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Questions. - haresfur - Nov 23, 2021 - 1:42pm
 
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Pernicious Pious Proclivities Particularized Prodigiously - R_P - Nov 23, 2021 - 11:45am
 
Index » Radio Paradise/General » General Discussion » Capitalism and Consumerism... now what? Page: Previous  1, 2, 3, 4 ... 9, 10, 11  Next
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NoEnzLefttoSplit

NoEnzLefttoSplit Avatar

Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 22, 2021 - 7:57am

 Lazy8 wrote:
 Red_Dragon wrote:
Yes, mean old capitalism failed to restrain California politicians from constraining builders from building housing, restricting the supply far below the demand and driving the cost up to the point that vast numbers of people are driven out of the market, especially in the urban areas. Imagine, making it difficult to build houses raises the cost of housing! If only this could have been predicted!
 
Well, I'm not familiar with California, but I know a bit about Auckland, New Zealand.

Basically, there is no such thing as a truly free market, distortions abound and they are not all to do with inefficient public sector planning preventing the market from finding its "natural" balance. And is that "natural" balance even desirable?

Auckland's real estate market got totally out-of-whack when direct foreign investment was allowed and a lot of foreign money invested heavily in the NZ property market for various reasons (safe country, stable outlook, lack of corruption, etc, great place to live, attractive to Hong Kong Chinese fearing a Chinese takeover, etc. etc.).

This was great for all the foreign people with money. Great for all the local people with property who at least on paper, found their wealth doubling, and local property developers, etc. But it has proven to be absolute crap for all the middle to low income people who grew up and worked in the city. Rents skyrocketed. Owning your own place has been put out of reach for a huge chunk of the population, etc. Hundreds now live in temporary shelters, caravans, garages, etc. 

NZ slipped even further away from being a homogenous society to a two or even three-tier society with even greater social problems.

Desirable outcome? Nope. Not even for the locals with property, because who wants to live in a country like that?

By contrast, the Maori, who were granted riparian rights to the entire NZ coastline, granted public access to it in perpetuity. (hang on, I grossly misrepresented that, turns out it is more complicated, with these rights basically being stolen from Maori and vested in the government, same old colonial pattern of theft).
Whatever, you get the gist. Think of the US national parks. 
Outcome: we have no private beaches. Everyone can sit on any beach they want to. 

Not all wealth can be quantified in terms of (private) money. In fact I would put living in a civilised society founded on trust, respect and fair opportunity much higher on my list of personal priorities than my own private wealth.

Not saying your fair market ideal can't create that kind of society, but you've failed to convince me of how it would achieve this apart from the vain hope that everyone (even the disaffected) would/should buy into the logic of natural rights.  

But why would they, when you work your butt off to end up living in a caravan?
Lazy8

Lazy8 Avatar

Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 22, 2021 - 7:48am

 rhahl wrote:
Are you saying that California politicians are free to do what they want?

They are unconstrained by rational thought, at least.
rhahl

rhahl Avatar



Posted: Jul 22, 2021 - 7:45am

 Lazy8 wrote:
 Red_Dragon wrote:
Yes, mean old capitalism failed to restrain California politicians from constraining builders from building housing, restricting the supply far below the demand and driving the cost up to the point that vast numbers of people are driven out of the market, especially in the urban areas. Imagine, making it difficult to build houses raises the cost of housing! If only this could have been predicted!
 
Are you saying that California politicians are free to do what they want?  News to me.
Lazy8

Lazy8 Avatar

Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 22, 2021 - 7:05am

 Red_Dragon wrote:
Yes, mean old capitalism failed to restrain California politicians from constraining builders from building housing, restricting the supply far below the demand and driving the cost up to the point that vast numbers of people are driven out of the market, especially in the urban areas.

Imagine, making it difficult to build houses raises the cost of housing! If only this could have been predicted!
Red_Dragon

Red_Dragon Avatar



Posted: Jul 22, 2021 - 6:06am

Capitalism fail
sirdroseph

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Location: Not here, I tell you wat
Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 12, 2021 - 5:31am

 
 
Whoops it is actually much worse:
 
 
R_P

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Posted: Mar 27, 2021 - 4:13pm


ScottFromWyoming

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Location: Powell
Gender: Male


Posted: Feb 24, 2021 - 10:23am



 Lazy8 wrote:
I doubt any talking heads would be blaming their regulatory structure.
 

Point of order: California's regulatory structure is the talking heads' Poster Child for Whatever is Needing an Example.
rgio

rgio Avatar

Location: West Jersey
Gender: Male


Posted: Feb 24, 2021 - 9:30am



 westslope wrote:


3.  Yes, I would tax tampons. Along with groceries and books.   I would apply a value-added sales tax on everything.   No exceptions.  

The USA should have done this in the last century.   
 
Generally agree, but there have to be exceptions for decency and humanitarian reasons.  You shouldn't have to pay a tax because you needed surgery after being hit by a car.  There is no need for the government to benefit from your death...so your funeral shouldn't really be taxed (not taxing the estate, yet collecting $120 on the casket...?).  Medicines, sanitary products, personal hygiene... is the tax really going to make a difference?

We currently have over 18,000 individual taxing jurisdictions in the US.  It's a disaster.  One, standard VAT would make a ton of sense and save billions in compliance and collection costs...but where would those people work?  I don't much care where they work, but as a friend of mine used to say, "turkeys don't vote for Christmas".   It's hard for politicians to stand up to crazy...who is going to look thousands of people in the eye and say "I know this is going to be difficult, but it's for the good of the country....good luck finding a job".

The US needs an intelligent and fair re-design for all taxation.   We have the technology to build compliance into the system but lack the leadership.

Since global warming is an existential threat, make gasoline $10/gallon and public transportation almost free.  Give away guns...but tax ammunition at $5 per bullet.  There is a lot we could do and should do...but we can't agree if our President has the first amendment right to send his hoarde to the capital to stop democracy by killing police officers....we're going to agree on taxation?

Final thought:  If you add VAT to EVERYTHING...then you have to increase wages...it's almost a zero-sum game but has friction costs that reduce the value of the implementation.  Smart policy is better than strict implementation.

Lazy8

Lazy8 Avatar

Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Feb 24, 2021 - 8:51am

islander wrote:
But to do this it takes a lot of money, and one way to do it is to connect to other grids - which requires complying with regulation. Texans wanted cheap energy and they are fond of no regulations, so they didn't connect to other grids, and they didn't spend the money (to keep energy cheap) to add additional distributed capacity. 

So to point this back to the topic, Texas built a system that fit their ideology and demand for cheap energy. It couldn't respond to an unusual event, because that didn't fit the supply/demand equation they had, so it failed when the unusual condition came along. It's not really surprising, but now that people have died it gets a lot of attention. It's also a bit glaring to have the 'independent/go it alone' rugged Texans calling for help and assistance, when they are famously unwilling to lend a hand to others when there is need.  So capitalism and consumerism (and ideology) led us here. Now what?  Will they comply with regulations that would allow them to interconnect? Will they build more capacity?  Will their public utility commission actually do something proactive instead of reactive?  Or will everyone forget this once spring rolls around and we have another thing to be aghast at?

I do find it funny that Ford is making a big deal about their trucks with onboard generators helping out in the crisis. This is a perfect example of how small distributed alternative sources could be used to improve the grid. This could just as easily be done with Many Toyota and Hondas, and Tesla / Nissan charging infrastructure could easily be configured to be a source instead of a load.

It takes money people are willing to spend, at least when they have it, and once they realize the value of having reliable power. As your business model demonstrates.

Texas' grid failed for technological reasons, and putting Bernie Sanders in charge wouldn't have prevented valves from freezing or power lines from snapping. Tying into a larger grid would help some, but Texas' grid is so large that the widespread failures at the local level would have still caused outages, and would have likely caused shortages in neighboring areas.

Heavily (ridiculously? absurdly?) regulated states have power problems all the time. As you move into residential power systems you'll find a lot of customers in California, the anti-Texas. I still have a lot of friends there and a topic that comes up on our weekly beer-and-Zoom call is the power situation—most of these folks have grid-tied residential PV systems, some with with battery backups—because the utility power is so unreliable. They aren't freezing to death because it's southern California and it isn't their turn for anomalous weather, but it's a problem they deal with constantly. People without the means to pay for that kind of infrastructure just have to cope, and if the freak winter weather had hit them instead of Texas—probably with identical outcomes—I doubt any talking heads would be blaming their regulatory structure.
westslope

westslope Avatar

Location: BC sage brush steppe


Posted: Feb 24, 2021 - 8:26am



 kurtster wrote:

.......

A serious question as you seem to want to tax behaviour for punitive reasons.

 

1.  I did not view the world in that way.   Too Dark Ages for me.    You are caught in a vortex of Evil versus Good.  I am not.

2.  Some taxes should be designed to discourage behaviour.  Yes, absolutely.  

3.  Yes, I would tax tampons. Along with groceries and books.   I would apply a value-added sales tax on everything.   No exceptions.  

The USA should have done this in the last century.   
islander

islander Avatar

Location: Seattle
Gender: Male


Posted: Feb 24, 2021 - 6:55am



 Lazy8 wrote:
NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:
Not quite sure why this topic has ended up in this thread but isn't the critical technical issue with renewables keeping grid stability? Remote, independent generation is all well and good but if you want an interregional grid to function, you need a stable source of power to cover your base load with enough resources available to come quickly online to handle peaks (at least as I understand it - total non-techie here). 
Just one more reason as I see it to invest in 4-gen nuclear.
My wife is in the German Green party, so we are at loggerheads on this, but even in her party they are worried about grid stability now that renewables account for so much of the nation's generating capacity and both coal and nuclear are getting phased out.

This discussion wound up in this thread because it's fashionable to blame the Texas grid's collapse on capitalism (because everything is capitalism's fault, and if you can mumble the magical incantation "deregulation" you get bonus anti-capitalism points) so why not?

The grid's purpose is to distribute power from where it's made to where it's needed. Renewables—at least distributed renewables—aren't a particular problem for grid stability precisely because they're distributed. Grid stability breaks down when big changes happen all of a sudden, like a critical line or a point source going down. When a small draw turns into a small supply that's still a small change, even if it happens quickly.

To harden a grid against disruption you need sources you can ramp up and down quickly, but you need distributed sources. That way you can lose large parts of the grid but keep it online.


 
But to do this it takes a lot of money, and one way to do it is to connect to other grids - which requires complying with regulation. Texans wanted cheap energy and they are fond of no regulations, so they didn't connect to other grids, and they didn't spend the money (to keep energy cheap) to add additional distributed capacity. 

So to point this back to the topic, Texas built a system that fit their ideology and demand for cheap energy. It couldn't respond to an unusual event, because that didn't fit the supply/demand equation they had, so it failed when the unusual condition came along. It's not really surprising, but now that people have died it gets a lot of attention. It's also a bit glaring to have the 'independent/go it alone' rugged Texans calling for help and assistance, when they are famously unwilling to lend a hand to others when there is need.  So capitalism and consumerism (and ideology) led us here. Now what?  Will they comply with regulations that would allow them to interconnect? Will they build more capacity?  Will their public utility commission actually do something proactive instead of reactive?  Or will everyone forget this once spring rolls around and we have another thing to be aghast at?

I do find it funny that Ford is making a big deal about their trucks with onboard generators helping out in the crisis. This is a perfect example of how small distributed alternative sources could be used to improve the grid. This could just as easily be done with Many Toyota and Hondas, and Tesla / Nissan charging infrastructure could easily be configured to be a source instead of a load.
NoEnzLefttoSplit

NoEnzLefttoSplit Avatar

Gender: Male


Posted: Feb 24, 2021 - 1:10am

 haresfur wrote:


 kurtster wrote:

Is there anything you will not tax or not want taxed ? 

A serious question as you seem to want to tax behaviour for punitive reasons.

 
Can't speak for westslope but I'd say tampons.

But taxing products to cover costs incurred by others isn't punative

 
{#Lol} Agreed. On both counts.
haresfur

haresfur Avatar

Location: The Golden Triangle
Gender: Male


Posted: Feb 24, 2021 - 12:59am



 kurtster wrote:

Is there anything you will not tax or not want taxed ? 

A serious question as you seem to want to tax behaviour for punitive reasons.

 
Can't speak for westslope but I'd say tampons.

But taxing products to cover costs incurred by others isn't punative

kurtster

kurtster Avatar

Location: where fear is not a virtue
Gender: Male


Posted: Feb 23, 2021 - 7:55pm

 westslope wrote:
In fact, regulators should really add excise taxes to electricity because not all the social and environmental costs are covered by market-determined prices.  

 
Is there anything you will not tax or not want taxed ? 

A serious question as you seem to want to tax behaviour for punitive reasons.

Lazy8

Lazy8 Avatar

Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Feb 23, 2021 - 5:36pm

NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:
Not quite sure why this topic has ended up in this thread but isn't the critical technical issue with renewables keeping grid stability? Remote, independent generation is all well and good but if you want an interregional grid to function, you need a stable source of power to cover your base load with enough resources available to come quickly online to handle peaks (at least as I understand it - total non-techie here). 
Just one more reason as I see it to invest in 4-gen nuclear.
My wife is in the German Green party, so we are at loggerheads on this, but even in her party they are worried about grid stability now that renewables account for so much of the nation's generating capacity and both coal and nuclear are getting phased out.

This discussion wound up in this thread because it's fashionable to blame the Texas grid's collapse on capitalism (because everything is capitalism's fault, and if you can mumble the magical incantation "deregulation" you get bonus anti-capitalism points) so why not?

The grid's purpose is to distribute power from where it's made to where it's needed. Renewables—at least distributed renewables—aren't a particular problem for grid stability precisely because they're distributed. Grid stability breaks down when big changes happen all of a sudden, like a critical line or a point source going down. When a small draw turns into a small supply that's still a small change, even if it happens quickly.

To harden a grid against disruption you need sources you can ramp up and down quickly, but you need distributed sources. That way you can lose large parts of the grid but keep it online.

westslope

westslope Avatar

Location: BC sage brush steppe


Posted: Feb 23, 2021 - 2:30pm



 rhahl wrote:
.....
 
Texas Froze by Design James K. Galbraith, Project Syndicate
 
Good piece.  To nuance,  aggregate demand for electricity is price inelastic.   Consumers still respond to price incentives.

In fact, regulators should really add excise taxes to electricity because not all the social and environmental costs are covered by market-determined prices.  

westslope

westslope Avatar

Location: BC sage brush steppe


Posted: Feb 23, 2021 - 2:21pm



 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:
....
 didn't know he was still alive.
...
 

James is the son of John Kenneth Galbraith.   

I met senior Galbraith once when I was a graduate student/peace and disarmament researcher and active in the movement.
NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Gender: Male


Posted: Feb 23, 2021 - 11:03am

 rhahl wrote:
Harvard Kennedy School’s William Hogan is credited with designing the Texas energy market. As Texans froze and their water pipes burst, he reportedly remarked that the state’s energy market has functioned as designed.
 
Texas Froze by Design James K. Galbraith, Project Syndicate
 
{#Clap}  didn't know he was still alive. 
The problem is that electricity demand is inelastic: it doesn’t respond much to price, but it does respond to weather. In times of extreme heat or cold, demand becomes even more inelastic. And, unlike in an ordinary market, supply must equal demand every minute of every day. If it doesn’t, the entire system can fail...

...The new system did work most of the time. Prices rose and fell. Customers who didn’t sign long-term contracts faced some risk. One provider, called Griddy, had a special model: for a $9.99 monthly membership fee, you could get your power at the wholesale price. Most of the time, that was cheap.

But people don’t need electricity “most of the time”; they need it all the timeAnd, at least by 2011, when Texas experienced a short, severe freeze, the state’s leaders knew that the system was radically unstable in extreme weather. The system’s architects knew it as well, whatever they say now.

rhahl

rhahl Avatar



Posted: Feb 23, 2021 - 10:57am

Harvard Kennedy School’s William Hogan is credited with designing the Texas energy market. As Texans froze and their water pipes burst, he reportedly remarked that the state’s energy market has functioned as designed.
 
Texas Froze by Design James K. Galbraith, Project Syndicate
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