Re: [asa] A greener way to get electricity from natural gas

From: Schwarzwald <>
Date: Mon Dec 07 2009 - 15:13:48 EST

Heya Rich,

Again, replies below.

For example, the government makes something it thinks needs to be
> encouraged, charitable giving, both for individuals and corporations tax
> deductable. It's just Reagan's dictum. The more you tax something the less
> you get and the more you subsidize something the more you get. Governments
> do it all the time. All I am saying is to be deliberate rather than
> accidental about it. Furthermore, cap and trade, carbon taxes, and R&D tax
> credits are all equivalent here. The choice is purely a pragmatic one of
> which one works best. What I've seen from inside a high tech company is that
> the last category is not terribly effective. The middle category is
> untested. The first category is one and one with a huge success with respect
> to SO2 and disappointing results with Kyoto. It stands to take a close look
> at cap and trade and see why one succeeded and the other failed. My personal
> opinion is that it relates to the amount of "leakage" in the trading and
> making sure there are not too many "free" credits.

I never heard of "Reagan's Dictum", so I googled it. Oddly enough, first
result... from the Huffington Post no less.

"... it would violate Reagan's dictum that *government isn't the solution,
it's the problem.*"

So count me as a full-fledged supporter of Reagan's Dictum.

That aside, perhaps what you meant was the Reagan-era approach to taxation -
but even that was not "the more you tax something the less you get and the
more you subsidize something the more you get". That had to do with tax
revenues, and the idea being that if you increased taxes on wealthy
citizens/companies, it would eventually reach a point where they'd produce
less - which would in turn mean less taxation, less investment, etc. Again,
pretty reasonable given the "dictum", since it means getting government out
of the way.

Not every problem is a problem the government should solve. Indeed,
government has a nasty habit of creating problems of its own.

>> Incidentally - "hostile countries"? Interesting choice of words,
>> considering at times those are also the "developing countries" we're
>> supposed to be -helping- when it comes to environment-related questions. I
>> wonder if, when it comes to those agreements, we'll be giving money to
>> "hostile" or "developing" countries.
> Yes, that is a conundrum. The corruption that comes with being an oil-rich
> country oftentimes keeps the benefits thereof from reaching their people.
> What we learned from helping Nigeria, for example, should be applied in the
> context of providing adaptation aid to developing countries.

I don't think the corruption comes from being "an oil-rich country". There's
plenty of dirt-poor countries that are also corrupt. And hey, that was fast.
Developing countries? You mean hostile countries? If so, why are they
developing countries when we're providing money one way, but hostile
countries when we're providing money another way?

Mind you, I'm more than happy with pursuing alternative fuel sources. I am a
big fan of nuclear power - and it's only gotten better in the past few
years. Unfortunately, as I said in another thread, it was determined that
global warming was important, but not that important.

> Our CEO is taking the long view investing back in the company and as a
> result our stock got hammered by Wall Street. He realizes the long term
> benefit view that includes basic research that will pay off decades from now
> if at all. The only companies that did basic research were IBM and Bell Labs
> but Wall Street pressures have pretty much stopped that. The government can
> help here by counterbalancing the short-term thinking of Wall Street.

Again, I'm not surprised that the solution your CEO came up with is "the
government really should give us a lot of money", if that option was on the
table and the strings attached were non-existent or minimal. I'm sure that
would be the solution for Jack Links or Hasbro as well.

What's more, why should I think your stock got hammered purely because of
short-term thinking? There are long-term investment strategies as well,
depending on the sort of investment being pursued (venture capitalists
looking for a windfall versus long-term investment groups aimed at
reliability and stability). I don't know the specific details of your
company, but it's entirely possible your leadership simply made bad
decisions, even bad long-term investment decisions. Hell, maybe the
technology you were investing in wasn't all that promising.

Also, "It will pay off decades from now, if at all"? If you're talking about
research re: innovations that relate to global warming, I can see why your
stock got hammered. Green investors wouldn't be too thrilled.

> And I don't think the government should be in the business of always
>> making sure people "do the right thing" - though perhaps I should reconsider
>> that.
> See Nehemiah 5 for a Biblical example.

I'd give you biblical examples of governments doing wrong here, but really,
they should be obvious.

Once more, not every problem that exists is the government's to solve. In
fact, I think there really is a risk of idolatry or near-idolatry with such
an outlook - just as there's a risk for that with capitalism (Mammon, and

I have to ask: Does anyone believe in affecting change outside of the
government anymore? Or should we be thinking of ways for the government to
support Christianity too?

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Received on Mon Dec 7 15:14:23 2009

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