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Comment Re:This is retarded conservatism to help 'coal' (Score 5, Informative) 415

The problem is that even if coal is completely deregulated, it's not miners who are going to be doing the extraction. The future of mining is automated. At best this will just give the coal barons a few more years of profit and do dick for the miners.

But it's not even going to be that good. Natural gas is killing coal, so there isn't even going to be a coal industry by the time renewables dominate. This is a classic "buggy whip" problem, in that there ain't gonna be no more horse-drawn carriages, so there ain't gonna be no more buggy whips. Whatever you think of Clinton, she was telling the miners the truth, their jobs are quickly becoming obsolete.

And the same goes for lots of other industries. Manufacturing is rapidly automating, so that even mass repatriation of US industrial capacity is not going to deliver the same level of employment that was there even thirty years ago. There's nothing the US government can do about it, short of outlawing automation and renewables, which would be sheer madness.

Christ, no less than Rick Perry himself has admitted the US needs to stay in the Paris Accord. Even the most pro-oil of pro-oil politicians know full well the jig is up. Oil isn't coming back, and as the price falls away it's impact on the economy diminishes. Coal was the first because it's the most expensive and most obviously harmful, but it applies to all the fossil fuels.

Comment Re:Incorrect (Score 1) 415

Do you have any actual evidence that wind farms have this effect? This strikes me as arguing that NASA shouldn't use gravity assist because it robs a planet of some of its momentum.

In other words, while you're technically correct, the effect is so small as to be irrelevant. But tell you what, if you have evidence that wind farms actually have this large an effect, then provide citations. And no, some blog is not a citation. I mean peer reviewed or primary literature.

Comment Re:Unintended consequences (Score 1) 508

The problem still remains that "over-abundance" will only apply to labor. It won't apply to capacity nor to raw resources. We'll have lots of humans with not enough to do, whereas Marxism remains a "classical" economic system which still thinks in terms of scarcity of labor.

I don't think the future is Communist, but neither do I think it is strictly capitalist. I think we're still going to have a fundamentally consumer society, still at its core free market, it's just that labor will no longer be an issue. It will mean adjusting precisely how it is that society as a whole profits from the means of production. And remember that Marxism was always more than merely an economic theory, but was fundamentally a socio-political theory. It was innovative in that it viewed economics as the very core, but it proposed a good deal more than simply "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs", and involved revolution, dictatorship and what really does amount to a sort of single party state (because, after all, who needs more than one political movement when Marxism is perfect).

In the end, I expect we'll probably see a shift towards capital gains taxes, higher resource rents, transactional taxes (ie. taxes on the purchase or sale of bonds and shares) and other such mechanisms, and while lots of corporate interests will kick up a mighty storm, but there's little choice in the matter. At some point, robots will do a great deal of the work.

Comment Re: where does all this money come from? (Score 1, Insightful) 508

Just because people pay you for your services doesn't mean you create more than you consume. Perhaps you have some sort of serious illness, which means your health insurance provider may be paying you more than you are paying them. Perhaps you have enough write offs to heavily reduce your actual taxable income, meaning others are actually paying more tax than you.

But do you really pay enough money in taxes that it covers the building of the road past your house, pay for the wages and equipment of the firefighters who may have to put out your fire? There's an entire infrastructure out there that is paid for by the economic output of an entire society, and the idea that somehow anyone, even a billionaire, can claim responsibility for a significant fraction of it is absurd.

Comment Re: Ontario, largest subnational debtor on the pla (Score 1) 508

It's called taxes. We can debate which taxes would be best, but presumably if someone is making something, whether it be with human beings, robots or some combination, they also have sales, which means there are any number of financial transactions which can be taxed. Pick your poison; corporate taxes, capital gains taxes, excise taxes, etc. etc. etc. In the end, money is just a means of counting value.

Comment Re: Serious stupidity (Score 1) 280

Nuclear isn't a viable alternative. It's incredibly expensive to build and operate. Yes, it is largely emission free, but the other costs surrounding it simply do not make it a large scale alternative, at least not fission. And who knows when we'll ever have fusion reactors that can actually produce economically viable levels of power.

Comment Re:More "trust me" science (Score 0, Troll) 280

Models have all predicted warming, and there is warming.

But really, I doubt you know fuck all about any of the models. I doubt you know anything about AGW, but go ahead, prove me wrong. Describe, in terms that those who actually do research in climatology would use, and with snarky references to Al Gore or "lefties", what exactly AGW theory states, and why exactly the theory makes those specific set of claims. I openly challenge you to demonstrate you know anything about the science you're attacking.

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