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Richard Schulze

Walker, MN
Commenter for
5 years 10 weeks

Recent Comments

Obamacare is in trouble because it tried to make a big social change while hiding who would pay for that change. The honest truth has always been that the rich, young, and healthy, and those on existing plans, will have to pay more for less, so that the poor, old, and sick can receive more. Had that been made clear, the present policy cancellations would be expected. Instead, Obama made every effort to claim that Obamacare would give us something for nothing. People hate being lied to, even...

Obamacare is the only major social welfare legislation ever passed with support from only one party. Until the Democrats find a way to change it that brings in some Republicans, it will remain a target for the Republicans. What did the Democrats expect? Do you think Social Security or Medicare would have lasted this long with only one party's support? Obamacare lives on borrowed time until it can be modified to receive bipartisan support. Eventually the Republicans will have the power to...

We'll get to see the affects of the ACA long after the web site gets straightened out. What is little acknowledged is that there will inevitably be further changes, no matter who is elected in 2014 and 2016. Both Democrats and Republicans will want further reform, and at least in small ways, they will get it. The most likely changes are reductions in the penalties for businesses, and lowering the minimum standards for the basic plans to reduce costs. The overall structure will likely be...

Posted on 09/18/13 at 08:55 pm in response to Klobuchar: GOP Obamacare plans amount to 'poison pill partisanship'

The issue is the funding levels. Boehner isn't just trying to pass a continuing resolution, he's not even just trying to pass a continuing resolution with the sequestration intact in it. Boehner is trying to pass a continuing resolution that maintains the sequester numbers for domestic spending BUT lifts the sequester off of defense spending.

In essence he's trying to remove the part of the sequestration that the GOP hates without removing anything that the Dems hate. That is why...

Ideological purity is easy when you're not the world's policeman. The US is the one and only candidate to punish Assad here. Nobody expects Norway to punish him. When you find yourself in that position for decades, it's hard to avoid situational ethics.

The debate on whether to drop the nuclear weapons in 1945 will go on forever. In the context of 1945, what had happened in the previous several years to change the standards of 'civilized' warfare, and the tactical military situation,...

Many of the successful charter schools in poor neighborhoods are successful because they attempt to overcome habits established in homes and earlier schools, habits of language, dress, respect, and discipline. They attempt to be an island of the best of middle class morality and ambition in the midst of a poor neighborhood that lacks both. It can be a blow to the parents' pride to see their children educated to become different from them. As such it is wise to limit charter schools to those...

Two thoughts:
1. One way to create good teachers is to make teacher training rigorous and difficult, with plenty of critical feedback, more like an engineering school than an Arts and Science college. That would both make the ones who make it through better and encourage the weak teachers to leave (vanishingly few flunk out of or leave teachers' college currently). Salaries would have to go up to attract enough candidates who could make it through that training.

2. Use your best...

Posted on 07/02/13 at 09:00 pm in response to Wind power is helping cut carbon-dioxide emissions at an impressive rate

There is an enormous amount of energy in the wind, but there is a very small amount hitting a given windmill. Directly harvesting wind and solar energy will always be hard because it is too diffuse. Storage is also a problem, but harvesting energy from a diffuse source will always be the hardest problem to overcome. Entropy is the enemy of renewable power, and entropy always wins (2nd law of Thermodynamics).

You never, ever shut down a refinery or a chemical plant. Almost all of them are sitting on top of environmental problems, especially the ones that have been around for decades. If you shut one down, it goes from a working manufacturing site to a toxic waste dump, and you'll be spending millions, possibly for decades, remediating. It's generally cheaper to keep it running just to escape those costs. That leads to some warped economics.

The people who will pay the highest share of a carbon tax are those who live in the Midwest, south and mountain states, i.e. those who do not live in big cities on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Whether deliberately or not, carbon tax schemes proposed so far would all transfer money from red states to blue states, from poor to rich, and from country to city. Any politically feasible carbon tax has to correct that problem. That unmentioned problem is a big part of the politics of carbon...