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Poor Ransom's Almanack: Nothing New About Electric Car

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

George257 wrote: As with any new technology, the first million purchasers are going to burn their fingers badly. It will be expensive until economies of scale kick in. But we have to wean ourselves off oil, unless you want the whole free world to continue funding the Muslims for the next few centuries until oil runs out anyway. – in response to Chevy Volt, Perfect Car for the One Percent, Suspends Production

Dear Comrade 257,

Um, I believe that electricity pre-dates gasoline as a power source. Look up: Franklin, Benjamin.

The only thing that is really “new” about electric cars is the persistency with which liberals try to impose poor engineering on to the laws of physics.

We have plenty of oil here in the U.S. if liberals- not just Obama- would let us develop and exploit it. While technically you are correct that “someday” we have to wean ourselves from oil, “someday” doesn’t have to be for another few hundred years.

UPDATE: One of my favorite readers Tina writes:

The history of the electric car

1st electric carriage 1832-1839 
1st "practical electric vehicle" 1835 
1st successful electric automobile 1891

1st gas automobile
1893 (1 cylinder 3 speed gasoline engine.. top speed 7 1/2 mph)
"By the 1900's, it was uncertain which type of engine would power the automobile. At first, the electric car was the most popular, but at the time a battery did not exist that would allow a car to move with much speed or over a long distance. Even though some of the earlier speed records were set by electric cars, they did not stay in production past the first decade of the 20th century. "

So even after all these years the same problem exists.. the cost of an electric car, the distance they can go, the speed.. so gasoline vehicles took over.

Comrade 257? Do you know Comrade 237?   

Mac287 wrote: Mr. Ransom, are you related to Rush Limbaugh or to Karl Rove? – in response to Chevy Volt, Perfect Car for the One Percent, Suspends Production

Dear Comrade 237,

That’s kind of an immature question.

Anyone can see that I have a lot more hair than either of those two.

Mod-Mark wrote: Yep, the Volt will use American coal, American natural gas and American nuke to change the batteries. You prefer to buy oil from the Saudi's? The free market will solve the issue concerning shortages of rare earth minerals. New mines are being opened up including one in the Sierra Nevada's. – in response to Chevy Volt, Perfect Car for the One Percent, Suspends Production

Dear Comrade Mark,

Ah, free markets for rare earth minerals, but not for oil or coal or natural gas?

It’s interesting how liberals can claim free markets as a solution on one hand, while deprecating free markets on the other hand.

The problem with your hypothesis is that Obama and liberals are hostile to coal, nukes and natural gas. While Obama uses pro-natgas rhetoric, it’s clear that his allies from the environmental left are dead-set against it. The EPA is forcing the shutdown of coal-fired plants and it’s virtually impossible to get a new net generating capacity permitted with coal. Since 2010, 12 new coal fired plant projects have been scrapped according to the Department of Energy.

“In addition to securing retirement dates for 100 coal plants nationwide,” reported the Huffington Post just days ago, “the Beyond Coal campaign has prevented 166 proposed new coal plants from being built, since 2002.”

Same thing with nuclear.

While the NRC approved the first permits in 30 years to Southern Companies to build nuclear plants, there is quite a bit to be done before completion, which is scheduled 4-5 years away in the best case scenario. In the meantime, much can happen to make one or both plants difficult to complete.

My father was the trustee on the WPPSS (Whoops) bond issues back in the 1980s. Those bonds went into default because of cost overruns necessitated by construction changes as a result of the Three Mile Island accident. I remember him telling me that partially completed nuclear power plants that will never be commissioned just don’t fetch a lot of money in the open market in a liquidation.

LonP wrote: It is not clear, as is often the case with Ransom, whether he is not understanding what he is reading, or if he is just saying something bizarrely buffoonish. If Daniels has reason for thinking that what he says is true, then he should welcome being asked because he can then provide the reason. That Ransom thinks there is some get here, how dare Kessler think that Daniels should be able to explain why he said what he did, is just bizarre. – in response to The WaPost "Fact Checker" is Awarded 3 Nobel Prizes

Dear Comrade Lon,

It’s for the Washington Post to actually do the research, not Governor Daniels.

I’ve verified that Daniels did the research and sent back to the “FactChecker” from the Post his reasoning.

What’s not clear is if the Post asked the White House the same kind of questions that they asked Daniels in their quest for the “truth.”

The key issue for the Post seems to be:  Did Secretary Chu, in his official position, ever say “I consciously want gas prices to go up”?

Traditionally, a “Fact-Checker” is expected to independently verify the veracity of claims, not just ask someone to prove them. It would seem to me to be of little objective value if all the Post was doing was emailing subjects of their hit pieces and asking them to prove their claims- as seems to be the case here- versus being an independent source searching for truth.

I think any objective person could reasonably conclude that the policies that Obama has advocated, especially with regards to alternative fuels, can only work if gas prices remain high as has been stated previously by members of the administration, including Obama himself. Whether or not they said this during their terms of office is irrelevant.

Abraham Lincoln once observed regarding Dred Scott and the Kansas-Nebraska Act that the net effect of policies were enough to convince him that there was an avowed pro-slavery conspiracy, even if no one was going to admit it outright. 

The Post conveniently applies this kind of common sense when it suits them and adopts a much more literal stance when it suits them. The “Fact-Checking,” in fact, is just an op-ed for the Post’s Glenn Kessler, not reporting.            

Kermudjin wrote: Some have said that the increase in gasoline prices is due to weakness in the dollar. I wonder? It would be nice if one of the economics writers here would address this possibility. – in response to The WaPost "Fact Checker" is Awarded 3 Nobel Prizes

Dear Kermudjin,

I have said in my column and elsewhere that high oil prices are a result in part of the loose money policies followed by the government. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that the rise in gold, oil, food prices and the stock market is mostly an inflationary phenomena, not the result of growth. You can see a nice article about this at Business Insider.   

Frank166 wrote: How is it that John Ransom can reveal my thoughts but still puts the facts in perfect understandable order? - in response to Obama Raises Economy from the Dead, Only to See Own Shadow

Dear Frank,

I eat right, I get plenty of exercise and I take Geritol every day.   

David 863 wrote: Well let’s see, the last time gas went to 4.00 a gallon the housing market blew apart. That was before Obama shut down Keystone, before he shut down electric power plants along with killing coal mining and the other industries that depend on coal, tossing trillions of dollars to the wind.  Let’s see gas is heading to 4.00 a gallon and higher again. Wonder what is going to blow apart this time? - in response to Obama Raises Economy from the Dead, Only to See Own Shadow

Dear David,

Housing could blow up again. Fannie is fighting with Bank of America now over who should pick up the tab for new mortgage meltdowns. Fannie Mae essentially is reneging on its obligation to insure the loans that Bank of America has in its portfolio. Never mind that the government forced BofA to buy many of those loans from failed mortgage lenders.

If Fannie gets its way, don’t expect BofA to survive unscathed.

When regulators picked winners and losers, it looks to me like they went out of their way to hurt BofA. Still BofA holds the largest share of bank deposits in the U.S. and a failure there would just start too-big-to-fail over again.

Killer15 wrote: Mr. Ransom, is your nickname "Idiot"? This is not about "Oil" but Hyper-Inflation! When will you learn? - in response to Drill, Barry, Drill

Dear Comrade Killer,

No sir. I think you have me confused with the book by Dostoyevsky by the same name. It happens all the time when I am at cocktail parties. But usually people confuse me with the novel War and Peace by Tolstoy, not the Idiot.    

Mod-Mark wrote: Oh please Mr. Ransom, are you looking for another free meal? I have a meatloaf recipe you may like. I can't believe you would use that "1.4 trillion barrels of oil" argument. This figure deals with potential total reserves which is meaningless. What good are these hydrocarbons if they cannot be recovered? Total reserves in the Bakken's is around 20 billion barrels. But with the current fracking technology, we can only recover around 4 billion. - in response to Drill, Barry, Drill

Dear Comrade Mark,

Congrats comrade. You made the two-fer list.

BTW, I hate meatloaf.

I have an idea for you though: Why not stop playing liberal economist- and chef- and let the free market decide how many barrels of oil Bakken and Green River will produce? You suggested we do that for rare earth minerals.

For all your supposed reasoning, Bakken output is higher and the estimated reserves are higher than was supposed even a year ago. Oil companies want to take the risk and develop the Green River formation. Why not let them?

Because in this case, the free market interferes with your ideology, that’s why.

OdinofAzgard wrote: Don'tcha love how twit Ransom says the NYT as "an incredibly stupid, misguided and ill-informed newspaper" right after he quotes it as a credible source? - in response to China Needs the Lack of Command and Control that Only Obama and Soros Can Offer

Dear Comrade Odin,

I didn’t quote the Times as a credible source. In this case the quote was accurate, but so what? I also quote the Huffington Post, the Sierra Club, SEIU. That doesn’t mean I agree with them. I agree with them when they are right and I don’t when they are wrong, which in my opinion, normally they are.

Your black and white thinking is the reason why people think of the progressive cosmology as a sort of mental disorder. You have no sense of proportion. Because I call the Times “an incredibly stupid, misguided and ill-informed newspaper” I therefore must always treat everything about it as incredibly stupid, misguided and ill-informed in your mind.

That’s not how life works, Odin.   

Shubi wrote: John Ransom: What is a "big minority". Do you mean a "small minority" or a "minority that is almost a majority"?- in response to China Needs the Lack of Command and Control that Only Obama and Soros Can Offer

Dear Shubi,

It’s kind of like military intelligence. Ponder that and report back.

Nunya8 wrote: OK, moron. So much for civil discussion, eh? The union and the company should be left to their own negotiations, and, like it or not, they ARE CO-DEPENDANT. Either they succeed together, or they fail together, in much the same way a parasite and host do. - in response to China Needs the Lack of Command and Control that Only Obama and Soros Can Offer

Dear Comrade Nunya,

Typical liberal: arguing for civil discussion by first calling someone a moron.

Another typical liberal aberration: That hosts and parasites both benefit from a relationship.

Here’s how Wikipedia defines parasite: “the parasite benefits at the expense of the other, the host.”

Speaking as a host- and I presume for all of the hosts- I’d rather that you departed from us, parasite.

You see, parasites often kill the host. Parasites and hosts aren’t co-dependent, as you claim. Hosts, like me, can get along quite well without the parasites demanding free student loans, free houses, free medical care, free drum circles.

Parasites however can not survive without the host.

In short, we are productive, you are not.

BWDII wrote: Nice to see you still have an aversion to the truth Mr. Ransom. The bailout was not meant to be a no strings attached handout it was a loan which kept these companies from going under, and if this hadn't been done thousands upon thousands of people would be out of work in an already economically depressed area. So you all know a fair portion of this loaned money has been paid back, but no one mentions this, because everyone's loves to hate the big bad auto companies who hate America and laugh while they steal your money.-  in response to The 99% That’s Not You Gets a $7,000 Cash Bailout Bonus

Dear Comrade BWDII,

A fair portion has been paid back? I guess that depends on what you define as “fair.”

I think a better admission would be that an unfair portion will never be paid back to the taxpayers, under any circumstances.

In fact, the TARP bailout was never intended to be used for the automotive industry.

“In December [of 2008], Congress failed to pass a bill authorizing a bailout of Chrysler and General Motors.  President Bush and now President Obama, however, proceeded with a bailout process even without legislative authority,” reports CNS.  “That process has cost the taxpayers billions of dollars and given the Executive Branch unilateral and unprecedented authority to control what happens to the two major auto companies.”

The result is a large loss by the taxpayers that never would have been allowed by Congress had they overseen the process.

“The president is being ill served by the auto task force. They’re making decisions that I think are making a tough situation much worse,” [Rep. Steven] LaTourette told “Now the president has off-loaded it and delegated it to this unelected and inexperienced – at least as far as the car business is concerned – automobile task force.”

“For a bunch of folks who say they don’t want to be in the day-to-day operation and don’t want to manage the old Chrysler and the new Chrysler into bankruptcy, they sure seem to be doing that – telling them how much they can spend on advertising, rejecting opportunities to avoid bankruptcy for both Chrysler and GM,” he said.

It’s doubtful that GM and Chrysler would have ceased operating.

They make products that are in high demand in the United States. The worst that would have happened is that a bankruptcy would have given the companies more freedom to nullify contracts entered into with the unions and more flexibility in future financing.

The bailout wasn’t of the auto industry, but rather of the auto union. It wasn’t a financial measure, but rather a political measure.      

chipnbarb wrote: What are new hires making at GM now? Did UAW workers take a pay cut to support the 'bail-out?' Did UAW retirees take any sort of cut in benefits? I agree unions have over-reached, but they were just taking what they could from inept management. Mr. Ransom; could you please detail how the $58,000 per year in benefits breaks down? Sounds high. Could it include the cost of training, equipment and tools to support each worker?-  in response to The 99% That’s Not You Gets a $7,000 Cash Bailout Bonus

Dear Comrades Chip ‘N Barb,

No, I can not detail the benefit breakdown. Do you know why? I’m not a liberal research assistant.

What are you? A “fact checker” for the Washington Post?

Why don’t you go do the research and come back and tell us all how enlightened the benefit program is? 

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