8 thoughts on “What Mandate?

  1. spenserj

    Since when do we care what the rest of the world thinks about our presidential selection? You wouldn’t want to go back in history and take Europe’s past choices…
    As if these samples from the rest of the world are truly informed. I’m certain the typical netherlander and frenchie knows about as much about our leaders, economy, and the complexity of issues that can affect an election driven by both foreign and domestic issues.
    When it comes to electing our president, who cares about the rest of the world. And why should their opinions be any higher than ours? Let’s
    And it isn’t like the european press, or U.S. press for that matter, are exactly objective about it all.
    Must be nice being in a country that spends less than 1% of GDP on defense – nice for them that we spend more. Wonder where these complaints were during Bosnia. Maybe if they bore more responsibility for having a stronger defense instead of the appauling record of diplomacy – they could complain more about where we choose to defend ourselves. With all the millions of crooked $ they got from Iraq, they have no credible position of objectivity.
    Europe wants us to have a strong defense to fight the battles they want us to fight, they want us to show strength for them so they don’t have to spend the $, they want us to implement a higher standard of kyoto to weaken us economically, they envy our health care system, our abundance of land, our economic efficiency, our independence, our geographic isolation. They don’t understand why we don’t have government mandated labor, work, and retirement systems the equal of theirs – they wonder why their companies are undoing these things to look more like the U.S. We think our social security system is broken? At worst, we will approach a 2:1 funding ratio – bad enough, while much of Europe will be having to deal with 1:1 ratios.
    I’m glad you get some comfort from the world’s libs. Let’s just see what they think of us 5 years from now.

  2. chiefwagonburner

    “Europe wants us to have a strong defense to fight the battles they want us to fight”
    And exactly what battles do they want us to fight? I seem to recall a lot of protests.
    “they want us to implement a higher standard of kyoto to weaken us economically”
    Right, because the slightest bit of responsibility is just *so* un-american. Efficiency is good for business in the long run.
    “they envy our health care system”
    I want what you are smoking.
    “our abundance of land”
    Hardly a US trait.
    “our economic efficiency”
    The US needs some changes in this area – take a look at farm subsidies some time.
    “our independence”
    Let me guess, they hate freedom too.
    “our geographic isolation”
    You spelt ignorance wrong.
    “They don’t understand why we don’t have government mandated labor, work, and retirement systems the equal of theirs – they wonder why their companies are undoing these things to look more like the U.S. We think our social security system is broken? At worst, we will approach a 2:1 funding ratio – bad enough, while much of Europe will be having to deal with 1:1 ratios.”
    Good thing Bush is going to privatize social security, because that has worked out well for the UK: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3735828.stm

  3. spenserj

    Europe’s battles – a couple world wars, the Cold War, Kosovo – and let’s not forget the threat of military action and its importance for any substantive diplomatic negotiations. Would Europe have any hope of negotiating with China, North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, etc without the US and UK?
    Lets get real on environmental responsibility – not only is there no evidence of global warming in anything other than questionable computer models, but a substantive reduction in C02 – one that would actually have an impact – is a 60% reduction, not the 5% required in Kyoto. Kyoto is politics plain and simple – selling credits, strengthening Europe, lowering living standards, higher unemployment, weakening the U.S. – with no positive environmental impact. Who is being repsonsible…
    Right, I want a health care system that takes months for a heart operation – longer for elective surgery. I want a system where I can die waiting for my turn – I want rationing. I want overutilization of healthcare resources. I want government funded, employer tax-based health care – I want double digit unemployment rates. No wonder Europe is reforming health care and making it more privatized and market driven.
    Forgive me for not including Siberia – ever heard of population density?
    Last time I looked, farm subsidies were not unique to the US – check out France, India – and it is neither an exclusively liberal or conservative issue. I am all for ending farm subsidies. We agree. Let the market rule, go capitalism.
    Independence – I mean our self reliance – we have a greater abundance of natural resources than most single Euro contries – and if we didn’t export as much as we did, we could be much more energy independent.
    And thanks for linking to a BBC article that has nothing to do with privatizing Social Security. Put it this way, there is a reduced need to increase taxes or reduce retirement benefits if, like every other government pension system in the US, a portion of the “funds” were invested in equities, bonds, etc. The pay-as-you-go approach isn’t working out very well.
    Finally, the “highly educated voting for Kerry” is a proven myth. Lets see how the urban areas survive without the manufacturing, power generation, natural resources, and farming provided by the “red” areas. And how about those other qualities of urban areas – high crime, high substance abuse, high illiteracy, higher suicide rates, high housing costs, traffic, etc.
    I mispelled a few other words…blogs should have spell checkers.

  4. chiefwagonburner

    The US military budget is almost as much as the rest of the world’s combined. You believe that is part of the scheming euros grand plan?
    Ah, so your environmental responsibility plan is to just hope almost every scientist on the planet is wrong? Sounds super, what could go wrong? It is not as if increasing fuel economy regulations and supporting alternative energy would actually be good for us anyway, right? I’m sure we will do just fine relying on buying most of our energy from countries that generally hate the US. We don’t need the savings from increased efficiency or reduced military spending either. Everyone loves mercury.
    I’m not going to deny that there should be beneficial changes to much of the worlds health care, but to suggest “they envy our health care system” is insane. Health care in the US is a joke. The US spends twice as much per capita, and gets less.
    “and if we didn’t export as much as we did, we could be much more energy independent.” I have no idea what ‘exports’ you are talking about. The US is running a massive trade deficient. We have to import the vast majority of our energy. Are we world leaders in pixy dust or something? Hold on, I need to fill up my car with dew drops and lollypops.

  5. spenserj

    Europe doesn’t need to spend as much on the military because they ride our coat tales. They now realize they can’t do that and establish a French-Euro, counterbalance – so they are pushing to increase defense spending. But, the cultures are different and Europe will always have a tendency to capitulate, negotiate, and get along – even if it means giving up something in return. Not a criticism, just reality.
    Almost every scientist is a stretch – 17,000 have signed a letter stating there is no evidence of global warming and even if there was a slight warming, there is no evidence that it would have any negative consequences. Go ahead and believe the hype – lots of scientists are looking for research dollars and global warming sells – you think corporations are the only bad guys chasing a dollar? In 10 years, we will know a lot more about the impact of C02 emissions and there is plenty of time to deal with the repercusions. The best bet now is to go with nuclear power, but too many domestic groups are against it – if you believe so much in what Europe believes, you should love nuclear power. Do you not remember the headlines and Time covers predicing catastrophic cooling and the coming of an ice age – this was in the late 70s – how quickly the “sky is falling” crowd switches gears to global warming.
    The reasons for higher per-capita spending are numerous. Too many americans are uninsured and thus do not get the preventive care that can prevent more expensive treatment down the road. This isn’t a government issue – we mandate basic coverage for autos – the same should be true for health. Furthermore, taking the consumer out of the equation (which occurs with employer sponsored plans) increases utilization. So, we spend more because americans demand access to the most modern and expensive treatments, they are insulated from basic costs, and our hospitals cover indigent and other costs – again, because too many americans don’t spend the $150 a month they could for even catastrophic care. Americans have access to the latest and best treatments – many foreigners come to the states to access our excellent health care – this does have an impact on per capita cost. We also don’t accept 15 month waiting times for elective surgery.
    You need to pull out your econ book and look at trade deficits – we have a trade deficit because we have a corresponding surplus of capital investment – the US is the most popular destination for foreign investment. Its like a ledger – $500 million trade deficit = $500 million surplus in capital investment. The US sells more goods and services in the global marketplace than any other country.
    Finally, energy imports – we export coal, import some natural gas, and obviously import a majority of oil. This is only because world markets are cheaper than domestic oil – and there is certainly nothing wrong with importing oil, other than dealing with some of the mideastern politics. If things go awry in the mideast, oil prices will soar and our economy and industry will respond – the market works in anticipating and reacting to energy supplies better than any government every has. And truth is, we have enough domestic oil sources if we chose to develop them – the gulf of mexico, ca coast, alaska – but the price we pay for a more environmental policy. I’m cool with that.

  6. chiefwagonburner

    Ah yes, the infamous 17,000 signatures. I suggest you do some research on that whole farce: http://www.disinfopedia.org/wiki.phtml?title=Oregon_Institute_of_Science_and_Medicine#Case_Study:_The_Oregon_Petition. “Only a few dozen, at most, of the signatories were drawn from the core disciplines of climate science – such as meteorology, oceanography, and glaciology – and almost none were climate specialists.” The whole thing is a bulk mailing that has happened several times since 1998. I could have signed the petition, yet my studies are primarily in comp sci. Bit silly, isn’t it?
    Plenty of time? In 10 years we (west coast of CA) will already start to see part of the 30% decrease in rainfall happening. Temperature affects everything. As for nuke power, I would go for that as long as it was a stepping stone to sustainability. Long term it is costly and messy.
    You are suggesting that the govt force everyone in the US to buy health care?
    The US also consumes more goods and services than any other country by a wide margin (for example, 40% more energy per $1 GDP than the UK). The foreign investment is largely asian countries trying to weaken their currencies. Total debt is now 300 per cent of our GDP, and our currency doesn’t look like it will get off the floor any time soon. I can’t wait for another 4 years of fiscal responsibility.
    Coal we don’t want, but we certainly don’t win when China buys it from us either. Natural gas could bite us in the ass, since our production has peaked. But these are both minor. Oil is the kicker. Our dependence can *only* be tackled if we reduce our consumption of oil. The grand arctic drilling plan has a best case scenario of 7 percent of what we now import from the rest of the world. Our consumption has no sign of slowing down; it will be absurd to think we can fix it by drilling for more in our back yard.

  7. spenserj

    Nice bit of misdirection – you offer no evidence for your “almost every scientist on the planet” – sure, any list can be attacked as I’m sure you could do with the Heidelberg Appeal, Statement by Atmospheric Scientists on Greenhouse Warming, and the Leipzig Declaration. The IPCC report drives most of this global warming myth and this is ripe with problems. The science is one-sided and the summary report was prepared by a bunch of politicians, not scientists. Many of the scientists originally part of the IPCC have withdrawn because it is clear the computer models are wrong and every single prediction they have made is incorrect. I like how Alfred P. Sloan (Professor of Meteorology, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT – and one of the lead authors of the science sections of the IPCC report) described the summary “very much a children’s exercise of what might possibly happen” prepared by a “peculiar group” with “no technical competence”. You can read all about it in his testimony to the US Senate. We can go tit for tat, but “consensus” among the scientific community regarding global warming is a total myth.
    But more importantly, IF global warming is occuring, there is no evidence man is the cause (wonder what caused the 1890 – 1940 warming), there is no evidence we can have any discernable impact in controlling this warming – even with 60 percent reductions in fossil fuel usage, and there is NO credible evidence that a slight warming of the earth (which is all that is “predicted” as of yet) would actually have negative consequences. But hey, if it makes you feel better…
    There are as many studies that show climate warming will actually increase rainfall – ice melts, oceans rise, more cloud uptake, more rain, and eventually more ice.
    I have no issue with reducing our dependence on oil. 100 years ago, we were more dependent on hay and I imagine 50 – 100 years from now, we will find technology solutions or adapt to changes in world resources. The idea that we will some day wake up and run out of oil is naiive. There are futures markets that are quite accurate at predicting supply and demand for oil – as oil prices rise – for whatever reason, the market will react – with more hybrids, greater fuel efficiency, alternative energy solutions, etc. A world mandate is no solution at all.
    Under Kerry’s health plan, the government would buy health care for a significant chunk of americans – this is the only way costs can be managed – the pool must be spread. Yes, I think mandating minimum coverage would go a long way to help health care coverage – prices would go down in every category. It’s people like me who pay for the uninsured – and that is why my rates are higher than they need to be. If we really care that “everyone” have access to health care, then why not mandate it? What’s the difference between mandating it versus taxing us and having the government pay – both hit our pocket books, but putting the consumer directly in the link is the only way to manage health costs. Our problems occur because of this – and I work with many health care experts who will back me up on this.
    40% more per $1 GDP – well, since only 35% of our energy usage is for retail consumers – 65% is industrial and given the amount of products manufactured for the rest of the world, including foreign manufacturing here in the states, it isn’t surprising. So this stat is always misleading – our total exports dwarf the UK. In 2002, we exported $687 billion FOB – the UK exported $286 billion FOB. And lets consider other energy comparisons – we use 8.35 TOE per person in the US, Canada uses 8.16 TOE. We also export more than 18 billion Kwh of our electricity – the UK exports 0.26 billion Kwh.
    I’m not sure what you are reading regarding the long term costs of nuclear energy – when environmental factors are considered, it is the cleanest, cheapest form of energy production – the only “pollutants” (spent rods) can be reprocessed and/or stored – and even with these costs, its bang for the buck can’t be beat. Over 70% of the energy production in France is nuclear power, we are at 24%.
    On our export deficit, again, you skipped my point. Are you saying that a lower export deficit is preferable to less foreign capital investment? Yes, China should let their currency float instead of tying to the dollar – but this is largley a problem of US investment – we don’t save and invest enough ourselves. Not that a Treasury Sec has much ability to maneuver the dollar (although, I’ll admit Rubin was quite effective). Rising interest rates will resolve this – and you need to talk with Greenspan on that one. Then again, you can find just as many people/biz who prefer a weaker dollar as you can find who support a stronger dollar. Of course you skipped my main point – that export deficits aren’t a bad thing.
    And I didn’t say artic drilling was a solution – I’m saying that we do have oil reserves within our own country – gulf, west coast, alaska – if you combined them, all would take care of us. Of course, this will never happen and even Alaska would take 10 years to develop (which if we had done in 96, before Clinton vetoed, would be helping our market quite a bit). But again, I’m quite happy with oil futures and oil prices being the most efficient way to manage this. I’m all for higher oil prices – I seem to recall Kerry harping on Bush pretty strongly against this – even advocating dipping into the oil reserve. A comitted environmentalist would have never suggested such a stupid thing.
    How many words did I mispell this time?

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