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Author: colleran Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 18379  
Subject: We get it Date: 10/21/2012 7:29 PM
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OK, telegraph, we see that you are not a fan of government intervention in the market. There are many, many instances where government intervention has been disastrous. The one that comes to mind is Urban Renewal. It did more to destroy our cities than anything I can think of. So I am not a big fan of it either.

The problem with the market is that it is so short-sighted, especially these days. I do think government has a role in promoting new industries. Certainly almost every developed nation does so. I think that tax money spent to help emerging technology is a good idea.

One example of this is DARPA. Their investment in ARPAnet resulted in our being able to communicate on the Internet. There are many other instances where government investment in technology has paid off. By its nature, investment in new technology companies has high risk. I think that overall the risk is worth the reward. It a better use of my tax dollars than much of what our government spends. My favorite is still the Bridge to Nowhere, but there are too many others to count.
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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18045 of 18379
Subject: Re: We get it Date: 10/21/2012 10:56 PM
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"The problem with the market is that it is so short-sighted, especially these days."

And so are business cycles. What was yesterdays' popular game is out of favor in 18 months. What was today's iPhone is obsolete in 18 months. What was your desktop is obsolete in 3 years.

with solar panels, the technology changed so fast that trying to pick 'a technology' ...you'd be behind the eight ball in 3 years. Say Solyndra.....the price of silicon dropped 90%in 3 years and their business model vaporized. 3 years.

It's not short sighted. These days it's reality. If you can't make it, sell it in 2 years and recoup your investment in 3, you probably will be obsolete. Obsolete! Obsolete!

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" I do think government has a role in promoting new industries. Certainly almost every developed nation does so. I think that tax money spent to help emerging technology is a good idea."


New industries? Hardly. new technologies, yes.

The gov't almost killed the software industry several times. First COBOL, insisting the world had to revolve around COBOL, ALGOL and FORTRAN.

Along came Bell Labs and invented Unix.....

And MSFT and DOS and then WINDOWS and Apple COmputer and its operating system.

IN spite of Big Government.

Later, the Nanny state tried to impose ADA on the defense industry. SPent at least 10 billion - forcing companies to try and use it. What a disaster. Was supposed to come up with re usable code modules......

But the technology changed faster than ADA could adapt. C++, designed at Bell Labs, not the Nanny STate, turned out to be a lot better. Well, it started out as "C" and adapted to C+ and then C++.

Half the stuff wouldn't run on ADA, missiles wouldn't fly, radar systems would be bogged down. So it's all written in C these days. Sloppy C - compared to ADA with rigid typing ......


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"One example of this is DARPA. Their investment in ARPAnet resulted in our being able to communicate on the Internet."

Yeah...research money. DARPA didn't spend a dime of setting up MANUFACTURING facilities for anything in the internet. Not a dime. BB&N and others did.

DARPA gave out research grants.

No one funded factories!......

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" There are many other instances where government investment in technology has paid off."

In creating new technologies. Then innovators and capital venture firms stepped in to fund MANUFACTURING.

You confuse the two. And look at all the dead bodies in the 'computer industry' at the beginning. KAYPRO (saw one of sale at an auction...no noe would pay even 10 bucks for one)....the latest and greatest 'portable' in the 80s. NorthSTar - Radio Shack.....and a 100 other companies that tried and failed. Not a dime of fed money went into that industry. IBM bailed out of the PC market..

OH..and we can go back to the early mainframe market. Honeywell....CDC.....GE....Burroughs....ICL.....and a dozen other companies tried and didn't succeed. Not a dime in fed money. Other than in buying some computers....

Yep, the gov't will fund some super computers - buy them...Cray.....the Yellowstone..... IBM Blue Gene...... with the research and development included....but they sell to universities and others too. Oil companies own the biggest computers they can lay their hands on.



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" By its nature, investment in new technology companies has high risk."

Exactly..which is why the government has no business being in the business....

other than research grants or buying the products for itself for good reasons. (ie, not buying Volts just to keep the line open).

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"I think that overall the risk is worth the reward."

Reward? A trillion in failed projects resulting in no new industries? Reward? Ya gotta be kidding. Name ONE success where the government built a plant to make things!.....(other than military stuff like a-bombs).





" It a better use of my tax dollars than much of what our government spends."


What? 32 failed manufacturing plants so far under Obama? And not one success?

Ya must be smoking some powerful week.

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" My favorite is still the Bridge to Nowhere, but there are too many others to count. "

You nailed it. Porkulus. A bridge than 100 folks a day would use. it would have cost $300 per person per day to build that bridge. Another caee of really helping people out.

We're 16 trillion in debt and you want porkulus by the megaton like Bridges to nowhere, unions shoveling cash into 'do work' projects like digging holes, then filling them back in and charging the government for the 'work'. and 'improvements'.

No wonder we are broke.


t.

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Author: pauleckler Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18046 of 18379
Subject: Re: We get it Date: 10/21/2012 11:57 PM
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Many would name REA and TVA as examples of govt programs that helped grow the economy.

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Author: steve203 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18047 of 18379
Subject: Re: We get it Date: 10/22/2012 9:50 AM
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No wonder we are broke.

These programs are sold as "jobs" programs. All the "pork" road and water projects aren't pork to the people in the district where the project is built. They are opportunities to pocket some money. Feed the mob enough fear and hate of Communists or Muslims and defense spending gets a pass, but it's still a jobs program.

There is a proposal on the Michigan ballot this fall to mandate 25% of electricity generation come from renewable sources.

PROPOSAL 12-3
A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION TO ESTABLISH A STANDARD FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY

This proposal would: Require electric utilities to provide at least 25% of their annual retail sales of electricity from renewable energy sources, which are wind, solar, biomass, and hydropower, by 2025.

Limit to not more than 1% per year electric utility rate increases charged to consumers only to achieve compliance with the renewable energy standard.

Allow annual extensions of the deadline to meet the 25% standard in order to prevent rate increases over the 1% limit.

Require the legislature to enact additional laws to encourage the use of Michigan made equipment and employment of Michigan residents.


http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Michigan_Renewable_Ene...

The TV ads in favor of the measure tout the "jobs" that will be created. The linked article clames 40,000. The most recent pro TV ad touts "94,000 jobs that will go to other states that have renewable energy mandates"

The anti TV ads have gone from claiming it will cost state residents and extra $4,000 in electricity costs, to claming "all your money will go to California millionares"

Steve

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18048 of 18379
Subject: Re: We get it Date: 10/23/2012 9:58 AM
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"Many would name REA and TVA as examples of govt programs that helped grow the economy. "


The government built NOT ONE MANUFACTURING plant to fund the REA and TVA....and many suggest the TVA should be 'privatized' now anyway.

NOT ONE MANUFACTURING PLANT!

Get the message?


t.

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18049 of 18379
Subject: Re: We get it Date: 10/23/2012 10:05 AM
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"This proposal would: Require electric utilities to provide at least 25% of their annual retail sales of electricity from renewable energy sources, which are wind, solar, biomass, and hydropower, by 2025.

Limit to not more than 1% per year electric utility rate increases charged to consumers only to achieve compliance with the renewable energy standard."


Yeah right.....

Let's see...wind and solar are at least 50% more expensive...and in addition, you need to have 100% backup for them - capacity sitting there not being used, so at night you have electricity and when the wind dies (70% of the time) you have power. it's actually close to double the cost or more.


So MI would start to import power from Canada (hydro)? Paying out tens of millions of dollars to Canadians? Sending money out of state? ANd of course, jobs out of state?

ANd likely start buying wind power from out of state - more jobs moving out of state?


Biomass? Last I checked, MI is not exactly in the corn belt.....and by the time the EPA gets after you for burning 'biomass' leftovers, you can't afford it.....and every biomass plant has gone bust, taking hundreds of millions if not billions of taxpayer money down the drain!..... the amount of fossil fuels needed to haul all the biomass to a biomass plant exceeds all the energy you'll ever get out of the biomass.


Dream on.....yep, only 1% increase in rates to fund a program that costs 50% or more to get the electricity. Only in a progressive 'money fairy' world where money magically appears when needed....and you are screwed by tens of millions in penalties for not doing what you can't afford to do.

I got a better idea. Pass the mandate, but insist that every green power provider who wants to participate in the program first has to borrow or receive no federal, local or state money, and must sell power to the state at no more than the lowest cost available power from other sources such as coal or NG.


t.

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Author: pauleckler Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18050 of 18379
Subject: Re: We get it Date: 10/23/2012 2:13 PM
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The government built NOT ONE MANUFACTURING plant to fund the REA and TVA

I believe REA is a low cost loan guarantee program. It did bring electricity to much of rural America that had previously been overlooked by the electric power industry. This is not unlike the current broadband internet discussion. Rural areas often do without. Providing service improves quality of life and makes possible economic activity that would otherwise be impossible.

There are people who say that REA sold a large number of refrigerators--and later many other appliances.

Government maybe did not build plants, but low cost power did bring industry to the Tennessee Valley. I am aware of early phosphorus processing there using electric furnaces to upgrade low quality rock. Also Oakridge nuclear plant is there due to low cost power. I suspect there are many more.

Economics is far too complex to simplify. But clearly TVA brought industry and jobs to the area.

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Author: EngineerPaul Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18051 of 18379
Subject: Re: We get it Date: 10/24/2012 4:01 PM
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"There are people who say that REA sold a large number of refrigerators--and later many other appliances."

This and the TVA are great examples of government providing or providing incentive for shared infrastructure. I am not really trying to argue either side here, but government does have a decent track record of providing services that, by their nature, are going to be shared and one could easily draw a distinction between that and investment in unproven technology.

Government's track record on unproven technology for a general market seems more mixed. I note "more general market" because there is a lot of aerospace technology developed for a specific defense applications that has been adopted more widely in the industry. As noted, though, it was developed for a specific reason rather than just to see if it could work. Others in private industry figured out a way to adapt those ideas to do something important to them. Where government seems to do okay at unfocused research is probably at the university level, with the extensive research funding in the sciences. That also seems to fall under the umbrella of developing interesting things but letting others apply and commercialize them.

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Author: steve203 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18052 of 18379
Subject: Re: We get it Date: 10/25/2012 4:07 PM
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So MI would start to import power from Canada (hydro)? Paying out tens of millions of dollars to Canadians? Sending money out of state? ANd of course, jobs out of state?

And the proposal supporters talk about how currently Michigan money goes out of state to buy coal and employ coal miners.

ANd likely start buying wind power from out of state - more jobs moving out of state?

Michigan has quite a lot of wind, and it isn't all in the state legislature. There is enough wind coming off Lake Michigan that CMS Energy is building a wind farm to work in conjunction with it's existing pumped storage plant.

http://www.lakewindsenergypark.com/default.aspx?id=32

Biomass? Last I checked, MI is not exactly in the corn belt.....

Lots of biomass, and it's already collected, in garbage dumps. DTE Energy has an ongoing business to collect the methane from land fills.

http://www.dtebe.com/

One of these plants soon to be built near me.

VBT Planners OK final site plan for Hoosier co-gen plant on 5-2 vote

After more than two years of study and consideration, the Van Buren Township Planning Commission at its Aug. 22 meeting approved the final site plan for a landfill-gas-to-energy plant on a 1.5-acre site zoned Office Technology in the former Visteon Village campus.


http://www.thebellevilleindependent.com/modules.php?name=New...

This article doesn't mention it, but gas from a dump about 5 miles from my home is supposed to be piped to the power plant too. Right now that gas is being flared off. Makes quite a sight at night.

Steve

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Author: mschmit Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18053 of 18379
Subject: Re: We get it Date: 10/31/2012 6:03 PM
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Well, it started out as "C" and adapted to C+ and then C++.

If you say this you have no idea what C++ is.
Hint, there never was a C+.

From the archives of more than you wanted to know...

In the C programming language you can increment a variable in a few ways; the conventional way (A = A+1, for example) but also with the increment operator (which is ++) so you can increment a variable within a statement (such as: B = blah1 + (A++) - blah2; where A gets incremented during the evaluation of B). Therefore C++ is a nerdy C-way of saying the next thing after C.

The origin of the ++ operator was from assembly languages such as for the DEC PDP-11 where it was used to increment an address after reading the memory from an address. This was more efficient in the hardware because the machine needed to load the address into a CPU register in order to use it to do the memory operation...it would be wasteful to have to load it again just to add one to it. The ++ was used to indicate that the CPU was to take this shortcut. Unix and C were developed by Bell Labs on DEC hardware.

Mike

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Author: colleran Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18054 of 18379
Subject: Re: We get it Date: 11/1/2012 6:05 PM
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You are correct that there was no C+. However, I am unclear what it has to do with renewable energy.

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Author: UKBB Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18056 of 18379
Subject: Re: We get it Date: 12/1/2012 4:45 PM
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This article doesn't mention it, but gas from a dump about 5 miles from my home is supposed to be piped to the power plant too. Right now that gas is being flared off. Makes quite a sight at night.

Steve


The one off of Michigan Ave?

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Author: steve203 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18057 of 18379
Subject: Re: We get it Date: 12/1/2012 5:36 PM
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The one off of Michigan Ave?

Yup, right behind the Nissan dealership, just west of I-275.

Steve

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Author: UKBB Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18063 of 18379
Subject: Re: We get it Date: 12/2/2012 1:55 PM
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The one off of Michigan Ave?

Yup, right behind the Nissan dealership, just west of I-275.

Steve


I keep thinking what a waste that is, they should at least stick some Stirling engine powered generators over them. It is a cool sight though.

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Author: steve203 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18065 of 18379
Subject: Re: We get it Date: 12/2/2012 5:05 PM
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I keep thinking what a waste that is, they should at least stick some Stirling engine powered generators over them. It is a cool sight though.

Imagine what goes through the mind of the owner of that Nissan dealership, as he writes the check for his gas bill for heating and hot water, with all that gas being flared off in his back yard.

Steve

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