one (there are 12 step programs out there that could help you to find or perhaps develop a sense of humor...you should definitely join up, and perhaps take a basic economics class as well while you are at it), I was making something that the rest of us call 'a joke'. Feel free to look that term up. I'd give you a link, but then you'd probably go out and find the same cite, link to it in a new post and explain to me how your cite is better than mine, and proves your point that humor doesn't actually exist.

-XT
Oh I dunno; I thought my catching you doing Sarah Palin was a bit of humor, but evidently you really ARE a Sarah Palin fan, which is about all anyone needs to know about you I guess. Or do you have a wiser side? Let's see it, friend.
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  #221  
Old 04-15-2012, 04:21 PM
Eric the Green Eric the Green is offline
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Originally Posted by XT View Post
You wouldn't know a 'free marketeer' if one put on mouse ears and bit you on the ass. You are right about one thing though...this is past tiresome, since you don't have the ability to read and comprehend what I'm actually saying. Instead I get a tape recorder screed that doesn't really bear much resemblance to the point I was attempting to beat into you. Let me translate what I was saying in the part you quoted here, since you didn't get it....the only way you could force the radical changes you propose is either if the government could overrule the voting public or if there was a huge shift in the voting public's stances. Contrary to your fantasy, people buy and use gasoline because relative to the alternatives it's still CHEAP. That's why you don't see a huge shift in people going out to buy AEVs or even hybrids.
I'm sure you want me to descend to your level, and it's fun for a while, but it really isn't where I want to go. Yes we do need the government to require the "radical" changes I propose. There is no argument there; that's exactly what I said and what I advocate. I am saying we need a progressive movement, yes. Those who don't agree, such as yourself, won't join, but criticize instead. Only to be expected. Par for the course. Beat away.

Quote:
So, I'll take that as a 'no...I don't have an electric vehicle, and no, I don't want to answer why that is'. I'd ask you if you 'understand' what I'm getting at, but I already know the answer...you don't get it. You want to simply run your rhetoric recorder and spew out horseshit.
A lot of conservatives and libertarians answer requests to support progressive action with, well, why don't YOU do it in your life PERSONALLY. Fine, but personal actions won't solve the problem. That is just a fact, if you care to recognize it. My own personal decision is complicated by personal factors I won't go into.

Quote:
It's not up to me to debunk every conspiracy theory and horseshit claim. Especially one as stupid as this one. We HAVE all electric vehicles TODAY...and they are a niche market. That's after about 2 additional decades of development in battery technology. It's ludicrous to assert that GM killed the electric car decades ago, as if only GM could possibly produce one. But, if you want a cite for it (not that it will do any good...hell, you didn't click on any of my earlier ones after all), here you go.

From the cite:
I won't go to any of your cites until you learn from me how to spell the word. Sorry

You can cite your sources, and I'll cite mine. So that's what we each have done. In this day and age, people choose which side they believe, and all they read is what supports their belief. So conservatives, have fun. We progressives will stay the course, and I hope we sway enough open-minded young people to get to that 51% and defeat you laggards with your excuses about why the market didn't do such and such. It won't convince us, because we think that relying on the market is the problem to begin with. It's just a different philosophy. So you can keep yours and I'll keep mine. But at least our side is based on facts. Yours is based on religion, the religion of the free market.
Quote:
Don't answer, but you look like fool for pointing out your own board ignorance. The word 'cite' is short hand on this board (and many other boards) for 'citation'. It's not, as you seem to think, a misspelling of the word 'site'. Feel free not to answer me, however...it would actually be better that way.
No, cite is a verb. Citation is a noun.

Quote:
35% of WHAT market? Based on what? China is buying ICE (that's short for Internal Combustion Engines, so we don't get into another spelling or syntax dispute here) vehicles, at staggering rates. They are buying SOME hybrid and AEVs, but the numbers are trivial. Again, do you have a cite that China is building their EV or hybrid numbers faster than the US? As a bonus, why isn't China mandating, by fiat in the way you suggest, that their citizens who are buying new vehicles HAVE to buy EV or hybrid vehicles? And, since China is building up it's personal transport fleet now, why aren't their citizens just buying hybrids or EVs instead of ICE? Status quo? How could it be?
I already posted what I know. I will just defer to that "cite."
Quote:
What I dispute is your understanding of what is being discussed here AND your assertions. Do you have a cite that solar power is growing faster in Europe than in the US? Who has the larger install base TODAY? Who has the larger install base in solar or wind TODAY?
I have heard it on the news; it's common knowledge that China is building more solar panels, and that's what is bringing the price down.

Quote:
And with that I bid you ado. Perhaps some other 'dopers would like to continue the discussion with you. There are many who feel much as you do, so perhaps some of them will wander in to give you some much needed support. Perhaps some of the boards highly intelligent and knowledgeable liberals or progressives will wander in to explain to you what we have been trying to talk about, and maybe give you some clues about reality verse wishful thinking, and perhaps a lesson or two on the basics of economics and General and Special Relativity wrt trying to get your trike to go faster than the speed of light if only you had a large enough hill to start from.

To paraphrase form the Holy Grail: Lancelot, Galahad, and I will wait until nightfall, and then leap from the rabbit, taking the French by surprise...not only by surprise, but totally unarmed.
There are always people who have other facts that I don't have. I am not as ignorant as you say, but if you want to believe so, be my guest. Until then, have a nice trip.
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  #222  
Old 04-15-2012, 05:11 PM
Jilaad Jilaad is offline
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Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
No, cite is a verb. Citation is a noun.
This is the problem that people are having with you, in microcosm. You make an assertion (someone is spelling "site" incorrectly), do so in an extremely arrogant and patronizing manner (refusing to deal with the person until they correct their spelling, even though you understand what they meant), someone offers information contrary to your statement ("cite" is board shorthand for "citation"), and you just say they're wrong (the quote above).

The word "cite" is, in fact, board shorthand for citation. It's also in the dictionary as a noun, used in this exact way. Here it is in Bing Dictionary

You really need to try to be open to information that other people bring to the discussion. By "open" I don't mean "accept unconditionally". I mean to consider what they said, and do some research to see if they are correct or if you can refute it. Just flat out saying that they're wrong isn't refuting anything, like this "cite" incident.

This is assuming that you're arguing in good faith. Up until now I thought you have been, but just doing so in a very abrasive manner. After this "cite" thing, I'm not so sure anymore. It's that bad.

Last edited by Jilaad; 04-15-2012 at 05:13 PM..
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  #223  
Old 04-15-2012, 07:59 PM
Trom Trom is offline
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Eric the Green, natural gas prices have fallen off a cliff. Speculators are and have been heavily short natural gas in the futures market. They are making large profits as the price decreases and people everywhere benefit from lower gas bills. How do these speculators fit into your narrative?
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  #224  
Old 04-15-2012, 08:51 PM
Eric the Green Eric the Green is offline
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Originally Posted by Jilaad View Post
The word "cite" is, in fact, board shorthand for citation.
OK, I stand corrected.

Meanwhile, you might not take my sarcasm too seriously.

Last edited by Eric the Green; 04-15-2012 at 08:55 PM..
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  #225  
Old 04-15-2012, 08:52 PM
Honesty Honesty is offline
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Originally Posted by msmith537 View Post
So will you be driving to Apple headquarters in Cupertino, CA to purchase your iPad or flying to the Foxconn factory in Longhua, Shenzhen to pick it up from the manufacturer?
I agree with Eric's general point that "middle-men" as he's referring to them are superfluous, and, in some cases, detrimental to either the buyer, seller, or both. Your example isn't fair because no one is objecting to transporting goods from one place to the next. IMO, Banks are superfluous middle-men. The Fed loans the people's money to Banks at 0.25% interest , whom, in turn, charges the people an average interest rate of around 18.99%. In this case, the banks are an unncessary middle-man. There ought to be a way to open an account directly with the Fed so that every citizen can benefit from the low interest rates.

As I read this thread, I think I'm more progressive than liberal. It's not that I think private companies are bad, I don't; it's just that I don't think government is as inefficient as everyone thinks it is. While I don't think government would do well in running a Wal-Mart or a Kroger, they'd likely do well in finance, research and development, as well as utilizing and mining for natural resources. I'd like to see a movement toward a mixed economy: more government-owned enterprises to compete with private companies. I imagine many conservatives are laughing at that last point, but Mexico's government-owned oil company pulls over $80 billion a year that can be reinvested into education and infrastructure. That's a lot of dough, especially over long-term.

- Honesty

Last edited by Honesty; 04-15-2012 at 08:53 PM..
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  #226  
Old 04-15-2012, 08:53 PM
Eric the Green Eric the Green is offline
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Eric the Green, natural gas prices have fallen off a cliff. Speculators are and have been heavily short natural gas in the futures market. They are making large profits as the price decreases and people everywhere benefit from lower gas bills. How do these speculators fit into your narrative?
I don't have as much a problem with natural gas; it is a transition fuel, having about half the carbon footprint of oil (or is it coal, I forget). But speculators making a profit fits into the general narrative of people in this society making a lot of money gambling instead of producing. I mean, some is inevitable, but as many have said, it has become too great a piece of our economy.
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  #227  
Old 04-15-2012, 09:00 PM
Eric the Green Eric the Green is offline
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I followed a link right from this page and found that Ford is finally building an electric car. That's good to see. It's a start.

http://www.ford.com/green/technology...794|1599502181
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  #228  
Old 04-15-2012, 09:23 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Originally Posted by Honesty View Post
I agree with Eric's general point that "middle-men" as he's referring to them are superfluous, and, in some cases, detrimental to either the buyer, seller, or both. Your example isn't fair because no one is objecting to transporting goods from one place to the next. IMO, Banks are superfluous middle-men. The Fed loans the people's money to Banks at 0.25% interest , whom, in turn, charges the people an average interest rate of around 18.99%.
I'd like to see a cite that that is the "average interest rate", especially since mortgage rates are about 4%. Everyone thinks they can cut out the middle man, and sometimes you can. But none of us is an expert in all things, and middle men provide that expertise that all of us lack.

Quote:
While I don't think government would do well in running a Wal-Mart or a Kroger, they'd likely do well in finance...
Yeah, because politics couldn't possibly get in the way of wise investing.

Quote:
I imagine many conservatives are laughing at that last point, but Mexico's government-owned oil company pulls over $80 billion a year that can be reinvested into education and infrastructure. That's a lot of dough, especially over long-term.
I'm not a conservative, but I'm laughing at the idea of our government aspiring to be like Mexico's.

Last edited by John Mace; 04-15-2012 at 09:25 PM..
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  #229  
Old 04-15-2012, 09:54 PM
Eric the Green Eric the Green is offline
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OK, I stand corrected.

Meanwhile, you might not take my sarcasm too seriously.
And I have to say, the word is not only new to me, but very confusing, since most "cites" used on boards are in fact "sites."
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  #230  
Old 04-15-2012, 10:05 PM
XT XT is offline
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It's not normally a big deal...every board has it's own idiosyncratic language and custom, and this one is no different. Usually newbies are cut some slack as they spin up...and I was trying to cut YOU some slack on this whole ridiculous side issue as well by pointing out how we use the term. You then went off the deep end about something that was trivially ridiculous.

The only up side is that it was you who made yourself look so silly, especially with your followup post. Hopefully you'll take what Jilaad was trying to tell you there to heart, though considering your tone in this thread I'm not exactly sanguine about that. For the most part I'm done here...there is nothing to be gained by further dialogue with you, since I also suspect you aren't discussing this stuff in good faith (nothing to do with the 'cite' lashup...other things indicate that to me), and there isn't a lot of point in trying to talk to someone about this stuff when it's obvious they don't want to discuss...they merely want to assert. I was going to ask you why you are surprised that Ford is developing and producing electrical cars, but really, you wouldn't get the lead in, wouldn't understand the question, and there wouldn't be anything interesting in your response, unfortunately, to further the discussion.

Besides, Mythbusters is coming on and for a change my hotel room actually gets Discovery, so that seems more important at this stage of my day than continued fruitless discussion. Ado.

-XT
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  #231  
Old 04-15-2012, 10:22 PM
Honesty Honesty is offline
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Originally Posted by John Mace View Post

I'm not a conservative, but I'm laughing at the idea of our government aspiring to be like Mexico's.

Keep laughing. Though, I suspect, you'll counter that Nebraska is not a part of the United States.


- Honesty

Last edited by Honesty; 04-15-2012 at 10:23 PM..
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  #232  
Old 04-16-2012, 03:12 AM
Eric the Green Eric the Green is offline
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Angela Glover Blackwell says,

"I went to law school at Berkeley, and I paid about $1,000, maybe a little less, a year. I think it was about $900. That same education, law school at Berkeley, is over $40,000, now. It would have been impossible for me to access it. We have allowed educational costs to just get out of hand."

People who deny the loss of social mobility in America since Reaganomics came in, are not paying attention.
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  #233  
Old 04-16-2012, 03:39 AM
Eric the Green Eric the Green is offline
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Originally Posted by XT View Post
It's not normally a big deal...every board has it's own idiosyncratic language and custom, and this one is no different. Usually newbies are cut some slack as they spin up...and I was trying to cut YOU some slack on this whole ridiculous side issue as well by pointing out how we use the term. You then went off the deep end about something that was trivially ridiculous.

The only up side is that it was you who made yourself look so silly, especially with your followup post. Hopefully you'll take what Jilaad was trying to tell you there to heart, though considering your tone in this thread I'm not exactly sanguine about that. For the most part I'm done here...there is nothing to be gained by further dialogue with you, since I also suspect you aren't discussing this stuff in good faith (nothing to do with the 'cite' lashup...other things indicate that to me), and there isn't a lot of point in trying to talk to someone about this stuff when it's obvious they don't want to discuss...they merely want to assert. I was going to ask you why you are surprised that Ford is developing and producing electrical cars, but really, you wouldn't get the lead in, wouldn't understand the question, and there wouldn't be anything interesting in your response, unfortunately, to further the discussion.

-XT
I started by making a list of issues that need to be addressed. Right away I was assaulted by a barrage of what you accuse me of. Jilaad is way off base. People just assume I am ignorant because they disagree with me. But I don't want to dwell on this tone.

I was surprised about Ford, because until now I had not heard about any efforts by them along this line. Less than a year ago I did a thorough web search for all the electric cars being made, what their costs and mileage were, etc., and I did not see any Ford entry into the EV market. So why would you ask me why I am surprised?

This is what I mean by the tone you have tried to drag me into. The issue is the skepticism about whether enough electric cars can be built, whether people can buy them, and whether they can replace oil-driven cars and help curb the climate crisis. Those are the issues, not why I am surprised. I hope people watch the PBS show about this issue tomorrow.

I think people here want to evade the issue, so they ask why I am so "ignorant" just because I question why the free market system should not just be left alone, and will just solve the problem by itself. If I say it needs to be supplemented by government, you just say it already is, or someone else here will say I am totalitarian. I am sorry about the tone of this debate, but to attribute it all to me is not very accurate, to say the least. Don't just keep contradicting what I say XT. Don't expect me to agree that "we have choice because we decide what to buy," when it's clear I'm not going to agree, and that I have explained my position. Just let it go and move on to another issue. I'm sorry that I don't agree with you. But going in circles forever is not useful.

I think we all need to consider more the fact that we are all a part of this country, and that we need to care about it. We need to support policies that move us all forward, not just allow a few rich people to win-- as Romney wants. We don't care enough. Too many don't feel connected to people who are having a tougher time than themselves. The wealthy people are the most disconnected, as Angela Blackwell pointed out on Bill Moyers' program. I am not the only one who sees things as I do. And we who think like me are not all college freshmen; as people like Blake, who brought down the tone for this thread, think we are.

Yul Kwon, the Survivor show winner, is doing a show on PBS that presents the facts that prove that the success we've had as a nation is due to the investments we have made in the past in collective infrastructure. He has a lot of other credentials, so don't jump on me because I cite a Survivor show winner. Most people here on this Straight Dope thread can only recite the line that America's success is due to free enterprising entrepreneurs. That is not a sufficient explanation for America's success. People also succeed here because investments were made in higher education, transportation, and new industries like the space program. We need to pay taxes at rates we were paying before GW Bush, and get the wealthy to pay enough so that we can make these investments again.

And Angela Blackwell made the good point today that it will not do for the wealthy and powerful to invest only in rich white communities. They are not the future of an America that is becoming multi-ethnic. We can't use free market slogans to keep America separated into black and white, rich and poor, and hope to succeed as a nation. Do you care about our nation, XT? Or do you just care about protecting free enterprise from attacks by liberals on their tax rates?

I will be as patient and polite as I can be, given the environment here. I will do what I can. I hope there's something you can do too. If not, take care, and keep the spirit alive.

Last edited by Eric the Green; 04-16-2012 at 03:43 AM..
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  #234  
Old 04-16-2012, 03:46 AM
Eric the Green Eric the Green is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XT View Post
It's not normally a big deal...every board has it's own idiosyncratic language and custom, and this one is no different. Usually newbies are cut some slack as they spin up...and I was trying to cut YOU some slack on this whole ridiculous side issue as well by pointing out how we use the term. You then went off the deep end about something that was trivially ridiculous.

-XT
It's not a big deal, but it is strange that a board has its own language. There are new people here all the time. I think people would do better just to speak English and use the term reference like everyone else. It would facilitate communication. But I was mainly being sarcastic; I won't ignore your points.

Last edited by Eric the Green; 04-16-2012 at 03:46 AM..
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  #235  
Old 04-16-2012, 03:52 AM
Eric the Green Eric the Green is offline
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ANGELA GLOVER BLACKWELL: We are not post-racial. We're not even close. Because race still controls everything in America. That when you think about part of what's causing so many people to be left behind, and in trouble, it's because they live in communities that don't support them. And those communities don't support them because of race.

We have black people, and Latino people living in inner-city, abandoned communities, because people moved away. So you have places like Detroit, were almost abandoned in terms of the people who were moving, and fleeing away from Detroit.

So race completely controls our settlement patterns, as a nation. Education. It used to be that education was the pride of the United States. And it was certainly the pride of many states, like California. I was recently talking to someone who was a leader of a state. And we were talking about poverty. And as he listed the safety net programs, for the poor, he mentioned public schools. It really caught me. I said, "Public schools, that's become a safety net program?" I thought public schools were for everybody. But as they have become associated with people who were poor, and of color. We are abandoning the public school education. That is about race.

And we have taken men, who are important for community, and we've created basically a legacy of absence in communities, by pulling the men out, and putting them in prison, in numbers that are unprecedented. Our incarceration rate in this country is the largest in the entire world. And the disproportionate incarceration of black men, in particular, but a growing number of Latino men, absolutely makes the point that race is a driver, there.

Race has become so embedded, and baked in, that people can walk around feeling that they're not carrying racism in their heart. But so long as they're okay with disproportionate incarceration, communities being left behind, children given no chance, this continues to be a society that is plagued by the legacy of the continuing impact of racism, right into today.

http://billmoyers.com/segment/angela...merican-dream/
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  #236  
Old 04-16-2012, 05:08 AM
Absolute Absolute is offline
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So what now, you've given up on the economic discussion and now you're just copy-and-pasting quotes from professional race baiters?

The problems she brings up are real, and serious, but they are the result of poverty and the culture of poverty, not race.
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  #237  
Old 04-16-2012, 07:22 AM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
I started by making a list of issues that need to be addressed. Right away I was assaulted by a barrage of what you accuse me of. Jilaad is way off base. People just assume I am ignorant because they disagree with me.
No, we assume you are ignorant because you make a whole bunch of unfounded statements and then won't back them up.
Quote:
I think people here want to evade the issue, so they ask why I am so "ignorant" just because I question why the free market system should not just be left alone, and will just solve the problem by itself.
Your statements appear to show that you have not the slightest understanding of economics. And therefore it is difficult to believe that your suggestions are going to work.
Quote:
Don't just keep contradicting what I say XT. Don't expect me to agree that "we have choice because we decide what to buy," when it's clear I'm not going to agree, and that I have explained my position. Just let it go and move on to another issue. I'm sorry that I don't agree with you. But going in circles forever is not useful.
Since you have been factually refuted, more than once, it is not up to you to tell other posters to stop disagreeing with you.

If you don't like going in circles, don't keep posting the same stupid shit over and over.
Quote:
I think we all need to consider more the fact that we are all a part of this country, and that we need to care about it. We need to support policies that move us all forward, not just allow a few rich people to win-- as Romney wants. We don't care enough.
Here, I think, is the crux of the problem. This kind of arrogant, self-righteous bullshit is not likely to win a lot of support except among those who are eager to be bamboozled with the idea that there are easy, quick, simple answers that won't cost them any trouble or money.

What you suggest is not self-evidently right, and those who refuse to fall in line are not automatically selfish or uncaring. That's bullshit, and it remains bullshit no matter how many times you repeat it.

If you post the kind of thing you did, even on as liberal a board as the SDMB is, you are going to get challenged on it. If your posts cannot survive even a little bit of scrutiny, then guess what? They aren't going to get any more traction in the real world, where people want more than vague-sounding twaddle about how the government can make everything wonderful if we just outlaw oil companies and force everyone to buy $40K electric cars.

People have been blowing your rhetoric out of the water on economics, and now (as Absolute notices) you are trying to change the subject to race. Imagine my surprise.

Better bring more to the table than you have so far.

Regards,
Shodan
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  #238  
Old 04-16-2012, 08:43 AM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Honesty View Post
Keep laughing. Though, I suspect, you'll counter that Nebraska is not a part of the United States.


- Honesty
What does a utility company have to do with running an oil business?
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  #239  
Old 04-16-2012, 10:48 AM
septimus septimus is offline
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When you concentrate on debating against your weakest opponent, something's wrong.

Eric the Green is wrong in almost every detail here, but still got the big picture right! When people are served crap in a restaurant they know it's crap even if they lack the culinary expertise to describe what's wrong.

If Eric the Green had simply posted links to the columns of Paul Krugman, the detractors in this thread would have had no answer, or resorted to snark about how worthless Nobel Prizes are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
... you are ignorant ...
stupid shit ...
This kind of arrogant, self-righteous bullshit ...

Regards,
Shodan
Yes, I think some of us would be able to find some areas of agreement.
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  #240  
Old 04-16-2012, 11:14 AM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by septimus View Post
When you concentrate on debating against your weakest opponent, something's wrong.
It's more than a little ironic that you said this and then went on to quote Shodan blatantly out of context. Please don't do that again.
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  #241  
Old 04-16-2012, 11:26 AM
XT XT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by septimus
If Eric the Green had simply posted links to the columns of Paul Krugman, the detractors in this thread would have had no answer, or resorted to snark about how worthless Nobel Prizes are.
Are you volunteering? If so, feel free to quote Krugman or other sources in the context of what we've been discussing in this thread. My guess is Krugman would be closer to the 'detractors in this thread' on the topics under discussion than to the OP, but we won't know until someone does the leg work to put together Krugman cites laying out his positions wrt the discussion.

It's interesting that you think that pulling the Krugman card is a fiat win, and that 'the detractors in this thread' would have no 'answer' to anything he might say on a given subject.

-XT
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  #242  
Old 04-16-2012, 11:38 AM
XT XT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric the Green
It's not a big deal, but it is strange that a board has its own language. There are new people here all the time. I think people would do better just to speak English and use the term reference like everyone else. It would facilitate communication. But I was mainly being sarcastic; I won't ignore your points.
Why is it strange that the board has it's own language? EVERY message board has it's own language, inside jokes, shorthand for certain terms and foibles and idiosyncratic behaviors. That's what good message boards are all about. Why should we change simply to accommodate new posters? It's on a new poster to learn the board, how it operates and how it ticks, and whether this community is for the new poster,or if they should move on to another board that better suits them. WE all had to do that when we were new posters. I lurked for years before I started posting here.

My advice on this unrelated topic is to take it slow, read some threads, do some searches on subjects that interest you and see how those threads progressed and how the boards culture impacts the style and type of posts and arguments used, do some searches on Mod actions and notes and read through the FAQs in each forum to make sure you don't get hammered, and then dip a toe in slowly. Trying to rush in as you have and posting as you have is not going to win you many supporters even from the many, many 'dopers on this board who ARE liberal/progressive types and would be more sympathetic to your broader stance.

Just MHO there, FWIW. Having seen newbies come in with the same attitudes and how many lasted more than a little while, I'd seriously consider the advice. Also, keep in mind that this is GD here...if you let your temper get out of hand you WILL be hammered. Flat. Take it to the Pit if you want to vent.

-XT

Last edited by XT; 04-16-2012 at 11:39 AM..
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  #243  
Old 04-16-2012, 11:44 AM
Trom Trom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XT View Post
Are you volunteering? If so, feel free to quote Krugman or other sources in the context of what we've been discussing in this thread. My guess is Krugman would be closer to the 'detractors in this thread' on the topics under discussion than to the OP, but we won't know until someone does the leg work to put together Krugman cites laying out his positions wrt the discussion.

It's interesting that you think that pulling the Krugman card is a fiat win, and that 'the detractors in this thread' would have no 'answer' to anything he might say on a given subject.

-XT
Here's Krugman arguing that the 2008 spike in oil was not caused by oil futures market speculators.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Krugman
But the mysticism over how speculation is supposed to drive prices drives me crazy, professionally.
...
Any effect on the spot market has to be indirect: someone who actually has oil to sell decides to sell a futures contract to Joe Shmoe, and holds oil off the market so he can honor that contract when it comes due; this is worth doing if the futures price is sufficiently above the current price to more than make up for the storage and interest costs.

As Iíve tried to point out, there just isnít any evidence from the inventory data that this is happening.

And hereís one more fact: by and large, futures prices over the period of the big price runup have been slightly below spot prices. The figure below shows monthly data from the EIA; as the spot price shot up, the futures price actually lagged a bit behind. In other words, there hasnít been any incentive to hoard.
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  #244  
Old 04-16-2012, 01:07 PM
septimus septimus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XT View Post
Are you volunteering? If so, feel free to quote Krugman or other sources in the context of what we've been discussing in this thread. My guess is Krugman would be closer to the 'detractors in this thread' ...
It's interesting that you think that pulling the Krugman card is a fiat win, and that 'the detractors in this thread' would have no 'answer' to anything he might say on a given subject.
Did you even try to understand my post? I've already conceded that OP is "wrong in almost every detail here"; why would I expect Krugman to support him?

Where OP is right (and where Krugman tends to agree with him) is in the big picture:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric the Green
We really need a new progressive movement in America
A movement that will reject the free market as the utopian solution to our economic problems, and instead advocate a mixed economy....

A movement for campaign finance reform and lobbying reform to take money out of politics, and to stop defining political spending as "free speech."

A movement to ... regulate dealings by big financial companies, reduce corporate influence in government ...
Why debate me? I may be more knowledgeable than OP, but certainly not in the league of Krugman.

If the underlying issues OP tried to raise are of interest to you, and you think he and Krugman are both wrong, read a few Krugman columns at random, link to the "worst" one and debate it.
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  #245  
Old 04-16-2012, 01:40 PM
Evil Captor Evil Captor is online now
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This thread does have some aspects of a group mugging, IMHO. Many of the posters here have not directly called Eric names, but the tone has been rude and aggressive.
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  #246  
Old 04-16-2012, 02:24 PM
Eric the Green Eric the Green is offline
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Originally Posted by XT View Post
.if you let your temper get out of hand you WILL be hammered. Flat. Take it to the Pit if you want to vent.

-XT
You may be the one who needs that advice, IMO
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  #247  
Old 04-16-2012, 02:29 PM
Eric the Green Eric the Green is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absolute View Post
So what now, you've given up on the economic discussion and now you're just copy-and-pasting quotes from professional race baiters?

The problems she brings up are real, and serious, but they are the result of poverty and the culture of poverty, not race.
No, I thought she made a good case that they are also a result of race.
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  #248  
Old 04-16-2012, 02:30 PM
Eric the Green Eric the Green is offline
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
Better bring more to the table than you have so far.

Regards,
Shodan
I think whatever I bring, you'll likely have the same reaction.
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  #249  
Old 04-16-2012, 02:36 PM
Eric the Green Eric the Green is offline
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
Since you have been factually refuted, more than once, it is not up to you to tell other posters to stop disagreeing with you.
Who are you to tell me what is not up to me to tell other posters?

Last edited by Eric the Green; 04-16-2012 at 02:36 PM..
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  #250  
Old 04-16-2012, 03:10 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evil Captor
This thread does have some aspects of a group mugging, IMHO. Many of the posters here have not directly called Eric names, but the tone has been rude and aggressive.
Gee whiz, you're breaking my heart here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
I think whatever I bring, you'll likely have the same reaction.
Yes, I will likely ask for facts and logic the next time you post some overblown piece of non-factually-based nonsense.
Quote:
Who are you to tell me what is not up to me to tell other posters?
Somebody who at least knows what a "cite" is. Also somebody who is less than startled to see the reactions of a newbie who has stepped out of his weight class.

Like XT says, you might want to read up a bit and see how things get done around here. It's an interesting place, one of the best on the 'Net in my opinion, but you are going to need your A game.

Or not, as you prefer.

Regards,
Shodan
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