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02 June 2011


Mikey McD

Paul, my understanding can be summed up by the following time tested phrase "you can sheer a sheep many times, but lead them to the slaughter once."

Two of the 'controls' which protect resources in a free market are:
1- managing resources is wise business practice (see quote above. A lumberjack who cuts down every tree on his property will only feed himself this year, if he manages his harvest he will have a career.
2- A lumberjack who disregards the environment (in addition to limiting his income) should be boycotted by his customers. Customers control which businesses survive via 'voting with their wallets.' Such boycotts nearly killed Mitsubishi (and countless others) before they changed their practices.

"How does "self interest" protection of resources work. " Posted by: Paul Emery | 09 June 2011 at 04:19 PM

Regarding the pigs/toys. Pigs take a ton of land to support them and residential areas are not good business choices. Also, each sub-division, neighborhood association can write their own agreed upon rules (swine is not allowed in my sub-division despite being agriculture in nature). Parents need to complete due diligence when they buy toys, food, etc.

Paul Emery

Thanks Mikey

Should the government require safety labeling on said toys or is it up to every parent to do their own research on what they buy for their children? Do we have to wait till children become sick to establish information about safety. This is not a hypothetical situation. Here's a case where poison was discovered by a U.S. agency. Under you're Libertarian manifesto would you eliminate these kinds of commissions?


Everyone chime in on this, it's not just between Mikey and I.

I don't agree with your take on logging. Most loggers historically have been rip and run types. You just need to look at the devastation to the rain forests in the Olympic Peninsula to see that, I know, I used to live in Washington. It was only after the State started issuing huge fines did they even clean up their mess so new trees could grow. Most of the private lands were stripped clean and the property owners got paid off by the loggers and didn't care a bit about re growing trees and just slit leaving the mess behind. It's better now because of regulations and now we have tree farms but that was not the original instinct of the loggers. I remember talking to a friend of mine who was a logger in Oregon and I asked him if the loggers would cut down every tree if they were able and not restricted by the law and he said "absolutely, every tree is cash in the pocket"

Ben Emery


You are hilarious "In 1956 my parents were raising four kids, two more came later, on a one income setup" That time frame was in the economy the labor movement, anti trust laws, banning corporate money from campaigns, and the new deal created. Since Reagan started the war on Unions and labor wages have remained stagnant for workers and exploded for the top 1/2 of 1% of income bracket.

By the time the 50's were rolling around the massive infrastructure projects, GI Bill, and incentives to reinvest capital back into entities where it was created created the largest strongest middle class in world history.


This started getting dismantled in Nixon/ Ford administration and the counter revolution or the Reagan revolution started us on the ideology that greed is good and we are seeing it played out to fruition.

Todd Juvinall

Ben you are hilarious. No matter what we say you seem to have a pre-ordained bent so blabber on. My parents raised 6 kids here and times were tough. People like my dad created his own business and made it work. You liberals want to never give any credit to Reagan or Republicans because you are brainwashed in the lefty rewrites of history. It's OK Ben, we understand.

Ben Emery

There are very few true old growth forests in North America due to over harvesting.

When you buy lumber, how many times have you asked about the timber harvesting practices of the company? Clear Cutting only has one plus, profits. I won't go into all the issues that come along with CC but SPI has gotten the procedure down to a science except for aerial views of the practice. There is a sq mile regulation for the practice and the photos are reported as 20 acre clear cut spots. All the spots that look like big freckles are clear cut area's. Planted forests pumped full of growth hormones and synthetic fertilizers makes for unhealthy forests and inferior timber.

Why are all major large fish in the oceans on drastic decline? Over fishing and pollution.

In the business world doesn't a cost go up as supply decreases? So it is actually a good profit motive to make a product/ commodity scarce.

We as a citizens of the USA don't like our involvement in the middle east conflicts but oil industry and speculators are cashing in on our soldiers putting their life on the line, treasury being depleted, and bankrupting our military morally with asking them to perform actions that have no direct link to protecting America. I support our soldiers for their willingness to die for their country but question those who put those soldiers in harms way for political and financial reasons.


Ben Emery

Here is the link to the clear cutting by Sierra Pacific Industries SPI who basically owns the timber industry in CA.
20 acre clear cut projects in the photos.

Ben Emery

I am sure your dad worked hard. As did mine and his did before him. A small minority don't work hard but the pay has changed to benefit the starched white shirts that push money around instead of the manufacture laborer, the truck driver like my dad, the teachers like my mom, or the farmers like my uncles. When workers have no power to fight back their jobs leave the country and people like George think it is a good thing that American workers compete with third world labor and their lack of safety standards. It was the policies that I praise that created the ability for your dad and millions like him to be able to support a family on a single income. That was the majority back then and today it is a small minority and even with two income households people cannot make ends meet, what does that tell you? We need to go back to the policies that worked back then and abandon the policies that are failing now.

This is the most basic economics around. Average people with money to spend create demand. Demand is the only sustainable thing that creates jobs. Workers wages = demand. Millionaires and billionaires have been given huge tax breaks for the last decade, where are all the jobs they create? When Obama took office we were losing 700k jobs a month. During the W Bush administration the only net job growth was in the government or public sector. It is a myth that the wealthy create jobs. Small businesses create over 60% of employment still in the US, most small businesses are started by middle class and poor people who are willing to stick their neck out and take a risk.
Reagan was the head of most destructive administrations in the 20th century, W Bush will be hard to beat for the 21st.

Ben Emery

For all of you who are wondering; 1956 $200,000 adjusted for inflation dollars would equal $1,653,720.59 in 2011.


Ben Emery

Here is everything summed up in one article.

America Without a Middle Class

Ben Emery

Actually this link has the graphs of income, productivity, and spending.

America without a middle class


The little alien that lives in my head is telling me to type again.

Trees are a funny case. What should be the public interest in trees on private property? To tell you the truth, I'm not sure.

Wholesale destruction of the things is not really new to white Republican males, as obvious as that factoid may seem to some people. The whole region around the Mediterranean is a fairly obvious case for a place that has had huge removal of forest (along with the islands that make up the UK, etc.) by people with stone and poorly made iron tools.

In addition, I seem to remember that the areas with what you think of as 'old-growth' timber used to be hardwoods. That is, when they weren't a mile deep in ice, and that's all in fairly recent times.

Trees seem to be rather like wildlife in that the better looking they are, the more public outcry there is. It's a kind of baby harp seal effect. You have to admit that the outcry for restoration of midwest grasslands and the wholesale removal of wheat and corn fields is stunning in it's silence. Maybe blog ecologists own stock in ConAgra.

For situations like wholesale destruction of any of these ecosystems, the central problem is obvious. Overpopulation. Less people, less need for 2x4's.

Like the Sierra Club, local tree huggers are typically in favor of massive illegal immigration along with their friends at ConAgra, plus you can show that that and it's follow-on birthrate is the current source of most population growth in the US. Far be it for them to suffer from the 'hobgoblin of small minds'.


Ben you are hilarious. No matter what we say you seem to have a pre-ordained bent so blabber on. My parents raised 6 kids here and times were tough.

Posted by: Todd Juvinall"

I admit that it's a funny thing. People take a cartoon view of their favorite era, pick out some statistic of that time, and assume that if you reapplied that statistic, you could return to the misremembered era. It's kind of like a cargo cult.

The problem is that every era is complex as all get out and no one really understands them. Applying some sort of taxonomy of giving things names doesn't imply understanding of all the interactions in the system.

I'm thinking we should return to the world you see in the movie 'The Music Man'. The pre-war period seems pleasurable, the streets are clean, the librarians are good-looking, the people seem nice. Everything since then is obviously the fault of Woodrow Wilson and his war.

The dancing might get a bit tiresome, though.

Todd Juvinall

I see a major conflict within the words of BenE here. He really hates Republicans, especially George W. Bush, and wants to return to the 1950's because the tax rates were 90%. Then he says the 50's were great because we had nuclear families on one income and all his relatives lived in the land of Oz. Well, Ben, how do you justify your high tax desires of the 50's with the fact a one income earner was able to raise 6 kids? (your plea makes no sense) You can't have it both ways. I think all of us have no desire to destroy the environment nut my view is the planet will outlast humans no matter what we do. Maybe that super bug from Europe will take us out then all the trees and the fishies will return and we won't be here to see it. Your socialist screeds are boring. You need to thank GOD every day you are not some Ethiopian women walking ten miles round trip a day to gather firewood so you can cook your families dinner. I am and so are many others. America is a resilient place with innovative people who want a better life. You are simply a complainer and America is not listening.

RL Crabb

Note to wmartin...2 by 4's do not exist in California anymore. The state has mandated that they be properly labeled as one and three quarters by three and three quarters so that urban newcomers who have never seen one before won't think they're getting shortchanged.

Mikey McD

Ben, your opinions should come with a P-R-O-P-A-G-A-N-D-A warning.

"Millionaires and billionaires have been given huge tax breaks for the last decade"- this is a myth. I work will millionaires and no 'huge tax breaks' exist. As a matter of fact there are FAR MORE TAX BREAKS FOR THOSE MAKING $150K OR LESS.

In regards to timber... 20 acre sections are a drop in the bucket. I am thankful to SPI for insuring that when I need a 2x4 at a good price they provide me one. I am grateful for the roof over my head. I certainly would not promote your ideology of population controls as a solution.


Ronald Reagan was the last great president the USA had, before him you have to go back to Tom Jefferson to find an equal.

Mikey McD

I would prefer to have private companies used as 'toy safety police', but, if it was deemed that a government agency was needed then the tax should be collected from the purchaser of the toy at time of purchase.

"Should the government require safety labeling on said toys or is it up to every parent to do their own research on what they buy for their children? Do we have to wait till children become sick to establish information about safety."

Mikey McD


"Small businesses create over 60% of employment still in the US, most small businesses are started by middle class and poor people who are willing to stick their neck out and take a risk.

Posted by: Ben Emery | 09 June 2011 at 11:12 PM "

Paul Emery

Thanks Mikey for your response

I used the children's toy example as a real world example of why we need government regulation agencies. Should we impose a special tax at time of purchase to fund an appropriate agency in all similar situations involving other dangerous products?
How about food and medicine? Should we have the FDA and if not how can we be assured that the drugs and food that we purchase are safe? How do you propose we maintain clean air and water?

George Rebane

"AND IF THEY ARE SUCCESSFUL TAX THEM TO DEATH!" And even before that, make it very difficult for them to start a small business, especially if you're in California. There is no more reliable voting block than people reduced to being wards of the state. Entrepreneurs and small business owners tend to have strange thoughts and think for themselves.

Also see my piece in the Union on this tomorrow morning.

Paul Emery

And now we have Todd Juvinall the environmentalist ("I think all of us have no desire to destroy the environment") Funny Todd I didn't see you participating in the efforts to keep dams off the Yuba River? Also, what have you and your pals done lately to lobby Sacramento and Washington in behalf of our local citizens for legislation to lower the Ozone levels in our area, which are amongst the highest in the nation?

Greg Goodknight

Here's a reasonable duplicate of a lost post...

In response to Frisch's challenge

Comment on: Proposition 23: Is it time to say enough is enough? at 9/7/2010 1:49 PM PDT on theunion.com
Stephen Frisch writes "By the way, I never said I was an expert, I am not. I am a guy, just like you, who reads about public policy and digs in to it if it is of interest. There is nothing wrong with that. If you think I'm not qualified to discuss this, then neither are you."Perhaps I'm confused... aren't you the same Stephen Frisch who is CEO of the so-called "Sierra Business Council", and a significant portion of your business involves capitalizing on the regulation of carbon dioxide?Does the SBC stand to gain from AB32 and the defeat of Prop 23, or doesn't it?If the SBC doubles their non-profit profits, as the President, do you stand to gain from it?

Was the inspiration. Regarding this particular bomb thrown by frisch

By the way Greg why is the "just a guy ...." part in quotes? I always signed editorials with my organizational affiliation if they were representing my organization. Anyone that wants to can go find out what I do. How do we find out what you do? Will you start posting your stock portfolio along with your comments?

Steve, it was clear from that quote you were trying to paint yourself as an average guy, not a policy wonk. Then here, you're painting yourself as an insider who has actually been working on legislation.

It can't be both.

And no, Steve, I gain no income from anything involved with climate. I am impacted by energy prices, and I care little for rent-seekers who are trying to make things harder on the rest of us.

George Rebane

PaulE, my answer is the NPSC to your queries as to who will perform all the necessary functions now performed by inefficient, expensive, and overlapping government bureaus that are insulated from corrective feedback.

Greg Goodknight

There are bizarre effects happening at least with my browser and this thread. Accessing the thread from the link in RECENT POSTS took one to the 'meathead majors' and a very short list of comments, and clicking on a link from the RECENT COMMENTS list took one to a long list of more recent comments, but not early ones.

Greg Goodknight

Now, I've just clicked on

And the very last post on the list for this thread is the one from stevenfrisch 03 June 2011 at 11:51PM.

However, I expect this note will not be added to that list, but rather the list that can be accessed from a RECENT COMMENTS link...

Greg Goodknight

apparently not

Michael R. Kesti


I experienced similar effects and, once understood, found them not too bizarre. It turns out that George's blog paginates comments every 100 comments. At the bottom of each page there are very small and easily overlooked links with the text "<<", ">>" or both that will bring you to the previous or next page, respectively. by overlooking these links one can incorrectly come to believe that one is seeing all of the thread's comments.


Greg Goodknight

I have long been aware of the pagination, and the page with the abrupt ending didn't have one in either direction. It may be that typepad has not been placing them reliably.

George Rebane

Administrivia on posting comments into long comment streams - I have suggested to TypePad that they add a 'go to last comment' icon to their existing <<|>> comment pagination icons. They have told me this is a good idea and are considering it for their next update. We shall see.

Paul Emery


Oh boy, then we can have Dow Chemicals NPSC monitoring, in the public's interest, the possible health hazards of bug sprays. That sure makes me feel confident. I think you need to back to the drawing board on this George.

George Rebane

PaulE, I would assign that response to the stack of knee jerk leftwing wisdom, and, frankly, not typical of a thinker like you.

Any corporation's ownership and funding of a NPSC does not automatically cause the kinds of travesties that are typical when government is charged with similar tasks.

With NPSCs government is still the contracting officer and monitors performance as it does now. It's only the operational part of performing the public service that is carried out by the NPSC. And if it doesn't perform up to snuff, the owner corporations must spend more of their money to make it right. It is in the best interest of the for-profit owners of NPSCs to deliver to established standards as efficiently as possible.

Today we have the same dodos doing the work and then evaluating its correctness.

Paul Emery

Since this is you're vision George, how is this different than outsourcing?

George Rebane

"... your vision George,..." perhaps?

It is, of course, a form of outsourcing. But the difference lies in the revised tax code under which NPSCs are funded, the 'ownership' (i.e. funding responsibility) of the NPSCs that maintain a consistent professional talent pool to perform their specific service under the management supervision of the owner for-profit companies.

Ben Emery

You seem like a nice enough person but your politics are amazing. Let me ask you a question; Do you think that you have accomplished anything in your life on your own? This means anything outside of bodily functions. Walk, talk, read, ride a bike, drive, ect...

We are all connected in one way or another so it is in everybody's best interest for us to work as a team but to push ourselves as individuals to be the best we can be at whatever we do. I have a role and you have a role but ultimately it is for the same goal. For our family and friends to be safe and healthy.

I doubt that you have ever worked harder than I have and vice versa. I started working in the orchards of Yuba City, Sutter, and Live Oak at the age of 10 for my uncles. My first job where a paycheck collected was at the age of 13. I have worked two jobs a majority of my life, one full time and another part time. I have been self employed and my wife owned and we operated a restaurant together (I officially never became part owner but everything about my role was that of an owner). I have been a foreman in construction and managers in service sector.

The previous paragraph is full of I's but guess that our work history isn't that much different except the types of work we have pursued. Mine was by choice to live a seasonal lifestyle until the right woman to settle down came into my life. CO ski town, CA family friends, and HI for surfing and the love of the ocean were and are my passions and incentives.

Greg Goodknight

His politics are pretty conventional, Benny. The fact that we're all connected doesn't mean that even a majority gets to trod on the toes of any individual, and IIRC, you were way behind even the lunatic who was the Democratic candidate.

You don't get a vote on how MMcD runs his life. Or mine.


"Oh boy, then we can have Dow Chemicals NPSC monitoring, in the public's interest, the possible health hazards of bug sprays."

So, just to sum up:

. If someone thinks that the government is too large and too intrusive, they must want to live in Somalia.
. If someone thinks that child safety warnings and rules have gone too far in many cases, they must obviously want to make baby formula out of arsenic and ground glass.
. If they're in favor of the notion of private property, they must want to dump plutonium in the creek.

Everybody jump into the pool! It's Strawman Friday!

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