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We need $4.00/ gallon fuel

S Ebels
S Ebels Member Posts: 2,322
Right now I'm so frustrated I could just scream. Went to see a couple building a new home. Long story short, they were spending BIG, REALLY BIG $$$$$ on all the glitzy stuff. Fireplace for the living room, fireplace for the bedroom, Corian counters, you know the type. BUT!! when it came to the HVAC system........ "Just put in a furnace, that's what everyone else has". "HRV? What's that?" etc. etc.etc. etc. The only thing that even remotely got their attention was a heated towel bar in the bathroom. To them, that was the only valid reason to even consider a hydronic based system of any kind.

I don't think I'll be doing any work for them.

People are so blind sometimes, so locked into the show instead of the go. I just can't believe they are that short sighted.
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Comments

  • Mike Kraft_2
    Mike Kraft_2 Member Posts: 398
    Heck..............

    Sell em an electric towle bar!I feel your pain Steve.

    cheeese
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,710
    That's the house

    that will run out of fuel first when supplies run short.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
    Geeze Steve!!!!!


    I don't want to pay $4/gal!!!!

    I get your point though. The most important parts of ANY climate controlled building too often take a back-seat to the "pretty" stuff.

    I try to steer my customers into tight construction with the best thermal blanket they can get. Unfortunately, it's usually pink insulation and a home that has HUGE leakage. Now we need to design around much higher heat losses and gains which increases the size of the equipment and drives up consumption and cost of operation.

    Next time I get one of those I am going to include Sorel insualted boots in my proposal. I'll tell the folks it's the cheapest way to have warm feet in the winter while they are in their new home!

    Mark H

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  • Robert O'Connor_6
    Robert O'Connor_6 Member Posts: 299
    Sorrel's

    > I don't want to pay $4/gal!!!!

    >

    > I get your

    > point though. The most important parts of ANY

    > climate controlled building too often take a

    > back-seat to the "pretty" stuff.

    >

    > I try to

    > steer my customers into tight construction with

    > the best thermal blanket they can get.

    > Unfortunately, it's usually pink insulation and a

    > home that has HUGE leakage. Now we need to design

    > around much higher heat losses and gains which

    > increases the size of the equipment and drives up

    > consumption and cost of operation.

    >

    > Next time I

    > get one of those I am going to include Sorel

    > insualted boots in my proposal. I'll tell the

    > folks it's the cheapest way to have warm feet in

    > the winter while they are in their new

    > home!

    >

    > Mark H

    >

    > _A

    > HREF="http://www.heatinghelp.com/getListed.cfm?id=

    > 238&Step=30"_To Learn More About This

    > Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in

    > "Find A Professional"_/A_



  • Robert O'Connor_6
    Robert O'Connor_6 Member Posts: 299
    Sorrel's

    > I don't want to pay $4/gal!!!!

    >

    > I get your

    > point though. The most important parts of ANY

    > climate controlled building too often take a

    > back-seat to the "pretty" stuff.

    >

    > I try to

    > steer my customers into tight construction with

    > the best thermal blanket they can get.

    > Unfortunately, it's usually pink insulation and a

    > home that has HUGE leakage. Now we need to design

    > around much higher heat losses and gains which

    > increases the size of the equipment and drives up

    > consumption and cost of operation.

    >

    > Next time I

    > get one of those I am going to include Sorel

    > insualted boots in my proposal. I'll tell the

    > folks it's the cheapest way to have warm feet in

    > the winter while they are in their new

    > home!

    >

    > Mark H

    >

    > _A

    > HREF="http://www.heatinghelp.com/getListed.cfm?id=

    > 238&Step=30"_To Learn More About This

    > Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in

    > "Find A Professional"_/A_



  • This is said in jest, so please don't get ruffled

    If people would spend more time at "Heating Help", enlisting their kids to research and less time at "Fag and Garden Television" we'd have ever more sensible homes and ever more efficient heating systems.
  • Boilerpro_3
    Boilerpro_3 Member Posts: 1,231
    That's probably what we're already paying

    factor in all the costs of a massive trade deficit and a huge military to protect our fuel sources overseas, not to mention loss of life, environmental pollution and increased health costs and we're probably already there and then some.

    In my City and Regional Planning training in college, it was often said the quickest way to solve many of our country's problem was to raise the cost of fuel to $4.00 per gal. Urban sprawl would stop, SUV's and the resulting deaths in accidents would drop, our interstates would be clear, people would live only a short ways to work so they would have more time with family and the list goes on.

    Boilerpro
  • S Ebels
    S Ebels Member Posts: 2,322
    Details

    Try $25,000 for a floor to ceiling stone fireplace in the great room.

    Or how about 5 different varieties of hardwood floors in the house. Now add ceramic tile to the rest of the place. 3,400 sq ft on the main floor alone for tile and wood.

    Or this: Corian in the bathrooms and utility room plus granite in the kitchen.

    They seemed ecstatic that the main entry door to the house with custom stained glass in the sidelights was only going to cost $9,200.

    The builders "allowance for the HVAC system? Try $12,000!!

    Duh!

    I said DUH!!!

    Mark, you are correct on the insulation. It's going to be fiberglass. The builder recommended it because his guys can put it in. "Helps to keep the job on schedule" was his reason. Funny, I thought the purpose of insulation was to help keep the home comfortable and reduce energy consumption. Learn something new every day.
  • heatboy
    heatboy Member Posts: 1,468
    I for one...........

    don't ever want to pay $4.00 a gallon (or equivalent gas pricing) for fuel. Be careful what you wish for, Steve. I can assure you that if fuel prices ever get that high, the government will have it's hands in my business even more than they are now.

    hb
    heatboy



    The Radiant Whisperer





    "The laws of physics will outweigh the laws of ecomomics every time."
  • Constantin
    Constantin Member Posts: 3,796
    ...by one estimate...

    ... the current cost of protecting the flow of oil into our country costs about $5/barrel in terms of military $$$ expenditures in the gulf. However, it does not capture the human cost nor the tremendous benefit such an investment in productive assets could entail.

    I find it hilarious when US politicians rail about dependence on foreign oil and energy, then promptly do nothing, or worse, do everything to increase inefficiency. For example, due to the SUV-tax-break (initially intended for poor farmers, BTW), I know a guy on another board who is getting his $100k+ Porsche Cayenne for free... The SUV tax break should be repealed and re-targeted properly, if it is actually needed.

    Along the way, BINDING tax increases should be levied on all fuels to give people time to adjust their lifestyles. Once everyone knows that they'll pay $4 a gallon (in todays prices) in 20 years, they'll start making economic decisions on the basis of minimizing fuel expenses... including paying more attention to conserving rather than burning up natural resources. Furthermore, the gas tax should not only be used for highway projects, subsidizing public transportation is just as important.

    Locally, the absurdity of it all reaches even higher limits. As you probably all know, Boston got a big gift from the Feds in highway money for the Big Dig. Along the way, whole parts of Beantowns downtown highway infrastructure were dropped below ground and a new tunnel system was built out to the airport (via pre-built barges that were sunk in place).

    However, a badly needed public transportation connection between North Station, South Station, and the airport was not built because Federal Highway money cannot be spent on public transportation projects. The end result: Folks still have to drive to the airport because taking public transportation out there is a long, drawn-out PITA. Meanwhile, Boston has repeatedly raised the taxes and tolls along the way so that the only alternative (Taxis) costs $45+ for a 9 mile drive.

    Nonetheless, the real fault lies with us, the voters. If we don't make environmental stewardship a plank in our political agenda, then we won't elect representatives who'll make it a plank in theirs. Traditionally, politicians are perfectly happy to give us what we want, including mutually-exclusive options like tax breaks + federal deficits.
  • Constantin
    Constantin Member Posts: 3,796
    Wow...

    I guess our house is on the other extreme of things. Our chimney (45', 3 flues) + fireplaces will cost ½ what we'll spend on the whole-house insulation (Icenyne + closed-cell PU). Different priorities, I guess.

    You're right though, they seem to be spending the money on the glitz, not the substance. Worse, their current spending habits will ensure fireworks should anyone be silly enough to raise the cost of their energy.
  • Constantin
    Constantin Member Posts: 3,796
    I think that depends on the tax structure...

    ... currently, the government get's the majority of its taxes through income. Way back when at the beginning, it got its money from customs levies. Who is to say that we cannot rejigger where the government gets its money from next?

    As long as we voters keep increasing the overall size of government (fed + state + local) through demanding additional regulations, passing new laws, etc., someone has to pay for it, somehow. We get the government we deserve...

    Now, if we were to start taxing consumption rather than investments, folks may actually reverse the trend of hocking everything to maximize consumption and minimize investments. Our national savings rate has been negative for years, a trend the Federal government loves to emulate. If we don't change our behaviour, we're going to look at huge trouble down the road.

    Lastly, you could also make an argument for increasing consumption taxes and eliminating income taxes on the basis of eliminating vast sections of the Federal and local tax code. Simplify tax collection, reduce audits, etc. It could (in theory) be a more efficient way to fund everything we seem to hold dear than the current approach.
  • joel_19
    joel_19 Member Posts: 931
    typical

    Around here you can pay up to a million plus for a 50 year old ranch house. These typically are gutted and trippled in size or simply torn down to get the lot. That's in nicer suburbs closer to the city. Out here in the burbs about 40 miles away it's cheaper but still out of hand. Corian counter tops??? that's sooooo 90s everything here is Granite . I see houses where they want the 15k HVAC system and they are spending 20k on the counters alone never mind the rest of the kitchen. I don't buy the argument of 4$ a gallon that the greenies tote Here's why. There are no jobs here people must commute to where the jobs are. The greenies say no problem people will live close to where they work. HAHAHA really??? How??? In those towns where the work is houses are typically a million plus. There is very little land if any to build any more and the greenies fight the biulders every step of the way. They are sooooo hypocritical!!!! They want us to live near the jobs yet they oppose every affordable housing project that is proposed, and by affordable where still talking several hundred thousand per house, so no fear of Camaros up on blocks. They want clean energy yet they oppose the biulding of windmills because some birds might get shredded by the rotor blades. They oppose solar cause those mirror arrays just clash with the trees plus you'd have to cut some trees down to install them (Heresy). I think they simply can't see the forest for the trees (pun intended!) Cars today are very clean yet they are on an SUV witch hunt. Our houses are horendous energy hogs but they don't even say boo. Know why? because if they have to have better biult houses it will cost them more $$$$$ and they don't want to part with it.Here's my take I'll support 4$ gas when the greenies support the following. Easing restrictions on development of lower cost housing. Banning fiberglass insulation and mandating higher eff lighting and heating for homes ,and even more importantly commercial construction. Embracing alternative energy such as wind power , solar , Biodiesel and cooking oil diesel etc.
    There are some who trully are putting thier money where there mouth is and are buying/biulding really good houses,buying hybreds etc, and that's great. For the most part though I think people are into acting green cause it's the trendy popular thing to do.

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  • joel_19
    joel_19 Member Posts: 931
    Interesting concept

    But how does one define "consumption" is a boat Consumption? what about a Harley? Would resteraunts be taxed as "consumption" ,airline travel to Disneyworld? Actually any travel not needed for biusness could be classified as consumption right? good concept but pretty scary at the same time. imean who's going to make those decisions? iwouldn't want it to be me.

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  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106
    Sliding scale

    BTU load of the home, heating and cooling, size of the family living in the home determines the cost per therm of energy for that residential building.

    A family of two building a 12,000 sq. ft. glass McMansion should pay more for heating and cooling energy. As well as all the natural resources consumed to build. Not unlike a gas guzzler tax.

    Use the tax proceeds, as Aspen does, to build alternate energy structures for the public, schools etc.

    hot rod

    hot rod

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  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,656
    Welcome

    to the world of conspicuous consumption! I see this kind of project on a weekly basis. Most of the time, there is very little consciousness as to what system would be best for the home (or building). Owners would much rather spend on what they see, rather than what they "feel". I think Viessmann should build a DVD player into the Vitotronic display. Maybe that would get folks more excited than saving energy!! You're absolutely correct in saying that until fuel costs exceed $4/gallon, there will be little perceptual change in setting priorities: architectural versus mechanical; Low performance vs. high performance.

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  • BillW@honeywell
    BillW@honeywell Member Posts: 1,099
    Don't give up the ship just yet...

    I know your frustration. Here in Joisey where a dilapidated shack goes for 6 figures, I see this all the time. The $100K kitchen that gets used twice a year by a caterer, because all Ms. Homeowner knows how to make for dinner is reservations, the lack of any thought toward comfort & efficiency...I could go on for days!

    Try this. Send the homeowners a letter thanking them for the opportunity to quote on their comfort system. Remind them that energy costs are the third largest cost of homeownership, after mortgage & taxes. Remind them that they will be living with the results of their comfort system choice for the next 15-20 years, and that poorly functioning heat & cooling systems are very expensive to remedy, let alone operate!

    Do a 5 year Return-on-Investment calculation, factoring in the cost of oil/gas/electricity consumption based on a typical 80/11 scorched air system as opposed to whatever you are proposing. Enclose some pix from that log cabin project you got recognized for in "The News" a couple years ago.

    If they're that spendy, propose snow melt! If they want AC, ask about allergies, discuss air cleaning, mention forced air zoning, remote phone access & system monitoring, humidification control...hardwood floors do not do well with poor humidity control. Note that with in-floor radiant, Ms. Homeowner's designer isn't constrained by heating /cooling discharges & intakes as to where her furniture/draperies go. Mention how chilly ceramic tile floors and wall are in the winter,remind them about the heated towel racks, fog-free mirrors and make them "feel the comfort"!

    This maybe too late, but give it a try...it just might work. Sorry about the long winded reply.
  • heatboy
    heatboy Member Posts: 1,468
    My concern is more.......

    about the Fed making new and even more ridiculous regulations, licensing and inspections. All done by people who know less about what I do than I do. I'm for less governing and more common sense by the citizens who purchase goods and services.

    hb
    heatboy



    The Radiant Whisperer





    "The laws of physics will outweigh the laws of ecomomics every time."


  • The Egyptian government does that exact sort of thing. For example a simple, small refrigerator gets a small subsidy while a frost-free side-by-side gets an enormous tax.

    Here in the U.S. where we rely on consumer spending to drive the economy things are much different...

    Friend just bought some drywall and found a big increase in price over recent. Figured it was already speculation due to the hurricanes... Was told that US drywall plants have closed and we're now importing it from China! Reduced labor costs eaten up by shipping (and what do you want to bet giant bonuses to the CEOs) ;)

  • Christian Egli
    Christian Egli Member Posts: 277
    Conspicuous consumption

    The race is not on for who can make things the most expensive, but for who can make them better, faster and, of course cheaper. The one how provides the most value always wins.

    We are now left with defining value. That's not always the same thing for everyone for all of the time, but one thing is for sure, adding taxes does not add value, it destroys it. At its worse, tax is just plain income redistribution which even destroys the value of labor by sucking out the will to work.

    There is such a thing as a value added tax which is a tax taken on the value that is incrementally added to a product, through labor for instance. However, there is no such thing as a tax that adds value. Think of how rich we would all become by adding on (and paying for out of our pocket) taxes to everything we own???

    Taxes serve there purpose for paying for things we can't do individually. Meanwhile, anything you want less of, just tax it. It works every time.

    Taxing fuel to $4.00 a gallon will bring on a recession, one in which people will stop buying central heating systems. Is that what we really want in this industry? Not me.

    To get back to the initial family that did not see the value of a different heating system but saw the value of the flashy counter top; it seems to me, these people like to impress the Joneses and the best way they think of doing it is with the counter tops.

    Discussions about radiant heat, furnaces, thermostatic valves and even about all the wonderfulness of steam heat will mean nothing to them. Sadly, that's the way it is and no amount of punishment or coercive taxing can fix that. I'll bet you they are not even interested in the material science behind whatever the counter tops are made of. To them, thinking about it is punishment already.

    The clue here is that they want something flashy. Specifically, something that is more flashy than what they think their neighbors have.

    In that respect, a boiler looks just like a furnace. But try selling them a boiler with a stylish designer look, maybe a Viessman, something exotic, something with German engineering mystique, something that they think will fill their neighbors with envy. If it is something that appeared on the home remodeling TV shows, that much the better. Super glossy brochures with pointless pictures of people who've made it will be of value to them too (something to casually leave on the counter top...). But talking about efficiency and about pipes won't work. For that, thankfully, we have the Wall.

    You know what's even cooler than granite counter tops?

    Steam heat.
  • Dale Pickard
    Dale Pickard Member Posts: 231
    Energy Economics

    I'm with Constantin.

    If we truly accounted for the true cost of fuel, including what economists call "extrernalities", the cost would be sufficiently high to encourage efficiency and conservation. The so called free market would function more the way simple market theory says it should.

    Externalities include everything from global warming to dirty air to oil spills at sea, to all of the blood spilled in the sands of Iraq. No one wants the government, (especially this one), involved in their private affairs, but we shouldn't think that this doesn't happen as it is. Especially as it is. Maintaining cheap fuels for Americans involves government in our lives in a big way. Follow the money.

    A proper evaluation of externalities will in fact cause the price of fuel to rise. What we need to understand as HVAC professionals is that the natural rise in price will affect the poorest among us the most.

    Poor people inherit the ugly transportation, the ugly housing, and all the ugly energy inefficient appliances. As a result, the least able among us will use the most energy, which takes a disproportionate part of their living budget. Only the well to do have the $$ to invest in energy efficiency and the insulation from high energy prices that such investments bring.

    As a society, we need to invest in those among us with the least means; to invest in energy conservation for those who use the most energy, if for no other reason, so as to realistically adjust the price of energy for the rest of us. Those investments will necessarily come from those with capital to invest.

    Dale
  • Constantin
    Constantin Member Posts: 3,796
    Consumption is consumption...is consumption

    Currently, most of us pay the government 30%+ taxes on our income. Then add sales taxes, other taxes, etc. Now add health insurance. At the end of the day, about 50% of you income goes "poof!" down to DC, and the State and local authorities.

    Oh, and you read that right, I included healthcare because for all intents and purposes we already have universal healthcare, it's called Medicaid, or the charity of hospitals (who cover their additional non-paid-for expenses by using the "extra" from insured patients). It's just that the current system is incredibly inefficient. I now pay every month for health insurance what I used to pay every year while I was living in France (and they have universal healthcare as well as private insurance plans, your choice).

    So, what is consumption, what is investment? Well, anytime you walk into a store, and buy a beer it's consumption. Most goods and services (like the Harley, boat, etc. you mentioned) are consumption. Even purchasing food falls under that category. Before you balk at the thought of a 50% sales tax, consider that whether the money comes out of your pockets ahead of the salary cheque or after, really is immaterial, right?

    Investements are expenditures in time and money towards the creation of more wealth in the future. Think bank deposits, purchases of some durable goods, even some services can be classified as investments (i.e. training). So, flying for business is not an investment (unless you're training as a pilot). Rather, it's a business expense (i.e. consumption).

    So why rejigger the system like this? It's interesting for several reasons.
    • For one, it would simplify the tax code a great deal, removing the need for a lot of folks who add no value to the economy (tax accountants, tax lawyers, IRS employees).
    • Secondly, it would entice folks to change their patterns of behavior and start making more investments instead of spending all their money and then hocking everything to spend even more.
    • High consumption taxes on energy would entice folks to drive smaller cars with efficient powerplants without any further government intervention. For some reason, folks in Europe seem to get by just fine with smaller cars that run on Diesel... once energy costs $0.50 a kWh, innovative technologies like ground-source heat pumps or other renewable energy sources start making sense without the need for government subsidies.
    It is extremely unlikely that we'll see such changes anytime soon. The disruption/confusion it would cause would be immense.
  • Mike Reavis_2
    Mike Reavis_2 Member Posts: 307
    two words

    "Atlas Shrugged"
    javascript:Amazon('http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0452011876/heatinghelpcom')
  • RB_2
    RB_2 Member Posts: 272


  • Constantin
    Constantin Member Posts: 3,796
    Good Points

    I agree that raising fuel prices to $4/gallon immediately would be a bad thing, particularly for the poor. No question, fuel taxes are likely to affect the poor the most... because they are flat, not progressive like income taxes.

    Having said all that, I do think that if the government announces a binding plan to raise taxes 400% over the next 20 years, you give folks the opportunity to slowly change their behaviors. Then, you'll also make it more reasonable to insulate homes, and adopt more efficient technologies for our heating and cooling needs.

    Note all the changes people were willing to go through at the tail end of the last energy crisis. The market does work marvelously at allocating resources when pressed to do so... Furthermore, there is nothing that prevents suburban communities to start developing local office complexes to allow folks to commute less. Plus, telecommuting is becoming increasingly an option for many people in office and sales jobs, reducing the need to even have giant central offices.

    Lastly, a high fuel tax may be exactly what is needed to restore a balance to the economy. When I read up on the current savings rate vs. consumption, my hair goes white with fear. It is simply not sustainable to promise the elderly all sorts of social security benefits, yet every administration since Carter has been robbing the Social Security Trust Fund to fund other priorities. Well, unless we start funding the coming retirements needs of baby-boomers, we're going to face a fiscal crisis that makes Argentinia look like childs play.

    So, sooner or later our taxes will be raised, whether we like it or not. Either the government is going to do it officially, or inflation will do it for them. Given my innate fear re: inflation, I prefer a governmental approach that is easier to control.
  • S Ebels
    S Ebels Member Posts: 2,322
    macro-economics on the Wall !! YeeHaa!

    This is one of the many things I love about this place. So many bright minds on so many interesting topics.

    My comment was said somewhat tongue in cheek and yet somewhat serious. As I deal with people everyday, I can't help but get the feeling that a vast majority of the population in this country has lost all semblance of managing money. Lot's of folks are very good at managing credit and debt because it's nearly been raised to an art form. One person I know, who has every toy in the book plus a new house, is on something like his 10th credit card. He's maxed out and just keeps rolling the debt onto a new credit company every month. It'll catch up to him sooner or later. The debt I'm talking about is the kind that bears no return, produces little to no appreciation. Constantin was talking about "consumables" and I feel he's correct or at least on the right track. Too much of this country's debt is tied up in items that have no value as the product is used up. Those types of items and the people who buy them should bear a higher percentage of tax than money used to actually produce something. I mean, what's up with being able to deduct a 200K boat as a "second home" if it has a galley and a head. Does the person who buys that type of boat really need a tax break?

    It seems, from here on the sidelines in backwoods Michigan, as though our economy is just a house of cards. Can anyone here fathom what a trillion dollars is??? The amount of debt in this country just keeps growing and growing and there seems to be no end in sight to the lengths the gov't will go to in order to keep the economy artificially "pumped up". Doesn't matter if the guy in the Oval office is Demo or Rep. He's answerable to the largest group of company shareholders ever assembled on the face of the planet. You and I and everyone like us. These shareholders and the "Talking Heads" on CBS/CNN/NBC/ABC/etc. demand instant response when the economy takes a tick or two downward. No waiting for a return on your investment. Gotta have it right now. Look at the gambling craze in the stock market during the 90's. Virtually all of the run up in stock prices was, to quote Alan Greenspan, "irrational exuberance". It wasn't Bill Clinton working magic on the economy, it was the greed and get rich quick mentality of America that drove the stock market to unsustainable heights. Al Gore's own Internet turned wall Street into a casino of sorts. True, the folks that got out at the right time made a pile of money, but did their investment actually produce anything? No, they merely beat other greedy people to the punch and left them holding the empty bag. Took those folks' investment money right out of their hands.

    The time is coming when we will have to pay the piper somehow and it won't be pretty. What good are all those mortgages the banks are holding going to do when there's no-one who's able to buy them?

    Sorry for the doom and gloom but things are out of whack with our economy and there isn't a painless way back.

  • jerry scharf_2
    jerry scharf_2 Member Posts: 414
    The American age of decadence

    Steve,

    Sadly the country we live in has shifted over the last half century from one of hard work and value creation to one of decadence.

    How many times a week do we here someone say that either you (in ads) or they deserve something? Those people believe they deserve the house with the excessive fireplace...

    In my area, this is rampant. People deserve their hummers or ferarris and are unhappy when they can't afford one. Of course their kids don't deserve the time to be taught by them, they are to busy getting what they deserve.

    I have no idea how to fix it, so I try to not see it most of the time and lead my life a bit differently. If you remember toward the end of the movie "Schindler's List" he is overcome by the grief that everything he squandered money on cost people their lives. I can't see it that graphicly, but it's a world apart from what I see around me.

    jerry
  • S Ebels
    S Ebels Member Posts: 2,322
    Thanks for the suggestions Bill

    > I know your frustration. Here in Joisey where a

    > dilapidated shack goes for 6 figures, I see this

    > all the time. The $100K kitchen that gets used

    > twice a year by a caterer, because all Ms.

    > Homeowner knows how to make for dinner is

    > reservations, the lack of any thought toward

    > comfort & efficiency...I could go on for days!

    > Try this. Send the homeowners a letter thanking

    > them for the opportunity to quote on their

    > comfort system. Remind them that energy costs

    > are the third largest cost of homeownership,

    > after mortgage & taxes. Remind them that they

    > will be living with the results of their comfort

    > system choice for the next 15-20 years, and that

    > poorly functioning heat & cooling systems are

    > very expensive to remedy, let alone operate!

    > Do a 5 year Return-on-Investment calculation,

    > factoring in the cost of oil/gas/electricity

    > consumption based on a typical 80/11 scorched air

    > system as opposed to whatever you are proposing.

    > Enclose some pix from that log cabin project you

    > got recognized for in "The News" a couple years

    > ago.

    >

    > If they're that spendy, propose snow

    > melt! If they want AC, ask about allergies,

    > discuss air cleaning, mention forced air zoning,

    > remote phone access & system monitoring,

    > humidification control...hardwood floors do not

    > do well with poor humidity control. Note that

    > with in-floor radiant, Ms. Homeowner's designer

    > isn't constrained by heating /cooling discharges

    > & intakes as to where her furniture/draperies go.

    > Mention how chilly ceramic tile floors and wall

    > are in the winter,remind them about the heated

    > towel racks, fog-free mirrors and make them "feel

    > the comfort"!

    >

    > This maybe too late, but give it

    > a try...it just might work. Sorry about the long

    > winded reply.



  • S Ebels
    S Ebels Member Posts: 2,322
    Thanks for the suggestions Bill

    I'm going to bail on this one though. These two, in the hands of this particular builder, are a lost cause. They are all show and go and the builder is all too accomodating to their mentality or lack of it.
  • Mike Reavis_2
    Mike Reavis_2 Member Posts: 307
    two words

    "musical chairs"
  • Dale Pickard
    Dale Pickard Member Posts: 231


    What I was trying to point out was that the price of fuel is tied to the demand for fuel and that the people who can least afford energy conservation are those who use the most energy and, due to the simplest of supply and demand economics, increased demand drives up the price. Poor folks have no opportunity to "change their behavior" or to make investments that they can't afford. Taxing them on their unavoidable consumption only deepens an already deep social crisis.

    Simply accounting for externalities is sufficient to drive up the price. The market will work and those who can afford conservation improvements will make those improvements. Those who cannot, will simply suffer, but their energy consumption is sufficient to keep the price high. This is how the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. What is needed to lower fuel prices is an investment in conservation on behalf those who use the most fuel. That investment necessarily has to come (by way of taxes) from those who can best afford it. These are folks who make that investment every day by ignoring economic conditions "external" to their own economic condition.

    Dale
  • Dale Pickard
    Dale Pickard Member Posts: 231


    This is a serious discussion Mike. Surely you have more than "two words" to contribute. If not, perhaps you might save your two words so that the rest of us don't have to divine your intention.

    BTW, Ayn Rand was an idiot. My opinion.

    Dale
  • Christian Egli
    Christian Egli Member Posts: 277
    How about philosophy and cooking! YeeHaa!

    And the steam is not clearing up over here.

    Ayn Rand is a long read indeed. Along the lines of optimism, writings by Voltaire are amazingly applicable to today's woes. He generally rails against crooks, con artists, quack theorists and institutions that take advantage of people. At the same time, Voltaire defends tolerance and the common sense of the individual.

    He writes a lot about the fact that France switched to a single flat tax, about the problems that capital gains taxes cause, about government deficit spending and generally a lot about high flying economics that seem surprisingly actual. He wrote all this around 1750 and describes how France, since the 1600s, through economic, scientific, cultural and military achievements turned into the number one nation.

    The proof of this? Denis Papin (Dan Holohan talks about this Frenchman) invented the steam pressure cooker around year 1700. It's not steam heat, but food is important too. Great anyway.

    How did it end?

    It all lasted up until the French Revolution (around 1790). And after Napoleon, the nation was bankrupt. Now, we're the ones who've got the steam going. It will last as long as we don't go tepid... like hot water.

    Don't I read lots of junk?






  • Constantin
    Constantin Member Posts: 3,796
    Pick your poison...

    ...I totally agree that the poor should not be hit the hardest, that ways should be found to make the fuel taxes more progressive. Note programs in other areas like section-8, food-stamps, etc. that attempt to do just that.

    Whether we cost out fuel based on all extranalities or just plain tax it at $4/gallon, the net effect will be to make some people worse off than others. This disadvantage will then nudge them to change their behavior, such as installing insulation, driving smaller cars, and living less wastefully.

    However, as you pointed out quite correctly, the poor should not have to shoulder this burden disporportionally. In fact, the comparative social peace in this country is downright fascinating when one compares the huge inequality between the rich and the poor. Perhaps that's why the US has the largest prison population by percentage of population on the planet. However, that's a whole other ball of wax.
  • House of Cards

    I couldn't agree more.

    Any economy really is a house of cards, but instead of growing sideways like it should, ours seems to be getting taller.

    With consumer spending dominating the economy we get a strange situation. Things that are profitable in smaller quantities become every more exotic and expensive. Demand for this type of product is usually driven by the fashion of the moment. Granite countertops are a wonderful example--the cost is extreme and they'll last many generations yet they're put in a place (kitchens) that are the most frequently changed!

    In order for items of such perceived "quality" to be affordable, the producers and suppliers of things we truly need are forced to reduce their cost in any way possible.

    So what happens? As long as we have an abundant (usually highly subsidized) supply of food and water everyone enters a race to the bottom.

    First, manufacturers will start producing things, that while still serviceable, are inferior in duration of service. Water heaters, shoes and asphalt roofs are WONDERFUL examples. What is lost in initial profit is more than compensated for by increased sales.

    Once everyone has instituted similar savings, the next thing becomes reducing the human cost of production. In the U.S. (where wages are generally high) the logical step is to move the source of production out of the country. At first it may just be components, then once everyone is doing this, it becomes the entire thing.

    Once we run out of things to produce outside the country the next step is to move jobs not associated with manufacturing to other countries as well.

    All the while, the "captains" doing this will insist that it means more and better things for our country as we'll become the originators of all things good and new. They are correct--partially. It's the part those captains aren't telling you that really matters though. There are still big profits to be made--to the captains themselves. The actual consumers become JUST that--consumers. They are removed as much as possible from profit that comes from making the products and are forced to live off of the crumbs that "trickle down" from the top.

    This too works for a while, but the crumbs become fewer and tend to scatter ever wider. This [appears] to be our current state.

    Those who refuse to play this game are generally forced out of business.

    At first the house of cards might resemble the Empire State Building with a big footprint, exceptionally sturdy interior construction and gradually diminishing size as it grows in height. You can hurt a portion without affecting the structure as a whole.

    Later, the house of cards begins to resemble the NY World Trade Center--sheer and tall with it's support concentrated on the outside. One good hit and we all know what happens.



  • Mike Reavis_2
    Mike Reavis_2 Member Posts: 307
    Dale, it seems that I have not lost my touch when it

    comes to annoying most people.
    My reference to musical chairs was in response to Steve's last post where he referred to the people who get out before an economic bubble goes pop. I don't know what you did in kindergarten, but I learned using as many of my senses as possible, that in the game of musical chairs someone always wins, and someone gets put out. Your other life experiences determines what you do with this kind of information.

    Concerning Ayn Rand, she may be many things, but she is certainly not an idiot.
    two words: "see ya."
  • michael_13
    michael_13 Member Posts: 12
    don't know if you're still out there

    > ...I totally agree that the poor should not be

    > hit the hardest, that ways should be found to

    > make the fuel taxes more progressive. Note

    > programs in other areas like section-8,

    > food-stamps, etc. that attempt to do just

    > that.

    >

    > Whether we cost out fuel based on all

    > extranalities or just plain tax it at $4/gallon,

    > the net effect will be to make some people worse

    > off than others. This disadvantage will then

    > nudge them to change their behavior, such as

    > installing insulation, driving smaller cars, and

    > living less wastefully.

    >

    > However, as you

    > pointed out quite correctly, the poor should not

    > have to shoulder this burden disporportionally.

    > In fact, the comparative soical peace in this

    > country is downright fascinating when one

    > compares the huge inequality between the rich and

    > the poor. Perhaps that's why the US has the

    > largest prison population by percentage of

    > population on the planet. However, that's a whole

    > other ball of wax.



  • michael_13
    michael_13 Member Posts: 12
    don't know if you're still out there

    > ...I totally agree that the poor should not be

    > hit the hardest, that ways should be found to

    > make the fuel taxes more progressive. Note

    > programs in other areas like section-8,

    > food-stamps, etc. that attempt to do just

    > that.

    >

    > Whether we cost out fuel based on all

    > extranalities or just plain tax it at $4/gallon,

    > the net effect will be to make some people worse

    > off than others. This disadvantage will then

    > nudge them to change their behavior, such as

    > installing insulation, driving smaller cars, and

    > living less wastefully.

    >

    > However, as you

    > pointed out quite correctly, the poor should not

    > have to shoulder this burden disporportionally.

    > In fact, the comparative soical peace in this

    > country is downright fascinating when one

    > compares the huge inequality between the rich and

    > the poor. Perhaps that's why the US has the

    > largest prison population by percentage of

    > population on the planet. However, that's a whole

    > other ball of wax.



  • michael_13
    michael_13 Member Posts: 12
    don't know if you're still out there

    but I'm paying almost $4.00 a gallon for heating fuel right now because I'm buying BIODIESEL which is what we'll all be buying in twenty years when the oil dries up. It puts out half the emissions of regular diesel heating oil, which is already low because it's a Viessman, keeps the boiler lubed....and we're not losing kids in Iraq in order to keep our supply, it's grown and processed right here. We need to spread the word that it's out there--we're not obligated to be making donations to the Bush administration every time we fill up our tanks....sorry if I got to sounding too lefty.
  • B-20

    Are you burning pure bio, or B-20, which is 80% fuel oil?

    Noel
This discussion has been closed.