Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 20th Mar 2011 20:20 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless A major deal just went down in the United States, which seriously shakes up the mobile industry on the other side of the pond: AT&T has announced it plans to buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom.
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RE[3]: Invisible hand
by ricegf on Mon 21st Mar 2011 18:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Invisible hand"
Member since:

Yes, we're pretty close, I think.

I definitely support non-exclusive government funding for fundamental research (e.g., NASA), and making the results available to business on a non-discriminatory basis. Natural monopolies (e.g., power grid) must be regulated, of course, as must anything with public health implications such as nuclear power plants (which I strongly support, btw). I *love* farm subsidies, as they produce "too much" food (and that's such a great feature of America et. al. :-). I'm rather fond of cap and trade, because it makes environmentally friendly products more profitable relative to the alternative, which I much prefer to government edicts like the stupid light bulb ban.

Elsewhere, I prefer to let competition bring about the survival of the best products, with minimal interference from government. I used to be even more laissez-fare, but corporations like AT&T have convinced me otherwise. :-)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Invisible hand
by Neolander on Mon 21st Mar 2011 20:33 in reply to "RE[3]: Invisible hand"
Neolander Member since:

Cap and trade ? Sorry, I don't know of this english expression, can you explain how it works ? Is it when governments reimburse part of the cost of some products depending on their priorities ?

Didn't know that this crazy light bulb ban was also applied outside of my country ;) In my family, we gently "fight" it by buying halogens, which are still allowed to be sold : they last longer than classical incandescent bulbs, eat about half less power, and contrary to fluocompact bulbs they actually work properly and don't have some suspicious background around them.

About nuclear power plants... As a citizen of France and a physicist, I have a love-hate relationship with them. I think that until renewable, clean, and preferably decentralized sources of energy like wind power, hydropower, and photovoltaic panels are ready, it's technically the best option for massive production of electricity. But in many ways, the market and politics around nuclear power stink, and I'd prefer them gone...

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: Invisible hand
by spiderman on Mon 21st Mar 2011 22:10 in reply to "RE[4]: Invisible hand"
spiderman Member since:

In my opinion the best option is to consume power more intelligently. We just can't replace Nuclear power and have the same power output. We need to consume less power. Electric heaters should be banned and electric cars are a dead end. Home working should be the first option when possible.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Invisible hand
by ricegf on Mon 21st Mar 2011 23:10 in reply to "RE[4]: Invisible hand"
ricegf Member since:

Cap and trade is a plan by which the government creates a fixed level of allowable pollution, breaks it up into "credits", and sells them to businesses who create pollution as a side effect of running their business. Generating pollution without a credit results in a significant fine, but if a company has extra credits, it can sell them on the open market for whatever they will bring.

Yes, it's a form of taxation. But it makes pollution a business expense, so an otherwise $1 widget made with a lot of pollution may turn out to be less profitable than a $1.50 widget made with little pollution, and it offers competitive advantage to finding "greener" manufacturing processes. It also allows that "invisible hand" to help allocate the pollution we decide to allow in our environment to benefit the most people.

It has obvious disadvantages, of course. How does the government know how much pollution is the "right" amount? If enviro-nuts gain control of government, they may clamp down on credits and strangle the economy, while businesses have even more motivation to corrupt the process and create and endless supply of cheap credits.

C'est la vie.

All that is why I'm only mildly enthusiastic. Might work better than what we have now, which is a government demanding that businesses spend 50% of their profit to increase pollution filtration from 92% to 93%. *sigh*

Well, I also agree that nuclear isn't the long-term answer. It just has great base load characteristics to supplement the growing wind power system in Texas.

Reply Parent Score: 2