Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Cost and Price

I received a mailer from the Republican Central Committee informing me that Montana Senator John Tester's Cap-and Trade "climate change" Plan would cost families $1,761.00 a year and cause "millions of lost jobs due to higher costs of goods and more regulation." Climate change is in scare quotes because many Montanans are skeptical that it is real (or in any case,related to mans activities). As for any costs associated with it, if it's not real it doesn't cost anything! Problem solved. Also, regulations have costs, therefore no regulations means no costs. This is how the Market brings about a magic equilibrium through it's invisible hand and many Montanans remain in awe of this power. Such libertarian orthodoxy is on the rise in what I believe is a sub-conscious reaction to a growing public perception of climatic "limits to growth". They react to threat by hardening their position. More moderate forces on both sides have to pretend that democratic discourse can overcome this and that"electoral politics" is not just theatre but an actual incremental solution. Liberal economists, meanwhile, are in a tough position, warning against doomsday rhetoric while assuring us that regulation and market incentives can work in time. James Beard recommends building sea walls around low lying countries. But the fact is, "cost" and "price" are gradually being exposed as meaningless religious terms that reflect faith more than knowledge. Carbon pricing is as fanciful as happiness pricing. Economics professors keep assigning the same chapters to business majors but they too can sense their "science" crumbling along with the rest of the centuries "ideological rubble".

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tough Love

The Romney video now circulating is a great window into how much rich people truly love us. After all, they only want to take away our entitlements because they care so deeply about our character. Even our soul! As we know, when children are given something for free and begin to feel entitled, they become idle and spoiled and given to tantrums. Right Beak? That is why it is necessary for Father to impose a little discipline, make you take out the garbage before you can have your allowance, etc. Not only does it teach the value of money (cash = diligence), but it builds confidence, a Can Do spirit! For goodness sake, you don't have to look any farther than the Negro Problem. Johnson and the liberals promise them a Great Society and the next thing you know they are all smoking crack, breeding like rabbits and drinking cheap champagne right out of the bottle! Costing us millions in prison uniforms (unless you are invested in uniforms!) Now, if for some reason you just don't "make the grade", if you are weak and fall behind, well, Nature teaches us something about what happens to the runt of the litter. There is a gene pool to consider! Those folks finishing their lobster while listening to our nations next CEO absorbed those lessons long ago- hence the lobster! No hand-outs for them! They built it, after all, they pay the taxes, and they have the moral fiber and fortitude to get going on another American Century. Which basically means investing in China. On the other side, we have Thomas Frank whining in the latest Harpers that Obama let him down, let us all down, but the Free Market experiment of these True Believers will usher in a frightening "existential" moment. What he calls the wrecking crew and their passion for "pure capitalism" will cause "devastation"! Even though he knows that "Obama and his allies" are as "detached and remote as the Bush people" and that "on his watch the oceans continued to rise, the banks got bigger and the wars sputtered on", he will "choose the safe" maintenance crew, those who will maintain the status quo. Thomas Frank is an exemplary liberal or "progressive", cowered into an untenable position year after pathetic year. He cannot "want what he truly desires" because to do so would force him to admit how wrong he has been about incremental reform, about the promise of "democratically regulated capitalism", about the contradictions of liberalism itself. Good to see you back as well, Ducky. My absence was due to time spent elsewhere, mainly www.iopsociety.org which i think you might find interesting as well.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Perfect Segue

After an extended hiatus I feel a new urge to vent and what better occasion than the Convention season! In my last post of the spring, I commented on how the Democrats lost their Wisconsin re-call election and how Romney was shaping up as the Republican choice (from an impressive field of exemplary statesmen(women)). Now we witness a crass platform change and are forced to ask: How much did Obama sell the Palestinians for? He's going to need a billion dollars to buy this election so I wouldn't think he would sell his Arab friends down the river for less than ten million.And he probably opened himself up to a bidding war, with AIPAC feeling their oats and going to the Repubs with fresh demands. Either way, there will be at least one Barak in the White House. This summer I got on the Climate Movement bandwagon. Since a global economic crisis was accepted by the majority of citizens as something they deserve and should pay for, maybe rising CO2 levels will force them to waken from the slumber and fight for their minds. Whatever. Agitation is all I know how to do. And with all it's possibilities and challenges, climate chaos seems like a ripe area for radicalization and provocation. There is a project over at IOPS called EARTH (acronym) where a good discussion is taking place, some of the Zoozaps folks are engaged and our local community is well situated for confrontation because coal export goes right through the middle of town and the Tar Sands pipe just a little to the east. Many Montanans are out working on the Baaken oil patch and many are out on the Powder River coal seam and natural gas development in N. Dakota and Wyoming. So we get to piss off the workers as well as the capitalists! Speaking of which, there is another Blue/ Green Alliance meeting in two weeks where they want to talk about coal. So let's talk.