Now its your electric ice maker in your fridge that’s killing the planet, meanwhile CO2 emissions fall significantly in the USA

Jeez Louise, what a load of bollocks from Time Magazine.

The article goes on to say:

Climate modelers have long known that households are far bigger contributors to global warming than most laypeople realize. For all the blame tailpipe emissions take for escalating  temperatures, homes and office buildings are actually the single largest contributor to greenhouse gasses. One key reason is the 100-plus million refrigerators in America’s 111 million households. According to the Department of Energy, the standard fridge sucks up about 8% of the electricity used by all homes—a pretty big share given the dozens of big and small appliances and electronics that are also drawing juice.

Read more: http://ecocentric.blogs.time.com/2011/04/14/how-the-ice-in-your-drink-is-imperiling-the-planet/#ixzz1JYu4E9Bo

Forget climate modelers, lets look at some real data.

On the other side of the energy and emissions issue, we have this recently released (March2011) report from the US Energy Information Administration (PDF)

Total U.S. anthropogenic (human-caused) greenhouse gas emissions in 2009 were 5.8 percent below the 2008 total (Table 1). The decline in total emissions—from 6,983 million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) in 2008 to 6,576 MMTCO2e in 2009—was the largest since emissions have been tracked over the 1990-2009 time frame. It was largely the result of a 419-MMTCO2e drop in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions (7.1 percent).

Have a look at CO2 emissions graphically, by energy sector this is from the EIA report:

Now let’s look at CO2 emissions by industrial fuel, still falling fast.

Now here’s the kicker. World Climate Report took the EIA data for total CO2 emissions from the USA, and graphed it against the CO2 emission data for the same period from China:

Figure 1. Annual carbon dioxide emissions from the United States (blue) and China (red), 1990-2009 (data source, EIA).

And these morons at Time magazine are worried about the few extra watts of electrcity used in my electric ice maker and trying to make me feel guilty about it?

I can’t print what I’d like to say.

UPDATE: Some commenters asked about employment -vs-CO2, here’s a graph that is a close proxy for employment, per capita income -vs- CO2.

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125 thoughts on “Now its your electric ice maker in your fridge that’s killing the planet, meanwhile CO2 emissions fall significantly in the USA

  1. In my opinion, the purpose of this sort of article is to inspire guilt and self-loathing in readers, and thus to compel them to support the hidden (and not always hidden) agenda of extreme greens: de-industrialisation. I’ve seen posts on green websites that evaluate the damage done to the planet by the most trivial items, such as the “carbon footprint” of deoderants or varieties of wine. I’ll be generous and assume that most of the writers are not conciously aware of the effect of their articles, but it’s hard not to notice a pattern in the green media.

  2. Let’s face it. Our very existence, as we breathe, bothers them.

    They would like it very much if we would cease all activities and die.

    I very much would like it, if the would lead the way by example.

  3. I just wish these Eco-Nuts would stop beating around the bush and spell out what they really think is the solution to climate change. They will not be happy until the vast majority of humans stop breathing out CO2. Doing away with ice makers, cars, factories, energy production, and jobs are just a means to that end.

  4. I’d like to see that dropping CO2 chart layed over an unemployment chart for comparison?

    REPLY: There is one in the EIA report, just open it – Anthony

  5. There is help for you folks out there if you seek it. The elites air condition their horse stables but we can’t have ice cubes.

  6. Of course USA CO2 output is going down, All the energy that was once used by manufacturing is now being used in China instead, less efficiently.

    As USA gradually de-industialised, China becomes more industrialised, and the USA imports instead, while the actually worldwide CO2 output continues to climb.

    And I am NOT turning my fridge down for anyone. I like my beeer COLD !!!

  7. What a bunch of chumps, taking it hook, line and sinker. The refrigerator is one of the great inventions in my book, up there with the wheel and beer. Beware little Johnny, that evil machine is belching carbon while you sleep. But sleep tight, when the sea rises and destroys our home, we’ll make a get away in the refer. I understand they float quite well.

  8. Oh, by the way Time ragazine, if we had a bunch of nuke plants we would have to worry about it, and you could drive your electric car guilt free. I guess it’s King Coal for now.

  9. Beer shouldn’t be cold, it should be around 14c or 57f in order to enjoy its full flavour. Thats if it has any, dear americans..

  10. They have openly admitted 9n Australia the greens want to cause us pain to change the way we live. They have 12% of the vote, 1 seat out of 150 in federl parliament but they are leading the government around by their minority nose. They scold them when they don’t like what they say and then reply with even more outrageous demnds when the Prime Minister caves in.
    I still do not see why some self imposed green elite should be running the country.

  11. Looks like the US might just hit the Kyoto reductions target without even commiting to it. That would make any potential legislation even harder to get through, and would also make a lot of activists redundant, therefore we probably won’t read much about that when it does happen.

    And, if the eco-mob are so much against industrialization then why aren’t they going after China? That’s why I think there’s something pathological to this stuff. It has little to do with emissions or the environment and more about control and power. I can’t wield control over the Chinese, so I’ll control my neighbour instead.

  12. But surely if the extremist alarmists are correct… (I know, humour me, play along at home)… Then even if we stopped ALL emissions globally, CO2 will continue to exist in the atmosphere at higher than current levels, warming the planet disastrously for another 1000 years.

    So, getting ice should be the least of our problems. We will not be worrying about where to get the ice for our drinks, we will be worrying about what to collect our drinking rainwater in, because without any industrial capability at all, there will be no more drinking glasses, no more commercial drink manufacturing and no more shops.

  13. Everytime I read such guilt ridden and human loathing environmental articles like this one …. I go out and buy the products they don’t want me to buy and do the opposite of what they want …. just to spite them for loathing me and my family. Great strategy environmentalists!!

  14. The next thing may be ban humans for living on the planet? If you think like a Climate modeler, the next thing will be that humans produce CO2, which they says is a greenhouse gas, if there is less hunmans we could save the planet. I know the is off the wall but you want and see.

  15. Surely the reality is clear to everyone. Those who wax on about man’s malign influences to the earth will only be happy when everyone is dead! Perhaps they should set an example by doing away with themselves first and leave the rest of us in peace.

  16. Lay people! How dare they? Climate modellers only see what’s on their screens. We “laypeople” see what’s under our noses and probably know more about what is going on than they do. So there!

  17. Well if we are supposedly going to burn to death with extreme high temperatures, then surely fridges and ice makers are going to be very handy.

    Why don’t they stop beating around the bush and tell us all to stop breathing.

  18. JDN2;
    De-industrialization is the only proven and prospective method of reducing CO2 output. The greens know this full well. Therefore they support reduction of CO2 output.

    Just to be perfectly clear, what they claim are the means is actually the end, and what they claim is the end is really the means.

  19. If I thought it would make a difference, I’d run the calculation to see how much eneergy goes to actually making the ice vs. running the icemaker. My bet? Much more energy in making the ice than running the icemaker. Maybe Time and their employees should forgo refrigeration for a week or so. You know….to save the planet and all.

  20. In Canada, the law of unintended consequences revealed itself during a government program to reduce the number of old refrigerators, which were CFC based, and much less efficient than newer models. The government offered generous subsidies to buy the newer refrigerators.

    Of course, most of the older fridges went into the basement, and are still there, keeping the beer cold.

    I suppose SOME government programs are effective and appreciated, but just not in the original way intended.

  21. This article is a sad reminder of the deleterious effects of CO2 obsession. The symptoms are all there:
    – fixation on CO2 as a boogeyman
    -blaming evil consumers
    -isolating one trivial thing like ice making as a major source of CO2 wickedness
    – underlying misanthropic self loathing
    -simplification of argument to level of falsehood
    And, by the way, it takes just as much energy to cool water in ice trays as it does to cool water in an ice maker.
    As we see in the Time piece of work, as CO2 obsession persists, it enables promoters to find new levels of stupid, inane and ignorant ways to express their fears.

  22. Have you looked at Time magazine’s circulation figures:

    Time Magazine Paid Circulation by Year from Wikipedia
    Year circa. 1997 4.2m, 1998 4.1m, 1999 4.1m, 2000 4.1m, 2001 4.1m, 2002 4.1m, 2003 4.1m, 2004 4.0m, 2005 4.0m, 2006 4.1m, 2007 3.4m, 2008 3.4m, 2009 3.4m

    It looks like Time’s circulation correlated with US co2 emissions except that there seems to be a forcing that accelerates the rate.

  23. Charles Higley says:
    April 14, 2011 at 10:12 pm
    Let’s face it. Our very existence, as we breathe, bothers them.

    They would like it very much if we would cease all activities and die.

    I very much would like it, if they would lead the way by example.

    Au contraire! They merely wish to reversed the status quo! They want to be in charge of the neo fuedalism they wish to instill upon the good Earth! They want to have all the privilages that elitism endows upon them, whilst we mere mortals suffer as a result!

    Anyway, don’t worry, I am running a course on flint napping, spear & arrow making, (blast, forgot the bow), sabre-tooth tiger & mamoth hunting, igloo building for the new Ice-Age, & all before the lights go ou…………………………….;-)) Sarc off.

    @ Pingo
    Oh how so true, my dear fellow! Formulaic Eurofizz is ok but most have little flavour if any!

  24. The same old misanthropic nonsense from Time Magazine. Only its not just from Time magazine. Its the same half wit nonsense being spouted by scientific institutions

  25. In the UK our ‘greenest government ever’ (as in ‘naive’) hasn’t cottoned onto this one yet – so the ice-maker in my twenty-year-old Amana can continue chuntering away…
    It actually makes far more ice than my household can consume – so its switched off most of the time..!

  26. Hunter: In the article, they discuss why automatic ice makers use more energy than an ice tray; its due to the heaters needed for the motors and make sure the ice does not stick and clump.

    Though, as one commenter there stated, this amounts to about 8 dollars per year for the extra electricity used.

    8 dollars a year, for ice? In Texas? Not much to pay for a cold drink on a hot day.

  27. “Climate modelers have long known that households are far bigger contributors to global warming than most laypeople realize. ”

    Interesting terminology that lays bare the entire scam – climate modeling is a religion, and the simp at Time is simply an acolyte. As we know, ‘true believers’ can never be educated, even in the face of overwhelming rational evidence…

  28. Well I think we can say that we now know what is happening: CO2 in the western world is declining and the temperatures are now declining. Therefore it is only western CO2 which has a climate effect. Eastern CO2 is benign. It does not trap CO2 because it is good CO2. Trapping is a naughty thing to do. Only nasty evil imperialist western CO2 would do that.

  29. ‘They’ have dropped themselves into it here in the UK…

    The Eco-Brigade tell us not to put warm/hot food items into a fridge, because of all the extra energy it will use.
    Meanwhile, Health and Safety fascists tell us to put stuff into our fridges (no matter how hot or cold it may be already) as quickly as possible to minimise the risk of food poisoning.

  30. Those graphs make it clear that emission in US went down because of the recession that started in 2007. Less construction, less transportation. Similar to the drop in emissions in the Soviet area in 1990. There might be a connection to Energy Star appliances, but it’s not obvious from these graphs!

  31. After all these years at least Time has shown consistency in its climate reports. ;O)

    Time1947
    “Greenland is getting greener and Iceland’s ice is shrinking. The Arctic is losing its chill……In the 19th Century only a few cod were caught off southwestern Greenland. Now they are schooling far north of the Arctic Circle”

    Time1954
    “At present, the pack contains only 6,500 cubic miles of ice (barely enough to cover the state of Texas with a 125-ft. layer), and it is steadily shrinking. Since 1900, the thickness of the polar icecap has decreased by three feet because of higher general temperatures.”

  32. CO2 plot is a plot of the fortune of a country. USA steady decline, China rapid increase. Skyrocket and his party have succeeded in killing the U.S. economy.

  33. Two things: 1) The downward trend in CO2 emissions tracks the downward trend in per capita income in the EIA report, so the crash of 2008 is to be credited with the reduction in CO2 (a trend that has in all likelihood already been reversed for 2010 with the ‘recovery ,’) and

    2) The automatic ice maker in my refrigerator has an arm that senses when the ice bin is full and stops making more ice. Since it isn’t running all the time and spilling half-moon shaped cubes all over my kitchen floor, I seriously doubt that the ice maker contributes meaningfully to my refrigerator’s overall energy use.

  34. Brian H,

    One should also know that the reduction of human-produced CO2 results in only marginal and negligible effect …

    The greens know this too …

    After all, it’s just a matter of political and religious (often non-reality based) ideals, with a greedy touch. We know from history what results these ideals has led to, so far …

  35. Sean says:
    April 15, 2011 at 3:59 am
    Have you looked at Time magazine’s circulation figures:

    Time Magazine Paid Circulation by Year from Wikipedia
    Year circa. 1997 4.2m, 1998 4.1m, 1999 4.1m, 2000 4.1m, 2001 4.1m, 2002 4.1m, 2003 4.1m, 2004 4.0m, 2005 4.0m, 2006 4.1m, 2007 3.4m, 2008 3.4m, 2009 3.4m

    Scary. Losses are accelerating. With a simple quadratic fit we can determine that projected Paid Circulation drops to zero by the year 2020. What is even more scary is if it goes on like this, annual number of copies would reach an astounding minus 96 million by the end of this century. Does not look like a sustainable form of journalism.

    Unfortunately we still lack the technology to transform that much paper back to a forest.

  36. Ice makers stop making ice once the ice bin is full. So if they aren’t being used, after a while they go mostly dormant.

    Their solution of using an ice cube tray requires you to open the door of the freezer each time you use the ice and each time you fill it.
    I’m betting more than 8 watts of “cold” escapes the freezer and is replaced by room temperature air.

  37. We could reduce our energy use if signs like the one in my local supermarket were NOT made. It is approx 3 metres x 1 metre (10 feet x 3 feet) and merely states that it is made with 100% recycled materials.

    Good on you W**lw*rths marketers for letting us know you are ‘green’ and disproving is by making useless signs.

  38. And please whatever you do, do not fart.
    Methane may be released into the atomosphere and the eco-police will be round to arrest you before you know it.

  39. Ian Summerall; yes indeed, there is a human extinctionist ,movement. Some are quite open about it, others (the de-industrialization people,, eg) just want to reduce the human population by 6.5 billion by 2030.

  40. The obvious answer — leave the refrigerator door open so it helps cool the planet. Same thing with your A/C. If you have a window unit, just put install it backwards and turn it on full blast.

  41. Figure 1 is a great proxy for economic activity – China has been on a roll ever since around 2000 – their economy is booming & their lives , collectively, are improving. In the US, the economy has been sucking the last several years & our CO2 emissions are down.

    Pretty simple conclusion. Energy consumption = prosperity.

    When the greens push for reduced energy consumption, they are pushing for a poorer standard of living for all. In the end, it is an anti-human agenda.

  42. Being somewhat nerdy (aren’t all of us who read WUWT?) I looked at the EIA report and Figure 11 is interesting. This shows heating degree days (days where the average is below a certain figure.

    Doesn’t look like it is going down to me… wasn’t that supposed to happen with global warming, climate change, global climate disruption oh, whatever the heck we are calling it now?

  43. We Americans are producing fantastic beer. Don’t be talking about out beer that way. Now i’ll agree Bud and Coors, pretty whimpy. But who drinks it? We whooped you in 1812 and we can do it again! By the way, regarding temps, read the label on a Guiness bottle. Besides, 25 degrees is a heat wave in England.

  44. You can print what you’d like to say. This is the internet. All forms of vulgarity are welcome here, even encouraged.

  45. “…the 100-plus million refrigerators in America’s 111 million households.”
    Fridges sellers’ of the US take note, 11 million sales opportunities.

  46. Don’t know about youse guy’s ‘fridgerators, but mine makes the cubes and fills up the bin, then stops production. It adds a thermal mass to the interior of the freezer section that reduces the on/off cycle, and in so doing increases efficiency.

    I’m far more concerned with the impact on our environment of Time magazine printing presses, the carbon footprint of its production and distribution, and its total unsuitability for parakeet waste sequestration.

    Now wouldn’t it be interesting to see how many Time employees have automatic ice makers, or even Time itself.

  47. The greens don’t go after China because there is no free speech in China.

    The greens love attacking America because here we let people say whatever they want, they can say anything and their speech is protected. So when they say that Democracy is failing their cause and must be replaced just remember they’re not saying these things in China, the largest of world polluters. I would imagine openly speaking against the regime there due to pollution concerns might not go over so well for those speaking out.

    It’s interesting though, that these same people work so hard to silence or marginalize those skeptical of their conclusions in the country that gave the environmental movement it’s birth.

  48. Steve says:
    April 14, 2011 at 10:19 pm
    I’d like to see that dropping CO2 chart layed over an unemployment chart for comparison?

    REPLY: There is one in the EIA report, just open it – Anthony

    Interested, I looked. The word “employment” isn’t in the report. The closest I could find to what you wanted was Page 24, Figure 12 which graphs CO2 emissions over per-capita income.

  49. It’s the ancient Romans fault. They started this whole ice cube thing by having caravans of mules going up in the Italian Alps to haul chunks of ice down to Rome.

  50. And there was Hansen couple of months earlier praising China as the model for the world and cursing USA!!

  51. REPLY: There is one in the EIA report, just open it – Anthony

    I searched for “unemployment” in the report and came up empty.

    REPLY: It is a proxy for employment, per capita income see previous comment, I’ll put it up in the body so as to not make people have to look – Anthony

  52. Actually Anthony, the EIA report doesn’t graph carbon emissions vs employment/unemployment. It does graph carbon emissions vs per capita income – but that may or may not be quite the same thing. My gut reaction is that I wouldn’t equate the two.

  53. A. Hitler said, “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it”. The global warming crowd, seeing their scheme going down the tubes are simply pouring it on to overwhelm any opposition with the intention eventually people will believe it and submit to their socialist dictatorial scheme.

    Of course China is pouring more CO2 into the air and they are thriving as a result of all the industry in equipment, science and procedures we gave them as a gift for their cheap slave labor.

  54. Mark Bowlin says:
    April 15, 2011 at 5:55 am

    I’ve already compromised. My second refrigerator (for beer) in the garage doesn’t have an icemaker.

    Heh heh … to hell with that compromise. The beer fridge in my garage is piped in to the house’s water supply. Quick and easy ice water when I’m working on some project or another in the garage. ;)

  55. Did they account for the energy expended by:

    -keeping fridge door open longer fiddling with ice cube trays

    This introduces warm moist air in the fridge which makes the compressor run to cool it off and the defroster to run to remove the moisture.

    -the energy I expend fiddling around with ice cube trays

    I have to walk back and forth from fridge to sink to refill cube trays and stand at the sink while the trays are refilling. The energy to do that increases the CO2 I expel as I breathe.

    That said, as an engineer I find it unsatisfactory that 10-20% of a refrigerator’s energy use is expended by a heater to keep the ice-maker motor from freezing up. 84 kwh per year doesn’t seem like much but if you’re in California paying up to $0.30 per kwh that’s $25/year and over the 20 year service life of the fridge (I have one that’s still working fine after 35 years) that’s $500. I have better uses for $500 than spending it on an ice-maker motor-heater. Shirley there’s room for large improvement in the ice-maker design. A dime’s worth of foam insulation encapsulating the motor comes immediately to mind. For ten dollars more you could use a hydraulic motor inside the freezer and put the hydraulic pump on the outside. Or you could put the electric motor in the refrigerator compartment where it wouldn’t need heating and feed the driveshaft through into the freezer. $500 or even $100 over the service life of the appliance makes any $10 solution a big winner.

    Thus I am forced to give creds to the US EIA for their efforts in identifying the unnecessary energy/cost and Time Mag as well for their effort to make consumers aware of it. This is taxpayer money well invested IMO. There’s a relative precious few things where taxpayer money is well invested so I think the mockery in the OP is not well placed.

  56. Shirley there’s room for large improvement in the ice-maker design.

    I’m quite certain there’s room for improvements. And, don’t call me Shirley.

  57. I do not know how NIST performed their tests, but to say that an Icemaker in the refrigerator increases the energy consumption by 12 to 20% is very high. I design controls for refrigerators for a major company, and trust me there is no heater for the motor that ejects the cubes. There is a mold heater that runs for about at most 30 sec to a minute to release the cubes. And yes it does dump heat into the cabinet that has to be removed. But it does not increase energy consumption by the amount shown in the article.

    The primary drivers of power consumed by refrigerators is room ambient temperature, Dew Point (latent heat), clearance around the refrigerator, refrigerator size in volume, configuration (top mount, side by side, bottom mount of the freezer), and usage patterns. In our studies, to produce the same amount of ice by ice cube trays as compared to an icemaker is about a wash according to the methods used.

    In very efficient models the icemaker performs better since the pre-chilled water freezes rapidly without a significant amount of evaporation into the cabinet. The evaporated moisture has to be removed by the evaporator coil, which must be defrosted. The defrost operation consumes significantly more power than the icemaker by over a factor of 10. The most efficient icemaker molds are small in size and thus require very little power to heat and they cool rapidly. Thermal heat is removed at about a ratio of 1 watt in takes two watts to remove. Latent heat on the other hand takes about 12 times the energy to remove. This is due to the removal of the latent heat, the defrost heater power for up to 30 minutes, and then the removal of the heat from the defrost at a 1watt in 2watts out ratio.

    Obviously this article does not give sufficient information to determine the appropriateness of this test to real world conditions. In studies I have performed I can show the average usage of ice from the refrigerator, the power dissipated and usage conditions. Any method of ice making increases energy consumption. When taken at comparable production rates both methods are very close. And in very efficient models automated icemakers perform better than trays. To make this blanket statement and inaccurate information is just irresponsible advocacy journalism.

  58. I am soooo glad I don’t subscribe to TIME (and don’t remember ever having done so). This AGW alarmist thing is getting REALLY ridiculous. I should remind myself to start using MORE ice from now one — right after I burn the next copy of TIME that I see.

  59. I have just received an Energy Efficiency Certificate for my house, for which I paid £120. The terms ‘Carbon’, CO2, Carbon emmisions, environmental impact, global warming and the like litter every page. The advice given to me to reduce my CO2 emmissions is remarkably similar to that in Gore’s unmentionable book which makes me wonder if perhaps it was he who designed this 6 page document. There is no mention anywhere of my very large fridge and the possible contribution it might be making to the destruction of the planet. I am observing a Lenten discipline at the moment so will not comment on the lack of beer in the house but would add that anyway I prefer a glass or three of red wine which, as it needs to be drunk at room temperature, should earn me a few brownie points!
    Cheers (after Easter) Tony

  60. Curiousgeorge says:
    April 15, 2011 at 7:23 am

    It’s the ancient Romans fault. They started this whole ice cube thing by having caravans of mules going up in the Italian Alps to haul chunks of ice down to Rome.
    ——————————————————————–

    So that’s where the glaciers went. I *knew* those Romans have done nothing for us.

  61. “Climate modelers have long known that households are far bigger contributors to global warming than most laypeople realize.”

    I wish I was a “climate modeler” and not just a layperson…I feel…deficient!
    …and 13 years old.

  62. Madman2001 says:
    April 15, 2011 at 7:29 am

    REPLY: There is one in the EIA report, just open it – Anthony

    I searched for “unemployment” in the report and came up empty.

    REPLY: It is a proxy for employment, per capita income see previous comment, I’ll put it up in the body so as to not make people have to look – Anthony

    About as good a proxy as tree rings are for temperature. There are confounding factors. Population growth and average number of children per adult can lower/raise per capita personal income independent of unemployment figures.

    Also, per capita personal income includes all sources of income including capital gains. Profit-taking in the stock market is not necessarily related to unemployment and at times the relationship is (perhaps non-intuitively) backwards of what you might think. Layoffs at an otherwise healthy company is seen as increasing the efficiency of the operation as the less productive, less critical employees are ostensibly the first to go. This then raises the prospects for increased earnings/share and inspires buying which drives up the price. When the company stops laying off and before they are rehiring profits are taken. Perhaps not a large confounding factor as capital gains are a minority share of per capita personal income. Also in a declining economy where prices are expected to fall the saavy investor will profit not only by taking capital gains but also by shorting the market and hence the shortsellers’ profit goes into per capita personal income. Short selling by institutions playing with OPM (other people’s money) happens a lot.

  63. re: Richard P

    This is what I find so amazing about this site. It seems no matter what the topic there is at least one poster who has experience/expertise that can refute the AGW claims. This is science at its best! I just wish the media/government would start listening to people with OBSERVATIONAL evidence instead of a bunch of computer models…

  64. (Bob rolls eyes…)
    What next, eating ice cream causes global warming?

    How about this one, reading Time Magazine causes global warming!!!
    The fact of the matter is that the publication of Time Magazine requires vast amounts of energy to power their offices, printing presses, and distribute it.

    Save the Earth, cancel your subscription to Time Magazine. ;-)

  65. More on per-capita income.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Per_capita_income

    Per capita income has several weaknesses as a measurement:

    If the distribution of income within a country is skewed, a small wealthy class can increase per capita income far above that of the majority of the population.

    It’s no secret that in the US a majority of the wealth is controlled by a small percentage of the population – what most of us would call “the leisure class”. It’s also no secret that the rich keep getting richer regardless of how the plebs are faring.

    In fact one of the few things that Obama mentioned in last address to the nation is we need to raise the marginal tax rates on wealthy individuals. We have now (IIRC) the lowest marginal rates in history. When Eisenhower and JFK were presidents the top marginal rate was 90%. It’s under 40% right now. The across the board tax cuts signed into law by GW Bush were probably unwise as structured. As Obama said, and I must reiterate there are few things he says that I agree with, the only viable solution to the unsustainable rise in national debt must include both cost-cutting and tax increases. Using himself as an example he said the Bush tax cuts saves him $300,000 per year. “What’s better”, he asked, “taking that $300,000 tax savings away from me and I wouldn’t feel a bit of pain over it because I still make millions per year, or taking $6000 per year away from average middle class folks who are already struggling to pay their bills?” I can’t argue with his logic. I might just have to hold my nose and pull the lever for him in 2012 if the Republicans keep insisting that voodoo economics (re; Reagan “trickle down economics”) works. It clearly doesn’t.

  66. The wealthy elite may air condition their 10,000 sq ft homes, but the common masses must not dare put ice in their cola. I’m sure A Gore does both and more. It is not just Libya that is brewing revolution. Soon they will want to exercise “primae noctis” with our blushing brides. That way, they can breed out skeptical tendencies among the masses. GK

  67. Well duh ! When the gummint drives the economy in the toilet, and people are out of work, and gas prices are $4.20 a gallon or more, more people are going to sit around doing nothing but drink cold beer. So of course the Frgi is going to get a workout.

    We have a frig in our “lunch room” at work, along with a coffee machine, and a couple of nukes. Also some soft drink vending machines that gorge on electricity.

    But back to the frig; it makes ice water in the main cabinet, as well as ice in the freezer. So to get to the ice water, you open the frig door, and then stand there with your glass, under the cvarefully hidden spigot inside the frig, and you push on a lever and ice water comes out.
    And then you are left with a frig full of dry hot air that swooped in out of the office, because all the nice cold air in the frig, just spilled out all over the ground while you were inside getting your ice water.

    BUT !, this frig full of hot air is essential for keeping the door closed, because when you close the door, the hot air inside, is going to cool rapidly by sucking cold out of all the food inside the frig, and then the Van der Waals equation takes over, and the pressure drop sucks in the door against the rubber seal, so it stays shut. Hint to frig makers ; put the damn ice water spigot and lever outside the box, so you don’t have to open the door and let all the cold air out.
    As you can tell, this is a science aand engineering company, that put in a pice of machine crap like that.

    Oh we do actually have an ice water machine, that also makes hot water for tea, and it is outside of the frig; so why they need a spigot inside the frig, I’ll never know.

    And yes; there is a certain yuppie clique, that just have to get their ice water out of the frig spigot, instead of the filtered ice water machine. Well they are all greenies, too, and some of them take the ice water out of the frig spigot, and then put in their “real” orientally sourced green tea leaves (not the baggie), and then they put that in the nuke to heat it up to proper tea temperature.

    Well you don’t think these people would drink coffe out of the coffee machine, do you, when they can go down stairs to the real green Starbucks coffee place.

    Reminds, today is actually April 15, Tax day; not like it was the 12th on Tuesday. So I am going to need a couple of those green tea bags, to wear to the TEA party festival this afternoon (after work) Tea party rallies have to be held after work hours, because for some reason tea partiers, all seem to work. The Code Pinkers, can rabble rouse, any time of the day, because none of them work at any job.

    But it’s nice to see that the US energy policy seems to be congealing around the ice machine; as the main culprit for climate change.

  68. The one thing the IPCC has correctly surmised, is the link between GHGs, population, and global GDP growth. Intuitively, most people understand that as global populations grow and improve economically, the global GHG concentrations increase. Between 1983-2007 historical improvements in the global economy and attendent population growth caused significant increases in GHG concentrations. However, in hindsight we also see a synchronization of positive Pacific Ocean SSTs and positive Central Atlantic SSTs. From 1976-2007, El Nino events along with a positive AMO from 1995-present enhanced the upward spike in global temps. The IPCC focused on a trace gas (CO2) and its so-called positive feedbacks, and downplayed the role of oceanc circulation anomalies. It goes without saying that we can within reason chart global temperature trends with that of ENSO.

    A hobby of mine is following global population trends -especially the Total Fertility Rates (TFRs). The UN data indicates that populations the world over are becoming older (the big exception is Africa, where AIDS, wars, and famines continue to decimate populations despite high TFRs). All of the G-20 nations have TFRs at or significantly below replacement levels. The US is an exception with a TFR in 2009 of 2.09. Even China is flirting with a TFR of at or below 1.5 children per female. What this means for global economic output isn’t totally clear. But, we can look use Japan as the canary in the coalmine. Economically, Japan is undergoing price deflation. It is still an exporting powerhouse, but depends upon US and European imports. Whether Europe can sustain its standard of living beyond this decade is doubtful, as many European nations will see huge swaths of thier capital go to maintaining the standard of living of its large baby-boom population(s). And US will be fighting to pay off its staggering debt load for some decades (either that, or it will inflate its way out of debt. Or worse, default). And Asia is seeing the same demographic shifts that Europe underwent 2-3 decades ago. In short, where will all of those well-off consumers come from? The world still depends upon the US to float all boats. China has its own problems, and as some economists say, China will get old before it gets rich.

    In all probability, the world saw an economic Golden Age come and go between 1983-2007. Populations will age and then begin to fall. And economic output on a global scale will certianily not repeat the post Cold War output (1992-2007). CO2 levels on a global scale, therefore, will begin to fall sometime late this decade or early next. We will then see how the IPCC begins to change thier tune. My thinking is that the IPCC will gradully drop thier more Hasenesque rhetoric, and begin to devolve out of the GHG meme entirely. Climate Change will also be recasted. In what form we can only guess. People like Dr Trenbeth can only decalre that AGW remains hidden in our oceans for so long before people stop listening.

  69. I love the last graph, labeled figure 12.

    Correlation is causation is the hockey team mantra, right?

    I see our CO2 emissions going down, and so is our income…

    -Jay

  70. What do people do that wastes the most energy at the refrigerator? Stand there with the door open wondering what to eat, or what not to eat. Now, people might not go for a glass door (gas insulated) because then you’d have to keep it clean all the time, put flowers in there and maybe some pictures of the kids. But how about a door made of Glass with liquid crystalls sandwich between. I’ve seen this before, when the power to the glass is off it is opaque, with a little current the crystalls align and the glass becomes trasparent. You could hook it up so that when you touch the handle it goes clear and then, when you finally open the door to retrieve whatever, an alarm would begin to ring reminding you that you are destroying your children’s future. I think I smell a new law.

  71. Ian Summerell says:

    April 15, 2011 at 12:33 am

    The next thing may be ban humans for living on the planet? If you think like a Climate modeler, the next thing will be that humans produce CO2, which they says is a greenhouse gas, if there is less humans we could save the planet. I know the is off the wall but you wait and see.

    Just for fun, I looked up a few things this morning. For satisfactory oxygenation of the blood, humans need to transpire 5 to 8 liters of air per minute. Expelled breath contains about 4% carbon dioxide. An exhaled breath therefore contains about 40,000 ppmv of CO2.

    If my calculations are close to right, assuming a world human population of 6.5 billion, CO2 density of 1.98 grams/liter and an average of 6.5 liters of air breathed/minute/person, we inject approximately 4.9 billion kilograms of CO2 into the atmosphere per day.

    This says nothing about all the animals and their contribution of CO2 and, er, other gasses.

    No wonder the greenies want us gone. And, when we’re gone, no more deadly ice makers.

  72. CARBON DIOXIDE IS CO2. CO2 IS IN BEER/SOFT DRINK’S; CO2 IS BENEFICIAL TO ALL LIFE EVEN DRINKS!

    These Eco fascists/ green progressives are truly out of control theirs no end to their tyranny or hatred for the human race, except for themselves. It is all set out in the UN Master Plan AGENDA 21 coming to your neighborhood soon!

    Here’s a CO2 guild/rules the Progressives/Greens might/could/will introduce:

    WAYS TO REDUCE CARBON DIOXIDE

    Here’s a CO2 guild/rules the Progressives/Greens might/could/will introduce:

    WAYS TO REDUCE CARBON DIOXIDE and YOUR CARBON FOOT PRINT

    Don’t drive = CO2
    Don’t fly – Only VIP’s on CLIMATE DISRUPTION OR GOVERNMENT business allowed
    Don’t live or work in ANY building using gas or electricity – They produce 2-5 times the CO2 of a car
    Don’t wear shoes or clothing factory made. Grow Cotton. Make your own clothes go bare foot in summer and winter
    Quit school – Schools and especially University buildings produce more CO2 in a year then you do in 20 years.
    Don’t use books or paper it kills trees – use your memory and imagination instead.
    Eat meat raw and uncooked foods – Cooking with gas, fire or electric produce’s CO2
    Be kind to GAIA – Kill a Cow, a Pig, an Elephant or anything that breaths, its good for the Greens & there’s less CO2 exhaled
    Don’t use tap water or wash = less CO2 = Sustainability & no electricity
    Don’t use toilets, urinate or defecate on the plants in your backyard or your – neighbors it feed the plants creates delicious local foods = sustainability/biodiversity!
    Stop exercising – It produces CO2.
    Don’t use electric appliances of ANY KIND – ESPECIALLY COMMUNICATION DEVISES AND CELL PHONES, and NO smoke signals please?
    Turn off this computer – You hypocrite.
    Stop breathing – You exhale carbon dioxide.
    Die – Dying younger means you will do LESS of the above. You will save the earth 8.4 tons of CO2 every year you’re not here!

    Stop thinking you zombie, that’s a good boy, your feeling better already?

    Now off to the sheep pen with you, your a useless human CO2 exhaling peace of trash to be sheared, fleeced, shook down, drawn and quartered, reduced and turner into a little Soylent green protein pill or fertilizer for Mother Gaia!

    To bring about this Utopian world – Vote Progressive – Eco fascists or Greens = same results!

  73. Pingo says:
    Beer shouldn’t be cold, it should be around 14c or 57f in order to enjoy its full flavour. Thats if it has any, dear americans..

    Pingo, I can assure you that my beer has flavour. Of course, I make it myself.

    I wonder how much CO2 THAT pumps out – my bubbler goes quite mad with the CO2 passing through it during fermentation…

    Jimbo says:
    [self snip]

    Careful, don’t hurt yourself!

    Seriously – I think we should encourage more of this sort of article. It really helps get across how loony these ideas are.

  74. Andy G says:
    April 14, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    And I am NOT turning my fridge down for anyone. I like my beeer COLD !!!

    Now listen old chap, I appreciate that you colonials have some weird ideas about the most appropriate temperature for beer, but we from the old country understand that it’s best served at around 56-60 degrees (in old money you understand) and (I know this may come as a shock to some people, without bubbles in it (and I’m not referring to any monkey here, either)).

    Mind you, I am partial to some Anchor Steam whenever I’m in SF (but please don’t report me to the British beer police).

  75. … and there was me so determined to get my html attributes right that I messed up the brackets.

    We in the old country have an 8 letter word to use at this point. It starts with ‘b’ and ends with ‘s’ and has the letters in ‘ollock’ in the middle, (not necessarily in that order, but you never know ;-) ).

  76. How much of that decline in coal use is due to the economy and how much is due to the decline in temperatures? My monthly usage rarely exceeds 2000 kw-hrs these days (deep south).

  77. It’s not hard to see why Time magazine is such an idiotic publication when you realise that they partners with the Communist News Network (CNN). I’ve seen the most abysmal lies being intentionally spouted on CNN, especially regarding AGW. Probably explains why their ratings are so bad.

  78. Anthony, that’s a great graph you got there. I can’t think of a better way to illustrate that CO2 emissions are a proxy for prosperity.

  79. @Mr Green Genes says: April 15, 2011 at 11:16 am

    My thoughts absolutely.
    America is a wonderful country. I like the great majority of Americans I have met.

    Unfortunately most mass-produced American beer is [fizzy self snip]. The fact that it is wet and cold is the best thing about it. (Mass-produced Australian beer is even worse).

    But English real ale is absolutely wonderful (when in good condition).
    And you spoil it by serving it chilled.

    I’m pleased to say that a lot of CO2 is released in the brewing process.

  80. Well… speaking of beer and CO2. I wonder if our Alarmists have given much thought to yeast metabolism and fermentation. CO2 is a natural by-product of fermentation. And in the US massed produced industrial lager market, over 90 million barrels of beer are fermented yearly. That’s a lot of CO2.

  81. “Dave Springer says:
    April 15, 2011 at 9:00 am”

    Reply:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/04/eat-the-rich/237000/

    According to this article, the 2008 IRS figures show the total taxable income of individuals making more than $100,000 to be only ~$1.5 trillion, thus merely equaling Obama’s current deficit:

    Table 1.1 under Individual Statistical Tables is a good place to start: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi

    You can see, for example, that total taxable income in 2008 was $5,488 billion. Taxable income over $100,000 was $1,582 billion, over $200,000 was $1,185 billion, over $500,000 was $820 billion, over $1 million was $616 billion, over $2 million was $460 billion, over $5 million was $302 billion, and over $10 million was $212 billion.

    [emphasis added]

    Regardless, the “rich” are certainly not people and small businesses, which create most of the jobs, making only $200,000 – $250,000+/yr.. As per usual, the essentially parasitic Statist redistributionists simply redefine who is “rich” continually downward, redistributing the “wealth” as they go mainly to themselves and their cronies. Eventually, it’s the Statists themselves who “strip the profit off the backs” of anyone available.

    And, as already well proven, Communism never works, nor does Socialism, even taken to the milder extremes now seen in Europe, which, according to Marx, should have instead been premonitory to the perfection of his Statist Socialism and then to the Garden of Eden Communist Utopia.

    The essentially infantile Statist redistributionists really do see only a fixed pie of eternally existing “wealth” which somehow just magically exists, “the rich” having “unfairly” obtained too big a piece, thereby creating “the poor” – or an America made rich via “Imperialism”, which thereby explains poverty in Africa and, of course, the fall of the Soviet Union and its benign Communism.

    But however big it is, it’s a pie which Statist redistributionists always destroy, as now even evidenced by the fact of our own country’s noble Statists having perfectly directed its own State toward governmental suicide. And by now is it any surprise that, according to Obama, apparently the “rich” whole country is next?

    If instead of essentially being a parasitic latte’ or “Marxisant” Communist, Obama had any actual economic knowledge – and really cared about “our” people and Country and about our, or at least his own brand of government – you’d think he’d be smart enough to want to increase profit, since that’s where Government gets its money, and not simply increase taxes on profit.

    If Obama really understood economics and history and the manifest creativity of the Individual’s free thought process, including its creation of economic wealth, you’d think he’d want to increase real employment, the availability of real energy, and unfetter the creativity of the Individual, instead of enslaving it to the State via his preachment and promised imposition of the wonders of those “positive liberties” he alleges to be so lacking within the U.S. Constitution.

    After all, didn’t we hear as to his State of The Union address that he was then Reaganesque?

  82. An easy way to improve the energy efficiency of your fridge is to increase its R-rating. Take some foam board and apply it to the sides and top (use the type with foil on one side and have that face outward). Then put on your tin foil hat.

  83. @JPedan
    April 15, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Awesome!

    It’s possible that, having figured out the “rich” are always going to get their piece of the pie, the Kool Aid drinkers have set their sights on just destroying the pie altogether so the “rich” can’t have any.

  84. Juliette says:
    April 14, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    “In my opinion, the purpose of this sort of article is to inspire guilt and self-loathing in readers…”

    I agree, that is the intent of this sort of article, but what it actually does unintentionally is Anger a lot of people. Most people who are disgusted by this sort of article are usually intelligent and aware of their responsibility within their own environment they live in, people wont tolerate being spoke down to like their a child or a sinner who doesn’t know any better, especially when it’s the more wealthy in society doing the talking down to, to the poorest and less fortunate, that really disgusts me, I work hard and if I want an Ice box I’ll buy one. not because I hate the environment or give a flying frock about my carbon foot print, no, I might go out of my way tomorrow and actually buy one because some Idiot holier than thou told me not too.

  85. From Dave Springer on April 15, 2011 at 7:54 am:

    That said, as an engineer I find it unsatisfactory that 10-20% of a refrigerator’s energy use is expended by a heater to keep the ice-maker motor from freezing up.

    Did you know there’s a strip heater at the freezer section opening? I’ve found them behind the metal between the top freezer and the bottom refrigerator section of every refrigerator(/freezer) I’ve torn apart. They’re there to reduce condensation, which I’d guess is caused by colder air spilling out when the freezer door is open, although mostly due to minimal insulation between the compartments leading that piece of metal to be colder than the rest of the exterior skin. The one on the current old refrigerator died, leading to notable condensation and some rust spots. I haven’t had the opportunity to check any side by side or bottom freezer units, but it wouldn’t surprise me to find them there.

    Also, on our upright freezer there is a very warm section on the handle side of the opening, extending almost all the way to the top and bottom. I guess that may keep the entire door seal from freezing in place, ensuring the door can be forced open with the handle. Likewise, I wouldn’t be surprised to find such on chest freezers as well.

    I realize it’s only a few watts of electricity, and those heaters are on all the time, and that’s about enough power to provide the “equivalent” illumination of perhaps a 40 or 60 watt incandescent bulb… So, how do you engineer those heaters away?

    =========

    mikelorrey said on April 15, 2011 at 1:30 pm:

    An easy way to improve the energy efficiency of your fridge is to increase its R-rating. Take some foam board and apply it to the sides and top (use the type with foil on one side and have that face outward). Then put on your tin foil hat.

    This will work wonderfully on the refrigerators that don’t have a separate external condenser coil unit that needs vacuuming, but instead have the condenser coils just under the exterior skin. ;-)

  86. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    April 16, 2011 at 3:09 am

    Cool! I never tore apart a refrigerator before. Kind of unusual for me as I’ve taken apart just about every other common home appliance to either repair or cannabilize a broken one for parts to use in some other project. For instance, when I was 12 years old I took a junked washing machine and salvaged the motor, water pump, belts and pulleys to make an aerator/filter for a 200 gallon stock tank to hold live minnows. I’d just go net a thousand of them once in a while down at the crick to restock my tank. I used them myself for fishing and also sold them to others. I also kept a thousand night crawlers in a big pile of dirt near the minnow tank. I used those myself and had been selling them too for a couple of years prior. It was a lucrative little business perfectly suited to a kid. Lemonade stands… pffffffffffffft! Those are for babies.

  87. Coming soon to liberal Congress near you – “Ice Maker Tax”.

    Tends to make me think of a line from Alvin Lee – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzrUqAtUcpU

    Tax the rich,
    Feed the poor,
    Till there are no rich no more.

    Liberals/progressives, if you ever needed a succinct explanation of the impending dead end path that you are forcing us to tread – there it is.

  88. JPeden says:
    April 15, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/04/eat-the-rich/237000/

    According to this article, the 2008 IRS figures show the total taxable income of individuals making more than $100,000 to be only ~$1.5 trillion, thus merely equaling Obama’s current deficit:

    Table 1.1 under Individual Statistical Tables is a good place to start: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi

    You can see, for example, that total taxable income in 2008 was $5,488 billion. Taxable income over $100,000 was $1,582 billion, over $200,000 was $1,185 billion, over $500,000 was $820 billion, over $1 million was $616 billion, over $2 million was $460 billion, over $5 million was $302 billion, and over $10 million was $212 billion.

    The keyword in the above is TAXABLE income. Gross Income is first reduced on page one of form 1040A through various mechanisms like schedules C & D (capital losses and business losses respectively IIRC) then that is carried over to the top of 1040A page two where it is then called Adjusted Gross Income. This is subject to further reduction primarily through a laundry list form called Itemized Deductions. After all that then we have the figure in your missive called Taxable Income. At that point you look up how much tax is owed on that amount. But that still ain’t the end of it because then there’s a laundry list of tax credits that reduce the amount of taxes that you owe.

    You must not know much about federal income taxes if you didn’t catch the lie of omission in the Atlantic article which, in order to present an honest picture, should have begun with Gross Income not Taxable Income.

  89. JPeden says:
    April 15, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    (continued response)

    If it were up to me I’d simplify the tax code thusly:

    1) a standard deduction of $15,000 per dependent including oneself
    2) a flat tax of 15% on the rest of the income

    Try posing that to anyone making over $100,000/yr and then listen to all the kicking and screaming.

  90. Here is where to find the smoking gun.

    http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/08in11si.xls

    The table lists various income brackets by adjusted gross income (AGI). Adjusted gross income still excludes all the form 1040 page one adjustments to gross income (GI) which for the wealthy means it misses their S-corporations, capital losses, and things of that nature. For everyone else adjusted gross income is essentially the same as gross income. But I digress because the situation manifests nicely even using AGI instead of GI.

    Go to the $100,000 – $200,000 bracket. Average AGI in this bracket is $133,000 (column 5). Average taxes paid in this bracket is $17,000 or an effective tax rate of 13%.

    For the $10,000,000+ bracket the average is $29M. Average tax is $6M or an effective tax rate of 20%.

    For the $40,000-$50,000 bracket the effective rate is 7%.

    For the largest single bracket by number of filers ($50k-$75k) the rate is 8%.

    For $200K-$500K average AGI is $285K while the average tax is $55K or 19%.

    WTF!!!??? The top marginal rate is 35% and no one, even those with AGI in the tens of millions, pays more than 20%.

    The higher the income bracket the larger the difference between top marginal rate for that bracket and the actual taxes paid in that bracket. Top marginal rate is a joke for higher income brackets because no one comes even close to paying that rate. This is what needs to be fixed.

    QED

  91. @Dave Springer:

    I hear ya, but how could we sell something so simple and fair to the vast unwashed masses and to our political masters? So many people want other people to foot the bill, so what’s their incentive to support a flat tax? As to our masters, they won’t be able to buy or sell favors with your proposal, so what’s their incentive to forgo all that campaign cash the rolls in by promising to raise taxes on one while promising to give a special tax break to another group?

    I’m convinced there is but one reason we don’t have a simpler tax system — the political class doesn’t want it. Some want to raise taxes on “the rich” and they buy vote and raise lots of cash on that promise. Some want to give special incentives to people or companies who behave a certain way and they buy votes and raise lots of cash on that promise. Some want a flat tax or a fair tax and they buy votes and raise lots of cash on that promise. I swear, they all get together in the Senate cloakroom and promise to each other to never change a thing so the money and the influence never ends.

    But we can still dream, can’t we. The reality is it will take a constitutional amendment to make real, permanent changes to the tax structure.

  92. @Dave Springer

    You accused JPeden of not knowing much about federal income tax, all the while talking about form 1040A this and form 1040A that. Even very few of what your god Obama would call “rich” would be still filling out form 1040A much past their college days. So, you really don’t know much about what you’re talking about. Just frothing at the mouth with hatred and class envy. To so identify with form 1040A, you must still be in college or on the government dole working at a national lab, or something. If you can’t stand capitalism, why don’t you get the hell out of this capitalistic country and quit trying to destroy it by turning it into a socialist worker’s paradise.

    JPeden’s point, which you’re not capable of understanding, is that by taxing capital, you destroy it–shooting yourself in the foot.

    All of those deductions and credits are the result of government overreaching to try and nudge society in one direction or another, which is a business it has no business being in.

    At the end of the day, it’s the taxable income that matters.

  93. From Dave Springer on April 16, 2011 at 7:49 am:

    The keyword in the above is TAXABLE income. Gross Income is first reduced on page one of form 1040A through various mechanisms like schedules C & D (capital losses and business losses respectively IIRC) then that is carried over to the top of 1040A page two where it is then called Adjusted Gross Income. This is subject to further reduction primarily through a laundry list form called Itemized Deductions. After all that then we have the figure in your missive called Taxable Income. At that point you look up how much tax is owed on that amount. But that still ain’t the end of it because then there’s a laundry list of tax credits that reduce the amount of taxes that you owe.

    You must not know much about federal income taxes if you didn’t catch the lie of omission in the Atlantic article which, in order to present an honest picture, should have begun with Gross Income not Taxable Income.

    First off, if you’re using Schedule C, “Profit or Loss from Business (Sole Proprietorship),” or Schedule D, “Capital Gains and Losses,” then you’re filing a 1040, not a 1040A. C & D are not “mechanisms” for reducing “Gross Income,” they’re for reporting net income (or losses) from those sources.

    Really, you must hate old people and small business owners to insist on using Gross Income. There are various income sources that are untaxed for good reasons, like pensions and Social Security. A small business owner (sole proprietorship) could take in $700,000, have $650,000 in expenditures, yielding only $50,000, and in your “soak the rich” scheme (using your original mistaken view on the schedules) you wish to do comparisons as if they had made $700,000? Then there are professionals like doctors, who could take in $200,000 from their practice, then pay out $100,000 in malpractice insurance from their own pockets. You want to pretend they’ve actually made $200,000 for your comparisons?
    ===
    From Dave Springer on April 16, 2011 at 9:15 am:

    http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/08in11si.xls

    The table lists various income brackets by adjusted gross income (AGI). Adjusted gross income still excludes all the form 1040 page one adjustments to gross income (GI) which for the wealthy means it misses their S-corporations, capital losses, and things of that nature. For everyone else adjusted gross income is essentially the same as gross income. (…)

    Once more you’re bashing on the small business owners. S-corporations are preferentially used by small business owners who incorporate for liability reasons, keeping the business and personal assets separate.

    Perusing those adjustments to income on pg 1 of the 1040, there are several that are important to small business owners, including the self-employed, which should rightfully be there as recognition of the differences between that income and that received when employed by another, such as health insurance and 1/2 of the self-employment tax (FICA etc of which an employer normally pays as much as the employee, thus when self-employed one pays double the amount). The IRA deduction is there, as those income taxes are paid when the money is withdrawn. (The alimony deduction is also there, which some ordinary taxpayers find very important.)

    Your bashing of small businesses is very unseemly.

    Continuing on to arrive at Taxable Income, from AGI is subtracted Deductions (itemized or the standard amount) and Exemptions (filers plus dependents). This is generally fair. If you wish to complain about itemized deductions then go ahead, but note that category also includes medical expenses and similar that really put a dent in available cash-on-hand and in many ways represent money that was never really “available for use” by the purported taxpayer.

    Take out the bashing of small businesses and the old retired folks, stop griping about the breaks that anyone can get, and it’s revealed Taxable Income is a fair metric.

    Also, as you apparently missed, that Atlantic article also presented Adjusted Gross Income figures, which represent a good “level playing field” for comparisons involving business owners and others, which you found good enough for your complaining involving the top marginal rate.

    And you, in your apparent naivety, think Gross Income is a good metric, let alone with your stated misconceptions about US Federal Income Taxes?

    In any case, you are missing the most important issue.

    Money moves. Those with it will normally move it to where they think it will yield the best rewards. Money may be found in many places. Those seeking to earn money can go to where they will get more in their pocket for their efforts.

    Here in the US, we’ve already felt the problems of not enough investing in the US. Between federal, state, and local taxes, it’s already expensive to do business in the US. Taxes are high for the higher-paid earners, who can take their skills elsewhere.

    Stick with the progressive mantra about “the wealthy paying their fair share,” even more will go to where that share is less. Keep listening to Barack’s rhetoric about “giving some of it back” after they’ve legally earned it, even more will go where they can not only keep all of it, but they’ll get to keep even more of their new money. Kalifornia is already suffering from such state taxation choices. Why would you want to inflict even more of that across the entire country?

  94. Dave Springer on April 16, 2011 at 7:49 am:

    You must not know much about federal income taxes if you didn’t catch the lie of omission in the Atlantic article which, in order to present an honest picture, should have begun with Gross Income not Taxable Income.

    I’ve done my own taxes for 35 years, as self-employed, Form 1040, etc.. Payed for all of the SS tax, Health ins, retirement, dependents, etc..

    Communism, which produces an epitome of the rich vs poor Classist State = Master Party-Slave Proletariat, never works. You need to explain to yourself why you lust for it.

  95. JPeden says:
    April 16, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    “I’ve done my own taxes for 35 years, as self-employed, Form 1040, etc.. Payed for all of the SS tax, Health ins, retirement, dependents, etc..”

    Same here – 37 years. Employed, self-employed, Schedule C, residential rentals, etc. A few years alternative minimum tax too. In the best years when high tech stock options were vesting, prior to the Bush tax cuts, I was paying 38% in federal taxes on essentially every dollar I earned. AMT sucks you even lose mortgage interest write offs and things of that nature. I have no bloody idea how million-dollar-a-year wage earners get away with not paying top marginal rate. I sure couldn’t figure out how to get around it but the data is staring me in the face in that IRS table I linked to.

    “Communism, which produces an epitome of the rich vs poor Classist State = Master Party-Slave Proletariat, never works. You need to explain to yourself why you lust for it.”

    Spare me the melodrama. This isn’t a communist state and isn’t even close to it. All I lust after is equal treatment under the law. I payed the top marginal rate in years where I had over $250,000 in income and I expect everyone else to pay it as well. It’s lower now than when I was making that much. I was paying 50% more in capital gains taxes back then too.

    Here’s the way I figure it. We are fortunate in the United States to have the freedom and infrastructure in place for some to earn a lot of money. It wouldn’t be possible without what was accomplished before us. If you are fortunate enough to earn more than the average you shouldn’t carp about paying more to keep the infrastructure that allows it humming along. And yes that infrastructure includes entitlement programs for the less fortunate and the aged as well as national defense. I served 4 years in the USMC and am a flag waving patriotic American who loves his country. To even hint that I’m lusting after communism is an insult.

    But I probably went on too long because that IRS table link I provided showing average adjusted gross income in different brackets and average federal taxes collected in those brackets essentially shut down your argument and left you with nothing but hand-waving and ad-homs in your response. Nuff’ said.

  96. mike g says:
    April 16, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    @Dave Springer

    “You accused JPeden of not knowing much about federal income tax, all the while talking about form 1040A this and form 1040A that.”

    1040 vs. 1040A. Simple typo. I do my own tax returns and have been using 1040 for decades. Up until this year when they stopped sending out packets of the same forms used in the prior year I never even glanced at the 1040 form number. I did a 1040ez this year for my daughter. Boy was that easy. It’s aptly named.

  97. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    April 16, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    “Why would you want to inflict even more of that across the entire country?”

    California’s problems are the same as the nation’s. It boils down the simple concept of living within your means. When deficit spending by goverment is allowed the taxpayers don’t feel the burden for years after the fact until the debt has grown so large that debt service becomes a major budget item. By then they’re addicited to the spending and keep on borrowing more until the inevitable happens and the house of cards collapses. This is happening in California and New York but not in Texas. I lived approximately 20 years in each state. The big difference with Texas is that it has a balanced budget requirement built into the constitution. Taxes are low in Texas because there’s no deficit spending and no significant debt service from years of deficit spending. When Texas wants to spend more money they have to raise taxes to do it and the voters feel the burden immediately. This keeps the voters a lot more aware of what’s happening. Deficit spending disconnects the voter from government spending.

    Now the federal government is quickly approaching the catastrophe point where debt either gets unwound somehow or there’s a major collapse where the unwinding is forced. Either way it will eventually be unwound. Living beyond one’s means is not infinitely sustainable.

    New York State, where I spent most of the winter this year, is taxing everything in sight. What they should have done is a little more taxing in prior decades along with a little less spending such that a balanced budget would be maintained. Everything would be hunky dory if that was the case.

    But that’s water under the bridge. Regardless of how the situation was created it must be rectified and it’s far too late to rectify by spending reduction alone. Spending needs to be brought under control so this doesn’t happen again but taxes must also be raised to pay for the indulgences of the past. The nation danced to the music and now the piper must be paid. It’s just that simple. The only question is where the payment comes from and the old saw about not being able to draw blood from a turnip comes to mind.

  98. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    April 16, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    I’ll concede your point about gross income vs. taxable income but I will remind you that the IRS data I used to make my point used adjusted gross income. If you are self-employed or have a sole proprietorship the details of that are taken into account between gross income and adjusted gross income so they are irrelevant. I was only talking about personal tax returns not corporate filings. It’s probably a given that corporations don’t pay taxes unless it’s advantageous to the owners where the corporate tax burden would be lower than if the profits were distributed to the individual owners. They distribute profits to the owners, or not, in the best interest of the owners or at least those of the owners sitting on the board making those decisions.

    That said there is still an area rich for tax shelters on 1040 page 1. Capital gains and losses are one area as you can choose when to claim them. Residential rentals are another one as this is (as far as I’m aware) the only “business” one can have where a loss of up to $25,000 can be repeated year after ad infinitum without being forced to declare the business a hobby. More importantly however is that the residential rental loss may be deducted from other sources of income. That is not allowed for any other Schedule C losses that I’m aware of. Self-employed and sole proprietorships are another as the opportunities for deductions are wide, deep, and generally unavailable to W-2 income. While it’s true that these may not go on indefinitely operating at a loss they can go on indefinitely not showing a dime in profit while taking advantage of a large menu of tax deductions not allowed on W-2 income.

    There are undoubtedly many other tax shelter opportunities on page 1 that I’m not familiar with. I just happen to have had some years where I had a sole proprietorship and some years where I had a residential rental so I know about those.

    But again, I do concede your point about gross income. I thought I already did that when I used IRS statistics that began with adjusted gross income and compared it to the actual effective tax rate. The top marginal rate is a joke when people who report $10 million or more, where virtually every dime of it is subject to 35% top marginal rate (everything over $330,00) are paying an average of 20% which is only 5 points above the marginal rate applied to income between $16,000 and $68,000 and 5 points below that applied to income between $68,000 and $133,000. What good is a top marginal rate if no one is paying it? The effective top marginal rate is 20%. That’s my point and it’s indisputable.

  99. Anyhow, getting back to the smoking gun:

    http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/08in11si.xls

    There are 13,480 top income earners (over $10 million in adjusted gross income) that average $30 million per year. They pay an average of 20% of that in taxes. If these people payed the top marginal rate on that income (35%) it would result in $60 billion more in tax revenues. If the Bush tax cut, which was supposed to expire this year, were repealed it would be about $70 billion. Over the next 20 years that’s $1.4 trillion dollars to pay down the debt and it should by law be required to be used for that and that only. But let’s not abolish them and just call it $1.2T.

    The next lower bracket $5-10M has 21,390 filers whose average AGI is $7M and who pay an average of $1.6M in taxes or 23%. If they paid the top marginal rate for their bracket it would be $18 billion and over 20 years would be $360 billion.

    The next lower bracket $2-5M, average $3M, 86,000 filers, pay $740K or 25%. If they paid the top marginal rate that would be $25B or $500B over 20 years.

    The next lower bracket $1.5-2M, 59,000 filers, on average pay $430K tax on of $1.7M or 25%. If they paid the top marginal rate that would be $10B each year or $200B in 20 years.

    The next lower bracket $1.0-1.5M, 141,000 filers, on average pay $299K tax on $1.7M or 25%. If they paid the top marginal rate that would be $17B each year or $340B in 20 years.

    The next lower bracket $500K-1M, 577,000 filers, on average pay $163K tax on $680K or 24%. If they paid the top marginal rate that would be $43B each year or $860B in 20 years.

    Income brackets lower $500K start getting into lower than 35% brackets for significant sums so I won’t bother with them due to the complexity of the calculation.

    Totalling up just the revenues from $500K+ brackets, if they paid the existing marginal rates (no repeal of the inflammatory Bush tax cuts) which are historically very low for the U.S. then we’d see:

    1200+360+500+200+340+860=$3.5 trillion.

    The national debt is $14 trillion. $3.5 trillion over 20 years is a good start but clearly isn’t near enough. The top marginal rate needs to be raised and enforced without exception.

    During the 1950’s, arguably one of the greatest periods of economic expansion ever, the top marginal rate was over 90%. Yes Virginia, that’s correct. Over 90%. I guess back in those days people knew that for the nation to recover from the Great Depression and the vast spending of WWII it was those who fortunes remained intact that must take up the burden. Today no one seems to give a shit about the health of the nation – it’s every man for himself. How tragic. I fear it’s all downhill from here. America’s days are numbered.

  100. Dave Springer says:

    “Here’s the way I figure it. We are fortunate in the United States to have the freedom and infrastructure in place for some to earn a lot of money. It wouldn’t be possible without what was accomplished before us. If you are fortunate enough to earn more than the average you shouldn’t carp about paying more to keep the infrastructure that allows it humming along.”

    Well then, since it’s your “perception is reality” rule, then by all means go ahead on with your own bad self!

    But the fact that you feel guilty about making more money than “average” and likewise apparently haven’t been able to force yourself to “give back enough” of it, and you therefore want to tithe it back to what is essentially a parastitic, redistributionist Central Government which is “progressively” heading itself, and us, toward suicide – and to the end of the condititions which create wealth and allow us to be above “average” in the first place – is really only your personal problem to redress, not mine.

    And again, why can’t you just “give back” your excess gains freely without gov’t coercion or without everyone else’s company to reassure you? That is, instead of falling prey to your own [self-absorbed] lament:

    “Today no one seems to give a shit about the health of the nation – it’s every man for himself. How tragic. I fear it’s all downhill from here. America’s days are numbered.”

    Sounds increasingly bad for you, Dave! But, mark you, given the direction you seem headed in so far, when you ultimately get around to feeling personally obligated to follow Obama to Guyana, I don’t have to go there, either! It’s still only your rule!

  101. “”””” Dave Springer says:
    April 17, 2011 at 11:08 am
    Anyhow, getting back to the smoking gun:

    http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/08in11si.xls

    There are 13,480 top income earners (over $10 million in adjusted gross income) that average $30 million per year. They pay an average of 20% of that in taxes. If these people payed the top marginal rate on that income (35%) it would result in $60 billion more in tax revenues. If the Bush tax cut, which was supposed to expire this year, were repealed it would be about $70 billion. Over the next 20 years that’s $1.4 trillion dollars to pay down the debt and it should by law be required to be used for that and that only. “””””

    Seems like you have a lot of “ifs” in there Dave. Most of the persons, who can routinely “earn” over $10 Million per year; can do that while living any place on earth. And if your rules were implemented; many of them would vote with their feet and simply move; call them “tax Climate refugees” if you will. You cannot force people to work.

    If I could figure out how to earn all the money, I could possibly spend in a year, by working just two weeks out of the year, I would do exactly that; and go and enjoy myself for the other 50 weeks per year. At a 90% tax rate, only an idiot would continue to work.

    And the 1950s, that period that you say was the the most economically expansive in history; was anything but that.

    Maybe Dave, you are entirely unfamiliar with an event of World History, generally known as World War -II; the most completely desctructive era in world history. More global infra structure was permanently destroyed, during WW-II than in all of the conflicts that preceded it, all the way back to the age of the dinosaurs.

    So the 1950s were fully occupied dealing with two World situations. The need to replace the trillions of dollars of world infrastructure that was gone for even; and the equally sapping and devastating rise of the Soviet Union as a world threat.

    All of that, was the consequences, of following pied pipers, who like you believe that they know better than the people themsleves do, and want to remake the world in their image.

    The 1950s was an age of recovery; it most certainly was not an age of prosperity.

    And I lived throught that era Dave; did you ? It was not untill the Reagan-Thatcher era, that the world was able to shrug off the millstone of the Soviet Union; and start to really move towards economic expansion. that goal is still thwarted by the menace of Communist Red China; a regime, who like you believes that only they know what is good for the people.

    Today is Tax day Dave; you have my permission to write a check to the Federal Government for whatever you believe is your fair share of the tax burden; don’t wait for the compulsive power of the Federal treasury to force you to do it; be pro-active and lead by example. And if you get to be ten years past the Social Security retirement age, and you are still having to work just to pay your taxes, and have anything left over; yopu might reconsider, your opinion of what everybodfy else should pay in taxes.

    People with vast fortunes get to not pay the top marginal tax rates, for the simple reason, that they stop doing taxable enterprise; and the country is worse off, because of their enforced idleness.

  102. If Times subscriptions are dropping, just think on sheer amounts of trees that will not be cut down to be used as paper for said magazines. I wonder if they can get CO2 credits for this, and if so, can they use it for profit?

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