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  (Source: livesavers.files.wordpress.com)
Ethanol is making a point that Big Oil is receiving subsidies and ethanol isn't

Ethanol is holding one huge, sarcastic birthday party for Big Oil in celebration of its oldest subsidy enacted 100 years ago.

The 100th birthday for oil's oldest subsidy -- which began in 1913 -- will be prepared by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA), which promotes Iowa ethanol and biodiesel growth, and the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), which encourages the production and use of ethanol.

“And it dawned on us a few months ago that this is in fact the 100th birthday for oil subsidies and this calls for a party, and I think people can assume our tongues are firmly planted in our cheeks when we say we’re going to celebrate that fact,” said Monte Shaw, executive director of IRFA.

Why is the ethanol industry doing this? According to Shaw, the ethanol blenders tax credit expired in 2011, and ethanol has been forced to continue on without any help. However, Big Oil, which is already the most profitable industry in the world, still receives subsidies. The oldest, continuous subsidy was enacted in 1913, which is the topic of the birthday party.

“What we’re saying is, they’re there," said Shaw. "And we’re sick and tired of members of Congress who don’t know any better or don’t want to know any better, saying, oh, why do you need the RFS?  Why do you this, why do you need that? Can’t you just compete on a level playing field? When the fact of the matter is, our competition has had 100 years of subsidization. They’ve had nearly 40 years of a petroleum mandate written into federal law that says unless you drive a flex-fuel vehicle, you will purchase gasoline with a minimum amount of petroleum (85% percent of petroleum). The playing field is overwhelmingly tilted to the oil industry and that has got to be a part of all discussions around the RFS."

The RFS is the Renewable Fuel Standard, which is a U.S. federal program that requires transportation fuel to have a certain amount of renewable fuels when sold in the U.S.

The birthday party, called "Century of Subsidies," will be held on Thursday, March 14, 2013 from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 430 Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington DC.

There will be cake.

Source: Domesticfuel.com



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RE: :p
By 3DoubleD on 3/13/2013 6:13:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm not "in this with you". We're not part of some group together whereby we're seeking the same goals and have mutually agreed to make the same sacrifices. I'm investing in my future. Not yours. So yes, we should give up on a tool to benefit you at my expense.


I was going to write another response arguing with you point-by-point, but I figured it would be much more interesting to hear your reasoning as to why you think that your future is independent from everyone else? How you are not inextricably linked to everyone and everything around you that "your not with us". How do you reconcile the fact that the very technology you use to write your comment wouldn't be here without tax money spent on research and development at one point or another?

Your answer might be "I just don't give a sh*t [about you or anyone else]", but maybe, and I hope, it's something more interesting.

Your answer might be "if the government didn't pay for the research and development it would have eventually happened through the private sector". And to that, I'd certainly agree with you partially, I'm sure some of the same (or similar) technologies would have eventually emerged, although they may have occurred many years or decades later (if at all). Maybe that's the price worth paying for government interference-free economics. It's hard to imagine a world without rockets or satellites since surely no company could have invested so much capital into such an endeavor (look how well North Korea and Iran fare in 2013, even with so much computational power and the blueprints at their finger tips). Who knows, we might not even have the internet in such a world... and our computers would look very different. But we keep a couple thousand extra in taxes per year and sleep well knowing the economy is taking it's natural course.

Honestly, it is an interesting idea. If I could spend a week or a month in that world I'd totally jump at the chance. It could actually be better. But unfortunately, it's only hypothetical. I do not know of any example where truly free-economics operates. If they were wildly successful, I probably would have heard about it.

Historically, did the US meet success (becoming a superpower) because of super-capitalism or because it is a leader in technology? The USSR was a superpower too (no capitalism here), but (among many reasons) it didn't work out because they didn't realize the vast benefits of marrying capitalism with all of the beneficial technologies spawned off of their expansive research and development. Without the massive investments in research and development, between, during, and after the World Wars, would the US have become the dominant superpower that it is today? That's another hypothetical world, and I'll leave you to answer it for yourself.

Anyway, back the the question, how does the world around you not affect your future? I'm curious to know.


RE: :p
By Nfarce on 3/13/2013 9:40:25 PM , Rating: 2
I will only touch on one question of yours since this wasn't my battle:

quote:
how does the world around you not affect your future?


That's a pointless question. From the day we are born the "world" around us affects our future. That's without debate. The better question for this entire article subject would be "how does the government and politicians not make your life better?"

And I could give you dozens of examples of how not, starting in reverse chronological order latest to earliest with Obamacare that wasn't supposed to cause our health insurance costs and premiums to go up.


RE: :p
By MadMan007 on 3/14/2013 2:12:48 AM , Rating: 2
There are easily as many dozens of examples of government programs that improve your life. You just don't think of them because you take them for granted or they are so integrated into many aspects of your life that they aren't obvious.


RE: :p
By ebakke on 3/13/2013 9:45:09 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't say I'm not linked to people around me. I didn't say I don't interact with others, and with my environment. What I said was, "We're not part of some group together whereby we're seeking the same goals and have mutually agreed to make the same sacrifices." I'm not in this with you. I do not agree to spending my money subsidizing green energy, agriculture, space exploration, poor people, old people, sick people, stupid people, or anyone else's kids. I do not agree that we have problems "only the government can solve". I do not believe we have problems facing all of mankind that can only be solved by trampling on the freedoms of others.

You keep implying that because something exists that was funded by government, that it wouldn't exist otherwise. I accept that tax dollars funded the creation of the Internet. I also accept that a mechanism for communication between computers, across wide areas, is highly valuable outside of the DoD and that it (or something similar) would've been created anyway. I accept that I don't have a crystal ball, and I don't know what would've happened had the US gov't not spent that money. It could've taken decades later or never happened, as you suggest. Count me skeptical, but it's certainly possible. Those resources also could've been spent on something different, dare I say, better. Who knows, we might have had self driving cars, space habitats, eradication of AIDS, an energy source that you'd find acceptable, teleportation, etc.


RE: :p
By MadMan007 on 3/14/2013 2:20:04 AM , Rating: 2
So your position can be summed up as 'I'm selfish like a 3-year old.' Cool. Hope you never get sick, become poor, grow old (lol), or find yourself in any situation where government programs would help you, or if you do that you reject using any such programs.

The problem with assuming that markets would necessarily invent the same things is that for companies to invest in something, it needs to have some reasonable expectation of monetary return. There are other criteria than monetary return on which to judge the value of something.


RE: :p
By ebakke on 3/14/2013 10:45:39 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
So your position can be summed up as 'I'm selfish like a 3-year old.'

My position can be summed up as, "I'm just as selfish as every other human on the planet. And I don't claim anything different."

You seem to be missing the crucial point: I don't care if the government programs could/would help me. I don't want the 'benefits', I don't want to pay for them, and I don't get a choice. If I could stop funding them today, and sign a document that says "you're on your own should X happen" I'd be positively thrilled. If I did end up becoming sick or poor, and then had to "fend for myself" - why would you care? That's my problem to solve, is it not? How is my solution worse in your eyes?

quote:
The problem with assuming that markets would necessarily invent the same things is that for companies to invest in something, it needs to have some reasonable expectation of monetary return. There are other criteria than monetary return on which to judge the value of something.
I think you just unintentionally listed an argument in support of non-profits, charities, and other groups that add value (in a free market) without seeking a monetary return.


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