Monday, August 15, 2011

A couple of interesting things ...

There are a couple of interesting things I think are worth a read. First my mom (!) asked me if I had this story about Pennsylvania shifting away from encouraging green/clean energy. Yeah, wind and solar are probably not as efficient as we would like yet, but they are certainly not going to get more efficient if they don't have buyers now. Governor Corbett wants the state government to use shale natural gas for energy. there are several problems with that. First, natural gas is cleaner burning than cola or oil, but it still causes greenhouse gases. Second, yes there is a lot of gas in the Marcellus Shale, but it is still finite, and who knows, our great grandchildren may have need of it and develop a way of extracting without harming the environment. Which leads me to my third point, which is to assume we will have great grandchildren, that is assuming we are not poisoning them right now.

The second good read is a guest post on Glenn Greenwald's blog (he is away this week?). It is from Yves Smith, titled Why "business needs certainty" is destructive. A few weeks ago I remember on a Sunday morning talk fest the moderator pointed out to a conservative guest that American corporations are sitting on huge cash reserves, yet refuse to hire people. The conservative guest replied the business right now faces regulatory uncertainty in the form of Obama-care and the Dodd-Frank regulatory reform bill (I have heard this "uncertainty" thing since several times, in many places). I thought to myself, don't corporations have legal departments or lawyers and analysts that could read the bills and tell the bosses what the bills will do? Smith in fact suggests regulatory issues and the supposed uncertainty have been a stated concern for business since the Bush years. If I had to guess, though, I'd bet you could find these kind of complaints back in Teddy Roosevelt's administration.

Anyway, I think Smith does an excellent job of of looking at this canard that businesses refuse to hire because of uncertainty .

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