[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

Re: E-M:/ new energy efficiency code proposed

Enviro-Mich message from JerrodM@aol.com

Let the discussion be joined. I hope that we can proceed with what diplomats
refer to as a "frank exchange of ideas."

Tim Flynn: "...yes we do give big Jawn a hard, and at times uncivil, going
over.   Most of the time that critique is back up with fact about his record."

Reply: Facts? There are lies, damned lies, and "facts." Nevertheless I accept
your admission that at least some incivilities have no basis.

TF: "As to your point below.  Markets are wonderful things, they work in many
situations but they are limited in the values they address.   In a civil 
society, there is more to an individuals freedom, sense of self, than a 
dollars worth of market based voting.    We are also part of a community- 
national, local, and NATURAL."
Reply: Nobody mentioned dollars until you did. Why the obsession? I was
talking about freedom ... such as how many windows or what size toilet I can
have in "my castle." Please don't try to stuff your preconceptions into my

TF: "Markets only deal with individual wants, not community values.   Even 
Adam Smith (the father of the free market idea) recognized that society 
needed to set the parameters within which markets would be allowed to 
operate.  We seem to have forgotten this in 20th century(Reagan) America. 
Also as wealth and income continue to become more and more unequal, 
market become less and less equitable and less "fair".   One dollar, one 
vote begins to work against most of us."

Reply: There's the dollar again. Oh, well. Nobody argues with the Tragedy of
the Commons. But what does that have to do with the issue at hand? Further,
you had better go back and read your history. The economic history of the US
did not begin with LBJ, and you insistence on blaming Reagan leads to some
real howlers:
1. Are you saying that 18th and 19th century were LESS laissez faire than
2. Are you saying the same for pre-LBJ 20th century?
3. Do you prefer less wealth and income so long as it is "less unequal?"
What is your definition of "equitable" or "fair?" 

TF: "Your (and my) freedom is not defined only by our ability to spend dollars
for goods in a market.   It is also dependent on civil interaction 
amongst our peers, and the right to set standards for our communities.   
The demand that only the market can determine standards and that a 
democratic social process some how limits our "freedom" is to me absurd."

Reply: You really have to get beyond that obsession with dollars. And a
demokratische sozialistiche (oops, wrong language) "process" is indeed by
definition a limit on freedom. Your claimed right to set standards had damned
well better be founded in the Constitution, or you have no such right in this
country. See next paragraph.

TF: "In an empty room your right to swing your fist is limited only by your 
own pain threshold.   In a more crowded room, your neighbors have the 
right to regulate your "freedom", as it infringes on their right to not 
get hit, and therefore their freedom."

Reply: YES! You got it! And at the same time, they had damned well not be
swinging their code-book-laden fists in my direction!

TF: "Is this energy code the "right" way to deal with the externality of 
energy consumption?   I don't know, but I do know that if "we the people" 
decide it is and the policy we enact lessens the cost to others (friends, 
children, grandchildren, and critters) then freedom will have been 
enhanced not lessen, even if the market is constrained by these 
social/community values."

Reply: Oops ... "the externality of energy consumption?" Sorry, but you are a
long way from establishing that my windows are an economic externality even if
I do choose to buy more energy than the guy next door. Almost got away with
that one, didn't you? My purchase of windows, among other things, has external
benefits as well as costs: keeps employment up on the assembly line, at the
glass plant, in the trucking industry, and so on and so on. Even increases the
government-drone industry as bureaucrats revel in the higher income taxes

Further reply: There you go again. Anything is OK if it "lessens the cost" to
others? Be careful about defending that proposition, because I will be happy
to guide you to its logical conclusion, and I guarantee that you will not like

TF: "I would agree that an energy policy that work with market incentives, in 
addition to regulations, would likely achieve results more effiently, say 
tariffs or taxes that brought the cost of energy use into the price of 
energy consumed.   We Americans know the price of everything and the real 
cost of very little."

Reply: While it's very easy to feel smug about that last quote (Bierce was it?
I forget.), I have made the point on this board in the past -- and have never
been rebutted -- that one has to look at both sides of the ledger, not just at
costs. So let me toss the question back at you: How does one determine the
"real" cost, particularly after balancing out the "real" benefit? More
importantly and more ominously, who gets to decide? I say that the market is
the best arbiter we have, and that people decide freely when they operate
within it. You can't get more democratic. 

Finally: I did notice that your response came at 2:09 PM, while I was hard at
work (along with most people) trying to satisfy my customers and earn a
living. Is that significant? You may object, but somehow I think it is. 

How is it that you have such luxury that you can take time out of the day to
orate? Could such a privileged position in any way affect your perception
and/or objectivity? How could it not?

And as long as I'm on the subject, you will note that the ones I accused of
being "busybodies" still have not (big surprise!) disclosed their funding
source. This all suggests an interesting research topic to identify temporal
patterns of postings on politically-oriented boards. I'll bet that the
"activists" are generally "active" while the rest of us are working. 

Ah has spoken. Ah am listening.

ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at

Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
majordomo@great-lakes.net  with a one-line message body of  "info enviro-mich"