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The Carbon Flame War
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David Lutz
(davidlutz)

Locale: Bay Area
Externalities, Corporations & Money on 11/17/2010 18:17:37 MST Print View

I would say that a corporation is really more a way to pool capital and limit risk. I would use the word risk instead of liability, but that's probably what you meant.

The advent of the Corporation (the pooling of resources and spreading the risk) is the single greatest thing that humans have ever come up with, in my opinion.

If corporations should be prevented from donating to political causes, shouldn't any entity other than the individual also be prevented from doing so? Why would it be fair for unions to donate money? And how about all these 501cb3's or whatever they're called?

Externalities remind me of the "Types of Money", I think attributed to Milton Friedman. To paraphrase from memory:

There's my money I spend on myself or someone else. The value (quality vs quantity) is determined by me.

There's other people's money I spend on myself. Tends to lead me to want quantity AND quality.

Then there is other people's money I spend on someone else. Nobody cares about the value. This is the money that politician's spend.

I'm gonna look that up to see if I'm close, I think it's in "Free to Choose".

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Re: calm down on 11/17/2010 18:39:04 MST Print View

Lynn,

I'm guilty as charged. I guess it's in my blood. I served in the military. My father fought in WWII.

My sister was able to trace our tree: On back we have a Confederate soldier and further back a son and father both fighting in Revolutionary War. Farmers and employees.

A tree of hard workers who DO NOT LIKE paying taxes and occasionally revolt against our government if necessary. So the guns are just in case.

Yes, we're crazy, but we're kinda used to it. You're right, not everyone would like it here, but many do and have for a long time.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Externalities, Corporations & Money on 11/17/2010 18:50:41 MST Print View

David,

>> I would use the word risk instead of liability, but that's probably what you meant.

No I meant what I said, liability. Your personal assets are pretty much protected from the corporation's financial woes. Like when GM went under it's shareholders lost the value of the shares they owned but did not have to chip in with all their personal assets.

I agree with the pooling of risk concept. That can be done with partnerships also but in that case liability is not separate and therefore your personal assets are at risk.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Externalities, Corporations & Money@David on 11/17/2010 18:57:03 MST Print View

"If corporations should be prevented from donating to political causes, shouldn't any entity other than the individual also be prevented from doing so? Why would it be fair for unions to donate money? And how about all these 501cb3's or whatever they're called?"

David,

Quite right, IMO. I got so Nick-centric there that I neglected to follow through with the idea. Confine it to individual contributions, IMO, supplemented by Federal funding. Otherwise we end up with a dollarocracy.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: calm down on 11/17/2010 19:03:35 MST Print View

"A tree of hard workers who DO NOT LIKE paying taxes..."

Do they like receiving benefits?

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: Externalities, Corporations & Money@David on 11/17/2010 19:08:31 MST Print View

All the money for political races is overrated.

Meg Whitman could not buy the position of govenator of CA

There are more examples to prove that the most money does not always win.

Mostly goes to media industry to run negative ads. Most people don't base their decision on them unless a candidate is a real wacko and the ads point that out.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: calm down on 11/17/2010 19:14:59 MST Print View

We love benefits and we pay taxes, but do not LIKE to.

GI Bill for me, social security and medicare for the family elders. I'm not saying I don't WANT to pay taxes. I was referring to the poster that LIKED TO PAY TAXES.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Externalities, Corporations & Money@George on 11/17/2010 19:26:46 MST Print View

"All the money for political races is overrated."

Then if we took it out of the races there wouldn't be any difference; the best candidate would still win, paranoiacs like me would rest easier; the corporations could return a lot more to their deserving shareholders and CEO's; the unions could charge their members lower dues; and 501-C organizers could go out and do honest work. Sounds like an all around win-win situation to me, but somehow I don't think the beady eyed scoundrels that are flooding campaigns with money quite see it that way, and I'll give them this much: they know how to employ money. What do they know that you don't know?

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: calm down on 11/17/2010 19:29:56 MST Print View

"I was referring to the poster that LIKED TO PAY TAXES."

Ahhh. Then there's not all THAT much difference between you and Lynn. You've both made the necessary connection betwen taxes and benefits, thereby demonstrating that you don't believe in Schmoos. ;)

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re:Taxes on 11/17/2010 19:50:06 MST Print View

Taxes are necessary to provide a safe, healthy and educated society. Without taxes, you have no society, just a collection of individuals living in the same geographic location. The level of taxation, and what the taxes are used for, really defines a society more than anything else IMHO. I am one of the many billions of people world wide that feel that the UN declaration of human rights requires taxation to achieve, and that the goals of the declaration are worthy of supporting. America is unique in the OECD in in that it seems a majority of people do not feel that basic human rights, as defined by the UN, are worth paying taxes for. This is the biggest stumbling block for me to return to the USA. I have nothing against nationalism, and the US is not unique in that current and past citizens have fought and paid with their lives to support their society. We either provide a basic level of support to all our citizens, or end up with a rebellious, criminal, sick and homeless caste of citizens who may have ended up where they are due to nothing more than bad luck. It is very easy for those that are financially secure, with comprehensive health care and a good education to feel smug and look down on less fortunate, or less gifted, or ethnically/sexually/culturally different folks, or folks who were born into poverty, ignorance and violence. That is not a world I wish to live in, and so I don't. Instead I pay taxes and have a very good lifestyle from the money left over, and everyone else has at least a roof over their heads, enough food to eat, education if they choose, and access to basic health care. This is humane. Some folks will always abuse any system of benefits, and this annoys us all, but you just have to do your best to motivate them to improve themselves, or at least discourage them from milking the system. I'm just not sure what those of you who oppose such a system would like to see happen to those that can't always provide everything essential for themselves and family. Die in the street from sickness, starvation or exposure? Crime?? Charity? What becomes of crippled or mentally handicapped people? Unemployed when there are just not enough jobs to go around? Accidents can happen to anyone by no fault of their own. Then what?

As I've said before, we are not a wealthy family by any measure in developed countries. We don't have a computer at home, no iThingies, have one old car to get to the trail head and bike or walk most other places, almost never eat out or go on overseas holidays, grow as much of our own food as possible, and need to be frugal with our money. We don't even have a dish washer, air con, central heating, flat screen TV, yada yada-yada. Yet we have plenty. We are mortgage free, with savings in th bank. We have a lot more than many, and yet there are so many people who have all the newest gadgets, big mortgages, new cars and vacations, that complain about their taxes going to help those who have almost nothing, and that they don't earn 'enough'. This embarrasses me on their behalves to see how greedy and self-centred some can be. Sorry if I've just offended some...

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re:Taxes on 11/17/2010 19:55:24 MST Print View

Sorry, I was misleading to say I LIKE to pay taxes. I should say I don't mind paying taxes if it supports a healthy and equitable society, so long as I have enough left over to be comfortable. I certainly do mind paying taxes if it goes to things like corruption and military offense, to name a couple. I also benefit from things like education and health care that are funded through my taxes.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: calm down on 11/17/2010 21:02:32 MST Print View

Seriously, it is a good place, not perfect, but many people living here believe it not to be so bad.

George, I am not trying to state that the U.S. is bad for everyone. My feelings about the States are purely my own, born out of my experiences, and formed through my own filter. There are places in the States that I will forever miss and that I love, such as Oregon, where I lived for 10 years, and Boston, where most of my closest friends live (though I don't like the city much).

My brother, who lives in Boston, once felt the same antipathy towards the States as I do. He's done a complete about face and loves the country now. He's very happy there. Then again, he's never had to deal with immigration and having difficulty finding work because of being a non-citizen, etc. He's made his peace with the States and likes the environment it provides him. I'm a different beast. America is just not my natural habitat.

Craig Savage
(tremelo) - F

Locale: San Jacinto Mountains
corporations - campaign and congressional lobby finance reform on 11/17/2010 22:07:27 MST Print View

"All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise not from defects in the Constitution or Confederation, not from a want of honor or virtue so much as from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation.”

–John Adams, at the Constitutional Convention (1787)

"The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, and more selfish than bureaucracy. It denounces as public enemies, all who question its methods or throw light upon its crimes. I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me and the Bankers in the rear. Of the two, the one at my rear is my greatest foe.. corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money powers of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in the hands of a few, and the Republic is destroyed."

-Abraham Lincoln

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Government on 11/18/2010 01:02:47 MST Print View

Exactly what type of government do you advocate? Just curious.
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What we originally had in the US; a Republic. A representative government, which protects the rights of the individual through a constitution and Bill of Rights.

A democracy is simply majority rules. No protection by a constitution or Bill of Rights. That is why the US founders did not institute a democracy.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: no light either. on 11/18/2010 01:10:01 MST Print View

Are you implying that when a corporation exercises its 1st Amendment right to free speech by contributing to a candidate the choice reflects the opinions of all the people in the corporation? The people whose productive efforts provide the cash to contribute?
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A corporation is owned by the stockholders, not the people who work for it. Of course the workers can be part-owners if they wish to purchase stock.

If a worker does not like what management does with its profits, then they are free to find another job.

If the Board of Directors does not like what Management is doing with the profits, they can fire management.

If the owners (stockholders) do not like how the Board of Directors is managing the Managers, they can vote them out or they can sell their stock.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Government on 11/18/2010 02:23:17 MST Print View

If you can't find a lot of government funded research that has really paid off, go look at the national laboratories (Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, Fermi, etc.). Right now the big push is energy-related, and that seems prudent.
------------------------------------------------------------
Los Alamos... oh yes, that started with Oppenheimer and Teller?

So how would we measure the innovations of the 700 or so National Laboratories? Maybe by the number of patents they receive? Or is there some other method?

I would throw out the patent idea, no way do any of them come close to private companies. Or does that tell us something?

Regarding "government-funded" research, they take my money and spend it on something, and maybe I would rather spend it on something else. How do I benefit? Do I even need what they are spending my money on? How does a particle accelerator or a Hubble Telescope benefit me? I would rather spend MY money on a tent, stocks and bonds, or even a nice dinner. I did earn the money, remember? I would rather invest it in companies like IBM or Lucent Technologies and choose if and who I want to do my R&D. Besides, government is inheritenlty inefficient and wasteful, private industry cannot afford either. Government decisions are base on political influences, not efficient allocation of resources.

In regards to energy...

We need to eliminate the Department of Energy. It is just a huge bureaucracy, nothing more. That includes the 4 Federal Power Marketing Administrations.

We need to end government funded energy R&D. They spend billions of dollars a year, and what have we gotten from it? Tinted windows? If R&D is needed, let private companies that stand to profit from it invest their own money... not yours and mine.

National Laboratories: lets sell them. They are worth billions, and we could apply that to the national debt. Private labs are more productive and efficient.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Lights coming on on 11/18/2010 04:58:39 MST Print View

Yesterday's Congressional hearing on 'Rational appraisal of climate change and policy response'. 3.5 hours of it!
http://www.c-spanvideo.org/videoLibrary/event.php?id=188081

Dr Judith Curry's written testimony - a 'MUST READ!!' in my opinion. Well balanced and demonstrating a deep understanding of the issues.
http://judithcurry.com/2010/11/17/uncertainty-gets-a-seat-at-the-big-table-part-iv/

The argument over the evidence for the next big scare story to be foisted on the public is hotting up:
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/scientists-crying-wolf-over-coral/story-e6frg6xf-1225811910634

http://ourmaninsichuan.wordpress.com/2010/11/16/the-cancun-shuffle-carbon-emissions-and-ocean-acidification/

Edited by tallbloke on 11/18/2010 05:33:40 MST.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: Re: calm down on 11/18/2010 07:08:44 MST Print View

Miguel

You sure seem to be getting excited or flustered. Accussing me of making assumptions, going back to delete posts, and declaring "I thought maybe I could open up and explain a little to you, Michael, but as I feared it just gives you the opportunity to tell me how great you are and how much more you know than I do. I think not. Please enjoy your worldview. I'm done here."


The only assumption I made was that you were free to move. And since you have openly admitted to looking at CA and NZ as places to live, that isn't much of an assumption, now is it?


Interesting and unfortunate situation with your citizenship in your early life.

I don't see why you want to claim you are an American anyway. You don't live here, you aren't a citizen, and you have already stated "I don't want to move back to the States. I disagree with too much of what it stands for and does." If you want to believe you are an American, nobody is stopping you though.

And again, you have accussed me of being someone "who has it all figured out and couldn't be bothered to try to understand someone else's point of view." I wouldn't have ever bothered replying past the first post if that were the case. I just find it usettling that one person has apparently had so much bad luck in his life, remains in as bad a work environement as discribed, and would rather post on an internet MB lamenting that fact then to change his present circumstances.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: calm down on 11/18/2010 08:18:19 MST Print View

Whatever, Michael.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Government on 11/18/2010 13:17:02 MST Print View

" Besides, government is inheritenlty inefficient and wasteful, private industry cannot afford either. Government decisions are base on political influences, not efficient allocation of resources."

Again, I presume you are narrowing your focus to your impressions of US research. Not all countries have such inefficiencies in how they commit to research, and some of the models I mentioned earlier are very efficient, competetive, and required to make a profit. They are run as businesses, just like any other R&D business.

For instance: New Zealand’s government research workforce is highly skilled and their experience allows for cost-effective research. According to Investment New Zealand, biotechnology research and development costs are 50% less than in the US or Europe.

Working with overseas networks, New Zealand’s biotechnology industry is highly adaptable. You’ll find New Zealand’s flexible workforce easily adjusts to global advancements.