Friday, December 18, 2009

Too Big To Fail

Kudos to Senators McCain and Mark Cantwell who have introduced legislation to breakup large financial organizations. I am quite tired of Too Big to Fail. If that is true, they are simply too big.
McCain would restore the Glass-Steagall law prohibiting banks being in the brokerage business. This was a lesson we learned in the Great Depression and then forgot it under the slogan of one-stop shopping. It is time to restore it before the next financial crisis hits us again.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Old growth forests

Good news!
December 17, 2009, New York Times
Foes Unite to Support Bill on Old-Growth Forests

Calling a truce in a long and bitter battle, timber executives and environmentalists united Wednesday in supporting legislation to codify and expand current protections for old-growth forests on federal land in eastern Oregon.

After nearly eight months of talks, representatives of both groups joined Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, at a news conference in Washington as he introduced a bill that would ban cutting of trees more than 21 inches in diameter and protect delicate watershed areas.

Such prohibitions are already in place in many forests but are administrative in nature rather than mandated by law, and subject to rollback at any time.

In return for their support for such limits, which they had previously fought, timber groups were promised steady, unimpeded access to younger trees as part of a broader program to assure the health of the forests and fire prevention.

The bill will also limit construction of permanent and temporary roads, while seeking to cut the overall number in forested areas. The legislation applies to six national forests spanning nearly 10 million acres east of the Cascades.

Environment & jobs

The standard response to proposed environmental improvement such as CO-2 limits, is that it raises cost and reduces jobs. Cost of any action is always there, and new laws don't create them, they just change who bears them. As for jobs, markets are designed to allocate resources to their best use. We have been substituting natural resources for labor for a long time. If we increase the cost of natural resources, it should result in more demand for labor over time.

Obama's Peace Prize

If the Nobel committee hoped that Obama could rise to deserve the prize, they must be greatly disappointed as I am. When will we learn that our wars create more terrorist? Our economy needs more stimulus, but we waste resources on senseless wars.