Thursday, November 17, 2011

Private Labor: Wake Up and Smell the Tar Sands

Daniel Henninger in today's WSJ:

"The decision by the Obama administration to "delay" building the Keystone XL pipeline is a watershed moment in American politics. The implication of a policy choice rarely gets more stark than this. Put simply: Why should any blue-collar worker who isn't hooked for life to a public budget vote for Barack Obama next year? The Keystone XL pipeline would have created at least 20,000 direct and indirect jobs. Much of this would have been well-paid work for craftsmen, not jobs as hod carriers to repave the Interstate. 

Within days of the Keystone decision, Canada's prime minister, Stephen Harper, said his country would divert sales of the Keystone-intended oil to Asia. Translation: Those lost American blue-collar pipeline jobs are disappearing into the Asian sun. Incidentally, Mr. Harper has said he wants to turn Canada into an energy "superpower," exploiting its oil, gas and hydroelectric resources. Meanwhile, the American president shores up his environmental base in Hollywood and on campus. Perhaps our blue-collar work force should consider emigrating to Canada. 

No subject sits more centrally in the American political debate than the economic plight of the middle class. Presumably that means people making between $50,000 and $175,000 a year. The president fashions himself their champion.

This surely is bunk. Mr. Obama is the champion of the public-sector middle class. Just as private business has become an abstraction to the new class of public-sector Democratic politicians and academics who populate the Obama administration, so too the blue-collar workers employed by them have become similarly abstracted. 

You would think someone in the private labor movement would wake up and smell the tar sands."


57 Comments:

At 11/17/2011 9:09 AM, Blogger Frozen in the North said...

Actually, the number of jobs to be created is in the hundreds according to TransCanada Inc (they builders of the pipeline) -- don't know where you Americans take the 20,000 figure, but TransCanada said at most 900 jobs for 4/5 years -- building a pipeline is a highly automated process.

BTW the biggest problem with the route chosen were imminent domain issues.

 
At 11/17/2011 9:26 AM, Blogger Broll The American said...

@Frozen - I've seen the same critiques of jobs figures. The 20,000 jobs (and greater) numbers being sported around are "job years." So 4,000 people working for 5 years is 20,000 jobs according to the study. There's a lot of fudging like this in the numbers.
Once you dig the hole and lay the pipe, a pipeline won't require a lot of permanent jobs (if built well). I suppose if it started leaking (TransCanada has had a history of leaks) all over the heartland of the US there would be lots of inspection, repair and clean up jobs. Yea!
The pipeline also bypasses many mid-western refineries to access port refineries for export. Planned domestic consumption for the oil is nil. The intent is to export for the profit of owners, not the good of our nation.
The pipeline=jobs is a steamroll of propaganda.

 
At 11/17/2011 9:49 AM, Blogger rjs said...

i've made the point before; this was merely postponed because of impacts on the ogallala aquifer:

TransCanada says it will work with Nebraska on new pipeline route

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/transcanada-says-it-will-work-with-nebraska-on-new-pipeline-route/2011/11/14/gIQAfAzHMN_story.html

Nebraska lawmakers vote unanimously to reroute Keystone pipeline
http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&ct2=us%2F0_1_g_2_0_t&gid=BNB&bvm=section&usg=AFQjCNGC2Txh15819SgeOpqajYyscK9ERA&did=e37a838e741e5fd2&cid=17593966605818&ei=GOnDTtCaJsKisgfzMg&rt=HOMEPAGE&vm=STANDARD&authuser=0&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.reuters.com%2Farticle%2F2011%2F11%2F16%2Fus-oil-pipeline-nebraska-idUSTRE7AF1QK20111116

 
At 11/17/2011 10:10 AM, Blogger Dillon said...

This is good for Oil sand discovery....

 
At 11/17/2011 10:11 AM, Blogger Frozen in the North said...

@Broll

TransCanada say's 900 jobs for 5 years, that's not 20,000 job -- not even close. Also pipelines are not buried, too warm (oil flow heats the pipe.

Sure there's some BS on the numbers, but its not that hard to see what TC has done in the past. They guy in charge of laying oil pipes said clearly in the Canadian media that they were expecting to hire (at most) 900 people for this project...

 
At 11/17/2011 10:27 AM, Blogger Che is dead said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 11/17/2011 10:29 AM, Blogger Che is dead said...

TransCanada Expects Pipeline to Create Between 8-13000 Jobs In Phase 3 and 4, Bloomberg It created 8000 jobs in Phase 1 and 2.

 
At 11/17/2011 10:32 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"Once you dig the hole and lay the pipe, a pipeline won't require a lot of permanent jobs (if built well)."

Yep, but that's the definition of "shovel-ready." We spent about a trillion dollars on a stimulus where this didn't seem to matter. At least Keystone will not cost the taxpayers anything.

 
At 11/17/2011 10:43 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

""Once you dig the hole and lay the pipe, a pipeline won't require a lot of permanent jobs (if built well)."

that may be so, but more abundant and cheaper energy will.

new enterprises will seek to take advantage of it and the prices for products requiring oil or energy will drop, upping real incomes and/or savings rates, both of which spur growth and job creation.

it's not a one factor world.

 
At 11/17/2011 10:49 AM, Blogger truth or consequences said...

Of all the misinformation I have come across concerning this pipeline the best one ever is:
"building a pipeline is a highly automated process." Man, o' man!

I've worked on a pipeline and there was NOTHING automated about it...unless of course you'd consider digging the hole by hand!

I have also lived in a town located when a pipeline, a small NG one, was built nearby. The economic impact on that town was EVERYWHERE and lasted for a year. With Keystone's size/scope my guess is that it will turn sleepy backwaters into boomtowns and it's direct effect will be felt for a couple of years. With any luck, and if everybody "keeps their heads", it will have the potential of kickstarting these communities into long term sustainable success stories. It's going to be up to the people there to leverage the opportunity into something else/more. It's been done before.

"The pipeline also bypasses many mid-western refineries to access port refineries for export."

The biggest concentration of refineries is on the Gulf Coast. Midwest refineries are well supplied already. Keystone oil is meant to replace all the oil that is curently imported by tankers from such nice places like Venezuela, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia... that is bought at the Brent price. So your theory is that Big Oil is going to export 90 dollar oil and refine 120 oil for domestic consumption? What happened to that "invisible hand"? Two words: Export taxes. End of story.

There's 55000 miles of crude oil pipelines in the states (not even counting feeder lines 8 to 12" in diameter). This one is just over a thousand miles long.

Maybe some people would rather keep running old, tired infrastructure instead of the newest, best, safest technology now available...and not have to spend a single dime of government money to get it. It's you call.

 
At 11/17/2011 11:12 AM, Blogger Jim said...

I find the whole discussion strange.

It is a no-brainer to build it, regardless of the jobs it creates. Even environmentalists should like it; it avoids costlier transport methods, even if the alternatives are now coming by sea.

And the technology is sound while its length is relatively short.

The best lessons from the discussion are that derailing energy plans is relatively easy even by rag tag effort, and that there is no such thing as 'shovel-ready' spending, and has not been for some decades. This raises the cost of progress and slows down the economy.

The irony is that we bitch about foreign oil that we will surely purchase somewhere, even if solar halved in price, but we can not do anything about rectifying the situation. It is beyond rational.

 
At 11/17/2011 11:18 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"..but we can not do anything about rectifying the situation."

The "we" you speak of is the Obama and the Democrat party. The GOP is on board with this. Here we have yet another exception to the "they're all the same" garbage I hear all the time.

 
At 11/17/2011 11:44 AM, Blogger Benjamin said...

But what about the property rights of ranchers and farmers who do not want a Canadian pipeline slashing through their property?

TransCanada is taking rural folk to court and seizing their land by eminent domain.

Do property rights mean nothing if an oil company wants your land?

 
At 11/17/2011 11:57 AM, Blogger truth or consequences said...

So Benjamin...do you ever drive on interstates? How do you think those were built? Interstates, airports, pipelines...what's your point?

Trans Canada Pipelines is just following a process that is laid down by US law and jurisprudence....and is as transparent as they come.

I understand that your "eminent domain" laws have been abused in the last 10-20 years to include "redevelopment"/"best use" of land as a public good. I certainly don't agree with that but that's not what we are talking about here.

 
At 11/17/2011 12:59 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

T or C:

Really? I understand necessary public infrastructure. Perhaps even schools and hospitals.

I don't understand baseball stadiums (as George Bsuh jr did, when he pushed landowners off their property in Arlington TX to build a baseball stadium) or private-sector pipelines, or fancy real estate developments.

TransCanada wants to build a pipeline to make money. I think that is great. I am all for free enterprise. I hope they make a lot of money.

But really, they have the right to ramrod their pipe across anybody's private property as they see fit?

I sure the hell would not want some pipe running across my fields, if I chose to say no.

 
At 11/17/2011 1:01 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

T/C:

If a pipeline company can seize your land, who cannot seize your land? What makes a pipeline company more worthy than a bakery? A farmer? Preserving an endangered specie?

If this is bona fide necessary infrastructure, then perhaps the public sector should undertake the construction.

But it appears the pipeline is being built for private profit. That's great--but that gives them the right to seize private property?

 
At 11/17/2011 1:04 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

The best lessons from the discussion are that derailing energy plans is relatively easy even by rag tag effort.....

============================

That goes for a lot of things. I consider it a market failure, there being almost no cost to saying "NO!"

In such cases as this, by saying "No!" the no sayers are getting something they want, without paying for it.

 
At 11/17/2011 1:05 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Question.

Pipelines are not buried because it is too warm?

Wouldn't the heat warm the oil, lower its viscosity, and make it easier to pump?

 
At 11/17/2011 1:16 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

bunny-

while i am not a big fan of eminent domain, i think you are being deliberately obtuse here.

a bakery is nothing like a highway or a railroad.

it does not require adjacency. you can buy a plot of land and put a bakery on it.

eminent domain is used to prevent the guy who owns the next lot in the path of a billion dollar highway from asking for $2 million for a $20k plot because he knows he has you over a barrel and you have nowhere else to go.

there is lots of room to argue about what constitutes a public good worthy of eminent domain (and i'd certainly exclude stadiums, shopping centers, etc from that list) but there is an ultimate level of practicality that needs to be factored in.

it would be literally impossible to build an interstate highway any other way. you'd wind up with ridiculous routes and preposterous costs as well as speculators buying up the land right in front of them.

if you want highways, you need a way to get the land.

i doubt you are going to argue that we don;t need highways and rail.

a pipeline is pretty close in terms of needing adjacency, but gets tricky when you consider that it will be private, not public.

this makes it a less clear case for eminent domain, though this is exactly how the railroads worked.

the problem is simple:

we want railroads and pipelines and the economic benefits they bring. it is impossible to build one without eminent domain in any kind of practical or cost effective fashion.

we can claim "rights" but that is a hollow argument (at least legally) as our rights come from the constitution which explicitly permits eminent domain.

we can claim rights as a moral argument and for the stricter limits of eminent domain and have firmer ground upon which to stand (and clearly, as kelo vs new london shows us, it's a badly abused doctrine) but if we are going to argue intent, i'd say the founders had things like roads and pipelines precisely in mind when drafting that part of the constitution.

 
At 11/17/2011 1:20 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

also worth noting:

your framing is bad.

a pipeline company cannot seize your land.

only the government can do that.

they may do it to further the interests of a pipeline, but that is not the same thing as the pipeline doing it as it requires another, democratically accountable, party to sign off, permits court challenges, requires just compensation etc.

 
At 11/17/2011 1:32 PM, Blogger NormanB said...

For the last fifty years Democrats and Republicans have made energy independence an issue. We see in Obama how false the Democrats are with this pledge. Obama himself has said that he's not enthusiastic about natural gas, oil or coal because 'green' energy is our future. This is actually despicable and hopefully will be a major 2012 election issue.

 
At 11/17/2011 1:32 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Benji is just working backwards from: "how can I absolve my cowardly boyfriend?"

 
At 11/17/2011 1:45 PM, Blogger truth or consequences said...

Benjamin...maybe it's just me but when people start using shock terms like "heartland, slashing, seizing" their arguments kinda loose some of their punch...to me anyways. "Tar sands", "foreign", "ramrod"...it goes on and on.

Maybe I should start using the "energy security" card...americans building their own pipes to get a reliable source of long term oil instead of buying it from tyrants, off boats built and run by other people....and having to go to war every ten years or so to straighten some mess out...and I'll put in a soundtrack of people humming America the Beautiful just for effect and to get everybody fired up real good......let's get real.

Reality: Pipelines are routed to go through undelevoped land as much as possible and through large parcels as much as possible. That just makes economic sense. You make it sound like Ma and Pa Kettle get run off their one acre spread by a bunch of goons with baseball bats. Come on man, that's not reality.

The only pipeline I know of that is above ground is the Alaska pipeline because of the permafrost. Keystone will be deep underground. There is absolutely nothing to prevent the land owners to use their land after the pipe is in. Their only problem will be what to do will all the cash they will receive.

http://environment.gov.ab.ca/info/library/5939.pdf

After 55000 miles of pipeline all of a sudden a one thousand mile line is a BIG problem???? If people think killing Keystone will stop the oil sands development they're wrong. Maybe it's a "touchy, feely" feel good thing...like maybe driving all the way to DC in the Escalade to protest Keystone/Oil Sands???? I dunno.

To end on a humerous note...the ex CEO of Syncrude was quoted lately as saying that the total footprint of the oil sands development represents about three percent of the boreal forest of Alberta....or about the same size as Toronto. Reclamation of oil sands land disturbed by extraction is an ongoing operation and ALL of the land will have been reclaimed by the time it's all over. He has not heard of any plans to reclaim the land Toronto sits on. LOL

 
At 11/17/2011 2:17 PM, Blogger Marko said...

I assume the government is taking an easement by eminent domain and leasing it to the oil company - the same way the government takes an easements for telephone wires and cable. That is not the issue - the issue here is that if the government ain't doing it, Obama ain't interested. This is really obscene - not only has Obama already done a trillion dollar stimulus, a tiny portion of which went to infrastructure spending, he has also dramatically increased the size of many federal agencies, such as the DOL. This is another 'stimulus' that hasn't worked that no one talks about. So when a real project comes along and will do real good, he is against it. What a moron.

 
At 11/17/2011 2:53 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"To end on a humerous note...the ex CEO of Syncrude was quoted lately as saying that the total footprint of the oil sands development represents about three percent of the boreal forest of Alberta....or about the same size as Toronto. "

it's not the size, it's what you do with it. chernoble and union carbide bhopal had tiny footprints too.

i am hardly an ecoweenie, but the current tech used in the tar sands is an environmental catastrophe.

even folks i know who work in oil are aghast.

the amounts of NaOH (caustic soda) being used are staggering. these vast pools of lye used to make slurry are, unlike the bogus and specious claims about fracking, causing large and well documented damage to the land and water table and pumps huge amounts of h2s into the air.

i'm all for finding a good solution to the tar sands and generally find the enviro weenies to be greatly exaggerating their cases, but on the tar sands they may have a point.

 
At 11/17/2011 4:21 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Within days of the Keystone decision, Canada's prime minister, Stephen Harper, said his country would divert sales of the Keystone-intended oil to Asia. Translation: Those lost American blue-collar pipeline jobs are disappearing into the Asian sun. Incidentally, Mr. Harper has said he wants to turn Canada into an energy "superpower," exploiting its oil, gas and hydroelectric resources. Meanwhile, the American president shores up his environmental base in Hollywood and on campus. Perhaps our blue-collar work force should consider emigrating to Canada.

How predictable. Yet, the American analysts and commentators seemed to have missed the implications.

 
At 11/17/2011 4:25 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Sure there's some BS on the numbers, but its not that hard to see what TC has done in the past. They guy in charge of laying oil pipes said clearly in the Canadian media that they were expecting to hire (at most) 900 people for this project...

Correct. But there are jobs at mills making the pipe. There are jobs transporting the pipe to the work site. There are jobs manufacturing the compressors, pumps, etc. There are maintenance jobs for all of the installed equipment. And there are jobs for all the people that support each one of the steps along the process.

Isn't it great how people ignore indirect jobs that come from the fossil fuel industry even as they overestimate the impact of the money losing green companies. Why do you think that happens?

 
At 11/17/2011 5:00 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

My understanding is that it is TransCanada that is taking farmers and ranchers into court, so as to seize their land by eminent domain.

It is a private company seizing the land.

A few months ago, Morgan was howling that even if people were dying of thirst they would not have the right to seize a well on his property. Even temporarily.

Now he says a pipeline is fine and dandy, even by eminent domain.

Well, the door is open to eminent domain then. Now, we not longer argue principles, we just argue about what is the right use of eminent domain.

And squalid political parties will provide the answers.

 
At 11/17/2011 5:03 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

Then make an equal threat towards Canada for forsaking North America.

If Harper wants to sell Canada's soul to Asia, then the US's obligation is to ensure that Canada regrets making that decision.

 
At 11/17/2011 5:15 PM, Blogger Moe said...

Really??

You are going to bemoan the loss of a couple hundred jobs lost while MF Global is laying off over 1200...I don't get it.

 
At 11/17/2011 6:09 PM, Blogger truth or consequences said...

the stupid rhetoric never ends does it???

"Then make an equal threat towards Canada for forsaking North America." forsaking NA??? it's all about free markets remember...US don't want it? maybe somebody else does. Whatchatalkinabout?

"If Harper wants to sell Canada's soul to Asia, then the US's obligation is to ensure that Canada regrets making that decision."

this is even better...LOL..."soul"??? it's oil in the ground...lots and lots of it...plus the chinese pay in us bucks...how good is that? LOL

I'm almost afraid to ask about the "ensure Canada regrets" thing...I might die laughing

Benny, "your understanding" is it? that's all you got? And who told you that? Darry Hannah?

 
At 11/18/2011 12:17 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

TC: "I understand that your "eminent domain" laws have been abused in the last 10-20 years to include "redevelopment"/"best use" of land as a public good. I certainly don't agree with that but that's not what we are talking about here."

You are missing something here. The pipeline is a private project. Whatever your view on the use of eminent domain for public use, this isn't it. Seizing private land for other private use isn't legal.

 
At 11/18/2011 12:20 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"If this is bona fide necessary infrastructure, then perhaps the public sector should undertake the construction. "

Bite your tongue!

 
At 11/18/2011 12:36 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"That goes for a lot of things. I consider it a market failure, there being almost no cost to saying "NO!"

In such cases as this, by saying "No!" the no sayers are getting something they want, without paying for it.
"

A market failure? Are you serious? Isn't that the POTUS saying no? What market force does he represent?

You are truly confused.

 
At 11/18/2011 12:50 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

morgamovich: "we can claim "rights" but that is a hollow argument (at least legally) as our rights come from the constitution which explicitly permits eminent domain."

You may have intended to word that part about our rights coming from the Constitution a little differently. :)

 
At 11/18/2011 1:09 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Pipelines are not buried because it is too warm? Wouldn't the heat warm the oil, lower its viscosity, and make it easier to pump?"

Oil is heated intentionally for exactly that purpose, to make it easier to pump. The pipeline isn't buried in permafrost, as the heat from the oil would melt the frozen ground, removing support by turning it to mud.

 
At 11/18/2011 9:18 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Then make an equal threat towards Canada for forsaking North America.

If Harper wants to sell Canada's soul to Asia, then the US's obligation is to ensure that Canada regrets making that decision.


Pay attention. The US rejected oil sold by Canadian companies. Those companies have the right to sell it to any customer who comes up with the best price. If that customer wants to fund the building of a pipeline to a port and export it via British Columbia rather than Texas it does not matter to them.

You have this idea that we have some kind of collective that owns all the property on the continent but that is not true. At least for now we still have property rights that protect the individual from government confiscation and the National Socialism that you are pushing is still a few years away from becoming reality.

 
At 11/18/2011 9:21 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

That goes for a lot of things. I consider it a market failure, there being almost no cost to saying "NO!"

You have a President stopping a project due to political pressure and call it a market failure. No wonder you are so confused; you can't even understand the meaning of the words that you are using.

 
At 11/18/2011 10:22 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

T/C:

If a pipeline company can seize your land, who cannot seize your land?

===========================

This already happesn with power lines and pipelines. There is good history for making the case of using eminent domain for such projects.

The real issue is how the amounts paid are determined, and other specification of the project.

If a pipeline company comes through and buries a pipeline under your farm, you could be back in business pretty rapidly. But the excavators must scrape off and set aside the topsoil so it can be replaced. Often what happens is the pipleine company pays no notice and the farmer winds up with a strip of land that is no longer useaqble because of boulders brought up from below.

In the case of a pipeline or transmision line, the farmer gets paid for an easement, which is a one time payment, he still owns the property itself, and pays tax on it, even if the easement reduces its utility.

There is no compensation for opportunity cost. An acquaintance of mine had property in an area of farmettes with encroaching development. He wanted to develop but was refused on the grounds of no sewer available. Later the county took his property under eminent domaqin, and paid him the then current agricultural value. They used his proeprty to build a new sewage treatement plant, and subsequently his (former) neighbors all subdivided with great profit.

In my state the same three judge panel that approves eminent domain also presides over the prices to be paid, and they are part of the state corporation commision. This seems an obvious conflict of interest.

Also, if you do not like the compensation, you can sue, but even if you win, you cannot recover legal costs. In short the process, though necessary, is unneccessarily stacked against the landowner.

On the other hand, if you get wind turbines or cell towers on your property, you get paid a monthly rent, which seems a much fairer approach.

Finally, I was faced with a possible power line, which would have been bad for me but worse for my neighbor. It would have crossed in front of his house but not on his property, destroying his nice mountain viewscape. He would have received nothing, though his home value would have been seriously affected.

 
At 11/18/2011 10:28 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

You have a President stopping a project due to political pressure and call it a market failure.

===============================

You are so intent on beating up on me you misread completely what I said or intended. My remarks have nothing to do with the president, but refer to a more general pattern of activity which consists of delaying the oppponenets to death, in a situation where the delay costs the opponenets little, and the proponents much.

Both sides are guilty of this, but a common example is the environmental movement which uses interminable hearings, studies, etc. to delay the other side into bankrupcy.

Far from being a radical idea, the concept of there being a market failure when property rights are not adequately recognized, protected, and priced, is a pretty common and well recognized idea.

 
At 11/18/2011 10:34 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

At least for now we still have property rights that protect the individual from government confiscation

=================================

If you think that is true, you are dreaming.

Having lost valuable family property this way three times, and very nearly a fourth time, I speak from experience.

If you are lucky, you will get "some" protection, whether it is anywhere near adequate is another thing. I do not support the single hold-out who is disrupting a valuable project by demanding outlandish value for his property, but the usual situation as I see it is that the pendulum is far to the other side of that argument.

 
At 11/18/2011 10:36 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

Ron, thanks.

I wasn't thinking about the permafrost, but tht isn't an issue where this pipelinewas intended, is it?

 
At 11/18/2011 10:42 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

But really, they have the right to ramrod their pipe across anybody's private property as they see fit?

I sure the hell would not want some pipe running across my fields, if I chose to say no.

================================

If their request for eminent domain is approved, they have that right. the process for doing that is well esxtablished and transparent, but it is a long way from being fair.

A a result several states have moved to remove or reduce injustices of the type I outlined above.

Expect to see a lot more squawk about eminent domain as the power grid is ugraded for more long distance transmission to support solar, wind, and geothermal power generation.

 
At 11/18/2011 10:46 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

It is a private company seizing the land.

===============================

Generally for pipelines and power transmission they do not seize the land but only take an easement across it, the premise being that the land, or the bulk of it, may still be uses as before, providing the construction does not destroy it.

The owner still has the land and still owes the taxes on it, not the easement holder.

 
At 11/18/2011 10:55 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

The cost of saying no.

In my county there was a huge estate that was gradually carved up into equestrian farmettes, leaving only the fabulous manor house.

A couple wanted to convert it to a bead and breakfast and went to considerable expense obtaining an option on the placeand drawing up plans to meet all the local regs and ordinances. And they canvassed the neighborhood to learn if there were any neighborhood concens that needed to be addressed.

All seemed fine and dandy until they had a public hearing, at which the poor couple was ambushed by a well organized and angry crowd of locals who basically killed the plan by acclaim, at virtually zero cost to themselves.

The manor house and property still sits unused, and those people have basically taken the land under eminent domain, by determining that it shan't be used for anything. Technically it is still private property, but for the neighbors it makes a nice "visual park" that they do not have to pay for.

 
At 11/18/2011 11:25 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

bunny-

are you really that stupid?

you equate the right to steal "if you need it" to the constitutional right to emminent domain?

i never came down in favor it it.

i just laid out why it was legal and why it's such a tricky issue.

you are arguing with a straw man.

further, you are one of the guys who routinely trots out the federal highway system as a great government project. how do you think they built it? eminent domain.

your inability to see that this makes you conflicted on this is just one more indication that you cannot grasp even rudimentarily complex issues.

the whole reason eminent domain was explicitly written into the constitution is precisely that it violates lots of other rights and has serious ethical implications.

it needs to be used (if at all) with the greatest of care.

clearly, the benefits of the federal highway system have vastly outweighed and harm done to individual landowners, but such "common good" arguments are fraught with danger. you can use them to justify all manner of misbehavior.

it's a genie not to be let out of the bottle lightly.

despite the fact that this pipeline is precisely the sort of thing our framers had in mind for ED, i am still not sure it's a good idea to invoke it, and certainly not before an attempt is made to do a private transaction.

your characterization of my position is utterly wrong, but then, you have never impressed me with your reading comprehension.

 
At 11/18/2011 12:16 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

the whole reason eminent domain was explicitly written into the constitution is precisely that it violates lots of other rights and has serious ethical implications.

it needs to be used (if at all) with the greatest of care.

==============================

Jefferson was opposed to it entirely.

I see the need for it, but we have gotten sloppy and cynical about how it is used.

 
At 11/18/2011 12:26 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

The problem with pipelines and transmission lines is that it is not just one transaction, and a single holdout could endanger a whole string of transactions creating an impossibe situation to resolve an entirely voluntary route.

Strong local objection to the recent transmission line project in my area resulted in it being re-routed a hundred miles through a poorer area.

At the time there was a lot of objection to eminent doamain, but that was a farce and a red herring. They were only concerned about THEIR eminent domain. as soon as the problem landed in someone else's lap, they were fine with it.

A blue ribbon panel was created some 20 years ago to recommmend changes to the eminent domain laws. More than twenty specific reforms were suggested, but non has been enacted.

For example if you have to move your business, the max you can be paid for moving your inventory is $25k. That is a very old number and clearly inadequate today.

 
At 11/18/2011 7:18 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Far from being a radical idea, the concept of there being a market failure when property rights are not adequately recognized, protected, and priced, is a pretty common and well recognized idea."

Recognized, protected and priced by whom?

Well recognized by whom?

"Both sides are guilty of this, but a common example is the environmental movement which uses interminable hearings, studies, etc. to delay the other side into bankrupcy."

Do you mean that greenies enlist government force to delay projects? How is that a market failure?

 
At 11/18/2011 7:24 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"You are so intent on beating up on me you misread completely what I said or intended."

You said:

"That goes for a lot of things. I consider it a market failure, there being almost no cost to saying "NO!"

In such cases as this, by saying "No!" the no sayers are getting something they want, without paying for it.
"

That seems pretty clear to me, considering this is a post about the Obama administration delaying the pipeline. How are you being misread?

 
At 11/18/2011 7:30 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"
I wasn't thinking about the permafrost, but tht isn't an issue where this pipelinewas intended, is it?
"

I don't know the answer to that.

 
At 11/18/2011 7:38 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"All seemed fine and dandy until they had a public hearing, at which the poor couple was ambushed by a well organized and angry crowd of locals who basically killed the plan by acclaim, at virtually zero cost to themselves."

That is a government failure, not a market failure.

Why did locals object to a B&B?

 
At 11/18/2011 9:58 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Strong local objection to the recent transmission line project in my area resulted in it being re-routed a hundred miles through a poorer area.

So? Let the benefits accrue to the poorer areas.

 
At 11/19/2011 2:34 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...


VangelV said...

I'm in support of having that pipeline created. I'm not in support of Canada's spiteful action.

Trying to frame it in "best price" is a hand-waving action.

 
At 11/19/2011 3:43 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I'm in support of having that pipeline created. I'm not in support of Canada's spiteful action. "

Canada isn't a sentient being capable of "spite". Get a grip.

 
At 11/20/2011 10:32 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

I'm in support of having that pipeline created. I'm not in support of Canada's spiteful action.

There is no spite involved. You have private companies who produce oil. The US government wants to reduce their options and destroy profits. Those companies are free to look to expand their choice of customers and to sell to Asian markets that want the oil.

What part of that decision to protect investors and expand markets do you consider 'spiteful' by 'Canada'?

Trying to frame it in "best price" is a hand-waving action.

Not to an investor. When we risk our capital we look for the best returns to offset our risks, not to offer charity to people who refuse to buy our goods.

 
At 11/23/2011 3:40 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Example of eminet domain.


HEBRON, Ky. -- The airport is in the real estate business these days.

CVG stands to make millions leasing hundreds of acres south of the airport -- land that once belonged to farmers.

The Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport either took the land from homeowners and farmers, or they purchased it under threat of condemnation. In either case, the airport paid for the land with your tax dollars, and now it is leasing it out to factories and warehouses that have nothing to do with aviation.

The largest parcel belonged to Richard Boh's father. He sold 238 acres to the airport in 1977, but Richard says his father was forced to sell.

"He could have developed the land, and was gonna develop it eventually," said Richard Boh. "When the airport came and said they're going take it, why a developer wouldn't talk to him anymore."



Read more: http://www.kypost.com/dpps/news/local_news/investigations/i-team%3A-airport-evicted-farmers-then-developed-their-land_6940622#ixzz1eYyXwJOI

 

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