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Messages - Bob Wallace

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1
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: July 02, 2019, 10:43:08 PM »
S/X didn't rebound.  I wonder if Tesla can figure out a way to build demand back, if the T3 has taking away market long term, or if it's just people waiting for the new version to be delivered this year.

Low levels of S/X aren't going to be good for profits.  Q3 and Q4 deliveries were high on S/X and lower on T3s.  T3s produce less profit per car at the same GPM.  95,200 is a record for delivery, but it's an issue as to what was delivered.

S/X 27,710   27,607
T3  56,065   63,359

2
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: July 02, 2019, 10:15:27 PM »
Quote
Small victories and very necessary. Unfortunately, bankruptcy does not destroy the assets. When these companies exit bankruptcy after reorganizing, mining will continue. If they do not exit bankruptcy, then another company will obtain these mining rights for pennies on the dollar.

The important part you seem to be missing is that demand for coal is rapidly decreasing which is what is forcing these companies into bankruptcy.

Yes, they may go through the bankruptcy process and shed outstanding obligations like loans, employee retirement accounts, and shareholder value, and then come back into operation.  But if they come back meaner and leaner, able to sell coal at a lower price, all that will do is to force a higher cost producer out of business.

Coal companies are playing a game of musical chairs with the chairs being rapidly snatched away.

3
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 02, 2019, 10:10:27 PM »
I'm a boomer too.

You don't defend the status quo. You are not of the types i'm addressing here. :)

I'm not a boomer.

I suspect I've missed some comments here.  If anyone feels I've purposely ignored a comment aimed at me please bring it up again.  I'm tired of going back and searching for stuff and the software this site uses is primitive. 

4
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 02, 2019, 10:08:07 PM »
As for you doomers, grow up.

Wasn't it the boomer generation screwing up the planet?

I remember this generation always telling me to grow up when i told them that they did.

Bob, aren't you a boomer?

I'm a boomer too.

The problem we are facing is not primarily due to bad actors. All of us are willing participants in this growth system. We each act in good faith within the system, work hard, save our money, give to charity, loan to family and friends. None of this is bad. The simple fact is that individually acting in good faith fuels the engine of growth. Capitalism is absolutely dependent on growth and each of us act so that, in the aggregate, growth is achieved.

The simple truth is we cannot grow our way out of a crisis whose root cause is growth. Bob would choose to call it destroying capitalism. I have more faith in humanity and see this as a problem that is solvable. On a finite planet we need to do more with less. We need to change our definition of the good life. We need a more fair and equitable distribution of resources (rich and poor nations, rich and poor people) We need to identify the things that really matter (food, shelter, clothing, intellectual pursuits, the arts, human connectedness) and dispense of those things that are a distraction.

Capitalism would exist and does exist during times of non-growth.  If you just want to replace your house that just burned down (not a growth event) you'd need to borrow the money and you'd have to borrow from someone who had money.

The fact is that we need to rapidly grow our wind, solar, storage, and electric transportation industries.  But at the same time that will kill fossil fuels and ICEVs.  More of a replacement event than a growth event.

On a finite planet we need to do with things that are sustainable.  That may or may not allow growth, it depends on how clever we are.

We do need to improve wealth distribution across countries and within most countries.  That can be done with or without growth.


5
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 02, 2019, 10:01:42 PM »
Bob, as we can see, is sunny optimist...no matter how bad things actually are, he is going to present them as the best ever. So it is no surprise that any who state concern of the enormous evidence that things are not going so well are cast aside by him as 'doomers.'

No, Bob is an optimistic realist.  Bob is not a sunny optimist.

Bob believes that we will face difficulties for some long time to come and some of those difficulties are going to be painful.  If we want to minimize the pain those difficulties bring then we need to look for ways to deal with those difficulties.  And he believes that we need to recognize the progress we are making so that we don't get discouraged and quit trying.

We may not succeed but we certainly can create failure by declaring all efforts worthless and sitting down to await our fate. 

Doomers are certain of failure. 

6
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 02, 2019, 09:53:50 PM »
Re: "The problem is the way countries are governed. "

Streeck and many others have argued that capitalism eventually results in bad governance.

sidd

Did you ever consider whether this Streeck guy might have his head firmly up his own butt?

You want bad governance?  Put pretty much any individual in total control for several years and that will give you bad governance.  Or let the government be run by popular impulse.

Bad governance comes and goes.  Look to some of your European countries for examples.

7
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 02, 2019, 09:49:32 PM »
Bob. The world is in a bad shape and if we go by sidds time line this is the result of 300 years of capitalism. So it might not be worthy to cling on to even if it feels safe because it is the control system you grew up in.

The world is in the best shape it has ever been in.  Wars are at a modern history low.  Fewer people live in abject poverty.  We enjoy healthcare that is astoundingly better than it was only fifty years ago and better than it has ever been.  People have access to education and information unlike any time in the past.  The age of monarchs is behind us and the time of dictators is fading. 

That capitalism has existed only 200 or 300 years is ridiculous.  Do you really believe there weren't rich people who took advantage of the poor or that if you wanted to do something that required capital you didn't have you had to look to someone who had the capital you needed in the 1600s, the 1500s, ..., the 700s, ..., the 300s BC, ...?

sidd should throw out his literature and dial in on the real world.  We need to find the best mix of 'free' markets and regulation along with social support programs that give is thriving economies without stepping on whoever isn't in the top echelons. 


8
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 02, 2019, 09:37:20 PM »
As for you doomers, grow up.

Pathetic.

I am optimistic in that I am certain we can avoid the catastrophe approaching us. The solution, however, is not to deny the problem exists.

Why do you come here Bob? Do you see yourself as the person to pat informed people on the head and say "Now, now, everything is going to be alright."? I have very little patience to engage with someone who is as intellectually dishonest as that. I use this term because I have no doubt you are intelligent and informed.

If you believe we can avoid the catastrophe approaching us then you aren't one of the doomers.  There was no reason for you to reply to something that did not involve you.

I come here to learn and share.  I have never claimed that everything is going to be alright.  Not ever. 

I have never claimed that we would definitely avoid extreme climate change.  I have pointed out how we might and I have reported on progress we have made but never have I said we have already done enough or that it is guaranteed that enough would be done.

I have never claimed that all countries would find solutions to capitalism allowed to grow out of control.  Not once.  I have tried to get some people living in fantasy land to understand what 'destroying capitalism' would mean and how fruitless that effort would likely be.  That we need to accept the fact that capitalism is how humans operate and that we then need to find ways to protect ourselves from the worst practices.

Please represent my views and opinions accurately. 

As an aside, I detest it when people intentionally misrepresent what others have said and make stuff up.

9
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: July 02, 2019, 09:26:37 PM »
The nuclear renaissance never really got off the ground.  It got a little bump in China, at best.

The reason that natural gas is likely to have a stronger role over the next decade or so is that we have no affordable way to store energy over long periods.  New gas plants can be installed in short times.  They provide fairly cheap electricity.  And they can be turned on/off rapidly as wind and solar start and stop generating.  Gas plants can operate for days/weeks/months if needed.  We have no acceptable way to store wind/solar generation for those longer periods. 

As we add more wind and solar gas plants will run less simply because wind and solar are cheaper sources of electricity.  We're not even close to the point at which wind and solar provide 100% of demand for 25% of all days.  Until we reach and pass that point we have pretty much no wind/solar to store for future use. 

We might find ourselves with 95%+ wind/solar/storage and still encounter a stretch of a few days per year during which we wouldn't want to pay the cost of storage for that last few percent.  It may well be that we'll use a bit of gas as the affordable way to complete the supply.  We'll either offset that CO2 output, capture and sequester it, or use biogas rather than extracted methane.

10
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 02, 2019, 09:14:27 PM »
I just want to say that some of you live in denial and use word games to maintain your denial.

Pretty much every economy in the world is capitalistic.  Some have done a reasonably good job of controlling the problems that unfettered capitalism can cause.  Others are working to get better.  Some are in bad shape and not doing much to improve.

The problem is the way countries are governed.  Some countries have allow oligarchies too much influence or dictatorial governments.  If you Europeans take a close look at the countries with whom you share a continent you can find both extremes, you don't need to look over the big water to find a country doing well or poorly. 

As for you doomers, grow up. 

11
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: July 02, 2019, 08:35:01 PM »
Banks refused to loan  Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines the money they needed to keep operating during their bankruptcy proceedings.  The mines were closed and workers sent home.

These were the fourth- and sixth-largest producing coal mines in the nation.  Not some little coal mine tucked away in some corner.

12
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 02, 2019, 08:31:28 PM »
Quote
Modern capitalism (the accumulation of capital to stimulate development) sprang into existence in the 1700's. Prior to this, European countries could more accurately be described as mercantilist states, accumulating wealth via trade.

Artificial distinction.  Capitalism was operating far before the 1700s, only on a smaller scale.  Columbus had to search for someone with the necessary capital to finance his exploration.  Ships carried goods across the Mediterranean carrying goods for sales in ancient Greek times.  Someone put up the capital.   Money (capital) was fronted in the hopes of great returns.  I have no doubt that if we could go back before written history and find capitalism in full flower.

What has happened is that due to our more highly developed communication systems and improved transportation we've moved into a phase where goods can easily be sold by fewer and fewer vendors.  Where a small number of manufacturers can supply the world with whatever those factories make.  That has allowed for much larger companies that we've had in the past.  It's created a group of "almost instant" billionaires.  And now we have to figure out how to adjust to this new reality so that the ones of us who aren't billionaires can enjoy decent lifestyles.

13
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: July 02, 2019, 08:18:06 PM »
Quote
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that the safest way to achieve a limit of 1.5C would involve an immediate drawdown in fossil fuels, including a 75-percent cut in the consumption of natural gas—in all its forms—by mid-century.

Yet gas is booming.

Two things you might consider...

1) Grids need to stay operating as much as possible 24/365.

2) Gas plants, unlike coal plants, are highly dispatchable.

If you need that explained, just ask.

14
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: July 02, 2019, 08:14:42 PM »
There is a TESLA thread.
Ramen!
Terry

Terry, take a look at Reply #3673 above.  I think you'll see where we wandered off topic.  It's toward the end of that comment.  ;o)

15
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: July 02, 2019, 08:11:35 PM »
Quote
I think we should agree that share price performance this year looks terrible and so it should be with the awful q1 results which are not easily explained away.

I don't have a problem with understanding why Q1 results were what they were.  Only half as many S/X were produced and delivered as normal.  Deliveries (sales) had been running from about 22k to 28k per quarter but fell to 12k.  And a lot of T3s produced in Q1 were stuck in transit which meant that they wouldn't be counted as sales until Q2.

Something I haven't seen mentioned is that in Q3 and Q4 2018 more cars were delivered than produced.  Some of the last two quarters' profits came from earlier production. 

I think we need to quit looking only a quarters as much as we do and look at running 12 month averages.  Smooth out some of the events that can drive numbers up or down for a short period and look at the larger picture.

Share prices have been driven down and the reason is easily understood.  There has been a barrage of negative press about Tesla and it's replaced almost all the positive press Tesla had been getting.  Two years back Tesla's stock price was 'aspirational'.  Buyers saw a company with a likely extraordinary future based on the cars they were producing and the rapidity at which they were growing.  Tesla cars were held up as an example of what cars should be and what future cars would be.

Then the negative press started up.  Musk has been the victim of a character assassination.  Tesla cars have been derided over some small flaws in their paint and some panel gaps that weren't perfect.  Very little is said about the three Tesla models being the top three safest cars manufactured.  Nothing much about the comparative cost to drive a mile.  Nothing about Tesla batteries now exceeding 300,000 miles and still retaining well over 80% capacity.

Tesla is under attack.  I'm not sure who is participating in the attack other than some stock short sellers. There certainly are others who could be involved.  The oil industry, traditional car manufacturers and their dealers, the Russians who lost major income to SpaceX all come to mind.  And the paid press has no reason to defend Tesla seeing how Tesla does not buy advertising.  The oil industry and traditional car manufacturers spend billions upon billion each year buying advertising.  I'm left with suspicions.

16
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 02, 2019, 07:49:03 PM »
Quote
Quote
Can you identify a country which has a long period during which capitalism was not allowed to operate, people accepted that without being coerced, and the country enjoyed 'good times'?

So what do you mean by that? Are you asking if the people in the GDR, compared to the people in West Germany, had a job guarantee, universal health care, excellent childcare, free education, a strong communal spirit?

They built a wall to keep people from leaving the GDR and shot them if they tried to get over.  Did you not read the word "coerced"?

I have not made the argument that the worst capitalist country will alway be better than the best non-capitalist country in every single aspect.  Let's stick with the question presented, not make stuff up.


Quote
Quote
I really don't care if someone owns many tonnes of diamonds as long as they aren't able to 'enslave' others or prohibit others from seeking success.

You forget one important thing in this equation. In the US, you can buy legislation. This means the one with the tonnes of diamonds has influence that the other 99% of people don't have. This is inherently undemocratic
.

I clearly said "as long as they aren't able to 'enslave' others or prohibit others from seeking success".  You ignored that.  I didn't forget.  You chose to ignore.

Quote
And here you have the proof why Biden is not a democrat (lower d). He is interested in holding up the oligarchy. He stands before his donors promising them he will not change this system, because, being the useful idiot for the oligarchs is his business model. He is not a politician, he is a businessman.

You have no idea what you're talking about.  Those who run federal, state, county, or city governments have multiple tasks.  One is to keep stuff running.  You can't destroy the "oligarchy" in one fell swoop because if you did you'd crash the economy and we got a little taste of what that would be like in 2008/2009/2010 and years after.  None of us remember but we got a big taste in the Great Depression that started in the late 1920s.  Some of your parents or grandparents may be able to tell what things were like for them following World War Two which destroyed their economies.  We have no options other than gradual change that doesn't overly disrupt and cause crashing.  Leaders who want to make changes have to walk that tightrope.

I'll remind you, Joe Biden is in my small group of people I hope are not the Democratic candidate.  I think he's too old and somewhat out of touch.  I also don't think he's the sharpest knife in the collection.  I'm defending Joe because I think you are wronging him.  I'd do the same for you if I thought someone was unfairly attacking you.

Here's what Biden said to a group of rich potential donors recently -

Quote
“When we have income inequality as large as we have in the United States today, it brews and ferments political discord and basic revolution,” Biden said at a recent fundraiser at the Carlyle Hotel in New York City.

Biden has also floated the idea of closing tax loopholes and getting rid of exemptions that benefit the rich at these events. He recently noted that during the presidency of Republican Ronald Reagan, there existed around $800 billion worth of tax exemptions, adding those exemptions have gotten closer to $1.6 trillion now.

“I could take about $400 [billion] away, and it wouldn’t change your standard of living one tiny little bit — not even an iota,” Biden told donors.

Biden, and anyone else running against Trump, will need a lot of money.  Poor people, workers living paycheck to paycheck, don't have much money to spare.  Pretty much every candidate will need wealthy people to give them money.  That is simply the reality of the times.

The US has a campaign finance problem and many of us understand that.  You seem to be ignorant of what we know inside the US.  Many of us want the rules to be changed but they won't be changed until we can get Republicans out of control.  Republicans are on their way to becoming a party that can't win a national election and will win in only rural states.  They know that and they are doing everything they can to delay their exile.  If we want to take back our government we have to play the game by the current rules and play to win.  Then, if we win, we can start fixing the system.

17
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 02, 2019, 07:22:56 PM »
Re:  adequately regulated capitalism

And that is what Streeck argues is impossible.
sidd

What about Sweden? New Zealand?  Switzerland?   Are they failures? 

Are all countries in the world except North Korea failures? 


18
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: July 02, 2019, 07:15:53 PM »
For the rest of the world thats 560km NEDC.

I had the misfortune to drive 800 miles in a day last weekend .
I have badly bruised thighs from sitting up for so long and hope I will never have to do such a trip ever again.
A model 3 LR it would have made no real difference to my travel time as you need to eat , excrete and walk around to restore circulation for about the same time as you would need to charge. Even down here in the wilds of the pacific Tesla already has charges at suitable spacing to make such a trip possible for the masochists.

Electric cars are coming at an accelerating rate with Tesla leading the charge up the S curve. No amount of nay saying and pleas to the edge cases  is going to halt the change.

You must have a cast iron butt.  I did a 700 mile drive day a couple years back and it was a total killer. 

I suspect had either of us been driving a Tesla with only it's non-self driving Autopilot features the story would have been different.  If, for long stretches, you didn't have to steer or adjust your speed as speed limits and traffic required then you'd have a lot more freedom of movement when sitting behind the wheel.  You could move around, even do the sort of 'in seat' exercises that some airlines suggest.

19
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: July 02, 2019, 07:07:37 PM »
Some data on charging a Tesla 3 Long Range.  The owner pulled into the 250 kW Supercharger with 10 miles of range left.  2%.  When charging started the car's range gained 6 miles of range in the first minute.  Those are the first two data points in the table below. 


2% – 10 miles – 0 mins (126 kW)
5% – 16 miles – 1 min (250 kW)
20% – 62 miles – 4 mins (250 kW)
21% – 65 miles – 4.5 mins (Taper from peak starts – 248 kW)
30% – 92 miles – 6 mins (218 kW)
40% – 123 miles – 8.5 mins (179 kW)
50% – 153 miles – 11 mins (142 kW)
60% – 184 miles – 14.5 mins (108 kW)
70% – 213 miles – 19 mins (87 kW)
80% – 245 miles – 24.5 mins (56 kW)
90% – 275 miles – 34 mins (36 kW)

A fully charged T3LR has a 310 mile range.  If you were going to be close enough to a 250 kW Supercharger (you car should tell  you) then you could leave home with a 310 mile charge, drive 300 miles, stop for 34 minutes, and then drive another 265 miles for a 565 mile drive day.

Or you could maximize high charge rates and drive 300 miles, charge 15 minutes, drive 175 miles, charge 15 minutes, drive 175 miles and rack up a 650 mile day.

This claim -

Quote
I don't disagree Oren, but this will only do for 100% of the needs of 80% of the people.

Neil, would you please describe the needs of those 20% that wouldn't find this good enough?  I can imagine there is someone who fills their tank the day before, packs a lunch, takes a bottle to pee in, drives something like a Kia Optima Hybrid with a 729 mile range, and goes 700 miles non-stop.  But 20% of all drivers do this sort of extreme traveling?

20
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 02, 2019, 09:22:03 AM »
Quote
Let me ask you.  Can you identify a country which has a long period during which capitalism was not allowed to operate, people accepted that without being coerced, and the country enjoyed 'good times'?

I'm sure there have been lots of pre-agricultural tribes that worked for thousands of years where the community was generally 'happy'. You could even argue that the Fall of Man is an allegory for the shift towards agriculture, of which capitalism as we know it is the product. Those tribes would still exist if it wasn't for other tribes going sour and pursuing domination and expansion (because of concentrated wealth).


From your comment I take it that you can't identify a country.  That's OK, I haven't been able to either.

Quote
When something works too well, it doesn't work. And given that it always ends up working too well (capital turning into concentrated wealth that destroys itself, a vicious cycle we have been in since the dawn of agriculture), perhaps that means it has never worked and never will work.[/b] Thanks for answering the question.

That is some strange logic.  I think we all realize that left unfettered free market capitalism tends to run to monopolies.  That does not mean that capitalism doesn't work, it just means that controls have to be put in place to keep things from getting out of hand. 

Given that most of the world's countries are based on capitalism I'm having a bit of a problem believing that capitalism has never worked. 

Quote
So, if the only alternative is to restrict the accumulation of capital on an individual level, the big question is: Is this still capitalism as we know it? Because if it isn't, we have found the answer to the question in the thread title. A lot of people will say it's socialism/communism, Bob will say 'it's good capitalism' and so we get hung up on terms.

If we allow people to acquire capital and use that capital to acquire more income/capital then that isn't either socialism or communism.  At least as I understand those terms.  Neither allow individuals to acquire capital. Capital is either held commonly or by the state.  If we allow people to acquire capital and use that capital that's capitalism. 

Bob's version of 'good capitalism' is adequately regulated capitalism that prevents too much power to accumulate to one person or group of people due to the amount of capital they control.  I really don't care if someone owns many tonnes of diamonds as long as they aren't able to 'enslave' others or prohibit others from seeking success.


21
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: July 02, 2019, 09:00:08 AM »

The $352 high was hit two years ago.  June 2017.  Two board members have sold some stock?


You might wish to check this years high on Jan. 16 2019 of $352.00
Down from the YTD high of $386.46 set last July 18 2019


I fear much of the ensuing data you proffered is as far off
Please check less biased sources
Terry

We've sure got a mishmash of numbers, Terry. 

I'm using Google's chart of daily closing prices and I just double checked against Yahoo's database.  The historical high close was $383.45 on 06/23/17 according to their chart.  When you posted "$352 high" I thought you were talking about the all time high and knew the all time high was a couple of years back.  I checked my spreadsheet for the actual date and didn't pay attention to the price.   

$352 is a price peak during the day.  On Jan 16 2019 Tesla closed at $346.  I use daily closing prices for my records, not during day peaks.  Small difference.

Did you notice your "$386.46 set last July 18 2019"?  That's very clairvoyant of you....  ;o)

$386.99 was a daily peak reached on Jun 23, 2017.  The highest midday price in July 2017 was $371.35 on July 3.   

22
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: July 02, 2019, 07:11:42 AM »
One of the authors at Cleantechnica just reported on his first experience recharging at one of Tesla's new 250 kW Supercharges.  It took 15 minutes to add 178 miles to the batteries. 

Start the day with full batteries in the lowest range Tesla 3 (220 miles), drive 200 miles, stop 15 minutes to charge, drive 178,miles, charge and drive.  That's about a 550 mile driving day with two pee stops.  The time spent charging on a long distance trip objection to EVs is fading away.

There are some 350 kW chargers being installed by companies but so far no EVs that can accept that rapid a charge.  Hopefully a company will up the game soon and push toward the 5 minute 80% charge goal.

23
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: July 02, 2019, 06:42:08 AM »
I wonder how much of the price decrease comes from depression of wages.

Labor is a small fraction of both solar panel manufacturing and solar farm construction.  Panel manufacturing is highly automated.  Building solar farms doesn't require that much labor any longer with the posts installed by machines and panel mounting largely 'clip on and plug in'. 

If anything labor costs have likely risen, at least in China and the US.  China dealing more and more with labor demanding higher wages as China's labor force ages and shrinks.  The US has very low unemployment at the moment so there are not likely to be ways to squeeze workers.

As of a few days ago US poly solar panel costs were down to $0.214/watt average and lowest prices were $0.20/watt.  Mono high efficiency solar panels were $0.272/watt average and $0.24/watt lowest.    Inverter prices are also dropping.

24
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 02, 2019, 03:20:41 AM »

I think our military's main goal in WWI and WWII was to keep Germany and a few other countries from conquering the world.  And those countries had economic systems very similar to ours.  Later we fought against communist nation expansion into places like South Korea and Southeast Asia but I'm not seeing a lot of threat to our economic system figuring into those fights.


lol

Cognitive Dissonance

In the 1950s the US had no significant economic interests in Korea.  And no significant economic interests in Indochina in the 1970s.  At least that I can think of.

Can you stiffel your laughter long enough to remind me of what I might have forgotten?


25
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 02, 2019, 02:50:30 AM »
Quote
And before the good, ole US of A donated all that aid for free to the Rooskies, it helped re-arm Germany. Glory, glory, hallelujah!

Perhaps this site needs a recognition award for extreme goal post moving.

26
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 02, 2019, 02:48:41 AM »
Can you please show me a time and place that capitalism worked?

I missed this question.  Looking back I found it.  I'll be glad to answer it.

Capitalism has worked over and over for most of the time humans have had a social network.  People who have something tend to not just give it away, they trade for something they want, goods or 'services'.  If they have something really good they may rent it out and get stuff back for its use.

A really good throwing spear is a means of production.  Trading it to someone for a nice skin, a good rock axe, whatever is capitalism at work.  Letting someone have a measure of grain so that they can plant a crop and asking for two measures back in exchange is capitalism at work.

The places where there's been an attempt to eliminate capitalism haven't fared very well.  Don't you live in one of the Soviet block countries?  People around you can tell you how well it worked when people couldn't borrow and loan money, couldn't start their own business.

The problem is not that capitalism doesn't work.  The problem with capitalism is that, left unchecked, it can work too well.  Unfettered capitalism can lead to extreme monopolies and the accumulation of wealth into the hands of very few individuals.

Let me ask you.  Can you identify a country which has a long period during which capitalism was not allowed to operate, people accepted that without being coerced, and the country enjoyed 'good times'? 

(Please, not Cuba.  Cuba did well as long as they were propped up by the Soviet Union.  When Russia failed to subsidize Cuba things went downhill.)


27
Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: July 02, 2019, 01:22:45 AM »
When calculating the capacity factor of nuclear power plants, is the time they are shut down due to the lack of cooling water considered?  It seems to me that this would be more stressful for the grid than compensating for the impact of the rising and setting of the sun on solar power plants.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/06/30/heatwave-may-force-nuclear-power-shutdown-france-cooling-water/

Quote
Drought and overheating of river water may force some of the nuclear power plants that supply two-thirds of France’s electricity to shut down temporarily in the wake of the European heatwave.

The extreme temperatures are beginning to abate, but shortages and excessive temperatures of river water needed to cool reactors are worrying EDF, the largely state-owned electricity company.

Yes, but...

If a reactor goes offline for a significant period of time for repairs in the US the EIA goes back in time and removes it's nameplate capacity from the 'available capacity' at that point in time.  A nuclear plant that is offline for  long time like Fort Calhoun was for a year does not lower the industry's capacity factor.  The same happens if a plant shuts down for repairs and never comes back online.  The plant's capacity is removed from the database on the day it breaks, not on the day there's a decision to not bring it back.

28
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 02, 2019, 12:17:07 AM »
Quote
I think our military's main goal in WWI and WWII was to keep Germany and a few other countries from conquering the world.

This is an American Myth, and you should be old enough to know this. The Soviet Union was already winning the war, after making most of the sacrifices. And then the Hollywood movie started.




The Soviets did an excellent job of protecting the British Isles and driving the Nazis from western Europe, didn't they?  Stellar work.  Add to that the way the Soviets defeated Japan, unassisted.  Astounding!

I made exactly zero claims that the US won WWII on its own.  Please don't make stuff up. 

And consider this -

Quote
The Soviet Union did not turn the tide on the Eastern Front on its own. Though for decades Soviet historians played down the role of American and British Lend-Lease aid, its real significance has now been acknowledged. From 1942 a flow of food and raw materials and engineering equipment sustained the Soviet war effort.

There was enough food in the end to ensure a square meal for every Soviet soldier; most of the Soviet rail network was supplied with locomotives, wagons and rails made in the USA; one million miles of telephone wire, 14 million pairs of boots, 363, 000 trucks, all helped to keep the Red Army fighting with growing efficiency. Without Allied aid, Stalin later admitted, 'we would not have been able to cope'.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwtwo/how_the_allies_won_01.shtml

That's Joe, himself, telling you that the Soviet Union was unlikely to win the war unassisted.

29
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: July 01, 2019, 11:37:54 PM »
There's trouble in coal mining city....


Quote
In another sign of coal’s precipitous decline, the owner of two Wyoming mines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Monday in the Southern District of West Virginia, joining a growing list of coal companies with ties to the Equality State in bankruptcy proceedings.

Blackjewel LLC operates Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr, two mines in the Powder River Basin. Blackjewel CEO Jeffery Hoop bought the Wyoming coal mines two years ago from Contura Energy Inc. Another of Hoop's companies in the case, Revelation Energy LLC, operates mines in Appalachia.

Blackjewel owns and operates the two mines in Campbell County, but Contura still holds the mine permits. Due to concern over Blackjewel's existing assets, the state delayed approval of the transfer.


Blackjewel is the fifth coal producer in Wyoming to file for bankruptcy in recent years. Bristol, Tennessee-based Alpha Natural Resources filed for bankruptcy in 2015, followed by top-producing Peabody Energy and Arch Coal in 2016. Westmoreland Coal, which operates the Kemmerer Mine in southwest Wyoming, filed for bankruptcy in October.

The out-of-state company's filing comes less than two months after Cloud Peak Energy, a coal giant that operates two of its own Wyoming mines, declared bankruptcy. Cloud Peak owns the Antelope and Cordero Rojo mines in the Powder River Basin.

https://trib.com/business/energy/owner-of-two-wyoming-coal-mines-files-for-bankruptcy/article_773100d1-b5b4-57d8-af49-842518b9e219.html#utm_source=trib.com&utm_campaign=%2Femail-updates%2Fbreaking&utm_medium=PostUp&utm_content=9c38b3f2bfbb8dcd70f6096693cd1dd79c29b7e0

30
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 01, 2019, 11:31:10 PM »
No, because I don't see how that question has any validity as to the viability of capitalism.  I don't see the US military forcing anyone to acquire and invest capital.

I do see times at which the US military has been used in an attempt to contain countries which were seeking to conquer other countries.  But since some of those invading countries have been non-communistic I don't think we can make much of the use of the military.
hahaha. The United States of America has never intervened in a country for reasons other than pure altruism.  God Bless America!

I've chosen not to engage in this discussion as I simply do not have the time to list the post WWII conflicts that were purely based on defending our economic interests and this does not even count the times we armed proxies to do the same.

You have chosen to engage.  Your engagement is to post part of my comment out of context.

Here's your claim to which I responded.

Quote
Really? Our military's only purpose is to project power and preserve an economic system that benefits us the most. It is the basis of our empire.

I emboldened the critical word.  And here's my reply...


Quote
I think our military's main goal in WWI and WWII was to keep Germany and a few other countries from conquering the world.  And those countries had economic systems very similar to ours.  Later we fought against communist nation expansion into places like South Korea and Southeast Asia but I'm not seeing a lot of threat to our economic system figuring into those fights.

The Iraq oil wars?  Largely fought to protect US and global oil supplies and oil company profits.  But those were not at the scale of the other wars listed.  US military action in the Kosovo War seems to have nothing to do with US interests other than helping Europe to damp down a problem of theirs.

You'll note that in my first paragraph and last sentence of my second paragraph I listed US military actions whose main goal, as I see it, was not to "project power and preserve an economic system that benefits us." 

What I meant to say in the last part of the first paragraph was " And those countries we fought against had economic systems very similar to ours.  Had Germany, Japan, and Italy won WWII we would probably live in capitalistic systems with some social safety nets.

And I acknowledged times at which our military was used mainly to protect our economic system.

It's a mix of both.  Not an "only".

31
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 01, 2019, 10:45:43 PM »


Can you please show me a time and place that communism worked?  I only know of places where communism was forced on populations.  If something works then it shouldn't require military might to keep people in line.



Hmmmm......capitalism is a system that spans national borders. Could you explain to me how the U.S. military is not employed to "keep people in line".

No, because I don't see how that question has any validity as to the viability of capitalism.  I don't see the US military forcing anyone to acquire and invest capital.

I do see times at which the US military has been used in an attempt to contain countries which were seeking to conquer other countries.  But since some of those invading countries have been non-communistic I don't think we can make much of the use of the military.

Really? Our military's only purpose is to project power and preserve an economic system that benefits us the most. It is the basis of our empire.

I think our military's main goal in WWI and WWII was to keep Germany and a few other countries from conquering the world.  And those countries had economic systems very similar to ours.  Later we fought against communist nation expansion into places like South Korea and Southeast Asia but I'm not seeing a lot of threat to our economic system figuring into those fights.

The Iraq oil wars?  Largely fought to protect US and global oil supplies and oil company profits.  But those were not at the scale of the other wars listed.  US military action in the Kosovo War seems to have nothing to do with US interests other than helping Europe to damp down a problem of theirs.

Our "empire"?  You thinking Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands make for an impressive empire?


32
Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: July 01, 2019, 10:33:34 PM »
Why?  Two reasons that I can think of.

1) Tesla threatens a very large number of industries.  The oil industry, the internal combustion engine industry, the natural gas industry (storage replacing gas peakers and soon CCNG plants), car dealerships, those who drive for a living, taxi companies, and maybe some others.

2) Tesla doesn't pay for advertising in the media.  Oil companies, ICEV manufacturers, and other companies Tesla stands to damage do buy advertising.  Billions and billions of dollars worth every year.

33
Policy and solutions / Re: Biomass issues
« on: July 01, 2019, 10:28:47 PM »
If you look at the industrial revolution, you can see that fossil fuels were needed because there was just not enough biomass to power it. Now we hope to keep our living standard with just renewable, and my worry is that biomass is the only stored renewable energy, so we might try to use it above renewability, and that would be one more of the many catastrophes coming along with climate change and supporting the species extinction. Part of the biomass has to stay in and on the ground to keep the soil alive.

No energy source/technology is perfect.  We have to figure out the downsides of each and see if we can tolerate the downside and that has to be done within the context of fossil fuel use and global warming.  We have to keep in mind that losing the war against climate change may mean the destruction of most forests and the extinction of many millions of species of plants and animals.

Is there a role, perhaps a temporary role, that biofuel can play today that lets us decrease fossil fuel use today?

Is there a long term role for biofuel in which the downsides of biofuel would be benign?  A role in which biofuel would be the best/least problematic solution of all available renewable options?

34
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 01, 2019, 09:42:09 PM »


Can you please show me a time and place that communism worked?  I only know of places where communism was forced on populations.  If something works then it shouldn't require military might to keep people in line.



Hmmmm......capitalism is a system that spans national borders. Could you explain to me how the U.S. military is not employed to "keep people in line".

No, because I don't see how that question has any validity as to the viability of capitalism.  I don't see the US military forcing anyone to acquire and invest capital.

I do see times at which the US military has been used in an attempt to contain countries which were seeking to conquer other countries.  But since some of those invading countries have been non-communistic I don't think we can make much of the use of the military. 


35
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: July 01, 2019, 09:36:18 PM »
Bob, look at the numbers.

They said they'd stop insuring power companies only if they exceeded 30% of revenue derived from coal.

Coal only supplies 27.4 % of the power in the US. It supplies even less of the revenue.

Ergo; a very small minority of power companies will be affected by this policy change.

I'm all for eliminating coal as a power source, but if they were serious they'd cut off insurance to coal plants. Period!

Linking policy to revenue (net or gross?) and percentages gives them too much wiggle room while at the same time looks like positive P.R.

I see it as a step along the path to a fossil fuel free future. 

The camel's nose under the tent, a small leak in the dike, the first stone falling that presages an avalanche. 

As frustrating as it can be, major changes only very rarely happen in one large step.  Change tends to happen in successive approximations with a fair amount of back and forthing along the way.  Cul de sacs are sometimes entered, missteps taken, but gradually we get from point A to point B.

If an insurance company has decided that coal is a very risky business that's a positive step.  They are saying, IMO, that if your company has more than 30% of its business future tied up in coal you stand a good chance of failing and they aren't going to risk their money on you.

36
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 01, 2019, 09:26:52 PM »
IIRC when the Soviet Union went out of business >80% of the people voted for communism to continue.
I believe it was sidd that first mentioned this and posted the link - but I could be wrong.
Terry

People had their support system jerked out from under them with no apparent substitutes. 

If the Communist Party had not ruled with an iron fist do you believe private enterprise would not have risen?

37
Policy and solutions / Re: Biomass issues
« on: July 01, 2019, 09:23:47 PM »
Anecdotally I live a long way east of you Bob. The village I grew up in was a late bloomer and the land wasn't cleared until 1810. "Stump fences" - tree stumps dragged across a clearing and left horizontally to keep the livestock penned in or out are still extant >200 years after they'd been felled. And they're still climbable. ::)
Half a dozen homes large frame homes have perhaps another hundred years left in them and were built from wood cleared to allow agriculture.
Not particularly rot resistant - oak, maple, even some chestnut, but all show homes now that will be around for this generation's grandkids.
Our home was brick, but the original builder had the Province plant 6,000 seedling on the 6 acre lot. They're ~100 years old today & appear to be healthy and well cared for.
How old do you thing the Douglas firs are that you say have so recently died?
Terry

The lumber in houses is not laying on the ground year round.    My land was logged in 1986 but it was selectively logged.  I would imagine my largest firs are 40 to 50 years old.  There are a lot of one, five, ten, fifteen, ... year old dead trees. 

What you are missing IMHO Terry is that we need to stop extracting carbon via fossil fuels.  We just plain need to stop adding to our above surface carbon stock.

Past that we should discuss the best alternatives for fossil fuels.  But let's make sure we aren't trying to argue for more fossil fuel use.

38
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: July 01, 2019, 09:17:08 PM »

Bob$352.00 to close at $223.46 in the first 6 months of this year. And that in a rising market!


Some of this no doubt was the board cashing out, some due to the "C" level execs fleeing to greener pastures in liew of waiting around for their stock options, and some has been a steady drip of bad reports from around the world on the quality and service issues (FUD)?


I think I had some long side investment through Fidelity, but they recently dumped the stock so I'm probably not invested either way at this time.
Terry

The $352 high was hit two years ago.  June 2017.  Two board members have sold some stock.  At least one of them is nearing the end of his term on the board. 

I'm not sure executive turnover at Tesla has been unusually high for a tech company.  I've seen no numbers but what I have read is that there is a lot of movement from company to company in the tech world.  A few years at Tesla or another successful company allows one to secure a more advanced position at another company. 

Tesla had some 'fit and finish' problems earlier on.  Recent reports find that Tesla now has those problems behind them and their cars are as well finished as others in the industry. 

And Tesla has had trouble creating service centers as fast as they've expanded the areas where their customers live.  Someone who lives hundreds of miles from the nearest Tesla service center can buy a Tesla and then, if they have a problem, find there's no service center minutes from their house.  Tesla is working on this problem by creating 'mobile service centers'.  Technicians who drive to where the car with a problem lives and fix it there as long as the problem is not major.  For something like a battery pack swap or major body work repair the car would have to be hauled to a 'brick and mortar' service center.  The mobile services can fix most problems, even minor body damage.

Interestingly, Tesla cars now contact the service center on their own if something starts malfunctioning in the car.  Techs arrive knowing what the problem is and with the parts they need in their Model X rolling repair shop. 

The reports of earlier fit and finish problems and sometimes difficulty in getting repairs is not disinformation (FUD).  But failing to cease claiming a problem after the problem is fixed is FUD.  When you hear about small places where paint is a bit thin frequently but hear very little about the three Tesla models being ranked as the three safest cars produced then you have to question the objectivity of many of those reporting.


39
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 01, 2019, 08:56:12 PM »
There has been no third economic model presented.

Well, social democracy and capitalism are very different. In the aspects i lined out in my answer for example. You'll find more. Google it!

Also communism is also very different. I talked about some aspects there in my post too.

Instead of talking about that, you answer with 'There has been no third economic model presented'.

To be honest with you Bob, you totally discredit yourself everytime you talk about politics!

You don't know what the words mean and then you fall back to the propaganda you have been fed "Communism never worked!". If you had a little historical knowledge, you would know how ridiculous this sentence is and how much it reveals about the person parroting it.

"Social democracy" is a blend of capitalism and social safety nets.  If you want to push hard into the weeds you can say that it's a different system than pure capitalism.  I view it as a hybrid which attempts to take the best of both systems in order to create something that works better than either pure capitalism or pure socialism.  My question is whether there is a third "pure" system and I think the answer is no.

Can you please show me a time and place that communism worked?  I only know of places where communism was forced on populations.  If something works then it shouldn't require military might to keep people in line.

Here's my big issue.  I regularly see people here and on the far left claiming that we should destroy capitalism.  When nailed down what they typically want is to adequately regulate capitalism, not kill it.  They, generally, want more and stronger social safety net programs and to control corporate misbehavior but they don't actually want a pure socialist system.

40
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 01, 2019, 08:44:51 PM »
Quote
My suggestion is simply that we extend the same access to money  to all citizens at the same %rate

Any adjustments for risk?  Shady Sonny pays the same rate as Reliable Ralph?


 
Quote
the whole of government expenditure could be met by a simple .5% transaction tax on all transactions

That sounds like a sales tax which is a regressive tax, putting a larger burden on the poor.
risk, well since this is just a different way of creating 'money' into the economy there can be no risk unless the individual ceases to transact, since every years debt will add 2.5% tax to all their transactions, no transactions no more credit. If the individual has spent the money it has gone into circulation and would generate a much slower rate of devaluation of the currency than the present system.
regressive, in my experience the rich always transact more than the poor, and since the .5% will affect all transactions in the currency hft would pay the bulk of the tax, if it continued.

Risk is not a way to create money.  Risk deals with the odds of losing money.  If you take all your retirement savings/investments and loan them to someone who wants to start selling donuts that taste like axle grease you will not have created money, you'll have put yourself on the street in your later years.  Loaning money to all at the same rate would be mega foolish.

"in my experience the rich always transact more than the poor, and since the .5% will affect all transactions in the currency hft would pay the bulk of the tax"

We've seen how that works.  Reagan taxed 'luxury goods'.  The rich went abroad to buy their yachts, thus avoiding the transaction tax.  The tax destroyed the US large recreational boat industry.  The rich will go abroad to make their large purchases but the non-rich won't be able to do the same.  Look for the rich to own multiple homes out of the country and fewer in the US.  Look for them to import their used very expensive cars after driving them in other countries for a year or so.


41
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 01, 2019, 08:35:06 PM »
Re: the ability to own capital

"means of production"

capital is a means of production.

sidd

Is that the standard definition in economics?  Factories and equipment are capital that are the means of production.  Is the cash needed to purchase factories and equipment rolled into that category or is it something needed to acquire the means of production?

42
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: July 01, 2019, 08:32:13 PM »
It's business as usual for a major insurance company to decide insuring coal plants is no longer a good business practice?  Please give us the long term history of insurance companies deciding to not insure coal operations.  For it to be BAU then it has to have been an ongoing practice.  Otherwise it's BNLU - business not like usual.  A new development.

In 1973 80.6% of US electricity was generated with fossil fuels.  By 2010 this fell to 70.0%.  In 2017 fossil fuels produced 62.8% of US electricity. 

In 2007 coal hit peak use for electricity generation at 2,016,456 million kilowatt hours.  In 2017 coal was used to generate 1,207,901 million kilowatt hours of electricity.  A 40% decrease over ten years.

Business as usual in the US is to reduce the amount of fossil fuels used for electricity generation and to reduce the proportion of coal used as part of that fossil fuel use.


43
Policy and solutions / Re: Biomass issues
« on: July 01, 2019, 08:17:15 PM »
"Completely decompose" is misleading.  Most of the mass of the Douglas firs around here goes away in short years.  The 'skeletal remains' can stick around for a long time.  Cellulose, I would assume.  I'm currently watching a half dozen Dougs that died within the last five years (drought and beetles) fall to pieces from where I sit and type.  There are two straight out my window that just finished dying last year and the tops are already rotting away.  As they stand.

If you don't go out and drop those trees for firewood within a year or two after they die most of the mass is gone. 

Oaks can hang on longer as long as they don't fall.  Once on the ground they soon turn into what looks like a log but isn't safe to stand on, the interior is gone to microbe farts.

Be careful about talking about long term carbon storage in trees, then using the most extremely long living and rot resistant species to bolster your argument.

But all that said, we must stop extracting carbon and adding to our global warming problem.  If biofuels help us cut fossil fuel use that is a net gain. 

44
Policy and solutions / Re: The Hyperloop
« on: July 01, 2019, 08:01:02 PM »
Musk has now gone underground with his version.  That eliminates the thermal expansion and pod cooling problems.  It minimizes terrorist/yahoo damage. 


Musk's initial "vision" was to load a water tank and offload a sealed container of very high pressure steam at each stop. The pod draws a lot of kW and runs in an evacuated pipe. How does putting the pipe underground even address this issue?


Terry
BTW
Isn't the Las Vegas project a <1/8 mile non-hyper loop?

The initial propulsion ideas seem to have been scrapped.  But since Boring is not talking about building a hyperloop system at this point in time we don't know what Musk and engineering team is planning for their hyperloop approach.

For now Boring is building 'very rapid subway systems'.  Top speed is planned to be 155 MPH, not the ~700 MPH of a hyperloop system.  At the lower speed there's not the need to lower the air pressure in the tunnel.

I think Musk is bootstrapping a hyperloop system via lower speed Loop systems like he's done with Tesla and SpaceX.  Find an entry point at which innovation can create capital and use that capital to move up another level in order to gain more knowledge/experience and more capital.  A Loop system can be built quickly and start earning money.  The LA Loop is likely to be producing income this year and the LV Loop in 2021.  The Baltimore to Washington DC Loop may start construction soon.  These projects will give Boring Co. engineers opportunities to refine their tunnel boring machine technology, increasing tunneling speeds and lowering costs.

I expect to see serious talk of a Boring Co. hyperloop project within the next five years.  When Boring feels they have the technology nailed down they'll start serious talk with someone, somewhere about building their first hyperloop. 

45
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: July 01, 2019, 07:46:37 PM »
I'm not seeing much risk.  If the solar company fails the company would go into bankruptcy and another company would buy out the assets.  Given that utility solar prices are dropping to the two cent level I doubt LA would find itself paying more.

LA would be committed to paying 2 cents for electricity delivered under the PPA.  They wouldn't be required to pay anything for electricity not delivered. 
---

Tesla's stock price was probably too high at it's record high of $387.  $420 was just a suggestion of what might be paid to take the company private.  The price offered to those who did not want to own part of a private company.  We've now come through a period during which Tesla's price has been beaten down by a constant stream of attacks on Tesla and Musk.  Tesla's current price of $223 is probably too low but the price is on the increase. 

No one knows the future.  Some people think Tesla is an extraordinary company on track to become a very large success.  They are willing to pay a premium for the stock.  A string of hit pieces can dampen that optimism and cause people to lower their estimation of future success.

Keep an eye on Tesla stock for the rest of the year.  There's a good chance Tesla will show a Q2 profit, at worst a small loss.  The company is on track to start producing cars in Shanghai during Q3 with meaningful numbers being produced in late Q4.  The Model Y and pickup are probably going to be introduced this year with production starting next year.  There may be some TY production this year.  The anti-Tesla talking points will have been squashed by reality. 

With profitable quarters, a new 500,000 car per year factory in operation, and new products introduced expect Tesla stock prices to move toward new record highs.

46
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 01, 2019, 07:53:42 AM »
Here is some late stage capitalism: Three companies own 40% of all publicly traded firms in the USA

"BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street have nearly US$11 trillion in assets "

"the Big Three do exert the voting rights attached to these shares. "

https://www.alternet.org/2017/05/these-three-firms-own-corporate-america/

sidd

Those aren't companies in the way GM or GE are companies.  They're mutual fund companies that manage investments for individuals.  More accurately one might say that millions of individuals who have invested through BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street have nearly US$11 trillion in assets.

From Fun Facts about Vanguard - "More than 20 million investors, in about 170 countries, as of December 31, 2018. "

47
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 01, 2019, 07:45:28 AM »
It strikes me that posters here are using different definitions of capitalism. I propose

1) (Some) private ownership of (some of) the means of production. (No state allows entirely private manufacture of nuclear weapons, for example. Even Pantex is controlled by DOE but run by corporaions like Bechtel)

2) market mechanisms to set (some) prices and (some) wages. (I won't say "free markets" because there isn't one. All markets are regulated to some extent)

3) Profitability as criterion of survival (in some areas)

Anything else ?

All these have problems as Marx and others have pointed out. I think the issue here is what the "some" in the clauses above should be.

sidd

Missing the ability to own capital, invest it, and make money off that investment?

I'm not seeing anyone support a pure socialism.  Some say they want to destroy capitalism but when nailed down it's more that they want to put more restrictions on what companies/individuals are able to do.  They don't seem to actually oppose capitalism but what the see as inadequately regulated business activities.

48
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 01, 2019, 07:37:21 AM »
Quote
Nuttn will happen until Citizens United is revoked and elections are publicly funded.

Might we be missing something here?  How many voters watch commercial funded TV these days? 

I don't have a TV.  The two houses I visit from time to time that do watch TV in the evening seem never to watch a station with commercials.  They watch Prime/Netflix type programming.  Candidates can't buy time on those media feeds.  Might the impact of political TV commercials be fading?

If you don't watch ABC/NBC type TV (at least mutch), stream your music, and don't read the newspaper for your news then is big money going to reach you with ads?  Might we be moving into the post-ad campaign era?

49
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: July 01, 2019, 06:10:38 AM »
The city of Los Angeles is reviewing a rather astounding proposal for new solar...

Quote
If approved, the city will enter into a 25-year power purchase agreement for 400 MW AC/530 MW DC of solar electricity at a price of 1.997 cents per kWh — the lowest price yet for solar power in the US. Adding a 100 MW/200 MWh battery will cost an additional 1.3 cents per kWh. The project includes the option to add 50 MW/200 MWh of energy storage for 0.665 cents per kWh more.

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/06/30/why-todays-leading-automakers-should-fear-tesla/

Two cents per kWh for direct from farm solar and about 3.3 cents for solar stored to be used after the Sun sets.  Twenty-five years at an apparently fixed price, no appreciation to keep up with inflation.  Assuming 3% inflation the price in 2045 would be half what is would be now in time adjusted money. 


50
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 01, 2019, 03:06:00 AM »
I don't want to kill capitalism, "I just want to shrink it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub" :D :D :D

That's fine.  Just give us a better system before you extinguish capitalism.  I'm eagerly waiting to learn about something better than adequately regulated capitalism.

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