[FoRK] A choice of nightmares
J. Andrew Rogers
andrew at ceruleansystems.com
Sun Aug 31 12:13:42 PDT 2008
On Aug 31, 2008, at 11:31 AM, geege schuman wrote:
> So you don't mind that McCain doesn't show much of an interest in
> alternate energy sources, evidence reinforced by his choice of
> running mate.
There are billions of dollars of private capital flowing into
alternative energy development, so the only support that industry
needs is for the Federal (and State) government to get out of the
way. Alternative energy development, to the extent it has been
bottlenecked, has been stymied by environmental and NIMBY lobbies
using the power of government to impede development, and that is not
something I expect to change with a Democrat sitting in the Oval
Office (and may not change with a Republican sitting there either).
Still, I am not sure what you want the Federal government to do here
beyond making mouth noises.
On the other hand, the Federal government *has* aggressively impeded
hydrocarbon development in the US, so it kind of makes sense to have a
policy that addresses that mess whether or not you agree with it.
There is a low return obsessing about relative non-problems (like
alternative energy R&D), while ignoring areas where small changes can
make a huge difference (like gas and oil exploration in the US). The
problems are not lack of money or people, so throwing more of those at
the issue will largely be a waste.
> And under the current Bush tax cuts, we've seen growth slow to a
That implied causality is pretty damn tenuous. A much stronger
argument could be made that the tax cuts are the reason there was any
growth at all. Not so much the income tax cuts, but the capital gains
cuts that made capital investment very attractive at a time when not a
lot of capital investment was going on because the returns were poor.
Bush probably purchased a million jobs with that. Cutting the
dividend taxes to match was good for structural reform reasons, but
the beneficial impact of that is likely much more diffuse.
> Deep down, we blues know we're not in danger of losing
> ground on Row v Wade, because we know that most politicians, even
> the ones
> supported by reds, don't want to see it happen.
Yeah, that's an issue I wish would die because it is generates way
more attention than it deserves and distracts from issues that
matter. And I mean "matter" in the sense that they are not settled
issues for most political purposes. Gun control, at least at the
Federal level, is the same way -- a hot potato in a political minima
that no one is really interested in revisiting. Time to move on to
more useful topics. Other topics, like gay marriage and drug
decriminalization, are slowly changing under their own inertia toward
more socially liberal positions and little will be gained by dragging
out the single-issue extremists on both sides of those issues.
Other topics, like economics and environmental policy, are worth
discussing in some detail but they only have time for sound-bite
coverage after going through the litany of single-issue talking points
that are a waste of time.
J. Andrew Rogers
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