New findings could sway thought on climate change

Oct 20, 2010
Ross Secord

(PhysOrg.com) -- A newly published paper written by a University of Nebraska-Lincoln researcher and his team could influence the way scientists think about global warming and its effects.

Researchers found that a major pulse of ancient global warming may have been more complex than scientists previously believed. This pulse of warming may have been preceded or even caused by an earlier pulse of warming, said Ross Secord, assistant professor of Earth and atmospheric sciences and curator of vertebrate paleontology at the University of Nebraska State Museum.

"That has implications for designed to predict the consequences of future global warming," he said.

While a few marine records have suggested a similar finding, the issue has remained unresolved, he said. This is the first evidence of its kind from the continental record, he added.

The team's findings are the focus of a paper published in the Oct. 21 issue of Nature, the international weekly journal of science.

The research was conducted on fossils collected from the Bighorn Basin in north-central Wyoming. Their evidence for warming is based on in mammal teeth, which reflect temperature-sensitive sorting processes, Secord said.

Scientists have long focused on a period called the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum, or PETM, which occurred about 56 million years ago and was marked by geologically rapid .

The Bighorn Basin has the most detailed record of warming on land during that period yet discovered anywhere on earth, Secord said.

"You could think of it as an ancient laboratory where the global warming experiment has already happened," Secord said. "You could look at it and try to determine what's happened in the past and maybe draw some inferences from that as to what we can expect to see happen with global warming in the future."

Scientists look to that period because the magnitude of warming seen then, about 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit, is similar to the warming expected across the globe over the next century or two. Scientists are trying to better understand the consequences of this ancient warming in hopes of being able to better predict the consequences of future warming.

The ancient period of was marked by dramatic changes, Secord said. The composition of forests changed as plant species moved northward in North America by as much as 900 miles and some microorganisms in the oceans went extinct. Never-before-seen mammals like the first true primates and the ancestors of horses also began arriving in North America as high-latitude land bridges warmed and became hospitable.

Scientists have been able to recognize the event in continental and marine records because there was a huge amount of isotopically light carbon released into the atmosphere.

"Many scientists have thought that warming was the direct result of the release of this light carbon, but we found evidence from stable isotopes that warming actually preceded the release of this light carbon," Secord said. "This implies that there were two sources of warming."

Greenhouse gases released from north Atlantic volcanoes or the "lining up" of Earth's orbital cycles could have caused the first round of warming, Secord speculated.

Greenhouse gases, likely including methane, have often been considered the main cause of the second pulse of warming.

"The causes and consequences are still a matter of debate," he said. "But we think it's really important to understand the sequence of events before and during the PETM in order to understand the causes of abrupt climate change and the earth's response to that climate change."

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Parsec
3.1 / 5 (32) Oct 20, 2010
The climate change deniers would like nothing more than to put scientists liken this out of work. The more research that gets published and the more data that accumulates about exactly how global warming pulses have occurred historically, the closer the models will perform.

This won't do at all... Deniers would rather be right and see the consequences of their folly than admit they are wrong. Hence the attacks on the sources of funding for climate change research.
thermodynamics
3.4 / 5 (17) Oct 20, 2010
The important thing about this work is that it confirms earlier work that shows the a nudge in temperature is then followed by an increase in carbon (in the form of CO2 or CH4) and probably H2O. That then provides a feedback mechanism through more H2O. As they noted, this had been seen before in other sources, but this is an alternate proxy that lowers the uncertainty. This is excellent work.

Those who don't understand that earlier warm periods have been thought to precede feedback by CO2 and CH4 have mistakenly used that as an excuse to make comments along the lines of: "Where were the humans then?" What is different this time is that the nudge is being provided by our spike in CO2 which is amplified by H2O and then (in accordance with this source and others) followed by another amplification by natural sources of CO2 and CH4 that are released by the original warming. This reduces the uncertainty in the models that show this same feedback.
PinkElephant
4.4 / 5 (13) Oct 20, 2010
I do have one reservation about this study, which it would've been helpful if the blurb addressed.

Namely, they're talking about events that occurred 65 million years ago; what is the temporal resolution of their samples? The greenhouse gas feedbacks are theorized to act on the time scale of centuries to millennia. So for instance it would be unreasonable to expect greenhouse feedbacks to manifest 500,000 years after the initial warming pulse. Yet, does the data actually have enough resolution and signal strength to analyze sub-million year intervals? And exactly what was the measured interval (with error bars) between the two warming spurts?
PinkElephant
4.1 / 5 (14) Oct 20, 2010
So, to follow up, here's a bit more background on PETM:

http://en.wikiped..._Maximum

Seems the two phases of the ramp were separated by about 20,000 years. That does seem to be on a longish side, when hypothesizing that the first phase triggered the second...

And I'd be quite surprised if 65-million year old fossils can really be dated with +/- 20,000 year precision...
LuckyBrandon
3.9 / 5 (15) Oct 20, 2010
@Parsec-are you speaking of the man made global warming deniers, or those who insist everything is man made and deny the fact that the earth does its warming thing naturally?
debolton
3.4 / 5 (25) Oct 20, 2010
There are many of us who do not support the warming as proposed by Al Gore to be caused by humans. We do believe that the warming and cooling climate changes occur naturally and on a random basis. Any amount of change brought about by human endeavors is insignificant to the whole picture. This article tends to cement these ideas because there were no humans at this time and trying to link 20,000-100,000 years to a previous event as a separate event is really thin.
Ablee
2.9 / 5 (13) Oct 20, 2010
It is unreasonable to believe man made global warming is nothing more than a myth rather than fact for anyone who does not have millions of dollars invested in carbon trading or other schemes of profitability whom has read both sides of the argument of climate change over the years, perhaps it may go back to global warming again tomorrow or better put global suckers who will pay us an indulgence tax forever.
Noumenon
4 / 5 (79) Oct 20, 2010
The climate change deniers would like nothing more than to put scientists liken this out of work. The more research that gets published and the more data that accumulates about exactly how global warming pulses have occurred historically, the closer the models will perform.
Who would deny that global climate is dynamic?
sams
2.9 / 5 (25) Oct 20, 2010
"There are many of us who do not support the warming as proposed by Al Gore to be caused by humans."

Al Gore didn't "propose" global warming. Potential problems with the effect of human CO2 emissions were discussed by scientists as far back as the 80s, and some government were warned even back then. I don't really care about what Al Gore says to tell you the truth. I do care about what the vast majority of active climate scientists say.
JDoddsGW
1.6 / 5 (14) Oct 20, 2010
Just a dumb question:
The Greenhouse effect requires that you add a photon to a greebhouse gas inorder to get warming. So the question is just how exactly can simply adding CO2 cause warming if you do NOT also add the photon.
Same question applies if you are doing it in the PETM or now.
Then the next question is if you add the GHG and it warms How can it cool afterwards, after all the theory says a more GHG causes more warming.

It seems to me that the theory is just plain wrong. First adding a GHG does not add any energy. NExt the theory says cooling is impossible unless you remove GHGs, which obviously doesn't happen every night when it cools but we are still adding GHGs.
PinkElephant
3.7 / 5 (15) Oct 21, 2010
@JDoddsGW,
It seems to me that the theory is just plain wrong.
How about learning the theory, before posting a load of steaming BS? Here's a nice yet authoritative introduction for the layman; enjoy:

http://www.aip.or...math.htm
thermodynamics
3.9 / 5 (9) Oct 21, 2010
PinkElephant: Your question about the precision of dating of fossils that are involved when they are 65 million years old. I first went to the Wikipedia site you passed on (great site). In the information at that site they discus: "In order to balance the mass of carbon and produce the observed delta13C value, at least 1,500 gigatons of carbon would have to have been degassed from the mantle via volcanoes over the course of the two 1,000 year steps." This indicates to me that they are discussing 1000 year resolution (which did surprise me).

I then started looking for stratigraphic dating and found out that "relative resolution" can be on the order of 1000 years at 65 million years. It depends on the samples and the stratification rates. For instance, if there are volcanic ash deposits they can separate fossils by just a few years due to the rapid stratification (continued)
Birger
4.7 / 5 (6) Oct 21, 2010
"PETM, which occurred about 56 million years ago"
Not quite 65 million years (you are thinking of the K/T border) but still quite old...but if a lot of sediments were deposited rapidly it would help the accuracy of the dating of the two events relative to each other.
thermodynamics
3.8 / 5 (8) Oct 21, 2010
Continued. What we don't know is what the stratification of the area they found the fossils in is. It could be that they can tell a difference of 1000 years from the strata. They just don't give us enough information.

Also, reading the Wikipdeia article you passed on, I am not sure what they mean by: "Both models have their failings, but agree on a few points. Importantly, they both detect two steps in the drop of delta13C, each lasting about 1,000 years, and separated by about 20,000 years." It seems to me there were two large excursions and that each of them had a carbon event associated with them. The article is not easy to read. I kind of lean to the orbital forcing punctuated with carbon releases from clathrates and/or eruptions.

This is a very interesting subject and I appreciate your pointing me at the Wikipedia site.
Jim1138
3.7 / 5 (7) Oct 21, 2010
@JDoddsGW By that reasoning, a white car and black car in the Arizona sun should be the same temperature.
Vendicar_Decarian
2.9 / 5 (21) Oct 21, 2010
"There are many of us who do not support the warming as proposed by Al Gore to be caused by humans." - Conservative Fool

Since a warming due to the increased concentration of CO2 is a required result of basic grade school level physics, I take it that many of you are the result of Home Skhoolzen...

"We do believe that the warming and cooling climate changes occur naturally and on a random basis." - Conservative Fool

I see, so the cause is magic. And there is another magical unspoken force that is exactly negating the CO2 based warming that the laws of physics demand.

Magical thinking, lying and innumeracy is all you KookTards have.
Vendicar_Decarian
2.9 / 5 (21) Oct 21, 2010
"Any amount of change brought about by human endeavors is insignificant to the whole picture." - Conservative KookTard

Kauze Yerz home Skhoolzen says soze.

I prefer science rather than Whack Tard Conservative Non-Science nonsense.

Vendicar_Decarian
2.8 / 5 (20) Oct 21, 2010
"The Greenhouse effect requires that you add a photon to a greebhouse gas inorder to get warming." - Home Boy

Those photons come from the backscatter of photons from above to the layers of the atmosphere below.

That backscatter is enhanced by the presence of CO2.

It is grade school level science that is confusing you.

Well that and Nonsense from the Conservative denial machine.

Vendicar_Decarian
3.2 / 5 (20) Oct 21, 2010
"First adding a GHG does not add any energy" - Home Boy

When mommie tucks you in at night she doesn't add any energy to you either. Yet your surface temperature increases.

But as we all know, that is impossible according to the Tards, because Al Gore said so.

Vendicar_Decarian
Oct 21, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Jonseer
3.4 / 5 (17) Oct 21, 2010
Anyone who believes "Any amount of change brought about by human endeavors is insignificant to the whole picture" has an too insignificant amount of gray matter to have an opinion worth taking seriously.

That or they have never flown on a plane with the window visors open so they can see the vast stretches of heavily polluted air as you fly coast to coast. The notion that this pollution stretching upwards and downwards for miles, and at times as far as the eye can see has no effect on your planet is breathtaking in its stupidity.
eurekalogic
2.4 / 5 (17) Oct 21, 2010
To all the Gore darlings. Thank you. While you chase your tail, you will make me very rich and appreciative of you circular logic. I have never seen such a perpetual motion machine of money ever conceived. This chapter of scientific history will be a cornerstone of financial history. Just like Dems created incentives for sub-prime the carbon credit bubble is just emerging. I can just the the aftermath of separation finance and science in an amendment to the constitution. whoaa what fun.
Vendicar_Decarian
2.8 / 5 (20) Oct 21, 2010
"The notion that this pollution stretching upwards and downwards for miles, and at times as far as the eye can see has no effect on your planet is breathtaking in its stupidity." - Jonseer

St. Ronald Reagan himself said that smog comes from trees, and he was the right hand of God.

Who are YOU to question his heaven sent words?

Vendicar_Decarian
2.5 / 5 (19) Oct 21, 2010
"To all the Gore darlings. Thank you" - ConservaTard

Forgive them father, for they are ignorant animals, and know not what they say or do.

Fortunately, some of us will not be so forgiving.
GSwift7
3.9 / 5 (16) Oct 21, 2010
As to the notion of temporal resolution with super-fine detail, I started looking at paleoclimate papers and discovered that they can get down to seasonal and annual variation by looking at bivalve shells, which is well preserved and forms a continuous redord in many locations over intermediate time scales. By piecing together multiple overlaping samples, it should be possible to place events relative to eachother in time on a file scale, and using larger markers in the geology such as volcanic eruptions, they can place those relative events on a longer absolute time scale.
zevkirsh
3.9 / 5 (7) Oct 21, 2010
Scientists have long focused on a period called the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum, or PETM, which occurred about 56 million years ago and was marked by geologically rapid climate change.

anything occuring on a geological time scale should not be confused with the current panic on 'imminent' global warming.
Kingsix
5 / 5 (14) Oct 21, 2010
@Vendicar_Decarian

Try sticking to the science and avoid straying to the name calling and childish replys.
anonperson
3 / 5 (4) Oct 21, 2010
There are many of us who do not support the warming as proposed by Al Gore to be caused by humans. We do believe that the warming and cooling climate changes occur naturally and on a random basis.

What does the messenger have to do with the underlying science? That it/she/he doesn't wear a lab coat? Please ignore the messenger and instead listen to the information. What does it mean if in fact the climate is changing at a catastrophic rate, maybe not for you, but for your children or your family's children? What can you do to slow that change?
Noumenon
3.9 / 5 (74) Oct 21, 2010
@Vendicar_Decarian

Try sticking to the science and avoid straying to the name calling and childish replys.


Achmed Scott Nudds, has a history of being banned on various forums.
Vendicar_Decarian
1.5 / 5 (16) Oct 21, 2010
"Try sticking to the science and avoid straying to the name calling and childish replys." - TardBall

Excuse me for labeling a Conservative TardBall a Conservative TardBall.

Have you always been opposed to freedom of speech?

Vendicar_Decarian
1.4 / 5 (21) Oct 21, 2010
"Achmed Scott Nudds, has a history of being banned on various forums." - Lard

He sounds like a true hero.

Why is he prevented from speaking in the so called land of the free?

Noumenon
3.9 / 5 (76) Oct 21, 2010
There are many of us who do not support the warming as proposed by Al Gore to be caused by humans. We do believe that the warming and cooling climate changes occur naturally and on a random basis.

What does the messenger have to do with the underlying science?
The solution. I think most thinking people would agree that it's a good thing if we can reduce carbon emissions. It seems the political left has a monopoly on proposed solutions though, which involve social engineering and redistribution of wealth, counter to the free capitalistic principals for which the great USA economy is based upon. In the end it will be free market capitalism which solves this problem, and any solutions will need to compete with current carbon based energy sources. I'm just stating how it must play out within the context of free market capitalism.
Noumenon
4 / 5 (79) Oct 21, 2010
"Achmed Scott Nudds, has a history of being banned on various forums." - Lard

He sounds like a true hero.

Why is he prevented from speaking in the so called land of the free?


You have a right to free speech if you are in the land of the free, but you don't have a right to a plat-form, nor an audience.

Your vitriol, childish argument ad hominem, and cartoonish caricature of conservatives, leads me to think you're a troll.

If you have valid points to make, so just make them. Conservatism is a valid and rational philosophy of the role of government.
Vendicar_Decarian
2 / 5 (12) Oct 21, 2010
"counter to the free capitalistic principals for which the great USA economy is based upon." - NoBrainer

You mean the U.S. economic system that has collapsed and which is being vastly outstripped by Socialist China?

"In the end it will be free market capitalism which solves this problem." - NoBrainer

Yup, just like free market capitalism put men on the moon, or how free market capitalism built the first nuclear reactor, or how free market capitalism built the first nuclear weapon or how free market capitalism produced the ISS, or Hubble, or the Mars Rovers, or the ancient 7 wonders of the world, the Millennium wheel, the Panama Canal, the Three Gorges Dam, Penicillin, the Trans Canada Highway, the transistor, automotive crash standards.

Those who will not live by the law, shall die by the law.
Vendicar_Decarian
1.7 / 5 (12) Oct 21, 2010
"You have a right to free speech if you are in the land of the free, but you don't have a right to a plat-form, nor an audience." - TardBall

I see, so the American Conservative view of free speech is it's free as long as no one hears it.

"Your vitriol, childish argument ad hominem, and cartoonish caricature of conservatives, leads me to think you're a troll" - TardBall

I have never encountered a Conservative who wasn't a congenital and perpetual liar and therefore worthy of being skinned alive.

So far, the Jury is still out on you.

"Conservatism is a valid and rational philosophy of the role of government." - TardBall

If so, then Conservatives wouldn't need to promote it with a non stop stream of lies and distortions.

I prefer honest science.

Noumenon
3.9 / 5 (77) Oct 21, 2010
Yup, just like free market capitalism put men on the moon, or how free market capitalism built the first nuclear reactor, or how free market capitalism built the first nuclear weapon or how free market capitalism produced the ISS, or Hubble, or the Mars Rovers, or the ancient 7 wonders of the world, the Millennium wheel, the Panama Canal, the Three Gorges Dam, Penicillin, the Trans Canada Highway, the transistor, automotive crash standards.
All paid for by taxes dollars, of which would never exist without a strong economy to begin with. Capitalism has a historical record unmatched in terms of progressing standards of living, technology, free choice,. etc
Noumenon
3.9 / 5 (70) Oct 21, 2010
"America is dying from it's own ignorance and it's it's massive corruption. This is a very good thing for the world." - Vendicar_Decarian
Noumenon
3.9 / 5 (74) Oct 21, 2010
"You have a right to free speech if you are in the land of the free, but you don't have a right to a plat-form, nor an audience." - TardBall

I see, so the American Conservative view of free speech is it's free as long as no one hears it.

Your clearly dishonest as I never said anything like that. No, you must earn an audience.
Noumenon
3.9 / 5 (78) Oct 21, 2010
"Your vitriol, childish argument ad hominem, and cartoonish caricature of conservatives, leads me to think you're a troll" - TardBall

I have never encountered a Conservative who wasn't a congenital and perpetual liar and therefore worthy of being skinned alive.

Thank you for providing proof. You speak of "honest science", but have dishonest or corrupt political views or understanding.
Noumenon
3.8 / 5 (73) Oct 21, 2010
"Your vitriol, childish argument ad hominem, and cartoonish caricature of conservatives, leads me to think you're a troll" - Capitalist Right Winger


I have never encountered a Conservative who wasn't a congenital and perpetual liar and therefore worthy of being skinned alive.- 17 year old troll in response to above!

Vendicar_Decarian
1.4 / 5 (20) Oct 21, 2010
"You have a right to free speech if you are in the land of the free, but you don't have a right to a plat-form, nor an audience." - TardBall

"I see, so the American Conservative view of free speech is it's free as long as no one hears it." - TardBall

Odd. Just 5 messages up YOU type...

"You have a right to free speech if you are in the land of the free, but you don't have a right to a plat-form, nor an audience." - TardBall

Your refusal to admit that you wrote those words just 5 messages up causes me to repeat that I have never encountered a Conservative who wasn't a congenital and perpetual liar.

Welcome to the club TardBall.

Noumenon
4 / 5 (77) Oct 22, 2010
Where did I refuse to admit that? You don't think clearly do you. "You don't have a right to a platform" means owners of forums have the right to determine the level of civility their platform represents and so have the right to ban intellectual degenerates. "You don't have a right to an audience" means people don't have to listen or read anything you say. Remarkable that I had to explain this. I should never have responded to your kind to begin with. I won't feed the troll again,...
Thrasymachus
1.7 / 5 (23) Oct 22, 2010
To be fair, given the last few years of conservative/Republican behavior, at least the most prominent behavior, Vendi has good reason to be disparaging.

And you're gonna have to define what you mean by "free market capitalism" if you want me to agree that that sort of system will find the best answer in the quickest way, Noumenon. There's plenty of examples of a putatively free market producing a standard that is demonstrably not optimal. The keyboard configuration you likely use to type your response is one example. It seems to me that in a lot of ways, energy has fallen into a similar trap.
Modernmystic
1.9 / 5 (14) Oct 22, 2010
You mean the U.S. economic system that has collapsed and which is being vastly outstripped by Socialist China?


I'll buy you a ticket to China if you wish, where they actually will put a bullet in you for making threats about killing people and making terrorist threats. Where do I send the money?

The following link makes me wonder how you define "outstripped". Especially when it's the socialist aspects of the American economy that are causing strain on the system...

http://en.wikiped...nominal)

Sorry if I might have confused you with any FACTS there, I know that leftist twits like to argue with emotion, white guilt, and political correctness placing those things most irrelevant to reality at the centers of their "logic".
Modernmystic
1.7 / 5 (12) Oct 22, 2010
"Achmed Scott Nudds, has a history of being banned on various forums." - Lard

He sounds like a true hero.

Why is he prevented from speaking in the so called land of the free?



Not that I expect someone who obviously has the IQ of a head of lettuce to understand this piece of elementary reasoning, but it's a bad idea to yell fire in a crowed theater...or as in your case threaten to kill people numerous times. Doing that eventually will get you in more trouble than a simple ban from an online forum...

You might spend a great deal of time in prison...but you'll be a "hero"...right?
Noumenon
3.8 / 5 (77) Oct 22, 2010
@thrasymachus,
I have to define what "free market capitalism" means!? The existing economy of the USA. Competition. The motive of potential profit is a powerful force. This technological age did not arise from left-wing social engineering! I quote the anti-America anti-capitalist vendicar below not because he has any insight, but because this is how the far left view the situation,... American consumers are the problem, dampen the American economy (despite the fact that America generates so much wealth it is able to give billions around the world)
"America is dying from it's own ignorance and it's it's massive corruption. This is a very good thing for the world." - Vendicar_Decarian

Thrasymachus
1.8 / 5 (23) Oct 22, 2010
I am inclined to argue this with you on the merits, provided we can keep slurs out of it, and mutually ignore marjon. I will deal with the first meaningful statement you make, that the current technological age did not arise from "left-wing social engineering." I presume by this you mean government programs, including research grant programs? I may be mistaken in this presumption, but at any rate, it is definitively false. Virtually every major technological advance of the last 100 years has had it's infrastructure or foundation if not wholly, then at least partly subsidized by government funds. Electricity in the home? Thank the TVA and government loans and grants to lay the lines. Automobiles wouldn't be near as popular or profitable if there weren't the interstate highway system. Silicon chip design was pioneered for the space program, and that has lead to all the computers we have today, as well as the internet, which was also federally funded before it went public. (cont)
Thrasymachus
2 / 5 (23) Oct 22, 2010
I hope you don't think that government spending money on these things dampens the economy, as the evidence is quite the opposite.

At any rate, I am perfectly willing to concede that in each of those cases, it was profit-seeking, competitive behavior, that brought these pieces of infrastructure to their full wealth-generating potential. In fact, I think we have not yet reached that potential, because resource allocation can only be socially optimal if the competitive, profit-generating behavior is fair. I think we have to be vigilant in keeping liars, thieves, con-men and cheats out of the game, otherwise they'll be a constant drag on the real economy.
Thrasymachus
1.7 / 5 (23) Oct 22, 2010
I also think that banking, insurance and ratings agency executives colluded to devise a complicated investment/insurance swap designed to divest many middle class Americans from their retirement accounts. Insofar as our legislators thought it wise to remove the laws that would have made doing so a crime, these jokers broke no laws.

And I think the tax burden is grossly out of whack, with the lower-middle and middle classes shouldering much more of the burden, compared to their incomes, than the very wealthy. I think it's time we recognized that wealthy people don't create new jobs with more money, they save it. People spending money creates jobs, and the lower/middle classes would spend the money from a tax cut/credit.
PinkElephant
2.2 / 5 (13) Oct 22, 2010
@Thrasymachus,
wealthy people don't create new jobs with more money, they save it
That's over-generalization. Some people come into wealth by entrepreneurship, and tend to continually reinvest their wealth toward new startup companies, or to grow their current company. That creates jobs. Of course, some people come into wealth through inheritance, and tend not to do much of anything productive with it. But I wouldn't use a blanket construction to emphasize the latter while ignoring the former.

What I think is needed, is a push to invest capital productively. Raise tax on capital gains stemming from speculation and passive cashflow (excluding retirement accounts); reduce tax on capital gains stemming from investment and business activity. This would encourage cash-horders (including large companies, such as Microsoft) to invest their money productively, rather than continuing to sit on a mountain of it.
Thrasymachus
1.8 / 5 (20) Oct 22, 2010
Well, those who become wealthy through entrepreneurship, don't typically become wealthy. At least not to the levels I'm talking about, i.e. the richest 5% of the country. When your business is growing as fast as the market will allow, it doesn't make sense to put additional profits back into the business. If there's not enough demand to justify creating a new job, or forming a new startup, then the owners of that wealth will just sock it away for a rainy day. Well, I've got news for all the really wealthy bastards out there. It's a freakin typhoon for everybody else, so it's time they started putting that rainy day fund to better use than collecting dust and interest in a bank account. (cont)

Thrasymachus
2 / 5 (14) Oct 22, 2010
The problem with your suggestion is that business investment in expansion and its own activity is nearly always done with pre-tax dollars, and that investment is invariably tax-deductible. Businesses already have all the incentives they could want to expand, but they lack the most important one: demand.
Noumenon
3.8 / 5 (73) Oct 22, 2010
The wealthiest 5% of the country pay nearly 60% of the tax burden, while the bottom 50% of the population pay less than 3% of the tax burden. The notion that the wealthiest don't pay enough tax is absurd. Democrats play class warfare because they know it is human nature to whine about what's on someone elses plate. IMO the government shouldn't even have the right to know how much one makes; a flat tax or consumption tax makes more sense, plus it cuts out the bs politics of it. ....
Noumenon
3.8 / 5 (72) Oct 22, 2010
The wealthy for the most part spend money, they buy big things, they hire people, they invest money in companies, all of which helps the economy. Do you think they sit on piles of cash smoking a big cigar? With regard to gov subsidizes, it doesn't matter; that is a drop in the bucket. The point is the free market made the economy into what it is. All those things you mentioned were not planned ahead of time, as if the government knew ahead of time how the technological age we live in would be, as if they engineered it to be that way. Most jobs come from small businesses, not the government.
Noumenon
3.8 / 5 (72) Oct 22, 2010
The point my post above is that unless the form of government is fundamentally changed (not going to happen), any change in energy sources will have to occur within the existing structure of the economy , which ultimately, apart from yes, infrastructure subsides, will need to compete wil oil/coal. This is just how it is.
PinkElephant
2.2 / 5 (10) Oct 22, 2010
@Noumenon,
The wealthiest 5% of the country pay nearly 60% of the tax burden, while the bottom 50% of the population pay less than 3% of the tax burden.
I'm really tired of this partisan bullshit line. What is the wealth distribution in this country? If 99% of the wealth belongs to the wealthiest 1%, then by taxing total wealth of course that 1% will pay the greater share in absolute terms.

The important metric (in terms of economic hardship) is not how much an individual pays in absolute dollars, but HOW MUCH IS LEFT in DISPOSABLE INCOME after paying the taxes.
Democrats play class warfare because they know it is human nature to whine about what's on someone elses plate.
And Republicans play class warfare by demanding that everyone compete with foreign slave wages on a level playing field. I'm sick and tired of both Wall Street parties. Enough already.
all of which helps the economy.
Bitter experience has shown that trickle-down economics is a miserable failure.
Noumenon
3.8 / 5 (73) Oct 22, 2010
I'm really tired of this partisan bullshit line. What is the wealth distribution in this country? If 99% of the wealth belongs to the wealthiest 1%, then by taxing total wealth of course that 1% will pay the greater share in absolute terms.

The important metric (in terms of economic hardship) is not how much an individual pays in absolute dollars, but HOW MUCH IS LEFT in DISPOSABLE INCOME after paying the taxes.
You think that because you view total wealth as the publics. This is factually incorrect in a free country. Taxes are based on a progressive % which increases the more income one has, so I'm not even speaking in absolute $$ terms. In any case in makes zero difference because this is a free country and wealth held by an individual is THEIRS not the publics nor the government. My point was that the wealthily already pay enough, while the lowest 50% pay less than 3%%%% of their income.
PinkElephant
4 / 5 (4) Oct 22, 2010
My point was that the wealthily already pay enough, while the lowest 50% pay less than 3%%%% of their income.
And that's a BS point because the lowest 50% earn less than 0.01%%%% of the wealthiest's income.
You think that because you view total wealth as the publics.
No. However, a country that allocates its wealth so extremely unequally, is begging for a popular revolt. Consider what happened to Russia in 1917... If you think it can't happen here, you must prove to me why American human beings are a fundamentally different species from the Russian human beings.

All else aside, the current wealth distribution inequality (unprecedented since the 19th century) is solid and irrefutable proof that "trickle down" is the exact opposite of what happens in reality: in reality, and particularly in absence of redistribution schemes, wealth always trickles up.

http://www.busine...-states/
marjon
3.1 / 5 (10) Oct 22, 2010
Consider what happened to Russia in 1917

Read up on how the Russian govt treated their serfs.
WWI had an impact as well.
There was an attempt to overthrow the Czar in 1908.
Is it coincidence that our govt likes to use the term 'czar'?
The from Churchill is appropriate;
"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. "
Noumenon
3.8 / 5 (73) Oct 22, 2010
My point was that the wealthily already pay enough, while the lowest 50% pay less than 3%%%% of their income.
And that's a BS point because the lowest 50% earn less than 0.01%%%% of the wealthiest's income.

It doesn't matter, we are speaking about % of income and there are zillion more lower 50% earners than upper 5% earners.
Noumenon
3.8 / 5 (74) Oct 22, 2010
You think that because you view total wealth as the publics.
No. However, a country that allocates its wealth so extremely unequally, is begging for a popular revolt.


Don't you understand, the country doesn't "allocate" it's wealth. The concept of "wealth distribution" in a free society is a non sequitur, as no one distributes wealth. It occurs naturally in accord with free choice in a free society. All men should be treated equally, but this does not mean all men should be equalized irrespective of their capacities, as all men are not created equal.

"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery." (thanks Marjon)

The wealthy are a minority that contribute disproportionately to the economy and government.
PinkElephant
3.7 / 5 (6) Oct 22, 2010
It doesn't matter, we are speaking about % of income and there are zillion more lower 50% earners than upper 5% earners.
It does matter, because slaves earn nothing at all, so it makes no sense to tax them.

When someone earns current minimum wage, their monthly income is 7.5*8*22.5 = $1,350. In most states, this person will pay 50% or more of that income just for the most rudimentary place to live. Out of the several hundred bucks that's left, they will need to feed and clothe themselves, not to mention cover all the other inelastic expenses such as vehicle/fuel/repair/insurance costs, utility bills, and household upkeep. (And that's assuming they don't have any kids.)

By the time all vital expenses are taken care of, there is NOTHING LEFT TO TAX.
PinkElephant
2.3 / 5 (12) Oct 22, 2010
All men should be treated equally, but this does not mean all men should be equalized irrespective of their capacities, as all men are not created equal.
That's moronic. Show me where I've argued for equalization.
Thrasymachus
2.1 / 5 (15) Oct 22, 2010
Actually, Noumenon, your assertion that the poorest 50% only pay 3% of their income in taxes is factually incorrect. When you count in local and state taxes, payroll taxes, sales taxes, and the various licensing fees required to live in modern society, the poorest 50% pay on average more than 50% of their income in taxes. This is in spite of the fact that they pay virtually no federal income tax compared to their income, because these other tax sources are incredibly regressive. The wealthiest 5%, on average, pay less than 20% of their income in taxes, because much of their wealth comes from the lower taxed capital gains, and they take advantage of all the deductions available to them under the law. The tax burden is seriously skewed, evidenced by the fact that wealth and income inequality is widening, increasing for the top quintile, decreasing for everybody else. And they wealthy don't spend their money. They invest it.
Noumenon
3.9 / 5 (72) Oct 22, 2010
All men should be treated equally, but this does not mean all men should be equalized irrespective of their capacities, as all men are not created equal.
That's moronic. Show me where I've argued for equalization.

You speak of inequality of weath distribution as if "the system" is doing a poor job, and active distribution of wealth in a free society is an actual thing.
marjon
2.8 / 5 (13) Oct 22, 2010
And they wealthy don't spend their money. They invest it.

In what do they invest? Businesses that may make a profit, that hire people, that create jobs for the People?
Many 'invest' in govt bonds because they earn interest tax free. How would govts survive without this 'investment' from the rich?
Noumenon
3.9 / 5 (71) Oct 22, 2010
@thasymachus,
You're not making sense. You're adding things that the wealthy also must pay, so it's a wash. The USA tax system is already progressive in terms of income. The lower 50% don't have capital gains. My numbers above are for income tax.
PinkElephant
3.7 / 5 (6) Oct 22, 2010
@Noumenon,
You speak of inequality of weath distribution as if "the system" is doing a poor job
I speak of GROWING inequality. I did not say that there should be zero inequality. But the degree of inequality should be reasonable by some measure. By just about any measure, the current (and escalating) levels of inequality are starting to reach beyond unreasonable, and into the realm of ludicrous.
and active distribution of wealth in a free society is an actual thing.
A society is only free as long as its citizens are content. When the citizens lose faith in the fairness and justice of the social order (or the economy, if you like), they will rebel and the entire society/economy will be burned to the ground. It is a historically inescapable outcome.

So yes, any society that wishes to remain "free", must undertake a measured degree of wealth redistribution, so as to counteract the otherwise unmitigated tendency of wealth to trickle up.
Thrasymachus
2.1 / 5 (14) Oct 22, 2010
Actually, they usually invest it in loaning it to the government, federal and local. It is the safest investment around, after all. After that comes stock ownership in private companies, which doesn't make any money any more available for any business manager to hire any new employees, or buy any new equipment, or increase productive capacity in any way, except once, when the stock is first offered for public sale. Then comes being underwriters for insurance, which doesn't increase anybody's productivity, just compensates for lost productivity, and finally, CDs and savings accounts, which might eventually be used to hire someone, if the banks would start lending to small businesses again. But not much of the very wealthy's wealth is actually very productive.
Thrasymachus
2 / 5 (16) Oct 22, 2010
Actually, the very wealthy don't have to pay the payroll tax, as long as they're not earning wages. And since they make almost all their money from investment, they don't have to earn wages, and thus pay the payroll tax. And when you have to spend 100% of your income just to survive, and you pay a 10% sales tax, your effective income tax rate is 10%. When you have to spend only 10% of your income to live well-off, and the sales tax is 10%, your effective income tax rate is a mere 1%. See how a flat sales tax is incredibly unfair to the poor yet?
Noumenon
3.9 / 5 (73) Oct 22, 2010
@PinkElephant
That's not a problem right now in the USA, so that is mere speculation and not a reality. In fact politically the USA is center-right and most are sick of the gov overspending, devaluation of the dollar,... which IS actually a form of redistribution of wealth, but not a legitimate one, and for which the people are in fact revolting against as you will see in November,.. quit the opposite of your claims.
Noumenon
3.8 / 5 (73) Oct 22, 2010
No Thrasumachus I don't think in terms of communistic "fairness", I think in terms of the individual, that is what is meant by freedom. How easy someone else has it, has zero baring on your life. The flat tax is where everyone as single individuals pay ~17% of their income,.. obviously the more income you earn the more you pay.
PinkElephant
3.4 / 5 (5) Oct 22, 2010
In fact politically the USA is center-right and most are sick of the gov overspending, devaluation of the dollar,...
You need to wake up to the USA's demographic realities. The great majority of the poor don't participate in politics, so tend to remain invisible. And if you try to cut the "overspending" -- meaning, you'll cut entitlements that are vital to the poor -- into the maw of growing unemployment and broadening economic depression: you risk tipping the country over into LA-style riots and beyond.

The problem with the right-wing has always been that they're out of touch with the poor. They represent only wealth, and they are completely ignorant of and blind to the miserable reality inhabited by the overwhelming majority of the population.
Thrasymachus
1.7 / 5 (20) Oct 22, 2010
If that were the only tax people had to pay, I'd be all for it. But when you stack it on top of a sales tax, state income taxes, real estate taxes, and payroll taxes, you end up with a tax system that's far from flat, and is in fact regressive. Just to clear up, are you for a flat income tax or a flat sales tax? Make up your mind, now, they're not nearly the same thing.
Noumenon
3.9 / 5 (72) Oct 22, 2010
A flat tax would be on income only (federal) everyone would pay 17%. Keep in mind that the wealthy pay sales tax and property tax and state tax as well (NY!!), so those taxes don't matter, people can move or not own property for example. A consumption tax (sales tax) would REPLACE the IRS completely, no federal income tax, just a higher sales tax.
Noumenon
3.9 / 5 (72) Oct 22, 2010
@pinkelephant,
I view entitlements as a poison that attacks the soul of people and weakens them, makes them dependent on the government. Perhaps you saw the news with regard to Greese and most recently France? You adopt a caricature of conservatives. It is false that conservatives care for the rich to the exclusion of the poor. Conservatives BELIEVE in people, believe in personal accountability. Look at the minority population,.. they were told by democrats for decades that they are victims, so now they are victims of the democrats, in no better condition. That conservatives "are for the rich" is a complete misrepresentation of core conservative, a political talking point of the left and a lie.
Thrasymachus
1.6 / 5 (19) Oct 22, 2010
yes, of course they pay a sales tax, and a property tax, and many even pay the maximum amount of payroll tax. That's not the point. What matters to the individual is the proportion of their income they get to keep after taxes, not the absolute amount. Since there are caps on those taxes, a very wealthy income can end up paying a much smaller proportion of that income in taxes than a poor income. A consumption tax, as you suggest, would mean that the very wealthy would pay unfairly light burden of the overall tax obligation. Here's a simple question for you though, did the construction of the Interstate Highway system make America richer than if the gov't hadn't paid for it to be built?
Noumenon
3.8 / 5 (72) Oct 22, 2010
miserable reality inhabited by the overwhelming majority of the population.
The overwhelming majority of the American population leads a miserable standard of living? Really?
PinkElephant
2.3 / 5 (10) Oct 22, 2010
The overwhelming majority of the American population leads a miserable standard of living? Really?
The median HOUSEHOLD income (yearly, pre-tax) in USA: 49,777. That means fully 50% of HOUSEHOLDS earn less (even though the majority have two earners.) Oh and by the way, that's from 2009. And, this is in the process of deflating precipitously with rising unemployment, falling wages, and general deflation of all assets, even as vital consumables inflate. Oh and by the way, the poor also tend to have more kids... That means their per-person income is totally in the crapper.

And before you go telling me how much $50,000 would buy in some third-world country, let's remember that everything in America costs considerably more.
It is false that conservatives care for the rich to the exclusion of the poor. Conservatives BELIEVE in people, believe in personal accountability.
Everything you write betrays a deep ignorance of what it's like to actually be poor in this country.
Noumenon
3.9 / 5 (71) Oct 22, 2010
did the construction of the Interstate Highway system make America richer than if the gov't hadn't paid for it to be built?
That is an infrastructure paid for by the people through taxation. It is an expectation that the gov do those utilitarian things. The gov does not engineer into existence a great economy like the USA's. It happens through free market competition.
marjon
3.7 / 5 (9) Oct 22, 2010
"Rather than an activist government to deal with the nation’s top problems, the public now wants government reformed and growing numbers want its power curtailed. With the exception of greater regulation of major financial institutions, there is less of an appetite for government solutions to the nation’s problems – including more government control over the economy – than there was when Barack Obama first took office. "
http://people-pre...vernment
marjon
2.6 / 5 (15) Oct 22, 2010
The Interstate System was authorized constitutionally as a national defense project.
"The National Defense Highway System was responsible for building many of the first freeways. Its purpose was supposedly to allow for mass evacuation of cities in the event of a nuclear attack. "
http://www.global...ndhs.htm
Noumenon
3.8 / 5 (71) Oct 22, 2010
@Pinky, That's true, but there must be poor people. It's really intrinsic in a free society that there are what you're calling "poor" (which probably means only one flat screen and basic cable). This model is closest to nature as man is not created equal, and everyone has a different work ethic, makes different mistakes, etc. Communism resulted in millions dead and everyone poor.
PinkElephant
3 / 5 (6) Oct 22, 2010
@Noumenon,
I view entitlements as a poison that attacks the soul of people and weakens them, makes them dependent on the government.
I take it you know this from personal experience? Or are you once again speaking from ignorance, along the talking points handed out to you from the man behind the curtain?
Perhaps you saw the news with regard to Greese and most recently France?
I'd call it strength, not weakness. I've despaired of seeing any mass protests in USA, even as the country is continually raped by the financial elites over years upon years. People here so far, are behaving like sheeple. But a breaking point WILL be reached, eventually.
the people are in fact revolting against as you will see in November
I guarantee you that what'll happen in Novemeber, is a slight shift in proportion from one group of Wall Street mouthpieces to another. The people keep voting for their own rapists, and keep getting raped. That's unsustainable in the long term.
Noumenon
3.9 / 5 (71) Oct 22, 2010
,... what you're not understanding (pinky) is that if I magically double everyones income tomorrow (just lower 50% income earners), it wouldn't make any difference to them at all, as the value of the dollar would simply tank in proportion.
Noumenon
3.9 / 5 (71) Oct 22, 2010
Are you saying being dependent on the government is a strength?!! The exact opposite has been proven time and time again.
PinkElephant
3.7 / 5 (6) Oct 22, 2010
there must be poor people
Of course. But must their proportion monotonically increase over decade upon decade?
there are what you're calling "poor" (which probably means only one flat screen and basic cable)
Again, sheer ignorance of what poverty is really like.
everyone has a different work ethic
The poor are some of the hardest-working people in this country, doing some of the most difficult jobs.
Communism resulted in millions dead and everyone poor.
There you go again, lunging for absurd extremes.
This model is closest to nature as man is not created equal
Why do different societies exhibit different levels of economic inequality? Why is US' level higher than any other developed nation? Is the "nature" of Americans fundamentally different?
PinkElephant
2 / 5 (12) Oct 22, 2010
Are you saying being dependent on the government is a strength?!!
I'm saying collective mobilization is strength. Actually doing something to resist when you're about to get raped, is strength. Publicly and noisily demanding justice, is strength. I hope Americans discover their strength before we slide much deeper down the economic toilet.
if I magically double everyones income tomorrow (just lower 50% income earners), it wouldn't make any difference to them at all, as the value of the dollar would simply tank in proportion.
Why even propose such a ridiculously counterproductive course of action, then? You're quite facile with strawmen...
Noumenon
3.8 / 5 (72) Oct 22, 2010
'm saying collective mobilization is strength. Actually doing something to resist when you're about to get raped, is strength. Publicly and noisily demanding justice, is strength
About to get raped, justice for what? Being a perpetual economic victim in a free society like America, almost has to be self inflicted. Honestly, what is it you expect from society? What would you like to see as "justice"? Make victims of others you envy? Why is California bankrupt? because of endless entitlements and bleeding heart liberals.
Thrasymachus
1.7 / 5 (18) Oct 22, 2010
Hang on a minute here. So building the interstate highway system was a good use of federal funds? How about funding the creation of the internet, or the space program, or the Manhattan Project, or electrifying the nation? Were those good uses of federal funds as well?

I think one thing we can at least agree upon is that we'd like to create the conditions to lower unemployment to an absolute minimum. Given that businesses won't hire new workers in a recession unless they see an increase in customer's demand, where do you propose we find this increased demand?
marjon
3.4 / 5 (10) Oct 22, 2010
Are you saying being dependent on the government is a strength?!! The exact opposite has been proven time and time again.

Grizzly bears in Yellowstone must be destroyed when they become dependent upon human 'charity'.
PinkElephant
3 / 5 (6) Oct 22, 2010
Being a perpetual economic victim in a free society like America, almost has to be self inflicted.
Like I said, sheer cluelessness.
Why is California bankrupt? because of endless entitlements and bleeding heart liberals.
Yet more cluelessness on public display. Does it matter that CA was (and still is) blown up the worst in the housing bubble? That CA was blown up the worst in the Internet bubble? Does it matter that CA is rivaled only by NY in labor productivity? nah...
What would you like to see as "justice"?
A more equitable distribution of wealth. Meaning, tax the wealthy more, and provide more services to the poor. Not hand-out services, but services allowing them to grow: like quality education, quality health care, quality transportation, quality housing, quality parks and public spaces, and quality law enforcement and policing. Oh, and impose FAIR TRADE tariffs, to rebuild domestic production, employment, and consequently demand.
PinkElephant
3 / 5 (6) Oct 23, 2010
ctd.

Last but definitely NOT least, investigate and prosecute all the thiefs and embezzlers, all the cheats and liars up and down the ladder all across the financial sector. Throw all of them in jail for the rest of their lives, starting with the CEOs and upper management of every single major bank, throw the book at them, and put what's left of their fraud factories into receivership. Fine the hell out of their estates, and recover every cent of their ill-gotten gains, no matter where they've hidden it. And start enforcing the laws of the nation as if they actually MEAN something, for a change.

STOP THE LOOTING, AND START PROSECUTING.
MarkyMark
2.5 / 5 (8) Oct 23, 2010
Oops!!!

Sorry thought this was a science topic.
PinkElephant
2 / 5 (4) Oct 23, 2010
Oops!!!

Sorry thought this was a science topic.
Heh! Once upon a time, it used to be... Feel free to return it to that status.
Noumenon
3.9 / 5 (70) Oct 23, 2010
CA financial problems are a direct result of entitlements, gov hand-outs and you know it. The sub-prime mess was in effect just another "help the low income" experiment, which failed as usually. Your liberal mentality is not sustainable, we are already 13 trillion in debt, and look at France, the more the gov gives the more people expect from the gov, Like Pavlov's Dog.
Noumenon
3.9 / 5 (71) Oct 23, 2010
CA was in fiancial disaster before the housing problem. I think of liberals as Grandma and conservatives as Grandpa. Grandma thinks with her heart, wants to give and help, but little or no thought of fiscal responsibility, which is where "evil mean" old Grandpa must come in, to infuse some semblance of rationality before everyone becomes poor. I say that entitlements are a poison because they weaken people, they make people reliant upon gov,..the dems love to be relied upon for votes. Recently congress passed an unemployment benefit extension. Now what happened? People stopped really looking for work. Why get a job when the gov just told you they will pay you for NOT working for another six months? Some libs want to replace food stamps with a debit card, removing evening the embarrassment of being on the gov dole. It is the reality that people over time consider gov entitlements to be expected,.. again look at France!!!
Noumenon
3.9 / 5 (70) Oct 23, 2010
investigate and prosecute all the thiefs and embezzlers, all the cheats and liars up and down the ladder all across the financial sector. Throw all of them in jail for the rest of their lives, starting with the CEOs and upper management of every single major bank, throw the book at them, and put what's left of their fraud factories into receivership. Fine the hell out of their estates, and recover every cent of their ill-gotten gains, no matter where they've hidden it.
There is already a system of laws. Sounds like you want to throw people in jail and take their wealth just for the supposed injustice of having it. What about those milking the government by fraudulently receiving gov entitlements when they don't really need it or could actually work if they applied themselves? That fraud amounts to billions.
Noumenon
3.9 / 5 (71) Oct 23, 2010
...The number of people who really truely require government subsistence to live is a minuscule minority, and I have zero problem helping them out,.. the issue is that several orders of magnitude MORE people receive gov subsistence! It is unsustainable. This devaluation of the dollar by over spending also effects the regular folks who manage to work hard and save a small amount, so it is not just the evil rich that are hurt by naive liberal mentality.
MorituriMax
2.2 / 5 (15) Oct 23, 2010
Nothing brings out the insults like global warming, from those on both sides of the issue who want everyone to believe only what they believe. Reminds me of my mother.
Tangent2
2.3 / 5 (6) Oct 23, 2010
For those that still think that human activity plays no part in global warming, I state the obvious: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. By that law alone, there MUST be some reaction to the CO2 that we have been elevating in the atmosphere, to think it harmless is just ignorant.
Quantum_Conundrum
3 / 5 (8) Oct 23, 2010
The overwhelming majority of the American population leads a miserable standard of living? Really?


Yeah. In case you didn't know, 1 in 7 Americans today is considered to be in poverty.

Also, in case you didn't know, owning your own home is one of the few ways normal people can ever hope to accumulate wealth, instead of giving it to a landlord all of their life.

17% flat tax rate is a complete joke on so many levels, and you show yourself to be completely ignorant of the way taxes currently work. The mean income family doesn't even pay a 17% marginal rate, because they are often the first family that actually pays any net tax, because nobody less than the mean can afford to live.

If you had a flat tax in America, most people wouldn't be able to afford to even have electricity or own a vehicle. I know damn well nobody in Louisiana would, and then without a vehicle they wouldn't be able to get to work in the first place...
Quantum_Conundrum
3 / 5 (8) Oct 23, 2010
Again, sheer ignorance of what poverty is really like.


Yeah. He hasn't got a clue. And knows nothing about how the real tax system works either.

The poor are some of the hardest-working people in this country, doing some of the most difficult jobs.


the irony is it wouldn't matter if every person on earth was a double phd, half the population, would still get paid next to nothing, because they'd still have to work in places like McDonalds or Wal Mart or or driving or construction trade that barely meets their basic needs for income.

Noumenon shows complete ignorance of how and where average people live and work, along with the inevitability that mundane, low paying jobs will still be a necessity of life no matter how highly educated anyone ever becomes.

Education or harder work does not solve the poverty problem in the existing system, because then, as stated, you just have double phds working at McDonalds flipping burgers, which some college grads do now...
Quantum_Conundrum
2.5 / 5 (13) Oct 23, 2010
But at the end of the day, somebody has to build your house, Noumenon, and guess what? The guys who do the majority of the work make maybe 25k per year if he's lucky, and then ends up having to file schedule C and pay self employment tax on that,a nd often works 10 to 12 hours per day, 6 days per week.

Glenn Beck, Stuart Varney, and the others on FOX news make ten to twenty times as much money to be analysts, and at least half the time they're flat out wrong anyway (though CNN isn't any better,) but they couldn't care less about such people.
===

I don't know what else to say. Anybody who doesn't think there's a problem with a civilizaton that pays circus clowns millions of dollars per year, or pays dead wrong analysts half millons per year, while paying trade workers and engineers one tenth or one twentieth as much....well, need your heads examined.

I wish to God I made that much, just so I could give most of it to people who really need it...
marjon
2.1 / 5 (14) Oct 23, 2010
while paying trade workers and engineers one tenth or one twentieth as much..

It is called supply and demand. Millions of people can be trained to build a nice house or be an engineer or teacher.
Broadcast personalities must keep an audience or they are out of work.
Unless, of course, you work for PBS then you loose your job for saying the wrong thing regardless of what the audience thinks.
marjon
2.8 / 5 (9) Oct 23, 2010
"The United Nations should impose a moratorium on "geo-engineering" projects such as artificial volcanoes and vast cloud-seeding schemes to fight climate change, green groups say, fearing they could harm nature and mankind.
The risks were too great because the impacts of manipulating nature on a vast scale were not fully known, "
http://www.reuter...20101021
For the greenies, they 'know' enough about the climate to take over all the economies of the world, but when a technology 'fix' is proposed, well, they sing a different tune.
Noumenon
3.9 / 5 (70) Oct 23, 2010
@QC, A flat tax at 17% assumes a deduction allowance so no one is being taxed below a certain amount , see Wiki. Without a deduction the % would be lower. I just guessed the 17% but it turned out to be fairly accurate. The definition of poverty in America is relative,... it is defined as lacking those things that the mainstream take for granted, so when I mentioned Cable and flat screens above, I was being serious. It is not possible to arrange an economy in such a way that no one is poor. There has to be rich and there has to be poor,.. otherwise it's communism and history shows how that works.
marjon
2.8 / 5 (9) Oct 23, 2010
It is not possible to arrange an economy in such a way that no one is poor.

Many who have won the lottery a poorer after spending or losing all their winnings.
Socialists can't factor in individual motivation and desires. Capitalism provides opportunities for individuals who seek them.
Mesafina
3 / 5 (12) Oct 24, 2010
Lol Noumenon and Marjon have no understanding of America or poverty, or of how capitalism actually works. I am a strong supporter of the capitalist system in that it has produced some of the greatest incentive to innovate of any human system to date. However, any rational person cannot deny that the logical ends of unbridled capitalism is that one person or group will eventually amass ownership of the entire economy, due to the fact that using their existing wealth they can crush their opponents by denying them funding and opportunity, and they ultimately control the reigns of wealth and power. Unregulated capitalism, history has shown, will inevitably end in feudalism. We need capitalism, but we also need social control over the mechanisms by which people can exploit capitalism. If you think that capitalism is some perfect solution to humanity's economic problems, then you are as delusional as a communist.
Noumenon
4 / 5 (67) Oct 24, 2010
Please show me where I said anything about "unregulated capitalism".
marjon
2.1 / 5 (11) Oct 24, 2010
cannot deny that the logical ends of unbridled capitalism is that one person or group will eventually amass ownership of the entire economy,

Yes, it can be denied since it has been demonstrated time and again not to be true.
Unregulated capitalism, history has shown, will inevitably end in feudalism.

When? How?
Ever hear of Andrew Carneigie? How about Chuck Feeny? (http://www.atlant...asn’t)
If not for capitalism, Carnegie's great philanthropies could not have been. Same for all the other great Foundations the millions of jobs that are created by capitalism.
Capitalism IS regulated by its customers and competitors. It is when govt steps in and accepts bribes that corruption begins to limit competition.
Titto
1 / 5 (5) Oct 24, 2010
Yes and slowly they change it now from global warming to climate change? Why? We are cooling down and just look at the extra 1 million square kilometres the north pole extended? The German weather station announced the coldest temperatures measured at the South Pole recent winter. It is the same BS than the lunar landings/ozone layer /swine flu/bird flu/AGW.....LMAO
MorituriMax
1 / 5 (7) Oct 24, 2010
So the solutions seem to be living in huts, killing off enough people to drop us to pre-industrial days, killing off all the cows, or developing technology that provides energy without producing CO2 or even removing existing CO2?

Ugg. I'm hoping that the last option is the one we adopt. Other than that, I don't really see what we can do since the population is going to continue to incease and people like living in an age where they don't toil in the fields from dawn till dusk to make enough to eat from traditional agricultural methods. Yikes.

Perhaps we need to move Heavy Industry into Space? Which sounds great but is probably going to be as likely as us knocking CO2 levels down enough to make any difference in the end. If CO2 even has as great an impact as is claimed. Wouldn't it be a biatch if we knock CO2 out of the picture, spending ourselves into bankruptcy, and it WASN'T the main culprit?
marjon
3 / 5 (6) Oct 24, 2010
Mori, there is so much low hanging fruit that can be picked if you open your eyes and get the govt out of way.
One very significant energy loss occurs with buildings, of all types.
When energy efficiency and structural integrity are more important than appearances and
fitting into the neighborhood, much energy will be saved.
Look up monolithicdomes.com for examples and details of their energy efficiency and strength.
Here is another: http://www.verticalfarm.com/
Opportunities abound.
marjon
1.9 / 5 (13) Oct 24, 2010
Mesa: Do you understand these principles:

"Free people are not equal, and equal people are not free.

What belongs to you, you tend to take care of;
what belongs to no one or everyone tends to falls into disrepair.

Sound policy requires that we consider long-run effects and all people, not simply short-run effects and a few people.

If you encourage something, you get more of it;
if you discourage something, you get less of it.

Nobody spends somebody else’s money as carefully as he spends his own.

Government has nothing to give anybody except what it first takes from somebody, and a government that’s big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you’ve got.

Liberty makes all the difference in the world."

http://education....licy.pdf

A_Paradox
5 / 5 (2) Oct 24, 2010
MorituriMax,

the cure for the "population explosion" is to eradicate avoidable poverty form the Earth. This is quite feasible; in fact failure to do this is not a survivable option. Luckily we already have all the necessary means to do so: all the technology, all the surplus value [capital], and more than enough people willing to do it. The main obstacle at the moment is insight amongst the rich and powerful.

Why do I say that? Because now, in the 5th century of the modern era [ie since the advent of scientific method], all projects are possible to the extent that they are in line with the laws of physics and to the extent that we are willing to cooperate. Put that another way: we are limited only by three things: our imagination, the laws of physics, and our willingness to cooperate.
[continued ...]
marjon
2.5 / 5 (8) Oct 24, 2010
willingness to cooperate.

That is the challenge. People get the govt they deserve which means that too many people can't suppress their desire to have power over their fellows.
This desire can be observed from the local garden club to the Congress. We all know people who always want to take control. If they are a minority, the majority need to refuse to be controlled and refuse to follow in their footsteps.
A_Paradox
1 / 5 (5) Oct 24, 2010
...cont

In order to succeed with the eradication of poverty and the evils it entails there are four prerequisites, four essential ingredients which must be embodied and manifest in our social organisations. These are compassion, democracy, ethics, and scientific method. Where any of these is missing, any project or enterprise is probably going to stray far from its original intent and very likely to turn into its opposite. Why? Because projects only stay on track when subjected to conscious scrutiny and review; things only work properly when we work at them properly. In fact we can say that this is the essence of real work: energy expended consciously in the course of transforming some part of the world to a human design. Without this, the 'world' will go its own merry way, and entropy increases with no net increase in real value. [Note: 'Value' is that which enhances the quality of human existence.]
[continued ...]
A_Paradox
5 / 5 (1) Oct 24, 2010
Marjon,

Democracy is, on the one hand, the institutionalisation of the non-violent resolution of conflict. On the other hand democracy is the process whereby the voice and power of the rich and powerful is curtailed sufficiently for the otherwise silent voices of the poor and dis-empowered to be heard and effective in describing reality.
One thing we have in Australia which is very good I believe is compulsory voting in state and federal elections. Voting for your government is a privilege of citizenship but it is also a responsibility that should not be shirked just because you feel pissed off with 'the system' or whatever.

[meanwhile ..... cont

There is very much more to be said about all this but one key insight needs to be trumpeted loudly in this day and age:
> a command structure is not a communication network <

This, I think, is the essence of what Karl Popper was saying about democracy.
Arkaleus
1.6 / 5 (14) Oct 24, 2010
. . .too many people can't suppress their desire to have power over their fellows.


So many of us in the west have abandoned our love of liberty and individualism. We don't want to be equals in peace, we want to rule over each other and dominate. This change is remarkable and can be seen at every level of social organization from petty to monstrous.

Have we surrendered the enlightenment to the demons of tyranny and violence? Have we become ashamed of liberty's birthright?

Ultimately the "climate" debate resolves into a battle of ideologies: Centralized tyranny on one side; individual liberty on the other.

The factions of tyranny have organized and now seek to overthrow and occupy the free governments of the west, and sadly many of our people have agreed to help them.

When you see the structure of this usurpation and understand the motive behind it you must find your strength and resist. It uses science as a veil for a much wider war against human liberty.
Thrasymachus
1.3 / 5 (16) Oct 24, 2010
Well, if you're after a flat income tax, Noumenon, you might want to clue in some of your fellow conservatives. They want a flat sales tax. They call it a consumption tax, but it's still just a sales tax. And aside from not agreeing in any sense with an economy-wide sales tax (sales is what we want, after all, you don't tax the things you want more of), it's never been shown to meet revenue needs. What really slows an economy down is excessive saving. And while may find it hard to believe when they've just lost all their savings and many of them their jobs, that's the problem the economy has right now. The people who do manage to save are saving waaaay too much right now, because there's too few of them and there's just not anything for them to buy that they could have any possible reason to buy. And if too much savings is what depresses an economy, it seems like that's what we should tax.
Thrasymachus
1.4 / 5 (11) Oct 24, 2010
My philosophy on taxes is similar to how you'd charge someone for water if you owned a well, and wanted to make the most money you could off it, without denying anybody the water they really need. You'd charge them by how much they used, and by what they were going to do with it. You'd charge the guy more per ounce that got 2000 gallons and was gonna bottle it and resell it, than the guy that just came in out of the desert and is dying of thirst and just wants a glass. You might just give desert-guy that glass for free, especially if he didn't have any money. Taxes should work like that.
marjon
2.1 / 5 (7) Oct 24, 2010
One thing we have in Australia which is very good I believe is compulsory voting in state and federal elections.

Do you can a vote for an person or a party?
The people who do manage to save are saving waaaay too much right now,

So let's all gang up on them and take it. We know how to spend other people's money better than they do, right?
n the guy that just came in out of the desert and is dying of thirst and just wants a glass.

Even if he is a real rich guy who was too stupid to bring enough water?
marjon
1.7 / 5 (11) Oct 24, 2010
Taxes should work like that.

Taxes should fund functions of govt that benefit all on an equal basis.
That is what the term 'general welfare' means.
It does not mean that the govt should rob Peter to pay Paul. The role of the govt is to protect the property of Peter and Paul to create opportunities for Paul to earn, and keep what he earns so he can become as wealthy as Peter.
Scientifica
1 / 5 (6) Oct 24, 2010
Climate Change...

The biggest man-made myth since mohammed...
Thrasymachus
1.4 / 5 (10) Oct 24, 2010
Nothing the government ever does will benefit everyone equally, from regulating the safety of food, to national defense. It's absurd to make someone pay the same amount for something they hardly ever use or benefit from as someone who uses it all the time and who gets a great deal of benefit for it. The rich benefit far more from the presence and actions of government, so they should pay more.
PinkElephant
4.2 / 5 (5) Oct 24, 2010
@Noumenon,
This devaluation of the dollar by over spending also effects the regular folks who manage to work hard and save a small amount, so it is not just the evil rich that are hurt by naive liberal mentality.
Who are you calling naive, you simpleton?

You think dollar devaluation and deficit spending are LIBERAL policies? Why then, are they so heavily favored and advocated by ALL the major US banks, up to and including the Federal Reserve?

You're blind to the real motivations. Beneath all the "job creation" and "helping the needy" rhetoric wars, the true motivation is simple: hide the massive (60+%) losses on the books of every single major financial organization. Prevent these losses from surfacing and leading to lawsuits by investors, which would uncover the massive fraud and theft that has infected our financial system for the last two decades. Dollar devaluation also devalues debts, while deficit spending (including 99 weeks of unemployment) help cushion the markets.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (4) Oct 24, 2010
ctd.

The "great American economy" to which you've referred previously, is nothing but the largest Ponzi house of cards the world has ever witnessed. Every single financial policy decision since Bush II was elected, had one and only one purpose: keep the house of cards from collapsing for as long as possible. Unfortunately, such actions always have the effect of adding exponentially more cards to the edifice.

In truth, our economy has been hollowed out by "free trade" and outsourcing. To compensate, we have allowed a massive buildup of asset speculation and financial Ponzi schemes. These have generated false "prosperity" over the last decade and a half. Now it's all on the brink of collapse: reality always ends up re-asserting itself.

And when the final collapse comes (and it WILL come, because these frauds will not be able to be hidden forever and real cash flow deficits always blow up all Ponzi schemes) -- it will make the Great Depression feel like a pleasant memory.
marjon
2.7 / 5 (7) Oct 24, 2010
In truth, our economy has been hollowed out by "free trade" and outsourcing.

No. It is caused by socialism.
There has been little 'free' trade for quite some time.
Nothing the government ever does will benefit everyone equally,

Yes, it will. Protecting everyone's life and property benefits all, equally.
marjon
2.7 / 5 (7) Oct 24, 2010
A typical California government:
"In fiscal year 1999-2000, the city spent about $300,000 on its retirement system. In fiscal year 2009-10, it was $200.5 million. Benefits alone — not salaries, just benefits — for current and retired employees this year are budgeted at $993 million. Spending on retirees' health care and pensions is conservatively projected to triple within five years.

And after that? Infinite.

This is not a conspiracy but, rather, a mathematical certainty. It's also not a surprise. Every San Francisco government official who can do math has known about this calamity for years."
"What's uniquely San Franciscan about our benefits crisis is that we aren't trying. San Francisco has known about this looming crisis for a decade — and gone out of its way to make things worse."
"on those few occasions when somebody has tried to do something about it, city government has worked with unions to successfully sabotage those efforts."
http://www.sfweek...s/let-it
marjon
2.1 / 5 (7) Oct 24, 2010
"She knew from her own upbringing that talent was not limited to class. She knew that for the talented to triumph - indeed, the whole nation - constraints on the ambitions of the working class had to be removed. It wasn't a matter of furnishing the underprivileged with privilege but of providing them with opportunity. No one here needs a lecture about what happened after the historic 1979 election: inflation tamed; crippling strikes ended; doors to entrepreneurs opened; and so on."
"(Thatcher's) vision of the free society is moral and virtuous. And she has that admirable quality so rare in politicians - a willingness to court unpopularity. As she said, "If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing."
"She also understood that the establishment wasn't just the landed gentry but institutions hungry for power at the expense of ordinary citizens."
http://www.theaus...-to-cher
Eric_B
3 / 5 (6) Oct 24, 2010
The image of a young man kissing Margaret Thatcher's wrinkly derrier makes me shiver!

Marjon, please stop it!
marjon
2.7 / 5 (7) Oct 25, 2010
The image of a young man kissing Margaret Thatcher's wrinkly derrier makes me shiver!

Marjon, please stop it!

What are you talking about?
If you disagree with her successful policies, please defend your position.
A_Paradox
3 / 5 (2) Oct 25, 2010
marjon:
Do you can a vote for an person or a party?


Australia uses preferential voting in federal and state elections [and both are compulsory; only local government election voting is not compulsory].

Federally, for the lower house [House of Reps] we vote for "our" member, the person who will represent the constituency we happen to live in. I have some reservations about our form of compulsory preferential but it does allow for a possibly more nuanced manifestation of the public will, so to speak. Most successful candidates are members of one of the two major parties but there are some independents. Right now in Australia there are actually three independents who hold the balance of power in the lower house. The Senate is "a house of review" but can propose new legislation. The senators there are meant to represent the different states and territories in the Federation. In Senate elections the voting papers are bizarre, with literally dozens of candidates!
A_Paradox
5 / 5 (2) Oct 25, 2010
Baroness Thatcher was an extremist with a simplistic view of the world. She is purported to believe that "there is no such thing as 'Society', there is only people". If she did say that then it is clear that much of her success came from the strength of her dogmatic convictions and a large degree of novelty attraction rather than any particular greatness of soul. She fitted in for that time but most certainly did not have the insight needed to diffuse all the conflicts of British society [which didn't exist of course :-] plus she was able to use the hideous distraction of a war with Argentina to rally a majority into asserting a "them and us" world view. Rallying the populace against 'evil' outsiders has been a technique of manipulation for thousands of years.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Oct 25, 2010
What I wouldn't give to see a diversification of the American electoral process.

They get to vote in China too, the only difference between our respective electoral process is we get one more bad candidate to realistically vote for than they do. Oh sure we may have four or five candidates for president, but everyone knows that 90% of the time only one of two are going to win.

I'd like to see elections more like horse races, with everyone going to sleep election night actually wondering who's going to win the next day. I think it would keep the politicians more on their toes...which is right were they need to be IMO.
3432682
1 / 5 (4) Oct 25, 2010
The global warming discusssion should be about Earth temperatures for the last 10k years, since the last ice age, and the dominance of ice ages in the last million years. We are now cooler than the 90% of the last 10k years, and probably declining. By far the most likely scenario is another ice age eventually. We need to build a robust temperature history in order to judge where we are and where we are likely to go.
stealthc
1.5 / 5 (2) Oct 26, 2010
I'd rather live a decent life than have to get taxed and service charged (eco-tax, environmental fees) into third world poverty by the elites. We have technology to deal with these problems but rather than develop it, these fascists are pushing the sort of things that would make their investments increase in value quite lucratively. We may be causing AGW (probably not, we aren't the biggest factor in this puzzle) but where does that leave the rather obvious fraud and cash grabbing??
BrianH
not rated yet Oct 28, 2010
For those that still think that human activity plays no part in global warming, I state the obvious: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. By that law alone, there MUST be some reaction to the CO2 that we have been elevating in the atmosphere, to think it harmless is just ignorant.

Yep, the increase in CO2 since the beginning of the 20th C is considered to have boosted agricultural productivity about 30%. We are in a deep CO2 famine, by geological standards. If only we could get back to 2,000 ppm! Warming is great. Cooling kills.
BrianH
not rated yet Oct 28, 2010
One of the ways cooling kills, btw, is with more extreme weather. The pole/tropics gradient gets very steep, and all the heat rushing faster to the poles causes horrific storms. The Little Ice Age had terrors we can barely imagine.

Not least of which were massive forced migrations, and coincident plagues and wars. The Four Horsemen had a grand time!

Interesting times are strenuously to be avoided.
BrianH
not rated yet Oct 28, 2010
In the Comments on a SciAm article subtly dissing Judith Curry, -- scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=climate-heretic&amp;page=5&posted=1#comment-14" -- is the following:

14. Iconoclast 05:06 PM 10/23/10

The proposition that the average temperature of the earth's surface is warming because of increased emissions of human-produced greenhouse gases cannot be tested by any known scientific procedure

It is impossible to position temperature sensors randomly over the earth's surface (including the 71% of ocean, and all the deserts, forests, and icecaps) and maintain it in constant condition long enough to tell if any average is increasing. Even if this were done the difference between the temperature during day and night is so great that no rational aveage can be derived.

Measurements at weather stations are quite unsuitable since they are not positioned representatively and they only measure maximum //
BrianH
1 / 5 (1) Oct 28, 2010
//and minimum once a day, from which no average can be derived. They also constantly change in number, location and surroundings. Recent studies show that most of the current stations are unable to measure temperature to better than a degree or two

The assumptions of climate models are absurd. They assume the earth is flat, that the sun shines with equal intensity day and night, and the earth is in equilibrium, with the energy received equal to that emitted.

Half of the time there is no sun, where the temperature regime is quite different from the day.

No part of the earth ever is in energy equilibrium, neither is there any evidence of an overall "balance".

It is unsurprising that such models are incapable of predicting sny future climate behsviour, even if this could be measured satisfactorily.

//
BrianH
5 / 5 (1) Oct 28, 2010
// There are no representative measurements of the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide over any land surface, where "greenhouse warming" is supposed to happen.

After twenty years of study, and as expert reviewer to the IPCC from the very beginning, I can only conclude that the whole affair is a gigantic fraud.
_______
From the source.