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Food for thought - college graduates who marry each other is also the leading cause of income inequality... http://ow.ly/vbpFa
Michael, Thanks for your additional comments. What we like about the new approach is that it clearly now overestimates how productive the installed wind capacity is - where our previous approach produced what might be considered a low-end estimate, the new approach represents a best case scenario - making it appear that the installed capacity recorded in the previous year is more productive than it really is. Of course, if we were to just limit our analysis to only those wind turbines that are actually operating at their design capacity as you've suggested, we would expect the capacity factor to be higher. Unfortunately, in the real world, a good portion of that installed capacity may either be idle or operating far below its design capacity, and the volatility observed in the best case scenario confirms the power generation reliability issue for utility consumers, who have to deal with the installed capacity that is available, whether it is operating or not. We're afraid that the wind tax credit analysis to which you linked considerably overstates the tax revenue "payback" of the federal credit. It is clearly a net loss at the federal level where the production tax credit is applied, especially after construction projects are completed. The analysis also omits the impact of state and local tax exemptions and credits, which make the hole that wind projects need to climb out of considerably deeper. If whoever put the analysis together is going to put state and local tax revenues from wind in the plus column, for the analysis to be valid, they cannot omit the costs of state and local tax credits and exemptions to taxpayers from the minus column as they have. Finally, we're well aware that the federal government has subsidized other forms of energy production. If they're not capable of standing on their own after decades of that kind of support, we will happily support eliminating their production tax credits as well. Best regards!
... Continuing ... For the 18-29% range in our original calculations, we should have found the range for number of homes served to be 8.7 million to 14 million. Matching a year's actual power generated with the previous year's installed capacity (the 25-38% range), we would find that wind has produced an amount of power that would be the equivalent to that consumed by 12.1 to 18.4 million homes. Or rather, 60,000 MW of installed capacity can generate an amount of electricity equivalent to that consumed by 12.1 million homes (in a bad year) or up to 18.4 million homes (in a good year). That's a lot of variability for utility consumers to deal with. 3. We're afraid that your third point is simply irrelevant. To be economically viable, wind energy needs to be able to stand on its own in generating positive returns for investors without the benefit of any government subsidies, mandates or protections. You've cited that fossil and nuclear energy produces have benefited from what works out to be a combined $298 billion of federal government support over a 60-year long period of time. The last we checked, just the big 3 oil companies in the U.S. (ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips) have paid almost that much ($289 billion), in federal taxes in just the past 5 years. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/05/25/sunday-review/corporate-taxes.html?smid=tw-share&_r=3& Thank you for bringing the math error to our attention!
Thanks for your comments, Michael. Taking your points in order: 1. Townhall unfortunately omitted the table that is included with the original version of the article. You can find it through the following link: http://politicalcalculations.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-withering-of-wind-power.html Since we were pretty clear in the article that we were not calculating the actual efficiency of wind energy generating equipment while running, which would also cover the situation where much reported capacity is installed late in the year, we're happy that we're not in disagreement with you, at all, over that issue. However, since the installation of wind-power generating capacity does follow such a clear and predictable seasonal pattern, as you've indicated, using annual data to determine the volatility of actual power produced by wind turbines is appropriate, as it will provide a good indication of its overall reliability for utility consumers over time. The results of our original math showed an 11 percentage point swing in the range of electricity generated with respect to installed capacity for the same year (18-29%). Based on your comments, we went ahead and redid the math for the actual electricity generated by wind power in a given year with respect to the installed capacity for wind in the previous year, which would better match electricity generated with capacity installed given the timing that you've indicated for when that new capacity is actually installed. We obtain a larger percentage (25-38%) as we would reasonably expect, but that represents an even larger 13 percentage point swing in the range of electricity generated with respect to installed capacity, which indicates that wind power is slightly less reliable and predictable for utility consumers than our previous calculations would suggest. 2. The results of our calculation of number of homes is indeed in error, as we missed a scale factor in our math. We have corrected the original version of the article (linked above), but are afraid that we cannot edit the article republished here at Townhall. Continued....
Guy writes: "How many voters would agree with the president's assessment that this law is "working the way it should"?" By "working the way it should", President Obama likely means "funneling money to major Democratic party campaign contributors." Not that the law not working should be any surprise - it never passed the personal finance test: Link: http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/politicalcalculations/2014/02/16/obamacare-the-personal-finance-of-adverse-selection-n1795685/page/full
For most people, and especially for young people, paying the tax and the cost of whatever health care they consume during the year will be less than the cost of the most affordable premiums under Obamacare, although there are some obvious exceptions, such as if you expect to have a baby before the end of the year, or if you have been diagnosed with a condition that is costly to treat (a good working definition of "costly" in this case is where the cost of treatment is greater than the health insurance deductible of the policy you would choose as being affordable). Some of our analysis of the personal finance involved is posted over at Townhall Finance: http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/politicalcalculations/2014/02/16/obamacare-the-personal-finance-of-adverse-selection-n1795685/page/full Be sure to scroll down to the links at the bottom of the article - we've linked to tools that you might find useful in deciding what your best options are, in addition to providing information that can help you both get affordable health care and avoid having to pay any "penalty" tax through some of the exemptions that the law provides. It's really pretty easy for an educated consumer to step around Obamacare - what's disappointing is that the so-called "consumer watchdogs" in the MSM haven't been the least bit interested in educating American consumers about what's possible under the law.
Author's note: This article was written on 29 January 2014 and originally posted on our own site early on 30 January 2014.
Just a heads up - the link in the article will take you to our main site, where the article will no longer be at the top of the articles presented there after this weekend - here's a permanent link for it: https://tinyurl.com/robots-or-min-wage-workers
It's also important to consider that Gini coefficients only consider the portion of the working age population (Age 15+) that have income, so what it's really measuring is the relative inequality among just income-earners, for whom the data is available (that's often missing in countries like India where data collection is poor, or is deliberately skewed in countries like Cuba).
Here's the first of a three-part series about what's really going on with respect to income inequality in the U.S., which we posted much earlier today and will continue through Friday, 6 December 2013. Reference link: https://tinyurl.com/IncomeInequalitySince1947 Alternatively, you can wait for it to appear over at Townhall Finance.... The funny part is that we wrote most parts of the series it months ago - this first post was the only one we wrote from scratch this week.
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