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darwinfinch

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Gasbuddy

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Message Posted: Sep 12, 2013 2:31:39 PM

You're king of Earth. You can do anything you want. You can tell automakers and unions and farmers and oil companies what to do and they listen. There are no political barriers. No laws. No rules. Essentially no one on the planet can block your decisions or actions, so long as they are physically possible (no magic).

Your task is to make a ruling on the food/energy future of the planet. It's your choice. You only need consider sustainability, ecology, economy, and quality of life as much as you choose.

You begin with the world as it is today. What would you do? (Again, no magic.)
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darwinfinch
Veteran Author Gasbuddy

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Message Posted: Oct 31, 2013 10:53:21 AM

If you're the kind of person who either has everything you want, or whose strategy to get things is to take them from other people, then yes any regulatory body is going to be frustrating to you.

But if you're the vast majority of people who want clean water and fair rules, government is quite a good thing. Without it, the "entitled" classes of America would still own slaves, we would have no trees left, and every river/lake would have 3 inches of sludge on the top of it, all in the name of "free market".
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GrumpyCat
Champion Author Alabama

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Message Posted: Oct 30, 2013 5:33:23 PM

I would eliminate the RFS. I would reinstate free markets, freedom.

I would outlaw employer-provided healthcare insurance. I would outlaw employer provided pension plans. Pay your employees up front. If your employee wants those things then they can purchase whatever they want. If they don't provide for retirement, we can warehouse them cheap in bunkhouses. If you can't afford medical care then you don't get much beyond prevention of epidemics and plagues.

I would legalize all recreational drugs. But I would also legalize discrimination against users. If your brain is cooked then your employer, insurer, etc, have every right to know.

For energy I would build nuclear power plants. But as to what energy source you use I would leave that up to you and your pocketbook.

So what if we run out of oil? Might as well use it all.
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SilverStreaker
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Oct 30, 2013 1:59:57 PM

"There is no need to have a bureau creating its own law. That's congress's job."
No, congress' job is to create law. They enacted a law creating the EPA to create regulations for environmental law. The process is explained pretty well in the EPA's The Basics of the Regulatory Process

But I agree with you that they have overstepped their bounds, for example by thinking that they have to approve all ethanol blends or approve all ethanol conversion kits for vehicles.
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SoylentGrain
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Oct 30, 2013 1:22:15 PM

You don't realize how damaging to the country the EPA is. The EPA is a dictatorial bureaucracy. They go well beyond enforcing law. The only thing you need is state enforcement of law established by congress. There is no need to have a bureau creating its own law. That's congress's job.
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darwinfinch
Veteran Author Gasbuddy

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Message Posted: Oct 30, 2013 12:36:39 PM

"Eliminate the EPA..."

I still don't think you realize how important the EPA is.
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SoylentGrain
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Oct 30, 2013 12:30:11 PM

" Your original point (I think) was that we don't need regulation, and that businesses themselves will make ethical decisions and protect individual freedoms, etc. on their own. I do not think that has been shown to be true with the majority of corporations."

The answer to that question is in court records. Has a higher percentage of politicians or business leaders gone to jail? I'm speculating. But, I think you will find more politicians have gone to jail for unethical behavior than business leaders.

" Business and government - the two should dance together."

That's the Barack Hussein Obama philosophy. Its been tried. It's called fascism. That said, the response to your question is eliminate the EPA and Department of Energy. Free markets work.
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darwinfinch
Veteran Author Gasbuddy

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Message Posted: Oct 10, 2013 11:27:11 AM

I believe that a capital society, driven by money but tamed by regulation, leaves room for ethical decision-making, democracy, and philosophy. I believe that is the best known way for a large group of people to self-organize themselves. That's what I believe, and it's what we have in the US right now, where two parties push against each other, one with a business fetish and one with a government fetish. Your original point (I think) was that we don't need regulation, and that businesses themselves will make ethical decisions and protect individual freedoms, etc. on their own. I do not think that has been shown to be true with the majority of corporations. Business and government - the two should dance together.
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SoylentGrain
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Oct 10, 2013 9:13:30 AM

" My proposition is that our capital system and the way businesses are built, sets up a profit-based infrastructure which bypasses any and all ethical decisions."

You going to tell me a socialist system is more ethical than a capitalist society. Or, politicians writing the rules that govern behavior are more ethical than the people at large? Or, the people running "nonprofit" organizations are more ethical than organizations for profit? Profit has nothing to do with ethics.

There are more people in jail who engaged in the unethical acts not associated with for profit organizations than the other way around.
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Banjoe
Champion Author Winnipeg

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Message Posted: Oct 10, 2013 8:35:20 AM

More ethical people than unethical? Unfortunately, ethical isn't an absolute but rather a scale. The 'norm' of a group defines acceptable ethical behaviour but this isn't the yes/no condition commonly believed.

People have individual ethical valuations and, for some strange reason, judge others by their self-determined score. What's ethical for some is completely unethical for others and situations always move the ethical standard to what is more convenient, soul satisfying, or rewarding at the time. Again, no absolute standard.

Like the pirate movies have taught us, more of a guideline and only if it is suitable. More ethical people than unethical? I would agree that there are more people with some level of ethics than devoid of any ethical values but where folks fit on the ever moving scale is unknowable.

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darwinfinch
Veteran Author Gasbuddy

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Message Posted: Oct 7, 2013 9:35:20 AM

I agree that there are more ethical people than unethical. My proposition is that our capital system and the way businesses are built, sets up a profit-based infrastructure which bypasses any and all ethical decisions.

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SoylentGrain
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Oct 5, 2013 10:07:37 AM

"Without the kinds of regulations we have today, the profit fetish of most corporations could literally poison the entire environment, EVEN AS the CEOs and employess of those corporations object on ethical grounds, because they're wired for profit, not health. "

You are digesting too much propaganda. While every corporate organizatioin in the country will have individuals who are unethical and might commit illegal acts, the majority are ethical and follow law. As I stated before, no one person has ultimate say in a corporate organization. There are more ethical people than unethical. So, most organization are run in an ethical legal manner.

I have worked for two Fortune 100 companies, a venture capital start up, and my own business. What you described below is contrary to my experience.
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Banjoe
Champion Author Winnipeg

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Message Posted: Oct 5, 2013 9:11:49 AM

darwinfinch - thanks for starting this discussion. You've clearly pushed a few buttons just by standing up. Hope to see you keep on your legs because we need more cranial activity and less bullying belligerence.

We have the power indeed as we always have but we're not committed to the overall best good, only our personal interests. Politicians, corporations, and your corner gas vender all monitor the sheep herd and get out in front of the largest flock.

A united population is an uncontrollable entity so fractionalization into special interest groups is promoted from the top down. Categorizing special interest groups, supporting voluntary segregation in the guise of honoring ethnic heritage or other 'special' attributes, and the dozens of other forms of splintering all work effectively into breaking nations into manageable herd sizes.

As a result, leading comments like yours produce rants from the marginalized about 'posting more gas prices' or 'you're too new to be making any kinds of comments'. The posters and elders of the group step on your voice to silence a discussion that could challenge their particular flock.

The concept of self-determination and intellectual process for the good of all died with the Industrial Revolution and the only thing we truly agree in large part is that we need our politicians and Hollywood stars lead us to a better world.

I look forward to some bright discussions from you so keep up the good fight and stay out of the muck generated by those strange little flocks.

Now get out there and post some gas prices to keep that poor little flock happy and off your back. :^)
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darwinfinch
Veteran Author Gasbuddy

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Message Posted: Oct 3, 2013 11:40:15 AM

"Companies don't make decisions, people do..."

Huge corporations have quarterly obligations to meet, and the push for rising profits is so strong via the chorus of stakeholders, that the handful of directors is almost powerless to do anything that would sacrifice profit over ethics. Imagine the CEO of Exxon saying he wants to spend 10 million dollars restoring some abandonned Texas oilfields into wildlife sanctuaries, with no profit motivation. The stakeholders would be furious and the CEO would be hanging from an oak tree the following week. Our system of investing via stocks and 401k portfolios allows everyone to conveniently remove themselves from the day-to-day ethical decisions of the business we support. Does your 401K report describe the charitable, environmental, humanitarian and long-term sustainable outlook of the companies you invest in? No. It shows how much money they made and how much of that you get, and most people don't think past that.

Without the kinds of regulations we have today, the profit fetish of most corporations could literally poison the entire environment, EVEN AS the CEOs and employess of those corporations object on ethical grounds, because they're wired for profit, not health.
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SilverStreaker
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Oct 3, 2013 12:09:04 AM

I have a more moderate view on the EPA discussion. I doubt that the congress has the ability to create the rules and regulations that were the reason that the EPA was created. I also think that the EPA has overstepped it's authority by the micro-managing of these rules and regulations.
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SoylentGrain
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Oct 2, 2013 10:44:28 PM

"Today, "company A" is all about clean air and water. Tomorrow, they cave into competitive economic pressure. "

What you are suggesting is companies are compelled to commit illegal acts to improve the bottom line. That is rare.

Companies don't make decisions, people do and it's not just one person. Even in the smallest organization, more than one person signs off on decisions. That's true at every level: Board of directors, corporate officers, divisional management, and at an operational level. In the event just one person recommends something less than ethical (not even illegal), 7 or 8 others around the table put it to rest real quick.

When you get to illegal activity, like environmental law, no one is going to sign off on someone else's decision that would land them in jail. You overestimate the incentive of profit.
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aRBy
All-Star Author Grand Rapids

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Message Posted: Oct 2, 2013 10:06:03 PM

>I have a core, fundamental disagreement with the idea that most people who own and run businesses want to maintain good air and water. I think profit-driven mentality trumps just about anything.<

That much seems obvious. Some companies want to maintain good air and water but when there is no penalty and the bottom line is not effected, they'll do what they must to compete.

For those of you with long memories, so you remember when Wal-Mart pushed a "Made in America" line in their advertising? It's the same thing with good air and water.

Today, "company A" is all about clean air and water. Tomorrow, they cave into competitive economic pressure.
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darwinfinch
Veteran Author Gasbuddy

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Message Posted: Oct 2, 2013 5:11:18 PM

I have a core, fundamental disagreement with the idea that most people who own and run businesses want to maintain good air and water. I think profit-driven mentality trumps just about anything. The gas & oil industry fought against leaded fuel reforms for 40 years, until they were forced to give it up.

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SoylentGrain
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Oct 2, 2013 11:25:46 AM

darwinfinch, I said nothing of engaging in moronic activity. I suggested getting rid of or restricting the bureaucratic agencies that create absurd rules, discouraging energy development.

Congress can establish limits on pollution. The air will remain clear, the rivers will not burn, and the planet's surface temperature will not bake cakes. I know you read, every day, capitalism is synonymous with pollution. But, it works. Furthermore, most people who own and or run businesses do want to maintain good air and water for their families to ingest.
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darwinfinch
Veteran Author Gasbuddy

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Message Posted: Oct 2, 2013 10:23:10 AM

"Get the regulators out of the way and let the free market work."

This has been China's strategy for the most part. Their companies are free to do whatever it takes to make cheap products and make a profit, even if that means dumping chemical sludge into the environment. As a result, other countries buy their products cheap. Also as a result, their rivers are toxic, their air is barely breathable, and almost everyone has some low level mercury poisoning.
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MertieMan
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Message Posted: Oct 2, 2013 9:55:39 AM

What in tarnation are you talking about? The oil industry rules the world and everyone in it, believe it, they elevate the prices as they see fit, thereby affecting practically everything that we use daily. This, therefore, makes them KING OF THE WORLD.
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SoylentGrain
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Oct 2, 2013 8:24:30 AM

The largest barrier of entry for bringing new energy sources to market is regulatory. EPA, DOE, commerce, and even tax law make providing energy expensive. Abolish the EPA and wipe most of the commerce laws off the books. Let the market sort things out. Get the regulators out of the way and let the free market work.

The EPA tells us what to use and how to make it. The DOE tells us what sources of energy to use, the commerce department says who companies can sell to, and the IRS taxes away capital to develop new products. We are on a path that will make energy really scarce and expensive.

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krzysiek_ck
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2013 8:34:50 AM

Strange, I have never seen the Big Oil speakers like brerrabbitTX being reminded about posting the gas prices. Why is that?

[Edited by: krzysiek_ck at 9/26/2013 8:35:47 AM EST]
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cheapmonkee
Champion Author Portland

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2013 12:54:43 AM

Post some gas prices or go away.
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darwinfinch
Veteran Author Gasbuddy

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Message Posted: Sep 17, 2013 9:51:10 AM

PS - I don't care about the points. :/
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darwinfinch
Veteran Author Gasbuddy

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Message Posted: Sep 17, 2013 9:49:36 AM

I can't really understand the first half of your post, but this thread's relevance to ethanol is the core issue of "big picture" energy policy. There are a lot of people defending crude oil for small minded reasons and I'd like to know what their worldview is, now and for the future. Biofuel and other renewable energies address sustainability. Clinging to oil does not. I am curious what the heeldraggers (or anyone else) would do if given the power to design their own energy plan.
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gamechanger2011
Champion Author Wichita

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Message Posted: Sep 16, 2013 8:29:46 PM

He is asking for responses concerning ethanol or other kind of alternative fuels. Hence this part of his post:
"Your task is to make a ruling on the food/energy future of the planet. It's your choice. You only need consider sustainability, ecology, economy, and quality of life as much as you choose."

I haven't had time to respond but this is a great conversation for the "All things Ethanol" section.

[Edited by: gamechanger2011 at 9/16/2013 8:33:26 PM EST]
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Sep 16, 2013 6:11:57 PM

Forgetting suggesting that anyone post gas prices (after four months of membership, even if there were not points given for message posts, at best there wold be no more than one gas price post a week, an inflated figure because there are so many post for points), what does this have to do with "All Things Ethanol"?

Or are you asking for responses concerning ethanol?
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