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Forum Post: Excess Money

Posted 4 months ago on July 10, 2017, 8:26 p.m. EST by agkaiser (1884) from Fredericksburg, TX
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Everybody knows the rich and their banks and corporations pay lower percentages of taxes than the rest of us. Everybody knows many of them pay no taxes at all.

Many of us and our governments borrow money from the rich. We borrow to live a decent life. The governments borrow and do the things like build and repair roads, defense and other things we need in common. Some say we don't have to borrow. Is that really true?

Q: Why do the rich have excess money that they can loan to us and our government? A: The rich don't pay taxes.

If the governments taxed the excess instead of borrowing it, maybe we could pay lower taxes and have more of our earnings so we wouldn't have to borrow so much either. What do you think?

37 Comments

37 Comments


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[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (33204) from Coon Rapids, MN 4 months ago

I've said it before and likely I'll say it again = Cap the bastards That includes corporations (no they are not people but they like to have all of the advantages of person-hood) as well as wealthy individuals (that actually are biological beings). Yes all that excess can be put towards education (free for all for life) as well as Complete Health Care for all (for free for life includes access to all medical science and treatments) and lets not forget our crumbling infrastructure or transition to clean energy for affordable housing (for all) business industry transportation.

Remember when gasoline was $0.25 per gallon? That was when there was a cap on the fossil fuel industry. Cap got lifted and prices went skyrocketing immediately.

Yeah that almost kind of happened just after the Great Depression - but we missed it just by a little bit - and the wealthy (including the faux people) have been doing their damnedest to get it all undone and are very close to achieving their goal.

[-] 1 points by grapes (5016) 4 months ago

All countries with tight authoritarian price controls have either failed or are teetering on the brink of collapse. Price controls are fine for a short period of time to ensure that the underprivileged are not squeezed too much. However, they should only be used in a similar fashion as steroids, for a time and for a good cause.

Freeing individuals to do whatever they want is usually the best way to achieve the utilitarian end of maximal happiness, to a first approximation. Of course, individuals interact and do not live in their own vacua so governments are instituted to mediate for the collective good. The same amount of tax money can matter very little(aside from their cardinal sinful depravity of Greed) to the rich people relative to the poorer people. A progressive tax system is therefore justified on that basis. Jesus talked about why the "two bits" were significant.

Who should "shoulder the yoke" carrying the "water" from a sanitary source needed by All to fend off "cholera"? The strong and healthy ones of the family's members, not the itty bitty kindergarten kids, not the sickly ones, not the weak or infirm grandmothers(sorry, men, living grandfathers are much rarer because they have died earlier), etc. It's common sense!

[-] 1 points by agkaiser (1884) from Fredericksburg, TX 4 months ago

WTF man! You still talk like any of the so called science of economics isn't just part of the con. The only freedom left is the freedom to hold the majority in debt bondage. The freedom to enslave is abomination like the neo confederates of both major parties that support the corporatist status quo! When are you going to wake up?!

[-] 1 points by grapes (5016) 4 months ago

I am fully awake. Economics is a part of the con, of course. However, didn't God make Lucifer, too, and itty bitty Hope flutter out at the last moment from Pandora's Box?

Even Satan is an instrument of God! Why did God plant two trees in the middle of Eden? Why didn't He just plant one? Freedom is a supreme value for God, too, in addition to Justice and Love.

Things generally are not as clear-cut as you may think or wish for. Economics does describe economies but the explanations or theories about the underlying mechanisms are often incorrect and subject to class, wealth, and political twistings. I am of the Fifty Shades of Grey school of Economics. You would appreciate my viewpoint better if you have had experience with our native-born severely inbred Christian Grey, also known as the Bible-thumping Retard-I-Can'ts.

Do DPRK, Cuba, and Venezuela ring a bell? When Mainland China erects a wall on its border with DPRK and issues orders to its troops to shoot and kill any escapees to DPRK, I will admit that DPRK's autocratic government is superior to the authoritarian government in Mainland China. People vote with their feet. Do you still remember 》die Mauer《? Angela Merkel does. I do, too, and I like the Brandenburg Concertos.

[-] 1 points by agkaiser (1884) from Fredericksburg, TX 4 months ago

When the tethers break that restrain the tangential velocities of spinning balls of metaphors concerning mythological beings, we end up splattered all over the place with no particular focus, consistency or significance.

[-] 1 points by grapes (5016) 4 months ago

It's actually renormalization, abstraction, polymorphism, encapsulation, overloading, multi-entendre, etc. all rolled into one. Myths have powers all their own. The same is true of arts. What actually touches one's inner soul is not the logic, not the theory, not the reason, etc. but the gut feelings, the emotions, the resonances, the meanings, etc.

No one sees the same artwork in the same way. What makes it truly valuable is what it does with what one already has in one's mind. The artist does not control that completely. Of course, that is precisely what allows the artwork to transcend its physical constitution to assume significance even far beyond what the artist could have imagined. Meaning is in the mind of the beholder. When everything is stripped apart to its fundamental constituents, we have lost what made it it.

The words "whispered" by silence have a transcendent quality all their own. When you put your ear close to the entrance of a gigantic empty conch shell to listen, what do you hear? I heard the calling of the primeval oceans. I heard the seawater pulsing in my blood vessels. I heard the boiling off of the steam and the moisture coalescing. Why are my blood, sweat, and tears salty? It's the sea! It's the sea!

[-] 0 points by grapes (5016) 4 months ago

$0.25 per gallon gasoline was available when there was no Arab Oil Embargo. Before the cap had been lifted, there were long lines at gasoline(petrol) stations or stations having no gasoline for sale once the Arab Oil Embargo(against the U.S. backing of Israel) had taken effect. The cap was lifted to relieve the gasoline accessibilty problem through price-imposed self rationing, the basic mechanism of allocation of market economies.

Do not think erroneously that the cap "caused" the gasoline prices to stay low. There are real-world determinants such as Semites(Arabs and Jews) being Anti-Semites(against Jews and Arabs) hating Semites and Anti-Semites that caused Biblical eternal wars and oil supply disruptions that have pressured gasoline prices to go skyrocketing. The world economy tanked. The U.S. economy tanked. Many innocent people lost their jobs and livelihoods, took to illegal drugs and alcohol, beat up their spouses and children, scurried to "whiter and safer" neighborhoods to get away from the burglaries and robberies, pulled out their children attending private schools due to the lack of tuition funding, got the crappy public schools to produce yet another generation of morons from their kids(needless to say, "new blood" for the Retard-I-Can'ts), nice, nice, nice ... - exactly as God had planned for this secular(porn right for God, too, yay!) Christian nation state Chosen to be "the shining city on a hill." We love feeling that Jewish God masturbating! I know, I know, my technique must be "inferior" as I had been told by my playmate a long time ago. I should get closer to God.

The prices of certain commodities with price-flexible demands such as gasoline should not be tightly regulated. Others such as basic medical care, internet services, electricity, water, sewerage services, staple foods, etc. with price-inflexible demands do need to be tightly regulated for the lower income folks. Who but the government has the sufficient power to speak up and fend for the underprivileged masses? Whom can we count on, if not the rich folks? Governments were instituted for the welfare of the governed. Remember that.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33204) from Coon Rapids, MN 4 months ago

Those long lines at the pump were engineered by the fossil fuel industry for the purpose of getting the cap lifted - it was done on the blatant lie that the US had no oil.

[-] 1 points by grapes (5016) 4 months ago

It mattered very little whether the U.S. had oil at that time (post Yom Kippur of 1973) or not because the bulk of the oil consumed at that time came from the Middle East. In the 1970's, the U.S. was quickly running out of domestic oil. It depended on the Middle Eastern oil far too much to be able to protect Israel unconditionally.

The oil shortage resulting from the Arab Oil Embargo was a real-world scarcity for the U.S.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33204) from Coon Rapids, MN 4 months ago

We were not running out of oil or the pumps in the field would have run dry before now - when Fossil Fuel is making a big push for government to allow them major export license!

[-] 1 points by grapes (5016) 4 months ago

You don't seem to be intuned with the oil market and what oil reserves mean. There is a lot of economically unrecoverable oil and gas at any one time. Improving oil and gas extraction and refining technologies turn them into economically recoverable oil and gas. That usually happens after the oil and gas industry has invested in developing better technologies.

As an example, the former Soviet Union tried using nuclear explosions to dislodge more recoverable oil. It failed. However, the U.S. oil and gas industry succeeded, not only in a far more controllable fashion than a nuclear explosion but much cheaper although at the cost of producing environmentally hazardous wastes.

The U.S. produced the most oil in the entire world many decades ago. Many of those wells had run dry by the late 1970's. Alaskan oil was discovered and then gushed at a much higher price because it cost far more to drill an oil well in the extremely inhospital arctic environment. In recent years by using fracking technology, the U.S. could ramp up production of "tight crude" quickly and cheaply. That put a rather long-term price cap on the price of crude. It is not because of our oil industry's malevolence that we had oil shortages in the 1970's. There was a lot of oil but it was unrecoverable with the technology available then or uneconomical to extract due to the "low" price it fetched on the market.

The U.S. has through fracking technology in recent years become an oil and gas superpower rivaling and surpassing Saudi Arabia. Russia absolutely salivates at getting its paws on this technology but it was so stupid that it had invaded Ukraine causing sanctions to be imposed against it. Deténte could have made the Russian people far wealthier and better off but No, they would rather prefer a gung-ho leader wild on testosterone(he is bald like so many Wall Street traders or former ones like Jeff Bezos[good that he is not sporting a "squirrel" there so he may be more confident, a bit like Russia's and DPRK's baldly circumcised Furors], "Revolutionaries, you've got to fap "at least twice a day(https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UTHlXb0PXh4 'The Wolf of Wall Street' videoclip had been censored) and anytime as needed to stay relaxed and succeed" in this labor-of-love Yokohama/Kamakura business!") feeding them 'dog meat'.

The U.S. has turned into an oil and gas exporter although not actually oil-and-gas independent. However, it does mean that it is Not an empty promise that the U.S. can supply oil and gas to Free Europe should Russia cut off the supplies to it in a powerplay for conquest.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33204) from Coon Rapids, MN 4 months ago

What is happening

With the slow implementation of clean energy alternatives = solar, wind turbine - as well as the slow growing bio-fuel business - then factor in the disgustingly dirty fracking extraction business - AND - we have a USA that is less dependent on foreign (Saudi) oil or even domestic oil (less use/need due to alternatives) and the USA actually has an oil GLUT, especially when the Saudi's lower price per barrel to make fracking prohibitively expensive for domestic fossil fuel industry to continue. The fossil fuel industry went into fracking because easy to access oil is becoming severely scarce (note also the attack on the EPA and new areas being opened for oil exploration and extraction for the fossil fuel industry by the last administration as well as the current administration).

We have the technology NOW to completely replace fossil fuel - but the wealthy few (including the "faux people industry corporations") who are heavily invested are fighting the demise of fossil fuel use TOOTH & NAIL.

We still have an oil glut and are still paying subsidies to a fossil fuel industry that has never been more profitable - who are still trying to raise prices at the pumps to pad their pockets (off shore tax dodging treasure hoards).

Any energy crises being foisted off on the public - IS - a manufactured crises to support the fossil fuel industry. An Industry which we could well afford to mothball for the most part - right now.

FURTHER:

Excess leads to waste. Note the tens of thousands of abandoned well heads in the USA (alone) that are spewing metric tons of methane into the atmosphere daily and for decades now - and you get an understanding of just how much of a glut the fossil fuel industry feels that it has - that it is lobbying HARD to be allowed to export from the USA to the rest of the world.

Do you honestly think that if the fossil fuel business was hurting (for real) that they wouldn't have already fixed the methane leaks on all of those tens of thousands of abandoned wells as well as on wells that are currently in operation - so that the methane could be collected and bottled for commodity sales?

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 4 months ago

first of all the u.s. does not have a glut of oil - take a look at oil import numbers today. then take a look at the real cost of fracking - the part of the industry responsible for most of the new oil supply. cxo one of the best companies in the permian basin (the best area of the country) is spending $1.43 for every $1 it pumps - go figure??

secondly we do not have the ability to replace fossil fuel. not now not soon. our society runs on oil - it is required to move our food from cali to ny and to mine the resources that make up our cell phones (and everything else in our modern economy).

i am all for moving in that direction but we must be honest and realize that it would require a massive build out in our infrastructure and a change in the way almost everything works. aside from lacking the political will (which could change quickly) the amount of resources required will be difficult to obtain. read jeremy grantham "time to wake up investors" if you are interested in that area.

oil is a perfect fuel and will be very hard to replace. to do it we will need to rework our society and doing that will require large amounts of oil. that in itself will be hard to come by. regardless of what the mainstream media is telling us oil is getting harder and harder to get. it is more costly in terms of dollars and energy. art berman and david hughes are the best ones to read on that subject in my opinion.

i agree with you that we should do it. i also think it will be extremely difficult and we shouldn't try to fool ourselves about that.

[-] 1 points by grapes (5016) 4 months ago

The shifting away from oil and gas must be undertaken, however difficult, because they will become economically inaccessible to the masses sooner or later. It's important that we plan well, start early, and act steadfastly to advance towards the goal of weaning our economy from fossil fuels.

Venezuela is an example of not weaning from its dependency on oil revenues. The U.S. is different but if we don't act early with due diligence and haste, whether we don't have oil anymore or we don't have oil revenues, the end result won't be much different from Venezuela's.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 4 months ago

we agree on all of that - well maybe not so much venezuela where the imperial north and the rich white venezuelans have combined to wreck the economy. not that the government is blameless but lets not go there - ok - sorry i brought it up!

the question is how to do the revamping of society. when i hear all the arguments on how technology will save us and we can stop using oil tomorrow i cringe. divesting from oil companies is not the answer. we must change our unsustainable way of life. driving 2 hours into nyc to the law office or goldman to shuffle papers and make money must stop. to say nothing of the soccers moms and suvs and food from california

the last line from the book review is correct i am sure - "we’d be much better off using that fossil energy to convert away from industrial agriculture, to build passive solar houses and buildings, maintain and upgrade domestic waterway transportation infrastructure as well as other low-energy systems."

[-] 1 points by grapes (5016) 4 months ago

Technology cannot save us. Only we can save ourselves with the ancient lotus wisdom: "a father uses the promise of various toy carts to get his children out of a burning house. Once they are outside, he gives them all one large cart to travel in instead." -- "Care about others..." There is the special meaning in the cherry blossoms (sometimes only after the magic mushrooms have bloomed making ashes or following oddish's evolution).

Our own efforts can produce ~100% reduction of usage of fossil fuel but technology cannot approach that.

[-] 1 points by grapes (5016) 4 months ago

"We must change our unsustainable way of life" Yay, right on the head of the nail, not the finger or the fingernail!

That last line is absolutely correct! Agriculture 2.0 and 3.0 are all coming to revolutionize our way of life. Imagine the empty Walmart Big Boxes driven out of business by Amazon's delivery system. They can accommodate urban/suburban vertical multi-level farming with LEDs, precision-controlled spectral lightings, waterings, and fertilizations, etc. Electricity will be the new trucks of tomorrow. Products can be made on-site close to where the demand is. Electric cars can buffer fluctuating renewable energy productions with natural gas helping to provide the baseload. There will still be the transcontinental trains and railroad networks (first made possible by the heroic Chinese laborers who punched through the most formidable snow- and ice-packed rugged terrains of the Sierra Nevada[the same snow{in Spanish, Nevada} mountain{in Spanish, Sierra} range which the ill-fated Donner Party members had previously hoped to cross in time to avoid winter but instead resorted to cannibalism to survive through it] to link up the olden days' California Territory) to rely upon for heavy-duty hauling over land. The extensive waterways system can provide even more energy-efficient transportation for the vast Mississippi Valley. Boston, New York City, Washington D.C., Syracuse, Chicago, St. Louis, down to New Orleans are all linked with navigable waterways. Then there is also the Missouri River that links the Midwest to almost the Pacific Coast in the olden days' Oregon Territory if we follow the footsteps of Sacagawea.

The New Industrial Revolution will come with material restructuring at the atomic and molecular level. The information needed for restructuring will fly around at electric or light speeds over telecommunication networks. Artificial atoms will form new materials of custom properties specifications. Nearly All material properties that we care about are electronic properties of matter. Controlling electronic distributions allow simulated electronic properties to be created.

Look at Schrödinger's Equation with a new perspective. We carefully control the forcing function(such as a voltage) perhaps with well placed charges and we can get any desired wavefunction as the result from which all electronic properties of matter can be derived. We want to go in the reverse direction. Firstly, we come up with a specification of the material properties we want. Secondly, we determine the electronic wavefunctions that will produce these properties. Thirdly, we insert the electronic wavefunctions into Schrödinger's Equation to determine the forcing function. Fourthly, we create a configuration of electrical charges in a real synthetic material that produces the forcing function. Finally, the resulting material will be verified to have the specified electronic properties. We can produce universal programmable catalysts for any theorized chemical reactions. If we become knowledgeable enough, a cyborg dream-maker can assess the feasibility of our dream of a possible reality beforehand and make it real if feasible. "Let there be dreams and it be so."

It may be why a project aimed at going to and living on Mars can throw off valuable spinoffs. Our lunar exploration project jumpstarted our microelectronics revolution whose results nearly everyone everywhere uses everyday. The Mars exploration project will probably throw off valuable environmental sustainability spinoffs, too. "We want to go to Mars, not because it's easy, but because it is hard; because it will focus our environmental sustainability efforts."

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 4 months ago

i don't think there will be a new industrial revolution but a deindustrial revolution. i agree lots of things can be done to create a a new and better way of life but this one has to go. anyone who is trying to recreate this type of insanity where we all have two cars and aircondition our houses to 65 degrees when it is 95 out is moving in the wrong direction - like elon musk for instance. seems to me we can get better and faster results concentrating on the science of the task at had instead of planning a mars trip and hoping for spin offs.

going local is what will happen whether we want it to or not. the suburbs cannot last and neither can las vegas or phoenix it seems to me.things must be done which will make this disruption less painful. i already have my house in the country where life will be easier and food can be grown. will be able to heat my house with wood if need be. my grandchildren will thank me i think.

we are going to live like we did in 1910 - not the jetsons 2040- get ready for it - it is coming sooner than you think! oil will spike in the next few years and the shit will hit the fan. economies collapsing and wealth evaporating. will make 2008 look like 1988

[-] 1 points by grapes (5016) 4 months ago

The New Industrial Age will be the Deindustrial(Local) Age alright, as you have said. I prefer a vision of where we can be, where we may likely be, where we may be, and where we might be. It's multi-level contingency planning. "Without a vision, the people perish." I certainly don't count on the Mars exploration project to come up with a breakthrough to save us on Earth. Do you agree with me that "When trucking stops" we may simply say, "so what?" We didn't have trucking forever before. The railroads and waterways will still be able to take up the (reduced due to supply localization) load.

A far easier(I assume and I hope! - I'm not sanguine though, having watched how tough the so-called repeal of ACA has tried to squirm its way through without success despite a ridiculously simple tried-and-true solution already proven and in use for many decades by the civilized countries at about half of the U.S. medical expenditure rate - inbred morons staring at their navels can lament the difficulties of keeping body orifices clean and keep on doing nothing despite having been "preparing" for it since seven years ago) breakthrough achievable is the one that might be possible with the reptilians amongst us. Many countries are currently led by reptilians. Much of our populace is also quite energy ignorant or doesn't really care. They were taught physics in school but lack the ability to translate that knowledge into effective and efficient control of their energy environments.

I doubt that we would go back to heating with wood as long as we don't start major wars. Las Vegas and Phoenix I agree will revert mostly to desert. The Hoover Dam cannot last forever(it started leaking from the first day of operation).

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 4 months ago

i agree we once fed the nation before trucking and could again but it will take a large amount of work. i live in nj - the garden state - because it fed nyc. can't even feed itself now. the "transition movement" is doing just what you say - trying to move to a local economy. walkable towns, ramp up the railroads etc but that needs to be started soon.

[-] 1 points by grapes (5016) 4 months ago

Much of the suburban and rural U.S. is not "walkable." There will be much resistance from landowners to give up private land for public pavements. It will be like the situation of getting the very windy upper Midwest's windpower to Chicago's power grid. It makes No sense until it becomes required. Then people will gripe about why it hasn't been done beforehand.

If FDR had not prepared for WWII Years before it happened, Germany might have conquered the Americas.

[-] 1 points by grapes (5016) 4 months ago

You are very knowledgeable about this subject of oil. Oil is being displaced by natural gas on transcontinental shipments of produce from Cali to New York. It's still fossil fuel but it is much cleaner and emits much less carbon dioxide contributing to global anthropogenic climate change.

We currently do Not have the ability to replace fossil fuel in terms of our infrastructures but there is NO more technological breakthrough required, aside from scaling up of operations. Electricity and biodiesel from solar power can take over from fossil fuel as soon as the economic/political environment becomes conducive to the shifting over. Middle-East countries are trying to sell off their oil and gas before they become largely irrelevant to the U.S. Fracking and algae-derived biodiesel are two long-term ceilings on the price of oil.

Online ordering and to-door delivery of merchandise and infotainments allow reduced usage of fossil fuel. Amazon is integrating high infotech into this endeavor(for profits). Cars will become less essential if we use the new distribution system. We should rethink our transportation infrastructure. Driving a two-ton SUV to buy a gallon of milk to bring home and running over a teenage prostitute or a squeegee man on the way make so little sense to anyone other than the rednecks who enjoy speaking in German, "Warum?! Warum?!" with their hot Trump tailpipes, pretending to possess inquisitive minds.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 4 months ago

and thanks for the well thought out response - i know you like some of the less well thought out responses but i don't really??

[-] 1 points by grapes (5016) 4 months ago

I love the power of the 'id'. That is where motivations, deprivations, emotions, depravities, etc. all come from. It's the 'dirt' where the down-to-earth genius of America lies, in harnessing it for the greater good(via the transcendence from the 'lotus seed'), essentially what makes life itself possible. Our water and sewerage system makes a great city functional. I am no "salesman" on Madison Avenue but I know that Canal Street had been aptly named in the olden days before the East River was used for output purpose instead.

Cholera had ravaged New York City, too, before the 'id' conquered it. My father's Enlightenment since World War II was that the common folk in the U.S.A. lived rather well - there were central heating(or in some cases air conditioning or both) in private homes and running Hot water, even in public toilets! I am proud of my Oval Office in the People's Temple. I am very devout so I go to worship there more often than a Muslim's everyday prayings. Day after day, I duly make my offerings(sometimes with Trumpian tweets and grunts, H1-B sari!).

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 4 months ago

for sure we need to begin to eliminate driving for non essentials - introduce real mass transit etc. i am hoping you are right but i am pretty sure you are wrong on some of these issues.

using renewable energy totally will require huge changes in the electrical grid. back up systems are not available yet but our present grid is designed for coal fired plants that can scale up or down on demand.

as far as trucking does i would refer you to this article - "When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and the Future of Transportation": Review By Allan Stromfeldt Christensen, originally published by From Filmers to Farmers • May 8, 2017 - or you could could read the book!

here are some highlights - "Friedemann’s book is simply one about the energetic options for the trucking industry, since what it actually does is use trucks as an interesting starting point for how to understand the viability of the various energy options available to our declining industrial way of life.

The underlying question then becomes: How can the trucking system be adapted to run on alternative fuels in order to remain viable in a world of depleting fossil fuels of which said trucks rely on? Because if the trucking system can’t be adapted, then there wouldn’t be much reason for building out the large-scale windmill, solar photovoltaic, and all the other fandangle electricity generating ideas being hyped.

And that’s all supposing that there’s even enough energy in the first place to charge those batteries, or to be a feedstock for the hydrogen fuel cells, or to power the overhead catenary system. Because while being a slim and easy-to-read 131-page book, When Trucks Stop Running also gives a barrel-by-barrel, kilowatt-by-kilowatt account of why none of our fossil fuel energy sources – not oil, not coal-to-liquids, not natural gas, not even any of their combination – are capable of maintaining the trucking system and thus our current industrial way of life.

Likewise, the book also conveys why no amount or combination of renewable energies are enough to maintain a trucking system which is needed to maintain a… renewable energy system. And sorry, Friedemann also explains why energy storage systems are a crapshoot as well.

In effect, you aren’t going to find much in When Trucks Stop Running to help sell your favorite brand of snake oil in order to prop up your Madison Avenue lifestyle. Otherwise, it’s an excellent read.

That all being so, Friedemann suggests in summation that rather than waste the fossil fuels we’ve got left on attempting to build out systems that won’t have much of a shelf life, we’d be much better off using that fossil energy to convert away from industrial agriculture, to build passive solar houses and buildings, maintain and upgrade domestic waterway transportation infrastructure as well as other low-energy systems."

[-] 1 points by grapes (5016) 4 months ago

When the trucks stop running, we take the barge or the train.

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 4 months ago

in 1896 12,000 trains went through corning ny - i am guessing today it is a few hundred. we had a rail system that was the envy of the world. now we make the old rail beds into bike paths.

you idea is correct but you need to think about what it would take to make it happen. our food is grown in california - that has to change

[-] 1 points by grapes (5016) 4 months ago

Divestiture of railroad ownership to allow forming a few transcontinental pathways from existing or newly built railroads can make long distance railroad train travel much faster. There should be at least four transcontinental pathways, two for the southern and two for the northern route, one for passengers and the other for freight with the for-passengers one taking the straightest path to allow for future upgrades to higher speed trains.

The for-freight one should be optimized for minimal energy usage within the constraint of the grade climbable by a train, longer paths being acceptable if energy expenditures can be lowered by running the trains at higher gear ratios. The defunct Walmart Big Boxes should all be connected to the freight railways through streamlined intermodal transportation so that they can function as distribution centers where the commutation of goods and foods vertically and locally grown occur(some former Walmart employees will be redeployed) and sent to the local towns' residents.

There should be a wheel-hub transfer center at the most defended central heartland area of the continental United States, such as somewhere near Denver where NORAD is close to there. The railways' general connectivity can emulate a spider web's hub-and-spoke structure's because the spiders had to optimize their usage of silk(made of valuable proteins) relative to their insect-catching surface area. That will reduce the need for air travel when oil becomes scarce, too expensive, or both.

The non-existence of supersonic civilian air traffic shows that fast travel is not energetically favorable or environmentally tolerable unless it's well controlled and confined. The Autobahn's and our Interstate System show that as well.

[-] 1 points by grapes (5016) 4 months ago

I would not quite call it an oil and natural gas glut on a U.S. national basis. However, we certainly have Far too much in some areas. That is why the oil and gas industry lobbied so hard to get new pipelines approved and built. One very simple way to reduce oil and gas supply is to cut away the oil and gas subsidies enacted in the 1970's after the oil shocks from the Arab Oil Embargo and Iranian Revolution.

This is about FORTY years from then. We have better technologies that reduced environmental impacts and increased production. Why we still need the subsidies is only explanable by the capture of our government by the oil and gas industry. The Retard-I-Can'ts keep on insisting that we must drill for human oil from Medicaid for the poor and Medicare for the old while shoving billions of dollars of subsidies to their obese buddies in the oil and gas industry. They clamor for deregulation. The first deregulation that they should get is the removal of the obsolete subsidies that were needed before the development of technologies for deepwater drilling, horizontal wheel-spoke drilling, inert gas injection, surfactant injection, fracking, etc. These techniques when combined with the much higher inflation-adjusted oil and gas prices since the 1970s produced the oil and gas GLUT in some areas of the U.S.

Our national goal should not be energy independence like what the friendless DPRK(which can only stockpile coal to hedge against an oil embargo or disruption from Mainland China because NO one[not even Russia which wants to keep DPRK on edge about a potential Russian invasion and spying force on the new ferry service] likes a baldly circumcised Child-Kidnapper-in-Chief who needs a better head trimming for the oddish turnip tuft) is doing but energy account neutral because the U.S. has many many friends. It makes sense for example to ship Alaskan oil to Japan while importing more from Venezuela. Alaska is much closer to Japan than it is to Middle America so shipping cost is lower(mostly ocean travel with no Rocky Mountains enroute) and oil and gas in Japan can probably fetch higher prices than the same in Middle America(Japan, Mainland China, and much of eastern Asia all get their crude from the much-farther-than-Alaska Middle-East). Buying more from Venezuela can help stabilize the country teetering on the brink of an abyss. It's Never good to be close to any country getting into deep trouble. The U.S. cannot vote with its feet so despite the sulfurous insults against our former leader we have already suffered, we should vote with our dollars to help our American neighbor. Of course, we should insist that the disastrous policies that had led to the economic/political/soon-military crisis be corrected for the country's future well-being. With power-obsessed dictators, regime change may well be the Only option available.

P.S. "Make America Great Again"(America is still great by many measures, greater than the Roman Empire, greater than the British Empire, because we are the Empire of the Common Peoples, of the Mind, and of Ideas from Enlightenment) should be replaced by "Make American Values Greater" [fair play and human rights] because we still hold most, if not all, of the Trump cards. I hope that these don't just go the way of a British euphemism for hot 'Fart' by the poor playing. People will respect what America stands for, if we behave honorably with our Might and our Right, regardless of whether we win(likely) or lose(unlikely) in the end.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33204) from Coon Rapids, MN 4 months ago

EXACTLY. Make the masses dumb and you can sell them anything you want because they are too stupid to understand they are being royally screwed!

Note the attack on public education and the recent republican stance that says a college education is harmful.

Note the public at large in red states continuing to return to office politicians that are shoving the public's faces into the mud for decades and refuses to give them health care - being a glaringly obvious attack on that public at this very moment in time and yet those assholes still have a large portion of their public supporting them.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33204) from Coon Rapids, MN 4 months ago

Further - failure of government to protect the public's best interests - and instead government caters to the wealthy few real people as well as faux people (corporations). Did people appreciate the gov under Raygun marching in to bust the air traffic controller protest?

WHERE IN THE HELL WAS THE GOVERNMENT WHEN THE FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY SHUTDOWN THE GAS PUMPS TO GET THEIR CAP REMOVED ! The fossil fuel industry is still playing their own game at COST TO THE PUBLIC & ENVIRONMENT !

[-] 1 points by grapes (5016) 4 months ago

Our government could not force the private oil industry to sell oil-derived products at a loss. If we respect private properties, higher prices for the products are the tried-and-true method to make sales to needy customers happen.

It has been proven again and again worldwide that market economies out-performed centrally planned economies. Who knows how much a gallon of gasoline should be worth? The consumer of that gasoline knows better than anybody else, certainly not the government. Distributedly "planned" economies out-perform.

I am not saying that price is the only mechanism through which needs are expressed. I am saying that it is a dominant mechanism. That was why Walmart had been a category killer of department stores. Note that there are still other vendors who charge higher prices than Walmart so price is surely not the only determinant.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33204) from Coon Rapids, MN 4 months ago

Our government could not force the private

Tell that to the air traffic controllers.

The fossil fuel industry was not losing money (Public funded subsidies were making the difference for any cost disparity from the oil imports while the USA built up strategic oil reserves - and the assholes are still getting that public money to this very day) - even back then - if they were it was not the fault of the cap - but rather unfair imports of foreign fossil fuel - so - still the fault of government catering to the wealthy few rather than looking after the public's best interests !

You bring up Walmart = another major failure of the public's best interests by government. Walmart this nations largest welfare recipient that makes untold billions of profits for the Waltons - ya know? - that is very much like the still subsidized fossil fuel industry!

[-] 1 points by grapes (5016) 4 months ago

I agree that if our Big Fart contemplates liquidating a part of the strategic petroleum reserve to make a few bucks more to look good, we should sunset the unneeded subsidies. It conforms to my idea that both price supports and price caps should only be used if absolutely needed and withdrawn once the need has disappeared.

Walmart had a lower cost structure than many of the killed-off department stores but Amazon with its high-infotech logistical advantage in mechandise/infotainment deliveries does not even have to have a "Big-Box" warehouse although a service outlet for quick deliveries and returns may well be justified for premium services. Amazon warehouse uses robots at even lower costs than Walmart employees.

We simply have produced far too many people for the human jobs of tomorrow. It will be very destabilizing but I think that the U.S. will come out okay if there is ample basic income to people for both food and sex. The incendiary situation(women would refuse to have sex with the high-on-testosterone men[who will Rage!] if their basic incomes are "insufficient" - most women consider their men's incomes as just that, regardless of the amounts) may be alleviated when sex robots become cheap and culturally acceptable enough to come into wide usage. In time, fapping and sex robots will rebalance the human and robot populations to a new harmonious society. Cyborgs will become the norm, Not the exception. Humans will eventually come to realize that we are our human bodies and yet we can transcend them, too, with all the glories and pitfalls. We are Information! We can even travel at the speed of light, note this, Herr Einstein, because we may indeed Be light, an epi-phenomenon which is what Consciousness is, just longer-ranged transcranial collation of memories. Children of the Morning Star - for all practical purposes, Lucifers!

[-] 1 points by agkaiser (1884) from Fredericksburg, TX 4 months ago

Debt bondage that grows more lethal at the rate of compound interest has gone on way to long already.

[-] 1 points by ImNotMe (1488) 4 months ago

"Compound Interest is the eighth wonder of the world: Those who who understand it receive it and those who don't .. pay it!'' (Albert Einstein) & see:

radix omnium malorum est cupiditas ...