Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Rachel Maddow hits a homer tonight

I personally find Rachel Maddow a bit oversnarky. Sure, Olbermann is played with his schtick - way over the top, but I have always been a little annoyed by Maddow. But flipping around I landed on MSNBC and she was interviewing the head of Duke Energy about Cap and Trade. She really nailed him - of course he changes the topic as well as Rush Limbaugh and Rob Anderson, but the point was clear.

He discussed the fact that a lot of investment went into Coal plants and we needed a "smooth transition" to non-carbon producing energy. Maddow posited that Duke Energy had made a lot of money off those coal plants for decades, producing a lot of pollution that the general population has had to pay for (even if you are a global warming denier the health impacts of burning coal are pretty clear).

He responded that he has been a consumer advocate early in his career and has fought for consumers, and they would not be able to take the sticker shock of the increased price of electricity and we needed to protect the consumer.

Maddow read my mind with her comeback - "Is Duke Energy Profitable?"


To paraphrase Maddow -

If you agrees we need to move away from carbon, and you think we need to protect the consumer - why doesn't Duke Energy take the hit? After all you made a ton of money putting pollution into the air at the cost of the cosumer...

He then babbled about prices being set by regulators blah blah double speak.
Good Stuff. March 3 show, entitled "Power Play"


All4profit said...

It may surprise you to learn that business, like dry cleaners, tool and die makers, airlines and power companies operate in order to make a profit. Yes. I was as floored as you probably are right now when I found out that people who own companies are actually making money from producing products that people want.

My 12 year old boy asked me if he was lucky to live in a country where he has the right to pursue the dream of, perhaps, someday owning a big company, like a power company or an airline. I told him that not only was it his right, but that with hard work and dedication and a commitment to personal excellence, that dream would someday be a reality. I explained that the chances for his success increase everyday.

With every day that passes, his peers are being subjected to the philosophy that aspiring to such greatness is a greedy, evil undertaking. Everyday, children his age, the very children that he will someday compete against in the real-world job market are being indoctrinated to think that the glutenous act of running a profitable business, pales next to the sort of prosperity, security and comfort that can only be provided by the federal government.

Those children will be whining about how greedy the rich are, even though their heroes will be just like today's rich, greedy hippocrates with heavy "carbon footprints" (Oprah, Alec Baldwin, George Soros, Katie Couic, Matt Lauer etc..). So, while my son is staking his claim in tomorrows job market, yours will be curled up in the fetal position and hoping for more change.

God Bless America... and the founding principles that made her great.

Yokota Fritz said...

Profit, you've entirely missed the point. The harm isn't in doing business or making a profit, the harm is in externalizing the cost to you and I. Duke has socialized the costs of doing business -- they profit at your considerable expense.

Passing the liabilities of their business to the public at large maximizes Duke's profit while subtracting from the future prospects of your son.

Have you ever been in Beijing, Shanghai or Mexico City? The air there is the result of no industry regulation. Without regulation, we'd have the same unbreathable soup in the good ol' USA. We were approaching that in the 70s -- some forecasters even predicted Denver might be uninhabitable by the mid 80s -- when Nixon signed the Clean Air Act into law. God bless the USA indeed.

Frank Irwin said...

"Glutenous act of running a profitable business"?

Sounds messy.

murphstahoe said...

All4Profit - I assume that your response is mostly cut and paste from the Rush Limbaugh Form Letter Factory - posted on your blog and then crossposted to anyone discussing Maddow. Given you've picked this particular topic you are probably some Power company Sock puppet who knows all this stuff and doesn't care - but I'll respond anyway.

I find it very amusing that the dittoheads have latched onto Rush's party line that "Democrat" is code for "Socialist/Communist". Far from the truth. Wall Street may be the den of capitalism, but Silicon Valley is definitely the Summer Home of Capitalism, and that is where I ply my trade as a semiconductor engineer - which is a pretty lucrative gig that affords me a lot of nice things. A battered economy is very bad for me - because we make a pretty high end product that sells great in good times, not so much in bad times. And while I could fall back on Organic Gardening, I'm not very good at it because I make enough money making computer chips that I can just buy those high falutin veggies from Whole Paycheck. Fritz shares my vocation, but he also uses some ten cent words like "externalized", let me make it more clear.

Now my company produces Graphics Microprocessors - the byproduct of which is some of the nastiest, most toxic, unpronouncable goop known to man. We spend a LOT of money making sure that this ooze does not make it out of the factory in raw form. We'd make a heck of a lot more profit if we just dumped it in your backyard, but you'd be dead of cancer before your son's graduation from Junior High (of course he'd be dead too). Cleaning up our crap is a cost of doing business - if we can't make a profit without doing so, we don't have a valid business model.

Maybe Semiconductors are too esoteric. So let's imagine I own a Peanut Butter Factory. Now one thing about Peanuts, you have to fertilizer those things and sometimes little creepy bugs get into the peanut butter, things that can KILL you. But if I find a batch of Peanut Butter with Salmonella, I have to throw it out or people will die. But that impacts my profit margin, so I just ship it anyway. Not only do people die, but the FDA spends millions of dollars trying to track down the source. Hundreds of companies are adversely affected by the recall - affecting their profits and costing thousands of jobs, but what do I care - I just declare Chapter 7 (costing my employees their jobs) and run off to the Bahamas.

You make a mess, you clean it up, you pay. My Dad - who voted Republican - taught me that lesson and I believe it. If Duke can't make a profit on electricity despite paying carbon caps, they should go out of business. Darwinism - the Social kind that maybe you believe in.

Dad also taught me to tell the truth and be honest. The Duke Energy CEO is being a coward. Maddow pinned him down and he said "This will cause us to raise prices and hurt our customers" when the truth is "This will cause us to raise prices, people will use less electricity and we'll make less money". I might have some modicum of respect for the guy if he had the balls to just say "This hurts our bottom line so we're against it" instead of throwing out a bunch of spin.