Google+ Followers

Blog Catalog

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Sustainable: The Word of our Time

The word of the day today, indeed, likely the word of at least this decade, if not our age, is "unsustainable", I'd contend.  So much of the way humankind lives right now is just unsustainable. I came to realize this some time ago when thinking of the way we heat and cool our homes, create energy to do so, travel--think polluting, gas-guzzling cars--farm, what with corporate farming and all the chemicals we use on farms and even in the cattle and livestock we then eventually eat.

So totally unsustainable.

This headline today took that all one step further for me:

The 1% Should Be Afraid: The New Norm in the Workplace Is Unstable

The way we distribute even jobs in this country, let alone some modicum of "wealth" are both patently unsustainable, forget "unstable."

And that's what is so crazy about our current economic system in the US, at least. The wealthy, who are continuing to reap so many benefits from our current arrangement, could and would, economists have shown, also reap so many benefits from a system that is more equitable and fair. With a stronger middle classs alone, there would be so many more millions of consumers of products and so, much healthier demand for products and services.  Read:  the wealthy would benefit from that, naturally and of course.

Additionally, that top 1% would benefit again if the lower class also had more buying power--more money in their pockets. It only stands to reason.

Then there is the big picture. The entire economic and financial system needs to function successfully--sustainably--for all of us in order for it to even exist, let alone thrive.

What is so difficult about this?

Then there are these other "unsustainables":

Why the US Military Budget is 'Foolish and Sustainable

We're doing so many things, as a race, at least environmentally and financially, that are unsustainable, even destructively so.

And the fact is, in order to get back control of all our systems of living is to take back our government, back for the people.  

Our government, at least in our nation, is bought and paid for by corporations and the wealthy. Campaign contributions, as I've written here and elsewhere so many times, are buying our legislators, their legislation and so, our laws and finally, our government.  It's all for them, first and foremost, and for the people, secondarily, if even then.

We have to get our government back for the people.

And we'll have to push, fight, even, to make that happen.

We need to get started.


Sevesteen said...

Government growing faster than the private sector is unsustainable--That's not political, that's simple math. But somehow when the economy is good, that's a sign they are doing it right and government growth should continue, but if the economy is suffering, it's a sign that it isn't time to rock the boat and government growth must continue.

Neither our population nor civilization itself are sustainable with "renewable energy". It's something we have to figure out (because obviously relying on non-renewable energy isn't sustainable either) but we need civilization to allow us the ability.

Our population isn't sustainable with organic food. First priority is feeding everyone adequately, only then should we worry about feeding everyone an organic diet.

The World Health Org. has been warning about pestilence of some sort for decades...You expect them to say 'world health is fine, you don't need us anymore...."? That would be like a Climate Scientist saying "The climate is fine, you don't need us anymore", the EPA saying "The environment is fine", a politician saying "the world is fine, you don't need more rules". For some reason we trust the honesty of organizations whose very existence depends on a crisis.

Modern civilization without corporations is not just unsustainable, it is completely impossible.

Mo Rage said...


You are a total lap dog for corporations.

You are a total give for the status quo, for maintaining things as they are, for never progressing.

I initially gave you far more credit than that.

I apologize. My mistake.

Sevesteen said...

It seems that when you can't come up with a good argument, you resort to name calling while ignoring most of the debate--I'm a racist reactionary corporate toady because....But Organic! Ban Corporations!

The bill of rights isn't perfect. Sometimes criminals go free, Fred Phelps is allowed to spew his vile homophobic remarks, and I'm allowed to use the internet to spread my seditious small-government message.

Corporations aren't perfect. Sometimes they abuse--but despite them being greedy, they allow a standard of living orders of magnitude higher than without them.

It appears that anyone who supports anything imperfect is a doody-head and needs to be called names.

You want to change human nature, apparently still trying to bring about the "new soviet man", rather than working for realistic improvements.

Mo Rage said...

Totally, utterly untrue.

Your repsonses here invariably support the status quo. You support the corporations, you support our current, extremely corrupt system of campaign contributions in our election system and government and the way the wealthy can buy our legislators and their legislation, our laws and government. It seems there's no progress for you--for the country--whatever.

You haven't once said there's something, anything you'd change for the betterment of the people and so, the nation. You're so reactionary and status quo, it's as though you're 90 years old and want to go back to "the good old days."

Come on, give me one thing you'd change in this nation for the people's benefit. To date, you've not put down one.

I've not said everyone should eat organic food, for one, here or anywhere else yet you seem to accuse me of that. I certainly dont eat it exclusively in any form.

As for your support of our current energy systems, the fact is, there are not only scientific breakthroughs on sustatinable energy, there are frequent breakthroughs, making the possibility of our civilization being more and more totally dependent on it far more possible and even likely but we have too many legislators, especially on the Right, specifically in the Republican Party but in both parties, certainly, bought and paid for by fossil fuels, coal and oil.

So again, please, come up with one thing, just one, that you'd change for the people, for the nation, for society, that you'd change to help them, for progress, for the evolution of our society. Surely you can come up with one.

And please don't make it "more guns."

Sevesteen said...

You see every problem as a reason for more rules, less freedom, more power for government. I want to try more freedom first--there are a lot of things that are better with freedom, and a lot of times freedom indirectly helps even people who don't want to do that particular thing.

What would I do to help society? End the drug war in particular, and end prohibitions on consensual crimes in general--prostitution, gambling, almost anything consenting adults do that doesn't hurt others should be allowed. It is absurd that we have so many people locked up for plants and consensual acts. It is absurd that we lost a decade of AIDS patients because the FDA wouldn't certify AZT as safe enough for dying gay men.

Expand this even more, there's no need to prosecute money laundering or for banks to have to report on their customers, fewer justifications for stop and frisk, less abuse of civil forfeiture, far less need for SWAT and militarized local police.

Replace most taxes with a tax on business collected when goods are sold at retail, coupled with a rebate to every adult based on the taxes paid at about a 15th percentile income. Simplify most regulations at least for small businesses so they have an easier time competing against big business. (make sure that all the big business regs don't kick in at the same time though...)

Drastically reduce the military, and their involvement in foreign adventures. Require a declaration of war, even if the president is a Democrat.

Don't allow corporate bailouts, special tax incentives (if you want to lower tax rates, lower them for all, not just for the business with the best lobbyists). If a business is allowed to make large profits, it should also be allowed to go bankrupt.

Drastically reduce the Department of Agriculture, and especially the parts that subsidize corporate agribusiness. Their mission should be exclusively for consumers and small farmers.

Eliminate eminent domain for economic development, where private property is stolen by the government and given or sold to connected businesses. Eliminate most eminent domain for blight, without a clear, measurable and evenly used definition of blight.

Eliminate the arrest powers of most federal agencies other than the FBI and US Marshals. (Or maybe just the Marshals, make the FBI cooperate with others to arrest people)
The notion of suppressed breakthroughs in energy is silly, like the 100mpg carburetor rumors from back in the day. If alternate energy work effectively, there's so much economic incentive to use them that the oil companies couldn't stop them. Rather lab experiments don't translate to the real world. Mass produced energy is effectively either solar or nuclear--fossil fuel is effectively fossilized solar, created millions of years ago. Hydro uses water lifted by the sun, bio is plants--again fueled by the sun. The sun simply doesn't have enough density to supply enough power for current civilization.

The gains in the short to medium term are going to be in efficiency rather than magical new energy sources. LED bulbs are now worth buying in medium brightnesses. Flat screen TV's use far less energy and generate less heat than tubes.

In automobiles, hybrids are getting better and better. I'm helping in a small way to build a mass produced 50mpg midsize car for example. Soon most new cars will have the ability to plug in, stretching that even further for the first 20 or so miles.

We don't need force to solve most of our problems. Most can be solved by voluntary cooperation, even among the greedy.

Mo Rage said...

Once more, you're mistaken about me.

I patently don't want "more rules, less freedom, more power for government." Not at all.

You're reading me as a stereotype. You read into things here that I'm not putting. I get that a lot from Right Wingers on the internet, especially from weapons supporters but from all kinds of deeply Republican or Libertarian types. They deny it but it's there, repeatedly. It's tiresome.

I don't want more laws, bigger government. At all. Let me say again.

What I do want, what we all want is a government that works, first, certainly, but one that works for the American people, overall, and for the nation and not just for the wealthy and/or corporations. As our current system is now set up, that's what's happening. It's working for the very wealthy and corporations.

There is no better example than the 2008 financial meltdown.

JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs and Countrywide Mortgage, etc., were all proven to have created and caused the financial meltdown for both the US and the world yet they suffered no penalties they didn't themselves approve first. At present, they're still trying their darnedest to weaken the Dodd-Frank legislation that would hold them more accountable in the future. And the thing is, with "campaign contributions" being what they are, they may well get it. Republicans, more than any other, but Democrats, too, have proven themselves all too willing and capable to give them what they want, what they'll pay for.

We need government to keep corporations and the very greedy in line and to protect the American people. Yes, even you. Without that government protection and oversight, they will eat us alive, figuratively. Well, it's figurative for now, unless they can find some way to make eating us alive profitable. Then, look out.

We agree, at least, on ending the drug war.

We certainly agree on shrinking the military and they're insanely huge, irresponsible, unnecessary, untracked and obscenely, immorally bloated, wasteful budget.

We agree on not allowing corporate bailouts if it's in banking but, as one example, bailing out Chrysler and GM was not only a good idea, it was absolutely necessary for the financial and economic health and well-being of the entire nation. We'd have lost millions of dollars as a country and most of an entire industry. That would have been insane and economic suicide.

We agree on reducing the USDA's ability to hand out money to corporate farms.

I'd say either eliminate or reduce the ability of governments to use eminent domain to take private land, yes. Again, we agree there. Shocking, huh?

Then you say "The notion of suppressed breakthroughs in energy is silly..."

I've never once claimed, here or elsewhere that any organization(s) has suppressed technological breakthroughs on energy so I've no idea why you bring that up except to point out that other people have done so, I suppose.

While I do agree that "We don't need force to solve most of our problems", I have to say we absolutely need the power of criminal punishment, especially to reign in the wealthy and powerful, be they individuals or corporations.

See? We agree on more than you think or thought, it seems.

Sevesteen said...

You say that in general you don't want more rules and less freedom...but so far in almost any specific situation your immediate reaction here has been "There ought to be a law". I'm basing it on what you write here.

Instead of defending a position with facts or even opinions, you go back to calling me a reactionary, a corporate toady, or a racist, and you won't back down from that, nor will you research and educate yourself. (did you ever figure out what a .38 Special is?)

I doubt we agree on ending the drug war--I'm not talking decriminalizing possession of 9/10 of an ounce of pot, I'm talking legal heroin or Oxycontin sold at retail the same as beer or cough medicine. I'm not talking about minor tweaks to tax rates, I'm talking a completely new system. I want parents to have choices in education, even if they aren't millionaires. Reactionary?

The people in charge of a famously dangerous mountain instituted a 'no rescue' policy for climbers...and the death rate went down. I want the same for business--no such thing as too big to fail, even if you are GM. Not for some sort of punishment, but so corporations don't count on bailouts. It also reinforces rule of law for investors--The GM bailout not following established bankruptcy law sets a precedent that bondholders in "too big" companies can't rely on being first in line creditors as the law they will either raise rates or decline to invest next time. Moving from rule of law to rule by decree is a very bad sign for the future, and is a nearly universal symptom of bigger problems to come.

And we would not have lost a whole industry. We would still have Ford, Honda would still build more cars in the US than in Japan (from raw steel and aluminum, not just imported parts--Honda's US content averages higher than "domestic" US companies) Toyota, Nissan, Kia, Hyundai, BMW, Mercedes, VW, Subaru all have manufacturing here. There's also Magna--no retail brands, but over 100,000 employees, manufactures parts for all 3 of the "American" car companies, and assembles complete vehicles for several European companies. They made frames for the trucks we built when I worked at GM. There's a good chance they would have bid for parts of GM, they bid on Chrysler when Daimler spun it off. Someone would have bought the good parts.

I've never once claimed, here or elsewhere that any organization(s) has suppressed technological breakthroughs on energy so I've no idea why you bring that up except to point out that other people have done so, I suppose.

I'm referring to this:

the fact is, there are not only scientific breakthroughs on sustatinable energy, there are frequent breakthroughs, making the possibility of our civilization being more and more totally dependent on it far more possible and even likely but we have too many legislators, especially on the Right, specifically in the Republican Party but in both parties, certainly, bought and paid for by fossil fuels, coal and oil.

We haven't had a real breakthrough in sustainable energy since nuclear power--or if we have it has been hidden at a level equal to the claimed 100mpg carburetor. We've had some tremendous improvements in sustainable methods, but nothing close enough to replace even a few percent of our current energy needs in the foreseeable future even with the government throwing money at crackpot schemes nobody with sense would invest in. Bio fuels are essentially solar, and there just isn't enough solar energy per square mile of available land. Windmills--not enough land in windy areas, and very likely to cause unforeseen weather changes.

The perfect is the enemy of the good.

Mo Rage said...

I will respond to you fully tomorrow.

You're still responding to me as a stereotype and putting words in my mouth.

Mo Rage said...

We've had so many breakthroughs in solar energy, it's not funny.

Mo Rage said...

In all our conversations, I've never yet, not once, said "There ought to be a law..."

Not once.

I so tire of conversations with people on the Right.

Mo Rage said...

Okay, let me rephrase that, then: We'd have lost at least 3 million jobs, minimum, if we'd have let GM go bankrupt. That would have been wildly, wildly irresponsible. We'd have lost at least one half of our automobile and manufacturing capability and likely more. Not totally lost the industry but nearly.

And my quote you referenced:

the fact is, there are not only scientific breakthroughs on sustatinable energy, there are frequent breakthroughs, making the possibility of our civilization being more and more totally dependent on it far more possible and even likely but we have too many legislators, especially on the Right, specifically in the Republican Party but in both parties, certainly, bought and paid for by fossil fuels, coal and oil.

That quote in no way suggests any person or company or industry is holding back any "green" technology to keep it from the public.

We've had several, several, at least, breakthroughs in solar energy. I've posted them here. Here's one:

Great solar energy news out of California:

New Solar Product Captures Up to 95 Percent of Light Energy

And finally, this:

Mo Rage: This will put solar energy in warp speed

Just wrapping our glass towers alone, in solar cells, to create their own energy, from Los Angeles to Phoenix, all across the Southwest, to the Midwest and Southeast will have a huge effect in the beginning of the transformation of America's dependence on coal and oil, both. Then, it when it gets to residences, putting solar energy collecting cells on our roofs, our shingles, as has already begun, thankfully, it will help transform us, regarding energy.

With all that, I had predicted this and it, too, is a large and significant breakthrough:

Solar car unveiled by Ford with sun-tracking system embedded

Sevesteen said...

The bailout certainly didn't save 3 million jobs...and the bailout wasn't free, it cost jobs as well, it's just that those jobs aren't concentrated in one industry.

It is certain that somebody would have bought much of GM (although probably not a single buyer), probably almost as much as currently exists.

Even in the impossible event that nobody bought the remaining parts, the rest of the industry would have expanded to fill any real void--and remember, there was tremendous overcapacity at the time (and still is, at least worldwide), so some shrinking was inevitable. Bailouts mean the least efficient companies get the greatest reward.

Why should GM get rewards that American Honda doesn't?

I hope there are quantum leaps in sustainable energy--but I'm skeptical of most claims (and not just energy) without independent verification. One of the links is suspicious to me because rather than seeking commercial funding, they are seeking federal funds, ala Solyndra. If it is worthwhile, commercial funding should be available and government funds not needed.

Mo Rage said...

Once more, yet again, you show yourself to be the lapdog of business, the lapdog of the "unfettered, free market." Unswerving faith that the markets and rich people and corporations will do the best thing for the nation.

You are so mistaken.

They only do what's best for them. They only do what's best for the company, for the bottom line, for profits, nation, country and even people be damned.

There were no buyers for GM. No one was--or could be--lined up to buy them. They were far too big for that.

It would have destroyed a MINIMUM of 3 million jobs. A minimum. And in sharp contrast to your mere opinion, it's fact. Between GM's employees and the other, associated suppliers' employees, an easy minimum of 3 million people would have been left unemployed, had the US government not wisely bailed them out. It's stunning you would even debate this fact. You're basing your responses on your deep seated, sincerely felt opinions and not on any facts at all.

From an industry rag:

GM, Chrysler bailouts saved 2.6 million jobs

And why should GM receive any benefits that aren't available to Honda America?

Holy cow.

It's difficult to believe you could or would even ask such a question.

How about, as an easy, obvious answer--at least to the rest of America--because GM is American-owned and the profits would stay here while Honda America's profits go, it is well known, back to Japan?

And that doesn't occur to you or concern you at all?

Sevesteen said...

Using an industry rag as a pro-bailout source is like using the NRA as a pro-gun source.

GM as a monolithic entity is probably too big to buy-but Opel, Vauxhall, Holden, Chevrolet, GMC trucks, Cadillac, etc could have been sold to separate buyers.

We apparently have a different idea of lapdog. I want failing corporations to fail, you think they should be protected by the government as long as they are big enough. And you aren't consistent--in one breath you claim to focus on the jobs...but next are more concerned with where a company is headquartered than where its workers live. Potential jobs lost would have been the same if Chrysler had needed a bailout when part of Daimler as after it was sold to Cerberus. Honda in the US is somewhere around 4 times bigger than Honda in Japan--but if the bosses are foreign, then apparently the American workers and suppliers don't deserve the same safety net.

Mo Rage said...

But the "industry rag" was reporting facts, not opinion.

And come on. Parcelling out the pieces of GM: Opel, Vauxhall, Holden, Chevrolet, GMC trucks, Cadillac, etc., would have, first, taken months, and second, in that time, all those people and all that machinery would have been idle. It would have destroyed the company, face it.

Yes, we definitely have a different definition of lapdog. You support corporations and the status quo of nearly everything, even when the corporations are so drastically taking advantage of Americans, in general, and America by wanting and demanding tax cuts, etc.

I want especially large banks that are failing to just fail, sure, so again, you probably won't like this but on that we agree. In the one case of GM getting in financial trouble those years ago, that was clearly, clearly a case where the country, through our government, stepped in, did the right thing and bailed them out for the good of the country. The Right Wing's desire to "let chips fall as they may" in ALL cases in America would be extremely destructive. I'm not for bailing out everyone in any way. GM and Chrysler needed saving, again, and for the good of the country.

Now, if you want to talk about ending tax cuts for offshoring manufacturing and offshoring profits and for taking away the insane, irresponsible and totally unwarranted non-profit tax status for the NFL, then we'd be getting somewhere.

Sevesteen said...

Several studies show that increased gun ownership reduces violent crime. They are at least as credible as your source (even better, as several have links to the outside sources of data used so you can do your own math) it must be true, right?

Both GM and Chrysler were headed for bankruptcy. If they had gone bankrupt under chapter 11, most of their factories would have stayed open and they would have continued making and selling cars. Bankruptcy would have allowed the companies to avoid interest and dividend payments for a time, and to renegotiate union contracts. Under bankruptcy laws, stockholders would have lost the value of their stocks, but bond owners–who have first claim to company assets and profits–would have been paid off, if not in whole than at least in part.

Instead of letting the companies declare bankruptcy, Obama decided to “bail them out” by taking them over. Once the administration had control of the companies, it had them file for bankruptcy, just as they would have done without the government takeover. Stockholders still lost everything, but so did Chrysler’s bond holders. Instead of renegotiating union contracts, the administration gave the unions greater say over the companies. In other words, the administration didn’t bail out the companies; it bailed out the unions at the expense of (in Chrysler’s case) the bondholders.

In doing so, the administration created uncertainty in the bond market. Bonds were supposed to be safer investments than stocks. But who would want to invest in long-term bonds if the government could step in at any time and void the legal rights of the bond owners? The result is that bond sellers must be willing to pay more interest to attract buyers.

...and I'm going to have to consider continued name-calling as evidence that you'd rather I don't post here anymore.

Mo Rage said...

I'll have to respond more fully, with statistics and sources later but that same data shows, both from across the US and the world, that more guns equals more shootings and killings.

And the Cato Institute? Seriously? You couldn't get more Right Wing, slanted and biased unless you reference Rush Limbaugh.

Mo Rage said...

I'll not say that word again, then.

Mo Rage said...

I apologize. I didn't mean to reduce you or this conversation to "a name" ,truly. I merely meant to say that your apparent support for the status quo, staunch as it is, disappoints and surprises me, that's all.

Mo Rage said...

In further response:

"More Guns = More Killings"

From Harvard University studies:

1. Where there are more guns there is more homicide (literature review).

Our review of the academic literature found that a broad array of evidence indicates that gun availability is a risk factor for homicide, both in the United States and across high-income countries. Case-control studies, ecological time-series and cross-sectional studies indicate that in homes, cities, states and regions in the US, where there are more guns, both men and women are at higher risk for homicide, particularly firearm homicide.

Hepburn, Lisa; Hemenway, David. Firearm availability and homicide: A review of the literature. Aggression and Violent Behavior: A Review Journal. 2004; 9:417-40.

2. Across high-income nations, more guns = more homicide.

We analyzed the relationship between homicide and gun availability using data from 26 developed countries from the early 1990s. We found that across developed countries, where guns are more available, there are more homicides. These results often hold even when the United States is excluded.

Hemenway, David; Miller, Matthew. Firearm availability and homicide rates across 26 high income countries. Journal of Trauma. 2000; 49:985-88.

3. Across states, more guns = more homicide

Using a validated proxy for firearm ownership, we analyzed the relationship between firearm availability and homicide across 50 states over a ten year period (1988-1997).

After controlling for poverty and urbanization, for every age group, people in states with many guns have elevated rates of homicide, particularly firearm homicide.

Miller, Matthew; Azrael, Deborah; Hemenway, David. Household firearm ownership levels and homicide rates across U.S. regions and states, 1988-1997. American Journal of Public Health. 2002: 92:1988-1993.

4. Across states, more guns = more homicide (2)

Using survey data on rates of household gun ownership, we examined the association between gun availability and homicide across states, 2001-2003. We found that states with higher levels of household gun ownership had higher rates of firearm homicide and overall homicide. This relationship held for both genders and all age groups, after accounting for rates of aggravated assault, robbery, unemployment, urbanization, alcohol consumption, and resource deprivation (e.g., poverty). There was no association between gun prevalence and non-firearm homicide.

Miller, Matthew; Azrael, Deborah; Hemenway, David. State-level homicide victimization rates in the U.S. in relation to survey measures of household firearm ownership, 2001-2003. Social Science and Medicine. 2007; 64:656-64.

Sevesteen said...

What is inaccurate about the Cato Institute's quote? I certainly don't expect you to believe them unquestioningly, but to dismiss them offhand without examination? They are 100% wrong, because Libertarian? The article is a mix of facts and conclusions, and I'm pretty sure they got the facts right even if you disagree with the conclusions--but if they didn't, please point out where.

The reason I debate with people who disagree is to test my own views, to be proven wrong, or to be exposed to contradictory facts. Sometimes my mind is changed, but that's hard to do because I try very hard to base my views on facts--and if I don't have enough facts, I don't have strong views and I'm not likely to comment.

Sometimes I have abilities or experience that lets me decide which side of an argument is more likely right, other times I look at their past claims and how often they have come true. And sometimes I do the math myself. I wasn't trying to switch this to a gun control argument--but that's actually a case where I've done a quickie statistical analysis of Brady Campaign scores of state gun laws vs FBI reported violent crime. Another point in favor of a particular source is if their data is easily available, reasonably complete, and properly controlled without being too convoluted or cherry-picked.

I'm not perfect, I know I have biases--but I believe in the Scientific method, I believe that theories have to be falsifiable to be worthwhile, and that there should be something besides "agrees with my preconceptions" when judging a source.

I also look things up before I use them--I wasn't sure about the various bankruptcies, but "close down until purchased" didn't sound right. I found the Cato article when searching for which type of bankruptcy GM was under.

Mo Rage said...

It's easy to disregard the Cato Institute since it was totally set up by the Koch Brothers, having been first the Charles Koch Foundation. They have a social and political bias first and trim all their facts to bend that way first. Their notorious. If I were to reference an institution created by, say, as one great example, George Soros, if he set up such an institution, with a clearly Left Wing and/or Liberal bent, wherein all their conclusions were invariably "Libertarian" or Right Wing, you'd disregard my post as well. Fortunately, George Soros didn't do any such thing and I didn't--post--either.

I don't mind exposing myself to opposing views, either, certainly, nor discussing them and I appreciate a conversation/discussion with anyone logical, first, and clear thinking and mature and adult and logical, too, naturally.

In your case, you don't seem to have any problem with the hugely imbalanced, financially and politically unhealthy state we're in. Additionally, you seem to think we should let the "free markets" be unfettered and solve our nation's problems and believe me, I'm not mocking you. That's where I disagree with you. I don't think we need bigger and bigger government but I do think we need some government restraint of business, the wealthy and greedy so we avoid things like the Gulf oil spill, the West, Texas blast that killed so many people and nearly wiped out that town and the 2008 near financial collapse, among other things.

Sevesteen said...

We have different ideas of exposing ourselves to opposing views. I actually expose myself to those views--I investigate and research claims on both sides rather than just sneering "ew, that's from Huffington, I'm not even going to examine that".

I don't expect you to blindly accept Cato as a source without your own verification--but I would hope you would at least say WHERE they are factually wrong if you can. Can you show any source to support your claim that GM would be required to immediately cease operations until a buyer was found? Do you know examples of Cato lying about facts, or of making factual statements engineered to mislead? That's considerably different than supporting a view you disagree with. There are some sources I disregard almost immediately, because past experience has shown they are not to be trusted.

Mo Rage said...

On GM:

GM bailout produced a windfall for U.S. taxpayers

And yes, I acknowledge that the source is Daily Kos but note that their source for the statistics and hard data is the Center for Automotive Research. It's data. It's statistics. It's factual.

As for buyers, you would have had who? Toyota, as a best example, buy GM? That's what would have had to happen, you know? You're suggesting or proposing that General Motors should have been bought and owned by a foreign car maker? And that would have been preferable? And trust me, my question here is based on economics and finance and the health and future health of America and American business, not on any xenophobia.

Sevesteen said...

All of those scenarios assume that GM would close for the duration of the bankruptcy--I could be wrong, but I consider that unlikely. Some parts almost certainly would...but there were viable parts making profit, (which was eaten up elsewhere) and those parts could have continued for quite a while with minimal or no additional investment. If they could have got out of the most abusive of the union work rules and were able to shut down plants as needed they could have come back without a bailout. My plant was one of the most efficient in GM year after year, as measured by outside auditors...but was refused a new product and shut down because the workers belonged to the wrong union and weren't allowed to change.

And unless you've worked IN a union auto plant, you cannot credibly say that the unions were not abusive. If you want I can give chapter and verse that I saw firsthand. I would object to the bailout less if the union didn't get the bondholder's share of the liquidated original company.

But never mind the law, there are far more union member voters than bondholder voters.