Third Party & Independents Archives

Greening America - Not an Easy Path

Gas prices have been Greening America by motivating consumers to cut back on driving. It’s not what they had in mind when asking their government to lead the way to a Greener future. But, then, consumers voted for Democrats and Republicans mostly in 2006, and this is what they get in return.

As early as February polls and other measures showed Americans were cutting back on gas consumption. One of the latest polls demonstrates that Americans are cutting back heavily on driving to visit family and friends. Which makes sense, since one cannot very well cut back on weekly trips to the food market or to and from employment. Of course weekend jaunts to the lake or countryside are also waning.

But this is not what voters had in mind when calling for Greening America's future to combat global warming, asthma and other respiratory diseases caused by air pollutants, or cleaning up our water supplies from the vehicular deposits left on roads to be washed into lakes and streams with the next scouring rain. No, voters were expecting alternative energies that would cost less than gas now costs, and provide much lower maintenance and repair costs, like electric cars, hydrogen fueled cars, solar panel roofing, wind and wave conversion plants, and fusion power.

All these and more are coming, eventually, but, one has to ask, "Where is the Man on the Moon investment that America made in the 1960's? Republicans have left the pace of that development up to the energy companies themselves and what entrepreneurial garage start ups that can afford to fund their own activities, plus a few University's engineering departments funded by energy companies. With many energy companies making record profits on supply and demand inequalities, where is the incentive for them to develop lower cost free energy (after equipment investment) alternatives like solar?

Democrats like Hillary Clinton want to rob Peter (the nation's infrastructure revenues) to pay Paul, the gasoline tax payer, with a gas tax holiday. It solves nothing for America's future. Democrats seem to be waiting, waiting, waiting for the Texan Oilman to leave the White House, to even begin to get serious about long term energy solutions and halting the profiteering traders and speculators from gouging American drivers. Their last energy bill follows a familiar path, tax corporations making making them less competitive and (not necessarily less profitable) and give the revenues to other corporations to innovate new energy options. The whole world operates on the concept of return on investment. Why won't the voter's agents in Wash. D.C. insist on a return on investment for tax payer dollars?

The Ontario Green Party reports: Amory Lovins, the world’s leading expert on energy efficiency, testified to the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming to the US Congress. His presentation was entitled: Why expanding nuclear power would reduce and retard climate protection and energy security . . . but can’t survive free-market capitalism. In that testimony (PDF here), the elegant and true argument is made that the private sector cannot and will not foot the investments in nuclear power because the risk of ever making a profit without taxpayer subsidies is just overwhelming.

This begs the question, why are Democrats and Republicans alike moving toward nuclear power when all the evidence demonstrates that it is an extremely bad financial and economic proposition from the gitgo? Let's assume for a moment that billions in taxpayer subsidies could bring the private sector to erect new nuclear power sites. The subsidized private companies rake in the profits from the consumers, while the consumer taxpayers pay some of the capital investment costs, all of the nuclear waste handling and disposal costs, and the monumental costs of decomissioning the site after its 40 year life span.

In the end, the voters and consumers of the Nuclear powered electricity end up paying enormously more for electricity than other less toxic and polluting alternatives which can and should be developed in the same time span it would take to bring a dozen new nuclear power plants online. The Green Party asks voters to demand with their vote candidates who will insure that the voting taxpayers actually get something of value in return for their tax dollars.

In researching for this article on Google, I typed in "R&D return on investment of tax payer dollars". I was surprised to see a WatchBlog article come up as the very first listing of over 1 million. The article written in July of last year is entitled, TaxPayers Need Return on Investment. In it D.R. Remer writes:

ROI, or, return on investment, is a cornerstone of economics. It says that if an investor provides money to a new venture, or business proposition, start-up company, etc, that they are entitled to a share of the profits if that venture or business is successful. Taxpayers have been investing in new technologies and saving corporations with bailout money for decades. But, they have not seen their taxes lowered by returns on those investments paid back to the government. This great fleecing of the taxpayer must end.

There is an idea here I intend to work to get the Green Party to acknowledge and accept. That idea is to tie taxpayer investment dollars in Research & Development directly to contractual obligations to repay the taxpayer with interest or royalties for successful profit producing innovations by the private sector's recipients or beneficiaries.

It is an idea that should have been obvious decades ago. It is an idea I believe the Green Parties in the world would find very much in keeping with their political platforms and goals. So, again, I urge readers to contact their representatives and ask why the government cannot demand repayment for tax payer subsidies to private enterprise whether it be for nuclear power or a cure for cancer. And contact the challengers to your incumbents up for reelection this year and ask them if they will commit to such a proposition to get your vote.

This one act, if adopted in Congress, could save tax payers 100's of billions of dollars over the next few decades of reforming our energy policies and creating alternatives. In the short term, the Congress needs to forget their corporate benefactors for their reelection and put their efforts toward uncovering and halting the price gougers and insider trading on the speculative oil and gas markets; and hold them responsible for these actions causing so much additional suffering and anxiety for millions of American due to rapidly inflating energy costs.

One more short term measure could be taken. Release the Petroleum Reserves designed for price damaging crises just such as this one affecting Americans this Summer. If it is up to Bush to do this, then voters need to inform Bush that McCain will not get their vote if he doesn't. If Congress can force this play through legislation (doubtful), then the same election day pressure should be applied to your and my congress persons. It's our problem, we need to be part of the solution.

Posted by Jeff Wyans at June 2, 2008 3:26 PM
Comments
Comment #254224

I’m all for the return on your investment. I think the stumbling block is the government investing in corporations that have autonomy over their entire existance. Government must pay particular attention to the granting of charters and make them perform specific functions. Those corporations must be overseen by the government and controlled by the charter.

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That task is the only one consistent with the principle of self-rule on which this country was founded and the only one appropriate for a sovereign people in a democratic society: We must define the corporation, instructing it in what it can and cannot do for the common good. The bars to our cage lie in our own minds that have become colonized by the sheer dominance of huge corporations over our lives and our communities. These corporations increasingly determine not only who will do what kind of work and what we eat and wear but what we think as well. One result of the corporate domination of our culture is the TINA phenomenon: There Is No Alternative.


“What if…,” asks Jane Anne Morris of Democracy Unlimited in Wisconsin, who may be the only corporate anthropologist at large in North America:

**corporations were required to have a clear purpose, to be fulfilled but not exceeded.

**corporations’ licenses to do business were revocable by the state legislature if they exceeded or did not fulfill their chartered purpose(s).

**the act of incorporation did not relieve corporate management or stockholders/owners of responsibility or liability for corporate acts.

**as a matter of course, corporation officers, directors, or agents could be held criminally liable for violating the law.

**corporation charters were granted for a specific period of time, like 20 or 30 years (instead of being granted “in perpetuity” as is now the practice.)

**corporations were prohibited from owning stock in other corporations in order to prevent them from extending their power inappropriately.

**corporations’ real estate holdings were limited to what was necessary to carry out their specific purpose(s).

**corporations were prohibited from making any political contributions, direct or indirect.” (Rachel’s Environment and Health Weekly, #488, April 4, 1996)

http://dieoff.org/page62.htm

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Posted by: Weary Willie at June 2, 2008 9:16 PM
Comment #254231

Jeff,

While I completely disagree that Nuclear energy is costlier than say solar cells, or any other so called green energy sources, I do agree that the rising price of gas and oil seems to actually be making us acutely more aware of green (which includes nuclear,IMHO) energy and living. Jack was sorta right about something for once:)

Posted by: googlumpus at June 3, 2008 12:52 AM
Comment #254241

Weary Willie, I thank you for making me aware of some ideas I’d not heard before and worth pondering at length.

The question raised of whether “free enterprise” was ever meant to receive the protections of law beyond the owner, managers, and workers organic to that enterprise is a philosophical question I have never seen raised before. The fact that our laws did extend protection way beyond the organic personnel intrinsic to the enterprises actual work, in no way necessarily means that it was a good idea in the first place. I will be looking deeper into that topic.

On this idea: “corporation officers, directors, or agents could be held criminally liable for violating the law.” there is an intrinsic legal problem evidenced by McClellan’s book about WH staff. Who knew what when the violations occurred and did they have any power to stop the violation even if they knew?

In our legal system, in some circumstances, ignorance is a defense against culpability. In other instances, ignorance is not a defense. Did Pres. Bush know that analysts within the CIA adamantly protested against the notion that Saddam Hussein had nuclear weapon capability or intentions? Just who in the WH did have that knowledge? This highlights one of the difficulties in hold corporate directors, and executive personnel responsible legally?

One is presumed innocent until proven guilty (a good thing), and the options for corporate directors to insulate themselves from culpable awareness both before and after the fact, are many. Nevertheless, I believe this concept of Jane Anne Morris has real merit. All the Tobacco directors, CEO’s, and management aware of the cover-up of researched information should have been held legally liable.

But for me, the vastly bigger crime is that governments from local to federal collecting taxes on tobacco products are not using those revenues to offer smokers free access to effective smoking cessation clinics and treatment centers. That is the most enormous crime I have ever witnessed by my government. The simple fact is, our government has absolutely NO desire to see smokers quit. That would dry up the revenues. That is a moral and ethical wrong of monumental proportions.

I really had to ponder this one: “the act of incorporation did not relieve corporate management or stockholders/owners of responsibility or liability for corporate acts.”

I do not believe shareholders should incur legal responsibility other than losses of return on investment for ethical, moral, or legal wrongs perpetrated by the management of the corporation. That idea attacks the very concept of capital formation by the investing public, which is extremely necessary to various kinds of productive activities and needs fulfillment in the marketplace.

That said, I see a very positive outcome and justice resulting from holding corporations responsible for repayment to the consuming public for wrongs committed against consumers. If the shareholder is going to receive the benefits of a profitable corporation, they should also incur the liabilities of criminal acts perpetrated by the corporation, directly, meaning from their personal income accounts, not losses in future profits of the corporation which are simply passed on to the consumer, thus negatively affecting the consumer twice.

Very, very provocative and interesting ideas here, worth discussion and investigation and consideration. Thanks, Weary Willie, very much.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 3, 2008 6:02 AM
Comment #254256

Taxes are not an investment. They are the price of government. Like paying dues to belong to a club. As such, the only expectation that we, the taxpayers, can have is that our dues be used for the good of the club, country, and hold the board of directors,elected officials, responsi8ble for that use. If we don’t like the way the organization is being run, elect a new board.

Unfortunately, the members of this club called the United States of America are just like the members of practically every club I have ever been part of. That is, lazy, apathetic, and mostly ignorant of what’s going on. That means that, come election time, we keep reelecting the same old group to power. And, before anyone starts screaming about the 2006 election with all those new faces on the board, ask yourself if there has really been any change. From my viewpoint, there hasn’t. Still business as usual. And, I don’t see much difference after the 2008 election. Big money, power seeking, go along board members looking out for themselves and no one else. I don’t care if Clinton, Obama, or McCain is elected President, and half of the Congress changes, it won’t change anything if we, the members, don’t hold each and every one of them responsible to us, the folks who pay their salaries.

Posted by: Old Grouch at June 3, 2008 9:08 AM
Comment #254258

Old Grouch said: “Taxes are not an investment.”

What an ignorant and preposterous comment. Tax dollars in military technology is NOT and investment in present and future defense? Ludicrous on its face.

The national petroleum reserve is not an investment against supply shortages and high price fluctuations in the oil markets? Preposterous.

Education is not an investment in the future preservation of our nation’s productive and managerial capacities? Absurd.

Might want to rethink that entire comment in this light.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 3, 2008 9:15 AM
Comment #254282

Old Grouch is largely correct. His comment was not ignorant, preposterous or absurd. The commonly understood meaning of “investment” associates it with capital, as opposed to expense. Taxes are largely, but not entirely, used to meet expenses.
If I opened a restaurant, I might put up capital to buy a large freezer. This would be an investment. I would also pay my monthly electric bill to keep the freezer running. This would be an expense payment. Both the capital that I put up and the expenses I pay each month have the effect of “investing” in safely preserved food, but we would generally refer to only the capital as an ivestment.
I think Old Grouch referred to tax payments with this kind of concept in mind. It is surely true that most of our tax dollars are used to meet ongoing, regular expenses like salaries, benefits, utilities, interest on debt, etc. These are not normally thought of as investments, even though they may support or enhance an investment.
To the main point, I am not comfortable with the federal government being a mega capital investment source. If it wants to be one, and we want it to be one, then I would like the use of my taxes to be more clearly delineated: this much for expenses, this much for capital investment (think about communities proposing bond issues before investing in building a new school). I would also like the returns on capital investment to be more clearly assigned to the capital that generated the return. Otherwise, we end up with a government making all sorts of investments with no idea whether they generate a return. More importantly, though, I just don’t trust government officials, elected or appointed, to be good enough at this risky enterpirse to warrant having them do it.
As David pointed out, some tax dollars are used for investment purposes: military technology is just such a use. But, investment in military technology is investment in the clear and obvious functioning of government. Just as is investing in a new court builing or a school building. Investing in windmill companies or solar panel companies or ethanol companies is quite different. The production of energy is not a clear and obvious function of government.
Finally, a thought or two about Weary Willie’s list of possible adjustments to our way of treating corporations. I have no problem at all with the idea of limiting political contributions to real, live indidual human beings. This means no contributions from Mobil, from the American Federation of Teachers, from the Sierra Club, or from PACs set up by politicians or political parties. Here, here! Let’s do it today. I also have little problem with extending criminal law a bit further into the corporate world. It is reasonable to assume, for legal purposes, that no corporation approves illegal activity. Therefore, when a corporate employee engages in criminal activity on behalf of the corporation, he is really acting outside of the protection of being an agent of the corporation. He is an independant actor, and should be prosecuted as such. He can be sent to jail or made to pay restitution to those he damaged. I have a harder time seeing how shareholders can be held to that standard. The shareholders are actually victims of the bad actions of the employees of the corporation. The shareholders have nearly no legal right to change anything the corporation does. Many of us who are shareholders through pensions and 401K plans and mutual funds don’t even know what companies we own shares in.
Some of the other ideas, like more clearly defining the scope of a corporations legal activities or revoking a corporation’s charter if it failed, in the eyes of a state legislature, to meet its narrowly defined purpose seem silly on the face of them. How narrowly would we define a corporation’s purpose? Would we say, for example, that if a corporate anthropologist set up an LLC so that she could publish articles and books and conduct research on corporate anthropology, that she would have to petition her state’s legislature in order to write about archeology? Or if Ford Motor Company is approved by Michigan’s legislature to build cars, they cannot apply their know-how to trucks? Or boats? Or planes? I really don’t think any of us would like such a world. I know I wouldn’t.

Posted by: Steve at June 3, 2008 12:50 PM
Comment #254287

Steve said: “The production of energy is not a clear and obvious function of government.”

It damn well better become a function of government. We sit on 3% of the world’s oil and gas reserves and consume 25% of the worlds production of oil and gas.

The energy companies absolutely LOVE demand outstripping supply which of course, elevates their profits. So we cannot look to the private sector alone to resolve the difference between 3% quantity and 25% consumption. The only other entity in American society capable of addressing that difference is the federal government.

There is no logical way out of this conclusion, Steve.

As for investments being tied to capital, that is a traditional and now false accounting definition for tax purposes and depreciation of assets etc.

Investors invest in service companies by thousands of times the capital requirements of those service companies. The money lent to them is an investment nonetheless and is used for everything from insurance expenses to marketing and advertising expenses. That money used for those expenses is nonetheless an investment for ROI by the shareholders.

Therefore, when the U.S. government invests tax dollars in a firm working on a patentable cure for cancer let’s say, and that company produces a patentable product to fight cancer, there is no reason why the taxpayers (federal government) could not have stipulated in its contract to grant that company tax dollar subsidies, that the government would be entitled to 1/4 of 1%, for example, of all net profits yielded by the owners or lessees of that patent for the life of the patent.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 3, 2008 1:07 PM
Comment #254300

Whatever happened to public utilities? I agree that when the government invests or lends money, the public should benefit from it. My electric bill last month was $25.90, from Exelon/ComEd because of nuclear power. New nuclear facilities should only be built at the site of already existing plants that are closed.

DRRemer, After spinning off PMI and selling most of Miller to SAB, Altria claims it will be paying even bigger dividends from Philip Morris USA, a cigar company, the shares they have retained of Miller, and other investments.

Posted by: ohrealy at June 3, 2008 2:21 PM
Comment #254308

ohrealy, $25.90, do you live in a closet with a bare light bulb and laptop?

Any idea what insurance premiums would be for construction crews building on spent nuclear site? Just curious.

Haven’t a clue what you are talking about, PMI, Miller, SAB, Altria? Care to explain who these players are, their roles, and how they are connected? I am unaware of what you are referring to.

I do know American tobacco companies have turned to marketing their products in foreign countries with exactly the same techniques to addict Americans on their products. And they are targeting the youth markets overseas. There will be a reckoning, but its hard to say who will pay for it. Most likely American taxpaying non-smokers in the end.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 3, 2008 3:10 PM
Comment #254309

David,

The US has been, for decades, using more oil than any other country and more than we are able to produce by ourselves. I believe the same is true for natural gas, but I am not sure. And, for decades we have talked about energy independence. Look where all the talk has gotten us…nowhere. Moreover, while energy independence sounds good, it is not a precondition to a good or safe or prosperous life for citizens of our country or any other country. If it were, countries like France and Germany would have folded up shop a long time ago and countries like Venezuela and Iraq would be paradise. What we need more than energy independence is foreign relations policies that ensure that our country (and other countries) can get energy steadily and at a price we can afford. The more energy sources we can create at home, the better, to be sure. The problem is that there is no way that we can ever entirely replace our international sources for energy. This is all the more true when you consider that we refuse to use some of the sources that are at our own disposal. We have largely given up on nuclear energy and we have placed so many restrictions on drilling and mining that we cannot even tap into all of our own oil, gas, and coal.
My beef with your answer to this problem is that you seem to want government to solve it. I just don’t see how that is possible. Government can help by improving political relationships with other energy-producing countries. Government can help by ensuring that private investment in both current and alternative energy is encouraged. Government can help by engaging itself and all of us in an honest and non-partisan debate about balancing environmental concerns and energy concerns.
What government cannot do is become the investment bank for every energy scheme that comes along. You may want Obama as your president, but do you want him or any of the rest of our politicians as your financial advisors? Do you really want congress investing our hard-earned money in one failed business after another (think ethanol here)? Congress and the President are both ill-suited to this task. They don’t have the expertise. They are far too risk averse. They are too easily corrupted. Most importantly, they are too slow. Innovation does not work at the snail’s pace of government.

Posted by: Steve at June 3, 2008 3:11 PM
Comment #254326

ohrealy, $25.90, do you live in a closet with a bare light bulb and laptop?

No, we have nuclear power here. That was for a 2 bedroom apartment with 3 tvs, 2 computers, with heating and cooking by natural gas, which was free with the apartment, as well as cable and WiFi. All wiring was underground. Someone once told me we were in some kind of “special” corridor between O’hare and the location of the former Glenview Naval Air Station. I thought he was nuts at the time, but maybe not.

Last weekend, I moved to a different location to decrease my travelling time, but I have increased my total expenses by almost $1000 a month, in an older building in an historic district.

PMI is Philip Morris International, Miller is a beer company in Milwaukee they used to own, now mostly owned by SAB, which is South African Breweries. Altria is the new holding company for Philip Morris USA and some other enterprises, and we are trying to figure out how they are going to pay the dividends they claim or whether to sell after the quarterly payments, since cigarettes are still a big part of their business. BHO might make smoking more popular again.

Posted by: ohrealy at June 3, 2008 4:43 PM
Comment #254330

David,David,David. You misunderstand, or distort, my post.

Let’s make as simple as possible. There is a difference between investment as commonly understood, and the cost of belonging. Let’s assume I am a member of the ABC Country Club. I pay 125.00 per month in dues. That’s the cost of belonging. For that, I get certain privileges; such as golf, access to the putting green and driving range, use of the exercise room, etc. I do not get a monetary return on my dues.

Now, using your military example. Let’s say we have a problem with trespassers or vandals and the board decides to hire a security firm to deal with the matter. That is not an investment, it is a cost of doing business. Or, if we decide to expand the club house and rent the ballroom for private parties. Is that an investment? What would be my “return on investment”.

Now let’s say I go down to my local brokerage and invest x dollars in the XYZ Corporation. I am not paying a fee to join, I am putting money out with the expectation that I will reap a financial reward in the form of dividends or increased stock value. Either is my return on investment.

Or,I hear of a person who has come up with a new way of making a product, or possibly a new product. I approach this person with a proposition. For a percentage of the profits, I will agree to invest x dollars in the effort to perfect and market whatever it is that the person is doing. My return on investment will be my per centage.

Investment implies the possibility of profit. Paying taxes does not. Taxes are what I pay to enjoy the privileges of membership in the USA.

Government is a zero sum game, or at least should be. Outgo should balance income. When all the numbers are crunched, there should be nothing left over. Unfortunately, it doesn’t usually work that way.

Some folks look back to the so-called surplus of the Clinton budget. There was no surplus. On paper there was, but in reality, the country was still in debt. If there was a real surplus, why wasn’t it used to pay off the “borrowing” from Social Security, or some of the other debt we acquired through the years? Under your scenario, each time there is a surplus, each tax payer should get a per centage back as “return on invesstment”. When pigs fly!!

BTW,Steve, the government already invests in ventures with no idea of what’s gong on. And, David, I totally agree with you about the government reaping a reward if it invests in some program that actually produces a profit. That would be true return on investment.

Posted by: Old Grouch at June 3, 2008 4:58 PM
Comment #254340

ohrealy, that still sounds unlikely. Are you talking per week or month on your electric bill?

This data is from 2001 and I will try to find more recent data but, in the 20 non-nuclear states, the 1999 average cost of electricity was 5.52 cents per kilowatt/hour. The average cost of electricity in the 31 states that use nuclear power was 6.88 cents per kilowatt/hour. In other words, consumers in states that use nuclear power pay 25% more for their electricity than consumers in states that do not use nuclear power.

And nuclear power is heavily subsidized by federal and state tax dollars, meaning what you are paying for nuclear electricity is not at all the full cost of generating it.

Here in Texas, a great gamble is under way. The South Texas Plant was built by taxpayer dollars and cost overruns out the wazoo, and STP electricity recipients are still paying higher rates than conventional coal fired plants would have produced. Right next to STP however, there is a new nuclear power plant getting underway that will purportedly be entirely funded by private investors. It is an enormous risk, but, investors eying the future of natural gas prices and regulatory contraction on coal fired plants, apparently believe they can pull this off without the 200% cost overruns and produce a kWh rate comparable to conventional electric production rates 10 years from now.

Nuclear Waste disposal however, will remain subsidized by the Federal Government, and therefore remain a hidden cost to rate payers and all tax payers for nuclear energy. When Obama is elected I doubt hiding those costs from the public will remain a common practice by the Executive Branch. And of course, the taxpayers foot the tab for all the regulatory oversight and compliance enforcements. Those in the blogs who tout Nuclear Powered electricity as getting cheaper NEVER include these taxpayer subsidies as part of the cost of nuclear electricity.

I still have trouble fathoming how you are living on only 4 to 5 kWh’s of electricity per month, and how many kWh’s you are consuming per month? Do you know what your kWh rate is? It should be on your electric bill statement. Just curious.

Thanks.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 3, 2008 6:36 PM
Comment #254343

Old Grouch said: “Now, using your military example. Let’s say we have a problem with trespassers or vandals and the board decides to hire a security firm to deal with the matter. That is not an investment, it is a cost of doing business.”

What I am trying to communicate is that if the military was run by a private corporation, the investors INVESTING in shares would see their investments spent for operations and expenses. From the corporation’s accounting point of view for tax purposes, expenses are expenses. But when and if, as is often the case, the corporation’s revenues fall short of expenses, it is shareholder investor dollars footing the difference. From the investor’s point of view, it doesn’t matter what the corporation spends the investment dollars on, it is still an investment to the stockholder buyer.

Taxpayers are investors in government, regardless of whether those tax dollars are spent on creating and interstate highway infrastructure or covering Medicare service costs. My point is, when the Government invests tax dollars in patentable innovations, the tax payer is for all intents and purposes, an investor in that company or corporation creating marketable patents on tax payer underwriting. Therefore, it is perfectly logical that taxpayer’s could and even should contract for a return on their investment by a percentage of the profits yielded by the successful patents born partially from tax payer subsidies.

I see we agree on tax payers receiving this fraction on patentable profits from subsidized innovation. Tax payer’s subsidies to private corporations for R&D, is no different than shareholder investments in that corporation. The only difference currently is that both taxpayers and shareholders assume the risks of no return on their money, but, only shareholders reap the benefits if the innovations do produce lucrative patents and sales.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 3, 2008 6:48 PM
Comment #254344

Steve said: “What we need more than energy independence is foreign relations policies that ensure that our country (and other countries) can get energy steadily and at a price we can afford.”

Why, when unlimited FREE energy is entirely possible. Free of course meaning after the purchase of equipment to capture or convert sun energy, wave energy, wind energy, geo-thermal energy, and huge passive energy savings through better design of buildings, roads, and communities.

There’s the rub. Corporations have no vested interest in free energy designs or innovations. In fact, they will buy up such patents and bury them where and whenever possible. We have already seen this many times. This is why government is the only recourse to bring very low cost and free energy into being by clearing the way for legislatively and with incentives for entrepreneurial start-ups working on that future to go forward without the capacity of being bought out and killed by status quo energy industries.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 3, 2008 6:57 PM
Comment #254348
No, voters were expecting alternative energies that would cost less than gas now costs, and provide much lower maintenance and repair costs, like electric cars, hydrogen fueled cars, solar panel roofing, wind and wave conversion plants, and fusion power.
But, they have not seen their taxes lowered by returns on those investments paid back to the government. This great fleecing of the taxpayer must end.
That idea is to tie taxpayer investment dollars in Research & Development directly to contractual obligations to repay the taxpayer with interest or royalties for successful profit producing innovations by the private sector’s recipients or beneficiaries.

..profit producing innovations by the private sector’s recipients or beneficiaries. ?

ask why the government cannot demand repayment for tax payer subsidies to private enterprise whether it be for nuclear power or a cure for cancer.

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In our legal system, in some circumstances, ignorance is a defense against culpability. In other instances, ignorance is not a defense. Did Pres. Bush know that analysts within the CIA adamantly protested against the notion that Saddam Hussein had nuclear weapon capability or intentions? Just who in the WH did have that knowledge? This highlights one of the difficulties in hold corporate directors, and executive personnel responsible legally?

I think this holds a great deal of weight against why we can’t come to grips with our current delemas. It’s difficult to grasp the concept of the state being an equal to/partner of the federal government. There are 51 states, if you will indulge me? Fifty state governments + one federal government equal 51 united states. The federal government is responsible for the wellbeing of the other 50, but under control of the 50 because the federal government is a tool created by the state tools controlled by the people of those states.


Instead of a pet registration fee, we should ask our local government to grant a charter to pet trainers to have the people’s pets trained to go to the post office and get it’s owner’s mail. The cost of mail delivery would be seriously reduced. The serious reduction would be in transportation and manpower.



I do not believe shareholders should incur legal responsibility other than losses of return on investment for ethical, moral, or legal wrongs perpetrated by the management of the corporation.

This is the risk! A corporation is a tool. If it breaks you have to buy a new one. It should be as simple as that. Do we subject the entire population to this risk? Do we spread the risk among the taxpayers? Do you need a cure for polio? Do you need to land on the moon?

I don’t have polio and I would like to visit the moon.



Very, very provocative and interesting ideas here, worth discussion and investigation and consideration. Thanks, Weary Willie, very much.
Posted by: David R. Remer at June 3, 2008 06:02 AM

*************


The production of energy is not a clear and obvious function of government.
It damn well better become a function of government.
The only other entity in American society capable of addressing that difference is the federal government.


Therefore, when the U.S. government invests tax dollars in a firm working on a patentable cure for cancer let’s say, and that company produces a patentable product to fight cancer,

An honorable goal. The Prez gets in front of the camera and says, “I’m going to make a cure for cancer”. The public agrees.

there is no reason why the taxpayers (federal government) could not have stipulated in its contract to grant that company tax dollar subsidies, that the government would be entitled to 1/4 of 1%, for example, of all net profits yielded by the owners or lessees of that patent for the life of the patent.

There is also every reason why the federal government could say the people of the 50 states control the profits yielded by the owners or lessees of that contract. The 50 states make the federal government. It’s not the other way around.

Maybe, that’s where the disconnect is!

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 3, 2008 7:24 PM
Comment #254349

DRRemer, I only get an e-bill, which I pay online, and it doesn’t have any detailed KW information. Actually, it was only $24.60 last month, going backwards before that were $25.73, $22.74, $25.90, $29.24, $23.03, $16.16, $44.46, and $42.00, those last 2 being July and August, with air conditioning. I had all the electronics plugged into surge strips which I usually turned off from wall switches when I went out for the day.

I called ComEd this morning to change the service, and spoke to an actual American employee, who will be sending me a copy of the final bill in the mail, even though I don’t want it. If it has any detailed information, I will get back to you on that.

We also relied on nuclear power in FL, where the electric bills were only high in the summer, when the A/C is on 24/7.

Be nicer to Old Grouch, he’s a real McCoy. My favorite moment of the whole campaign season was when HRC went to Loreto, KY, and was standing in front of the barrels of Maker’s Mark. Now that’s America!

Posted by: ohrealy at June 3, 2008 7:28 PM
Comment #254351

State legislatures were in control of corporations when this country was founded.
Corporations were a tool of the state government to provide basic services to the people. The corporation was created by the people, for the people. The corporation did not dominate the people. The people were independent, the corporation a tool.

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 3, 2008 8:15 PM
Comment #254380

Jeff,
You say that taking America green is not an easy path given the problems faced by the Government and Society in the 21st Century. However, seeing that oil is nothing more than the organic waste created by Man, Nature, Government, and Society under the forces of Nature for thousands of years. I wonder what the Corporations will do when people start making the energy out of the garbage we produce on a daily basis.

Yes, the simple step of composting produces warm air. And why I will let the engineers explain the best way to introduce cold dry air to create 75 mph winds. I wonder what will happen when the average family can be paid for taking proper care of the 4 lbs. of Bio-Mass produced daily.

For why I still am not sure about how Pure Carbon and Crystal Motors figure into the argument, able to show that I can develop at least 4 sources of energy free out of limiting the need for landfills. I can only see profits for every Citizen in supplementing the Corporations and Government with their Energy needs.

So, is making America green a hard path? Like the Democratic and Republican Leadership of America and Humanity, it does depend on who you are asking.

If you want to know how check out my personal website Independent Pundit.com and discover why the Devil of Civilization will not let me have his job.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at June 4, 2008 4:33 AM
Comment #254387

WW asked: “profit producing innovations by the private sector’s recipients or beneficiaries.”

Yes, like the announcement this week by a research lab of a drug that can improve longevity and quality of life for brain cancer patients. That will be a profit producing innovation. The private sector’s recipients and beneficiaries are the CEO and management team with golden parachutes of obscene amounts and the shareholders. If the government underwrote that drug R&D innovation with a subsidy equaling 1/10th of 1% of its total R&D budget, then the taxpayers should be entitled to 1/10th of 1% of the profits from the sale of that patented drug in return for the subsidy.

The contract would of course contain a lot more legalese and considered variables, but the concept is sound. When tax payer dollars are given to the private sector as subsidies or grants, the tax payer is an investor in those operations and entitled to a return on profits resulting from that investment. Just like a shareholder.

WW said: “Fifty state governments + one federal government equal 51 united states. The federal government is responsible for the wellbeing of the other 50, but under control of the 50 because the federal government is a tool created by the state tools controlled by the people of those states.”

That is NOT what the Constitution says. The Constitution gives precedence to the Federal Government for its specifies jurisdiction and powers, over the state governments. The state governments are constitutionally prevented from usurping the Constitutional power of the federal government. The states are relegated all powers NOT reserved Constitutionally for the federal government. That makes the federal government’s jurisdiction supreme over the states. The federal government is NOT an equal government to the states, by any rational reading of the Constitution. Sorry, but the Constitution is NOT ambiguous on this matter at all, and the Supreme Court has never been in dispute over this provision.

WW said: “A corporation is a tool. If it breaks you have to buy a new one.”

If it breaks, there should be other competitive corporations operating to assume the market share of the failing corporation. In a well regulated non-monopolistic marketplace, anyway.

WW said: “There is also every reason why the federal government could say the people of the 50 states control the profits yielded by the owners or lessees of that contract.”

You are kidding right? That’s a socialist argument. Not even remotely akin to what is being discussed here, where the corporate lobbyists ask the Congress and President for a subsidy to assist in the innovation or development of something with too high a risk for the shareholders to assume.

What is proposed here is that Congress and President stipulate that any subsidy by the taxpayers will carry a contractual agreement to repay the taxpayers as investors if the R&D for which the subsidy is asked produces a profit.

That’s a very different notion than what your quote above stipulates proposing that government, state or otherwise, control all the profits and revenues resulting from a successful innovation. I have no clue what Leftist field you pulled that from. That’s not what I am talking about here at all.

What I am proposing is a standard lender’s contract used everyday in America. Tax payers loan private enterprises money and they pay the tax payers back with a premium for successful profit producing innovations. The government and receiving private enterprise have a lender’s contract which spells out the terms of the loan by the tax payers to the private entity. Nothing more than that. Very standard procedure in private sector, and I propose the same standard be established when tax payer’s money is granted to private enterprises.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 4, 2008 8:33 AM
Comment #254389

WW said: “State legislatures were in control of corporations when this country was founded.”

And slavery was legal when this country was founded. Your point is? Mine is that times and circumstances change and we have a system that permits us to adapt to those as necessary under a rule of law, not wishes of individuals.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 4, 2008 8:40 AM
Comment #254393

Over-population is a major factor for many of our environmental problems.

Just ask China and India about all the wonderful advantages of over population. China and India are drastically spoiling their own environments. Birth defects due to pollution are widespread in China.

Yet, the U.S. federal and state governments are importing about 5 million people per year (most illegally; most less educated, impoverished, and less skilled); motivated by profits from cheap labor, and votes.

Congress’ approval ratings are in the toilet, but most voters continue to reward irresponsible and corrupt incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election … incumbent politicians that perpetuate these abuses.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and deserve).

Posted by: d.a.n at June 4, 2008 9:39 AM
Comment #254394

David

I live about 60 miles west of Ohrealy. My electric is also supplied by nuclear. I am all electric. No gas. My heat is supplied by a heat pump of which I normally switch over to normal (electric coil) heat in the coldest months. My electric generally doubles or a little more at that time. I shut down my computer, television, lights, printer, monitors etc when not using. At one time Com Ed was running rampant with rate increases. Thanks to oversight groups their deceptive practices were realized and reigned in by the Illinois Commerce Commission. They have been closely monitored for probably 15 years now and all rate increases have to be approved by the commission. They were at one time a classic example of the only game in town taking advantage of its customers with no regard for right or wrong. I have supplied a copy of my most recent bill. I assume Orealy’s would be very similar.

Issue Date May 30, 2008
Meter Information Read Meter Load Reading Meter Reading
Date Number Type Type Previous Present Diff Mult x Usage
05/30 092802222 General Service Tot kWh 73116 ACT 73606 ACT 490 1 490
Residential - Space Heat Multiple Service from 04/28/2008 to 05/30/2008 - 32 Days
Current Period Customer Charge $5.43
Standard Metering Charge 2.21
Distribution Facilities Charge 490 kWh X 0.01720 8.43
Transmission Services Charge 490 kWh X 0.00831 4.07
Electricity Supply Charge 490 kWh X 0.06042 29.61
Purchased Electricity Adjustment 0.88
Gen Assembly Rate Relief Credit 490 kWh X -0.00346 -1.70
Environmental Cost Recovery Adj 490 kWh X 0.00005 0.02
Instrument Funding Charge Credit 490 kWh X -0.00487 -2.39
Instrument Funding Charge Debit 490 kWh X 0.00487 2.39
Energy Efficiency Programs 490 kWh X 0.00053 0.26
State Tax 1.62
Total current charges $50.83
Other Charges
Thank you for your payment of $51.78
Total amount due $50.83


I also agree with your consensus that government must step in and make it possible for alternatives to succeed. In other words government must refrain from being the obstacle to alternative progress. So long as they do not approve necessary infrastructure and building code changes there can be no advancement or acceleration of serious energy reform. We all know at this point that there are viable alternatives capable of making a very serious dent in our energy needs. Investors are poised and ready to implement these energy programs. I am speaking of heat collectors, wind, solar, hydro, ocean currents etc. It really is a no brainer. Some will win, some will lose. But if allowed to happen, gradually we will achieve energy independence. As far as I am concerned the sooner we start the better. It is my hope that the dems will shred the influences of the fossil energy industry and give serious consideration and support of true alternatives. It is also my hope that fuel prices remain high and even continue to rise. I see no better way to rapidly advance the perpetuation of viable alternatives.

Posted by: RickIL at June 4, 2008 9:50 AM
Comment #254400

Nuclear energy is not a good alternative.
Many of the costs are hidden by the #30 Billion budget for the Department Of Enery (DOE).
Also, accidents happen.
They are not 100% safe.
The following are only a few of the many examples:

  • 3-Mile Island; that was almost the first Chernobyl.

  • Chernobyl.

  • Reported 7/13/2007, a nuclear power plant in England was closed due to safety issues.

  • Siberia is polluted with nuclear waste.

  • On 9/30/1999, Japan’s Tokaimura reactor had a nuclear accident that affected 83 people (some seriously).

  • Security guards at only one out of four nuclear power plants are confident that their plant security could defeat a terrorist attack, according to interviews conducted for this report by the Project On Government Oversight (POGO).

  • On 7/19/2007, the world’s largest nuclear power plant (in Japan) was closed due to damage by an Earthquake.
A natural disaster such as an earthquake could turn the disaster into a worse disaster.
That’s just a few examples.
See a list of nuclear accidents here.

The bottom line is:

    mistakes happen.
There are better and safer alternatives, and other potential energy sources:
  • (1) fusion

  • (2) geothermal

  • (3) solar

  • (4) hydrogen, OTEC

  • (5) tidal forces

  • (6) biofuels

  • (7) wind

  • (8) hydro-electric
Nuclear fission power proponents frequently tout nuclear fission power as a limitless supply of energy powered by a fuel that never runs out. However:
  • (1) Nuclear fission plants are extremely expensive to build.

  • (2) Nuclear fission plants have the potential for catastrophic environmental and human disaster (e.g. Chernobyl, 3 Mile Island, etc.).

  • (3) Nuclear fission plants create large amounts of hazardous, environmentally toxic radioactive waste that will remain hazardous for millennia.

  • (4) Nuclear fission plants are attractive military targets and attractive targets for terrorists.

Posted by: d.a.n at June 4, 2008 11:21 AM
Comment #254401

RickIl, thank you very much for the detailed information. I had no idea that our own rural CoOp pricing was so dramatically high compared to others.

I build a very low energy use home compared to neighboring homes in my county. All electric. And we are frugal with energy light bulbs, turning off things not in use, and wood burning heat (used about 22 to 25 days of the year. Our electric bill has almost never been below $100 per month for the last several years.

Our rate is 9.6 cents per kwh. Our monthly connect charge is $20 in addition. If we install solar panels our Electric CoOp will charge us an additional $20 per month. If we choose to receive electricity from renewable sources a 5 cent premium per kwh is added to our bill.

DO you begin to get the picture here in Texas run by Republicans? We are penalized for renewable resources or solar generation above and beyond what other rate payers pay for coal fired and nuclear generated electricity.

What an eye-opener. I have some emails to send off.

My hopes mirror yours. Thanks for the enlightening feedback.

I would venture that the decommissioning of your power plant costs are not reflected in your bill, nor of course, are the regulatory and waste disposal costs which come in the form of taxes instead of your electric monthly bill. Explaining why your rates are so much lower than actual costs.

Not that hard to compare apples and apples but clearly the governments don’t want to make that any easier than they have to.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 4, 2008 11:37 AM
Comment #254404

Check out these outrageous electricity prices in Texas.

After checking around, many places are paying half as much. Funny for a state sitting on most of the oil and natural gas in the U.S.

Cost per KiloWatt*Hour is up about 41% in the last 48 months.
I’ve been playing musical electricity companies, and they all suck.
Some of these power companies advertise a lower rate (per KiloWatt*Hour), but have massive fees and hidden “Pass-Through Delivery Charges” (such as W. Power & Light) that boost the real cost much higher.

My May-2008 bill, $164.81 for only 1130 KiloWatt*Hours, is expensive (at $0.1458 per KiloWatt*Hour), compared to several people in other states.

Here’s an interesting web-site about the scams and such going on in the energy markets.

Yet another example of the many manifestations of unchecked greed in America.

Posted by: d.a.n at June 4, 2008 12:03 PM
Comment #254405

You’re not being penalized David, you are paying for what the majority believes you should pay for. Heck, if you were allowed to do what you personally believe is best for yourself and the environment, it would lead to anarchy.

If you paid less or provided for your own energy, others may lose their homes, cars or comfort because they can’t afford their energy bills.

Besides, it wouldn’t be fair if I paid more than you. I can’t afford to do the things you have done, so you should pay more so that those things can be given to me.

Posted by: kctim at June 4, 2008 12:26 PM
Comment #254406

Dan, David

Those are some crazy rates you guys are paying. Last year Excelon, our electric provider was allowed by the commission after years of rate freezes to increase rates. Of course they immediately reverted back to their old greed induced ways. The commission once again stepped in and ordered credits be given and the rates be lowered somewhat to more accurately reflect a fair increase. I do not think we have seen the end of this as ComEd is again requesting a new rate and of course more creative methods of milking us of our income. The folks in the southern part of the state whom I assume are not on the nuclear power grid did not have it so lucky. Their provider if I remember correctly tried to quadruple their rates in one fell swoop. I remember one family complaining that their electric bill had increased from around $100.00 to over $800.00 immediately thanks to some creative billing procedures. People were in a quandry wondering how they could suddenly deal with such exorbitant rates. Well once again the commerce commission stepped in and provided some relief. But I believe those folks are still paying much more than original costs.

So long as renewables are not allowed to succeed I would expect exponential rises in costs for all of us in the short and long term. This really is an entirely avoidable travesty which should not be given current levels of technology. At this point I would say it is safe to believe that procrastination and corruptive special interest money are two of the biggest enemies of the American people. It is the ultra wealthy who are deciding and implementing energy policy, and of course their main concern is numero uno.

Posted by: RickIL at June 4, 2008 12:57 PM
Comment #254408
It is the ultra wealthy who are deciding and implementing energy policy, and of course their main concern is numero uno.
Yep, and I don’t see it changing anytime soon … at least, not until it all becomes too painful.

And repeatedly rewarding corrupt and irresponsible incumbent politicians for all of it with perpetual re-election certain isn’t likely to do anything but continue the deterioration of the last 30 years.

Part of the problem is Texas’ two Federal Senators (John Cornyn (R), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R)) …

  • Texas Attorney General John Cornyn Withdraws from Enron Investigation, But Continues Campaign for U.S. Senate 12-Jan-02
    Enron: On Thursday, Texas AG John Cornyn insisted he had no conflicts preventing him from investigating Enron. Then it was revealed that John Cornyn took “$180,000 in campaign donations from Enron officials - including a $25,000 donation from Enron CEO Ken Lay in June.” Ooops! John Cornyn withdrew from the investigation, but not from the race for U.S. Senator to replace Phil Gramm, whose wife Wendy Lee Gramm was on Enron’s Board of Directors! In the midst of this scandal - with thousands of Texas who used to work for Enron having lost their jobs and their pensions - the idea that Texas would elect a Senator who has received $180,000 from Enron is beyond obscene.

  • Read Enron’s E-Mails: 14-Oct-03 Enron: To: Ken Lay and Steve Kean From: Enron governmental affairs executives Rick Shapiro and Linda Robertson Date: June 1, 2001 Subject: The President’s Dinner, A Congressional Salute Honoring President Bush and Vice President Cheney, June 7, 2001 With the assistance of… Tom DeLay, we were able to apply our previously contributed soft money toward this dinner. Consequently, we will be credited as giving $250,000 to this event, even though we are being asked to give only $50,000 in new soft money… Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison has requested that Enron give her some credit for raising the money. …In addition, …Tom DeLay has asked Enron to contribute $100,000 to his leadership committee, ARMPAC, through a combination of corporate and personal money from Enron’s executives. ARMPAC funds will be used to assist other House Members as well as the redistricting effort in Texas. We will be meeting this request over the course of this calendar year.
  • Some - But not All - Politicians Return Enron Contributions to Former Enron Employees: 11-Feb-02 Enron: According to the NY Times, “The bulk of the money feeding charitable funds for former Enron employees has come from politicians anxious to purge themselves of what Mary Matalin, the counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney, termed ‘guilt by contribution,’ or who simply feel that it is appropriate to return donations from people who have fallen on hard times. The two largest funds here swelled to more than $700,000 last week… The largest individual donor was Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Republican of Texas, who gave $100,000 to one fund and $500 to another. Some politicians, notably Representative Billy Tauzin, Republican of Louisiana, and Representative Tom DeLay, Republican of Texas, have said they will not give back campaign contributions because the money did not influence their decisions.”
No wonder Congress’ approval ratings are in the toilet.

So why do so many votes repeatedly reward these same incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election?

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and deserve).

Posted by: d.a.n at June 4, 2008 1:20 PM
Comment #254410

d.a.n asked: “So why do so many votes repeatedly reward these same incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election?”

Here in Texas, its because voters are dumber than the cows they punch, generally speaking.

The good news is, Texas has been a growing population state and that has been shifting the population alleigance, slowly but inexorably more toward Independent and Democratic voter percentages. I do believe Cornyn’s and Hutchison’s days are numbered. If I recall, Hutchison has already seen the writing on the wall and announced she will not seek reelection. Finally, she did something smart.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 4, 2008 1:49 PM
Comment #254411

Cute comments kctim, but, dead wrong!

I am paying what an extreme minority oligopoly dictate I pay, not any majority of any kind. I live in a Republican state, for the time being, but, that too is rapidly changing. The rates I am paying are a direct result of a minority Party, the GOP, having obtained majority governance for a short but very reckless period of time.

They are moving back to their minority role, and that bodes well for me and mine going forward. Thanks though for the chuckle.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 4, 2008 1:53 PM
Comment #254435

DRRemer, you’re getting ripped. Get your own generator and get off the grid. $100 a month is $1200 a year and $6000 in 5 years. Go back to one of the previous Green threads where I posted links to various Wind Power companies, and look into paying for something better.

There was a similar deal in FL with the Withlacoochee River Elec Coop, near where I lived. I can’t remember what happened, but they no longer exist. Senior citizens couldn’t afford their rates. Where I lived, we had the Orlando Utilities Commision providing nuclear power, thewe are their current rates:

Customer Charge $7.00 per month
…..Base Charge [ first 1,000 KWH ] 5.837 cents per KWH
…..Base Charge [ additional KWH ] 6.837 cents per KWH
…..Fuel Charge [first 1,000 KWH] 3.258 cents per KWH
Fuel Charge [Additional KWH] 4.258 cents per KWH

Posted by: ohrealy at June 4, 2008 4:56 PM
Comment #254443

ohreally,
We’ve been getting ripped since deregulation, ala the boys (and girls) at Enron. I’ve been whining about it from day one. We had the scourge of the reverse King Midas,Dubya, well before the rest of the Nation saw everything he touched turn to cow pies.(No wonder he calls Rove, “turd blossom”). I feel like Atlanta after Sherman’s campaign. We’ve got similar issues with insurance rates, and somewhere down the line, we’ll be dealing with similar water issues. I can see the vultures circling. I hope David is right about a shift in Texas politics.

Posted by: googlumpus at June 4, 2008 5:42 PM
Comment #254452

ohrealy, trust me, that has been on my agenda for several years now. Next year I have to redo my roof by laying down a plywood substrate on the 2x4 lattice work. That will be the perfect opportunity to install a solar roof.

Since the Electric company wants to charge me $20. a month for selling excess electric back to them, I am looking for an inexpensive way to give my excess generated electricity to my neighbors for free. Screw em’ if they can’t take electricity for free.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 4, 2008 6:49 PM
Comment #254464

RickIL, The Redeye had a small article today about ComEd wanting a $3 monthly surcharge to implement a “smart grid” system, where they would theoretically know about individual power outages. I think people might be willing to get together to pay for underground wiring in many places, which would solve outages from high winds, ice, falling trees and lightning strikes more permanently. I was working in Mt. Prospect last year, and we had a 3 day power outage after a windstorm. It took them days to remove all the tree branches, and they had to bring in crews from out of state.

Googlumpus, Enron was one of the strangest episodes in our history, liek something out of the Robber Baron days. I think we will have to invade the Cayman Islands to get the money back. Water issues are the most important in the world. Oddly enough, immigrants must hear very bad things about our water supply. In the last few weeks, I have met someone from Poland and another person from Ecuador, who won’t touch our water.

DRRemer, if there are no zoning issues in your community, you might consider something like The Mighty Wind on your roof. The previous site that I linked a while ago, no longer has the picture that was there. I saw a Discovery channel program the other night on the maintenance of conventional propellor type windmills, in Texas I believe. They look worthless and dangerous. They are also doing a lot of advanced work on Wind in the UK and Norway.

Posted by: ohrealy at June 4, 2008 7:42 PM
Comment #254466

I am guilty of not making myself clear in both worlds. It’s undoubtedly the reason I am not extremely wealthy right now.

What I would like to clarify is my personal Idea of what a corporation should look like.



..profit producing innovations by the private sector’s recipients or beneficiaries. ?

My question was prompted by my perception of a corporation. If a publicly funded corporation, chartered to develop a cure for the common cold was successful in developing a ColdCure formula it would have achieved it’s goal and liquidated or assigned another formula. There would be no innovations because the charter was completed. Public funding puts the formula in the public domain and available for use by private enterprise to provide the innovations. Innovations belong to the innovators.

WW said: “There is also every reason why the federal government could say the people of the 50 states control the profits yielded by the owners or lessees of that contract.”

You are kidding right?

Yes, Of course. I misquoted myself, pardon me. The 50 states would gain the free use of the formula and there would be no profits to yield.

About the constitutional provisions, I will use one of my link opportunities granted me to let Mr. Fred E. Foldvary explain it for me.

The State of California is supposed to be sovereign under the Constitution of the United States. There is no higher government authority above California. The Constitution provides for parallel sovereignty for the federal and state governments, each with its own realm of authority. The federal government is not supposed to have a superior status. The 10th Amendment emphasizes that powers not specifically allocated to the federal government by the Constitution are held by the states or the people.

The Constitution endows the states with ultimate sovereignty because they can change the Constitution. Article V of the Constitution states that “on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, [Congress] shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments” subject to ratification by three-fourths of the states.

And slavery was legal when this country was founded. Your point is?
My point is, you don’t give your car free reign over it’s existance. You don’t give a hammer a right to control it’s future.
Mine is that times and circumstances change and we have a system that permits us to adapt to those as necessary under a rule of law, not wishes of individuals.
I hate to break it to you, Mr. Remer but those systems and laws aren’t working very well, are they? I don’t think we’re adapting, we’re reacting. Our solution isn’t in the future, it’s in the past. We have to identify the problem and corrective measures are the cure.

How would you revoke the charter of a corporation like Wallmart? Assume Wallmart is damaging the environment and I was elected to the state legislature. (and the only one elected to the state legislature :)

What would I do to correct the situation?

I would wake up the next morning. Make a pot of coffee and have a sip. I would get a list of Wallmart’s assets and a list of Wallmart’s employees. I would open wordpad and type out a proclamation stating Wallmart is no longer an issue. The employee is the owner of their workstation and is responsible for the duties the employee did yesterday. I’d video all the Greeters rushing out to claim thier shopping carts and use it for advertizing.
Or not, because they’d all be doing their job and occasionally one will mention to the other, “Hey, did you hear we own a piece of this place now?”


I’d also call up the buss drivers and tell them they’re now Buss Owners. If they do the same thing they did yesterday they can have the buss.

Eventually the Buss Owner would be picking up pets that need to get to the post office.

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 4, 2008 7:54 PM
Comment #254478

My brother had a dog, a lab-setter-mix called Rusty, lay down, good boy. He was a spoiled house dog. He would be put outside and in five seconds he would start barking. Bark! Bark! Bark! Over and over again. We tried to ignore him, Bark! Bark! Bark! We’d yell out the back door, “BE QUIET!!”, Bark, Bark, Bark! The neighbors would call, Bark! Bark! Bark! Every day relentlessly, our spoiled house dog would bark bark bark until we let him back in.

The democrat party leadership reminds me of Rusty, lay down, good boy. For the last thirty years or so they have been tested and found outside. And all the while outside they would Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark! until we got tired of them barking and let them back in. Just like Rusty, lay down, good boy they wouldn’t do anything constructive, just Bark! Bark! Bark! and when they get back in they do the same as Rusty, lay down, good boy. They just expect to be fed and scratched between the ears, and take up space on the most expensive property in the house.

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 19, 2007 08:00 PM

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 4, 2008 8:53 PM
Comment #254516

Sorry WW, but your line of reasoning makes no sense to me, whatsoever.

First, when the states act to amend the US Constitution, it is a provision of US Constitution at work, NOT the STATES. The States are the actors, the authority is federal.

Second, Congress and the Supreme Court can and often have knocked down State’s Rights to do whatever they hell they want to. That provision is in the US Constitution granting superiority of federal law over state law. States DO NOT have the authority to usurp or override Federal laws except as participants in Federal Legal procedures for amendments and challenges.

Your 30 year figure is very inaccurate. Democrats lost the House of Rep in 1994. Hardly 30 years. They lost the Senate in 2002. Again, hardly 30 years. They have been outside the White House only 7.5 years.

I agree with you that our political and federal system are not working very well in the face of the challenges in our face. But, ultimately, the fix has to come from the people, which you seem to want to depict as dumb dogs.

This nation has become preeminent in the world despite its inefficiencies and failings, and the people of America have faced incredible and daunting challenges before and overcome. There is nothing in our history to suggest that the American people of today are less capable to meet today’s challenges than our forefathers and mothers were to meet theirs.

In desperate times, Americans find the leadership they need to lead them out. That is the strength of our Democratic Republic. It can one day fail. I have argued that many times, and will continue to do so. But, only if Americans fail to elect the appropriate leadership to meet their challenges.

The 2006 elections indicate Americans are exercising that traditional capacity to get the right leadership to match the challenges they face. Obama’s victory is further evidence of that. I remain hopeful. But, also ever vigilant, because you are right when you say our “systems and laws aren’t working very well, are they?”

I believe that situation is changing right before our eyes. McCain’s views are not all inappropriate for our situation. He is right about the corruption in our government and the pitfall that corporate lobbyists and special interests create for our nation’s ability to respond appropriately to challenges we face.

But, who is better equipped to remedy this situation? A Republican President and a Democratic Congress? Or, a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress? The answer is the latter, NOT because Democrats are without flaw or imperfections, but, because our challenges demand decisive and sweeping action, which a deadlocked adversarial White House and Congress cannot provide.

We cannot continue to debate whether global warming is contributed to by American living. We must act as if it is true, if we are to head off the consequences should it be true. We cannot continue to debate whether a preemptory hostile and aggressive military foreign policy is appropriate, the world’s nations will not follow our lead if follow that path, nor will we diminish the pressure upon other nations to pursue defensive measures toward the U.S. if we pursue that course.

Democrats will solve this and other challenges facing us. In turn their shortcomings will create new challenges to be faced, to be sure. But, we as a nation must not march to the precipice gaining momentum on the way, toward economic collapse or another half century of WMD arms races amongst emerging economies in the world. Indecisive and delayed and ineffectively compromised solutions will move us to that precipice, and a divided Congress and White House will increase the momentum toward that precipice.

The American people are aware of the precipice ahead. And by all appearances, they are struggling with the political decision of how best to avert falling over it. Americans have usually found the better part of their political natures in the fac of adversity. I hope that will be the case as well in November, when they decide for, or against, a divided government in the face of challenges demanding a united government to overcome those challenges.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 5, 2008 8:13 AM
Comment #254517

ohrealy, wind is not a continual or realiable source of energy where I live. Sun is. Thanks, though.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 5, 2008 8:14 AM
Comment #254730

Sorry WW Mr. Remer, but your line of reasoning makes no sense to me, whatsoever.

First,… the authority is federal. Second, Congress and the Supreme Court can and often have knocked down State’s Rights to do whatever they hell they want to.

http://www.usconstitution.net/xconst_A1Sec9.html

(No capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.) (Section in parentheses clarified by the 16th Amendment.)

http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#Am16

Amendment 16 - Status of Income Tax Clarified
The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

The 16th amendment is unconstitutional. It’s foundation is unconstitutional.
Article 1 section 9 of the constitution was valid. The 16th amendment does not invalidate Article 1 section 9, it simply deletes it. (tink!, It’s gone!)

The original funding mechanism for the federal govenrment was replaced by the 16th amendment. Article 1 Section 9 of the Constitution was not found in error or discredited, it was simply replaced by a corporation.
That corporation is called the United States Government!

David R. Remer’s United States Government!

Think about that for a second.

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 6, 2008 4:49 PM
Comment #254754

Go ahead and take another few minutes.

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 6, 2008 7:07 PM
Comment #254947

DRRemer, the electricity rates per kwh in Park Ridge, IL ,as compared to RickIl in Dekalb,Il are:

Distribution Facilities Charge 0.01965 x kwh
Transmission Services Charge 0.00415 x kwh
Electricity Supply Charge .07149 x kwh

The rest of the adjustments are in the thousandths, the largest one of these being the general assembly rate relief credit, which is -0.00660

Posted by: ohrealy at June 8, 2008 2:41 PM
Comment #254976

Weary Willie said: “The 16th amendment is unconstitutional.”

This is another reason your argument makes no logical sense whatsoever. The 16th Amendment was ratified by Constitutional means, and thus, as an Amendment, becomes part and parcel of the original Constitution as the founders and drafters intended.

To argue an Amendment to the Constitution is unconstitutional is like arguing the absence of light is light. It is illogical, BY DEFINITION! Thank you for the insight into how your arguments are formulated. Like others on the extreme right or left, you have your drothers, and violate the rules of language and logic to justify your drothers. The downside is that action convinces no one who seeks rational and logical arguments to be convinced.

Perhaps a religious forum would be more suitable for your argument construction. Religion requires no logic or rationality to persuade, only faith or fear.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 8, 2008 10:46 PM
Comment #254977

ohrealy, what is Illinois’ portion of the Yucca Mountain cost? And what portion of the nuclear regulatory oversight costs? And what about the decommissioning costs of the plant when it is spent? I suspect none of these costs are factored into the rates paid.

The one upside to Coal fired plants is that nearly their entire costs of operations are paid for by rate payers, not tax payers. Air quality regulatory oversight excepted, of course.

And this inability to compare nuclear apples with coal fired oranges is no accident. That is absolutely by design. Hopefully, with Bush out of office, we can actually get the data we, and the EPA need to make apple and apple comparisons on costs.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 8, 2008 10:53 PM
Comment #255022

Aren’t both candidates pro nuclear? BHO has always been supported by Exelon.

The Sierra Club is talking about a Coal Rush now. We’ve had some discussion here before about a Peabody Energy coal plant in southern Illinois.

Peabody’s tomb is at Mayslake in Oakbrook Il which is on the National Register of Historic Places. I have been trying to figure out who did that. It was probably Henry Hyde.

BTW, some kind of flash player kept blocking this site today. I had to disable it to get here. I don’t know if that problem is on my end or not.

Posted by: ohrealy at June 9, 2008 4:24 PM
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