Article: 60% of oil price is speculation

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MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

The Interstate Commerce Commission is a perfect example of how it is done. Government decides freight rates need regulation to protect the little guy, then they stack the Commission with freight hauling guys. After all who understands and can better regulate the business than those in it?

So how did that work? Rates went up enough to make sure almost every one in the freight hauling business could make a profit.

Another market failure to be sure.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

djolds1
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Post by djolds1 »

TallDave wrote:O ye of little perspective.

Lliberal democracies generally experience a natural, inevitable, beneficial oscillation around the center (let us call it POPS: Periodically Oscillating Political Spheres). France, Germany, Canada, and England have all moved from Left to Right, despite the wars and America's alleged unpopularity. Australia and the U.S. are moving from Right to Left, as Spain did a few years ago.
Generally agree.
TallDave wrote:So we've had a few years for Repubs to screw up the country, and now they're losing power. After several years of being equally horrified at what the Democrats are doing, the country will move right again.
Not quite. In the US the locus of actual power is the Congress. The Left owned that for approx 65 years, ~1930-1995.
Vae Victis

djolds1
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Post by djolds1 »

MSimon wrote:The Interstate Commerce Commission is a perfect example of how it is done. Government decides freight rates need regulation to protect the little guy, then they stack the Commission with freight hauling guys. After all who understands and can better regulate the business than those in it?

So how did that work? Rates went up enough to make sure almost every one in the freight hauling business could make a profit.

Another market failure to be sure.
You're approaching matters using a fundamental error, Simon. You're thinking things should be dealt with rationally.

The members of this board, and my other boards and lists, are mutants, Simon. They're rational. The bulk of the human species is not rational. It is rationalizing. And that makes the range of the politically achievable, favorable and probable far different from what cold hard calculation indicates it should be. Thee and me get to pick the tiger closest to our own predilections, and ride it.

Oh, and about party hierarchy vs the "base" population:

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Bertolt_Brecht

Some party hack decreed that the people
had lost the government's confidence
and could only regain it with redoubled effort.
If that is the case, would it not be be simpler,
If the government simply dissolved the people
And elected another?

Vox populi vox dei, not vox partes vox dei.
Vae Victis

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

Duane,

I guess my sarcasm didn't come through. Let me restate it. Every effort to restrain big business will only serve to give it and the government more power.

The vast majority of humans are 90% emotional and 10% rational. They all want to vote for "some one like me". Some one they can trust, because of shared "values" (really culture).

My hope is that cheap energy can temporarily reduce the mischief.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

djolds1
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Post by djolds1 »

MSimon wrote:Duane,

I guess my sarcasm didn't come through. Let me restate it. Every effort to restrain big business will only serve to give it and the government more power.
Yup. :|

Inevitable. And it appears that the population is now willing to sign onto financial sector reregulation and "rational" higher taxes for services, such as health care. The eternal refrain of "tax cuts" has now become a caricature. People know there's only so far you can go before it becomes foolish. And soak the rick will sell.
MSimon wrote:The vast majority of humans are 90% emotional and 10% rational. They all want to vote for "some one like me". Some one they can trust, because of shared "values" (really culture).

My hope is that cheap energy can temporarily reduce the mischief.
Here's to hoping. :)

Add in a few more processes and technologies on the cusp of realization and the economic costs of many things will drop drastically. Including welfare state services.

Duane
Vae Victis

dch24
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Post by dch24 »

MSimon wrote:Every effort to restrain big business will only serve to give it and the government more power.
Then you are not a Neoconservative:
Wikipedia wrote:Neoconservatism emphasizes foreign policy as the paramount responsibility of government, maintaining that America's role as the world's sole superpower is indispensable to establishing and maintaining global order.
Neoconservatives (by their own definition) are opposed to limits or checks on government. Because of those in my family who have paid the ultimate price for freedom, I oppose preemptive war; that puts me directly at odds with Neoconservatives. MSimon, you and I agree on a lot of things that are happening in this country (polywells most of all). Unfortunately, this is one where we disagree:

http://www.usenvy.com/worldpolicer.html
And what did we do when we had finished our work? We tried to leave those places, and have left those places, better than we found them and under leadership of their own people. And this is not just a recent phenomenon for the United States. This is always the way we have done it. And just look at our record over the last 50 or 60 years of what we have done in the aftermath of conflict; it is a proud record that all Americans and all freedom-loving people throughout the world should be proud of."
History
does
not
agree
with
this
neoconservative
lie.

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

dch24,

I'm against preemptive war too. Just like the Euros of 1936 were against it. Like them I'm willing to take my chances on a 1939 to 1945. Peace for our time I say. We should pay no attention to what our enemies say their objectives are. Who can believe such craziness? World domination of a single religion under a caliph? How much nuttier can you get? Their grievances are just and once satisfied there will be peace.

\sarcasm off

As to being a neo-con - I was under the impression that it applied to foreign policy. Of course it is entirely possible I don't know what I am and will forever be an outcast from all "civilized" people with the "correct" attitudes. Story of my life.

It has never bothered me before and I see no point at this late date of letting it be an irritant now.

I have the arrogance of an engineer (so my mate tells me) and am only humbled by facts. Which is why I used to be a Democrat (say isn't former Democrat one of the requirements for neo-conism? Maybe I am one after all)

==

Yeah. Germany, Japan, and South Korea are all worse off. I can see that. You have convinced me. Where do I sign up?

And giving up on South Vietnam was a brilliant move. About 160,000 killed in re-ed camps. 3 million in Cambodia and aprox. a million dead at sea (boat people). But we got a lot of good Vietnamese restaurants out of it so I guess it all balances out in the end. I mean it is not like we have any responsibility to their kind. We could do the same in Iraq and wash our hands of the matter. Arabs mean nothing to us. It is not like they are real people.

==

You know, the after math of leaving Vietnam is why I am no longer a Democrat. So that argument is not going to work so well with me. I'm not for giving up the Iraqi people to the jihadis. I had that attitude towards 'Nam and my soul will be forever blood stained from it. I did get humbled by facts.

BTW both the UN and the Iraqi government say it is our responsiblity to stay (something the UN didn't have the courage to do). Don't Progressives believe in the UN any more? Don't our agreements with the Iraqi government mean anything? No more than the agreements with the South Vietnamese I guess.

Well I suppose a full scale war in the ME is preferable to the current situation. The total dismemberment of Lebanon is probably preferable to the partial dismemberment that is the current situation.

Syria deserves to rule Lebanon. It is not like the Baathists of Syria are animated by Nazi philosophy or anything. Or the Baathists of Iraq for that matter. I'll bet Progressives have been reading "Liberal Fascism" and have come to the conclusion that since they are liberal fascism must be good. For other people any way.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

djolds1
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Post by djolds1 »

MSimon wrote:dch24,

I'm against preemptive war too. Just like the Euros of 1936 were against it. Like them I'm willing to take my chances on a 1939 to 1945. Peace for our time I say. We should pay no attention to what our enemies say their objectives are. Who can believe such craziness? World domination of a single religion under a caliph? How much nuttier can you get? Their grievances are just and once satisfied there will be peace.

\sarcasm off

(Snippus Dei)

Syria deserves to rule Lebanon. It is not like the Baathists of Syria are animated by Nazi philosophy or anything. Or the Baathists of Iraq for that matter. I'll bet Progressives have been reading "Liberal Fascism" and have come to the conclusion that since they are liberal fascism must be good. For other people any way.
D*mn Simon. We've got to stop agreeing like this. The shock will lead to apoplectic conniptions. :D

I will say that I'm more tolerant of a somewhat intrusive security regime, but then the spread of Information Technology supported Surveillance Society systems (facial recognition, gait recognition, body posture analysis, T-wave scans, data mining, truth monitoring techniques) is inevitable in the near term.

Duane
Vae Victis

Helius
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Post by Helius »

MSimon wrote:The Interstate Commerce Commission is a perfect example of how it is done. Government decides freight rates need regulation to protect the little guy, then they stack the Commission with freight hauling guys. After all who understands and can better regulate the business than those in it?

So how did that work? Rates went up enough to make sure almost every one in the freight hauling business could make a profit.

Another market failure to be sure.
Maybe the freight Industry will also blow up in our faces, as has so much other anti-capitalism contrivance. Capitalism needs to be much more organic, save some government effort to keep the very bottom safe. Capitalism is an economic echo of biological natural selection. Contrivance breaks it.
I get a kick out of my own electric bill: I now pay the producers seperately from the deliverers. It's an obvious contrivance to zero sum the market. We can do the same thing with Natural Gas. Same pipe, different gas. :lol:

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

Helius,

Eliminating the contrivance is impossible. Sorry.

Ten thousand mom and pop businesses are not going to produce a 747-400. Not going to happen. Same goes for electric power distribution.

If you want the advantages of large co-ordinated systems you are going to need large entities to co-ordinate them. So far the only exception to that rule is the Internet. So other systems may go that way. We are not there yet. And in any case when the 'net fails people don't fall out of the sky. When the stakes are that big something has to stand behind it.

And lest I leave fusion out. We are working like dogs here and some one else is going to directly benefit. Our benefits for the most part will be indirect. I don't care. I want to do it any way.

EMC2 right now is a 5 man shop with a hundred part timers working for free on various aspects. Not to mention the 100s of thousands giving moral and political support. So by being here you are supporting a potentially multi billion dollar company and you can't even benefit by buying stock.

Duane,

We have always agreed on the big picture. It is the politics of the moment where the friction lies. Tactics vs strategy.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

djolds1
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Post by djolds1 »

MSimon wrote:Helius,

Eliminating the contrivance is impossible. Sorry.

Ten thousand mom and pop businesses are not going to produce a 747-400. Not going to happen. Same goes for electric power distribution.
There's no such thing as a free market. An absolutely "free" market leads quickly to one gang triumphant aka feudalism aka market regulation.

Regulated markets of one sort or another are inevitable in civilized humanity. And unless we want to go back to being neolithic hunter-gatherers...
MSimon wrote:And lest I leave fusion out. We are working like dogs here and some one else is going to directly benefit. Our benefits for the most part will be indirect. I don't care. I want to do it any way.


Perhaps. The BFR strongly reminds me of the cotton gin. Too damned useful for the patents not to be violated worldwide. Should see generous profits in the North Atlantic at least, however. More than enough to cover development costs and make generous fortunes for those involved.
MSimon wrote:Duane,

We have always agreed on the big picture. It is the politics of the moment where the friction lies. Tactics vs strategy.
I'm more comfortable with a degree of dirigisme.

Duane
Vae Victis

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

I'm more comfortable with a degree of dirigisme.
It always depends on the degree and in what areas of the economy. Generally the less the better.

I like the example of the telephone in the USA. A regulated monopoly made sense in the first 100 years. With more than one pipe available and interconnection rules some de-regulation made sense. Thankfully it happened. Other places saw the value of more entrants and also de-regulated.

I like the American attitude of as little dirigisme as possible.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

OneWayTraffic
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Post by OneWayTraffic »

MSimon wrote:

==

Yeah. Germany, Japan, and South Korea are all worse off. I can see that. You have convinced me. Where do I sign up?

And giving up on South Vietnam was a brilliant move. About 160,000 killed in re-ed camps. 3 million in Cambodia and aprox. a million dead at sea (boat people). But we got a lot of good Vietnamese restaurants out of it so I guess it all balances out in the end. I mean it is not like we have any responsibility to their kind. We could do the same in Iraq and wash our hands of the matter. Arabs mean nothing to us. It is not like they are real people.

==

You know, the after math of leaving Vietnam is why I am no longer a Democrat. So that argument is not going to work so well with me. I'm not for giving up the Iraqi people to the jihadis. I had that attitude towards 'Nam and my soul will be forever blood stained from it. I did get humbled by facts.

BTW both the UN and the Iraqi government say it is our responsiblity to stay (something the UN didn't have the courage to do). Don't Progressives believe in the UN any more? Don't our agreements with the Iraqi government mean anything? No more than the agreements with the South Vietnamese I guess.
Some points. First one can not compare Germany and Japan to Iraq. They waged unlimited war on several neighbours with pretty much full internal support. Hence all those who were capable or willing to resist occupation got themselves killed. The others were just sick and tired of it all. In Iraq however, there were plenty of disaffected survivors. Germany and Japan were also single nations with a strong identity. Unfortunately Iraq isn't (at least not yet.)

South Korea was effectively a situation where you'd thrown out the occupiers and then turned around and fought for their freedom vs the communist North. (Despite all this it's amazing how much anti Americanism there is here). Vietnam, on the other hand, is more analogus to a situation where you were occupiers. You were viewed as taking over from the French, whereas in Korea you were never viewed as taking over from Japan.

I think the best thing to do with Vietnam would have been to keep out of the whole sticky mess to start with: you weren't willing or prepared to do what was required to win the war.

As for Iraq: You're there now. Obama is right insofar as you shouldn't be there at all, but that's not policy but rather wishful thinking. Now you're there you should stay, but it's just not going to happen. Thinking otherwise is also wishful thinking IMO.

Times like this I'm glad I'm a New Zealander. I never met any anti New Zealanders.

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

South Vietnam by 1973 had its own autonomous government with about 30,000 American troops helping to hold the fort. (I could be wrong about troop numbers in '73. It is near the correct number for '75)

The fort fell in 1975 to NVA divisions crossing the border and the US Congress denying promised support. The American military won that war. Congress surrendered.

History my man. History. You can have your own opinions. You are not entitled to your own facts.

==

Iraq is coming around. IIRC one American died in Iraq last week. Iraqis will hold another round of national elections in October.

Why Iraq? As in all wars you have to look at three things. Location, location, and location.

==

The top dog is always hated. Goes with the territory.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

JohnP
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Post by JohnP »

Might be crazy, but IF the price of oil is now largely speculation, not fundamentals, and IF the speculators trade on rumors (mostly bad, driving price up), then... what will happen if there's an announcement of a successful Polywell test? Would it be shrugged off as too esoteric to affect the market? Or would it pop the bubble?

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