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7477 clicks; posted to Politics » on 06 Feb 2007 at 5:32 PM (7 years ago)   |  Favorite   |  Watch    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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  2008-04-20 09:47:26 AM
"No, I believe I've covered all of it"

No, Whidbey you haven't really covered all of my questions.

Oh sure... You have given vague responses but I'm trying to get you to give me a more specific answer.

One of your generic responses was, "The proof is that you laid off a hundred workers while keeping your huge salary, courting expensive consultants and god knows what else you feel necessary to spend."

But that does nothing to answer my question of how big of a salary I can pay myself and still be justified in laying off workers.


Let's say that my top workers (not including supervisors) in my widget factory get paid $52,000 per year, have basic insurance, 2 weeks paid vacation, 1 week paid sick leave and a basic retirement plan.

Now how big of a salary for me is too big?

I have 8 supervisors/managers that get paid aprox $100,000, have more inclusive insurance, 3 and 4 weeks vacation, 2 weeks of paid sick leave, a few options of retirement plans, stock options and some profit sharing.

Now how big of a salary for me is too big?

IF I paid myself $150,000 per year is that too much?

How about $200,000 per year?

Or again is it a case where I cannot lay anyone off unless my income is zero?

So don't give me this idea that you have covered my questions because you haven't.
 
  2008-04-20 02:57:05 PM
dottedmint: Let's say that my top workers (not including supervisors) in my widget factory get paid $52,000 per year, have basic insurance, 2 weeks paid vacation, 1 week paid sick leave and a basic retirement plan.

Great. Now keep it that way. Until your company goes bust and everyone's out. Yes, you need to give cost-of-living adjustments every few years.

I never said you can't pay yourself a big salary, either. I don't think you're understanding that my concern is the worker's job that gets cut just so you can give your own self a big fat bonus, a golden parachute to your buddies, or whatever restructuring you feel you need to do. I've already addressed this.

When I start repeating myself, I know the other side of the conversation isn't getting the point of the argument.
 
  2008-04-20 06:35:36 PM
"When I start repeating myself, I know the other side of the conversation isn't getting the point of the argument."

But Whidbey it isn't that I am not getting the "point of the argument". You are not answering the questions that I am asking.

"I never said you can't pay yourself a big salary, either."

No... You just said, "The proof is that you laid off a hundred workers while keeping your huge salary, courting expensive consultants and god knows what else you feel necessary to spend."

And I am basically just trying to get you to tell me what a "huge salary" is.

I gave you an example of what my top workers get for compensation. And I am just trying to get you to tell me what I can get for compensation and still lay off 100 workers without you feeling I somehow violated their "rights".

"I don't think you're understanding that my concern is the worker's job that gets cut just so you can give your own self a big fat bonus, a golden parachute to your buddies, or whatever restructuring you feel you need to do."

Not at all... I understand that you don't want to see me lay off any of my workers. Well fine... But that does not tell me if I can NEVER lay off workers or at what point I can lay off workers.

And for the record.....

How do you know that the consultants that I hired were not worth it?

And how do you know that the other expenditures that my company had were not needed?

So again Whidbey how much compensation can I get as the owner of my widget company and still be able to lay off 100 of my workers without you feeling I somehow violate your "workers rights" that you want to pass?

I gave you specific dollar amounts with the extras that my top workers get so I am trying to get you to give me a specific dollar amount with any extras you feel I would be justified in getting.
 
  2008-04-21 05:05:39 PM
dottedmint: And I am just trying to get you to tell me what I can get for compensation and still lay off 100 workers without you feeling I somehow violated their "rights".

Repeating myself again, I said that a business could be eligible for subsidies if they can prove that they needed to lay off those hundred workers. REPEATING myself again, I said...

And I am basically just trying to get you to tell me what a "huge salary" is.

I really don't see the point of it. Repeating myself again, I said that laying off a hundred workers while giving yourself, the CEO of a huge company a big fat bonus is unethical...

I gave you specific dollar amounts with the extras that my top workers get so I am trying to get you to give me a specific dollar amount with any extras you feel I would be justified in getting.

But see, I'm not into specifics. I'm into arguing the principles of the action.

I don't see what you're getting at.
 
  2008-04-21 08:52:23 PM
"I don't see what you're getting at."

What I am getting at Whidbey is that while you may have a nice feel good idea it isn't something that will hold up when you start looking at specifics. (that's why I'm trying to get you to give me specific numbers)

"I said that a business could be eligible for subsidies if they can prove that they needed to lay off those hundred workers."

Alright....

I feel that in order for me to stay in business I need to lay off 100 workers.

As I said earlier my top workers get paid $52,000 per year, have basic insurance, 2 weeks paid vacation, 1 week paid sick leave and a basic retirement plan.

So....let's say that each worker costs my company (for a nice round number) aprox $60,000 a year.

So laying off those workers cuts my costs by $6,000,000 a year.

We had a bad year in sales, some unforseen expenses, our taxes have gone up and we have seen a large increase in fuel costs.

Alright.....

Are you going to give me $6,000,000 in subsidies?

Hey... don't get me wrong... IF you are willing to give me $6,000,000 I'll gladly keep those extra 100 workers around.

IF you think my estimate of $60,000 was too high then I'll gladly use the base salary of $52,000.

Are you going to give my company $5,200,000???

Of course this is for just this year.....

Next year I don't know what will happen....

"I really don't see the point of it. Repeating myself again, I said that laying off a hundred workers while giving yourself, the CEO of a huge company a big fat bonus is unethical..."

The "point" Whidbey is that I am trying (for the life of me) to get you to tell me what a big fat bonus would be.

Also I'm asking about my salary... not any bonuses....

IF I compensated myself basically the same as my top managers at aprox $100,000 (or just a bit over) would it still be wrong for me to lay off 100 of my workers?

IS $100,000 considered to be a big fat bonus by you?
 
  2008-04-24 10:11:47 PM
Well Whidbey....

Since it seems that you are clearly unwilling or unable to actually defend your planned "workers rights" maybe it is time to try to bring up a new topic.

And no Whidbey simply saying "because" with no actual specifics is defending your plans.

IF you wish to tell me how much I could make as the owner of my widget company and still lay off workers without somehow violating their "rights" then please do...

SO.....

I feel it needs to be said that.....

It is time for this country to stop turning it's food into fuel...

I am almost willing to say that it is unethical (almost) to put our food in our fuel tanks.

We have the price of food going up.

Rationing of food here in the states.

Riots in other countries.

And....

People starving.

So how on earth can we ethically turn our food into fuel?
 
  2008-04-24 10:15:45 PM
******** And no Whidbey simply saying "because" with no actual specifics is [NOT] defending your plans.
 
  2008-04-26 06:36:09 PM
I've been gone for a few days, sorry. Didn't mean to leave you hanging.

Don't everyone jump in at once.

And I'm done with that argument, frankly, dottedmint. I don't expect you to see my points as anything more than a "feel good solution," you simply don't believe in workers' rights. Fortunately there are many that do, and they are changing the employment landscape behind the scenes.

It is time for this country to stop turning it's food into fuel...

I am almost willing to say that it is unethical (almost) to put our food in our fuel tanks.


It's not even necessary. We could raise crops of switchgrass or algae for ethanol.

The problem isn't so much as looking for a new fuel source, the problem is conservation. There are already way too many cars in this country, and yet the mindset is that everyone should be able to afford a new car. There isn't going to be a suitable solution until less cars are on the road.
 
  2008-04-26 07:17:24 PM
"It's not even necessary. We could raise crops of switchgrass or algae for ethanol."

I said we should stop putting our food into our gas tanks, so algae and switchgrass aren't what I'm talking about.

We should stop turning our corn into fuel....

However.....

IF we start using switchgrass that might not be the solution either. IF we continue to put more and more of our cropland into the production of fuel we will still have the same problem... high food prices... food shortages... riots.... etc....

"The problem isn't so much as looking for a new fuel source, the problem is conservation."

Obviously at some point in the future the gas powered car will be obsolete. There will be all sorts of new technologies that will be developed. And for the record... I would almost be willing to bet that the "answer" will not come for something the government subsidizes.

"There are already way too many cars in this country, and yet the mindset is that everyone should be able to afford a new car. There isn't going to be a suitable solution until less cars are on the road."

So?????

Only the 'evil rich' should be able to afford a car?

Only certain people should be allowed to buy a car?

The government should regulate who can or cannot own a car?

WOW!!!!

"I don't expect you to see my points as anything more than a "feel good solution,""

Well...Whidbey...

As I said before since you clearly are either unwilling or simply unable to give me a specific answer I can only see your views as nothing more than a "feel good" idea.

"you simply don't believe in workers' rights."

Not at all.

It is just that you and I disagree on what "rights" workers should have.

I also feel that as the owner of my widget company I have a certain number of "rights" on how I run my company.

All I am trying to get from you Whidbey is how much money I [as the owner of the widget company] can make and still lay off some workers without somehow violating their "rights".

IF your idea is anything more than a "feel good solution" you should be able to give me that answer.
 
  2008-04-26 08:59:26 PM
dottedmint: IF we start using switchgrass that might not be the solution either. IF we continue to put more and more of our cropland into the production of fuel we will still have the same problem... high food prices... food shortages... riots.... etc....

You're baiting me, aren't you? I'll tell you what, read up about where switchgrass can be grown before you continue with your train of thought. I suspect you're trying to come down on the side of environmentalists who believe we should grow corn for fuel.

And I told you I'm done trying to convince you of my other arguments. I've said plenty, and I stand by it.
 
  2008-04-26 11:35:16 PM
"You're baiting me, aren't you?"

Uh....No....

"I'll tell you what, read up about where switchgrass can be grown before you continue with your train of thought."

Um.....????

I fully understand where switchgrass can be grown.

My point is that if switchgrass starts replacing our food crops we will have the same problem as we are having now.

IF it becomes more profitable for a farmer to raise switchgrass than corn we will have the same problems that we are having now.

" I suspect you're trying to come down on the side of environmentalists who believe we should grow corn for fuel."

I'm sorry....What????

I do not think we should be growing corn to turn into fuel.

I basically think we should stop turning corn into fuel today.

It is causing more harm than good....

"I've said plenty, and I stand by it."

Just because you say alot does not mean you actually say anything.....
 
  2008-04-27 01:45:16 AM
dottedmint: My point is that if switchgrass starts replacing our food crops we will have the same problem as we are having now.

But see, it won't replace anything. Had you Googled as I asked you, you would have found that switchgrass grows practically anywhere and it doesn't need to replace cropland. Algae, too. Read up on it in the article I posted.

It is causing more harm than good....

I don't see how. We have a food surplus. The USDA has been paying farmers NOT to grow. For decades now. Your fears about biomass being grown for fuel don't have any weight.
 
  2008-04-27 08:33:57 AM
Whidbey "But see, it won't replace anything."

IF a farmer can get more money planting switchgrass than he could by planting corn and other food crops he will plant switchgrass on cropland.

Let's say you are a farmer.....

IF you had a field that makes you a profit of $500 (just picking numbers) by growing corn on it but you could make $1000 by growing switchgrass, what are you going to plant?

A vast majority of farmers will plant a crop that they think will give them the most profit.

So again....

I'm not agains using switchgrass in general but I don't want to see it start replacing food crops. But if a farmer can make more money growing switchgrass on cropland he will.

"Had you Googled as I asked you,"

You made the mistake of assuming that I needed to Google switchgrass to know anything about it....

"I don't see how. We have a food surplus."

WOW.....

Have you not seen the price of food increase?

Have you not seen the riots over food in other countries?

Have you not seen the fact that some stores in this country are starting to ration rice?

Have you not seen the UN warnings about starvation because of turning food into fuel?

Have you not seen the UN warnings about the environmental negative impacts of the push for food based ethanol?

Have you not noticed that when you fill your tank with gas without ethanol you get a higher MPG than than when you fill it with gas with ethanol?

Have you not noticed that as the price of corn goes up the price of ethanol goes up and the price of ethanol gas goes up?

But you don't see how it has caused harm????

Maybe you are the one who should use Google in this conversation...

"The USDA has been paying farmers NOT to grow. For decades now."

That's right....

And much of that land could be called environmentally sensitive... land that probably should not be farmed.

NO....(before you say it) I am not saying that all of the land is like that.

I'm saying that this push to create ethanol is causing environmentally sensitive land to be turned into farmland. Large tracts of the rainforests are being cut down to plant sugarcane for ethanol.

Look....

I'm not saying that all ethanol is bad.

I'm saying that ethanol is not going to be the answer to our fuel needs.

I'm saying that crop based ethanol has caused many problems (as I have listed above) in this country and around the world.
 
  2008-04-27 03:37:24 PM
dottedmint: Have you not seen the price of food increase?

Prices going up do not mean "shortage." It means prices are going up. The dollar is falling against other currencies. It's economic manipulation.

And I'm not talking about other countries' food supplies. This country has enjoyed a surplus since WWII. If anything, we waste more food than we consume.

A vast majority of farmers will plant a crop that they think will give them the most profit.

Many would also be content to keep the setup they already have, with fat government subsidies not to grow at all, or to grow switchgrass while having some of their expenses covered, if not all.

But I'm not ignoring your concerns. If there is a negative impact, then we need to rethink how we're growing and exporting our food.

Less reliance on crops grown hundreds if not thousands of miles, for one thing. More local production. That would save a tremendous amount of cost. Our current system is headed for a fall, particularly if they do waste supplies of corn or soybeans on fuel.

Conservation is still the best way of dealing with the problem. Heh. I'm a conservative.
 
  2008-04-27 03:42:23 PM
dottedmint: I'm saying that this push to create ethanol is causing environmentally sensitive land to be turned into farmland. Large tracts of the rainforests are being cut down to plant sugarcane for ethanol.

Ah, I see. The gist of your flawed argument. I knew there had to be a jab at environmentalism somewhere.

I want a credible source on this one, please. Find it, or drop the entire point.
 
  2008-04-27 05:41:44 PM
On second thought, never mind. When was the last time you cared about the UN, dottedmint?
 
  2008-04-28 12:54:08 AM
Whidbey "I want a credible source on this one, please. Find it, or drop the entire point."

OK....

Link (new window)

How's this?

"NEW YORK, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Primate scientist Jane Goodall said on Wednesday the race to grow crops for vehicle fuels is damaging rain forests in Asia, Africa and South America and adding to the emissions blamed for global warming."

Or...

Are Jane Goodall and Reuters not "credible"?

Of course here is what the BBC said.....

Link (new window)

"Already President Bush's highly-subsidised drive to get fuel from the Prairies has triggered food riots in Mexico because it has pushed up the price of corn.

The biofuels issue is particularly acute in Indonesia where the natural forests are being razed to make way for palm plantations to produce vegetable oil, soaps, shampoos, industrial substances - and now motor vehicle fuel too."


And this is in Newscientist.com

Link (new window)


"The expansion of palm oil production is one of the leading causes of rainforest destruction in south-east Asia. It is one of the most environmentally damaging commodities on the planet," says Simon Counsell, director of the UK-based Rainforest Foundation. "Once again it appears we are trying to solve our environmental problems by dumping them in developing countries, where they have devastating effects on local people."

But no.....

There isn't any harm to the rainforests because of ethanol production....
 
  2008-04-28 04:23:24 AM
dottedmint: But no.....

There isn't any harm to the rainforests because of ethanol production....


I really find it hard to buy your outrage. You don't mind it when they're cut down for reasons you might otherwise support, like for maximum profit.

And I don't know what we're arguing about, really, considering that better alternatives exist to make biofuels, like switchgrass or algae that don't need cropland to grow it. The United States is going to lead the movement in the next ten years.

What's your solution, anyway? We agree that mass amounts of food should not be wasted on ethanol.
 
  2008-04-28 07:16:03 AM
Whidbey: "I really find it hard to buy your outrage. You don't mind it when they're cut down for reasons you might otherwise support, like for maximum profit."

When have we EVER talked about the rainforests?

I'm curious because I would like to know how you came to the conclusion that I "don't mind it when they're cut down".

It is possible to harvest some resources from the rainforest with minimal impact but I have never supported clear-cutting massive areas of the rainforest.

"And I don't know what we're arguing about, really, considering that better alternatives exist to make biofuels, like switchgrass or algae that don't need cropland to grow it. The United States is going to lead the movement in the next ten years."

Well.... How about until alternative options are developed we at least stop increasing the amount of food based ethanol that we use/need?

I would prefer that we actually start (at least) phasing out food based ethanol (if not) end the use of food based ethanol even if alternatives are not ready.

I guess basically I don't think the government should mandate that we use ethanol.

Also...

One of the things that I am concerned about is that as it becomes more profitable for farmers to grow switchgrass than other food crops we will see switchgrass replace food crops. This will cause food prices to increase.

This is one of the things that has caused food prices to go up now.

NO...

It is not the only reason but it is a big reason food prices (all food) have gone up.

"What's your solution, anyway?"

There probably will not be just one solution to our energy needs.

But.....

I support increase production of domestic oil.

...use of solar energy...

...use of wind power...

...use of geothermal...

...use of hydroelectric...

...use of coal...

...use of nuclear...

...and who knows what other sources of energy will be developed in the future....

(almost forgot)

...use of Algae...
 
  2008-04-28 02:30:46 PM
dottedmint: One of the things that I am concerned about is that as it becomes more profitable for farmers to grow switchgrass than other food crops we will see switchgrass replace food crops. This will cause food prices to increase.

This is one of the things that has caused food prices to go up now.


I really doubt that. And as I've pointed out, since switchgrass can be grown anywhere, it's not going to "replace" anything.

Food prices go up because of economic manipulation. There is absolutely no reason why food can't be grown and distributed locally. Well other than someone's profit margin.

Otherwise, I'm rather pleased to hear you have a conservation streak in you.

But I'm not real jazzed about starting up domestic oil production here. We should be working 'round the clock to come up with an alternative, not continuing to feed our oil addiction. I do like the idea that at least we have reserves in this country to wean us off oil, but they wouldn't last, not with our current demands of 20 million barrels a day. There has to be some major change, and I don't see a McCain Presidency taking this seriously enough.
 
  2008-04-28 10:27:36 PM
Whidbey "And as I've pointed out, since switchgrass can be grown anywhere, it's not going to "replace" anything."

I pointed this out before....

IF a farmer can make more money growing switchgrass on his cropland... he will.

A majority of farmers will grow the crop that they feel will create the biggest profit.

It does not matter if it can grow anywhere.

IF I feel I could make more money growing switchgrass on my 100 acres of cropland than growing corn I am going to grow switchgrass.

It really is that simple.

"Food prices go up because of economic manipulation."

That would be called "supply and demand".

IF more and more corn is being turned into fuel that reduces the supply of corn that can be turned into food.

With an increase in demand and a reduction of supply the price of corn increases.

When the price of corn increases the price of any food that is made with corn or fed corn will increase.

This is all basic economics....
 
  2008-04-29 03:11:29 AM
dottedmint: IF a farmer can make more money growing switchgrass on his cropland... he will.

A majority of farmers will grow the crop that they feel will create the biggest profit.

It does not matter if it can grow anywhere.

IF I feel I could make more money growing switchgrass on my 100 acres of cropland than growing corn I am going to grow switchgrass.


There's that "IF" again.

Link

Vogel said he does not expect switchgrass to replace corn or other crops on Class 1 farm land. He and his colleagues are developing the grass for use on marginal, highly erodible lands similar to that currently in the federal Conservation Reserve Program. All the fields in this study met the qualifying criteria for that program.

Researchers found that switchgrass grown on the marginal fields produced an average of 300 gallons of ethanol per acre compared to average ethanol yields of 350 gallons per acre for corn for the same three states


Seriously.
 
  2008-04-29 06:53:39 AM
****sigh****

"Vogel said he does not expect switchgrass to replace corn or other crops on Class 1 farm land."


IF it will grow on marginal land it will also grow on prime cropland.

It is all a matter of profit. I know... I know... It is terrible that a farmer would want to maximize their profit but that is what they (or at least a majority of them) will do.

As soon as switchgrass becomes more profitable than other crops it will start to replace those crops.

Making a profit as a farmer is hard enough, especially for the smaller family farms. (the ones I would guess you would support)

If they can make more money growing switchgrass on their cropland they will do that.

It is extremely shortsighted of you to think farmers won't try to maximize their profits by growing what they can make the most money with.
 
  2008-05-01 10:16:20 PM
Ya know Whidbey.....

It really is sad that more people do not join in the conversation here.

I honestly expected (when I first came here) that more people would join in on the debates that we have had.

I know...

We have had a few people pop in and say "hi" but very few stick around for any amount of time.

I guess I simply don't understand why so many people post in the other forums but don't post here.

Maybe it was something I said....
 
  2008-05-03 05:12:22 PM
And I've been gone the last couple of days again. Which is good, going outside is good...:)

dottedmint: I guess I simply don't understand why so many people post in the other forums but don't post here.

Maybe it was something I said....


Nah, I think people snub this forum because they think they can get what they need in the regular threads. They just can't talk about more than one topic at at time, I guess...I'm sure the other forums have similar problems. I hope Fark doesn't get rid of this place.

I still believe this forum will come into its own, and more people will stop by. Who knows? Maybe people just like lurking and seeing us two go at it...;)

It is extremely shortsighted of you to think farmers won't try to maximize their profits by growing what they can make the most money with.

I dunno, man. You still haven't convinced me that growing switchgrass will replace existing cropland. It grows practically anywhere, and as my link above shows, it doesn't have to compete with existing crops. It can be grown on BLM land.

And again, I don't trust anyone who says we're going to have a "food shortage." It is economic manipulation and speculation.

Relying on locally-grown produce would eliminate the problem.

And as I've said, less cars are the best solution. More public transportation, encourage people to live closer to where they work.
 
  2008-05-03 10:10:36 PM
You still haven't convinced me that growing switchgrass will replace existing cropland.

Well....

It would only start replacing other crops if it makes farmers more money than other crops.

Farmers will try to plant the crops that will give them the most profit.

And no....most farmers aren't going to only plant one crop.

You also have to remember that not all farms have alot of poor quality land so some farmers would not have any option other than to plant switchgrass (if they wanted to) on prime land.

"Relying on locally-grown produce would eliminate the problem."

That sounds nice in theory but could you find enough locally grown produce to supply all of NY City... how about LA... Chicago... Phoenix???

Don't get me wrong....

I think it is great to support your local farmers market but it is unrealistic to think local growers would be able to supply all of the food needed for such large populations.
 
  2008-05-04 03:09:16 AM
dottedmint: That sounds nice in theory but could you find enough locally grown produce to supply all of NY City... how about LA... Chicago... Phoenix???

Don't get me wrong....

I think it is great to support your local farmers market but it is unrealistic to think local growers would be able to supply all of the food needed for such large populations.


I really don't see why not. You could get a network of farmers growing food for a particular region, say the Northeast. Every state has enough arable land to support its bigger population centers. California could take care of itself and Arizona quite easily. And we always have Mexico to fall back on. It's just that now, the answer is to import practically everything. Why should food grown half a world away be cheaper than something grown half a mile away? Don't you think it's worth looking into changing our ways just a little?

I'm beginning to think that any "food crisis" just means we need to get real about how we produce our food. We waste more than half of it.

And not to beat the switchgrass topic to death, it grows best on poor quality soils. It's a recommended crop for restoring soil that's been over-farmed.

I think it's going to catch on and the fear of all our corn turning to fuel is going to be a thing of the past. We can do it right.
 
  2008-05-04 04:32:10 AM
whidbey: dottedmint: That sounds nice in theory but could you find enough locally grown produce to supply all of NY City... how about LA... Chicago... Phoenix???

Don't get me wrong....

I think it is great to support your local farmers market but it is unrealistic to think local growers would be able to supply all of the food needed for such large populations.

I really don't see why not. You could get a network of farmers growing food for a particular region, say the Northeast. Every state has enough arable land to support its bigger population centers. California could take care of itself and Arizona quite easily. And we always have Mexico to fall back on. It's just that now, the answer is to import practically everything. Why should food grown half a world away be cheaper than something grown half a mile away? Don't you think it's worth looking into changing our ways just a little?

I'm beginning to think that any "food crisis" just means we need to get real about how we produce our food. We waste more than half of it.

And not to beat the switchgrass topic to death, it grows best on poor quality soils. It's a recommended crop for restoring soil that's been over-farmed.

I think it's going to catch on and the fear of all our corn turning to fuel is going to be a thing of the past. We can do it right.


As a consumer you can choose to buy local produce.

This movemement is gaining momentum.

/hello
 
  2008-05-04 08:09:34 AM
Whidbey "And not to beat the switchgrass topic to death, it grows best on poor quality soils."

No....

It CAN grow on poor soil.

It does not grow "best" on poor soil.

I know you don't like this but it all comes down to money.

IF a farmer can make more money planting switchgrass, he will plant switchgrass.

Think of it this way....

Corn grows best on prime soil. Right?

Since the price of corn has been going up farmers have started planting more and more corn on poor quality soils because it could make them more money.

So farmers plant crops on land that is not best for that crop all the time. They do it because they feel they can make more money with that crop.

OH.... and another negative impact of corn based ethanol that I had forgotten earlier.....

I grew up in a region that had alot of strip farming because it is very hilly (at least some areas). Strip farming is where you lay out strips of crops along hillsides alternating between different crops to try to reduce the amount of erosion that takes place.

Now when I go back to visit I notice more and more farmers getting rid of the strips and planting corn over entire hillsides. This means that now when it rains you have entire hillsides exposed to the rain and massive amounts of soil is washed away.

Now....

"You could get a network of farmers growing food for a particular region, say the Northeast."

And you honestly think that the Northeast could grow enough food for everyone in that region to last all winter long?

I don't.

And clearly you would limit yourself to only eating crops that could grow in that region.

I'm sorry but it just is not practical.

As I said before it is good to support local farmers but some regions do not have enough local farmers to do what you want.
 
  2008-05-04 05:53:22 PM
whidbey:
I really don't see why not. You could get a network of farmers growing food for a particular region, say the Northeast. Every state has enough arable land to support its bigger population centers. California could take care of itself and Arizona quite easily. And we always have Mexico to fall back on. It's just that now, the answer is to import practically everything. Why should food grown half a world away be cheaper than something grown half a mile away? Don't you think it's worth looking into changing our ways just a little?


I just want to address this one point. You have to do a complete energy equation for the cost of foreign produce and take into consideration the time of the year. It is cheaper to import, let us say lettuce, than to try to hot house grow it in the winter. Energy needed to transport long distances vs heat and growlamps and limited acreage. If you want fresh produce in the wintertime, then foreign grown produce is the most economical way of doing it. At this time of the year we are at the turn over point to US grown produce. In a months the only produce that you will find that is not grown stateside will be only tropical plants because well.. we have almost no tropical soil in the states.

The one problem with regional produce production that I see is the SW. They are in a bind when dealing with water. The Colorado River and the northern Ca watershed right now are barely able to provide for the southern development of Ca. If they were to try to produce the needed foodstuffs for the area they will certainly be millions (a guess so sue me) of gallons over what can currently be provided. In the MW and the NE and most of the S should have enough water, I am not sure on the tillable acreage for the NE to feed the megalopolis that resides there.
 
  2008-05-04 08:23:26 PM
dottedmint: We have had a few people pop in and say "hi" but very few stick around for any amount of time.

I guess I simply don't understand why so many people post in the other forums but don't post here.

Maybe it was something I said....


No, it's because you're in the politics forum, try your luck in the geek forum.

/don't trust me on sticking around
//hello
 
  2008-05-07 04:56:19 PM
I can't believe you're still arguing about switchgrass, dottedmint, seriously.

And it does grow best in poor soil. Look it up.

Nor have you convinced me that all of a sudden farmers are going to drop what they have and start growing corn for fuel. I would need to see some kind of documentation that counters what I posted earlier. It's just another "if" scenario based on speculation.

Saiga410: It is cheaper to import, let us say lettuce, than to try to hot house grow it in the winter.

There is no reason why the lower latitudes of this country can't compensate during the winter months. My point is that we just import because it's easier, and ignore the resources we have here in this country because it doesn't look good on someone's bean counter.

dottedmint: And you honestly think that the Northeast could grow enough food for everyone in that region to last all winter long?

I don't.


Why not?

And clearly you would limit yourself to only eating crops that could grow in that region.
I'm sorry but it just is not practical.


Of course it is. You grow the necessities locally, import the fancier stuff people absolutely have to have. Or grow them in the Carolinas or the SE.

The United States could sustain itself for most of its needs. The fiction is that we have to rely on the rest of the world for every practical want or desire.

The problem is that big corporations don't want that: they can't make nearly as much money as they could flooding our markets with surplus.

So in a sense, I can agree that growing ethanol for fuel in 3rd world countries is a bad thing. Not so much here. We have options.
 
  2008-05-07 05:03:04 PM
And agreed on the SW, Saiga.

The Colorado does run at a trickle through SoCal, but much of that is due to waste and mismanaged planning. Not to ignore the fact that the river corridor is filling up with people. But the thinking is still along the lines of the 1950s.

Still, I don't understand why desalinated water couldn't be used to irrigate crops. Yes, economics aside, I know...;)

Kind of gets in the way of things, I've noticed. Like progress.
 
  2008-05-08 06:58:50 AM
Whidbey "And it does grow best in poor soil. Look it up."

I have....

I even went to the Wiki link that you provided and nowhere in any of the information about switchgrass have I seen/read that switchgrass grows best in poor soils.

It grows better in poor soils than other crops would.

It grows well in poor soils.

And I am not denying that it would be a good thing to plant on poor soils.

However if you are going to say that switchgrass grows better on poor soils than it would on prime cropland you are going to need to provide some evidence by actually quoting and providing a link to something that can support your claims.

Simply saying "Look it up" doesn't really cut it....

"Nor have you convinced me that all of a sudden farmers are going to drop what they have and start growing corn for fuel."

I've never said that farmers would just "all of a sudden" start growing corn or switchgrass instead of other crops that they grow.

That said....

As the price of corn has gone up and the demand for corn based ethanol has increased more and more farmers are growing corn for ethanol.

IF/when switchgrass becomes the chosen way to produce ethanol it will increase in value. As it increases in value other farmers will start growing it. No. They are not "all of a sudden" going to start growing switchgrass but (as I've said before) if it becomes more valuable than corn and other crops some farmers will start growing it on their prime cropland.

The fact that you seem to think that farmers wouldn't plant switchgrass on prime cropland if it became valuable enough makes me question your understanding of basic economics.

IF the price of switchgrass never gets higher than the price of other crops then NO they won't plant it on prime cropland.

It all depends on what happens to the price of switchgrass when compared to the price of other crops.

"The United States could sustain itself for most of its needs."

When you were talking about using "locally grown" crops I thought you meant "locally grown" crops. I didn't realize you meant all of the US when you talked about "locally grown" crops.

I agree that the US can basically grow everything* that we need but that wasn't what I thought you were talking about....
 
  2008-05-08 11:16:10 PM
My lord. I watched MSNBC during the IN and NC primaries, but heard a lot of talk about Lanny Davis being a dumbass. I'm watching what he said now on Youtube and I have never seen a bigger dumbass in political reporting.

/FWIW Anderson Cooper and Donna Brazile manhandled him.
//Figure this is as good a place as any to vent about this moran.
 
  2008-05-12 03:19:05 PM
Even the 2-headed monster thinks Hilary's gotta quit! LOL

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqKuwel6CVg
 
  2008-05-16 06:44:11 AM
Fark Politics Forum: Only the last seven days of comments listed. Difficulty: no asbestos underwear

Topic: switchgrass.
 
  2008-05-16 05:19:53 PM
log_jammin: Fark Politics Forum: Only the last seven days of comments listed. Difficulty: no asbestos underwear

Topic: switchgrass.


That one died two weeks ago. How about whether the progressive income tax is a way to equalize people or a way to treat people unequally?
 
  2008-05-20 03:48:15 AM
Saiga410: How about whether the progressive income tax is a way to equalize people or a way to treat people unequally?

Oh what the hey...

When you have 1% of the population owing a third of the wealth, even after they're being taxed, it's obvious that a progressive tax is an attempt to equalize.

They own, and us middle-classers do the work for them that brings home their bacon. We should get the break, because even after they b*tch and whine about the taxman, the top percent is still rich, and we're still struggling for financial security.
 
  2008-05-20 04:32:26 PM
whidbey: Saiga410: How about whether the progressive income tax is a way to equalize people or a way to treat people unequally?

Oh what the hey...

When you have 1% of the population owing a third of the wealth, even after they're being taxed, it's obvious that a progressive tax is an attempt to equalize.

They own, and us middle-classers do the work for them that brings home their bacon. We should get the break, because even after they b*tch and whine about the taxman, the top percent is still rich, and we're still struggling for financial security.


i don't know, as i slowly increase how much i make per year, i'd like to give less and less away, yet the govt wants more from me. Also their are these points where they extract a greater percentage.

my pipe dream is the flat tax sans loopholes. no child credits, no lost profits, none of that, just a simple you made x, then calculate y. Also, only 1 tax from the fed, none of this, ss and fica both tax me at the same amount, when it should be "ss tax" = income/x - "fica tax"

15 percent would probably work,
 
  2008-05-21 02:59:40 PM
Well... 15% for your income when your income is small hurts a lot, whereas 15% of your income when your income is very large is an annoyance.

Furthermore, I feel that (when run properly anyway) the government exists, in the simplest sense, to make it easier for you to get richer. Hopefully everyone, but mostly Americans. And ideally opportunities or a leg-up, rather than handouts.

It seems only fair that since the system is working pretty well for you if you are rich, that you should pay a higher share of what you have earned here.

That's my stance anyway. Most contrary arguments, I confess, come off as little more than greed talking... (mostly).
 
  2008-05-23 05:06:52 AM
Conventional wisdom says taxes pay for services and infrastructure (among other things). Here is an analogy that will demonstrate the difference between progressive taxation and flat taxation:

Taxpayers (individuals and corporations) are patrons in an all-you-can-eat style restaurant. The government owns the restaurant and they have a choice to charge their patrons two ways. If they charge progressively, each patron pays for what they take from the buffet, salad bar, and dessert tray. If they want more, they will pay proportionately for what they take. If they charge a flat fee for the all-you-can-eat buffet, everyone pays the same regardless if they only come in for soup and salad or if they pull up a chair and eat directly from the buffet, blocking everyone else's access to it.

Is it fair to charge everyone the same price for eating at the buffet while those with insatiable appetites continually feed straight from the kitchen (tossing crushed bags of oyster crackers and packets of mustard out to the rest of the hungry patrons) because they have close ties to the owner? No. You pay for what you use. If you use more, you pay more.
 
  2008-05-23 01:49:59 PM
That's a bad analogy lomnoir. IF you are going to charge based on what a person eats from that restaurant (the government) then the people who get more government handouts would need to pay more in taxes. Most "rich" people don't get too much in the way of welfare or other handouts from the government. Yes. Some do and no I don't support many of those handouts.

My point is that the restaurant (government) is not why most people are "rich".

Most people who are "rich" are not eating in the kitchen of the restaurant (government) most of them are eating in their own kitchen in their own house.

The fairest tax is a flat tax.

Everyone pays the same rate.

The rich pay more than the poor.

But everyone pays the same rate.
 
  2008-05-23 02:36:34 PM
whidbey: When you have 1% of the population owing a third of the wealth, even after they're being taxed, it's obvious that a progressive tax is an attempt to equalize.

They own, and us middle-classers do the work for them that brings home their bacon. We should get the break, because even after they b*tch and whine about the taxman, the top percent is still rich, and we're still struggling for financial security.


I don't know if it's jealousy or what, but why is everyone hating on the rich? Like it or not, their investments provide a lot of jobs in the private sector and usually any attempts to soak the rich with taxes will backfire on the economy.

You have the instance where FDR kept taxing the rich, thinking it would help, during the depression while unemployment stayed extremely high until WW2 broke out. The more you tax and regulate the people with the money, the less likely they will invest it and create jobs. Which is exactly what happen during the New Deal.

---

dottedmint I think lomnoir is talking about a single sales tax on items you purchase, not just from the government but in general. Like buying a new car you pay 10% in taxes, buy a new set of furniture pay 10% taxes, buy a new house 10%. I don't know how that would affect purchases on used items. It would encourage people to spend smarter, save, and invest more though.
 
  2008-05-23 03:12:39 PM
It's unfortunate that EVERY DAMN POLITICAL thread devolves into a "You're a TROLL!", No YOU"RE a TROLL!" , "He's a TROLL!", "No, she's the TROLL!", "Here's what a troll IS!", "No THIS is a troll!", "Trools going onto my ignore list!", "I 'ignore' all you trolls!", "Trolls!", "Trolls!", "Trolls!", "Trolls!", "Trolls!", "Trolls!", "Trolls!", "Trolls!", "Trolls!", "Trolls!", "Trolls!", "Trolls!", "Trolls!", "Trolls!", "Trolls!", "Trolls!", "Trolls!", "Trolls!", "Trolls!", "Trolls!", "Trolls!", "Trolls!", "Trolls!", "Trolls!"

Jesus F**KIN CHRIST!

Enough with all the 'troll' bullshiat!

Get a friggin BACKBONE and DEAL with it already!
 
  2008-05-23 04:01:42 PM
AR55: I don't know if it's jealousy or what, but why is everyone hating on the rich? Like it or not, their investments provide a lot of jobs in the private sector and usually any attempts to soak the rich with taxes will backfire on the economy.

I'm not "hating on the rich," I'm pointing out why it's justifiable why they're taxed so highly. It makes a lot of sense to me to make the people who get the most out of this system give back, but I remain surprised why people go along with it. It's
far too altruistic a philosophy in a dog-eat-dog world...

You have the instance where FDR kept taxing the rich, thinking it would help, during the depression while unemployment stayed extremely high until WW2 broke out.

FDR's programs were beginning to show progress, even with the high unemployment. If anything, the war drew focus from those reforms.

Like buying a new car you pay 10% in taxes, buy a new set of furniture pay 10% taxes, buy a new house 10%. I don't know how that would affect purchases on used items. It would encourage people to spend smarter, save, and invest more though.

Still benefits the rich more it does the lower classes. If I had the money to throw down on whatever I wanted, I might grumble about the tax. For some people it might mean not buying the item altogether.

dottedmint: The fairest tax is a flat tax.

It's not fair at all. If you're making six figures, and you're paying 15% of your income, and I'm making 30K, it hurts me, not you.

What I'm in favor of are economic incentives for people making less than 100K, so they aren't always the beast of burden in the revenue game.

Or in exchange for a lower tax rate on the higher brackets, give middle classers more leeway to buy land. Or give them a break on credit/mortgages/loans. And no, it's not "something for nothing."

Again, the "lower classes" are the labor force that keep making the successful even more so. It always pains me to come to grips that America is a class society, no matter how many "opportunities" we supposedly have.

Saiga, you've been awfully quiet about this...
 
  2008-05-23 04:04:56 PM
I'm not sure AR55. I thought lomnoir was talking income tax but maybe not.

His analogy does fit the idea of getting rid of income tax and having a national sales tax only.

I have wondered why we tax people on the money they make....

Don't we want people to make as much money as they can....

And in this situation the "rich" would still pay much more in taxes than the poor.

Someone who buys a $75,000 car will pay much more in taxes than someone who buys a $10,000 car.

It would also encrourage people to save more of their money.... a good thing...

In either situations the idea of 'you make more money so you should pay a higher rate' has absolutely nothing to do with fairness.

I guess what is an even bigger issue is that our tax code is such a mess and so confusing that there is no way a sane person could call it a good system.
 
  2008-05-23 04:36:03 PM
Whidbey: "It's not fair at all. If you're making six figures, and you're paying 15% of your income, and I'm making 30K, it hurts me, not you."

You make the assumption that me paying 15% of my income would not hurt me.

Also.....

You would pay $4,500 in taxes while I (if I made $100,000) would pay $15,000 in taxes. I would pay over 3 times as much in taxes as you. And of course if I made $200,000 I would pay $30,000 in taxes. (over 6 times as much as you pay)

The point Whidbey is that I would pay many times as much as you would in taxes.


"What I'm in favor of are economic incentives for people making less than 100K, so they aren't always the beast of burden in the revenue game."

WHAT?!?!?!

"the beast of burden"????

I find that rather interesting since the top 10% of wage earners pay somewhere (I admit I forget the exact numbers at this time) around 70% of the federal taxes. This means that those bottom 90% who have an income of around 100,000 or less only pay around 30% of federal taxes.

So paying for 30% of taxes makes a group "the beast of burden" for taxes????

Yet those who pay 70% of the taxes aren't?????

WOW....

I think you need to rethink what it means to be a "beast of burden".
 
  2008-05-23 04:40:03 PM
dottedmint: I think you need to rethink what it means to be a "beast of burden".

The fact is that you can absorb the tax far better than I can. You can still go out to fancy dinners, buy car(s), house(s) or whatever you like, while I am still struggling at 30K and I've just paid Uncle Sam a third of my income. I can't absorb that. I am the one actually doing the WORK. You're cashing in.

And yes, I realize that's a bit general.
 
  2008-05-23 04:41:08 PM
Oh and I made some other points about incentives for the middle class. Care to address them?
 
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