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Yes.

It's the same concept as the Edwards healthcare plan.

If they want to insist that the private sector can do it better, let them try.  And when it falls flat on its ass,  people make the voluntary choice to go with the government plan.  And then the argument that the state is coercive and evil, while the market is voluntary goes poof.

If the little bastards want to stick their fingers in the socket let them them get the shock of their life.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 01:44:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why not just do it this way, making it mandatory, without the bailouts?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 01:49:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because by making it voluntary we take away the argument that they their hand was forced.  They made the decision, so they loose the right to bitch about it.

We have to attack the argument that government intervention is somehow inherently akin to dictatorship.

Force the bastards to cry uncle of their own accord.  Then it was their decision, not something forced on them.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 01:54:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fair point.  I think there's something to be said, however, for jamming policies down people's throats -- being openly hostile and creating an expectation from the public.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 02:01:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's the issue I have with it: They fall on their faces in the private markets, then come to us looking for bailouts.  At that point we can say to them, "Okay, 20% of your revenue goes to us from now on."  But, by then, it's too late, and we haven't stripped the money from them prior to the need for a bailout.  They've already failed.

You have to let companies fall on their faces, or they'll wind up as they next airline or automaker going through a vicious cycle of Good Times and Teh Stoopid.  And then everybody but management -- taxpayers (debt), workers (pay and benefit cuts), etc - gets fucked.

By giving them insurance in return, it creates -- and here, for the record, I'm thinking more along the lines of the practical implementation rather than the philosophical underpinnings -- potentially some kinds of moral hazard down the road.

Your idea is a perfectly good way to collect corporate taxes.  I like it.  But I don't see any great need to give them anything in exchange.  When they say, "Hey, we gave you a whole buncha money, so lend us a hand," the government should be responding, "Fuck you, you gave us the money because we said you had too, so piss off."

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 01:58:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
By giving them insurance in return, it creates -- and here, for the record, I'm thinking more along the lines of the practical implementation rather than the philosophical underpinnings -- potentially some kinds of moral hazard down the road.

But the point is that currently limited liability is insurance for free.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 02:06:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Agreed.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 02:08:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...adding...That's why I said that I think MfM's idea is a good one.  But I don't think we should promise bailouts.  If Congress winds up providing them, then we've at least planned ahead, but I don't think there should be an explicit agreement there.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 02:09:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rescue implies takeover, whether it's done by a public or a privately owned institutions.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 02:11:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that we should use this particular clusterfuck as not only an opportunity to make the point that corporation's limited liability is currently free but also as an opportunity to take an ownership stake in the companies that are bailed out.

Force Lehman, AIG, et al to cough up stock shares, same thing for the Big Three automakers (full disclosure, I've recently bought a small number of shares in General Motors, and I've made a tidy little profit off of it.)

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 02:37:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Off-Topic: What do you think of the timeline on cars like the Volt?  By that I mean, how long before we get something with a price tag in the teens/low-twenties that can travel (say) 70 miles per day?

(And come on, man, this isn't the NYT.  You don't have to disclose your financial holdings.)

If we're going to do the bailout -- and I think all would agree there's no doubt we will -- then, yes, I completely agree.  Make them cough up stock to the taxpayers so that we can recoup at least some of the cost.

And making the costs clear for taxpayers will be beneficial.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 02:47:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well.

The Volt's scheduled for release for the beginning of the 2010 run that starts in 2009.  Early estimate is something close to $40,000 for the Volt.  It has a significant advantage on the Prius, because it can go electric only for 43 miles.  

That's the trip to work and back for most people.  So for maybe 40-45% of miles traveled no gas used. Consider:

The way the Volt is designed, the wheels are powered by the electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack. When the batteries run low, the gasoline engine kicks in to extend the range. There is no direct connection between the internal combustion engine and the wheels. If the driver's commute is longer, driving is more aggressive, or if no plug-in option is available, the Volt will have to use its gasoline engine to keep the batteries charged, behaving more like a hybrid in this scenario. If the driver has a short commute, takes it easy on the accelerator, and plugs in to recharge the battery during the day, the Volt will operate primarily as an EV, and the gasoline engine's role will be greatly diminished.

In this configuration, the Volt can slip through about 85 percent of the EPA's test cycle without even firing up the gasoline engine. Using the EPA's standard formulas to calculate fuel economy, the Volt averages over 100 mpg. The EPA doesn't think that astronomical number is fair and has revised its tests with the requirement that the Volt finish the test with its batteries close to full charge, which means the internal combustion engine must run for the entirety of the test, dropping fuel economy to about 48 mpg.

I bought into GM on Thursday for two reasons: 1) Good new on the loan package and a general pickup after the central bank intervention. 2)GM is prepping not only the Volt for the 2010 model year, but also is going to import the Chevy Cruze which is rated at 40+MPG and may be able to get over 60 MPG on a gas engine alone.  It's set to replace the Cobalt at the Lordstown, OH assembly, and is likely going to be targeted at the same price point, around $15,000.

Detroit's got it's mojo back, and I a plan to go for the ride.  If I hadn't spooked Thursday afternoon I'd be up about $500 instead of the $50 I am now.  That's not a bad return for a guy living on grad assistant's stipend.  GM's at ~$13 now, I expect it to pop back to around the $40 it started the year at when it becomes clear that the loan package is going to go through.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 03:48:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why are cars so expensive in Europe (or ar least in Sweden) compared to the US?

A Prius sells for $25,000 in the US but for over $40,000 over here. That would put the Volt at $67,000 in Sweden which means few could afford it.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 05:19:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I've been talking about taxes on privilege for some time, including just this proposal of a Limited Liability Levy.

But if MfM came up with it independently that's fine with me.

Just shows that great minds think alike.... ;-)

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 09:36:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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