Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html en-gb 30 Mon 31 Aug 2015 15:45:11 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html dennisjunior1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=99#comment203 Justin:Some segments in the United States society wants to protect the market place against international trade, since it was not offering the average U.S. Citizen a job and a better future.~Dennis Junior~ Wed 25 Feb 2009 04:00:01 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=99#comment202 200. At 08:34am on 15 Feb 2009, annscannBeautifulThanks good to see it said. If you have never watched "the yes men" you should.A docucomedy .Why have slaves when it is cheaper to not have to pay for them to be rounded up shipped and fed. Expensive slaves are worth spending some money for the doctor on.You would like it I suspect, only taking into account this letter.They do have a rather unsavoury (to some ) suit involved, but all in the best possible taste.199 Sean I had a loaf of bread last 8 months in a drawer.No plastic is that good. Mon 16 Feb 2009 03:26:48 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=98#comment201 191 Ed:I didn't notice 191 before. That is an interesting comment. Thank you for posting it. Mon 16 Feb 2009 03:16:34 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=98#comment200 200 annscann"I'll read this later and be embarrassed."No need to be, I thought it was a very good post. Wal-Mart is a perfect example. The family holds the 4/5/6/7/8 spots on the Top Ten list of Wealthiest Americans and their employees can't afford health care?There is truly something wrong with this picture. Sun 15 Feb 2009 14:49:32 GMT+1 annscann http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=97#comment199 All right. I'm trying not to leave a rant-y post regarding the one-sided portrayal of regulating free trade. But if you lived in Detroit you wouldn't be worrying about the negative effects of a marginally less free market. You would be experiencing the negative effects of what happens in a free market. I don't know how many homeless people someone has to see before they stop calling it progress. And that one link to the pro-America website nearly shocked me half to death until I saw that a freakishly conservative US think tank devoted to promoting free trade and "traditional American values" had something to do with it. It's called The Heritage Foundation. Go to their website and download the pdf to a lovely little piece called The 2009 Index of Economic Freedom. They evaluate the trade policies of each country and those that pay their workers the least with the smallest amount of government intervention are the most free. Except that by "free" they mean free to exploit the crap out of everyone who doesn't own a multinational corporation. I don't know... it just seems weird that my government is totally cool with protecting me when the sacrifice is my civil liberties. And they'll kidnap and torture someone for being brown and foreign and call it a "tough decision" that had to be made. (As though it was an act of bravery for the US government to subvert their own laws.) But protection suddenly gets an "ism" attached to it if you point out that the free market isn't really helping out the working class. Actually, the more free it gets, the more workers have to sacrifice. And it's like this in most countries, because everyone needs a job to survive and the more rare work becomes, the less an employer has to pay you. You can work a full time job and not be able to afford the employer health insurance. Wal-Mart does that, for example, and it's not because they're incompetent. On top of that, labor unions (barely plural) are demonized and partially blamed for the US auto industry's ungraceful death. People support globalization so much that child labor and sweat shops are more tolerable than blue collar workers organizing to get health care. Yeah, I'm the unreasonable one for not buying the products of companies, including most American companies, that literally decide where to manufacture based on how much a government will allow its people to be exploited. Slave owners made the same point to abolitionists. They explained that slavery was an integral part of their economic system and that the whole agricultural industry would collapse if they weren't allowed to own black people anymore. And that is exactly what happened. And the former slave owners became poor. Oh, the injustice! On the other hand, I may be oversimplifying the problem based on my personal experience. What's the free trade situation like in the UK? (Sorry for my long-windedness. I'll read this later and be embarrassed. I can feel it.) Sun 15 Feb 2009 08:34:26 GMT+1 seanspa http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=97#comment198 #198, there is no escape from chemicals. I was struck by just how long milk lasts in the US. A good number of days. back in the UK to was 2 days tops. Of course, it could be that US cows are bred that way (more chemicals). That's a neat circle. Anyone seen the happy cows commercial. Tue 10 Feb 2009 18:41:06 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=96#comment197 On spuds. is it a miracle that potato bight has not devastated Idaho?or plenty of good old fashion " pizzin."Same with Corn. How is it we have not had devestation of Iowa corn?More pizzin. Tue 10 Feb 2009 16:42:12 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=96#comment196 196 seanspaOh No! Not more Wendell Berry!! Two months ago I had never heard of the man and now I must have read close to (I hope) every word he has written!I do not know why Idaho potatoes are sold here, when we have a perfectly good potato growing Province P.E.I. Must be NAFTA!! Mon 09 Feb 2009 23:48:51 GMT+1 seanspa http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=95#comment195 timewaits, I searched on google and found this.Apparently some bloke called Berry thinks that we will not be able to grow a potato when we reach 30. I don't know if he was talking about Irish potatoes. I should add that we know how to grow them in Idaho. Mon 09 Feb 2009 22:38:02 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=95#comment194 194 bere54"British history" Keep in mind - much of American history is British history, so I'm sure you are underrating your knowledge. (Not that it deals with potatoes, as far as I know.)I'll let Ed answer the potato question and see if he can do so without quoting Wendell Berry! I jest! I jest! Mon 09 Feb 2009 20:20:13 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=94#comment193 According to Anthony Trollope (who admittedly specialized in fiction), it was the English who for some reason imposed the monoculture of the potato on the Irish. Is this really so? According to Ed, yes, so the English could have all their food, but I don't remember Anthony saying anything about that. Perhaps because he became obsessed with postal boxes, or perhaps because I just forgot.Since much of my "knowledge" of British history comes from Jane, Charles, Anthony, Miss George, and Charlotte and her siblings, it might not be very accurate. Mon 09 Feb 2009 17:39:30 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=94#comment192 At the height of the "potato famine", Ireland was exporting grain (under armed guard)."Records show Irish lands exported food even during the worst years of the Famine. When Ireland experienced a famine in 1782–83, ports were closed to keep Irish-grown food in Ireland to feed the Irish. Local food prices promptly dropped. Merchants lobbied against the export ban, but government in the 1780s overrode their protests; that export ban did not happen in the 1840s.[63]Cecil Woodham-Smith, an authority on the Irish Famine, wrote in The Great Hunger; Ireland 1845–1849 that no issue has provoked so much anger and embittered relations between England and Ireland as "the indisputable fact that huge quantities of food were exported from Ireland to England throughout the period when the people of Ireland were dying of starvation." Ireland remained a net exporter of food throughout most of the five-year famine."EWiki, where the article also discusses the dangers and consequences of dependence upon monocultures...And man, whose heav'n-erected faceThe smiles of love adorn, -Man's inhumanity to manMakes countless thousands mourn! from the Burns Unit Mon 09 Feb 2009 16:26:08 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=93#comment191 We also had crashes and financial panics long before the advent of the consumer society, along with plagues and so on, and an average life expectancy of 40 years. Some of my ancesters were driven out of Scotland in the highland clearances. They were subsistence farmers. Others left Ireland because of the potato famine.--------------------------------------All because of new horizons being explored by the wealthy of the time.the rich draeming of bigger profits, that is how the bubble happen. No poverty investment available.Potato blight of bad politics and oppression.If potato why was it so devestating.? was this relatively new crop being grown in monoculture conditions the problem.seems it was part of the problem. Not the great and tasty spud but the growing of so many in one space.Some go on about the potato blight as if it rather than politics were a crime. It is just a harmless 'bug' which by giving mono to it we gave strength.And did those descendants of the famine learn?NO they still to this day think things can't go wrong and grow in monocultures.But now there are poisons as well.Times were harsher shorter and well this is it. they were bad, but that was all down to politics. Famines were often down to politics.There were bad days no doubt but is it any better that bad days are now brought by US.the bad days in Zim average age of males=young. longevity has gone up, but only for the some. Mon 09 Feb 2009 15:27:16 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=93#comment190 For Foreigner and Sam, whose capitalist tendencies will recognise the inevitable consequences of treating capital as income... From the above-noted Catton classic , (Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change, Univ of Illinois, 1982)"The essence of the drawdown method is this: man began to spend nature's legacy as if it were income. Temporarily this made possible a dramatic increase in the quantity of energy per capita per year by which Homo colossus could do the things he wanted to do. This increase led, among other things, to reduced manpower requirements in agriculture. It also led to the development of many new occupational niches for increasingly diversified human beings. (Expansion of niches in Germany, America, and elsewhere from 1933 to 1945 was, it now appears, just a brief episode in this long-run development.) Because the new niches depended on spending the withdrawn savings, they were niches in what amounted to a "detritus ecosystem." Detritus, or an accumulation of dead organic matter, is nature's own version of ghost acreage. [12]Detritus ecosystems are not uncommon. When nutrients from decaying autumn leaves on land are carried by runoff from melting snows into a pond, their consumption by algae in the pond may be checked until springtime by the low winter temperatures that keep the algae from growing. When warm weather arrives, the inflow of nutrients may already be largely complete for the year. The algal population, unable to plan ahead, explodes in the halcyon days of spring in an irruption or bloom that soon exhausts the finite legacy of sustenance materials. This algal Age of Exuberance lasts only a few weeks. Long before the seasonal cycle can bring in more detritus, there is a massive die-off of these innocently incautious and exuberant organisms. Their "age of overpopulation" is very brief, and its sequel is swift and inescapable.When the fossil fuel legacy upon which Homo colossus was going to thrive for a time became seriously depleted, the human niches based on burning that legacy would collapse, just as detritovore niches collapse when the detritus is exhausted. For humans, the social ramifications of that collapse were unpleasant to contemplate. The Great Depression was, as we have seen, a mild preview. Detritus ecosystems flourish and collapse because they lack the life-sustaining biogeochemical circularity of other kinds of ecosystems. They are nature's own version of communities that prosper briefly by the drawdown method."Teelling stuff, and well worth a read in its entirety. I hope the Mods (who are as Gods) let this wee excerpt stand...Please!Salaam, etc.ed Mon 09 Feb 2009 14:37:26 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=92#comment189 Foreigner, "We spend less as a proportion of income on food than our ancestors, by a long distance."[and] "I suspect that the roughly 3 % of Americans who are farmers can tell a similar story. I also know that the variety and quantity of food available in the supermarket is far, far beyond enything I remember as a child."1. Food is cheap because of subsidy and our ability to import it using our overvalued currencies.2. the decline in farmers as a proportion of any culture is a classic sign of impending collapse. See Ponting's "A Green History of the World" or Catton's classic3. See 1. for the reasons behind the variety available. We have asparagus flown in from Peru in every British supermarket...Our pets live better than half the world's children. As to the reduction in the farming population, Berry,"IN OCTOBER OF 1993, the New York Times announced that the United States Census Bureau would "no longer count the number of Americans who live on farms " In explaining the decision, the Times provided some figures as troubling as they were unsurprising. Between 1910 and 1920, we had 32 million farmers living on farms-about a third of our population. By 1950, this population had declined, but our farm population was still 23 million. By 199l, the number was only 4.6 million, less than 2 percent of the national population. That is, our farm population had declined by an average of almost half a million people a year for forty-one years. Also, by 199l, 32 percent of our farm managers and 86 percent of our farmworkers did not live on the land they farmed.These figures describe a catastrophe that is now virtually complete. They announce that we no longer have an agricultural class that is, or that can require itself to be, recognized by the government; we no longer have a "farm vote" that is going to be of much concern to politicians. American farmers, who over the years have wondered whether or not they counted, may now put their minds at rest: they do not count. They have become statistically insignificant."[emphasis added]I remember the "farm vote" and its importance. It has now been replaced by the power of the Cargill/Monsanto/etc. lobby....Berry's "The Unsettling of America" is as appropriate today as when it was first published, if not moreso, ""When I was working on this book - from 1974 to 1977 - the long agricultural decline that it deals with was momentarily disguised as a "boom." The big farmers were getting bigger with the help of inflated land prices and borrowed money, and the foreign demand for American farm products was strong, so from the official point of view the situation looked good. The big were supposed to get bigger. Foreigners were supposed to be in need of our products. The official point of view, foreshortened as usual by statistics, superstitious theory, and wishful prediction, was utterly complacent.......Our soil erosion rates are worse now than during the years of the Dust Bowl. In the arid lands of the West, we are overusing and wasting the supplies of water. Toxic pollution from agricultural chemicals is a growing problem. We are closer every day to the final destruction of private ownership not only of small family farms, but of small usable properties of all kinds. Every problem I dealt with in this book, in fact, has grown worse since the book was written."A good, if depressing, read, as can be ssaid also of Ponting and Catton.Peace and time to read (and to cultivate a garden)ed Mon 09 Feb 2009 11:07:20 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=92#comment188 188 InterestedforeignerI am aware of his good deeds, but believe me he undoes it all in Quebec. He says many unkind and insulting things to and about French Canadians and especially their beloved Habs. I understand he is a wealthy man so he could do national unity a favour and retire. I can't remember what it was the last time but the Francophones were in an uproar! and we found ourselves rushing around reassuring them he did not represent ROC (the rest of Canada). Believe me you really do not want him representing you in Quebec. And we have better things to do than go around putting out fires started by Don Cherry."Best Prime Minister Canada never had"I have heard that a few times about Dion, so perhaps he has inherited the title from Stanfield. Or maybe it's best living Prime Minister.... Mon 09 Feb 2009 04:46:16 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=91#comment187 183. Timewaits.Cherry is different inside from the way he appears on Coach's Corner. Inside, behind the bluster, he has a good heart. He works tirelessly on behalf of any number of charities, particularly sick children's charities. When it comes to children, he is generous to a fault with his time. He is over 70, he long ago passed the point where he was independently wealthy, so he no longer needs to work. But he keeps plugging away for charity all the same. We could all do worse.Also, I always thought Bob Stanfield was the guy who was always called "the best Prime Minister Canada never had." Ed.: I'm not sure where to start. I do know that Canada produces more food now than it did when roughly 70 % of the population lived off the land, and agriculture and agricultural exports have always been and presumably will always account for large sectors of our economy. I'm not sure, but I suspect that the roughly 3 % of Americans who are farmers can tell a similar story. I also know that the variety and quantity of food available in the supermarket is far, far beyond enything I remember as a child.We spend less as a proportion of income on food than our ancestors, by a long distance. Most of us work less than an hour per day to earn the cost of feeding our families, which is considerably less than our ancestors did as farmers, whether in a cash society or in a barter society. We also had crashes and financial panics long before the advent of the consumer society, along with plagues and so on, and an average life expectancy of 40 years. Some of my ancesters were driven out of Scotland in the highland clearances. They were subsistence farmers. Others left Ireland because of the potato famine. The good old days weren't necessarily all that good.As far as I can see, financial crashes are caused by human folly, and I do not think anyone has yet invented an economic system that outlaws that. Mon 09 Feb 2009 03:30:18 GMT+1 timohio http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=91#comment186 re. 185. funglegunk:See above, post 20. Mon 09 Feb 2009 02:27:12 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=90#comment185 Rob (184), Understood and agreed. I'm not a communist, more a communitarian, but with definite anarchist leanings..."I heartily accept the motto, "That government is best which governs least"; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe-- "That government is best which governs not at all" -- and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have."ThoreauAnd"Why is it so hard to rule?Because people are so clever.Rulers who try to use clevernessCheat the country.Those who rule without clevernessAre a blessing to the land.These are the two alternatives.Understanding these is Primal Virtue.Primal Virtue is deep and far.It leads all things backToward the great oneness."Lao TzuPeace and the Taoed Mon 09 Feb 2009 01:35:54 GMT+1 El Cid http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=90#comment184 Does anybody else find the use of '-gate' as a suffix for every scandal a little irritating?Bloody journalists! Sun 08 Feb 2009 21:39:48 GMT+1 robloop http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=89#comment183 173 Ed Iglehart My point to dceilar, Ed - which I thought was fairly obvious (and not intended to indulge in capitalist - communist polemics) - was that to say "capitalist trade is environmentally damaging" ignores the environmental damage caused not only because of "capitalist trade" but also because of trade generally, not least communist manufacture. He, after all, said he considered himself a 'communist-anarchist', which was an interesting thought. Try being an 'anarchist' in a communist country and you get a bullet between the eyes. Sun 08 Feb 2009 19:46:19 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=89#comment182 publiusdetroit"The Hockey Theme."CTV bought the rights so it is now played on RDS (french) and TSN. I like Ron MacLean but as far as I'm concerned you may have Don Cherry. He makes far too many anti-Quebec, anti-Canadiens statements. Very insulting to our fellow Quebecers. That we do not need, we are all trying to get along here. And succeeding remarkably well. If watching CBC we put him on mute. So you see, we really do not need him.I am a big fan of Stephane Dion. I believe him to be a really good man. He is mild mannered, sincere and very intelligent. Unfortunately for him and the Liberal Party, not a politician. Look at the abuse he took from Stephen Harper (totally unacceptable). He did not reply in kind, but instead kept his dignity. He is a gentleman.And... do not forget, he stopped Stephen Harper in his tracks!! That was an accomplishment.As someone said, "He is the best Prime Minister Canada never had." Sun 08 Feb 2009 16:47:57 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=88#comment181 Foreigner,Just a note that, having looked at your figures, I suspect a correlation between the "service" dominance of the listed economies and their relatively high $/Kg ratios. I note that the highest ratings are from those countries with the highest dependence upon "financial services", and remind you that very little is more abstract (and inedible) than money.It is an observation of Berry's (and mine too) that our culture has, over the past half century or more, consistently awarded more and more status (and cash) to indoor, abstract employment, and less and less to outdoor, "practical" (concrete) endeavour. How realistic is that?""We are often cautioned that we must live in the 'real world' by folk who mean 'money', a concept more abstract than theoretical physics."Interesting Timesed Sun 08 Feb 2009 13:32:19 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=88#comment180 Foreigner, We are on the same side, but I remind you where our minor disagreement began, "Think about how the US has, in real terms, reduced the energy input per dollar of GDP by a factor of perhaps 6 or 8 since the 1970's. That is what we want to encourage. That is what a functioning intellectual property regime does."A factor of 6 or 8??? And, later the unsupported assertion that good protection of "intellectual property" leads to efficient resource usage. I still see no evidence.So far, we have developed a large segment of "service" in our economy, and, here in the UK, the high level mof dependence upon "financial services (30%?) has left us looking at the prospect of suffering disproportionately in the present "downturn"... This "service" sector, however doesn't produce food, clothing or shelter, for all of which we increasingly depend upon cheap production and transport from elsewhere. The reason this remains possible is to some extent due to our control of the "financial services" and the introduction of money into cultures which had formerly little need of such a concept. By controlling the system and keeping our currencies severely over-valued, we have been able to "afford" imported food and other essentials while allowing our own capacities to degrade. I am not at all convinced that this situation can continue, nor that we are likely to be happy eating nothing but soybean-derived food jusst because we can produce that in surplus (unless we divert agriculture to the tail-chasing production of motor fuel)....What happens when fertiliser prices escalate with peak oil? We can't eat GDP. We can't eat "information" or data or money. The UK has gone from 72% self-sufficient in food to 58% over the last dozen years. This may change, now that the value of Sterling has declined by ~25%, and it may become "economic" to begin growing food here again...I fear you may be susceptible to at least one of the three modern fallacies: 1. "Marie Antoinette Economics", (the assumption of substitutability)2. "Custer's Folly", (the technological cavalry will save us from ecological disaster), and3. "False Complacency from Partial Success" (or "Not Beating the Wife As Much As Before")(see GDP link above)Peaceed Sun 08 Feb 2009 13:20:18 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=87#comment179 178 Ed.First, agreed, it is unsustainable, and unkustifiable for 5 % of the World's population to be consuming 25 % of the World's resources. However, it used to be even worse.A long time ago (15 - 20 years) I remember seeing a chart of energy consumption v. real GDP per capita, and it has a relentlessly downward slope. Trying to remember where and when is a bit of a challenge. Failing that, consider the Economist pocket book of Figures for 2007.Ignore the fact that the proportion of energy obtained from hydrocarbons varies from country to country, and just look at raw numbers for energy consumption converted to oil equivalent:Canada - Per capita GDP - US $ 30,850.per capita energy use kg oil equivalent 8240 kg. = Approx 3.93 $/kg = pretty poor for a developed economy. Other developed economies with cold climates do much better, e.g.,Finland = $ 35,750; 7204; = about 4.96Sweden - Per capita GDP - US $ 38,920; 5754; = 6.78US = $ 39,450; 7,843; = 5.03Switz = $ 49,660; 3,689; = 13.4 (remarkably good.)UK = 35,760; 3,893; = roughly 8.9Japan = 36,170; 4,053; = roughly 8.93Saudi = 10,060; 5,607 = 1.8Russia = 4,080; 4,424; = roughly 0.9India = 640; 520 = roughly 1.22China = $ 1,470; 1,094 = roughly 1.34Indonesia = $ 1160; 753; = roughly 1.40Nigeria = $ 570; 777; = 0.74Ukraine= $ 1,340; 2,772; = roughly 0.47There are truths at both ends of the scale: It is highly important for developing economies to become less energy inefficient, and even more important for developed economies to reduce their absolute levels of energy consumption. Sun 08 Feb 2009 04:27:06 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=87#comment178 When American taxpayers see in the media that their stimulus package dollars are creating jobs in foreign countries while unemployment remains high in the US, they will be even angrier then they were seeing that the huge bail out of the banks that was supposed to make credit available to ordinary credit worthy borrowers again didn't work, that the banks just sat on the money. They will demand protectionism and they will get it...even if the US has to pull out of the WTO to give it to them. The world does not necessarily have to be a fair playing field for trade. For many Americans, especially workers, they sense that it's been stacked against them in the past as they've seen their jobs and factories go overseas to cheaper less regulated labor markets and where polution of the environment doesn't matter. And they will want redress. If the Congress doesn't give it to them, they will vote Congress out and replace it. Every two years the entire House of Representatives and 1/3 of the Senate is replaced. Immense pressure can be brought to bear on Congress. Remember the Kennedy McCain immigration bill that was squashed? Even if Obama doesn't agree with protectionism, in less than four years he faces another election. If he thwarts the will of the American people, he will be tarred with the depression and unemployment just as President Bush was tarred with Iraq. And if he still balks, Congress can override his vetoes. If things do not get a lot better, we will have protectionism in the US. The old rules no longer apply. Sun 08 Feb 2009 01:45:05 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=86#comment177 Foreigner, "For the gains on energy, it would take me some time to find where I read that, but the general point is correct. In the industrial revolution we used far more energy per unit of economic output than we do now. Over time as economies become more productive and move toward being based more heavily on services than on primary resource extraction and manufacturing they become less energy intensive."This may be true in theory, but the data (as from my previous response) don't seem to bear it out. "The difference between theory and practice in practice is greater than the difference between theory and practice in theory.""My point, which I believe to be correct, is that societies that have advanced legal regimes for the protection of intellectual property tend to use their resources more efficiently, and to tend to avoid despoiling the planet."Again, this may be the theory, but there is a remarkable lack of evidence. Who provides the market for Russia's rape of Nature? For Indonesia's deforestation? For Brazil's?North America currently consumes something like 25% of the annual resource harvest for the benefit of slightly more than 5% of the world's people, and is certainly one of the "societies that have advanced legal regimes for the protection of [its] intellectual property", and perhaps for [its] natural resources, but seems quite happy to be profligate with the resources of others... Gross Domestic Product, 2000 USA....N America,,,,,WorldGDP in million constant 1995 US dollars 9,008,507..... 9,701,656..... 34,109,900GDP PPP (million current international dollars)9,612,680.... 10,468,770..... 44,913,910Gross National Income (PPP, in million current international dollars), 2000 9,600,855..... 10,436,372.... 44,458,520GDP per capita, 2000 in 1995 US dollars31,806.....30,898..... 5,632 in current international dollars 33,939.....33,341..... 7,416Source:Earth TrendsGDP is a measure of consumptionI'd love to see some data which supports your theoretical view.Peaceed Sun 08 Feb 2009 01:17:01 GMT+1 dennisjunior1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=86#comment176 Justin Webb:PROTECTIONISM....If the United States passes the requirement that is being considered in the stimulus bill, the chance of a country or many complaining to World Trade Organisation on the issue, is very high...~Dennis Junior~ Sat 07 Feb 2009 23:11:12 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=85#comment175 153 Time waits:I don't know. It certainly is true that we have our own problems. But when your neighbour's house is on fire, you do what you can, you don't argue about the rental fee for the hose, and you hope your house don't catch fire, too. Considering last month's employement statistics, it appears that our roof is already smouldering. Why did we use tar shingles instead of steel ?151. At 1:24pm on 06 Feb 2009, Ed Iglehart wrote:InterestedForeigner, " I think you understate (or ignore), and thus "externalise" the downsides, such as genetic "property" polluting (and then prosecuting) neighbouring crops, patenting of traditional medicine (e.g. Indian Neem Tree), and vastly overstate the gains (energy per gdp):World As far as I am aware, it is a fundamental rule that you cannot obtain a patent for something that is not new. It is not my field of expertise, but my understanding is that if a medicinally active compound is known e.g., as an ancient herbal remedy, any patent obtained for it would be invalid. Similarly, a big fuss was made about a farmer who claimed the GM seeds for Round-up ready Canola had blown onto his land. Apparently those involved in the case thought it was a slam dunk on basic principles of patent law, and, on appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, so it turned out. The defendant did not establish that the patent was invalid, and apparently, whatever he was doing was clearly infringement. They felt there was a lot of heat, but not much light in the news reports of the case. Again, not my area of expertise. For the gains on energy, it would take me some time to find where I read that, but the general point is correct. In the industrial revolution we used far more energy per unit of economic output than we do now. Over time as economies become more productive and move toward being based more heavily on services than on primary resource extraction and manufacturing they become less energy intensive. My point, which I believe to be correct, is that societies that have advanced legal regimes for the protection of intellectual property tend to use their resources more efficiently, and to tend to avoid despoiling the planet. Russia, for example, is the wild west of almost any kind of protection of property rights, whether of real property, of choses-in-action, or of intangible property like patents, trade marks or copyrights. Where there is no law, one finds the worst abuses. Why? because legal regimes often arise from a need to compel people to internalise the negative externalities that arise from their behaviour. At first the legal regimes deal with gross examples of externalities, i.e., thou shalt not kill is a rule adopted even in societies in very early stages of development. Thou shalt not fish beyond your quota, or hunt before the first day of deer season, thou shalt pick up after thine pet, and thou shalt not smoke in an automobile while transporting children are rules that are adopted much later. In any case, before being we get too smug about our improvements in the last 30 - 40 years, the Swedes apparently still use less than half as much energy per capita as Canadians do. Not like sweden doesn't have a cold Winter, too. There is clearly plenty of scope for improvement on our part. Sat 07 Feb 2009 20:09:45 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=85#comment174 News from Wall Street "Actually, we have seen this movie before. Ever since it eventually dawned on the Street that the collapse of credit and housing would be murder on assets of virtually any kind, excepting gold, every effort by the government and the Fed to shore up the economy touched off a stock-market advance. And in almost every instance, the rise petered out as swiftly as it came.....While stock indexes have struggled up from their lows set last November, an awful lot of individual stocks have burrowed deeper into the investment doghouse.....As we have said countless times -- and you must be as tired of hearing it as we are of saying it -- this is a recession like no other that most folks alive have seen. It is as venomous as ever, and likely to grow more so before there is any sign of a sustainable recovery, and until there is, the only sensible investment approach is either abstinence or extreme caution....A recent conviction, and not only among savants who couldn't see, when the credit binge was in full rage and the housing bubble inflated to the bursting point, that the end was nigh, is that the second half, and certainly the fourth quarter, will see the eagerly awaited rebound both in the economy and the market, thanks to the endless infusion of money by Uncle Sam....We hope they are right, even while we are convinced they aren't. A rally can happen at any time, and a trillion bucks can always provide at least a temporary fillip to the stock market. But, in our book, the economy won't revive until at least sometime in 2010. And that means the bear market is going to be around for at least another year."-- Alan AbelsonThis is the one financial column I make a point of reading every week. It's probably my years in New York which gave me the appreciation of such acerbic wit. I thoroughly recommend a regular reading of Mr Abelson's commentary. His sub-headline for this week: "Mission Impossible:The president's hunt for someone who loves to pay taxes. A jobs report from hell."Peace and You've gotta laughed Sat 07 Feb 2009 15:11:18 GMT+1 DJRUSA http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=84#comment173 I am against protectionism per say, but if the U.S. Government is spending taxpayer money to increase U.S. employment, It is reasonable that efforts are made to make sure that is where the money goes.I think it is hypocritical for Europeans to be critical of this clause in a stimulus package. Airbus, the European defence industry, and many European farmers would be out of business if they didn't get favorable treatment. Sat 07 Feb 2009 13:35:13 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=84#comment172 Rob, "Capitalist trade is environmentally damaging, you say. Funnily enough, while at university we heard from the communists stories of wondrous environmental paradise behind the Iron Curtain,"You seemed to be engaging in the all-too-common one-dimensional thinking - if it ain't Capitalism then it's Communism. But, at the end of your post, sanity begins to emerge,"It's not just "Capitalist trade" that is the problem, it's man's negligence where manufacturing takes place."Though that still sounds as though you feel the only problem is at the point of manufacture, ignoring the matter of massive fossil use in manufacture, distribution and disposal and the depletion of finite resources, tom name but two more factors. An economy based upon trade (which requires continuous consumption) is inherently wasteful and environmentally destructive. I find myself irresistibly drawn back to Berry:"XXVII. The first thing we must begin to teach our children (and learn ourselves) is that we cannot spend and consume endlessly. We have got to learn to save and conserve. We do need a "new economy", but one that is founded on thrift and care, on saving and conserving, not on excess and waste. An economy based on waste is inherently and hopelessly violent, and war is its inevitable by-product. We need a peaceable economy.""houghts in the Presence of FearPeace and thrifted Sat 07 Feb 2009 13:05:42 GMT+1 ladycm http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=83#comment171 148. At 07:26am on 06 Feb 2009, GLfromColorado:"... many wait until an illness becomes serious enough to bring them to Emergency Rooms. The ER's cannot send sick people away by law. Many ER's cannot deal with the flood of people and cannot increase the staff nor room for non-pay patients".This and everything you said is spot on. This is angers me to no end. I have to say with all honesty, this is just as important as the failing economy. Many people are going bankrupt just trying to live. People are getting their claims denied for ridiculous reasons, can't afford their prescriptions; and can't go to Canada to get them. What the hell is going on here? Our government has completely FAILED us on this issue for years. While they have been pocketing money from insurance companies so they can stay in business and have ridiculous overhead costs; while being so inefficient that it makes our health care system the WORST in the post industrialized world. We are at the end of the rope here. If this issue doesn't get fixed, I am outta here. Sat 07 Feb 2009 08:04:32 GMT+1 robloop http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=83#comment170 160 dceilar Capitalist trade is environmentally damaging, you say. Funnily enough, while at university we heard from the communists stories of wondrous environmental paradise behind the Iron Curtain, but then the'curtain' collapsed and suddenly we discovered a big lie. All over the Soviet Union and Soviet satellite countries of eastern Europe there was environmental devastation, whether in Hungary with forests denuded by acid rain, or the Soviet Union itself. In the latter we learned that the once huge Lake Baikal had been reduced to a puddle compared to what it had been, large fishing boats stranded and rusting in what now appears a desert. Another large lake so radio-active no life existed in it and humans warned not to go near. It's not just "Capitalist trade" that is the problem, it's man's negligence where manufacturing takes place. Sat 07 Feb 2009 03:40:13 GMT+1 dogoneit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=82#comment169 I'm glad Daschle is out. We need single payer national health insurance and he belongs to the insurance industry.Protectionism is something the average American workingman now dreams of and which the Europeans, Japanese, and Chinese avidly practice.Europeans have ridiculous product regulations which they often ignore while enforcing them gainst everyone else. The plant where I work as an engineer in the US has often found that products we import from Europe flout CE standards that we worked our asses off to meet 5 or 10 years earlier on our products so we can sell a little to Europe. We have had German and Italian companies tell us that these standards either do not exist or don't apply to them. I have only had to deal in detail with 3 or 4 CE standards, but it seems to me that their main point is to keep out non-EU imports, especially from small manufacturers. (Europeans love big companies just as much as American politcians.)CCC Chinese regs are even worse as they require that you supply all the design information needed so that the Chinese can steal your design if they decide to. This is supposedly needed to protect the safety of those Chinese not killed off by their horrible domestic industial and commercial practices. In addition to this China manipulates both its currency and domestic raw material prices so it can suck in all the rest of the world's manufacturing.I would throw out that a 30% tariff against the EU and a 150% tariff against China would pretty much level the protectionist field. Compared to that the simple provision that US taxpayer funds spent to make US jobs should use materials made by people in the US seems to me to not go far enough. Sat 07 Feb 2009 02:00:44 GMT+1 publiusdetroit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=82#comment168 Ref 164 robloopI guess I spend too much time in Canada.OV is not just for breakfast, you know.I have to say I was happy when Stephane Dion stepped down from the Liberal Party; but then they chose Michael Ignatieff? Come on. There has to be a leader in that party somewhere.Ref 165 timewaitsfornomanI get to see Bell Centre when they play there on Hockey Night in Canada. Of course my bias is for the fans in Joe Lewis Arena; but I have driven in the city of Montreal a couple of times. I think the people there are more---ah---how to say this---energetic.By the way. I miss the old HNIC anthem, The Hockey Theme.Okay. You have suffered Stephen Harper long enough. I do not envy your choices to replace him.Sarah Palin is looking for a new position. She's right there in the Province of Alaska. She would be a great addition to the Conservative Party. It would give the Liberals a better chance.How about loaning us Ron MacLean and Grapes for the rest of the season. That will brighten our hockey broadcasts. Sat 07 Feb 2009 00:56:30 GMT+1 seanspa http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=81#comment167 Just been to the supermarket to get some beer. Kokanee, made in Creston, BC. It's a bit light, but better than bud. Then on to the liquor store to get some Idaho vodka.Liquor (spirits) is/are state regulated in Idaho and you can only buy it in state regulated liquor stores. Not all states are like this. California, if I recall correctly, has no such restriction. It's not so bad, though. Try getting anything to drink on a Sunday in South Carolina.Cheers. Sat 07 Feb 2009 00:21:18 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=81#comment166 69 #93ST, look at yourself carefully in the mirror. Take off all of your clothes and look very carfefully. Check front and back. If you don't have any bullet holes in you, it wasn't me you ran into.BTW, I do not own a Lincoln Town Car and never did. But I think it is a very nice comfortable riding car, easy on both the driver and passengers. And those I've driven handled better than the 1983 Rolls Royce I considered buying about 10 years ago. Looked surprisingly similar under the hood too. I spent 6 hours early this week as a passenger in a Hundai Sonata on a business trip (3 hours each way.) God I hate small cars. Sat 07 Feb 2009 00:10:10 GMT+1 seanspa http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=80#comment165 happy, read #163. We may have found our way in! Fri 06 Feb 2009 22:52:38 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=80#comment164 158 publiusdetroit"...and keep your stick on the ice!"Well.... everyone knows that!! And if they don't they should. Not going to score otherwise. Dare I say, "Go Habs Go!"Do you ever watch games from the Bell Centre? If so, do you get a feel for what the atmosphere is like? It's a mad house! Molsons et al - I believe people drink more when depressed so sales should be booming, fret not!"Keep the Harper government in place"Not on your life!! You know we are doing everything in our power to oust him, it's just a matter of time. So sorry, I'd rather give you a loan! Fri 06 Feb 2009 20:02:10 GMT+1 robloop http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=79#comment163 159 publiusdetroitEnjoyed your 158. You really like the juices!But re 159, do you seriously think that the out-of-his-depth Ignatief would do any better? Like a fish out of water! Fri 06 Feb 2009 19:51:17 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=79#comment162 157, publius:Derby Line straddles the Vermont/Canadian border. There is an opera house there with one half in Canada and the other in the U.S. I believe their library is the same; the stacks are in one country and the check-out counter in the other. This has been a big issue since the decision was made to require passports but I haven't seen it in the news lately and don't know how, or if, anything has been resolved.In 2000, I got lost up there and accidentally drove into Canada and only realized it when I saw the signs in French. That wouldn't happen now, I guess. Fri 06 Feb 2009 19:01:19 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=78#comment161 Ed, 150, 155:I'm glad you said it because I have thought it and been afraid to express it: our best hope lies in the total collapse of our economic system. It seems to me, economically uneducated though I am, that an economy based on consumerism and credit cannot be healthy or desirable in the long run. Sometimes a house can't be saved and must be demolished and a new one built on its site. Perhaps a rotted economy is the same. Fri 06 Feb 2009 18:51:55 GMT+1 seanspa http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=78#comment160 Ed, lovely neighborhood. Fri 06 Feb 2009 18:05:21 GMT+1 dceilar http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=77#comment159 #100 EdNamasteYou caught me with my Capitalist hat on! I was saying Capitalism, as we know it, needs more trade then there is at present (and it also needs more credit). I don't agree with Capitalism - I'm more of an anarchist-communist (if anything).You are, of course, correct about capitalist trade being environmentally damaging. Trade does not have to be all bad IMO, it long existed before capitalism, and can be done in a more sustainable localised way. I'm a long advocate of Schumacher's Small Is Beautiful. Fri 06 Feb 2009 17:53:29 GMT+1 publiusdetroit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=77#comment158 TimemanOh, yeah. I know it's asking a lot, but...Keep the Harper government in place so us Yanks can remember why we elected Obama. Fri 06 Feb 2009 16:16:26 GMT+1 publiusdetroit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=76#comment157 Ref 153 timewaitsfornomanSo... what can we do to help, in a positive Can-do sort of way?timemanInsure there are no lay-offs nor cut-backs at Molsons, LaBatts, Hiram Walker, Essex County wineries......and keep your stick on the ice! Fri 06 Feb 2009 16:08:18 GMT+1 publiusdetroit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=76#comment156 Ref 147 Interestedforeigner"The Ontario Peninsula is really an extension of the Ohio Valley."The busiest border crossing in the world is only a few miles from my door. In prosperous times I have seen semi-trucks backed up 6 miles on either side waiting to cross the Ambassador Bridge and clear Customs between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan. Automobile traffic backs up on Jefferson Avenue in Detroit, and Goyeau Street in Windsor waiting to get through the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel.Traffic between Port Huron, Michigan and Sarnia, Ontario is so heavy a second span was built next to the original Blue Water Bridge over the St. Clair River to accommadate the flow of commerce between our two countries.A new railway tunnel under the St. Clair River between Port Huron and Sarnia was built several years ago to expedite rail traffic between the two countries. Many People live on one side of the border and work on the other side; comuting back and forth daily. Until 2001, passing over the border through Customs and Immigration was little more than a speed bump. Travelers still can pass through rather quickly when carrying a US or Canadian passport. People who cross the border often can get a NEXUS card and breeze through Customs on either side simply by swiping the card through a reader.This may give an indication of how closely our two economies are tied together.Traffic on the bridges is pretty light these days. Fri 06 Feb 2009 15:50:55 GMT+1 robloop http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=75#comment155 123 ukwales Sorry to respond so late. The reply to you question is: Yes, I have, and before that successfully ran a division of a U.S. multinational that before my arrival had for 10 to 12 years run at either a loss or break-even, never profit. You don't get that right by spending on frivilous or unnecessary things. You focus on what gets the company out of a hole,in the process cutting waste - sometimes treading on toes and foregoing popularity.The first responsibility of any organization is 'Survival'. And when a country finds itself in what is a critical financial mess, that is the first responsibility of a government. Doing things that seem intended to win future votes, like pandering to trade unions, catering to the wishes of special interest groups, rewarding with favours those who supported your election, or giving millions of dollars (you don't have!) to Third World countries to pay for abortions, hardly adds up to really serious focus that reflects desperate urgency.Obama's comments yesterday were good in that he emphasized the potential for a"catastrophe", but then all of his actions should reflect the intense urgency of what is a critical situation. Fri 06 Feb 2009 15:38:18 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=75#comment154 (Re-posting #150)142,3, and 6, ViaMedia and Publius,The paradigm shift is indeed underway, and also the bottom is still some way off. I see scenario 1 (top down) as a non-starter - problem, not solution. Scenario 2 is exemplified in the Orion Society and its many cousins, including Resurgence, part of the great legacy of EF Schumacher, himself an heir of Gandhi (and thus Thoreau). Orion is based in Great Barrington Mass, and thus a neighbour to Bere, though their grassroots network spans the US (and Canada?) Both publish magazines which are very uplifting and refreshingly positive.Personally, despite the above lights in the tunnel, I have long thought it will involve scenario 3, and we may well be witnessing its beginning. There is indeed some way to go, I offer this site as a source for a huge number of thoughtful essays, papers, reviews, etc. related to the coming collapse.Sit down with a strong drink before reading. Ironically, I do believe our best hope lies in (or through) total collapse of the present economic system (to paraphrase Martin Sheen, "Sir, I don't see any system..."As Ed Abbey said, "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell," I reckon we might look for a similar expression involving "trade for the sake of trade" - Sorry, Sam.Bere, I love Vermont, though I've only briefly visited twice, quite some time ago. Regarding local traders, My Mom used to always support them, while I, thinking she was a fuddy-duddy, would spend hour or even days seeking out routes to get stuff wholesale and save a few dollars (much less than I could've made in the time spoent searching). Now, it seems I've turned into my Mother (I could've done worse!)Peace and Neighbourhooded Fri 06 Feb 2009 15:24:52 GMT+1 Simon21 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=75#comment153 116. At 8:24pm on 05 Feb 2009, MagicKirin wrote:ref #85Little history, the economy under Jimmy the Appeaser was worse than it is now.Carter inspired a mass resignation after his book came out.Alan Dershowitz exposed him in "The case Against Israel's ememies" I suggest you read it.But not if you want to read something of qualityAlan Dershovitz is something of a laughing stock.His unquestioning support for every israeli action is notorious as is his publicity seeking.His book states "Jimmy Carter "deserving a special place in hell…for [becoming] such an anti-Israel bigot" This by a man who has approved and advocated the use of torture.Stear well clear of anything by this fanatic Fri 06 Feb 2009 15:14:23 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=74#comment152 147 Interestedforeigner"That's what you do for old friends."The last paragraphs were really interesting a la JFK. "Ask not what America can do for Canada, ask what Canada can do for America."Makes me feel better already. So... what can we do to help, in a positive Can-do sort of way? Just don't ask for a loan! Pleased to see you agree with my meagre offerings. Fri 06 Feb 2009 14:47:26 GMT+1 SamTyler1969 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=74#comment151 #123Hi Taffy,Yes, and as a partner. Owner Sam Fri 06 Feb 2009 14:35:58 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=73#comment150 InterestedForeigner, ""Think about how the US has, in real terms, reduced the energy input per dollar of GDP by a factor of perhaps 6 or 8 since the 1970's. That is what we want to encourage. That is what a functioning intellectual property regime does."I think you understate (or ignore), and thus "externalise" the downsides, such as genetic "property" polluting (and then prosecuting) neighbouring crops, patenting of traditional medicine (e.g. Indian Neem Tree), and vastly overstate the gains (energy per gdp):WorldEnergy Production and Consumption (in thousand metric tons of oil equivalent)(USA....N. America.... World....)Total energy production, 2000: 1,675,770....2,050,633.... 10,077,984....Percentage change since 1980:8....16....37....Energy imports, 1997:614,662....673,759.... 1,521,506....Energy exports, 1997:105,118....285,889....3,419,104....Total energy consumption, 1999:2,269,985.... 2,511,765....9,702,786....Electricity consumption, 1999:286,999....327,018....1,040,770....Energy consumption per capita, 1997:7.96....7.95....1.64....Percentage change since 1990:5....5....0....Energy consumption per GDP, 1999: 264....268....244....Percentage change since 1990: -10....-10....-13....Source: World Resources Institute Country ProfilesAnd remember "property" is related to "appropriate" (as a verb) in the sense of "seize", "take" or "steal", thus the saying, "All property is theft.""Who so Hath his minde on taking,hath it no more on what he hath taken.MONTAIGNE, III. VI"PeaceedP.S. GDP is a very poor measure because it counts ambulance trips, flood damage repair, auto pileups, etc. any and all economic activity as positive. Like "trade" it is a measure of turnover, rather than value. Fri 06 Feb 2009 13:24:34 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=73#comment149 142,3, and 6, ViaMedia and Publius,The paradigm shift is indeed underway, and also the bottom is still some way off. I see scenario 1 (top down) as a non-starter - problem, not solution. Scenario 2 is exemplified in the Orion Society and its many cousins, including Resurgence, part of the great legacy of EF Schumacher, himself an heir of Gandhi (and thus Thoreau). Orion is based in Great Barrington Mass, and thus a neighbour to Bere, though their grassroots network spans the US (and Canada?) Both publish magazines which are very uplifting and refreshingly positive.Personally, despite the above lights in the tunnel, I have long thought it will involve scenario 3, and we may well be witnessing its beginning. There is indeed some way to go, I offer this site as a source for a huge number of thoughtful essays, papers, reviews, etc. related to the coming collapse.Sit down with a strong drink (or smoke) before reading. Ironically, I do believe our best hope lies in (through) total collapse of the present economic system (to paraphrase Martin Sheen, "Sir, I don't see any system..."As Ed Abbey said, "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer \cell," I reckon we might look for a similar expression involving "trade for the sake of trade" - Sorry, Sam.Bere, I love Vermont, though I've only briefly visited twice, quite some time ago. Regarding local traders, My Mom used to always support them, while I, thinking she was a fuddy-duddy, would spend hour or even days seeking out routes to get stuff wholesale and save a few dollars (much less than I could've made in the time spoent searching). Now, it seems I've turned into my Mother (I could've done worse!)Peace and Neighbourhooded Fri 06 Feb 2009 11:27:59 GMT+1 watermanaquarius http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=72#comment148 GLfromColorado # 148,Thank you for your assessment about US Health care spending and associated bureaucracy, but would not Sec. Clinton's choice only be more of the same?.From the fox- Daschle, in charge of the hen house pen pushers, to then ask a vixen - Hillary, who runs with the pill pushers to suggest the necessary nominee? Both appear to have little regard for the mechanics and the serviced article - the patients.Difficult times. I do not envy anybody who must take the reins to re-invigorate and introduce the required re-organisation in changing USA health care into a balanced fair system for all. Fri 06 Feb 2009 10:33:41 GMT+1 GLfromColorado http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=72#comment147 Many in the USA watching the health system believe that the tax issue helped avoid other problems with Mr. Daschle not just protectionism.In the US, less than 40% of each health dollar is spent in actually providing care to patients at this point. Any person coming into a hospital or clinic will see how many workers, how much time and how much space is being used processing forms, authorizations and records with the insurance companies. Doctors will tell anyone about the time spent on the phone pleading with high school graduates from the insurance company for medications, procedures and medical appliances with patients' life and condition in the balance.Americans now have the most expensive health care per person system in the world. This health care system also provides some of the highest groups of the death rates among the "rich," countries, particularly for infants and children.The numbers of US citizens who cannot afford health care insurance have increased into the tens of millions, at this point. Instead, many wait until an illness becomes serious enough to bring them to Emergency Rooms. The ER's cannot send sick people away by law. Many ER's cannot deal with the flood of people and cannot increase the staff nor room for non-pay patients. When the ability of the ER to handle the number of serious patients, one sees increasing incidents in which a quiet person dies in the ER before being seen, after waiting for hours. Hospitals that do not want to be seen on the TV news decide, in growing numbers, to close their ER's.In the US, when people die or have poor outcomes for a medical condition only hospital, doctors and others who directly provide the heath care can be sued in order to provide for future care for the patient and the family. Insurance companies are immune from suit. It is little wonder that very large numbers of doctors are deciding to leave out of medicine by retiring early, or going into other work, or that increasing numbers of hospitals are closing around the country.Mr. Daschle's tax problems pale in comparison with the conflicts raised by his work for lobbying for the health insurance industry. Perhaps, once in office, he would have removed all the doctors, nurses, dentists, etc, completely.In the USA (elsewhere, too?), we say, "leaving the fox in charge of the hen house."Mr. Daschle would certainly have been the fox in charge with fixing the health care system in the USA. Pity, about the taxes. Sec. Clinton probably knows more than anyone else in the cabinet about the health care system. Perhaps she has any ideas about nominee for Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services? Fri 06 Feb 2009 07:26:45 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=71#comment146 3, 5, 11, 13, 31 Gary: Thank you for these informative posts.8 bere54. What is really needed for Health & Human Services is a contemporary Tommy Douglas or Allan Blakeney: Both relentlessly practical men of high moral principle, and able to get things done. Really squeaky with a dollar, too - very careful with public money.36 MK. Agree with 85 J-in-D. Jimmy Carter may not have been the best President, but the man is a living saint. Check and see if the meter resets to zero after you press "Test". Might be a calibration error, a malfunctioning feedback loop, or possibly a dead battery.37 MAII - Smoot Hawley was a relevant, though perhaps not dominant, factor in making the Depression worse. There is a lengthy article in the December 20, 2008 issue of the Economist.Ukwales 73 - that was a refreshing change from the usual - and 123: Yes.110 bere54. Sorry to say, we now have "God" here too. Reform begat the Alliance, which begat the current incarnation of the Conservatives (not to be confused with Progressive-Conservatives, a totally different beast, now defunct). In the recent federal budget the Harper government just eliminated funding to an agency that coordinates stem cell research. Can you guess why?39 and 137 Ed.Agree with Sam (52, 111) and Guns (55,56) here, but your point at 137 is well taken. Actually, you will find that the common theme of criminal law, and the law of torts can be summed up fairly accurately as "Thou shalt not impose negative externalities on thy neighbours."Timewaits' point at 91 is correct too. The North American economy is fully integrated. History tried to make trade flow East-West in N.America, but geography says it should be North-South. The Maritimes and Newfoundland trade naturally with New England. Montreal and New York are at either end of a natural highway (which, among other things provides the historical backdrop for the Last of the Mohicans, and the unfortunate travels of Gen. Burgoyne to Saratoga.) The Ontario Peninsula is really an extension of the Ohio Valley. The great plains extend N-S and share the economic magnet of Chicago, and the Left coast is oriented toward California.There is supposed to be a reciprocally enforceable trade agreement between Canada, the US, and Mexico: NAFTA. The problem is that the US refuses to allow its enforcement mechanisms to work. This is the long, sad story of softwood lumber. Canada won in every single court or arbitration proceeding over a period of 15 years, but eventually had to knuckle under to the reality of US politics in face of the treaty and the law. NAFTA was supposed to prevent this kind of thing from happening.The thing is that we can support our population, but we have to be considerably less wasteful. Think about the 1950's and 1960's. Those days are never coming back.Still it isn't that difficult to overcome our environmental problems. It just requires each of us to decide to leave the planet slighty better off than we found it, as a personal duty to one's heirs. Once that concept is accepted, the required behaviour must necessarily follow.112 Ed. Actually intellectual property is a big part of the solution, not the problem. Effective protection of intellectual property and prosperity go hand-in-hand. It is what helps us to use resources more carefully, to be less wasteful, and to be more productive. It is what permits a knowledge based, innovation driven economy to prosper. Think about the information that is now at your fingertips, e.g., the miracle of Google, or the ability to post on this blog. Compare that with the difficulty of researching topics by hand in the 1960's. Think about how the US has, in real terms, reduced the energy input per dollar of GDP by a factor of perhaps 6 or 8 since the 1970's. That is what we want to encourage. That is what a functioning intellectual property regime does. The US had the best, most sophisticated intellectual property system in the world. But right now the electonics and telecommunications industries are trying comprehensively to gut the US Patent system. It is a terrible, short-sighted mistake.131. Timewaits understates the seriousness of the Maher Arar scandal. At some considerable cost Canada held a public judicial inquiry into the Maher Arar incident, and the man was completely exonnerated. In Canadian terms, the C$ 10 M settlement was extraordinarily large. The US agencies involved refused to participate in the inquiry, and Arar continues to be smeared in the press. Arar is suing the US government. Comparatively speaking, the ultimate damages award could well be even larger than the punitive damages award made against GM in favour of Ralph Nader, at the time the largest ever punitive damages award in a defamation case in US history. Finally, on the subject of stimulus, for his first "foreign" trip, President Obama is going to visit Ottawa two weeks from now, ironically one day after the 50th anniversary of the cancellation of the Avro Arrow. The visit will last all of 6 hours. Maybe Harper shouldn't have been so openly in favour of the Republicans...Busloads of Canadian Obama fans have been told to stay away from Parlaiment Hill, because of security concerns, we are told. Horsefeathers. It would be a very public demonstration of how popular Obama is, and how unpopular Harper is. The prospect of 50 - 100,000 people booing Harper on public TV is something the government can't stomach.And every time Obama appears on TV, from coast to coast Canadians sigh "If only ...".In any case, America has been a good friend for a long, long time, through thick and thin. America is in trouble now, and needs our help. While it is inescapable that we have a much smaller economy, and there is a limit to what we can do, to the extent possible we should reach out our hand and help our old friend to the limit of our abilities. That's what you do for old friends.If the Canadian government can step back, view things from a larger perspective, and try to think of some co-operative project or measures that we could work on together, that would help to lift the economies of both countries, and that would be a demonstration of good neighbourliness in bad times, it might go a long way to blunting the protectionist urges now present in Congress. Fri 06 Feb 2009 06:31:52 GMT+1 publiusdetroit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=71#comment145 Ref 143 Via-Media"I entirely agree with the "local first" vision. Where I feel the environmental movement has failed to a large extent is in the technical phase- where the technicians make the dream a reality. In other words, how do we get there from here?"If you look to your right you will notice the tiers of windows are still ripping past at 32 feet per second per second; feel the rushing air on your face. We are still in the free-fall from the top of our financial office tower.It is a global problem; but there is no co-operation nor coordination of actions by the international governments. Every nation is taking incrimental, stop-gate measures that have thus far been a poor parachute for our headlong plunge. There are more dirty little secrets (ala Madoff) yet to be exposed. More bubbles to burst. (Health Care may be the next one)The same CEOs that had us take the plunge with them are still in their positions that they obviously are too inept to handle. Do not count on much in a positive way from the corporate world except great buys at liquidation sales.We are not at the bottom yet. Not by a long shot. Every day a new annoucement of massive lay-offs. Prepare for the pancake landing at the lobby level. It is still to come.There will be terrible chaos once we arrive at the bottom; but out of chaos and confusion comes opportunity.A true paradigm shift is taking place. That is why the old business methods and practices are no longer working and can not "fix" the problems we are facing. It is more likely that a "grass roots" renovation will be the foundation of a real recovery. Yes. It will take time. A long time. Fri 06 Feb 2009 05:26:52 GMT+1 ladycm http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=70#comment144 118. At 8:59pm on 05 Feb 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:"#110, bere54, as for delays, we are getting aglimpse into one or more of the following:1. The frequency of tea-time in Britain2. The efficacy of British brewing techniques3. The British work ethic"This is one hell of a tea break. It's been like 6 hours and people are still waiting. Being American and from Seattle, I like my coffee but; not 6 hours worth. Fri 06 Feb 2009 04:29:22 GMT+1 SamTyler1969 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=70#comment143 #137Ed,Agreed.Sam Fri 06 Feb 2009 04:16:24 GMT+1 Via-Media http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=69#comment142 To return to my question: how do you get the big change we need? It does have to be major because the thrones, powers, and principalities have vested interests in the present system, and at most can only be counted on to make minor changes. And Localism is beyond Protectionism...To reach that sustainable point, we'd need to -convince the majority-reduce the population-gradual economic retraction-provide for the have-nots during the downcycleWe need either a sudden paradigm shift away from pure market capitalism, or else a sustained program of public-private partnership... Fri 06 Feb 2009 03:32:38 GMT+1 Via-Media http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=69#comment141 #76 EdI entirely agree with the "local first" vision. Where I feel the environmental movement has failed to a large extent is in the technical phase- where the technicians make the dream a reality. In other words, how do we get there from here?I see only 3 options:1. top-down change, which doesn't usually work because a.) people don't like being told what to do without buy-in, and b.) it's a no-win situation battling the bottomless coffers of the corporate/governmental status quo.2.bottom-up (grass roots) change- it's been only somewhat successful, because it's so slow, and doesn't reach everyone because of differences in education and politics and apathy. It's taken 30 years for it to become accepted that clean air and water and land are needed, and these still get pushed aside when there is a profit to be made. And with population growth and shrinking resources, we probably don't have 30 years to turn this aircraft carrier around.3. Catastrophe: a continued major economic downturn causes everyone to rethink priorities, and allows localism to take hold. But not very likely, since it is very very hard to break bad habits like consumerism. Plus, once we start going down the economic slide, how do you stop it where we need it at sustainability? How to stop before catastrophic collapse? Fri 06 Feb 2009 03:27:44 GMT+1 gunsandreligion http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=68#comment140 123, ukwales, several times, and I'm startinga new one. Fri 06 Feb 2009 02:55:04 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=68#comment139 Taffy, "Has any one on this blogg ever run there own business?."I have, but without any employees. A simple art/craft practice.Peace and self-employmented Fri 06 Feb 2009 02:20:02 GMT+1 publiusdetroit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=67#comment138 Ref 123 ukwales"Has any one on this blogg ever run there ownbusiness?"First business at age 15. Lawncare and landscaping. Had 3 employees by 16. Added snow removal in the winter. Sold the successful and still growing business to one of my employees at 18 when I left for college. He ran the business for 15 years before selling it. Fri 06 Feb 2009 02:09:12 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=67#comment137 122: Unless I'm confusing him with someone else, he was also once one of the most corrupt governors the state of Maryland ever had, and they've had some doosies. Fri 06 Feb 2009 01:53:14 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=66#comment136 Sam, "I think the harm of transporting imports / exports long distances could be offset by a carbon tax on the transportation itself."Sounds like "externalising" to me. If the tax is truly sufficient and actually "offsets" (whatever that means) the ecological damage, it will have the effect of raising prices of "global" goods so much that they will no longer have the illusion of being competitive. That would be a good outcome.The present non-inclusion of such costs is the only thing providing that illusion at present, aside from the exploitation of low-wage labour forces and "the race to the bottom", of which the non-counting of "externalities" is a major driver.Peace and equityed Fri 06 Feb 2009 01:29:43 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=66#comment135 G 'n R, "this planet is well beyond the number of people who can be supported withoutglobal economic integration."It is well beyond the number of people who can be supported. Global economic integration won't change the first law of thermodynamics, nor Boulding's Theorems,"First Theorem: "The Dismal Theorem""If the only ultimate check on the growth of population is misery, then the population will grow until it is miserable enough to stop its growth."Second Theorem: "The Utterly Dismal Theorem"This theorem "states that any technical improvement can only relieve misery for a while, for so long as misery is the only check on population, the [technical] improvement will enable population to grow, and will soon enable more people to live in misery than before. The final result of technical] improvements, therefore, is to increase the equilibrium population which is to increase the total sum of human misery."Third Theorem: "The moderately cheerful form of the Dismal Theorem" : ."Fortunately, it is not too difficult to restate the Dismal Theorem in' a moderately cheerful form, which states that if something else, other then misery and starvation, can be found which will keep a prosperous population in check, the population does not have to grow until it is miserable and starves, and it can be stably prosperous."Boulding continues, "Until we know more, the Cheerful Theorem remains a question mark. Misery we know will do the trick. This is the only sure-fire automatic method of bringing population to an equilibrium'. Other things may do it." "Kenneth BouldingThe fossil fuels have given us a brief respite by allowing us to expand the carrying capacity temporarily, at the cost of much of our topsoils, habitats, biodiversity, and wilderness, but the logic of limits is invincible. I do commend a reading of some standard population dynamics, such as "The Ethical Implications of Carrying Capacity", and/or "The Tragedy of the Commons">The latter is summarised very clearly here""The Laws of Technodynamics:1. Conservation of problems: Problems do not go away, they are merely substituted, one for another. The solution of one problem creates another problem.2. Technological challenges always increase. As the human population increases and natural resources remain constant or degrade, then technological challenges will increase in size, number, and complexity." -- Eric A Davidson, You Can't Eat GNPInteresting Timesed Fri 06 Feb 2009 01:18:30 GMT+1 publiusdetroit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=65#comment134 Ref 110 bere54Ref 120 saintDominickDon't condemn Faith Based Initiative too fast. You too can get in on the gravy train. I'm currently looking for a couple of people to fill the position of Grand High Priest for my newly created religious sect;THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY JOESalaries are capped at $500,000 a year, but there is an unlimited supply of altar wine and cheese. Fri 06 Feb 2009 00:08:15 GMT+1 publiusdetroit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=65#comment133 Ref 116 MagicKirin"Carter inspired a mass resignation after his book came out.Alan Dershowitz exposed him in "The case Against Israel's ememies" I suggest you read it."Had a look at your man Dershowitz. I get the impression that he is a Joe McCarthy in a yarmulke; able to discover antisemites and bigots under the beds of anyone who does not agree with his views.It is interesting that Dershowitz publically supports torture for "Ticking Time Bomb" scenerios while claiming to personally be against the use of torture. Rather a confused chap of wavering moral fiber I would say. He is hailed as a great fighter of human rights. But this praise seems only to come from Jewish organizations.Dershowitz says of Nobel Peace Prize winner Jimmy Carter is:"deserving a special place in hell…for [becoming] such an anti-Israel bigot"Yep. A whole lot like Joe McCarthy. Thu 05 Feb 2009 23:58:26 GMT+1 seanspa http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=64#comment132 #95, sam, marcus would never have recognised you (as long as you didn't try to put on an english accent, of course). Thu 05 Feb 2009 23:55:54 GMT+1 seanspa http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=64#comment131 @110, bere54, #120 stD, I had to look up what you were talking about with regard to the faith based initiative.I find the US (or at least my part of it) to be way more neighborhood-friendly than the UK so at first sight I wasn't sure what your concerns were. Upon reflection though, it almost seems that Obama's army, trailed a few weeks ago, is going to be a religious one. Seriously, though, it does seem to be another way of circumvented local government, and it seems more likely to antagonise different faiths rather than bring them together. Finally, asking churches to help the community in a secular way is asking for trouble, and you can just imagine help being directed only to 'approved' needs.I know I upset someone a while back for suggesting that a 28 year old was a little young to be writing speeches for Obama, but I'm going to say that having a 26 year old in charge of this seems naive (as he will be).Simon, if you want to have a pop at me for rambling and not making sense, now's your chance! Thu 05 Feb 2009 23:52:33 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=63#comment130 106 Ed Iglehart"Have you forgotten Canada? " I presume you heard the...."plaintively, I ask?" And you may call me "darling," I find it rather charming.I understand buy locally but that is a contradiction of US protectionism. As I mentioned many Canadian cities are closer markets.110 bere54"move to Canada""a lot of blathering about god" was not something I expected to hear. The bloom cannot possibly be off the rose already!!Canada would be enriched by many of the people posting here - yourself included. happylaze"he left us a few tea bags though,good ol captain."I believe you have missed your calling. You show true signs of being a novelist. You might want bere to proofread though.117 gunsandreligion and seanspaThe Maher Arar mentioned in the Rolling Stones article was awarded $10m (massive by our standards) by the Canadian government after they allowed (did not do enough to prevent) the US to send him to Syria to be tortured as opposed to home to Canada. He "earned" every dime! It was a major scandal here. Our security forces took the brunt of the blame, as they should. Thu 05 Feb 2009 23:39:54 GMT+1 john-In-Dublin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=63#comment129 # 115 neil_a2 wrote:"Two of the three Obama tax cheats had bigger tax offenses than Spiro Agnew. However, unlike the two, Spiro was more ethical. Spiro did not blame a software package or the tax system."Wikipedia doesn't seem to know how much tax Agnew cheated on. Please tell us.However it does say he was known to have taken bribes of $268,482. [That figure is NOT adjusted for inflation!]Ethical indeed..... Thu 05 Feb 2009 23:25:13 GMT+1 john-In-Dublin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=62#comment128 # 114. GrantBudding wrote:"Remember the news reports comparing Obama with Abraham Lincoln? Bringing rivals into his close circle. Now those rivals - Daschle, Richardson etc., continue to become discredited, early on in the presidency when it is too early to matter, and sidelined from the future, and it appears to be their own fault. So, perhaps Obama is a better politician and sophist than even you suggested."My problem with this is AFAIK Daschle was an Obama backer for a long time - one of the first. And Richardson, when he dropped out of the race, backed Obama quite early, causing much vitriol from the Clinton camp.So - not exactly rivals. [Unlike, say, Clinton.] Thu 05 Feb 2009 23:22:04 GMT+1 seanspa http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=62#comment127 #117, guns. You are right. So I don't know why they pulled my link in 107 instead. Twice. Just because I called them something-or-others in a complaint to the bbc doesn't mean they should behave like something-or-others, does it? I have a feeling of deja vu here, ed will be along shortly to advise me not to call them names.Posts are like buses, you wait for ages for them to come along and then they etherize. Or something like that. Thu 05 Feb 2009 23:18:49 GMT+1 john-In-Dublin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=61#comment126 # 116. MagicKirin Usual mix of prejudice and generalisation"Little history"Yes, that about sums you up"the economy under Jimmy the Appeaser was worse than it is now."Of course this was entirely his fault, and proves that he is a failed human being - Magic the Slimer"Carter inspired a mass resignation after his book came out."By whom?"Alan Dershowitz exposed him in "The case Against Israel's ememies" I suggest you read it./Unless you object to a scholarly book by someone who knows the subject."If I want to read up on Israel, I think I'll read someone less partisan than AD. By 'exposed' you no doubt mean 'attacked' - there is a difference"Regarding Unions, tell me as someone who is self-emplouyed how they benefit me? /Non Union workers usually are more professional."As I said - prejudice and generalisationLots of things don't benefit me.Doesn't mean I hate them Thu 05 Feb 2009 23:17:12 GMT+1 john-In-Dublin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=61#comment125 # 104 seanspa wrote:"John In Dublin, I don't know the author, but Rolling Stone isn't normally a right wing rag so this article may shed some light on Daschle. Of course, it's only one person's opinion."I agreeIt IS only one person's opinion.;-)Frankly, I don't know if the article is accurate either.To be clear, I wasn't especially defending TD - I don't know that much about him. Just trying to throw a few facts into the mix.The fact that he's been attacked from the right - as a vitriolic partisan Dem - and the left, as a whore etc - suggests either he's a thorough-going rogue, or he's doing something right ;-) Thu 05 Feb 2009 23:11:30 GMT+1 robloop http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=60#comment124 This post has been Removed Thu 05 Feb 2009 22:39:00 GMT+1 Simon21 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=60#comment123 This post has been Removed Thu 05 Feb 2009 22:35:41 GMT+1 hms_shannon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=59#comment122 Just a question?Has any one on this blogg ever run there ownbusiness?. Thu 05 Feb 2009 22:18:14 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=59#comment121 I've never heard anyone defend Spiro Agnew before. Agnew was taking payoffs while holding the office of Vice President. He is the most thoroughly discredited of any holder of one of our two highest offices. Thu 05 Feb 2009 21:49:54 GMT+1 gunsandreligion http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=58#comment120 #114, GrantBudding, he does seem to havethe mark of genius as far as maneuvering aroundpolitical torpedoes, doesn't he?And, even when they hit, they don't seem to doany real damage. Thu 05 Feb 2009 21:36:32 GMT+1 saintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=58#comment119 Ref 110, bereYou are not the only one troubled by President Obama's endorsement of the Faith Based Initiative put in place by Bush II. Separation of church and state is a chimera not even worth addressing. Thu 05 Feb 2009 21:15:40 GMT+1 british-ish http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=57#comment118 95. SamTyler1969You've actually met Marcus!!!!!!!!??????????French-Armenian, eh? That explains a lot.(Bet he tried to overcharge you!) Thu 05 Feb 2009 21:09:03 GMT+1 gunsandreligion http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=57#comment117 #110, bere54, as for delays, we are getting aglimpse into one or more of the following:1. The frequency of tea-time in Britain2. The efficacy of British brewing techniques3. The British work ethic Thu 05 Feb 2009 20:59:14 GMT+1 gunsandreligion http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=56#comment116 #104, seanspa, the article that you have referencedunfairly sullies the reputation of the world's oldestprofession. Thu 05 Feb 2009 20:42:57 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=56#comment115 ref #85Little history, the economy under Jimmy the Appeaser was worse than it is now.Carter inspired a mass resignation after his book came out.Alan Dershowitz exposed him in "The case Against Israel's ememies" I suggest you read it.Unless you object to a scholarly book by someone who knows the subject.Regarding Unions, tell me as someone who is self-emplouyed how they benefit me?Non Union workers usually are more professional. Thu 05 Feb 2009 20:24:18 GMT+1 neil_a2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=55#comment114 Just, your name, "Daschlegate", is most appropriate.Two of the three Obama tax cheats had bigger tax offenses than Spiro Agnew. However, unlike the two, Spiro was more ethical. Spiro did not blame a software package or the tax system.Obama's agenda, so far, is only $100B shy of the total spent on Iraq. Pork barrel projects and bankrupt, no 'change' there.How many of the 100 days left? Or, should we just count his first $10 Trillion?Why "Buy American"? The "help desk" is still overseas. Thu 05 Feb 2009 19:10:33 GMT+1 GrantBudding http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=55#comment113 Remember the news reports comparing Obama with Abraham Lincoln? Bringing rivals into his close circle. Now those rivals - Daschle, Richardson etc., continue to become discredited, early on in the presidency when it is too early to matter, and sidelined from the future, and it appears to be their own fault. So, perhaps Obama is a better politician and sophist than even you suggested. Thu 05 Feb 2009 19:05:30 GMT+1 BrianDMerritt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=54#comment112 The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is against protectionism as it would affect its members "multi-national" businesses.President Obama is looking for "Change" and would be strongly advised not to build a moat around the United States in trying to protect its domestic industries. Thu 05 Feb 2009 18:39:42 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=54#comment111 Publius," Ed for President!"Aw, Gee, ...(blushes) But seriously, none of what I've said/written is remotely original. as Wendell says,"In this Christmassy atmosphere, an essayist must be aware of the danger of becoming just one more in this mob of drummers. He (as a matter of syntactical convenience, I am speaking only of men essayists) had better understand with some care what it is that he has to sell, what he has to give away, and certainly also what he may have that nobody else will wantI do have an interest in this book, which is for sale.(If you have bought it, dear reader, I thank you. If you have borrowed it, I honor your frugality. If you have stolen it, may it add to your confusion.) Most of the sale price pays the publisher for paper, ink, and other materials, for editorial advice, copyediting, design, advertising (I hope), and marketing. I get between 10 and 15 percent (depending on sales) for arranging the words on the pages.As I understand it, I am being paid only for my work in arranging the words; my property is that arrangement. The thoughts in this book, on the contrary, are not mine. They came freely to me, and I give them freely away. I have no "intellectual property," and I think that all claimants to such property are thieves."AMEN!Though qualified as Natchul-born and especially by not wanting the job, I'll have to decline on grounds of age and distance (I might accept a draft if I can conduct business from my virtual White House here)Also worthy of mention are E F Schumacher, whose "Small is Beautiful" simply drips wisdom and should be on everyone's reading list. And JH Kunstler deserves a mention, and The Orion Society, which is a wonderful example of community-aware America. Check it out.Peace and communityed Thu 05 Feb 2009 18:26:26 GMT+1 SamTyler1969 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=53#comment110 #79Hi Ed,I guess I seperate barriers to trade from the environmental impact of moving goods and services. From an economic and environmental perspective it's always good to source locally where possible. I think the harm of transporting imports / exports long distances could be offset by a carbon tax on the transportation itself. Putting up barriers to trade just stops folks from trading anything, whether it has an impact or not. That may be bad for the environment. It may also be good for the environment for example if wind energy is traded from high latitude states to low ones reducing the amount of coal burned.Nothing is ever as simple as I would like it to be. Trader Sam Thu 05 Feb 2009 17:57:25 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=53#comment109 Sorry to go off topic, but Obama has just done a lot of blathering about god and announced his (Obama's, not the god's) expansion of that dreadful faith-based office. I am very demoralized. Vermont is the least religious state, but I'm so sick of god-bothering on the national level. For years I've been wishing I could move to Canada or Britain just to get away from this kind of thing.Why are there so many posts waiting so long for moderation while only a couple an hour come through? Is there a flu epidemic at the BBC or something? Thu 05 Feb 2009 17:49:42 GMT+1 Pancha Chandra http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=52#comment108 Good governance is an art plus real ability as well as resolute dedication to serve the citizens of the country in the best possible way. Barack Obama has shown that he wants competent people to serve him and is prepared to admit when he has made a mistake in his choice. In the case of Tom Dashchale, the vetting process let Obama down badly and he has taken responsibility for that. Every in-coming Administration makes genuine mistakes with appointments. Obama has had his fair share of wrong choices. But on the whole his team who have been confirmed so far are dedicated and highly capable. Once Obama has all his team members approved, he will be able to revitalise and redirect energies to make America totally respected at home and abroad through humane, thought-provoking policies. Thu 05 Feb 2009 17:47:09 GMT+1 dbiermann http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=52#comment107 Now we know why Democrats like to raise taxes, because they don't pay them!Anyway, what I really want to know is why haven't these people been put in jail???? If any other American didn't pay this much in taxes they would be in prison already. I find it pretty ridiculous that they're allowed to get away scott-free by saying it was just a "mistake"I voted for Obama but he needs to pick better people for his administration or I might start to wonder if I did the right thing... Thu 05 Feb 2009 17:42:36 GMT+1 seanspa http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=51#comment106 This post has been Removed Thu 05 Feb 2009 17:40:04 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=51#comment105 Noman. "Have you forgotten Canada? "How could I? Of course not, my distant darling. (excuse rampant and inappropriate sexism). Happy Jack mentioned Canadian steel a while back, and my arguments about transport distances (and Wendell's in the very bit you re-quote), should indicate neighbourliness as a prime concern. The less we depend upon moving stuff and folk, the better. I remember when we used to understand that distance meant cost, and things wre advertised (in the East) as "slightly higher West of the Rockies."We have been spoiled rotten by dirt cheap fuels, but Change is coming, with or without Obama.Peace and good neighboursed Thu 05 Feb 2009 17:36:46 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/02/daschlegate_and_protectionism.html?page=50#comment104 ps Rob if you lived in the US and voted here I suspect you would be a republican.So because you live there do stop saying "i'm not a republican" we know simon says " your a bore" Thu 05 Feb 2009 17:28:51 GMT+1