A Failed Experiment

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Wehrwolfen, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. Wehrwolfen
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    Wehrwolfen Senior Member

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    A Failed Experiment​




    By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
    November 21, 2012

    In upper-middle-class suburbs on the East Coast, the newest must-have isn’t a $7,500 Sub-Zero refrigerator. It’s a standby generator that automatically flips on backup power to an entire house when the electrical grid goes out.

    In part, that’s a legacy of Hurricane Sandy. Such a system can cost well over $10,000, but many families are fed up with losing power again and again.

    (A month ago, I would have written more snarkily about residential generators. But then we lost power for 12 days after Sandy — and that was our third extended power outage in four years. Now I’m feeling less snarky than jealous!)

    More broadly, the lust for generators is a reflection of our antiquated electrical grid and failure to address climate change. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave our grid, prone to bottlenecks and blackouts, a grade of D+ in 2009.

    So Generac, a Wisconsin company that dominates the generator market, says it is running three shifts to meet surging demand. About 3 percent of stand-alone homes worth more than $100,000 in the country now have standby generators installed.

    “Demand for generators has been overwhelming, and we are increasing our production levels,” Art Aiello, a spokesman for Generac, told me.

    That’s how things often work in America. Half-a-century of tax cuts focused on the wealthiest Americans leave us with third-rate public services, leading the wealthy to develop inefficient private workarounds.

    It’s manifestly silly (and highly polluting) for every fine home to have a generator. It would make more sense to invest those resources in the electrical grid so that it wouldn’t fail in the first place.

    But our political system is dysfunctional: in addressing income inequality, in confronting climate change and in maintaining national infrastructure.

    The National Climatic Data Center has just reported that October was the 332nd month in a row of above-average global temperatures. As the environmental Web site Grist reported, that means that nobody younger than 27 has lived for a single month with colder-than-average global temperatures, yet climate change wasn’t even much of an issue in the 2012 campaign. Likewise, the World Economic Forum ranks American infrastructure 25th in the world, down from 8th in 2003-4, yet infrastructure is barely mentioned by politicians.

    So time and again, we see the decline of public services accompanied by the rise of private workarounds for the wealthy.

    Is crime a problem? Well, rather than pay for better policing, move to a gated community with private security guards!

    Are public schools failing? Well, superb private schools have spaces for a mere $40,000 per child per year.

    Public libraries closing branches and cutting hours? Well, buy your own books and magazines!

    Are public parks — even our awesome national parks, dubbed “America’s best idea” and the quintessential “public good” — suffering from budget cuts? Don’t whine. Just buy a weekend home in the country!

    Public playgrounds and tennis courts decrepit? Never mind — just join a private tennis club!


    [excerpt]


    Read more:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/22/opinion/kristof-a-failed-experiment.html?_r=0
     
  2. Charles_Main
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    Charles_Main AR15 Owner

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    Generators are really impractical to. Most of the ones you run out to Home Depot to Buy, will cost you about 5 fucking Gallons of Gas an Hour to run, if you intend to use it at full capacity.

    Seems like it could be done more efficiently, especially in areas like where I live where Natural Gas Heat is standard, with Natural Gas fired generators.
     
  3. tyroneweaver
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    tyroneweaver Gold Member

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    ya and the rich are paying for some welfare queen having 6 kids from 5 different daddies

    How many times though ya try and tell poor people to make adjustments in the way they live and they cry foul ie babies out of wedlock.
     
  4. Freewill
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    Freewill Gold Member

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    Almost all of the residential generators do run on NG or propane. Those of us who have neither have no choice but to buy gasoline powered generators. Or huge battery banks which I doubt could last a week. I have been without power for 7 days and 4 days in the last 25 years, with other not so long outages. My wife wants me to buy a generator. I had one which I bought during the 7 day outage because I had horses to water and a well to run. But now I am resisting replacing it. I tell her we will just go to a motel. The wood stove will keep the house warm.
     
  5. Photonic
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    Photonic Ad astra!

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    Proof once again that your ideology is founded in racism.
     
  6. Freewill
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    Freewill Gold Member

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    Sorry I don't see where color is brought up in the post to which you replied.

    I do believe you are making an assumption, a faulty one, that every woman on welfare is black. That line of thought does go with the democrat mindset. So yes racism did rear its head.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012
  7. Photonic
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    Photonic Ad astra!

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    I never said what color. But nice of you to assume.
     
  8. Jarlaxle
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    Jarlaxle Gold Member

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    You can get a portable 6.5kW gas genset for about $500, shipped to your door.

    My elderly (1970's) 8.5kW is still going strong...it will power everything in my house except the dryer. I don't want a propane genset...my LP tank isn't that big, and I can get gas a whole lot easier than LP!
     
  9. bucs90
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    bucs90 Gold Member

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    OUTSTANDING thread.

    You 100% accurate.

    The wealthy will have their services no matter what: either public police or private security. Either a great power grid or self owned generators. Whatever their "need" is, they'll have it.

    Its just will everyone else? Taxes fund a govt to ensure everyone has basic needs met. Lowering taxes ensures only the rich are ensured to have it, and we'll HOPE everyone else can.
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
  10. Dot Com
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    Dot Com Nullius in verba Supporting Member

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    Wehrwolfen can't grasp what "government of the people, by the people, for the people" means or she wants to start her own country. I applaud her for using a mainstream source for her story however as opposed to something from say the American Spectator
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012

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