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  • NOW: Live POLITICO Webchat on Jobs, Economy & the Death Tax

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to NOW: Live POLITICO Webchat on Jobs, Economy & the Death Tax

    1. Dr. Jim Garrow, Casa says:

      A discussion that would include the failure of our education system to remain competitive with the rest of the world would certainly be valuable and of interest.

    2. Randy Dutton, CDR, U says:

      Why has no one blown the whistle on the many negative aspects of adding ethanol to our fuel supply as partly illustrated by the OPEI (Outdoor Power Equipment Institute) report. Ethanol is a job killer. With Americans owning over 100 million pieces of small engine equipment, nearly all are of these equipment are susceptible to damage by ethanol in fuel, the cost to America is in the tens of billions of dollars per year in replacing prematurely failed equipment. This cost is not just borne by individuals or industry, but by government as well. With that I have personal experience. China and some other countries do benefit from our turning power equipment into consumables because they are significant exporters of small engine equipment to us. But it is at the detriment to our trade imbalance. And the premature destruction of our equipment presents a further problem, the millions of discarded damaged tools now become contaminating burdens to our landfills.

      The dramatically increased risk in safety from disintegrating and leaking fuel lines, overheating equipment, emergency equipment failure to operate, stranded boats, stalled aircraft engines, increased forest fire potential should be front page news. Couple that with the increase in pollution caused by ethanol emissions, poorly functioning equipment caused by corrosion and additive breakdown, and increased fuel volatility, and we have a perfect storm of failure. As a case in point, the Washington State Dept of Ecology told me directly during my legislative campaign that any more than 2% ethanol in the fuel supply means Seattle doesn’t meet EPA ozone attainment.

      As you probably know, the EPA had delayed its report on E15 until mid 2010.

      The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) announced that it remains concerned by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) response to the Growth Energy waiver on 15 percent ethanol as it overlooks the impact on hundreds of millions of outdoor power equipment used by consumers, such as utility vehicles, lawnmowers, chainsaws, snow throwers and other affected equipment, including boats, ATVs, motorcycles and snow mobiles.

      “EPA’s letter basically addressed the consideration of E15 for newer automobiles, but ignores the substantial non-automobile product families and the economic and safety issues related to their use,” said Kris Kiser, Executive Vice President at OPEI. “However, we’re pleased that EPA acknowledges more testing is needed.”

      Department of Energy testing of mid-level ethanol blends on outdoor power equipment engines demonstrated performance irregularities and failure on tested product. “Should EPA allow higher levels for newer autos, we still face a daunting task of educating millions of consumers and labeling pumps to prevent possible mis-fueling that could potentially harm engine equipment and its users,” added Kiser.

      The Institute has a study of the DOE study, http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/blog2/2009/11/30/epa-expec...

      Further, the illusion of creating jobs manufacturing “green” energy devices falls flat when one realizes China has a near monopoly on the resources necessary to produce the equipment. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/01/business/global/01mine...

    3. Randy Dutton, CDR, U says:

      A better reference for the OPEI report is http://www.opei.org/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/1926

    4. Jerry from Chicago says:

      Dr. Garrow, AZ — I don't understand your comparison of the U.S. education system to those of other countries.

      In other socialized countries the decision to go on to higher education lies with the state, not with the individual or his/her parents. On the basis of standardized tests and performance in elementary schools, the state determines if students have sufficient intellect and commetment to be allowed higher education. Those less qualified are steered into trade schools, regardless of their personal preferences.

      In many foreign countries education is considered a privilege, not a right. Educational systems in other countries are more concerned with what a student learns than with a students self-esteem. Standards are rigorous and are not lowered to accomodate slow and non-learners. In other countries students that can't meet learning standards do not advance, they don't pass "Go" and they don't "Collect $200.00".

      Why is it somehow a teacher's fault when 'students' in a classroom don't want to be there, don't care at all about the material being taught and who couldn't care less about grades, or what anyone, including their own parents, think of them? Why is it that schools in this country cannot enforce disciplinary codes of conduct and dress without fear of lawsuits from angry parents and/or the ACLU?

      No one can make a kid care about learning if they don't want to. It's like trying to make somebody like you. If they don't want to, it isn't going to happen.

      Why is it that in this country a student can be insubordinate, defy teachers' legitimate requests to comply with school policies, curse them out with the filthiest of obscenities and even threaten teachers with physical violence and be allowed to remain in the school? Other countries educational systems don't tolerate this.

      When people like our first NASA astronauts were in grade school and high school, schools had disciplinary codes that they could enforce. Students could not get away with defying a teacher, cursing a teacher or (God forbid) striking a teacher. Such conduct would lead to immediate expulsion and possibly corporal punishment in the dean's office and more of the same when a kid got home. Some kids worked hard, made good grades and advanced. Some flunked out of school. Under this educational system, America put men on the moon and brought them home safely.

      It's nice if an educational system can help kids feel good about themselves, but that shouldn't be the goal. Lowering standards, teaching to the test just to raise school test scores, eliminating the A through F grading system and promoting students from grade school into high school when they haven't learned to read at a 5th grade level doesn't make kids any smarter. This results in a crop of functional illiterates.

      Young or old, those who are determined to fail will succeed to fail.

    5. Chrissie P. says:

      Some of the stuff I read on your blog is just great. Keep up the wonderful work. ~Christina

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