EcoAmerica Poll: Climate skeptics are the majority, not the minority

Only 18 percent of survey respondents strongly believe that climate change is real, human-caused and harmful.

Yes you read that correctly, it is all in this article on the Nature Conservancy webpage. And that goes along with what was discovered in June this year by the newspapers UK Guardian and Observer, which reported that:

The majority of the British public is still not convinced that climate change is caused by humans – and many others believe scientists are exaggerating the problem…

The Nature Conservancy story citing 18 percent, is citing the American Climate Values Survey (ACVS), conducted by the consulting group EcoAmerica It also found that political party affiliation is the single largest indicator as to whether people see climate change as a threat.

It seems it is all political, as there are some other fascinating tidbits. For example:

  • Convinced it’s happening: 54 percent of Republicans, 90 percent of Democrats.
  • Think that weather has gotten more severe: 44 percent of Republicans; 77 percent of Democrats.
  • Noticed the climate changing: 54 percent of Republicans; 84 percent of Democrats.
  • Trust Al Gore when he talks about global warming: 22 percent of Republicans; 71 percent of Democrats.
  • Trust environmentalists who talk about global warming: 38 percent of Republicans; 71 percent of Democrats.
  • Trust anyone who talks about global warming: 39 percent of Republicans; 75 percent of Democrats.
     

 h/t to Tom Nelson

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221 thoughts on “EcoAmerica Poll: Climate skeptics are the majority, not the minority

  1. That maybe because there is no manmade global warming. Unfortunately for the Brit’s they are in it now. Skyhigh electricity and gas prices and blackouts to come. Luckily we Canadians were not that stupid. We decimated the political party that dared to come to election with a carbon tax. However we still have these damn windmills forcing people out of their homes.

  2. The partisen divide is most interesting and demonstrates what happens when political activists try to use to science as a club to silence critics who might agree that there is a potential issue but disagree on the appropriate economic and/or political response.

  3. Notice the use of the word ‘still.’

    “The majority of the British public is still not convinced that climate change is caused by humans.”

    That is: we need to do more!

  4. More about ecoAmerica, in their own words:

    “ecoAmerica is a nonprofit agency that uses psychographic research, strategic partnerships and engagement marketing to shift awareness, attitudes and the personal and public policy behaviors of environmentally agnostic Americans.”

    I’m not sure what “psychographic” means, or “environmentally agnostic,” but the whole thing smacks of pernicious propaganda perped by politically manipulative zealots.

    Great Halloween story. Scares me!

  5. What’s really funny to me is that most folks I know don’t really care much about climate change either way. They’re just going about their daily lives and not paying the AGW issue much attention.

    This info has got to be highly frustrating to the warmistas who have spent such a huge amount of resources on increasing awareness.

  6. NF3

    The researchers found concentrations of the gas rose from about 0.02 parts per trillion in 1978 to 0.454 parts per trillion in 2008.

    It would probably be lower if many skeptic reporters weren’t as inaccurate as the supporters.

  7. Not surprising at all to any one who has looked into this the slightest bit.

    It’s actually encouraging though. Although many probably don’t believe AGW is real for the wrong reasons (political), it will hold at bay those who do believe in AGW for the wrong reasons (also political) so in the end the science & the right answer for the right reason has a chance to succeed.

    It is really a fascinating psychological observation. Why ? Fundamentally, the liberal psyche is a guilty psyche (IMHO) & the idea that mankind has caused all these problems plays right into it. Of course, the conservative psyche is an optimistic psyche (also IMHO) – which would play into the idea of there is no way humans could have a negative influence. This whole topic would make for an interesting thread outside of this one.

  8. “18 percent of survey respondents strongly believe that climate change is real, human-caused and harmful.”

    Now that IS scary… One in five are following the IPCC line. Those guys and gals are the cheerleaders. Not that many years ago no one even knew what climate change was.
    We have a few of these people commenting on this blog, and some have really done their homework. Maybe someone should be doing skeptic workshops all over the world like Al Gore does.

  9. “22% of the Republicans trust Al Gore???”

    Didn’t John McCain just recently say he had a lot of respect for Al Gore?

    Climate skeptics can’t win this election.

  10. Climate is non-partisan! This is not encouraging, especially considering the dismal level of science literacy among the general American public. By the way, what does belief have to do with it? Belief belongs in the realm of churches; data either support conclusions or they do not. No need to believe; I’ve always wondered how so many of you could be so certain, regardless of your “side”. It’s a big, complicated world out there.
    Hopefully agnostic,
    John D.

  11. While I’m happy to know that there are more skeptics than the MSM likes to acknowledge, they are not doing anything to counter the madness that our representative government is trying to unleash on us.

    With the bottom falling out in the election – there is going to be hell to pay wrt to this subject when it comes to policy and it’s effects on us, the voter, regardless of the fact the science is far from settled and even spurious.

    Personally, that small vocal minorty who believes so fervently in AGW/ACC is more powerful more active than the lazy majority.

  12. Just remember folks, no matter who wins the election in the USA, we have plenty of room here in Australia for the disenchanted! Every time there is an election in the USA, immigration enquiries for here soar (despite the language barrier!).

  13. I did a poll of one. I guy in our office who believes that the Arctic is currently melting faster than ever before. He believes that the globe is warming. He isn’t sure about wind power but believes that solar power is good (never heard of NF3). He will vote Obama to help his 401k, IRA and fix AGW as well. Those are the facts, not very scientific but he does know about the solar minimum as I have convinced him that maybe it is real, but he thinks it is probably only a minor curiosity.

  14. http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2008/20081015_ncdcglobaltemps.html

    /// NOAA: Ninth Warmest September for Global Temperatures

    October 15, 2008

    The combined global land and ocean surface average temperature for September 2008 tied with September 2001 as the ninth warmest since records began in 1880, according to an analysis by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C.

    Temperature Highlights

    * The combined global land and ocean surface temperature for September was 59.79 F — this is 0.79 degree F above the 20th century mean of 59.0 degrees F.

    * Separately, the global land surface temperature was 54.50 F — this is 0.90 degree F above the 20th century mean of 53.6 degrees F, tying September 2004 as 11th warmest on record.

    * The global ocean surface temperature of 61.86 F tied September 2001 as seventh warmest on record and was 0.76 degree F above the 20th century mean of 61.1 degrees F.

    Global Highlights for September

    * Arctic sea ice coverage during September was at its second lowest extent since satellite records began in 1979, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Average ice extent during September was 1.80 million square miles, which is 34 percent below the 1979-2000 average and is part of an 11.7 percent decline in extent per decade over the past 30 years. The record lowest extent, set in 2007 was 1.65 million square miles. ///

  15. As with every survey, the wording of the question can influence the outcome. Those with a particular row to hoe have a tendency (consciously or subconsciously) to skew their question so as to increase the likelihood of the answer being what they want to hear.

    Any survey from a partisan grouping is, therefore, particularly interesting when the result is the opposite of what they want to hear. It suggests to me that the numbers against their position are probably larger than their survey indicates because “question bias” has operated.

    What fun.

  16. Unfortunately, although the majority of the British may not believe in AGW, 99% (or that’s what it seems like) of the people who rule our lives do. That’s why we are extracting (covertly) £1 bn each year from electricity bills to subsidise windfarms in order to comply with stupid and hypocritical EU tagets. That’s why we have a climate change bill before parliament. That’s why you we have stupid politicians talking about a 60% reduction in CO2 emissions and that’s why the useless BBC does not deserve its £3 bn poll tax.

    Enough venting. Apologies.

    Paul

  17. John D.,

    Belief has everything to do with it. Belief comes before everything else. For instance, you believe your senses are reliable. You believe that data either supports the conclusions or it does not. It is true that believing or not believing will not change what happens in reality. For instance, I could strongly disbelieve it will rain at the World Series game tonight because I might believe it is the Phils destiny to win the World Series without having to go back to Tampa. But that would not change, no matter how strongly I believed, whether it was actually going to rain or not. But belief does determine behavior. For example, if you are strongly convinced that humans are causing global warming, you might deface the stacks of a power plant to protest that. Furthermore, you might also testify on behalf of defendants who did that, stating that they had reasonable justification for their actions because they are fighting for something larger – to save the world. Data is data, but you have to believe it is reliable – or have a reason if you think it is not. Belief is everywhere. To believe is to be human. What you believe in is your own choice, but you must believe in something. Believe me or not.

  18. Tom in Texas (20:24:52) :

    “22% of the Republicans trust Al Gore???”

    Scares me that anyone believes him.

    CanuckInMI (21:06:59) :

    “22% of the Republicans trust Al Gore???”

    “Didn’t John McCain just recently say he had a lot of respect for Al Gore?”

    I think it was even suggested that McCain would appoint SurlyAl (Sureal Al?…dunno) to his cabinet.

    Amazing that both candidates “believe” in this. How much of the belief is based purely on attempting to get votes? All of it, imho.

    Jim

  19. I haven’t taken a close look at this survey, but I seriously doubt its findings.
    Europeans in general see it as a fact that CO2 is harmful.
    In Germany it’s tough finding anyone who disagrees with AGW dogma.

    And just take a look at the speakers to appear at the next NIPCC convention.
    It was only possible to find two outside of the Anglo-speaking countries. Not a single one from Denmark, Russia, Holland, Spain, Italy, China, India, South America, Germany, Japan etc.!

    The sceptic movement indeed appears, and underservedly so, to be a Manchester Capitalism effort.
    Is anyone thinking about PR at the Heartland Institute?

  20. Trust Al Gore when he talks about global warming: 22 percent of Republicans; 71 percent of Democrats.

    Trust anyone who talks about global warming: 39 percent of Republicans; 75 percent of Democrats.

    I’m shocked to know the shopkeeper nextdoor is more trustworthy on GW than Al Gore.

  21. This is all just more evidence that the press has sold out its credibility for political reasons, and it ain’t coming back. Favoring a small number of politically motivated scientists who, just as a coincidence, favor the kind of huge taxation that the majority of the press favor, what a coincidence.

  22. How about instead of asking what people believe ask them what they are willing to pay from their own pocket to back up their belief. Fine to say that corporations and government’s should do something but end of they day the public pays.

  23. It’s blatently obvious that the UK should try to get off it’s addiction to Russian gas and oil and if it takes the global warming banner to do it than so be it.

    A canadian writes :-

    “Unfortunately for the Brit’s they are in it now. Skyhigh electricity and gas prices and blackouts to come. Luckily we Canadians were not that stupid”

    Are we that stupid though? I now drive a car that would have been taxed a flat rate at £180 but due to government enviromental concerns I get to pay £20. The government paid for my attic to be insulated so I got that for free. My new environmental car does 50mpg, my old one did 25mpg, cars are getting more frugal due to governmental pricing bands for CO2 emissions as well as cost of fuel. The government is also helping paying for pensioners and disabled peoples boilers to be changed to more efficient new ones.

    STUPID? No, personally economically better off on the back of “green” is not stupid ;)

    As for this figure of only 18% of Americans agreeing with AGW I will point out that this is a much smaller amount than the number that believe in flying saucers, evolution is bunkum and God created the world in 7 days and that the twin towers was blown up by explosions so Bush could invade the middle east.Which I think tells us more about people in the USA rather than whether AGW exists or not :D

    Regards

    Andy

  24. Pierre, you say: “In Germany it’s tough finding anyone who disagrees with AGW dogma.”.

    Well I live in Bavaria, south of Munich. And quite honestly I can’t find anybody who particularly cares about climate change, one way or the other.

    I asked my teenage son the other day what his classmates think about it. He told me 1 of the girls is a member of the Green Party, but otherwise it’s of no interest to them at all.

    But his teachers – now that’s a different matter. They would all appear to be true believers, including the science teachers.

  25. Richard (02:26:14) :
    “Fine to say that corporations and government’s should do something but end of they day the public pays.”

    It always amazes me that so many people in the U.S. completely miss this point. Listen to any politician that wants to tax “Big Oil” and you’ll hear cheering, but no one there can explain to you how this is going to lower prices. In fact, they can’t explain why this increased tax won’t just get passed along in the sale price of the product.

    It’s the same problem with understanding “climate change” claims. You just have to be willing to ask that pesky “next question”, which so many never do.

    Jim

  26. Come to think of it, I don’t know anybody personally in the UK either who cares about climate change – except for one friend who is a member of Friends of the Earth.

    I asked him what they discussed at their local meetings, and he said: “Football”.
    “Yeah, right” I said – “But all joking aside what do you really discuss?”. “No, I’m not joking, we talk mainly about football”.

    His group are pretty active as well. Last year on his way to flying off for a short walking holiday in Switzerland, he had to undergo the indignity of walking past his co-members picketing his airport, much to both our amusement.

  27. Paulus/Pierre,
    I live in Pinneberg (Hamburg 25km) of those that I know, no interest, its a political subject that will cost us money said a friend. In Italy (Rimmini ) Climate Change ? laughter.

  28. Slightly Amused/Eve Stevens/Mike Dubrasich/Paul Maynard:

    Some of us try to think things thro! I always believed that those who shout loudest in an debate/argument are always in the wrong, they know it, that’s why they shout!

    The whole thing is quite frightening. We are told not to dissent from the official viewpoint. The whole rationalé is to control the populace with fear, raise taxes, every totalitarian system does so right or left. The UK government & its Green relatives have bought into this big time, so it will be very difficult to change viewpoints, to avoid huge embarrassment, huge salaries going down, huge budgets being reduced & cut, & reputations being lost, very difficult to face losing these things once a little empire has been built off taxpayers funding!

    The planet is cooling, has done for 8 years, is “predicted” by a computer to do so for another 8-10 years, yet this is “perfectly in keeping ” with the understanding of Climate Change. Makes no sense to me. If a crack in a building opens up one year, then closes the next, it says to me it is very likely (95% IPCC) a cyclical movement. If the climate warms over a period of time, then cools over another period of time, then warms again, then cools again, it surely should say something to a “climate scientist”, although to be honest, climate science is in its infancy after all, despite what some would have us believe. The AGWers in the UK take the Gorean stance that the debate is over therefore we must all go along with the story that it’s all done & dusted. Yet the climate still seems to have a mind of its own, & doesn’t want to play ball with the climate models.

    As to the Politically Correct clap-trap that this group come out with they have certainly been studying the PC brigade over here in the UK. The jargonese is quite delightful & meaningless of course, but it sounds terribly technical & important. A bit like Anthropogenic (yes it’s in my little dictionary) as opposed to Man-made, why use simple when complex sounds more important! Sounds like the sort of stuff an administrator would use, when a technical bod would tend to opt for a simpler definition.

    BTW, had difficulty logging on yesterday about 6:00pm GMT, was there a problem with the site or just one of those things? I was mildly alarmed after reading some of the blogs about restricting freedom of access to non PC AGW sites, I thought for a moment they’d put it in place already! God forbid.

  29. Oh deary deary me.

    Just looked at the BBC website Science section, they’re running a re-cycled (well done stops the environmental damage) story, to accompany a new one, apparently it’s the ice thickness chaps, that’s the big issue now, from a EU funded (who else) University College London study reveals. The story talks about 2007 ice but vaguely implies 2008 is involved somewhere along the line but I couldn’t work it out from the thread. The follow-up story is a re-hash job from September 07, along with a recent re-hash of arctic ice at tipping point dated August 08. They really are running out of things to report about.

    The story I read doesn’t say too much about when exactly all the satalite measurements were made, & over what time period, whether winter or summer ice, etc.

    How is the ice doing right now?

  30. Andy:”Are we that stupid though? I now drive a car that would have been taxed a flat rate at £180 but due to government enviromental concerns I get to pay £20. The government paid for my attic to be insulated so I got that for free… The government is also helping paying for pensioners and disabled peoples boilers to be changed to more efficient new ones. ”

    The only government money is OPM, other people’s money. The things you get for “free” and the payment help the government engages in are paid for by someone else. Someone who first has to earn that money so the government can take it away and give it to people like you. But then, everyone who is on the receiving end of “government money” ignores this and will always vote for those who promise it. This is how liberty and freedom die, a slow socialist death under the pretense that government is there to help not control. The USA is going to go through this in the very near future. Thank the Foundering Fathers that we have a 2nd Amendment.

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  32. Paul Maynard (23:55:10) : “Unfortunately, although the majority of the British may not believe in AGW, 99% (or that’s what it seems like) of the people who rule our lives do.”

    That’s pretty much it, in a nutshell. It’s not that ordinary folks here are stupid, (most people I know are concerned with matters like family, work, money, food, etc, and don’t rank global warming highly as something to get particularly excited about, even if they vaguely believe it.) It’s the government, media and NGOs who aggressively push AGW at every turn. If only one of our political leaders (Boris Johnson??) could just stand up and say “My position is that manmade global warming is a load of absolute bollocks” it would be very heartening.

  33. ‘Belief belongs in the realm of churches; data either support conclusions or they do not.’

    Belief as in ‘faith’ is, as St Paul saith, ‘the testimony of things unseen’ and certainly has no place in natural science. However, that is not the whole story about the way the noun ‘belief’ and the verb ‘believe’ are used in English. In ordinary usage, ‘belief’ that a proposition is true or false implies a high level of confidence without asserting 100% certainty. For example, until a few years ago, the overwhelming majority of mathematicians believed that Fermat’s Last Theorem was true. The theorem has, finally, been demonstrated to be true, i.e. knowledge has been substituted for belief.

  34. Paulus,
    I agree that there’s lots of apathy among the masses in Europe on the subject. But the elite who form public opinion, i.e. the media, intellectuals, academia etc. are huge proponents of the scam. I live not far from Bremen, and both my children at school had to watch Gore’s garbarge at school.
    In fact the German Minister for Environment, Sigmar Gabriel, distributed 6000 AIT DVDs to all the advanced A-level high schools here.
    And honestly, if you ask to average Joe on the street, he thinks CO2 is a pollutant. They’ve been indictrinated for a number of years now.

    Again, aside, this Heartland Institute would be well-advised to include the rest of the world in its March Conference. Otherwise it’ll just end up looking like a big country club pow-wow for Manchester capitalists.
    I do hope them Republican boys realise that. I like their science. BUT the way it is now, the Conference’s overall appearance would make Diversity want to puke. It can hardly be called a global conference.

    Where are the:
    Danes?
    Isrealis
    Russians,
    Indians,
    Africans
    Germans
    South Americans
    Japanese
    etc.

    Hello! It’s a global problem ladies and gentlemen.

  35. BUT the way it is now, the Conference’s overall appearance would make Diversity want to puke. It can hardly be called a global conference

    Ahh…. the “D” word. I thought you were going to point out there are practically no women! :)

  36. @Pierre Gosselin (05:57:03) :

    Conferences cost money to attend and funding for AGW supporters far exceeds funding for AGW skeptics. We don’t all get to go to Bali.

    The issue of international participation may very well be one of international researchers not being able to afford to attend the conference rather than the conference organizers not seeking international participation.

  37. “Richard (02:26:14) :
    How about instead of asking what people believe ask them what they are willing to pay from their own pocket to back up their belief.”

    Excellent question for the 18% who believe the worst.

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  39. I am an optimistic person by nature and I look at the “green” movement to be as much about money as about the environment. If I can be environmental green and keep more of my financial green, it gets my support. So more insulation in my house, a higher mileage car, light bulbs that work more efficiently, I’m all for it. I’m even a bit more tolerant than most of higher energy costs because I know there are things I can do to reduce energy consumption and at least break even and possibly come out ahead. However an environmental movement that can blindly push for reduced carbon footprints that in the long run will have so little impact is mindless. An envirionmental movement that blindly pushes biofuels as costs for food goes up to the point people are pushed deeper into poverty and some to starvation is heartless. I think if we continue down this path much futher, we’ll have a Winston Churchill moment but on this topic he’d be saying, “never have so many, paid so much and accomplished so little” in their effort to control the climate.

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  41. Percentage of people who believe:

    God 92%
    Heaven 85%
    Miracles 82%
    Angels 78%
    Hell 74%
    The Devil 71%
    Ghosts 34%
    UFOs 34%
    Astrology 29%
    Reincarnation 25%
    Witches 24%
    Real, Harmful, Human-Caused Climate Change 18%

    I guess the same 18% also believes in the boogeyman.

  42. Well, it’s about time someone noticed that the majority of dems don’t believe that global warming is man-made and a serious threat. Hell, even ultra right-wing conservative farmers who are still looking for their slaves understand when global warming occurs. That’s when they are taking more trips to the bank to deposit money instead of going to the bank with hat in hand after their crop froze. I will capitulate that ultra left-wing greenies are a rather stupid narrow minded bunch. Bout as stupid and narrow minded as ultra right-wing wackos. We all have our burdens to bare. Wonder what kind of questions we could pose to these idiots that would allow us to see they are more alike than different. But just you wait, someone here will say that their fringe idiots are somehow smarter than my fringe idiots.

  43. The US government is about to be taken over by a group 100% sold on catastrophic global warming. Hopefully snow at the World Series will make a few people think before they vote.

  44. One alarmist with whom I argued kept saying that the 2008 cooling should not be considered because we are not at the end of the year yet. Using GISS data, the 2007 J-D average is 56.33. For 2008 to meet that, the average anomoly for Oct-Dec would have to be 106. It is now safe to say that 2008 is cooler than 2007. The probability of reaching such extreme record temperatures in light of a strengthening La Nina is remote. It would be the 18% diehard AGW believers that deny 2008 furthered the global cooling. — John M Reynolds

  45. Pamela Gray (06:50:08) Here’s a good question for them: Why would you rather bare your burden than bear it?
    =========================================

  46. 2008 has brought the second coldest NFL game and possibly the first snowed out World Series game in over 100 years. It brought the first snow to Baghdad in 100 years. Proof positive that global warming is spiraling out of control.

  47. More evidence “global warming” is not now and never was about climate or science.

    It is the manipulation of public opinion to achieve political aims.

    Polls and “psychographic” studies such as these are analogous to military BDA – “Bomb Damage Assessment.” You can bomb a target until you think you’ve destroyed, but then you need to send in reconnaissance to determine how much actual damage you’ve done.

    For the billions they’ve spent on the “global warming” bombing campaign, it appears they’ve only convinced the already-credulous.

    Not to worry though. You don’t need a majority when you rule people “for their own good.”

    Regulations, taxes, subsides, and the old standby, lawsuits, get the job done for a fanatical minority.

  48. Well, I used to be a Republican, but now I claim to be a Libertarian. How many IQ points did I get for making the change?

    My beliefs are similar to those of Dr Pielke Sr at ClimateScience.org. Yes, there is warming, and yes, some of it is human induced, but it is NOT all a result of human produced CO2. It has more to do with land use changes (irrigation, de-forrestation, UHI, etc.) than the relatively minuscule human CO2 contribution.

  49. I won’t say that, Pamela. I just think there ought to be some effort to “see to our own houses.” It seems that the left fringe idiots have a lot more pull within their party than the right fringe idiots. Of the presidential candidates, who is more centrist? Even if the AGW whackos are in the minority, they seem to be pulling the strings. “Tolerance” shouldn’t extend so far that we can’t speak out against one type of whacko just because another type of whacko also exists.

  50. The Nature Conservancy article just proves that all they care about is improving how they sell AGW ideology to “dumb” Americans who “still don’t get it”. Tie it in with jobs, clean environment, energy independence, all wrapped neatly in the American flag, and voila. It’s all about sleight of hand, and we are the marks. Hold onto your wallets, folks.

  51. Dee Norris (06:18:40) :

    @Pierre Gosselin (05:57:03) :

    “Conferences cost money to attend and funding for AGW supporters far exceeds funding for AGW skeptics. We don’t all get to go to Bali.”

    “The issue of international participation may very well be one of international researchers not being able to afford to attend the conference rather than the conference organizers not seeking international participation.”

    If the UN was true to its charter, both sides of the GW/CC issue would be equally supported and the skeptics could hold their conferences in Bali. Only one side of the issue is supported by the UN (tax-payer money), so, the UN is more appropriately called the Unilateral Nations.

    Classic taxation without representation.

  52. My fringe’s better then your fringe!
    My fringe’s better then your’s.
    My fringe’s better cause he eats Kennel Ration.
    My fringe’s better then your’s.

    Good evening friends.

  53. Leon Brozyna (21:08:16) :
    That explains this new article in TIME:

    http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1853871,00.html

    Leon,

    In the very first sentence of the article you linked it states “… I come across a lot of scary facts, like the possibility that thawing permafrost in Siberia could release gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere…”

    Doesn’t permafrost release methane (CH3) and not CO2. Not just “scary” facts but no facts at all. I wouldn’t use TIME or the NY Times to to soak up the methane from the bottom of a birdcage.

    Here are some “facts” on methane and permafrost.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060907102808.htm

  54. The problem with being a Capitalist is no one likes what you believe.

    Alas, it appears that our wallets may get a lot thinner in the coming years. We are promised new taxes (at least cap & trade), more spending and regulation. Big Al will make sure we see the light. That’s if McC wins.

    As for Americans being less stupid, I point out that over half of us (self excluded) get some government subsidy. Social Security, welfare, direct paycheck, contracts, etc. So those folks aren’t about to bite the hand that feeds them. What Government wants, they’ll support.

    Bashing Big Business has always been popular, whether they are exploiting the workers or trashing the environment.

    Same song, second verse. Nothing to see, move along.

  55. Well, no big surprise here. Most people I talk to are not very concerned about global warming (or cooling). The few who are do not put up much of an argument and would rather not talk about it.

    Which leads me to ask. How does AGW get so much traction anyway?

    This whole debate seems to be more political in ‘science’ than anything else. Most of it is spoon fed garbage given to us by the ‘unbiased media’.

    So be GREEN everyone. Emit GREENhouse gases. You are helping the earth by doing so. But how much can a ‘trace’ amount really help anyway? Not much. FYI – it will still be a ‘trace’ once we burn the remaining 80% of our fossil fuel reserves.

    Can we worry about more important things now?

  56. andyw35 (03:13:35)

    So you bought a new car and went from well below the EU standard to above it and seem to think that is a well spent sterling? How much did your payments go up on the new car, how much more is the insurance?

    So now tell the truth, how much did it cost to insulate? The Gov program is a rebate is it not? So you had to pay out of pocket.

    How much is it saving you, 5% ?

    Your sentiment is fine if you are doing OK in this Global Economic situation but many cannot afford the changes you advocate.

    Just a comment, in the 80s I was in the energy conservation business, the bottom fell out when we updated all the old houses with owners that had the money to spend, there were industry and Gov incentives then too. New houses always get built with a better standard, existing houses get updated when sold as a matter of practice, since home sales are in the tank so is the Industry.

    Green updates are unsustainable economics, lots of players making money for 5-6 years then going broke, been through it. Energy updates are a once or twice a generation expense.

  57. For those of you who are “down-in-the-dump” over the prospects for AGW relief after the election next Tuesday, I can offer no hope.

    Lunch-losing video: Gingrich and Pelosi tag-team for Al Gore

    http://michellemalkin.com/2008/04/22/lunch-losing-video-gingrich-and-pelosi-tag-team-for-al-gore/

    I sent an email to Newt asking why he had joined the Al Gore global warming scam. His return form email said that he wanted to be a part of the debate. For Newt the debate is not about AGW, but is about determining the best way to make We the People pay for our transgressions against Nature.

  58. The ACVS summary report is here for those who want to see (some of) the actual questions asked. The 18% who strongly agree that GW is real, manmade and harmful are exactly balanced by 18% who strongly agree with the opposite assertions (Page 22). Frustratingly this is just a meta-analysis and does not give the breakdown of responses by question so of those who do not strongly agree or disagree with the proposition, we are no wiser as to how many simply agree with or are neutral on the question.

    Still, some fascinating conclusions here e.g. Education is strongly correlated with acceptance of the reality and responsibility of global warming.. ;-O.

  59. What climate Goreites ARE beginning to change, is the one that produced the axiom: You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time. But you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.

    The only thing proven by the responses, is that Republicans have not yet discovered the Pot ‘O Gold that pseudo-environmentalists began to scarf as soon as Gore received his igNobel Prize. Once they do find the profits to be had from the CO2 industry, that’ll be it for scientific facts…as IPCC has already proven.

  60. “stupid and narrow minded…wackos…fringe idiots”

    These maligned unfortunates are better organized and attended to than are ‘we’.

    The only certain outcome next week is that ‘the majority’ will be worse off.

    What are ‘we’ to do about that?

  61. Ed Scott (07:35:48) :

    TerryBixler (22:13:16) :
    “He will vote Obama to help his 401k, IRA and fix AGW as well.”

    I read that article yesterday. I’ve tried to get several Obama supporters to read it, and they refuse. It would alter their “reality” if what I was telling them about it was true, so they refuse acknowledge it. I’ve witnesses this many times over on different subjects. I am truly surrounded by members of a cult, it seems.
    How far this will go remains to be seen.

    And AGW is the same. If you tell someone something that goes against what they consider to be the consensus, they won’t take 5 microseconds of time to see if it’s actually true or not.

    And I don’t know where the numbers in the poll come from, but I can say they are NOT representitive of the people I talk to almost daily. I am known in some circles as “…the ONLY guy who DOESN’T believe in AGW”.

    Jim

  62. Aileni Noyle (05:28:58) :

    Oh heck – I’m a republican !!?

    —————-

    Welcome to the dark side my child.

  63. Daniel: I read the article on thin arctic ice which was in CNN. I did a double take until I realized they were talking about last year’s record!! BBC puts out more rancid and old propaganda.

  64. Cunning use of word play here i feel. The use of the tense of “thinning” as opposed to “thinned”, to suggest an ongoing event as opposed to one that has occurred, & may well be recovering.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7692963.stm

    It’s a clever technique, throw in a whole bunch of associated articles so it appears at first glance that a raft of new data has been made available about failing arctic sea-ice levels. Half a metre ain’t much you know, & it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that as “area” goes down an element of thinning would likely happen too. Interesting to know if the current ice state has thickened, or perhaps “less thinning” than 2007 has occurred!

  65. The government paid for my attic to be insulated so I got that for free.

    You mean you and everyone else paid the government so you could get your attic insulated “for free”.

  66. Hell, even ultra right-wing conservative farmers who are still looking for their slaves understand when global warming occurs.

    —————

    Such people only exist in the fevered dreams of far left non-thinkers.

  67. Of the two parties.
    Obama is a creature of the far left. He has consistently had one of the most liberal voting records in Congress.

    McCain on the other hand is despised by the social conservatives who supposedly run the Republican party.

  68. It always amazes me that so many people in the U.S. completely miss this point. Listen to any politician that wants to tax “Big Oil” and you’ll hear cheering, but no one there can explain to you how this is going to lower prices. In fact, they can’t explain why this increased tax won’t just get passed along in the sale price of the product.

    In reality, due to fuel taxes, the states and fed government in the US make more money from a gallon of gas than the oil companies do.

  69. I believe there are UFOs. Oh, you mean alien spacecraft visiting the earth, and not just objects which might be flying which one can’t identify…. No I don’t believe in those.

  70. another BBC report on artic ice.
    Not a comment about the increase in extent of ice cover, rather another “tipping point” article about ice thickness.
    It does seem the old adage is true. Good news doesn’t sell papers.
    Similarly, the BBC is overboard on any doom story.
    I would give it more credence if they reported the non doom-laden stories as fully!

  71. A debate hosted by I.Q Squared (IQ2) in March, 2007 demonstrated this same result.

    “Global Warming is Not a Crisis”

    http://www.michaelcrichton.com/video-iq2debate-part2.html

    A before / after poll of the studio audience showed a portion of them actually reversing their held positions on the argument. Perhaps it was just the calliber of these speakers, but I tend to think that open and honest debate is, and will continue to be, unhealthy for the AGW adherents.

    For the proposition: Michael Crichton, Richard Lindzen and Philip Stott.
    Against the prop: Brenda Ekwurzel, Gavin Schmidt, and Richard Summerville

    Pre-Debate Survey of Audience: For the Motion = 30% Against = 57% Undecided = 18%
    Post-Debate Survey of Audience: For = 46% Against = 42%

    Whatever predilection most people have, the fact, as Gavin Schmidt asserts in the debate, is that the preponderance of power-holding scientists are believers in AGW, and they are eager to act to mitigate it. The agencies he cites are: National Academies of Science of all the G-8 nations; the major scientific societies, and the White House. I would add both presidential candidates, the leaders of congress and the mainstream media — among the now-vociferous spokesmen / claimants for the cause(s) of global warming. The consequences of headlong action to “fix” the problem, as Crichton says, may well be hundreds of trillions of dollars, a tiny portion of which well save millions of lives and relieve suffering among millions of others in the near term.

    It’s bizarre that a minority of intelligent skeptics might let this happen.
    It’s unconscionable that a majority should allow it.

  72. Dee,
    “The issue of international participation may very well be one of international researchers not being able to afford to attend the conference…”

    That’s an awfully weak argument. Could be true for a few, but I seriously doubt it in general. C’mon!

    I’m not talking about affirmative action here. I just think getting representation from around the globe would be far more effective than a good ol boys get-together. Step back and take a look at it. It’s bad PR.

    And where are the women reps? Good question. There are good women out there. The organisers are squandering the opportunity to capitalise on resources that are out there.

  73. James Lyons (09:35:51)

    The axiom you referred to is actually attributed to the greatest Republican president (next to Reagan) of all time. Here’s another of his quotes that seems very relevent to this thread.

    “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national [global] crises. The great point is to bring them the real facts. ”

    Abraham Lincoln -16th US President (1809-1865)

  74. The thing is if my fringe idiots win we all go home and watch TV, if your fringe idiots win we all have to buy a horse and a tent and pitch it down by a stream and fish and hunt and gather for a living (taking care to maintain the forest and not endanger any species).

  75. Mark W,

    You need to review history. The “father” of the Democrat Party owned slaves and DNA evidence indicated he took sexual advantage of women in his power.

    The “father” of the Republican Party put the Union back together after the Democrats (President and party) spilt the union. In the process he ended the Democrat’s ownership of slaves.

    It was the Republicans who passed the 13th and 14th amendments. You seem weak on history and might want to review their content and history.

    It was the Democrats that got us into WW1 (Wilson), WW2 (Roosevelt), rounded up American citizens and put them into concentration camps (Roosevelt signed an executive order to intern the Japanese-it was not debated in Congress), used the atomic bomb on the Japanese (Truman),the Korean War (Truman), the Cold War (Truman), the Vietnam War (Kennedy/Johnson), and the War on Terror (Clinton, according to Osama bin Laden in a 1997 interview-we were already at war.)

    Bull Connors was a Democrat when he turned the dogs and fire hoses on the civil rights marchers. And Orville Faubus was the Governor that tried to prevent the integration of the Little Rock schools.

    That was then and this is now. It’s a different world and it’s time to get on with our lives. Give it a rest.

    Your comment about “ultra right-wing conservative farmers who are still looking for their slaves” shows a monumental ignorance of history. I am embarrassed for you.

  76. Nuclear war
    New Ice age
    Aids
    CJD
    Bird Flu
    Global Warming/Climate Change/Climate Chaos/etc/etc

    I’m still alive

  77. Forgot volcanos and near earth objects.

    All sensationalised in the media. I wonder why us Brits are slightly skeptical

  78. M White

    You forgot to mention “The Millenium bug” which was pretty much the same non-existant threat as AGW except it had a time limit on it. The AGW alarmists are not going to make that mistake again, they want this one to run and run!

  79. Jon Jewett,
    While I agree with almost all of your post, I believe that Truman’s use of atomic weapons, despite the tragic impact on the civilian population, provided the best demonstration possible that these weapons should never be used. Had the world not received this horrible demo, I believe a nuclear war of unsurpassed dimensions would have already occurred. Truman made the right choice and fewer people died as a result of an action that shortened the war.

  80. Oh & BTW Truman may have been a Democrat, but he was no socialist and was more conservative than Obama or McCain. Pailin is the only one who comes close.

  81. andyw35 (03:13:35) :
    “It’s blatently obvious that the UK should try to get off it’s addiction to Russian gas and oil and if it takes the global warming banner to do it than so be it. ”

    The first part I agree with, the second I take issue with. Legislation and government environmental incentives have their place – for real environmental improvement. It is possible that there will be long term benefits though having stimulated and given artificial advantages to some technologies but just remember we’re all paying for it – or will do in the end.

    “The government paid for..” but where does the goverment get the money? TAX.

    In the UK petrol has just come down to below £1.00 per litre. That’s $5.77 per US gallon. Gas in the US is only ~$2.66 per gallon. What’s the difference? TAX. On every litre we pay 50.53p fuel duty and 17.5% VAT.

    You said:
    “STUPID? No, personally economically better off on the back of “green” is not stupid” That’s exactly what you’re supposed to think.

  82. I had some great high-paying contracts for Y2K. One of them actually was a legitimate concern, too. A pharmacy software package. Every time you started the program it would delete all records past a certain age. Unfortunately, if you set the date to January 1, 2000, all records suddenly became (infinite) days old and were deleted. All patient records, drug records, interaction records, etc. Gone. Wiped clean. And the source code for this commercial package was lost a decade earlier.

    Some of the memorable Y2K humor involved people who truly believed that on January 1, 2000, even industrial microprocessors (ie. car engine controllers, telephone switching boxes) would stop working. Truly an example of how little most people know about technology.

    And honestly, AGW is no different from Y2K, in that it preys on ignorance, sows unnecessary fear, is easily refuted with even a small amount of knowledge, is designed to get funding, and is based around a small nugget of fact.

    Oh, and during 2000 I really did hear a lot of people take “credit” for averting disaster. Wonderful!

  83. Alan the Brit: “How is the ice doing right now?”

    Click on Anthony’s new Sea Ice link at the upper right, and you’ll see that 2008 sea ice levels are normal. Despite what NOAA says.

  84. My concern is the freedom of the net and the present the search engines, I have searched the terms global warming , global warming skeptics, global warming skeptical blog.
    Gristmill appears near the top, climateaudit and wattsupwiththat appear way down the list, this to me is alarming. Unless people are aware of the Hockey Stick debunking they wont end up at the two most important skeptical sites unless they trawl through numerous pages. If you type climate change skeptics it is just as bad.
    Anthony is getting a large amount of hits but are they hits from a growing audience.

  85. Why do Democrats believe in AGW? Possibly for the same reasons they support Obama?

    [audio src="http://www.bpmdeejays.com/upload/hs_sal_in_Harlem_100108.mp3" /]

  86. Bill P (10:44:51) :

    A debate hosted by I.Q Squared (IQ2) in March, 2007 demonstrated this same result.

    “Global Warming is Not a Crisis”

    I believe Gavin Schmidt was part of that debate, he has never dared go near one since.

  87. The thing is if my fringe idiots win we all go home and watch TV, if your fringe idiots win we all have to buy a horse and a tent and pitch it down by a stream and fish and hunt and gather for a living (taking care to maintain the forest and not endanger any species).

    Nope. Can’t have a tent, that’s a manufactured item and therefore not “natural”. Can’t have a horse either, that’s animal abuse (assuming you’re going to ride it or use it in some way).

  88. Click on Anthony’s new Sea Ice link at the upper right, and you’ll see that 2008 sea ice levels are normal. Despite what NOAA says.

    I don’t see the link…

  89. moptop (14:21:35) :

    “So comrades, what we need is a new propaganda five year plan.”

    I’m in…how can I help?

    Jim

  90. A certain left wing loonie whose name rhymes with Osama is intent on treating CO2 as a dangerous pollutant. He also intends to repeal the Bill of Rights and replace it with a “Second Bill of Rights.” Oh, and he’s going to spread your wealth around to a lot of people you don’t know. But those “right wing loonies” who are looking around for their slaves balance him out….NOT!

    Don’t be embarassed for her. She is still looking for her own slaves.
    :0)

  91. Anthony,

    A question – Your headline is Climate skeptics are the majority, not the minority

    because “Only 18 percent of survey respondents strongly believe that climate change is real, human-caused and harmful.”

    and yet according to the survey “There are people who deny either that global warming is happening, that it is harmful, or that it is human caused. Only 18% of Americans strongly agree with questions on this logic chain.” (Page 22).

    So we have exactly the same proportion, 18%, strongly agreeing and disagreeing with the proposition that climate change is real, human-caused and harmful. So applying your logic, an equally valid headline would have been:

    Climate Non-Sceptics in the majority, not the minority

    How did you choose which headline to go with?

    ;-)

    REPLY: I’m not playing this game, if you don’t like the headline, go elsewhere. I don’t have time to debate such petty arguments. – Anthony

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  93. Really so frightening that Obama plans to blackmail even his reluctant Democrat legislators.

    This from Oct. 20 WSJ:

    “He {Obama} plans to issue an ultimatum to Congress: either impose new taxes and limits on carbon that he finds amenable, or the EPA carbon police will be let loose to ravage the countryside.

    Those taxes would far exceed the burden of a straight carbon or cap-and-trades system enacted by Congress.”

    Thusly the AGW fanatics – cripple our economy – further.

  94. A. It didn’t take but a few posts to say that one person’s fringe was somehow better than another. Maybe be I should be predicting the weather.

    B. I fail to see where I posted anything about ultra right-wing conservatives being historically Republican and ultra left-wing greenies being historically Democrat. Somebody forgot to use their reading glasses. Or maybe the rose-colored glasses got in the way of the words I wrote.

    C. Had I been alive during Lincoln’s time, I would have been a Republican. Had I been old enough to vote for civil rights, I would have been a Republican. I am a Democrat today because I believe in liberty and civil rights for all races and persuasions but the Republican platform does not, I believe in a woman’s right to say and make happen what will go in and come out of her body but the Republican platform does not, I believe in lower taxes for the common person but the Republican platform does not, and I believe that if you take care of these rights at the common person level, you take care of all people’s rights, but the Republican platform does not. If the Dem’s platform changes, I may no longer have that label on my voter registration card.

  95. Pamela, If you believe that writing a check to somebody who doesn’t pay taxes equals “lower taxes”, then you will always be a Democrat, so spare us the “rhetorical flourishes”.

  96. @Patrick Henry (07:42:23) :

    You wrote: “2008 has brought the second coldest NFL game and possibly the first snowed out World Series game in over 100 years. It brought the first snow to Baghdad in 100 years. Proof positive that global warming is spiraling out of control.”

    I’d say we are nearing that much ballyhood tipping point. The question is, which way will the teeter totter? I see the political climate teetering and the global climate tottering. As when we were children, when one jumps off the teeter-totter, the other comes crashing down with a bum-jarring thud.

    I found it interesting that the MSM evening news I watched tonight was doing just plain old straight reporting – no spin – on the cold events in the eastern portion of the US. If this keeps up, I think perhaps the 18% in the article are in for a jolt as everyone else jumps off the teetertotter.

  97. I am in a dilemma.

    I am an independent (not with that party either)

    How can I reconcile with the fact that I consider AGW hypothesis as overblown nonsense?

    How can I reconcile with the fact that I consider most AGW believers as being profoundly liberal?

    How can I consider Obama/Biden ticket as being as qualified as a Betty boop/Dupus Boomer ticket?

    When they are proposing illogical and irrational anti global warming “solutions” to a non problem?

    Yet be non partisan the whole time?

    He he he…….

  98. Jon Jewett (11:47:21) :

    “Mark W,

    You need to review history.”

    Actually, I believe it was Pamela that made the comment about the farmers. Mark W. was quoting her.

    Or maybe I’ve got the wrong glasses on.

    Must be.
    And speaking of those glasses…”I believe in lower taxes for the common person but the Republican platform does not”

    I’m surprised you’re not familiar with the breakdown of who pays what taxes in our economy.
    Here’s a refresher:

    Top 1% pays 39% of total taxes
    Top 5% pays 60% of total taxes
    Top 10% pays 70% of total taxes
    Top 25% pays 86% of total taxes
    Top 50% pays 97% of total taxes

    Please tell me what your definition of the “common person” is?

    I typically enjoy your posts, but both of those seemed to be off the usual mark to me.

    /glasses off/

    Jim

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  100. Here is what creates jobs. Demand for stuff. And if you have money in your pocket, you will go out and buy more stuff. This seems so simple. It would certainly work for me. I would be upgrading all kinds of stuff I have. And fixing stuff. And even getting ready to build a house. But alas, $1000.00+ is taken out of my paycheck every month for taxes. I don’t have any money left over at the end of the month to buy more stuff. If you want to create jobs, enriching stock holders will not create them. People who walk into your business wanting to buy stuff creates jobs. Empty store fronts were not created because their taxes were too high. They were created because there was not enough money in the pockets of the people who walked by their store. I know that because every time the paper reports on a store closing, the owner blames the lack of customers. That includes not just a mom and pop store front. It includes larger businesses like lumber and log mills, sports manufacturing plants, furniture and appliance makers, auto plants, jewelry makers, home builders, plumbers, electricians, and the list goes on.

    Trust me moptop, if you were one of those small business store front owners or the owner of a corporation, you would not be so quick to poopoo the idea about money in the common person’s pocket. If it were there, you would soon be putting it in yours. I am dead set against corporate welfare as well as welfare for the able worker. But I am all for the corporate owner dealing with inventory not meeting increased demand. My my, what a problem to have.

  101. ” dennis ward (22:25:13) :

    http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2008/20081015_ncdcglobaltemps.html

    /// NOAA: Ninth Warmest September for Global Temperatures

    October 15, 2008 ”

    Hello hello; Earth to Noaa, come in please… just heard a news bulletin that the nine highest altitudes on this planet can be found up in the mountains… please explain. This complements an earlier report that the lowest altitudes on earth are all found in the deep ocean trenches.

    And now you are telling me that some of the highest global temperatures are being found around the recent peak in global temperatures before this downhill slide started. Always a surprise; damned if I can guess what they will discover next !

    Heaven spare us from gummint statistics.

  102. The common working person is the one who would like to have enough money in his/her pocket after essentials and taxes to buy stuff. Not a lot of stuff, but stuff nonetheless. And there are millions of such people who would like to do that. Your top tax payers are far fewer in number so the money in their pockets won’t stimulate the economy because there just aren’t enough of them. And you can’t create jobs if there is no demand for the stuff that your hired worker makes. So simply giving corporations a tax break will not create the DEMAND for jobs, so no job will be created. The tax break money simply stays on top of the ladder.

    I’m on your list according to the tax roles as a middle class tax payer and help pay for that tax bill. However, paying taxes does not stimulate the economy but buying a recliner does. But I can’t buy a recliner. And that would be true for most of the people in the town of Pendleton. That’s a lot of recliners not being sold. That’s a furniture store on the brink of closure. That’s a store clerk who has been laid off. That’s a store that is no longer paying the local custodian business to come clean their store from all the foot traffic. That’s a bookkeeper seeking unemployment. And that’s a lunch counter that has let go it’s second waitress because there aren’t enough lunch customers to warrant keeping her on.

    But put some extra cold hard cash in the pockets of millions of common people on a monthly basis spread throughout the land?

    Are we good about the difference between trickle down and trickle up?

  103. Question: How does stealing my employer’s money benefit my family?

    A man once said “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”

    Wealth is not created from the bottom up. If it were, Cuba should be the wealthiest country on the planet; lots of “spreading of the wealth” over there. What makes anyone think a Soviet style economy in this country will work any better than it did in…..the Soviet Union? Alas, maybe it is because the correct individual hasn’t been in power yet, like a man in an empty suit who thinks he has the right to take from those according to their ability and give to those according to their need?

  104. Many thanks to Mr Philip (09:34:52) for the link to the ACVS’s report. What an interesting document it is.

    As I suspected, the questions they asked do not even pretend to be neutral. They conflate global warming and pollution, promote all things labelled (by them) as “green” to be beneficial, isolate oil and gas companies for criticism and presume global warming to be (i) a fact, (ii) caused by human activity and (iii) controllable by human activity.

    There is no evidence from that report of the survey being anything other than an attempt to get answers to suit their preconceptions. This is hardly surprising, the tag-line under the organisation’s name on the title page is “Moving Toward a Tipping Point”.

    Yet still they did not get the answers they wanted.

  105. “I believe in lower taxes for the common person” Pamela

    Then she goes into a riff on how spreading the wealth is obviously good for the economy. Maybe, to a point, once in a while. But as a permanent thing, taking money from successful people and giving it to people who don’t work for it grinds down the incentive to work.

    I used to listen to a show on NPR by this guy who lived in Hungary under communism. He said that he and his friends, who were all intellectuals, took jobs as street sweepers, since they paid the same as any other job, and the jobs left them with plenty of time for their art, or writing, or cafe discussions. This was an enormous waste of human capital. Eventually, they were all so poor they overthrew their govt.

    It removes the incentive to find better, more productive jobs that are worth more to the society as a whole. Then the society gets poorer. Not tomorrow, but year by year, it gets poorer. Go to Europe sometime and really look around.

    You show me the first society that ever became successful through “trickle up” What will really be created is inflation. Wait and you will see. This stuff has all been tried, and it has never worked anywhere. I remember Jimmy Carter. I am betting you don’t, since you are spouting all the same ideas that got us 18% mortgage rates, economic stagnation, unemployment rates around 10%, stuff you can’t even imagine if you weren’t there. This is why I always laugh when Democrats say “This is the worst economy in 50 years.”

    When we had all those horrific economic numbers above, we had a Democratic pres, Jimmy Carter, a filibuster proof 60 Democratic votes in the Senate and the Democrats ran the House. And we had a lot of people in govt who believed these ideas you are peddling.

  106. Re Paul Maynard’s: “Enough venting. Apologies.”

    Paul, vent all you like. It is nice to see that there are like minded folks in the UK. From what I read in UK papers and hear on BBC world news here in the states, one might think you were all in the AGW (and associated nonsense) bag.

  107. Just wondering if you understand, moptop, that the greatest single threat to American prosperity, stability, and freedom is the national debt?

    The largest portion of that debt was incurred under your “conservative” pals — Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II. “Conservatives” hate big government and taxes, on principal, except in their grown-up moments. Such as September 12, 2001, when most people with an ounce of maturity understood that a strong federal government that could protect its people was a necessity.

    Such as September 2, 2005, when we saw what had happened to New Orleans, and what was happening there still.

    Such as right now, today, when we see the depth to which our economy has sunk under “conservative” governance and “oversight.”

    By the way, your “conservative” government has not managed to find or kill Osama bin Laden, and the war in Afghanistan has been hideously mismanaged, to wage a war of non-necessity in Iraq.

    Steering the economy away from the shoals we’re on will cost money. Winning the war in Afghanistan, and bringing bin Laden to justice, will cost money. Paying down the national debt will cost money.

    The ONLY source of that money is taxes. Mark my words: Obama will be hoodwinked to some extent by Gore, and I’ll fight against it as I’m able. But he will also succeed in Afghanistan where Bush has failed, do something about New Orleans, pull the U.S. back from the brink of economic collapse, and pay down the national debt.

    Whether your like it or not.

  108. Yet still they did not get the answers they wanted.

    Har! Har!

    Sharp pen . . .

    Just wondering if you understand, moptop, that the greatest single threat to American prosperity, stability, and freedom is the national debt?

    On the other hand, most nations of the world would kill to have a mere 9 months’ worth of GDP in debt. And much of that is borrowed at VERY low interest rates, at that, an extremely important consideration.

    Sure, it’s a problem, but we have had much worse and no doubt will have worse in the future.

    Here is what creates jobs. Demand for stuff. And if you have money in your pocket, you will go out and buy more stuff. This seems so simple.

    Partly, yes, partly. But the main way one gets that money in one’s pocket is that someone invests in a business and pays one to produce said goods (organize the sales, keep the books, etc.), thus both creating demand AND putting the money in your pocket. (As a teacher, your economic role is to enable the young to become capable of holding those jobs. Teachers have roles other than merely economic, of course.)

    Without the investment and production, the money in your pocket is worthless. Rand was wrong about paper money. First, precious metals fluctuate, often wildly. Second, paper money is a sacred contract representing the concentration of valuable productive effort. Inflation affects both silver and gold. It’s all about money supply vs. available goods. You work, and as a result, you are given a paper (or purely electronic) contract (i.e., money) for your worthy efforts, to be redeemed now or in the future.

    But it’s not the money itself that provides jobs. It was jobs that created that money in the first place–and endowed it with value.

  109. It seems to me that the discussion about taxes and pay has got people talking at cross-purposes, often agreeing with each other although they might think they are disagreeing.

    I suspect all those who have taken part in that debate would agree with the following: (i) income taxes imposed on low incomes should not so high that they discourage people choosing to work rather than rely on welfare or charity, (ii) there are certain things that only government can do and which must be paid for by tax (such as the army, navy, air force, police), (iii) government should not waste money, (iv) income taxes on higher incomes should not be so high as to be a disincentive to enterprise and (v) we all have different talents which command different levels of remuneration.

    The debate is about the balance between these various factors (and, no doubt, many others).

    The single biggest problem is the amount taken out of everybody’s pay cheque by difference between the amount government raises through tax and the amount it spends on beneficial works. Three main factors contribute to this.

    First, central government (whether federal or state) is not an efficient means of spending money because the money has to go through so many layers before it it spent on something worthwhile. This bureaucratic maze is, for the most part, unavoidable because Washington cannot directly administer a project in Arizona; it must delegate the administration or it must fly its own people down there and house them; either scenario adds cost. Equally, the state Capital cannot directly administer a project in an outlying town without spending more money than it would spend administering the same project on its doorstep.

    Secondly, government was elected on a platform, part of which was certain pet programmes. There might or might not be of any real benefit but they must be carried through for perfectly sound political reasons – their supporters will expect them and their opponents will damn them if they renege on an election promise. They are often hugely expensive.

    Thirdly, government gets the blame when things go wrong, so it feels the need to micro-manage as much as it can get its hands on. This, again, is an inevitable consequence of democratic government in a 24-hour news society – particularly now that the web has added to the ways in which we can discuss, air and hone our opinions.

    Until there is a public mood to restrict government expenditure and government micro-management, the problem will remain.

  110. Never? Lets go back prior to Carter. The settlement of the west: Gold rush time. Miners had cold hard cash in their pockets. Not a lot. But enough. And they worked pretty damned hard at getting it. But then they needed to buy stuff in order to keep working pretty damned hard to get more cash. Demand for stuff went up. Shops were opened. Shops couldn’t keep inventory on the shelf. More inventory was ordered. Stores were expanded and more clerks were employed. Money flowed. Wealth was created. Trickle up. In fact, if the government would get out of the way of the lower wage earner, we could whip this ol’ economy into shape in no time. Tell you what, you let us know which ones of those corporate owners who don’t want our money, and we will respect that by not giving it to them. The common person has a history of providing for those who want to buy stuff. We’ll give it to those people. Been there, done that.

    Now let’s focus on your thoughts related to “taking from successful people and giving it to people who don’t work for it”. Big business and rich individuals got a tax break under the Bush admin. This tax break was not balanced by a tax increase somewhere else and it didn’t spure the economy because there were better less risky places to put the windfall. No jobs were created, and besides, demand for goods continued to slide because no one had a bit of cash in the pocket to buy goods. To make matters worse, Bush then began spending money he no longer had and didn’t balance his checkbook. Do I have this right? Now that’s good fiscal policy. Boy, I really want to continue with that program. Not.

    Let’s try giving a tax break to the other end this time around. I promise we will give it right back to you instead of putting it away in less risky places. I can pretty much predict that when tax breaks are given to the lower wage earners, nearly all that money will flow right back through the economy almost immediately. However, when it is given to the upper layer, that money gets salted away in dividends and tax-sheltered 401k plans. Why? Because the upper layer has enough extra cash on hand to buy the stuff they need PLUS salt quite a bit away. The lower wage earner does not. So the common person’s tax break will go right back into the general economy which is serviced by small businesses. Who create the lion’s share of new jobs. And keeps the ol’ US of A ticker going. Just like it did out west.

    This is so easy to understand I don’t see why people don’t get it.

  111. Your top tax payers are far fewer in number so the money in their pockets won’t stimulate the economy because there just aren’t enough of them.

    I agree with a lot of what you are saying, but not that. The top 1% pay 40% of federal income tax revenue. (It was only 23% in 1986 and 33% in 2002.) The top 10% pay well over two thirds. They invest huge amounts (directly or indirectly) in the production of goods and services, and hire many, many millions to do so (and keep track of it all).

    Most of the non-top taxpayers are supported by the structure created by the top taxpayers.

    Big business and rich individuals got a tax break under the Bush admin. This tax break was not balanced by a tax increase somewhere else and it didn’t spure the economy because there were better less risky places to put the windfall. No jobs were created, and besides, demand for goods continued to slide because no one had a bit of cash in the pocket to buy goods. To make matters worse, Bush then began spending money he no longer had and didn’t balance his checkbook. Do I have this right?

    Aak! Not right! (Not that I blame you. You have been flat-out lied to with AGW-style perversity. Allow me to explain.)

    According to Senate Democrat figures (indexed for inflation), income/cap gains tax revenues dropped 22% from 2000 to 2003. The top tax rate was reduced from 39.6% to 38.6%, a mere 2.6% cut. To blame the drop in revenues on the Bush tax cuts, you have to show me how a 2.6% cut resulted in 22% less revenue!

    The fact is that the revenue turnaround came in the last half of 2003. That’s when the capital gains tax rate was cut by 25% (from 20% to 15%, and 5% across the board for lower brackets). There was such a roaring recovery that the “loss” in revenues was made up for in a mere six months!

    And that was when jobs began to recover (by the millions) with a lower unemployment rate than under Clinton.

    The last part of the “tax cuts for the rich” came in 2006, when the top rate was cut from 37.6% to 35%, a full 7% cut. Did revenues drop 7%? Heck no! Revenues exploded–a whopping 27% gain over 2005! Why did this happen? Because tax rates are so high, they are KILLING production. And to lower them increases productivity so much that revenues go up rather than down. That is the basis of the Laffer Curve.

    If taxes are too low, a tax cut reduces revenues. But if tax rates are too high, a tax cut INCREASES revenues. This utter nonsensical rot about “paying” for tax cuts when the tax rates are already so high is far more absurd than CO2 positive feedback theory.

  112. I believe that the tax imbalance is part and parcel of the trickle down theory. Large businesses are paying more and more of the tax burden because we have fewer smaller businesses in operation paying any taxes. But lowering taxes for larger businesses will not fix that. Small businesses haven’t been able to stay afloat because no one is buying. Therefore there are fewer small businesses paying taxes. There are also fewer wage earners paying taxes or buying stuff. So if you want to balance who is paying taxes, re-open smaller businesses. And they will do that on their own if people have money to give them.

    Basic economics calculate that producing lots of lower priced goods and services for the majority of spenders (who earn wages below $250,000) is a more stable economic system then producing expensive goods for the few. The tax breaks should be given to smaller businesses and lower wage earners. If you do that, we will keep our end of the bargain and bring better balance to who is paying taxes.

  113. I believe that the tax imbalance is part and parcel of the trickle down theory.

    There is technical word for “trickle-down economics”. That word is “economics”.

    But lowering taxes for larger businesses will not fix that

    Yes it will. And when businesses are taxed less, they produce more and sell more–at lower prices. Producer and consumer split the difference. More trickle-down.

    Small businesses haven’t been able to stay afloat because no one is buying.

    They must be. (They employ over two thirds of the workforce.) But yes, some are in trouble (and so are big businesses, too–look at the auto industry).

    Yes, I agree with you–cut their taxes, too. More goods produced, more money to workers. Then they can cut prices and folks will buy. Just the same as with big businesses. And revenues will INcrease, not decrease. We have GOT to stop strangling the golden goose!

    And don’t knock those luxury items; they are almost always produced by the middle class. Look at the micro-middle class disaster when Clinton put the 10% luxury tax on yachts. The rich just bought ‘em from Europe and the middle-class US yacht-building industry was flattened.

    Remember, Reagan cut the top rate from 70% to 28%, and all rates across the board. And by 1988, revenues were UP 28% (factoring in inflation) and 18% (throwing in population increase). Business exploded to the extent that both the employment rate AND the UNemployment rate were going up simultaneously (20 million new jobs were created)!

    This is not liberal vs. conservative. It’s just a matter of what works best.

  114. A cold snap has sent temperatures plummeting across Spain and brought some heavy snowfall with it. In Madrid and Barcelona, flights have been grounded and train services disrupted. Here, cattle can be seen plodding along a snowy road in the Pyrenees, where motorists have been forced to fit snow chains to their cars.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7695975.stm

    The north east of Scotland has had its first significant snowfall of the winter, causing icy conditions on many roads but it has not deterred some people from going out and enjoying the wintry conditions in Aviemore and Inverness.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/7695806.stm

    Winter? Summer ended four weeks ago.

  115. Bobby Lane, I just don’t place much value in the belief of the average man when it come to such complex phenomena as global climate, considering what conundrums belief in much simpler matters has brought us. And Louis Hissink, are you implying that one or the “other side” has a monopoly on “Belief”? If so, I guess I believe you are in error!
    Again and probably forever, hopefully agnostic,
    John D.

  116. BTW, as usual, FatBigot has the issues framed very well indeed. We may or may not agree on the precise levels, but we agree on the parameters.

  117. In your discussions you are not taking into account the VAT type taxes, particularly on food and primary need items. Those proportionately are payed by the poor.

    As for the future, I have to call up metaphysics and start OOOHHMing:” Let the Thames and the Hudson Bay freeze this winter”. That would put a stop on anybody’s carbon program.

    ;)

  118. No, we’re not. (But we don’t tax grocery food over here.)

    VAT is, by nature, “regressive”. I don’t think we should tax anything (except for use, and only if the gummint has to do the maintenance. Such as tolls. Or perhaps a gas tax with revenues earmarked exclusively for road and bridge repair)

    My simple-simon solution for taxes is:

    No VAT (with above exceptions).

    No corporate tax (except if public costs are incurred, and only to the extent of said costs).

    No income tax for the first $30,000 of income (or so, indexed to inflation). 20% (or so) for any amount over that. I.e, semi-flat with someone earning 30k paying zip in taxes and someone earning 60k paying 6 grand, someone earning 120k paying 18 grand, etc. In otherwords, the more you earn, the higher overall percentage you pay.

    Capital gains to be taxed at half the rate of income (it’s a risk).

    No deductions except for kids and medical. (Losses, Amortization, etc., applicable.) Let the economy handle demand!

    Then jump back and watch productivity and revenues erupt. (But be quick or you’ll be buried in swag!)

  119. As for the future, I have to call up metaphysics and start OOOHHMing:” Let the Thames and the Hudson Bay freeze this winter”. That would put a stop on anybody’s carbon program.

    On a sailing ship to nowhere, leaving any place
    If the summer change to winter, yours is no, yours is no disgrace

  120. Tom in Florida said

    “The only government money is OPM, other people’s money. The things you get for “free” and the payment help the government engages in are paid for by someone else. Someone who first has to earn that money so the government can take it away and give it to people like you. But then, everyone who is on the receiving end of “government money” ignores this and will always vote for those who promise it.

    I’m a top level Tax payer in the UK so I earned that money. Rather than the money going away and paying for nuclear submarines or similar some has finally come back to give me direct benefit in reducing my home bills for the next few years. So this for me is “for free” or a bonus might be better.

    Ironically I work for a US bank here in the UK and thanks to the socialist actions of your own current government my job is somewhat safer and I can continue to pay taxes. In effect the US bailout of the US banks is helping us in the UK insulate our attics. Nice, thanks.

    Climate Heretic said

    “So you bought a new car and went from well below the EU standard to above it and seem to think that is a well spent sterling? How much did your payments go up on the new car, how much more is the insurance?
    So now tell the truth, how much did it cost to insulate? The Gov program is a rebate is it not? So you had to pay out of pocket.

    My payments went up zero as I paid cash. My insurance went down from £750 per year to £250. My servicing went from £1000-1200 to probably about £100-200. My car break down is subsidised from £120 down to £60.

    I’ve already told you the truth how much it cost to insulate… zero. 0 . Zilch. Nadda. All paid for by the council. I’d send you the bill as proof but there is none.

    Regards

    Andy

  121. evanjones has, as usual, a number of sensible things to say, but it’s critical to note that the proper defense of free markets is not, as he intimates, that they “work best.” That’s a utilitarian argument which, as we’ve witnessed these past 100 years, cannot withstand the onslaught of neo-Marxist and Keynesian attacks. I know of know serious socialist today, for instance, who denies the incontrovertible productive superiority of laissez-faire capitalism over socialism, and yet capitalism — i.e. the free market — is nonetheless explicitly rejected on moral grounds.

    It’s no coincidence, therefore, that it is upon moral grounds that the proper defense of free markets rests: specifically, in the fact that the free market is an extension of the inalienable right to life and property. “Exchange,” said Adam Smith, “is political economy. It is society itself…. [For] man has a natural tendency to truck, barter, and exchange.”

    And in the words of Fredrick Bastiat:

    Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place…. Law is the organization of the natural right to legitimate self-defense, it is the substitution of collective force for individual forces, to act in the sphere in which they have the right to act, to do what they have the right to do: to guarantee security of person, liberty, and property rights, to cause justice to reign over all (Bastiat, The Law, 1848).

    Never forget: Money is property.

    In this way, compulsory taxation is a very obvious and very direct infringement upon the inalienable moral right to property. Property is defined as “Not only money and other tangible things of value, it also includes any intangible right considered as a source or element of income or wealth. The right and interest which a man has in lands and chattels to the exclusion of others. It is the right to enjoy and to dispose of certain things in the most absolute manner as he pleases, provided he makes no use of them prohibited by law.”

    I emphasize the phrase “enjoy and dispose” because the right to property is not merely the right to a material object (although it is that too): it is first and foremost the right to an action — i.e. the right to produce.

    Are humans free to produce, or not? Does each human possess the natural and inalienable right to all the material items she produces?

    The answer to both questions is yes.

    And that is the way in which the proper defense of free markets is moral, not practical. No person or governmental bureaucracy may rightly expropriate what is rightly ours.

    Quoting a breathtakingly erudite fellow named Wilhelm von Humboldt, friend of Goethe:

    Any State interference in private affairs, where there is no reference to violence done to individual rights, should be absolutely condemned. To provide for the security of its citizens, the state must prohibit or restrict such actions, relating directly to the agents only, as imply in their consequences the infringement of others’ rights, or encroach on their freedom of property without their consent or against their will. Beyond this, every limitation of personal freedom lies outside the limits of state action (Wilhelm von Humboldt, The Limits of State Action, 1791).

  122. As a Spaniard living in Oxfordshire, England, I am wondering where all this Global Warming people talk about is; we are freezing our balls here! Last night was the first time it snowed in October since 1974.

  123. I think if we could poll it, the most statistically significant divide between AGW and non-AGW would be between “heads/PR managers of scientific institutions” and “ordinary scientists” – that is, assuming we can make this poll anonymous so that those declaring themselves scientific skeptics don’t get tarred and feathered and whatever.

    Any thoughts on how to set up such a poll?

  124. Dr Richard North posted his own opinion about the cold weather now starting in the USA.

    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2008/10/let-it-snow.html

    My view is that, whilst weather is technically NOT evidence of long term climate change, as the cientists here will attest; the citizens of parts of America and Canada will be waking up to weather that will give even the most rabid believer in AGW, real pause for thought. If McCain were to stand up and say that so-called the chosen one, just wants to tax Americans in order to cool down the planet, I reckon he’d do OK at the polls.

    Of course. I doubt McCain’s actually that smart. although he was smart enough to pilot a warplane, which I could not do! Still, smart is, as smart does! Different tricks for different ponies. I just wish McCain were smart enough in the right area, but so far, there’s no evidence of that.

    Perry

  125. “This is so easy to understand I don’t see why people don’t get it” – Pamela

    Because it is wrong. Seductively wrong. It is the path to poverty, and you simply ignore, like Obama, that it has been tried so often in the past, failing every time. Not to mention that you are repeating lies about taxation that Obama repeats so often, I am sure it sounds like truth to you. They are designed that way, to appeal to your resentment and self interest. This argument is pointless though. It seems the country has chosen to relive the Carter years. See you on the other side, and I am pretty sure that there will be millions more newly minted Republicans there who will have seen, as I saw after voting for Carter twice, that your arguments are designed to get people elected, not to promote the general welfare.

  126. Thin King Man – nice version of nirvanah but unfortunately in the real world there are no free markets, as has been recently shownly once again and almost everyone lives in a state where the state interferes.

    I assume you are not posting from Ethiopia and have no wish to move to such an idyllic stateless place ?

    Regards

    Andy

  127. andyw35 (04:14:30) That’s a pretty poor argument, there. Tell me some more about the real world?
    ======================================

  128. Around 1985 there was a ridiculous movie called “Red Dawn” where the Communist paratroopers invaded Colorado. Turns out that the only things wrong were the time frame and their mode of transport. They actually arrived by bus – this week.

  129. andyw35 (04:14:30) Basically you are a thief. You’ve rationalized and internalized the arguments so you miss the point. And when you depend upon the government to do your thieving for you, you’ve become a slave. Nice state you’re in.
    ===============================================

    Cough, Cough: Ahem, isn’t this a getting a bit off-topic? – Dee

  130. Pamela,
    So many of your ideas are…well…frankly, they’re upside down, and there are so many, it’s like swatting flies at a stable.

    I’ll take just one (or maybe two…).

    The miner:
    The reason this analogy is flawed is that your miner was, in fact, creating money. He was NOT at the bottom of the economic ladder within his town, he was creating the very thing that the economic environment he was in required. The “gummint” didn’t take gold away from people who had already earned it, and go out and plant the gold in the mountains and streams for the poor worker at the bottom of the ladder to go out and find. It was never anyone else’s money that they had earned, and the gummint took it away from them.

    “Rich people hiding money away in 401ks”:
    What do you think happens to that money? It’s invested in funds, stocks…in companies, large and small, that use that money for growth, R&D, development, expansion…all of which create JOBS.

    Small businesses:

    In my state, Massachusetts, small businesses are folding up shop left and right. Why? At least two reasons right now. First, the “gummint” taxes the bejeezus out of ‘em. This means that in order for them to be profitable they would have to charge so much for their goods that people can’t afford them.
    Second, those that actually DO have some money left at the end of the week here are afraid that we’ll need that money, because our company may be next, so we’re not going out to dinner as much, we’re not buying that nice new car, and we’re going camping instead of flying to Disney Land.

    You keep saying it’s so simple, you don’t understand why people don’t understand it.
    I understand perfectly what you are saying…it’s just wrong.

    Jim

  131. Jim, I agree with you. Anyone netting taxable income under $250,000, such as the vast majority of small businesses, should be given a tax break. So we agree. Do you agree that the tax break must be balanced so as not to continue our spiraling debt? I’ll bet you want the government to stop spending so much of our money. I do. They certainly spent a lot of it over the last 8 years.

  132. “Climate variability, that is, the departure from average growing season temperatures, results in vintage variability ”

    I may have mentioned this book before, but in his classic study of climate variability in Western Europe __Times of Feast, Times of Famine__ the great French historian Emmanuel LeRoy Ladurie depends heavily on vintage records from western Europe starting, as I remember, with the mid-thirteenth century.

  133. So, we’re in the majority. But, why aren’t the politicians getting the message? People don’t care enough, I guess. I, for one will be crossing party lines (I’m still a Dem), and voting for John Sununu here in NH, who will probably lose to former gov. Jeanne Shaheen. Obama will get my vote, but mainly because McCain is also on the AGW bandwagon, and because I question his mental capacity and judgement. Palin looks to have been a big boo-boo on his part.

  134. oh my seen this?
    So, almost all of the bears visiting Churchill are in really good shape (around ten to twelve in buggyland right now). This seems to have translated through the larger population with 266 polar bears being counted on the fall aerial survey in September. This is the largest number of bears recorded in the history of this survey. Isn’t that crazy?!? Life is good for the bears!

    http://tomnelson.blogspot.com/2008/10/churchill-area-fall-aerial-survey-found.html

  135. Hey Fatbigot. While you complain about the cost of government subsidies of windmills and windfarms costing a trivial few billion dollars/pounds (now that the two currencies are about to reach parity) I think you totally miss the external costs of an oil based economy. A few billion is peanuts compared to the two to three trillion dollars/pounds Paul Craig Roberts (Reagan’s Assistant Treasury) claims that our wars for oil cost us (not including those other trivial things like human lives).

    I would have gladly suffered through the cost of a few billion rather than have the cost of the trillions we are now facing.

  136. @davidgmills (10:41:50) :

    Most of the electricity in the US and the UK is from coal fired plants, so wind turbines will do nothing to decrease the consumption of oil.

    The electric grid needs to be kept in balance between supply and demand, so if we are to use the infrequent (wind blows less then 33% of the time) electricity generated by wind turbines, we have to shut down another generation source to compensate.

    Coal, Nuke and Oil fired plants need to keep the boiler hot regardless if the steam-driven turbine is spinning (it takes 9-12 hrs to fire up a boiler), so when the wind turbines spin up in a breeze, the boiler-based plants don’t just stop using fuel.

    So instead of stopping the steam-turbines in boiler generation plants, they shut down hydro-electric generation or gas-turbine generation when the wind blows.

    Therefore your argument that it would be better to spend a few billion on wind turbines than have spent trillions on an ‘oil’ war is now falsified as the consumption of oil would not have significantly changed regardless of the number of wind turbines installed.

  137. Jim B.

    Have you ever even had a small business? Because you are clueless. I have had my own for twenty-five years. If small businesses are going out of business, it is not because they are being taxed too much; it’s because the economy sucks and they don’t have any business.

    And the enemy of the small business is the Republicans who love monopolies and give all the tax breaks to the big businesses, no-bid contracts to big business, and who love to let the small guys pay an unproportionately large share of the taxes . Even with the unequal taxes small business pays compared to its big counterparts, small business can still make it when the economy is sound. But the economy is not sound.

    The reason the economy is not sound is because the government let the big guys go totally unregulated and let big business corruption thrive. If you haven’t figured out that Republicans only care about the giant corporations (and their executives and large shareholders) and could care less about competitive small businesses, you obviously haven’t ever been a small business owner. All I ever wanted was a fair chance to compete; what I don’t like is when the government gives the big boys all the breaks, gives them the no-bid government contracts, makes them pay no income or property taxes and then tells me I have to compete. Monopolistic practices never produce a sound economy.

    Poor regulation produces monopolies. Poor regulation kills competition because it allows economic power to dominate the marketplace and drive out competition. The founding fathers understood this well. Too bad we seem to have forgotten. It is the monopolistic practices run amuck that have been the downfall of small business and the killer of our economy.

    You would think that people would know better than to turn a science forum into a financial forum, but obviously some do not. So I am not going to sit idly by and let cheap shots go unanswered by those who insist on making this a financial forum.

  138. That’s a utilitarian argument which, as we’ve witnessed these past 100 years, cannot withstand the onslaught of neo-Marxist and Keynesian attacks.

    Yes. I was not directly addressing the moral issue.

    But I’ll throw this one out: God Bless the Gap.

    The blessed gap between rich and poor. The gap that keeps (very poor) me from starving!

    When did the gap between rich and poor INcrease? Well, lets’ see. The Glory that was Greece. The Grandeur that was Rome. The Rennaisance. The Enlightenment. The Industrial Revoution. The Postindustrial Society. The Information Age.

    When did the Gap between rich and poor DEcrease? The Sack of Rome. The Dark Ages. The Black Death. The Mongol Hordes. The Panic of 1837. The WWI recessions. The Great Depression.

    During which of these periods did the poor make out the best? The worst?

    Speaking on behalf of my fellow-poor, God Bless the Gap! And long may it widen!

    “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer” is one of the Big Lies of history. When did THAT ever happen?

    Okay, I so cop to utility. I can EAT utility!

    (P.S., don’t get me wrong. I also agree with your moral argument!)

  139. davidgmills
    If you are right, then why is a huge majority of small business owners voting Republican?
    And looking at the big bankrupt investment banks that precipitated the current crisis, I’d say they were the big donors for the DEms and Obama. Shall we provide a list for you?

  140. Do you agree that the tax break must be balanced so as not to continue our spiraling debt? I’ll bet you want the government to stop spending so much of our money. I do. They certainly spent a lot of it over the last 8 years.

    No! Yes!

    You are conflating two issues–revenues and expeditures.

    Any tax “break” will INcrese revenues. It doesn’t HAVE to be “paid for”. It more than pays for itself. Yes, cut taxes on small businesses. YES, cut taxes on Big Business. Yes, cut taxes for the middle class. Yes, cut taxes on the rich!

    As for overspending, the only way we will be able to afford it is by (drumroll) cutting taxes. At any rate, the deficit is a lower percentage than under Regan (and screw absolute amounts–percentages are the only meaningful measure). And with our triumph in Iraq (fer it or agin it, it is what it is), defense costs will go ‘way down on their own without even cutting the actual military.

    But, yes, congress needs to show more restraint. (I’m not counting on it.)

  141. Mike: Thanks. Just trying to make common sense a little more, well, common.

    JimB makes the essential point regarding “401ks of the Rich”. In the old days, the rich buried their money in the back yard. But today, they use it to fuel the economy. (And hire poor schlubs like me!)

  142. David Mills, I wonder who is truly clueless? I also have a small business and it is taxes and government regulation that burdens small businesses. It is regulation and taxes that make it harder for the little guy and the start up company to compete with the established large businesses. Just take a look at the lobbyists in D.C. They are forever pressing politicians to pass new laws which will give their company an advantage over their competition, sometimes outright making the competion’s product illegal. General Electric and the mandate that we all switch over to compact flourescent bulbs is one that comes to mind. T. Boone Pickens and his wind farm/natural gas boondoggle is another. Heck, I would love it if the government required my product in every household.

    Minimum wage laws and mandated employee benefits hurt the smallest businesses the most. Large companies have no problem meeting those mandates, small companies struggle just to pay the light bill, let alone pay more in order to assuage the guilt of the public. If I can strike a bargain with someone who is freely willing to work for $2.00 per hour, why is it anyone elses business?

  143. I don’t know if anyone has suggested this but wouldn’t it be a nice control to have driven for a similar distance outside of Reno in the desert at the same elevation while logging temperature data for that stretch of road. See if (a) the temperature was indeed lower and (b) there was less excursion than between the in-town logged minimum and maximum temperatures.

  144. Dee Norris (11:00:36) :

    “Coal, Nuke and Oil fired plants need to keep the boiler hot regardless if the steam-driven turbine is spinning (it takes 9-12 hrs to fire up a boiler), so when the wind turbines spin up in a breeze, the boiler-based plants don’t just stop using fuel.”

    Just a clarification. Nukes have reactors not boilers and when I worked in power production we developed fast starts at our coal fired plants where older less efficient plants were operating and we could put a unit on-line in 2 or 3 hours as I recall. The old units operating at minimum load such as over night had a high incremental cost so there were considerable savings by shutting them down over night and using fast startups.

  145. edcon: “Nukes have reactors not boilers ”

    Could you expand on this. I was always under the impression, apparently incorrectly, that nuclear power plants still used steam and just used the heat from the reactor core as the way to heat the boilers.

  146. edcon (14:28:05) :

    “Just a clarification. Nukes have reactors not boilers.”

    Huh? I never worked at a power plant, though my father designed some of the first computerized control systems for them.

    Check out Pressurized Water Reactors at http://www.nucleartourist.com/type/pwr.htm where the reactor heats the Reactor Coolant which transfers heat in the secondary system to boil water, making steam that turns a steam turbine. This is an extra stage compared to coal/oil/gas boilers and provides an extra level of separation between RCS coolant which can pick up some radioisotopes, and the secondary system which is primarily outside of the containment structure.

    Check out Boiling Water Reactors at http://www.nucleartourist.com/type/bwr.htm which have a single stage cycle more like fossil fueled plants.

    Nuke operators like to keep things running in part to reduce thermal cycling and the stress it can cause to expensive components. Failures cause loss of operating time, hassles with many parties, and keeping radioactive atoms in the plant, see http://www.nucleartourist.com/events/sg_tube.htm

  147. davidgmills:

    While I agree with some of what you say, I can not agree that Republicans are in any way worse than Democrats. In fact, they’re much more sympathetic to business, while Democrats are much more sympathetic to labor. [FYI, I’m neither an R or a D.]

    I too was a small business owner for more than 35 years before I retired. I had no trouble competing. But I do agree with you here: “…what I don’t like is when the government gives the big boys all the breaks, gives them the no-bid government contracts…”

    No-bid contracts are wrong. One recent example that comes to mind is Sen. Dianne Feinstein [D-Corrupt], who as chairperson of the Senate Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee funneled hundreds of millions of dollars into her husband’s company in no-bid contracts.

    Is that what you were talking about?

  148. “davidgmills (11:14:59) :

    Jim B.

    Have you ever even had a small business? Because you are clueless. I have had my own for twenty-five years. If small businesses are going out of business, it is not because they are being taxed too much; it’s because the economy sucks and they don’t have any business. ”

    Well david…sorry to disappoint and throw the wheels off your wagon, but yes, I have been a small business owner. A successful small business owner, in fact.
    My business employed up to 12 people at it’s peak, so I think by any measure, that’s small?
    I merged my small business with another larger, small business, and eventually left the newly formed company to go after other lines of work that interested me.
    After that, I was partner in another small business. So yes, I have experience.

    That you lay all of the financial ills of the world at the feet of the republicans, quite frankly points to you being a bit ill-informed, or narrow minded, take your pick, as there’s plenty of blame to go around.

    but rest assured, whatever your political alignments are, the economy is going to get worse before it gets better.

    Once carbon cap/trade is introduced?…forget it. Price of energy will go through the roof. Already is by many counts, but it’s going to get worse.

    Simple supply and demand…demand for energy is going up, measurably, as a product/requirement of economic growth, but limits will make what energy IS available even more expensive.

    Jim

  149. I am probably in agreement with many here that minimum wage regulations are a major cause of inflation and a major killer to small businesses. However, a tax break for income earners in the middle class and below would jumpstart the economy without leading to sustained inflation. Supply and demand prices would flex naturally based on the time demand for goods shot up and then was satisfied. After that the cost of goods would decrease as demand softened. It then tends to continue on a slow simmering level. Regular infusions of cash in the pocket leads to a perking pot of coffee. While there are good arguments on both sides of the “trickle” theories, a paycheck that is a bit richer than before has a much greater chance of revving up the economy far quicker than an encumbered large business going through the process of dealing with what to do with their tax break or responding to increased demand. The best solution lies in the middle class and small business, but that doesn’t make the other solution wrong. Can the other side say as much about my solution? Is it possible for you to believe that while your solution is better, that does not make my solution wrong?

  150. “However, a tax break for income earners in the middle class and below would jumpstart the economy without leading to sustained inflation.”

    First, for anyone to comment one way or the other on this, you HAVE to define “middle class”. What group of wage earners are you referring to?
    I’ve already posted the tax data for you that shows that statistically, %86 of ALL income taxes are paid by the top %25 of workers. The bottom %50 pay %3.
    So who would you give the tax break to? People that make how much money?

    Jim

  151. “However, a tax break for income earners in the middle class and below would jumpstart the economy without leading to sustained inflation.”

    AND…isn’t this what happened this past spring, when the gummint sent people a check? My son received a check for $300, which was pretty funny, because he only paid about $100 in taxes. Me, on the other hand, received a check for $0, nip, nadda, zippo, nuttin. How did a “rebate” that ended up being more than some people even PAID in taxes to begin with work in terms of stimulation?

    Jim

  152. Nothing wrong with a tax cut for the middle class (that part of the MC that pays taxes in the first place, that is).

    There should be a tax cut across the board, definitely NOT excluding th rich.

    Remember, Pamela, when Bush “cut taxes for the rich”, the result was:

    A.) The rich paid MORE taxes.

    B.) The rich paid a HIGHER PERCENTAGE of taxes than before the tax cut!

    Anyone who would be against that is (intentionally or not)–by definition–in favor of Class Warfare.

    Anyone who thinks a tax cut has to be “paid for” doesn’t understand that the economy grows more (or, in bad times, shrinks less) when taxes are cut. The economy is NOT a fixed pie. It can grow. And it can also SHRINK.

    Currently our top tax rate is so high it is not only harming production, it is even harming revenue itself! Look at how Eastern Europe succeeded after the tax cuts of the 90s. And how revenue grew. Look at how the Reagan tax cuts reduced tax level by over one half, and yet there was MORE revenue.

    Don’t shrink the pie, Pamela! Just because someone else gets more does NOT mean you get less.

    If more people understood this, we would ALL be better off. Especially the poor!

    For me to be against tax cuts for the rich, someone has to show me how making the rich poorer will make the poor richer. Ain’t gonna happen. I have already (partially) listed the historical examples.

    So sure, Pamela, cut MC taxes. Cut ALL taxes!

  153. Part of why I want to point all this out to you, Pamela, is that you are a TEACHER. I want you to be conveying correct and constructive economic information, not disastrously incorrect information that is terribly damaging to the poor and middle class.

    Same deal goes for climate science. You are in a position to affect the thinking of many minds for many years. That makes you a valuable fighting man in a key position. So do good. (And do no harm!)

  154. Miss Gray said (22:11:58) :
    “Lets go back prior to Carter. The settlement of the west: Gold rush time. Miners had cold hard cash in their pockets. Not a lot. But enough. And they worked pretty damned hard at getting it. But then they needed to buy stuff in order to keep working pretty damned hard to get more cash. Demand for stuff went up. Shops were opened. Shops couldn’t keep inventory on the shelf. More inventory was ordered. Stores were expanded and more clerks were employed. Money flowed. Wealth was created. Trickle up. ”

    I do so hate to disagree with you Miss Gray, but the example you gave is classic trickle down not trickle up.

    The miners produced something new. They created new wealth by bringing into the economy a product that was previously just a lump of rock. From their initial creation of new wealth they caused other businesses to either start or expand so as to put that new wealth to maximum use.

    Trickle down / trickle up is not about where someone stands in the social strata it is about whether they create new wealth or benefit from the distribution of that wealth.

    The miner finds a good seam and needs help to exploit it so he employs other people to help him and pays them a wage. Between them they create wealth but THE creator is the miner who had the initiative and took the chance.

  155. davidgmills (10:41:50) :
    “Hey Fatbigot. While you complain about the cost of government subsidies of windmills and windfarms costing a trivial few billion dollars/pounds (now that the two currencies are about to reach parity) I think you totally miss the external costs of an oil based economy. A few billion is peanuts compared to the two to three trillion dollars/pounds Paul Craig Roberts (Reagan’s Assistant Treasury) claims that our wars for oil cost us (not including those other trivial things like human lives).”

    The difference between you and me, Mr Mills, is that you seem to think you can turn back the clock whereas I know we can’t. We are where we are. The question is not whether something should have been done differently in the past but what we should do now.

  156. evanjones (20:05:37) :

    I think your arguments would be valid in a non-global economy. The way things happen now is that if a company/individual gets a tax break, they invest abroad and close factories at home ( this is happening in Greece too and all the EU). By doing this they evade through loopholes a lot of tax paying all over the place ( off shores come to mind) and contribut to turning the white collar workers into blue collar ones.

    Feudalism, in a different guise, where the lords live high and all over the place and the serfs are stuck on the land is once again at our doors.

    There are no checks and balances in this global economy. Maybe this global crisis will help in creating crucial ones.

    Until then, I agree with Pamela that to revive an economy it is better to put money in the hands of the lower percentile where needs are great and the money will be consumed and not stashed overseas.

    I think the money to shore up the banks should have been apportioned directly to mortgage holders, for example, turning the mortgage into a government longer term and lower interest mortgage, and the money given to the bank according to the contract it holds. This way, the bank would not lose but still have a steady income and there would be money left over for the mortgage holder to go and buy that new heater or airconditioner or whatever.

  157. If I can strike a bargain with someone who is freely willing to work for $2.00 per hour, why is it anyone elses business?

    While one can conjure up arguments in favor of minimum wage, it has one huge problem: It eliminated all those dollar-an-hour after-school jobs sweeping out the back of the candy store. (A dollar bought more then than it does now.)

    Those jobs were never intended to provide a living wage. They provided very beneficial training and acclimation for a kid just entering the workforce. That is (mostly) gone now, and we pay for it indirectly every day.

  158. annav: That’s the point, isn’t it? Businesses go where the tax is the lowest. All the more reason to cut taxes.

    I can’t speak for Greece, but as for the US, we get more jobs shipped in than we ship out. And the jobs we ship out consist largely of mindlessly banging things together.

    And social mobility in the US is simply staggering. 80% of poor people today will be middle class (or better) in ten years. “Individual income” is ‘way up.

    It would be even better if we had a sensible tax rate as in much of Eastern Europe. And look at the awesome growth rates in those countries!

    As for Western Europe, the workforce is so much better educated than its American counterpart that if it had sensible tax rates, it would be blowing us away economically.

    Perhaps you are right about the bank bailouts. That was an artificially created crisis (banks forced by politicians to make stupido loans), and I’m not sure how to solve it.

  159. Evan:
    I have to say that I’m not really liking your tone of voice with the wording and punctuation you are using, but I have to agree with your above comment. In the state of Oregon at least, it is commonly understood that every time the minimum wage goes up, the cost of “essentials” goes up. Of course, “essentials” are the McNuggets that too many low income people pack in each day at absurd prices for no nutrition. Minimum wage in Oregon is now one of the highest in the country at 8.40!!! starting jan 1! I’m currently in Africa with Peace Corps, but I tremble at the thought of prices when I return in December.

    Although inflation is probably only correlated with rising minimum wage and not proved to be caused by rising minimum wage. But with laws in several states now automatically increasing the minimum wage each year by inflation (including Oregon), it’s hard not see that employers can now build into their pricing structures automatic increases as well. And actually, because of taxes and other deductions, it is likely that automatically tagging minimum wage to inflation could drive inflation into an increasing spiral because the employer will have to pay more social security tax and medicaid(?). Thus, the real cost to the employer has risen not just the rate of inflation, but even higher. Those prices at the local Safeway will have to rise correspondingly. So the ironic thing is that even though the employee got an inflation adjusted wage, they will be able to afford to buy even LESS groceries than before!

  160. Pam,
    Do you really want Uncle Sam to cut you a check? When you pay a company to do something for you, it is pretty straight forward. You get a few bids and the bid with the best bang for the buck is usually chosen. When you pay our dear old Uncle Sam to do something, however, it is a whole different story.
    First you set up commissions. Then you have to write all the laws that will perpetuate this new monstrosity forever. OK, all these new government workers need buildings all across this great land of ours. Now, typically, the government desn’t build the big tilt concrete boxes that a business would erect, no, marble is the building material of choice. After all, the new bureaucrats are all “earning” very good salaries, they can’t have tiny cubicles. When this entire apparatus is in place, guess what? We underestimated the amount of money this would take. No problem, the government doesn’t need any change orders, they will just take more money from the people.

    But will the government get the job done? Maybe, but probably not. Instead we will have a bunch of new marble buildings, a bunch of new dependents, and a bunch of new pensions we must pay forever.

    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.
    Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.”

  161. Mike:

    Your indictment of the government is only partly true. I think it is far more of a mythical generalization than it is fact. Most government entities can be fairly efficient when the employeees and the management of the government truely care about good government. When government fails it seems to be that the primary reason for failure is that the government officials are elected by big business to “drown the government in the bathtub” so that big business can be unrestrained to monopolize the economy.

    When your goal as an elected official is to do away with government and to subvert it at every turn, you will not have good government.

    And as for your last quote, I would say that it is the selfishness and greed of a few, who intentionally poison the government for their own ends, who are the reason for most ultimate government failures. It is corruption by a greedy self interested few that destroys most governments; not the complacency or apathy of the general populace that does most governments in. Sadly, the parasitic greedy few have got their roots firmly implanted in ours, and like most parasites, are killing off its host while the parasite momentarily thrives.

    The only real solution for the parasitic few who corrupt the entire system is the French solution. So to defeat that sort of corrupt economic power, overcoming complacency or apathy is not enough; it takes the willingness to take out those corrupt few who ruin it for everybody else.

  162. There are quite a few odd ideas floating around here so I’ll just add my own:
    Fast start-ups and shutdowns are fine if you realize you are considerably shortening the life of the power station and increasing maintenance costs. There’s a good reason why it’s not common to do that. Yes that juice is wasted at night – which makes it a good time to charge up the batteries for your future town/commute car – almost free energy.

    Windmills are obviously better as a top up system. After it’s when the wind blows that it gets cool and people use more power. As for solar – it has legs; I’m confident the huge progress currently being made will continue but we’ll see no improvements whatsoever if we stop funding it. Geothermal is potentially the best of the lot, especially as it can save you money now. At some point in the future all new houses will likely have a geothermal system pre-installed.

    From what I’ve seen the minimum wage is completely irrelevant as long as the going market rate is higher. So far that’s always been the case. The junk food restaurants are the main users of minimum wage because they expect a high turnover of staff anyway. But those companies never seem to count the additional cost of all that continuous retraining. Short term thinking? Maybe if they paid a bit more the staff might stay and eliminate that cost.

    Since we’re stealing our children’s money we should ask them what to spend it on. Would they prefer us to spend it on wars and bailing out fat-cat bankers or to spend it on finding clean sustainable energy. I bet even if we don’t achieve that clean energy they’d still think it was worth the effort.

  163. “davidgmills (05:46:54) :
    Mike:
    Your indictment of the government is only partly true.”

    Wrong… it’s all true. The less government the better.

  164. evanjones (23:47:29) :
    As for Western Europe, the workforce is so much better educated than its American counterpart that if it had sensible tax rates, it would be blowing us away economically.

    I dunno. I see the stupidity that are football matches and I’m forced to disagree.

  165. andyw35

    So you are rich and still used public funds to insulate your attic? I will let others decide if that is right or not…

    Once I again I state that many do not have the resources you do, plus your insurance on a new car went down? Maybe I should move to the UK, here insurance is based on value of the car, unless you traded a Rolls for a Puegot.

  166. Monopolies.

    It used to be that “monopoly” meant a predatory company that:

    A.) Reduced prices below costs,
    B.) Ran the competition out of business,
    C.) Jacked up prices to higher than they were before the monopolist arrived.

    That is a Bad Thing. (It is also Illegal.)

    Now it seems to mean :

    A.) Beating the competition by charging a lower price.
    B.) Keeping the price low so as to hold onto as much of the market as possible.

    Why is that not a Good Thing?

    Dump, sir? I do not “dump”! I . . . sell abroad at a loss in defense of the National Interest.”

  167. Back to the miner. The miner worked for a living. He/she harvested from the Earth. He/she got to keep his wages at first but then spent them in town. The vast majority of miners did not become rich, but their trips to town made shop owners rich. I am sorry, but that is trickle up, not trickle down. If the miner wants to be rich, he/she needed to invest earnings into a shop higher up the food chain. Most didn’t. That is the way of the wage earner. A tree faller does the same thing. He/she harvests from the Earth. Some contractors are paid by the tree. The logger gathers the fallen trees and puts them on the log truck driver’s rig. The truck driver gets them to the mill. Some drivers work as contractors. They sell their load to the mill. The mill owner is higher up the food chain and rakes in the most money from the raw product. I fail to see this as trickle down. It is a classic example of trickle up. As a matter of fact, the worker at Freightliner is creating wealth just like the miner used to. I’ld sure like to see the CEO try to do the job the worker does. For one, the suit would have to go.

    But back to the forest products example. The bigger problem is that no one is building houses with the final product because the common person cannot afford to pay the price. To fix that do we raise the minimum wage? No because that fuels inflation. Instead, let’s give the common person a tax break. The food chain becomes active again. Problem solved.

    The red side of the ticket keeps saying that by giving tax breaks to high earners, jobs will be created. I don’t know of a single large business corporate head who would advocate such a thing and still provide dividends to stock holders. Such corporations need to be lean and mean. So when demand goes down, jobs are CUT not created, regardless of the tax break provided. In fact, running lean and mean is a way to keep stock dividends high. There is a far greater incentive to NOT create a job then there is to create one. And frankly, if a corporate pres decides to create jobs in the midst of a down turn, I would fire his/her ass and get another corporate pres on board.

    I guess I am one of those people who thinks that globle warming and globle cooling are NOT caused by the same mechanism. I am not a AGW who thinks that whatever is happening with weather/climate, reducing CO2 will solve it. A heated economy and a cooling economy are two different entities and need specific solutions for each one. There is not a single fix for both conditions. But it seems that there are many folks here who believe that one economic solution takes care of everything. I still say that those folks are looking at the problems through rose-colored glasses, somewhat like the folks who believe that AGW causes all ills.

  168. Pamela,
    Once again, there are many falacies with this latest round.
    Where to start…

    “The miner worked for a living. He/she harvested from the Earth. He/she got to keep his wages at first but then spent them in town. The vast majority of miners did not become rich, but their trips to town made shop owners rich.”

    Because of what?…They were either poor miners, or poor besinessmen/women. This had nothing to do with them being at the “bottom” of the chain.
    Some shop keepers got rich, most didn’t. Some equipment makers got rich, most didn’t. And so on…
    I’ve worked with a lot of truck drivers. Some were rich truck drivers. I’ve met a lot of lobstermen that were harvesting from the earth…some were rich, most were not. This has absolutely nothing to do with trickle-up.

    “The mill owner is higher up the food chain and rakes in the most money from the raw product.”
    You know the mill owner made the most money based on what? You know their expenses?…their business model?

    “Instead, let’s give the common person a tax break. The food chain becomes active again. Problem solved. ”

    You’ve made this statement several times. I say again…the common person you’re referring to PAYS LITTLE OR NO TAXES.

    “The red side of the ticket keeps saying that by giving tax breaks to high earners, jobs will be created. I don’t know of a single large business corporate head who would advocate such a thing and still provide dividends to stock holders. Such corporations need to be lean and mean. So when demand goes down, jobs are CUT not created, regardless of the tax break provided. In fact, running lean and mean is a way to keep stock dividends high. There is a far greater incentive to NOT create a job then there is to create one. And frankly, if a corporate pres decides to create jobs in the midst of a down turn, I would fire his/her ass and get another corporate pres on board”

    I have no idea what you’re even talking about here. What does “lean and mean” have to do with how much taxes their employees pay? I believe you are mixing analogies between corporate taxes and individual taxes. Cutting corporate taxes INCREASES jobs, quite simply because it lowers expenses allowing for capital investment or additional workers.

    “But it seems that there are many folks here who believe that one economic solution takes care of everything”

    Perhaps…but I’m not among them. What I DO believe, in both climate and economics, is that while I may not know all of the right things to do, I do believe there are some WRONG things that are clearly not going to be effective.

    And you still haven’t explained how you can cut taxes for someone who is essentially paying no taxes now. This is wealth redistribution, plain and simple. Take gold from the successful miner, and give some to the other miners that were less successful. YOu don’t end up with more successful miners, you end up with some complacent miners who will continue to demand more, and some angy miners who go mine in Bolivia. At that point you have no miners to take wealth from, and a bunch of people who were never very good miners to begin with.

    Jim

  169. kim (05:02:44) :

    andyw35 (04:14:30) Basically you are a thief. You’ve rationalized and internalized the arguments so you miss the point. And when you depend upon the government to do your thieving for you, you’ve become a slave. Nice state you’re in.
    ===============================================

    Cough, Cough: Ahem, isn’t this a getting a bit off-topic? – Dee

    Perhaps, but I am in the UK & am relatively poor. I can’t afford a new car so the one I have is taxed at an extortionate rate because of my relative poverty. Such is AGW!

    As the relatively poor here say. “Money goes to money”

    DaveE.

  170. Business 101:
    You must have buyers to sell a product. Expanding the work force through the use of tax breaks will not create buyers. Why? A lean and mean corporation keeps it’s human resource budget tied to its inventory sales. When sales are down, workers are let go. When sales are up, workers are added. Sales come before jobs are created. In a down turn, jobs will be cut in order to keep profit margins stable (and stock prices stable as well). This is good business. Under normal circumstances, the natural up and down of markets keeps this going.

    Current events:
    Abnormal circumstances. Health care, energy prices, and other similar kinds of cost of living has taken a greater and greater share of middle and below incomes, incomes that have no padding for such events since wages do not keep up with such living expense increases. If the down turn stays around for long, we end up in a spiraling situation that cannot be fixed with tax breaks for the wealthy person or corporation. The profits will not go to job creation or expanded industry. If it did, inventory would sit in warehouses, causing corporations to experience sharp tax increases on the overflow of unsold products.

    That leads us back to business class 101. The most efficient fix for a tanking economy (without wage increased inflation) is to bring back enough income padding to the majority of potential buyers that they once again start spending discretionary income on goods and services. It is not spreading the wealth. It will not enrich the middle income layer and below. The wealth will return through the flow of cash for goods market back up to the corporations. And because consumer demand is up, corporations will need to hire in order to handle the returning economy. When the abnormal circumstances go away (as they often do), these tax breaks should go away as well. Just like they come and go for the upper income level.

    Again. This is basic economics.

  171. Pamela Gray (09:54:17) :

    Business 101:

    You might call this basic econ 101 but your wording in “Current Event” indicates the need for a bottom up economy that always fails and reminds me of a presidential candidate in favor of such an economy. The padding just increases the national debt and usually is of short duration. We have had too many bail outs already and padding is just another bail out.

  172. Bush sent us a one-time cash amount to jumpstart the economy. It did. And immediately. But we all knew it was a one-shot deal and there was no consumer confidence behind it to keep things rolling. It also increased the deficit because it was not balanced by a tax increase somewhere else or a spending freeze. However, the decision to put some extra cash into the pockets of spenders was sound and based on an elementary understanding of where economic growth comes from, from spenders demanding and buying goods and services. Something like that worked into a tax break that sunsets would be a good thing to try, as long as there is a balance somewhere else. To not balance it immediately runs the risk of deficit increase.

    The conservative side of things wants to do the SAME exact thing I have been talking about here but focus on a different income level (which begs the question, “Why is that not spreading the wealth around but when applied to the other end is?”). There is an old saying the Bible, “A worker is worth his wages.” Just because you flip hamburgers for a living on minimum wage does not make you less worthy of a tax break than someone who owns the franchise, even given the fact that 38% of tax payers do not pay income tax. But to be clear, they pay other taxes, so they do pay taxes of some kind. The problem is that the conservative plans so far do not come with a balance of a tax increase somewhere else and instead hopes that the economy will pick up. This is too risky given our current deficit and economic down turn. I don’t think that plan = good fiscal policy.

  173. Tax cuts for the middle class are fine.

    Tax hikes for “the richest 5%” (who already pay 60% of the taxes), would be extremely stupid: it will cost jobs and DECREASE revenues that would otherwise be collected. A tax hike “on the rich” WILL NOT INCREASE REVENUES.

    I repeat: Before the bulk of the “tax cuts for the rich”, the richest 1% paid 33% of revenues. After the “tax cuts for the rich” the richest 1% paid 40%. And the revenue base went ‘WAY up.

    To soak the 5% who are already paying 60% of the pile is also immoral. But I’ll go with the dude who said, “It’s worse than a crime. it’s a blunder.”

  174. That leads us back to business class 101. The most efficient fix for a tanking economy (without wage increased inflation) is to bring back enough income padding to the majority of potential buyers that they once again start spending discretionary income on goods and services.

    Actually, I’d argue that the Kennedy/Reagan approach was far more efficient. The result of the JFK/RR policies was the padding. That way the workers-with-money and the goods were available at the same time. Welfare for the middle class mainly creates inflation.

    Tax cuts are fine, but they need to be across the board.

    The Laffer Curve rules. Perhaps that reflects badly on the morals of humanity. But it rules. Like it or lump it.

  175. Pamela Gray (09:54:17) :
    “The profits will not go to job creation or expanded industry. If it did, inventory would sit in warehouses, causing corporations to experience sharp tax increases on the overflow of unsold products.”

    Ummm….no.
    Corporations get taxed on revenue, not unsold inventory.
    And sorry…it may be “Business 101″ in your view of the world, but that’s about it.

    evanjones (17:44:38) :

    Tax cuts for the middle class are fine.

    Tax hikes for “the richest 5%” (who already pay 60% of the taxes), would be extremely stupid:

    Exactly.
    Pamela has never defined what the “middle class” is in her reckoning. Btw…Obama has now moved this bar a couple of times in the last week. It started off at $250,000…then it went to $200,000. Now Biden says it’s actually $120,000.

    Figuring my paycheck?…when I add in the state and local taxes that I pay, including state sales tax and state income tax, on top of medicare and social security, I’m paying roughly $.60 of every dollar I earn in taxes.

    How much more would you have me pay, Pamela? I get to keep $.40 of each dollar. Forty cents.

    Your analogies don’t work, your math doesn’t work, your economics don’t work, and the tax policies you subscribe to are a fairy tail, and don’t work.

    Jim

  176. I thought that socialism had died with the Soviet Union. I am very sorry that it seems to have only moved to the halls of academia. It seems we must repeat the failed experiment. God help us. God help our children.

    Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.
    Are there any history teachers left?
    Mike

  177. How much more would you have me pay, Pamela? I get to keep $.40 of each dollar. Forty cents.

    Not to mention the tax hike that occurs every single year: Bracket creep.

    I’m dead poor. I have hopes of remedying this. But the LAST thing I need, the ONE thing that will doom my hopes is if some idiot with a bit of power decides to sock it to the rich. To all of you do-gooders out there who want to wreck Bill Gates in order to “help” me, I say, “DON’T ^%&*&$# HELP ME!” I can’t afford your kind of help! When, oh when are the so-called “intellectuals” of this world going to get it through their thick, counterintuitive skulls that they cannot extract both beef and milk from the same cow?

  178. “When, oh when are the so-called “intellectuals” of this world going to get it through their thick, counterintuitive skulls that they cannot extract both beef and milk from the same cow?”

    I don’t know why Evan, but it seems like every few generations we must learn it again. Maybe schools should require that all teachers pass a test on the constitution.

    I just hope we don’t elect Chairman Mao.

  179. Pamela,
    Just can’t seem to get your head around this :)

    “The conservative side of things wants to do the SAME exact thing I have been talking about here but focus on a different income level (which begs the question, “Why is that not spreading the wealth around but when applied to the other end is?”).”

    This is once again, just plain false.

    What you want to do is take money from me, MORE money, in fact, than is being taken now, and give it to others.

    What the so-called conservatives want to do, is let me keep $.42 of MY OWN MONEY, instead of $.40.

    That is very, very different.

    Jim

  180. 1. You just can’t trust pollsters, can you?
    2. Access to Federal Money does not require votes from ordinary people.
    3. Al Gore wants to make a lot of money. Just like investment bankers did.
    4. And a few inconvenient truths aren’t going to stop him on his quest.
    5. Actually, Obama’s plan for green energy is a healthy one. Nothing to do with global warming. Just to do with American energy self-sufficiency, creating American jobs and breaking the hegemony of foreign oil.
    6. Same with recycling. It’s a good idea. It’s just that it has sweet zip to do with carbon dioxide.
    7. The only thing is: unless there is Govt imposition of all of that, Al Gore might not make quite so much money.

  181. Pingback: Do we need more CO2? - Page 2

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