Sunday, April 08, 2012

Sunday Morning Links

1. 50 Amazing Numbers About Today's Economy.

2.  How A Dumb Federal Law Blocks A Great Way To Fuel America with Ethanol from Natural Gas and Coal, Instead of Corn 

3. Oil Boom Fuels Population Boom in North Dakota City: The fastest-growing small city in the U.S. is Williston, North Dakota.

4. Bill Gates funds new machine that filters toilet waste into 'drinkable' water.

5. President Obama Claims: “Google, Facebook Would Not Exist” Were It Not For Government Spending.

6. Interesting article: "The Price of Nails" back to 1700.....

39 Comments:

At 4/08/2012 10:07 AM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

"The Price of Nails":

Virginia's House of Burgesses passed an act in 1645, making it illegal to purposely burn down plantation houses. The plantations, if abandoned, reverted to property of the King. Thus, the king would be deprived of higher income from a developed plnatation with buildings.

As noted in the article building would be burned down to salvage thousands of intact nails. As an incentive, those who abandoned a plantation would receive "as many nails as expended in building it".

After the American Revolution Thomas Jefferson became a nail manufacturer to bolster his finances. Part of Monticello was devoted to forged and cut nail production.

Wire nails have driven down nail costs to prices that would make TJ shake his head in disbelief. The holding power of cut nails retains higher value then wire nails @ 4X ability.

 
At 4/08/2012 10:23 AM, Blogger Breaker Morant said...

The listing of Williston as the fastest growing small city supports my contention from another thread that North Dakota has absorbed(employed) tens of thousands of workers from other states and that factor has been totally missed by the commenters on this site.

Those here that reflexively dismiss any lessons to be learned from North Dakota because it is a small state should consider/address among other thing the following factors.

1)Looking simply at North Dakota's low unemployment rate is a meaningless activity. North Dakota (ND) did/does not even have close to enough workers to work the oil patch. It has imported tens of thousands of workers from other states. In essence, ND has lowered the unemployment rate in other states.

2)The jobs created/saved in other states that are providing material for the ND oil boom. ND is sucking in material at a tremendous rate from other states.

3) A factor as simple as the office jobs in places like Houston,OKC, and Denver (oil company HQs) analyzing and studying wells from ND.

 
At 4/08/2012 10:40 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

"93% of the nation's income growth went to 1% of wage earners...15,600 households captured 37% of all national growth."

In other words:

93% of the nation's value creation came from 1% of workers...15,600 households created 37% of all new national wealth.

 
At 4/08/2012 11:22 AM, Blogger Rufus II said...

No, 15,600 households captured almost all of that free money that Bernanke has been printing.

Similar to Rome, right before the matches came out.

 
At 4/08/2012 11:54 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Rufus II, I see you're also focused on the paper economy instead of the real economy.

Government doesn't create real wealth. It just redistributes it, between individuals and time periods, and does it with a lot of waste.

 
At 4/08/2012 12:11 PM, Blogger Ken said...

Democrats are fond of pointing out all the government-funded research that is used in the private sector, but the fallacy they’re promoting is the idea that if the government doesn’t do the research and development in question, nobody would do it.

That pretty much sums up the attitudes I've seen from the idiots on the left.

 
At 4/08/2012 12:21 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Actually, government destroys real wealth, e.g. through inefficiency.

The goal of government should be to minimize the destruction when attempting to achieve its objectives.

 
At 4/08/2012 12:57 PM, Blogger AIG said...

Those here that reflexively dismiss any lessons to be learned from North Dakota because it is a small state should consider/address among other thing the following factors

There's nothing to be "learned" from North Dakota, because there is nothing unusual happening. What is to be learned by observing how 2 apples + 2 apples = 4 apples? Its about as interesting as observing "oil and gas discovery" + "middle of nowhere" = "oil boom". This happens constantly throughout US and world history, and is perfectly economically predictable.

So what is the "lesson" here?

I don't understand the fascination with North Dakota on this site. An interesting economic lesson isn't one which plays out to everyone's expectations and is predictably simple.

 
At 4/08/2012 1:09 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

The ethanol story is amazing. It was Bush jr's gigantic pinko-subsidy GOP program for rural-pink America, dwarfing 100-fold any of the puny attempts by Obama to socialize our energy sector.

Imagine, one-third of the corn acreage in America devoted to pure mandated social (and the remaining tw-thirds also heavily regulated and subsidized.

Hey, I have an idea: How about a free market in energy, save for taxes on pollution?

 
At 4/08/2012 1:55 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"The ethanol story is amazing. It was Bush jr's gigantic pinko-subsidy GOP program for rural-pink America, dwarfing 100-fold any of the puny attempts by Obama to socialize our energy sector." -- "Benji"

Bush's signature on the Jobs Creation Act changed the way the modern ethanol subsidy worked. Instead of offered a straight tax credit to producers, the legislation allowed for the "blender's credit." (The rate for the "blender's credit" is 45 cents per gallon of pure ethanol mixed with gasoline.) Bush's ethanol tax credit was lower on an inflation adjusted basis than at anytime since the programs inception. -- Understanding the Ethanol Subsidy

You're a moron.

 
At 4/08/2012 3:06 PM, Blogger Ken said...

Peak,

The goal of government should be to minimize the destruction

Maybe this is true, maybe not, but what I'm most interested in in this statement is how you would incentivize politicians and bureaucrats to minimize this destruction. What incentives would you put in place to make this happen?

AIG,

I don't understand the fascination with North Dakota on this site. An interesting economic lesson isn't one which plays out to everyone's expectations and is predictably simple.

The fascination is due to the very real fact that many people would not expect or predict this boom. The economic illiteracy among most people is astonishing, to the point that in a very real sense, the primary purpose of any good economist is to constantly hammer home the very basic lessons of economics.

Ben,

dwarfing 100-fold any of the puny attempts by Obama to socialize our energy sector

Do you have hard numbers to back up this "100-fold" assertion?

 
At 4/08/2012 3:23 PM, Blogger AIG said...

The fascination is due to the very real fact that many people would not expect or predict this boom.

No one has ever made the claim that, once oil and gas were discovered in North Dakota and elsewhere, that they would not lead to job growth in those industries. So you're not arguing against anyone.

On top of that, it is the most boring and pointless economic "lesson" of all; its just growth due to a particular resource. No innovation, no ingenuity, nothing that can be applied elsewhere outside of that model, and more importantly something that we have seen a thousand times over in America and elsewhere.

It is interesting in a lot of other ways, like in terms of the market for oil and gas and resource depletion etc. But Williston ND isn't the interesting part of the story.

 
At 4/08/2012 4:35 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Government doesn't create real wealth. It just redistributes it, between individuals and time periods, and does it with a lot of waste."

Yes, always true, EXCEPT for the minimum wage, right, Peak? That generator of incredible wealth through government redistribution is an exception.

 
At 4/08/2012 4:48 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Che-

Why don't you come out and say we should abolish our ethanol program, and support free enterprise? Instead you defend the GOP moonshine, or say Bush jr. somehow made socialism okay.

The use of ethanol is mandated. Corn farmers have a guaranteed market, and not only that, corn famers (and GOP ethanol guzzlers) are maneuvering to make sure we never use lower-cost ethanol from coal or natural gas.

BTW, read the link to ethanol Dr. Perry provided--you will see Bush jr. wanted to radically expand the ethanol program so that even more rural pinko-mandated lard-snufflers could benefit.

The record is clear: Bush jr. the bearer of the GOP's feces-smeared escutcheon, wanted a much larger and permanent ethanol program, with use mandated.

Read the link, and you will see will not be able to refute that!

 
At 4/08/2012 4:50 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"No, 15,600 households captured almost all of that free money that Bernanke has been printing."

That "free money" isn't at all free, but is tapped and poured directly from the bung hole of every saver and investor whose holdings are denominated in USD.

 
At 4/08/2012 5:08 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Do you have hard numbers to back up this "100-fold" assertion?"

No, Ken, he doesn't. In fact, his own two hands are no longer adequate, so he has hired an assistant to help him pull all that nonsense from his ass.

 
At 4/08/2012 6:11 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"Instead you defend the GOP moonshine, or say Bush jr. somehow made socialism okay. "

No, he doesn't.

You idiot.

"...dwarfing 100-fold any of the puny attempts by Obama to socialize our energy sector."

As others point out, not a shred of evidence to support this. Your boyfriend is a whore for ethanol, for crony green jobs, and for a USDA administered food stamps program that has grown by almost half since he took office.

 
At 4/08/2012 6:14 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Ron says "EXCEPT for the minimum wage."

Sometimes, putting in a floor is worth it, even if it costs a little.

 
At 4/08/2012 6:22 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Ken says "...how you would incentivize politicians and bureaucrats to minimize this destruction. What incentives would you put in place to make this happen?"

We already have elections every two years. It's up to the voters.

We did it in the '90s, which contributed to the balanced budgets in the late '90s:

History of the
National Partnership for Reinventing Government
ACCOMPLISHMENTS, 1993 – 2000
A Summary

NPR was the longest-running reform effort in the history of the Federal Government. We started by recommending more than 1,200 specific changes to make government work better, cost less, and get results Americans cared about. We then set out to implement those recommendations.

http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/npr/whoweare/appendixf.html

 
At 4/08/2012 7:40 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Sometimes, putting in a floor is worth it, even if it costs a little."

Worth it? What can that even mean?

If you are against redistribution in general, and confident that the market forces of supply and demand set the correct price of most things, It's not clear what you think is different about labor.

 
At 4/08/2012 7:47 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Ethanol Industry Gets a Boost From Bush

By Steven Mufson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 25, 2007

At the State of the Union address Tuesday night, Don Endres relished the strange applause rituals, the pomp and ceremony, and even the dinner in the Capitol beforehand at which he rubbed elbows with leading lawmakers.

But most of all, Endres, the chief executive of the nation's second-largest ethanol maker, relished President Bush's message: that the government should sharply raise the mandate for ethanol use in motor fuels, setting a floor for alternative and renewable fuel use in 2017 that is equal to seven times the current ethanol output.

That is good news for Endres's company, VeraSun Energy, which will nearly triple its capacity by the end of 2008, to 670 million gallons a year from 230 million. VeraSun's shares soared this week. Even after profit-taking by investors yesterday, VeraSun closed at $17.49 a share, up 5 percent since Friday's close."

--30---

Oh yeah, Bush jr. only mandated a seven-fold increase in the socialist, pinko, mandated ethanol program. And let's convert not just corn but all bio-matter into fuel, thus ensuring gobs of lard into rural America, already the knock-kneed, socialist, enfeebled subsidized economy in the world.

No biggie, says Paul

Let's make fun of the GM Volt instead.

 
At 4/08/2012 7:48 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Ron, just because some people will clean windows of skyscrapers without safety cords doesn't mean there shouldn't be safety cords.

I guess, you don't believe in standards, including low standards.

 
At 4/08/2012 7:57 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Of course, when there's abundant labor, it's cheaper to replace dead window washers than to spend money on safety equipment.

 
At 4/08/2012 7:57 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I guess, you don't believe in standards, including low standards."

I don't believe in government interference in markets.

I believe in standards that are beneficial, not protectionist regulations that forbid people to work.

 
At 4/08/2012 7:59 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Ron, "beneficial" to whom?

 
At 4/08/2012 8:02 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Of course, when there's abundant labor, it's cheaper to replace dead window washers than to spend money on safety equipment."

LOL You're funny. You must not realize how silly that sounds.

Apparently you've never had to clean up the incredible mess a human body makes when it falls 54 stories, not to mention the possible damage to anything on the ground, such as vehicles or landscaping.

Safety equipment is much cheaper.

 
At 4/08/2012 8:07 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Ron, you can hire someone for $5 to put him in a bag and dump him in the garbage.

It's cheaper that way.

 
At 4/08/2012 8:07 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Ron, "beneficial" to whom?

To all parties involved. Window washer safety standards benefit everyone involved. Notice I didn't use the word regulation.

 
At 4/08/2012 8:13 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Ron, you can hire someone for $5 to put him in a bag and dump him in the garbage.

It's cheaper that way.
"

Why would you waste a bag.?

Besides, if you have an emergency contact number on his or her application, just give them a call, and they will probably come by to collect the remains of their loved one, saving you the $5.

 
At 4/08/2012 8:39 PM, Blogger Ken said...

Peak,

It's up to the voters.

You mean the voters that continue to vote for ever more "benefits"? The voters who think the "rich" and "speculators" are taking money out of their pockets?

Again, how does this incentivize politicians and bureaucrats to "minimize destruction"? Increasing "benefits", blaming the rich, and blaming the speculators are some of the prime sources of destruction.

 
At 4/08/2012 9:09 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Bill Gates funds new machine that filters toilet waste into 'drinkable' water"...

In otherwords, Perrier water?

 
At 4/08/2012 9:12 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Sometimes, putting in a floor is worth it, even if it costs a little"...

So government subsidized flooring is now a good thing PT?!?!

 
At 4/09/2012 1:11 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Ken says "You mean the voters that continue to vote for ever more "benefits"? The voters who think the "rich" and "speculators" are taking money out of their pockets?"

Yes, those voters and interest groups, who donate money to politicians, including to protect themselves from the voters.

 
At 4/09/2012 1:23 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

juandos: "So government subsidized flooring is now a good thing PT?!?!"

Well of course. Any time I can get you to help me buy something, I'm all for it. :)

 
At 4/09/2012 11:10 AM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"Why don't you come out and say we should abolish our ethanol program, and support free enterprise? Instead you defend the GOP moonshine ..." -- "Benji"

I have consistently argued for ending ethanol subsidies, as any search of the comment threads on this blog will show. Douche bag.

The problem is that uninformed people, like you, seem to have no idea who was responsible for creating the ethanol program (Carter), or who actually benefits the most from it (shareholders living mostly in blue states), not small farmers. What's more, the GOP, was not behind Bushs call for mandated ethanol usage:

U.S. Republicans called on Monday for an end to a controversial requirement that gasoline contain a set amount of ethanol, a policy backed by the Bush administration that critics say has helped drive up world food prices.

In their 2008 platform detailing policy positions, Republicans said markets -- not government -- should determine how much ethanol is blended into gasoline, and pushed for development of a cellulosic version, which could be made from grasses rather than corn. "The U.S. government should end mandates for ethanol and let the free market work," the platform said. It was unanimously passed at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. -- Reuters


Of course, if the ethanol program were just a "gigantic pinko-subsidy GOP program for rural-pink America", as you contend, then we could expect that the Democrats would jump at the chance to end it, right? Ooops, looks like the ethanol program isn't the only thing that's full of shit.

 
At 4/09/2012 12:26 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Benji,


You still haven't offered a shred of proof for ths idiocy:

"It was Bush jr's gigantic pinko-subsidy GOP program for rural-pink America, dwarfing 100-fold any of the puny attempts by Obama to socialize our energy sector."

As I've pointed out here multiple times how your boyfriend rode an ocean wave of ethanol(and private jets from ADM) to victory in 2008. Since then, he's compounded the issue with his green jobs crap, explosion of food stamps and a war against fossil fuels.

Bush was pretty bad in this area, but he's got nothing on your idiot boyfriend you never fail to defend or remember to criticize.

 
At 4/09/2012 12:42 PM, Blogger Ken said...

Peak,

So you have no plan whatsoever to provide any incentives at all to politicians and beauracrats to limit destructive policies. Got it.

 
At 4/09/2012 6:38 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Ken, you can have the best plan in the world. So? Got it?

 
At 4/10/2012 11:32 AM, Blogger Ken said...

Peak,

You offer no plan, much less "the best plan in the world". You offer only platitudes, like "The goal of government should be to minimize the destruction when attempting to achieve its objectives". This has absolutely no meaning unless you describe what the "objectives" of government are and implementations of incentives to "minimize the destruction when attempting to acheive its objectives".

This isn't a "plan". It's a pretty soundbite with absolutely no meaning or substance. It's Obama in front of a crowd listening to the sound of his own voice.

Get it?

 

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