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PostPosted: September 5 19, 5:50 pm 
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33anda3rd wrote:
The town hall guy wants Warren to "call out capitalism" and make utilities public. He wants a policy that is punitive--take public utilities away--much like many Sanders policies are punitive, which was on display in the CNN Climate Crisis Town Hall during Sanders' time last night.



Here I think you meant to say that Sanders want to take *private* utilities away from rich company owners and make them public utilities.

Are public utilities really that controversial? I have some public utilities right now. No one (outside of the Koch wing of the Republican party) is clamoring to privatize these utilities. They are working fine.


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PostPosted: September 5 19, 6:02 pm 
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33anda3rd wrote:
The town hall guy wants Warren to "call out capitalism" and make utilities public. He wants a policy that is punitive--take public utilities away--much like many Sanders policies are punitive, which was on display in the CNN Climate Crisis Town Hall during Sanders' time last night. For example, Sanders wants massive penalties for carbon use to spend $17 trillion eliminating carbon use and creating jobs, with some gray-area math on how you get $17 trillion in carbon taxes if you eliminate carbon. Punitive: tax the polluters, take away their businesses, etc. The Tweeter wants punitive measures too: fine them until you bankrupt them. Prosecute them...but prosecute them for what? Running oil companies isn't a crime. This idea that They Have To Pay even if it's not breaking the law is kinda screwed up.



Gobs and gobs of crimes - mainly war crimes, but not exclusively - have been committed in the pursuit of oil. Hell, the former CEO of Exxon was part of the Trump administration, which as far as i'm concerned is a criminal enterprise. The only reason none of these people have been convicted of a crime (well, some of them have, actually) is because rich people are above the law in this country. That is why some people are so mad that they'd vote for [expletive] von clownstick. Because there are 2 sets of rules for people in this country - rich people can commit crimes with impunity and the rest of us can't.

At this point you could easily argue that continuing to profit from an enterprise that is melting Greenland and Antarctica is a crime against humanity. No, there isn't a law on the books about that, but what these people are doing is simply wrong. Countless lives are at stake. We're just supposed to shrug and be cool that "Well, technically it's legal."?

Well, anyway, Democrats won't even go after Trump who has broken countless laws, so yeah, I can totally see why these other things would be a tough sell. They won't even crack down when actual crimes have been committed.


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PostPosted: September 6 19, 5:04 am 
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pioneer98 wrote:
33anda3rd wrote:
The town hall guy wants Warren to "call out capitalism" and make utilities public. He wants a policy that is punitive--take public utilities away--much like many Sanders policies are punitive, which was on display in the CNN Climate Crisis Town Hall during Sanders' time last night.

Here I think you meant to say that Sanders want to take *private* utilities away from rich company owners and make them public utilities.

Yes, thanks. I mean to say the guy in the audience wants to take private utility companies away from stockholders and/or private owners and make them public utilities, and he framed a town hall question to Warren that's basically "you'll support my specific idea, right?" as if this is Twitter or the Bill Simmons Podcast and the answer is either "yes, I agree with you" or the wrong answer. It's arrogantly framed as if Warren would agree with his dumb populism. But Warren, who spent her time on that stage hearing peoples' stories, empathizing, and saying "yes" to them all night long, said "no" this time. This person who made her career on fighting corporations and has likely done more to fight for regular Joes than this guy ever will accomplish, said "nah, capitalism can be good."

pioneer98 wrote:
I have some public utilities right now. No one (outside of the Koch wing of the Republican party) is clamoring to privatize these utilities.

I have none. ComEd is owned by Exelon, Peoples (sic) Gas is owned by the WEC Energy Group. If you consider the internet a utility I get mine from Comcast. No one (outside the DSA/Sanders faction of the Democratic party) is clamoring to take them public.

A moderate watching CNN who doesn't know who she's voting for in 2020 yet, doesn't want to see a candidate take a question asking "will you give the ol' heave-ho to capitalism by taking companies from shareholders" and answer in the affirmative. Virtually no one wants that. It's a deeply unpopular position that he's presenting as if it's the obvious, necessary, popular choice. He's doing this because people need to lie to themselves by projecting the inevitability and popularity of their own ideas on everyone else. That's why we have Trump on one side and Abramson on the other. They allay our fears by confirming our populist biases and giving them credence.

Is it morally wrong to profit off of earth-melting pollution? You betcha. You know who's culpable: everyone with money in a S&P 500 index fund via a 401(k) or personal investment in a managed fund. Let's say it's Trump v Sanders, and Sanders gets on any kind of turning-private-companies-public like the town hall guy wants. Trump then goes on TV every day and says "Crazy Socialist Bernie wants to destroy your retirement savings by taking public companies away from stockholders and dissolving the companies so the government can run them. People are saying it could take 15% of the value out of the market, out of your retirement savings. I'm hearing as much as 15%. Could be 20%. This is socialism, folks, this is old school Russia communism even. Maybe they should investigate, because Crazy Socialist Bernie sounds very Russian. People are saying this is very Russian. People worked hard for their 401(k) and now Bernie wants to wreck the economy, the stock market, and their retirement savings by taking over the energy industry. People are saying it could happen in weeks." Trump can't say that about Warren and that's vital: he can't toss the S-word at her and scare people. He can't say she's not a capitalist, because she's a defender of good, honest, real, competitive, un-monopolized, responsible capitalism.

These issues can be fixed by regulation and common sense. This is the same for everything. Drug prices too high, the profit on them immoral? Guns are responsible for mass shootings, profit on them immoral? Twitter and Facebook are cesspools of hate speech and libel, profit from that is immoral? We just need regulation on these industries where people profit from our own greed and consumerism and ego and violent natures, not for the government to take these businesses public. Fines don't work. Sanders wants to raise $17 trillion for his environmental plan. That would be a $5 billion/month fine on those four companies every month for 70 years. He says he'll get it back from the military spending that goes to protecting oil. That's estimated to be $71 billion/year. It would take 239 years, almost two and a half centuries of savings on oil-related military costs, to get that money back. Sanders' plan of tax/fine is not great IMO, his math very shaky.

The oil game needs to be put on alert: oil is over in 2045, guys, and we're bringing Europe and India and China with us, maybe the UK too if they get their [expletive] together, so you've got a bit under 30 years and a ticking clock to figure this out. This is where Warren is, and I like it, and I think voters like it and like her which explains her ascent in the polls and her dominance of the Vegas betting markets right now.


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PostPosted: September 6 19, 7:48 am 
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Saw a poll where "Climate-Focused" voters still favor Biden by 9%, despite him having by far the worst plan to combat the climate crisis. Speaks to how ill-informed the average voter is.

As always, when discussing progressive, radical solutions to these existential problems like climate change, racism, economic inequality, etc. we run up against what is the most "electable" or palatable progressive solution through the lens of traditional american voting patterns (usually a Warren position), and what would actually do the most good towards ending those problems (usually a Bernie position). It's all very interesting to discuss, but it really all comes down to this:



And you start to ask yourself if the american voting public has the will or even the sense of urgency to do what needs to be done, and the answer is still probably no. They still want some incremental progression, which is what Warren represents. A guiding, tempered hand on the wheel of our current system's ship. Don't get me wrong, that would rule, especially compared to what we have now. Is it enough? Can it avoid being rolled back the next time progressives get lazy and we allow a right wing moron who wants to let the world burn because he and his buddies will make money putting out the fires they start out to be elected? Probably not.

Tangentially, this is where the hopeless mania that drives far left voters to say dumb [expletive] like how they'd rather have a second term of Trump than an "establishment" lib, because at least then we won't be sweeping the problems under the rug like every previous generation has, comes from. It's an "if it has to be burned down before we wake up to what it takes to build it back up, might as well burn it down now" sort of nihilism.


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PostPosted: September 6 19, 8:02 am 
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What I'm struggling with re:Bernie and Warren, is the following:

1. I don't perceive the gap between their policies as significant
2. I trust Warren to guide the needed changes through government more smoothly (ruffle fewer feathers), and to better explain them to the public (which I think is really important)
3. The movement Bernie wants to build isn't anywhere close to where it needs to be to support his agenda
4. Therefore his objection to getting rid of the filibuster (and supreme court changes, though he's slightly better there) means none of his agenda can pass in the time he'd have in office. Buttigieg is more radical on this issue than he is.


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PostPosted: September 6 19, 8:12 am 
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ghostrunner wrote:
What I'm struggling with re:Bernie and Warren, is the following:

1. I don't perceive the gap between their policies as significant
2. I trust Warren to guide the needed changes through government more smoothly (ruffle fewer feathers), and to better explain them to the public (which I think is really important)
3. The movement Bernie wants to build isn't anywhere close to where it needs to be to support his agenda
4. Therefore his objection to getting rid of the filibuster (and supreme court changes, though he's slightly better there) means none of his agenda can pass in the time he'd have in office. Buttigieg is more radical on this issue than he is.

I agree with this, but to point 1 would say that I'm increasingly frustrated by her obvious hedge on healthcare reform. Throw in her daughter's ties to the health insurance industry and the amount of wall street money she's raised and it's eyebrow-raise worthy. Some people are way more troubled than that, but then again, I think the people who fall into that category are a little delusional on the average american voters understanding of and relationship to socialism. Polling that shows young people viewing socialism as more favorable than capitalism is incredibly vague and hasn't shown up in the actual ballot box yet.

I'm almost giddy with curiosity to see how Bernie does in this primary as a lens through which to view how much has changed in the last 4 years. That's why I'm so over this run up to the primaries. Can't wait to stop talking about polling and wading through a million irrelevant candidates. Let's get down to a final three that includes Bernie, Warren, and an establishment career lib and see where actual voters stand on these issues. I agree with 33 and vegas that it's probably in between Bernie and the establishment, and Warren will be nominated.


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PostPosted: September 6 19, 8:17 am 
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ghostrunner wrote:
What I'm struggling with re:Bernie and Warren, is the following:

1. I don't perceive the gap between their policies as significant
2. I trust Warren to guide the needed changes through government more smoothly (ruffle fewer feathers), and to better explain them to the public (which I think is really important)
3. The movement Bernie wants to build isn't anywhere close to where it needs to be to support his agenda
4. Therefore his objection to getting rid of the filibuster (and supreme court changes, though he's slightly better there) means none of his agenda can pass in the time he'd have in office. Buttigieg is more radical on this issue than he is.

I admire Bernie for being able to pull truly progressive ideals to the forefront and the party to the left on many issues but I don't think he is as relatable as Warren and I think he'll have difficulties motivating the more centrist section of Democrats in a general election. I like him but his voice grates me and his mannerisms make him seem more Doc Brown than elder statesman. Are those good reasons to not vote for him? Probably not. Is it reason enough for the average voter? Probably.

When I've watched the debates I've felt Warren's passion and I think she'll be able to connect with the average voter best of any candidate. She's a policy wonk with some charisma. Granted, since she announced she was my choice but I had my money on Harris.


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PostPosted: September 6 19, 8:30 am 
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thrill wrote:




If you continue to believe this is the case, you will never really solve the problem.

We are destroying the planet because it is *convenient* to do so.

The general public is unwilling to give up cheap energy, driving cars, flying planes, plastics, meat, taking a shower every day, etc. Look how hard it has been for many people to give up something so generally useless as plastic [expletive] straws.

The economic *reality* isn't about profits. The reality is what the market demands has not and will not change any time soon. And if you try to run for President on a platform of changing people's buying habits and lifestyle? Good luck.


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PostPosted: September 6 19, 9:18 am 
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Popeye_Card wrote:
thrill wrote:




If you continue to believe this is the case, you will never really solve the problem.

We are destroying the planet because it is *convenient* to do so.

The general public is unwilling to give up cheap energy, driving cars, flying planes, plastics, meat, taking a shower every day, etc. Look how hard it has been for many people to give up something so generally useless as plastic [expletive] straws.

The economic *reality* isn't about profits. The reality is what the market demands has not and will not change any time soon. And if you try to run for President on a platform of changing people's buying habits and lifestyle? Good luck.

But gas cars are convenient because gas prices are artificially low because of oil and gas subsidies.

Regardless, most pollution is caused by manufacturers who pollute because it is profitable to do so. I believe Zeus knew of a company that would setup shop, offer bargain disposal services, when caught and fined, they'd file for bankruptcy, then open up a new shop and start polluting nearby.

If polluting manufacturers were capped and fines were more than the profits they made, they'd pay extra for cleaner processes. It's not about changing individuals with plastic straws and showers; it's about punishing corporate polluters so it's not profitable AND subsidizing things like electric cars and solar power to make them more affordable for everyday people.


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PostPosted: September 6 19, 9:33 am 
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vinsanity wrote:
Popeye_Card wrote:
thrill wrote:




If you continue to believe this is the case, you will never really solve the problem.

We are destroying the planet because it is *convenient* to do so.

The general public is unwilling to give up cheap energy, driving cars, flying planes, plastics, meat, taking a shower every day, etc. Look how hard it has been for many people to give up something so generally useless as plastic [expletive] straws.

The economic *reality* isn't about profits. The reality is what the market demands has not and will not change any time soon. And if you try to run for President on a platform of changing people's buying habits and lifestyle? Good luck.

But gas cars are convenient because gas prices are artificially low because of oil and gas subsidies.

Regardless, most pollution is caused by manufacturers who pollute because it is profitable to do so. I believe Zeus knew of a company that would setup shop, offer bargain disposal services, when caught and fined, they'd file for bankruptcy, then open up a new shop and start polluting nearby.

If polluting manufacturers were capped and fines were more than the profits they made, they'd pay extra for cleaner processes. It's not about changing individuals with plastic straws and showers; it's about punishing corporate polluters so it's not profitable AND subsidizing things like electric cars and solar power to make them more affordable for everyday people.


In terms of environmental law enforcement, it really is basically the Fight Club equation for polluters. If the cost of a likely fine/penalty for polluting is cheaper than the cost of installing control equipment, most companies won't install the control equipment.

The key, to me, is that not all pollution reductions are created equally. There may be ways to allow flexibility to attack a problem in an economically efficient manner. The classic example is acid rain, which is no longer considered a significant environmental problem, but in the 70s and 80s was an ongoing catastrophe. The EPA came up with a region-wide solution which is known as a cap and trade program. Step 1 (and this is now a problem in 2019 America): Listen to the scientists. They calculated the amount of emissions of acid rain precursors that should not be exceeded on the macro level. That's the cap. Then they created SO2 permits. In order to release SO2 into the atmosphere, you need a permit. Power plants and other SO2 emitters were all issued permits totaling the amount set by the cap. The companies that held or needed those permits could then buy and sell them. A lot of companies found they could reduce their S02 emissions and profit by selling their permits. For others, there was no cost effective way to do it, so they bought permits. Environmental groups could also buy and "retire" permits, which further reduced SO2 emissions.

It really, actually worked. Same thing was done with the ozone hole problem of the 80s/90s. Cap and trade on CFCs and their variants that caused the hole, with a gradual phasing out of some of the worst kinds of CFCs.

Obama tried to establish a cap and trade program for greenhouse gases, but like most things he wanted to do, he missed his 2 year window. Now it's 10 years later and we are much closer to our kids and grandkids' world being utterly f'd. My son is 7 and knows the planet is getting warmer from science books that he reads. I don't have the heart to tell him yet that his parents and grandparents' generation knew about the catastrophe coming for him, and decided it was easier to do nothing.


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