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You said "From the prospective of a business man, the problem is not developing the technology but denying others the opportunity to come up with something similar or better."
Are you talking about copyright and patent laws?.. We had the dot. com era where we had free open source software that led to Google and Yahoo where entrepreneurs thrived for while but because of poor business practices they created a bubble.... I still think a good education is nothing to laugh about.
We don't need any more wars; we need to concentrate on our domestic situation...IMO
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@Mike, I appreciate the kind words. I think Schumacher has plenty of things to consider. His starting point of economics is what intrigues me the most, "as if people mattered."
@CobraKai, Liberal Arts? Very good. I, too, am a liberal arts person, undergraduate anyway. I loved every bit of it and it trained me well for what has come afterward.
And one more thing, Yes let's have an investigation of political contributions - I say bring it!
CobraKai, whoever you are welcome aboard our little forum of cranky, disgruntled old men. There are some rules, however if you wish to participate. First don't take us on before our morning coffee and meds - you'll be sorry. Second it's our policy not to take prisoners and of course we shoot the wounded. That's it again welcome to the jungle.
And before I forget who said anything about "laissez-faire" - who and where???? Of course business needs government as a referee what sport/game doesn't???? All we ask is government not to drop the ball - BTW did anyone see the Frontline program about BP and the gulf oil spill? Very revealing, Tony Hayward should be in jail IMO.
I can see where a proponent of Laissez-faire would disagree with the philosophy of E.F. Schumacher but I found this Rhodes scholar and a protege of John Maynard Keynes quite interesting..... He did stray from Keynes and develop an economic philosophy and principals he called " Buddist economics."...He served as Chief Economic Advisor to the UK National Coal Board for two decades...He warned us about the power and future problems with OPEC.... He is quite accomplished, so I thank Jared, for pointing out that quote By Schumacher.... I don't know if I agree with his economic philosophy but it is interesting.
I think your statement will back fire; the scandal will be with Obama, not the Republicans. Because “Republicans have to set in the back seat.” It would be nice to find out where all those $200/odd cent donations came from in the Obama camp. You bet lets put some gas on that fire♣♣♣
“After this election, I believe we will find out that the Koch bros were behind all the anonymous contributions given to the Republican Party....I think a scandal will erupt after the election but the republican controlled house will not take up the issue and the democrats will not have enough votes in the senate to do anything about the shenanigans of the Koch Bros..... The New York Times reported that justices Scalia and Thomas attended some seminars sponsored by the Koch Brothers... A speaking engagement would not be unusual but their role is yet undetermined.... I'm pretty sure Scalia nor Thomas would recuse themselves if an issue concerning the Koch Bros. or their political activities ever came up before the Supreme Court... Just my thoughts.”
I understand your sentiments towards T. Boone Pickens and the Koch brothers but as long as Congress can keep them in check..... that alone separates them from Kim Jong Il.... Since the Citizens United decision, the separation is becoming dangerously narrow.
After this election, I believe we will find out that the Koch bros were behind all the anonymous contributions given to the Republican Party....I think a scandal will erupt after the election but the republican controlled house will not take up the issue and the democrats will not have enough votes in the senate to do anything about the shenanigans of the Koch Bros..... The New York Times reported that justices Scalia and Thomas attended some seminars sponsored by the Koch Brothers... A speaking engagement would not be unusual but their role is yet undetermined.... I'm pretty sure Scalia nor Thomas would recuse themselves if an issue concerning the Koch Bros. or their political activities ever came up before the Supreme Court... Just my thoughts.
People have know who the Koch Bros. are and their agenda, to really understand what we're talking about.... The right wing will counter with George Soros but his agenda is known and his contributions are documented.
I fear people like Pickens and the Koch Brothers more than I do of Kim Jong, Osama, or the Chinese High Command.
Really? Why is that? That's a strong statement. Does he rank above or below Kim Jong Il or Fidel Castro?
Let me guess...You probably have Bush 43 at #1a and Karl Rove at #1b.
Interesting Jared, I haven't heard Schumacher quoted since college.
I was an economics major at one time, but for some dumb reason became afflicted with the liberal arts bug and was turned to the dark side by an 80 year old 100 pound English Lit professor.
I find many of Mr. Schumacher's teachings interesting. I might disagree with some and find others in need of further discussion. He is including a sort of morality in his theories that straight economic theory doesn't account for. I can understand his desire to 'force' localized economies, but in the real world the rule of supply and demand is undeniable. It's proven everyday in the real world. I am honestly surprised that someone like rollinstone still exists in this day and age. I thought I was the last one left.
It is however very nice to see such deep and varying ideas presented here locally. Usually I have to go to national discussion forums to find such brain poking.
T. Boone Pickens is the one of the world's most evil of persons. The privatization of water will re-start and reenforce old prujudice.
E.F. Schumacher sounds like kind of a nut. He says small is beautiful like he's never heard of the principle called "the economy of scale." This principle says for instance that a large mechanized farm is much more efficient and productive than a lot of small farms. It's true for factories too, one large factory requires less capital per unit of output than a smaller factory - production is also more efficient.
Other of his statements are also off the mark; "Assuming all the time that a man who consumes more is 'better off' than a man who consumes less." A well functioning economy is really not about consumption it's about improving and/or maintaining a standard of living for everyone in that society. For instance comparing our economy and standard of living to say a country like Haiti.
And finally he says "Infinite growth in a finite environment is an obvious impossibility." That is nonsense. The law of supply and demand puts automatic limits on growth there is no such thing as infinite growth.
Small may be beautiful but it would lead to starvation and disaster in this world.
Despite your personal differences, I have mine because he bankrolled the Swift Boaters, he does own natural gas reserves and wind farms, so he will have a say when it comes to alternative fuels.
I like his idea of converting our country's government vehicles to hybrids or natural gas.... He said we could use wind farms to power our northeastern electric grid while converting 18 wheelers to natural gas..... Of course he has the natural gas and wind tunnels.
If it fattens his bank account but it moves us to energy independence.... I'm all for it.
Even having the name of T. Boone Pickens in this conversation is dangerous. Everyone should remember that Pickens is only interested in expanding Pickens bank account. He will say anything and do anything to further that end.
JaredI assume you were referencing E.F. Schumacher, a fella I never knew existed until just a while ago.
I started reading about this interesting man who got his influence from Buddhism..... Interesting, thanks for the reference.
Maybe Schumacher is right, water is a natural resource and we should not treat it as expendable income, rather it should be treated like capital.
When you say a public utility is a "profit center" do you mean like the post office is a "profit center"? Which BTW is raising prices while demand is falling - go figure.
I'm not saying that the word "profit" is bad; in fact I praise the city of Sitka,Alaska for selling a portion of the 6.2 billion gallons that was not being used. They sold the water to people in the Middle East that were being deprived. I described it as a win win. ........I still contend that water is a basic right.
It's funny you should make mention a novel because the article referenced the movie "Quantum of Solace" where the villain in the James Bond movie hatched a secret plot to monopolize Bolivia's freshwater supply. They only delivered to 260 million taps around the world but one was to a person like T. Boone Pickens who hoarded it to sell it to Dallas at an opportune time.
I agree, water control is a serious issue.
In your logic makes perfect sense but we know that will not happen.... The article states that water is a basic right and no pricing or management scheme in the world will save us from ourselves.
The municipals currently manage our fresh water resources and I don't expect that to change to a large degree. On the other hand, water utility has become more expensive,water is harder to obtain ,supply, and maintain. The free market will never be able to balance the competing realities, meaning state and Federal governments will have to find ways to invest more in public -works projects.... This creates jobs and lessens the burdens on the cities.... Industry is not to be left out of the picture completely because with the right incentives, they could supply the technology needed to make water delivery more cost- effective and environmentally healthy.... Private and public utilities have to work together.
The flip side of the law of supply and demand is when prices rise demand will decrease and - wait for it - supply will increase. Yes higher profits - that evil word again - gives entrepreneurs incentive to find ways to increase supply by recycling, desalination, whatever they will find a way.
Thus it comes to pass that supply always meets demand - except when the government gets involved, then of course all bets are off.
Privatizing will hasten the ruin of our water supplies because profit always trumps anything else.Carwash businesses, swimming pools, water parks, and other water-wasting endeavors should become a thing of the past. We need drinking water way more than we need those things.
China has a unique problem because they have to dig about 2/3 mile before they hit freshwater. That makes water drilling more costly and water contracts more lucrative. Since the year 2000 they have open their municipal services to foreign investment, so the number of private water utilities has skyrocketed. They already have a problem of people not being able to afford clean drinking water.
You and Kenneth have been warning us about water shortages for years but I was one of those naive citizens that took water for granted.. For me water is relatively cheap and it comes out of the faucet every time I turn the handle. That's all I thought I needed to know about it.
I agree, we're not gonna do what it takes until it's too late. Phoenix has a water problem but I bet they are building about three of four new golf courses this year, a water park, and a few hotels with Olympic size swimming pools....
The article states that dozens of studies have shown that even with steep rate hikes, consumers reduce water consumption by only a little bit and and then it is the poor that reduce their consumption the most. i.e California doubled their price for water but consumption only went down 1/3 but for those earning less than $20,000 it went down by 50%.
It might become a national defense issue because Pakistan just recently accused India of diverting too much water from Rivers running off the Himalayas; India is complaining that China colossal diversion of rivers and aquifers near the country shared border will deprive it of its fair share.... We're it we're all aware there we have 150,000 troops in the general area..... China, India, and Pakistan have nukes.
"Free- -market theory works great for discretionary consumer purchases but water is not like other commodities- it's not something people can substitute or choose to forgo."
That is not true. People can and do cut back on water consumption - I see an awful lot of lawn sprinklers going during the summer and a lot of ranch and farm irrigation on marginal land.
Water like any commodity "we can't do without" will obey the law of supply and demand. Government interference with this law always makes the problem worse - turns it into a crisis.
We will eventually turn to desalination of seawater for coastal water supplies.