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Comment Re:Let the market decide. (Score 1) 505

It is not efficient at all to move the whole fire department over to a house just to watch it burn and make sure it doesn't spread to neighbors.

If that's true, then why would they do it if they were privatized? How do you define "efficient"?

It wouldn't be efficient to have two competing fire departments in a small town. It's much better to have a larger one with better equipment.

If it's inefficient to have two competing fire departments in a small town, then why would there be two if they were privatized?

Comment Re:Let the market decide. (Score 1) 505

The market will always produce too much energy from polluting sources.

Even a market free of market failures such as negative externalities?

Of course not, but such market doesn't exist.

If it did, would it produce too much energy from polluting sources?

Comment Re:Fun question: (Score 2) 505

Unless you can point to or create an objective set of criteria for those "negative externalities" and do so in a way that sets an objective price point for them? It's a nice way of saying that pollution sucks, but way too subjective to actually use fairly.

Here's one example: The cost of air pollution in the San Joaquin Valley is more than $1,600 per person per year, or $6 billion to the region's economy, according to the researchers.

Comment Re:Let the market decide. (Score 1) 505

We should also let the market decide if the military and the police are worth paying for.

If we decide that the market should choose the best solution for energy, wouldn't it be a "slippery slope" fallacy to automatically decide that the market should also choose the best solution for national defense and law enforcement?

Comment Re:Fun question: (Score 5, Insightful) 505

Or maybe due to negative externalities that weren't properly internalized into the price of energy, energy prices have been artificially low all along, encouraging people to live energy-intensive lifestyles, and now all of a sudden they have to pay the piper.

Nah, that couldn't possibly be true at all.

Comment Re:Sounds great! (Score 1) 162

When are those lazy anarchist pedestrians going to start paying sidewalk and crosswalk tax?

Sidewalks on a street benefit the property owners, so a property tax proportional to street frontage would be an equitable and practical way to pay for sidewalks. In fact, for the same reason it also ought to pay for the property owner's half of the street.

Of course, this assumes a distinction is made between streets, which are low-speed roads at destinations; and non-street roads, which are meant to move traffic efficiently between destinations. This is a distinction that not every country makes, and that's why those countries have so many street/road hybrids that have a high frequency of at-grade intersections like streets but also have high speed limits like non-street roads, making them neither good destinations nor efficient at moving traffic. They are the jack of all trades and master of none.

And when are they going to have registration plates so we can report jaywalkers?

Are you aware that motorists violate the right-of-way of pedestrians more often than the reverse?

Comment Re:She can give me 30 of them (Score 1) 571

Because of the uncertainty of how much power your solar panels will have available, the provider must maintain sufficient margin available to handle the instantaneous load of the entire system.

It was always true that the provider had to maintain sufficient margin between electrical supply and demand in order to prevent blackouts. And yes, now they have to look at weather reports to determine not just demand but also supply--although the two cancel each other out to a degree because people use less A/C on cloudy days.

But providers now have one additional tool to manage demand: smart meters. Conceptually, you can program your smart meter to raise your thermostat temperature in the summer during periods of high electrical demand, or lower your hot water temperature, or turn off lights, or tell your washer to refuse to start a load of laundry until the demand event has passed. As a result, providers can now reduce demand within seconds where it otherwise takes 10 minutes to bring a peaker plant online, and this reduces the margin providers need to maintain.

Comment Re:Two birds with one stone (Score 1) 571

The U.S.A. is as capitalist as ever...

Except for our non-railroad roads, those represent socialism (government ownership of the means of production).

And parking lots that cities force developers to overbuild. That's private ownership but strong government control over the means of production which is dirigism which is closely associated with fascism.

The USA may have been a capitalist country in its early history, but it hasn't been that way for many decades.

Where are the calculations that go with a calculated risk?