government should intervene more with alternative fuel
Debate Rounds (3)
people say the market will take care of itself. in the end, it will. but at what cost in the mean time? we should act now because we'll look back and see how much we've wasted on gasoline.
companies say they can make alternative biodiesel fuels for a dollar a gallon. (using algae farms, or any organic material, such as switch grass and other things more energy intensive than corn etc.. and exemplified by brazil etc who are energy dependent right now from gas)
but, there's a catch 22 occurring. alternative energy companies often must put operations on hold. why? because there's no demand. the consumers who make demand say there's no supply. who can afford as a consumer to buy alternative vehicles? the richer. does the rising prices right now of gasoline hurt them? not as much so they don't buy. but, even if they bought cars sometimes as they are now, there's still not much there in way of an infrastructure for the supply and demand sides.
the rich won't start buying more until it really starting hurting them. the poor won't do it cause they can't. the middle won't do it, probably for the same reason. it's conventional wisdom that the rich are the ones who start these new technologies... and the conventional wisdom is probably true here too.
but, unlike many situations with conventional wisdom... for alternative fuel, waiting till the rich start the technology isn't in the best interest of the country right now. that's because... unlike for many other things, like buying a DVD player... fuel isn't something that's simply a perk as much, and is a regular and substantial cost for the consumer. it has a noticeable affect on the economy.
while we're waiting for the rich to convert, what's happening? in the mean time, the poorer are spending their money on gas, or not being as productive. consider all that money they're spending on that, when they could be spending on an array of other things, going to the economy at large- you could buy a bunch of stuff, and support a bunch of companies, instead of a few companies, gas companies. (and foreigners, which is a major concern in and of itself)
to make it more of a practical example. say a new biodiesel machine at a gas station costs fifty thousand. all that money that the poorer are wasting right now would have been more than enough to either subsidize or lend to that station. (you could lend the money to them... and ensue they make a tidy profit before they ever have to pay it back, if ever considering there's a risk they might not make money) if we invested in them as a government then, the effects would be much sooner, and the poorer and middle class would save more, and it'd be a boon to the economy. (plus all the jobs involved with the transitioning infrastructure)
government intervention is the way to break the catch 22 sooner when it'll make a difference for the economy, than later when we'll look back and see all that wealth that has been squandered.
as to the argument the government should not be 'picking winners'. this is mostly based on the idea that who knows what technology will prevail. biodiesal, electric cars, etc. but, we can act as a hedge, and catalyst. making the companies get a head start to start sorting out the direction the economy should go.
i personally would be opposed to a 'Manhattan project' type situation, cause we'd put so much resources into a certain technology that might not even be the best. but we can act as catalysts.
switchgrass is close to being viable in terms of per barrel costs, if it had a bigger infrastructure and economy of scale operation going on
algae fuel which uses our current infrastructure needs to expand more to keep operation costs down with economy of size operation, and would be competitive with current crude oil costs if it was
electric vehicles are expanding, and need infrastructure
See Solyndra as an example.
the problem, though, is during that transition, costs can be kept lower on the supplier to help make the products more economically feasible. we don't have to tax everyone..... and if we chose not to tax people who create good things for us, that is entirely fair. or we could just help them pay for their employees starting out. the problem with solyndra and such is just throwing money at problems doesn't help much, and causes a lot of waste. if the companies have to invest mostly their own money, it will still have the benefit of directing innovation through the free market choices of efficiency.
There is no reason to believe that "this time it will be different".
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Selective taxation *is* intervention.
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