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Will the Free Marketeers Step up?

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June 26, 2010 – Comments (16)

In this post Hoplesslylost blames Government incentives for the Deepwater drilling disaster.

In other words, the government specifically passed laws that gave the oil companies incentives to drill far offshore — that is, in deeper water where risk is presumably higher. In addition to the higher risk of accidents, the cost of solving any problems are necessarily greater in five thousand feet of water than in, say, 250 feet of water.

Of course, while his linked article mentions that the incentives expired in 2000, it doesn't mention that Deepwater was built in 2003. It also doesn't really say how much the incentives were, just that they were more.

But that is not why I am writing.

While the presence of Government incentives can contribute to poor decisions and poor financial risk assessments - as Hopelesslylost says - (and believe it or not Devoish agrees) where freemarket religion fails is in the belief that a lack of incentives would prevent poor decisions, reduce their impact, make the injured whole or adequately punish the reckless.

But that is not why I am writing.

While the presence of Government incentives can contribute to poor decisions and poor financial risk assessments - as Hopelesslylost says - (and believe it or not Devoish agrees) another place where free market religion fails is in the belief that Government incentives does not contribute to progress or result in good decisions. At least they don't seem able to write about any examples. Instead it is a relentless campaign of anti Government rhetoric like a Marlboro advertising campaign gone postal.

But that is not why I am writing.

Progress hating, NIMBYish, Treehugging, DoGooder, Liberal, Activist types are campaigning and lobbying Congress not to incentivise the nuclear industry with loan guarantees. And have been for quite some time. We are not sure what the free marketeers have been up to other than Government bashing.

While our motivations for doing so are different, - we believe nuclear is to risky at any price - perhaps the free marketeers could step up and take a principled stand based upon their belief that Government should not be used to incentivise one industry over another. Perhaps the free marketeers could join our campiagn to stop Congress from incentivising the nuclear industry. Or if their reasons don't match ours then perhaps the freemarketeers could start their own campaign, based upon their economic beliefs.

Later on we can lock horns again over whether the Government can/should be pressured to help make good decisions like incentivising renewable energys (not "alternatives") or whether incentivised safe clean local energy will lead to ultimate economic doom as free marketeers fear.

That is why I am writing.

I suppose I want to know if the free marketeers are a bunch of whiney gadflys (as i have referred to them as being) or if there is some other reason that I do not understand that will prevent them from speaking out against taxpayer funded nuclear subsidies such as pssibly receiving pro nuclear advertising money or something.

So the question I am asking is... Are the freemarketeers as bought and paid for as any other "small Government" campaigners have been or...

Will the Free Marketeers Step Up?

16 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On June 26, 2010 at 8:17 AM, whereaminow (20.23) wrote:

All subsidies can distort economic activity, create moral hazard, channel resources to inefficient uses, and by their very nature require coercion to enact.

Yes, Austrian School libertarians oppose subsidies for nuclear power as well, just as they do any other subsidy.  Glad you are on board.

The rest of the post is not worth my time.

David in Qatar

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#2) On June 26, 2010 at 8:45 AM, JackCaps (26.43) wrote:

When statists say "step up" they really mean "bend over".

Questions:

Why did Obama administration authorize a $2B loan to Petrobras in Brazil for off shore oil exploration in August of 2009?

If off shore drilling is such a bad thing, why did this administration facilitate this activity in a foreign country with this loan?

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#3) On June 26, 2010 at 8:10 PM, devoish (98.26) wrote:

I don't know JackCaps? Why?

Hoplesslylost,

Are you going to campaign to stop the subsidy for nuclear power? Or just whine later? The rest of you free marketeers - your silence speaks volumes.

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#4) On June 26, 2010 at 8:57 PM, whereaminow (20.23) wrote:

I actively campaign for an end to all subsidies by attacking the root of the problem - The Federal Reserve - which makes it all possible.  Without the ability to print money out of thin air, the govenrment would have greater difficulty in robbing us to pay for its pet projects.

I will not join your organization, however, as I suspect that they don't have a principled stance for economic liberty or against coercion.  Do they oppose subsidies for wind power, for example?

I do invite you to join the Campaign for Liberty, America' s fastest growing political action group, dedicated to restoring both personal and economic liberty to the American populace.

Take care,

David in Qatar

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#5) On June 26, 2010 at 10:28 PM, ChrisGraley (29.75) wrote:

I am against subsidies for nuclear power.

I am against subsidies for any industry. While I'm not totally a free marketeer, I do believe that government supported industry is an erosion of the economic process. 

If you can point me to the bill in question, I may sign your petition, once I read it.  

I do believe that nuclear energy is our best bet for energy independence, but I don't think it should be falsely propped up by government any more than any other industry.

I would have a suggestion though....

Dear Members of Congress:

Please act to prevent a taxpayer bailout of the already-wealthy nuclear power industry. Specifically, please reject President Obama's proposal to triple the "loan guarantee" program for construction of new nuclear reactors to $54 Billion.

Nuclear reactors remain dangerous, dirty, and uneconomic. Many reactors are leaking carcinogenic tritium and other toxic elements into our water and air. Radioactive waste remains a lethal problem without a solution. Spending taxpayer dollars on nuclear power diverts our limited resources away from energy technologies like wind, solar, and energy efficiency that can provide real energy independence and national security, and can address our climate crisis faster, safer, cheaper and cleaner than can nuclear power. 

I understand that they have to design a petition to coax the mindless population on the street to sign using outright falsities and exaggerations, but I would recommend a second petition if you really want to coax free thinkers into signing it. Anyone with an I.Q. above 6 that isn't a soldier of the cult can see through this gibberish. 

That being said, I still may sign it if I disagree with the bill, despite the tactics of the authors. If the bill is only about subsidies, you can count my name on the list.

You don't need to post a link, just the HR # is fine and I'll find it.

Chris, 

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#6) On June 27, 2010 at 7:54 AM, devoish (98.26) wrote:

 Perhaps the free marketeers could join our campiagn to stop Congress from incentivising the....... Or if their reasons don't match ours then perhaps the freemarketeers could start their own campaign, based upon their economic beliefs. - Devoish

I will not join your organization, however, as I suspect that they don't have a principled stance for economic liberty or against coercion.  Do they oppose subsidies for wind power, for example? - Hopelesslylost

Are you stepping up before we lose Pennsylvania to an accident modern nuclear technology is sure to prevent? I

 do believe that nuclear energy is our best bet for energy independence, but I don't think it should be falsely propped up by government any more than any other industry. - ChrisGraley

Accidents don't happen?

Nuclear reactors remain dangerous, dirty, and uneconomic. Many reactors are leaking carcinogenic tritium and other toxic elements into our water and air. Radioactive waste remains a lethal problem without a solution. Spending taxpayer dollars on nuclear power diverts our limited resources away from energy technologies like wind, solar, and energy efficiency that can provide real energy independence and national security, and can address our climate crisis faster, safer, cheaper and cleaner than can nuclear power.

It is not "gibberish". It is the fair warning and intelligent planning Conservatives routinely try to ignore.

That being said, I still may sign it if I disagree with the bill, despite the tactics of the authors. If the bill is only about subsidies, you can count my name on the list.

You don't need to post a link, just the HR # is fine and I'll find it.re is a place to sign on the link I provided in the original post. - ChrisGraley

The link in the original post includes a sign up sheet.

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#7) On June 27, 2010 at 8:20 AM, bizarroportfolio (71.75) wrote:

a quick review of NIRS/WISE shows that they use the force of government to get what they want.  i can understan why a libertarian would not want to join their group. 

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#8) On June 27, 2010 at 8:50 AM, bizarroportfolio (71.75) wrote:

what's more...

why would anyone who has faith in free people want to join forces with a group that so obviously plays sides?  as wheraminow points out, there already is a group that advocates freedom, including standing against all subsidies.  not playing one side (wind, solar) against another (nuclear). 

even devoish parrots the left/right phony paradigm in comment 6, and in a totally incorrect way.  he says that conservatives reject planning.  first, they don't at all. they've been doing economic planning through the fed for decades. and they've been doing war planning and nation building.... that's working out great, btw.  second, i don't see any conservatives here for you to argue with.  chris and where don't sound like conservatives to me.  perhaps you just need to define the terms first.  i find that helps when debating.

but the more i read this post, the less i think devoish wants to debate.  it appears he thought this was going to be some kind of "gotcha" moment.  and then he could turn around and accuse "free marketeers" (a term i don't know that he could define, judging by the way the term "conservative" was slipped in later) of being hypocrites.

freedom isn't about picking causes. it's about learning to work together. nirs/wise are about causes. and squabbling about what is the best way to plan society.  freedom is about conceeding that there is no plan. freedom is understanding that the best way to order society is with no order at all.  freedom is about understanding that free people work in each other's interests without even knowing or caring about it.  while enslaved people fight and bicker about special priviliges that they hope their masters will bestow upon them or their favored causes. 

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#9) On June 27, 2010 at 8:41 PM, devoish (98.26) wrote:

Bizarrportfolio,

You are correct in that I cannot define "free marketeer", or "Conservtive" or "libertarian". Neither can you.

You are also correct in that I did not invite "debate".

I invited you or conservatives or libertarians or free marketeers or whatever you call yourselves when you all call for smaller Government, to step up and be proactive and try to stop taxpayer funded subsidies for nuclear power.

I am 100% in favor of taxpayer funded susidies for renewable energy. I suggested we could agree on stopping the subsidies for nuclear power today, each for own reasons, and fight about subsidies for renewables later.

It is possible that without subsidies for oil and nuclear, renewable energy could be cost competitive. Renewables are cheaper than nuclear.

I also suggested that you could start your own petition to stop nuclear subsidies if you do not want to be counted among the "nuclear is unsafe at any price" group that I am among.

And yes, I did not really expect too much. Is that a "Gotcha" moment? Maybe. You can still petition your Government to not subsidise nuclear if you want to, without supporting the NIRS.

Thank you for your consideration.

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#10) On June 27, 2010 at 8:52 PM, ChrisGraley (29.75) wrote:

devoish, I need to read the bill that the petition is against, not the petition, I've read that. 

Yes, accidents do happen and they always will despite the greatest care taken by man to prevent them.  

Do you even know what tritium is? Tritium is actually H-3 and while it is cancerous in direct exposure, you'd need to swim in a swimming pool of it daily for a year to get enough exposure to do any damage.

Also anyone stupid enough to allow it to leak for any period of time is literally throwing money out of the window because there is more of a market for tritium then there is a supply and you can't find tritium naturally in the earth.  A teaspoon full is worth thousands of dollars.

Please show me how solar or wind are more cost effective than nuclear is right now, in any way, shape, or form.  

There is absolutely no truth in the petition other than Obama is tripling the loan guarantees for nuclear power.  If that is the only thing in the bill, then I'm against it, and I'll sign your petition. I need to read the bill for myself though.

Since you were asking me for my help, I would normally expect you to post the link to the bill that you feel we should band together to protest against. After all, you read it didn't you?  You aren't just blindly following a party agenda are you? Are you really passionate about substance, or is it more about the party line?

I verify the info from people that I agree with as much as the people that I disagree with. Maybe that's where you and I differ.

When I stand for something, I really do stand for it. I don't stand in a long line of people with my hand up in the air saying "Me too!" while trusting them to do the leg work for me.

It's not about politics or tactics with me, it's about substance. I am an unpopular party of one. I don't pay dues to anyone and therefore I don't get the memos telling me what to think.

That all being said, let me know what bill it is and I still might sign your petition. People that have their opinions dictated to them still have about a 50/50 chance of stumbling into the right one in any given situation. You might have stumbled into that chance this time.

Post the bill,

Chris 

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#11) On June 27, 2010 at 10:32 PM, bizarroportfolio (71.75) wrote:

devoish,

it's obvious that u care more about ur agenda than you do about peace and freedom.  a person cannot be 100% supportive of a subsidy (no matter the cause) without also being 100% supportive of violence and coercion.  otherwise how do you expect to collect the taxes from me to pay for your pet project?  i will not voluntarily hand them over. should you try to inflate the currency instead, i will reject it and hold precious metals.  in the end, you have to take it from me at gunpoint.

so, devoish, are you man enough to come to my home and take what you want for your pet project at gunpoint?  or are you a coward that will hide behind "democratic processes" as you send your hired thugs after me?

and why bother to do any of that when you could just show us how wonderful the idea is by donating your own money to the cause?

freedom has no plan, brother.  all of your plans end in bloodshed, one way or the other.  at some point, maybe you'll realize that.

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#12) On June 27, 2010 at 11:54 PM, whereaminow (20.23) wrote:

devoish,

There really is no point with you.  bizarro is 100% right.  He doesn't have to define the terms, you do.  That's how a debate works.  But as you admit, you have no interest in debating, just a silly childish attempt to knock down a rival group.  Psychiatrists can help you. I can't.

This reminds me so much of the days when I debated with conservatives over the war in Iraq.  When I pointed out the logical inconsistency of their positions, they went into full and blind attack mode.  It's like when a wounded dog knows that it's cornered.   

It's the same thing here.  You don't have any real, thought out, truly introspective positions.  So this is a waste.  You don't stand for freedom, liberty, peace, association, etc.  You don't stand against tyranny, war, slavery, etc.  You have causes, dictated to you by others. 

And most importantly, just like the propaganda group you linked here, you are not fighting against corporatism or better still, fighting for our right to direct our money as we choose. You are fighting over which group gets favored by our overlords.  Why the heck would I want to be a part of something so unbelievably petty?

So no, I don't have any interest in their petition, not because I Heart Nuclear and hate wind/solar.  It's because I respect people's freedom to choose that which best suits their needs and I will not dictate either way what they spend their money on.  And if you want to complain that the people don't have the freedom to choose, look in the mirror,  because people who don't repsect freedom made that possible.

It's such a waste.

David in Qatar

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#13) On June 28, 2010 at 12:02 AM, whereaminow (20.23) wrote:

devo,

One last thing, and it really sums up how I feel.  I have mocked and insulted you on more than one occasion, but the reason I feel that this is such an incredible waste is that you have talent.  You can write and you have passion.  That's all that's needed.  Yet you waste it, because you don't stand for anything important.  I don't know what made you turn against freedom, peace, and working together, but it's a shame.  You really would be a wonderful friend to human progress if you didn't waste your time bickering over the scraps from the government's plunder.

David in Qatar

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#14) On June 28, 2010 at 8:54 PM, devoish (98.26) wrote:

Bizarroportfolio,

I am a coward. I believe in Democratic processes just as the founders of this Country did. They were cowards too I suppose, and that is fine enough company for me to be in.

David,

Politely this time. Your vision has never achieved any ideal you claim to support. Never. Your ideal is simply a surrender of Democratic processess to a king, or corporation, or whichever idiot has enough guns to take what is Bizarros. I think you know that.

I have said before that I am sorry that your ideal will fail, just as the ideals of Socialism will fail.

The hope for Democracy is that it will repair its failures, in this case the failure of Americans to insist upon what we know we need to do. "Small" governmkent has been the choice to abdicate policy to "free markets". It was and continues to be the wrong choice. My enemy is not America or Democracy.

I guess it is a "no" from both of you.

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#15) On June 29, 2010 at 1:11 PM, FleaBagger (28.92) wrote:

There are literally not enough hours in my life to actively campaign against every single thing the government is doing wrong. That is because people with your beliefs have allowed and caused it to grow far beyond its constitutional scope, far beyond anything its people can control. It is a monster that cannot now be stopped except when it starves itself by eating all of its supply of grain in a gluttonous rampage.

I have better things to do with my life than get in a lather when I find an imperfection with democracy. I'll leave that to you, since you seem to see only one or two of the warts that cover this warthog. 

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#16) On July 02, 2010 at 8:12 PM, devoish (98.26) wrote:

Flea,

Thanks for reading and replying.

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