friedfish2718 
Member since Jun 17, 2009


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Re: “Tax the Rich!

The article is somewhat myopic.

The rich (at least those who did not inherit their fortunes) did not become rich by being stupid. Confiscatory tax rates on the rich will work only once.And there will still be deficits for years to come.

If the issues are budget deficits and national debt, the fundamental cause is the gluttony of the masses, not the production of the rich. The rich provided goods and services which the masses eagerly consumed. But the masses ran out of money and are still hungry. But the masses vote and want politicians to take from the rich and give the gluttons more money. But the rich can go Galt and produce no more. So the glutton have money but no goods and services are no longer available. More misery for the masses. Only in countries with prominent welfare programs does one find fat poor people with nice clothes, iPads, and cell phones.


Government has a very strongly corrupting effect on both the rich and the gluttony masses. Some rich look for unfair advantage by buying the politicians with money. The gluttony masses look for unfair advantage by buying the politicians with votes.

In comparing the US with Germany, the author overlooks the culture differences. Germany has a manufacturing culture; vocational training in the US has been declining for decades. Germany - under Merkel - had a very small stimulus program and is doing well now. The US underwent a very large stimulus program and is still sick economically. Germany's capital gains tax rate is 25%, the US's (at least the short term) capital gains tax rate is 35%. In Germany, there is no capital gains tax relating to real-estate held for more than 10 years; there is no equivalent tax break in the US.

The author is obsessed about Ronald Reagan. During all of Reagan's 8 years as president, the House of Representatives (who actually control the budget) was controlled by the democrats. That the deficits grew under Reagan is no fault of his: Reagan used the veto power 28 times. The author forgets that Reagan inherited a sick economy from Jimmy Carter. Reagan planted the seeds of an economic boom which started under Reagan and continued under Clinton. Only when both House and Senate were controlled by Republicans was a budget surplus was possible under Clinton.

Posted by friedfish2718 on 04/16/2011 at 10:18 AM

Re: “From Disease to Green

I read with interest - in the Jan 4 2011 issue - the piece on Amyris.

Work on Biofuels should continue if for the only reason to further knowledge on enzymes, biochemistry, and overall science.

As a viable commercial venture, there is one problem: a lot of effort is put in to produce a substance which is then lit with a match.


Enzymes get denatured. Biologicals are fastidious. Monoculture has drawbacks and against the environmental ideal of biological diversity.

Variants of the Fischer-Tropsch process are better commercial candidates. There is much more leeway in terms of input feedstock and the output is a mixture of hydrocarbons usable as fuel. Adding hydrogen (produced by nuclear, wind, solar) to the feedstock increases the percentage of methane and ethane produced.

Fire is the great equalizer: 99.9% of the output is carbon dioxide and water. As far as internal combustion goes, the higher the combustion, the greater the overall thermodynamic efficiency. At high combustion temperatures all fuels are broken down to similar organic fragments.

douglas harris

Posted by friedfish2718 on 01/09/2011 at 6:00 PM

Re: “The Battle Over Biofuels

Work on Biofuels should continue if for the only reason to further knowledge on enzymes, biochemistry, and overall science. As a viable commercial venture, there is one problem: a lot of effort is put in to produce a substance which is then lit with a match.

Enzymes can be denatured. Biologicals are fastidious. Monoculture has drawbacks and against the environmental ideal of biological diversity.

Variants of the Fischer-Tropsch process are better commercial candidates. There is much more leeway in terms of input feedstock and the output is a mixture of hydrocarbons usable as fuel. Adding hydrogen (produced by nuclear, wind, solar) to the feedstock increases the percentage of methane and ethane produced.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by friedfish2718 on 06/17/2009 at 8:37 AM

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