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Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cataclysm - Part V

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Post#601 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Tue Dec 4, 2012 1:04 pm by Induveca

Taxing carbon emissions isn't as simple as it may seem....this was somewhat tackled with the 97 Kyoto Protocol and carbon credits.

Amusingly enough, "voluntary carbon credit market" investors around the world are praising the likes of Al Gore for bringing the global warming issue to the front and center. Not because they want to help the world, but because it made a secondary market for UN issued carbon credits. YOU can buy a carbon credit, and sell it later. Also, Al Gore himself has made millions by trading carbon credits in this same market. Talk about insider trading, the guy is a complete joke.

http://newsbusters.org/node/11149

These things have literally become commodities.

Here's how the scheme works. If I own a huge tract of tree-lined land in Brazil (say 50 acres), I offer to sell to an international logging company. I then inform the UN that these negotiations are taking place, and VOILA, I'm issued a sum of carbon credits for no cost for NOT cutting down the trees. I then trade the credits to other companies and make tens of millions of dollars.

Or you could get your entire company funded for a year by choosing a less than desirable emission system, then having a better system funded by the UN via carbon credits. Of course you then by the original system anyways, and find some filters which achieve the same impact. Again, free money.

It's a ridiculous system, but one that is firmly entrenched the world over. Land owners and savvy business owners love the carbon credit system, it is literally free money. The worst offenders are US companies, and the US government.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/artic ... -wikileaks

Read this to better understand the scam that is carbon emissions. These systems aren't always dreamed up to benefit the world, although the tree-hugger and "green" types think otherwise. It's a complete bull scheme. Attempting to tax carbon emissions will, in the end, collect little money due to this system.

It will however create a boom in secondary carbon credit markets.

If anyone wants to buy a tract of land to build a house on in the future (say 2-3 years from now), do so under an LLC/business plan with a future carbon footprint. You can get paid NOT to create the company, but still own the land, and do with it as you please. Never done it myself, but the system is a farce.
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Post#602 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Tue Dec 4, 2012 1:37 pm by pancakes3

Question, Induveca. You're getting "paid" in carbon credits or in dollars?

If carbon credits, and you do end up developing your land, aren't you beholden to your agreement and have to give back those credits if you do develop?

Furthermore, following the trail of money. The government creates these carbon credits out of nothing - essentially minting them at zero cost. They issue it to tree owners. Companies are forced by regulations to give money for regulations and usually buy them from tree owners rather than purchase them on their own because the tree owners can sell them for cheaper because those credits have no intrinsic value to someone who owns large tracts of jungle. That jungle-owner can't develop his land any more. The company is now out of millions of dollars to do what they were doing anyway and still looking for ways to cut emissions because they don't want to pay any more of this "tax" than they have to.

The winner out of the three parties involved is the government because it promotes lower emissions. The companies are out millions of dollars. The landowner even loses to an extent because though he still owns the land he's lost practical use of his land.

I suppose you could argue that in making it a commodity, you've now got carbon-credit traders but I would hardly call that a scam. It may be an unfortunate consequence of the global economy but really they're no less despicable than a commodity trader who's buying and selling orange juice.

** your original position on commodities and options trading notwithstanding.
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Post#603 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Tue Dec 4, 2012 2:46 pm by Zonkerbl

Those are "offsets." Not carbon credits, strictly speaking. Well, depends. In the Waxman-Markey legislation, you would have been issued a number of tons of carbon that you are allowed to emit, which (if done correctly) starts at your current emissions level and then declines a little each year. You can choose to emit less and sell your surplus "carbon credits" on the market, you can buy carbon credits from someone else who managed to emit less than their quota, or you can buy offsets, which consist mostly of 1) promises from U.S. farmers who are in the conservation program to continue to not farm on their land and 2) promises from Brazilian landowners not to chop down their jungle and farm on it.

Tricky to get that to work, since it's not really clear who owns the land down there or how in the world you could verify that they wouldn't have left the land undeveloped anyway. Europeans apparently went the route of going ahead and issuing offsets willy-nilly and fix the bugs as you go along. As you can see that is a somewhat problematic way of doing it.
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Post#604 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Tue Dec 4, 2012 4:15 pm by Induveca

Zonk,

The whole process is idiotic. Land ownership is easy to "prove" in the 3rd world, but of course after credits have been issued (retroactive to 6-7 years even!), they are traded and they do what they wish anyways.

It's a ridiculous system, but one in which wealthy landowners/governments/businesses are making millions. There is one company down here I know personally who owns massive amounts of land. Trees are hundreds of years old, there is no real logging here. They have made millions off of trading these credits. They never intended to do anything anyways.

Literally free money. All it takes is the ridiculous question of "what are your plans for this land", and the honest response of "we may consider logging, real estate, sales to factories or mining at some point". Then BOOM they have 2-15 years (depending on agreement) to not touch the land.

Of course, there are just so many ways to abuse the system. All thanks to Mr. Green, Al Gore (I confirmed the businesses he owns indirectly around carbon emissions have generated tens of billions already). Bravo to Gore, man has fooled nearly his entire liberal following into thinking he is an "environmentalist".
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Post#605 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Tue Dec 4, 2012 6:28 pm by Zonkerbl

Yeah. The idea itself is not idiotic. We can reduce our emissions all we want -- if farmers in Brazil continue to raze the amazon to grow soybeans and raise cattle, we're screwed. Any realistic solution to climate change has to figure out some way to make Brazilians think twice about destroying rainforest. One way to do that is to pay them not to do it. The devil is in the details. If it was easy, there'd be a market for it already and we wouldn't be having the problem in the first place.

When you burn down an acre of rainforest, you PERMANENTLY damage the earth's ability to absorb carbon. So if you get paid to not burn down an acre of rainforest, it has to be a PERMANENT commitment to never burn it. It has to be forever illegal to cut down that acre. You'll continue to get your monthly payment, but if you burn down that forest, you go to jail. Like you say, you can't just sell it to someone and let that person burn the forest down.

Actually I find it hard to believe that the Europeans haven't thought about this. What's more likely is that corrupt Brazilian government officials are ignoring the rules. Which is the other main problem. How can I, a U.S. citizen, do anything about a Brazilian breaking a Brazilian law? Nothing. So the commitment to not burn down an acre of rainforest is essentially unenforceable.
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Post#606 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Tue Dec 4, 2012 8:22 pm by hands11

New PPP poll comes out.

25% of Rs want to secede from the nation.

Now thats what I call patriotic. Those are the real Americans.

Run om your BS ideas. Lose. Then cry and say you want to take your ball and go home. Oh, and go buy a gun.

I think these people should self deport. Legalize the immigrants that actually want to be here and believe in America.
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Post#607 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Tue Dec 4, 2012 9:41 pm by Severn Hoos

Well, I suppose a lot more than 25% want the US to succeed. But I'm surprised only 1 in 4 want to dissolve their ties to California, New York, and Massachusetts...
"A society that puts equality - in the sense of equality of outcome - ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom. The use of force to achieve equality will destroy freedom" Milton Friedman, Free to Choose
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Post#608 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Tue Dec 4, 2012 10:14 pm by hands11

Severn Hoos wrote:Well, I suppose a lot more than 25% want the US to secede. But I'm surprised only 1 in 4 want to dissolve their ties to California, New York, and Massachusetts...


Want the who ?
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Post#609 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Tue Dec 4, 2012 10:37 pm by montestewart

hands11 wrote:
Severn Hoos wrote:Well, I suppose a lot more than 25% want the US to succeed. But I'm surprised only 1 in 4 want to dissolve their ties to California, New York, and Massachusetts...


Want the who ?

Image
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Post#610 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Wed Dec 5, 2012 1:32 am by hands11

PPP poll

49% of GOP voter believe ACORN helped steal the election for President Obama.

Not the first Obama election. This election that we just had.

Hmmm.
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Post#611 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Wed Dec 5, 2012 2:31 pm by DCZards

hands11 wrote:PPP poll

49% of GOP voter believe ACORN helped steal the election for President Obama.

Not the first Obama election. This election that we just had.

Hmmm.



It's incredible all of stupid reasons that Mitt and the Repubs have come up with for losing the election, most notably the crazy idea that 60 million people voted for Obama because he's given them "gifts." The Repubs need to figure out that their message and their candidate was the problem. They need to recognize that saying that "47%" of Americans lack personal responsibility or suggesting that immigrants should "self-deport" or trying to blatantly supress the votes of low-income minorities is a losing recipe.
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Post#612 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Wed Dec 5, 2012 3:14 pm by dobrojim

not just low-income minorities but (they wanted to suppress) most demographics that favored
Dems significantly over pubs. It was scary but in hindsight, I think it backfired, made people
more determined to vote. Serves em right.
A lot of what we call 'thought' is just mental activity
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Post#613 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Sat Dec 8, 2012 1:40 pm by popper

This should stir up a lively discussion.

"Poor" Households Getting $168 in Welfare Per Day from Taxpayers

• Katie Pavlich
News Editor, Townhall
Dec 07, 2012 03:19 PM EST


It's official. Taxpayers are no longer simply helping the poor, they're subsidizing the lives of welfare recipients at a better rate than their own. The Senate Budget Committee has released a report showing households living below the poverty line and receiving welfare payments are raking in the equivalent of $168 per day in benefits which come in the form of food stamps, housing, childcare, healthcare and more. The median household income in 2011 was $50,054, totaling $137.13 per day. The worst part? Welfare payments are equivalent to making $30 per hour for 40 hours a week. The median wage for non-welfare recipients is $25 per hour but because they pay taxes, unlike welfare recipients, the wage is bumped down to $21 per hour.

From the report:
For fiscal year 2011, CRS identified roughly 80 overlapping federal means-tested welfare programs that together represented the single largest budget item in 2011—more than the nation spends on Social Security, Medicare, or national defense. The total amount spent on these federal programs, when taken together with approximately $280 billion in state contributions, amounted to roughly $1 trillion. Nearly 95 percent of these costs come from four categories of spending: medical assistance, cash assistance, food assistance, and social / housing assistance. Under the President’s FY13 budget proposal, means-tested spending would increase an additional 30 percent over the next four years.

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavli ... _taxpayers
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Post#614 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Sun Dec 9, 2012 12:50 pm by Zonkerbl

Welfare fraud exists, but is tiny and insignificant...

http://getoutofdebt.org/47479/welfare-a ... ng-pattern

"The disturbing part of all the claims of benefit and welfare fraud is that there appears to be little support to backup the urban tales."
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Post#615 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Sun Dec 9, 2012 2:44 pm by popper

Zonkerbl wrote:Welfare fraud exits, but is tiny and insignificant...

http://getoutofdebt.org/47479/welfare-a ... ng-pattern

"The disturbing part of all the claims of benefit and welfare fraud is that there appears to be little support to backup the urban tales."


Zonk - I don't think the Senate report was looking in to fraudulent claims but instead established that it is more lucrative for a household to collect benefits for not working vs. working and earning $50K or less. In other words, better to be on the govt. dole than have a job paying $50K.
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Post#616 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Sun Dec 9, 2012 5:02 pm by Zonkerbl

Not in response to you , Popper. Pure wild coincidence -- lots of welfare studies coming out recently, I guess.
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Post#617 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Sun Dec 9, 2012 8:32 pm by doclinkin

popper wrote:Zonk - I don't think the Senate report was looking in to fraudulent claims but instead established that it is more lucrative for a household to collect benefits for not working vs. working and earning $50K or less. In other words, better to be on the govt. dole than have a job paying $50K.



No it is not. No it does not:

UPDATE: ...it should be pointed out the $168 includes all costs incurred by the federal government to deliver benefits, including administrative costs.


(addendum to the article).
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Post#618 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Sun Dec 9, 2012 11:13 pm by popper

doclinkin wrote:
popper wrote:Zonk - I don't think the Senate report was looking in to fraudulent claims but instead established that it is more lucrative for a household to collect benefits for not working vs. working and earning $50K or less. In other words, better to be on the govt. dole than have a job paying $50K.



No it is not. No it does not:

UPDATE: ...it should be pointed out the $168 includes all costs incurred by the federal government to deliver benefits, including administrative costs.


(addendum to the article).


Good catch doc. I wish they would tell the reader what percentage of the $168 per day is govt. cost for processing and delivering the welfare payments. Do you know that figure?
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Post#619 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:34 am by doclinkin

Nope.

The article is poorly resourced, and trying to track down the info from Jeff Sessions' (R-'Bama) site proved fruitless so far (defunct links, no hard data pages, just fluff). But I recall reading that the government saves a good deal of money since the majority of people who qualify for government assistance do not take advantage of it.

Not sure if that actually makes your point for you (we pay for services that we do not deliver to those who need them) but nobody is getting rich off welfare.

Closest case I can see is the few who manage to qualify for subsidized housing have a disincentive to earn above a certain amount or they will be kicked off the rolls. The demand for housing and rent vouchers far exceeds the supply and nobody wants to have to be forced to move so I suspect there's a few people gaming the system there.

That said, in NYC I knew a homeless family who finally qualified for subsidized housing and the look on those kids faces when they explored the tiny apartment was invaluable. Her kids got health care, education, she got afterschool care while she worked and took classes -- all subsidized by tax dollars-- and I heard eventually she was able to get a loan to buy her own place. They were living in a box under an elevated rail platform and the kids had ringworm etc. Husband died young, they had no insurance, etc. String of bad luck. I'd accept a few people gaming the system to prevent those kids from having to take turns sitting up at night with broomhandle spears to watch for rats and the like.

It's worth a few dollars siphoned from the creme at the top to provide assistance for those who truly need it. A civil society looks out for the disadvantaged, it is one of the burdens if success: to whom much is given much is expected. And the truth is it provides insurance even for the comfortable and well off: epidemics start in an overcrowded malnourished populace; to say nothing of insurgency, domestic terrorism etc. There are not as many jobs in the world as there are people willing and able to work them Just a fact, some people will slip through the cracks. Are you bribing the populace to remain complacent? Maybe, but otherwise you'd be paying that cost elsewhere in mercenary escorts and armored transports to protect deliveries to pharmacies and supermarkets. Food, medicine, pampers, and baby formula. No mother will let their baby suffer without trying something radical to solve the problem.
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Post#620 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:48 am by doclinkin

But that said it's a really stupid article. I could sum the salaries and bonuses of all the McDonalds CEOs and franchise owners then divide by the total number of employees to show you how overpaid your average fry guy is compared to school teachers and policemen. Would make a cute graph, but not a useful bit of information.
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