Our Solar And Wind Import-Export failures

Our Solar And Wind Import-Export Failures

Germany gets almost one-third of its electricity from renewables, two-thirds of this from non-hydro renewables (solar and wind). The U.S. gets 13 percent of its total electricity from renewables, but more than half comes from hydro.

Clearly Germany is way ahead in terms of its solar and wind revolution. And one rarely noted part of that lead is the positive effects this has on imports and exports to neighboring countries.

Consider these figures: Germany in the first six months of this year had an electricity export surplus of 18 Terawatt hours, and is well on its way to having its third annual electricity export record in a row. The U.S., by way of comparison, imported almost 60 million megawatts from Canada last year while exporting just 11.4 megawatts. And even with our southern neighbor, Mexico , we imported 1.3 million megawatts while exporting just a bit more than 603,000 megawatts.

Our country has a lousy trade balance. In dollar terms, part of this includes a lousy electricity balance. More solar and wind systems can help redress this imbalance. So maybe we should try harder here.

My latest book is The Devil’s Dictionary of Wall Street

My favorite new book from another author is a humorous graphic novel titled The Big Belch…
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=The Big Belch

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=The%20Big%20Belch

Mike@wallstreetpoet.com

Huge CEO Pay Packets Explained

A recent study found that company CEOs now make 350 times more on average than their employees. Here’s how they do it.

The Vast CEO-Worker Compensation Chasm Explained

With pay packs oft’ related
To their companies’ stock price
It’s a set up that for CEOs
That is really very nice
They just use their firm’s own money
To buy lots of its own stock
And voila! the price keeps soaring
For the boss, a pay boost lock.

There are other ways to jack up
A stock price evaluation
Move your headquarters abroad
With a cutesy tax inversion
Or earn bigger package hoards
From your passive browbeat boards
Or workers’ pay and bennies lessen
To win market’s pay out blessing.

For the CEO all nifty
Legal games, not fraud or grifty
Leaving CEOs to workers
Workers one, bosses 350.

But I ain’t come here complaining
‘Bout this CEOs’ rigged gig
What I really want is joining
In this dance, this big pig jig.

My latest book is The Devil’s Dictionary of Wall Street

My favorite new book from another author is a humorous graphic novel titled The Big Belch…
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=The Big Belch

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=The%20Big%20Belch

Mike@wallstreetpoet.com

The Beyond Stupid Poem

“Since the end of 2001, the U.S. has spent over $100 billion on reconstruction projects in Afghanistan, according to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, a Pentagon oversight body.” From the Wall Street Journal…10/2/14

The Beyond Stupidity Poem
by Michael Silverstein

(Our Afghanistan Project)
We destroyed those who attacked us
Took ‘em out with shock and awe
Then we chose instead of leaving
Nation building, Lord knows what for.

Now a hundred billion later
Our money stolen, wasted, gone
We’ve agreed here to more spending
Bigger dopes were never born.

(Our Iraq Project)
It was crazy to begin with
A think tank bauble run amuck
And here, too, the local con men
Laughed and watched us play the schmuck.

Here as well, we spawned an army
That when confronted ran away
And here again we’ve said we’ll do it
Rebuild this army, the costs we’ll pay.

(Our Syria Project)
It’s a little late in coming
This now familiar story line
But now we have once more committed
To pursue the old design.

Where’s this newest project headed
That’s so easy to forecast
Massive waste, corruption, failure
Same stupid game…one stares..aghast.

***

My latest book is The Devil’s Dictionary of Wall Street
http://www.amazon.com/The-Devils-Dictionary-Wall-Street-ebook/dp/B00DOF1IYK

My favorite new book from another author is a humorous graphic novel titled The Big Belch…

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=The%20Big%20Belch

Mike@wallstreetpoet.com

The Disenfranchisement Poem

The Supreme Court recently allowed Texas’ voter ID law to remain in effect during this year’s election—though it is perfectly obvious that this will disenfranchise a great many Democratic voters as the law’s Republican sponsors obviously intended…

Disenfranchisement

A Republican
Slick enterprise
They can’t disguise.

To rig the polls
Trim voter rolls
And realize
Election goals.

Fair rules revise
Rules vandalize
From losses thus
Get immunized.

All recognize
This crude resort
Except it seems
Our highest court.

Energy Past And Future by Michael Silverstein

Energy Past And Future
by Michael Silverstein

Why do we raid the burial grounds
Of long dead creatures for coal?
For oil and methane from these old remains
Why are these are energy goal?

The sun and the wind, the motion of waves,
The heat ‘neath our feet underground;
Are there to be tapped, to be used, and enjoyed
Live energy sources abound.

We’ve gone from the horse for private transport,
Keep in touch in a host of new ways;
It’s time, truly time, for a better resort
Navigating the energy maze.

***
©2014

A Progressive’s Call For Smaller Government

Conservatives are shredding the safety net. They say government spending here is getting out of control.

I agree. We have to reduce spending in this realm. And there’s only one sensible and sustainable way to do this: We have to reform the private sector of the economy.

Isn’t that obvious? The main reason more and more people need government aid is because their economic needs aren’t being met by working in the private sector. If they made enough, they wouldn’t need food stamps. If they made enough, they wouldn’t need subsidies to help pay for their health insurance.

Raise the minimum wage, and safety net spending decreases. Rebalance the tax code so it doesn’t unduly favor capital over labor, investors over workers, and fewer working people would qualify for earned income credits that reduce government revenues.

The government safety net that covers the elderly, the disabled and the impoverished young should of course remain in tact. But the part of that safety net that today is growing so quickly because working people are being squeezed in a top-heavy marketplace, could be cut dramatically with reforms of the private sector.

Progressives — ditto the conservatives’ call for smaller government. Just combine the call with the most sensible and sustainable way to bring it about. Marketplace reform.

(Michael Silverstein’s recent books, all available from Amazon, include: The Devil’s Dictionary Of Wall Street, and the comic novels’ Fifteen Feet Beneath Manhattan, The Bellman’s Revenge, and Murder At Bernstein’s.)

What The Democrats Need: A Voice, Not An Echo

In the 1964 presidential race between Barry Goldwater and LBJ, Goldwater got creamed. His conservative principles-based campaign went down to a massive electoral defeat. His campaign slogan, “A voice, not an echo,” appeared to be something the Republican Party would be wise to forget.

Except Republicans didn’t forget that slogan. Instead, a harder edged conservatism took hold of the party and with the passage of time led to its present dominance setting the national agenda.

Today conservative Republicans are the voice. Democrats are the echo. So…

Maybe it’s time for Democrats to find their own voice. A harder edged progressive voice. One that favors labor over capital, workers over investors, students over their bank lenders.. One that doesn’t keep making the hard choices between the economy and the environment because it’s recognized that sound environmental policies create more prosperous economies. One that promotes live energy of solar, wind and geothermal rather than raiding burial grounds for coal and oil to burn.

There’s a powerful progressive voice on many issues such as these. Perhaps not for an immediate 2104 victory. But for real political power in the future.

Progressives—Make 2014 your voice, not a Clinton-Obama echo. There’s no future in being satisfied with the least worst choices.

Fly Cheap, Fly Wheel Well

Two big problems face the airlines industry today. Carriers want to increase their seating capacity without ordering more planes, but because of excessive government regulation they are not permitted to seat passengers on the wings of their aircraft.

The other big problem is airline fares. A lot of people can’t afford them, and this is especially true of young people with little economic opportunity in today’s version of the American Opportunity Society.

So what’s the solution to both these problems? Wheel well seating on both domestic and overseas flights.

Arctic sleeping bags and oxygen breathing equipment do away with any prissy safety concerns about this mode of travel. The airlines get their extra seating with no new plane purchases. Passengers get cheap flights that with one thing and another, after all the comfort cut-backs in recent years, are not that much less comfortable than flying commuter class.

(Michael Silverstein’s latest books: The Devil’s Dictionary of Wall Street, Fifteen Feet Beneath Manhattan, The Bellman’s Revenge, and Murder at Bernstein’s — all available from Amazon)

Personhood For All Living And Non-Living Things

An article in today’s New York Times describes the work of some lawyers seeking to win personhood rights for animals. You know. Dogs, monkeys, rabbits, ferrets, persons like that.

And why the hell not? Charley the Chimp is every bit as much a person as IBM or Apple.

And when you get right down to it, why not open the doors of personhood to single-celled as well as multi-celled creatures. Heck, the bacteria in your gut is also as much a person as some Wall Street corporation.

It would probably take years for the important constitutional issues involving personhood for everyone and everything to reach the Masters Of Law in our Supreme Court. So we’d better get the balling rolling soon. Because to get this critical constitutional issue settled appropriately, we’ll need the court to decide before legal giants like Scalia and Thomas have passed on.

Michael Silverstein’s latest books: The Devil’s Dictionary of Wall Street, Fifteen Feet Beneath Manhattan, The Bellman’s Revenge, and Murder at Bernstein’s — all available from Amazon.

1992: The Year The Battle For Earth Was Lost

It’s Earth Day again. Important People will don flannel shirts and be photographed against a natural wonder or at an alternative energy site. Kids will hear the usual calls to be green while picking up trash in local parks. Scientists will clearly describe how we are massively transforming our planet for the worst in their annual 15 minutes of allotted air time, after which their warnings will be roundly ignored by the Important People in flannel shirts who think they have to keep pandering to polluters to remain Important.

These days it’s often hard to remember that meaningful steps to protect the planet were almost undertaken by Important People. That happened in 1992.

That year the largest gathering of world leaders in history came together in Rio de Janeiro to discuss collective efforts that might be taken to keep planetary systems healthy. George Bush, our president at the time, almost joined this bevy of Important People but backed off at the last minute because of objection from his party’s polluters’ wing.

But Bush was up for reelection in 1992 and the Democratic ticket included not just a very bright guy from Arkansas, Bill Clinton, but Mr. Environment, Al Gore, as his running mate. It was generally thought in environmental circles that if Bill and Al won the White House in 1992, there would be real action, dramatic action, to save the environment, and the proposals that had come out of the Rio environmental confab would get a giant boost.

The general public would certainly have approved such a development. In 1992, every major poll showed that concern about the environment was second only to worries about the economy. And the belief (a sensible belief) that good environmental practices were not the enemy of economic development was widespread.

Clinton-Gore got elected. But alas, it seemed the environment was not the priority they claimed it would be while running for office. Indeed, Washington’s environmentalism quickly devolved into the flannel shirt on Earth Day variety. By the time the administration of these worthies ended, organized environmentalism as a political movement was totally de-balled. It has yet to recover.

As you watch Important People these days making that never ending phony choice between the environment and the economy — as if they were actually distinct priorities —spare a moment to remember 1992. The world almost got it right that year. But Important People ended up thinking they had more Important things to do than save the planet.

Michael Silverstein’s latest books: The Devil’s Dictionary of Wall Street, Fifteen Feet Beneath Manhattan, The Bellman’s Revenge, and Murder at Bernstein’s — all available from Amazon.