Letter: Spreading energy

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  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    July 14, 2014 8:02 a.m.

    "See why your weekly groceries increased in cost from $20 a week to $150 a week - for the same items!"

    Hold on... let me get this right. Mike Richards uses this as an example of rising cost - as part of an argument that we should not raise wages. I am not sure what time scale he is using here... but in the 30 years I have been married, I have never paid $20 a week for groceries. Even as a missionary, I didn't spend that little more than 30 years ago.

    So lets say this $20s a week for groceries is back in the 60s... or earlier. His argument is that we should not raise wages over the last 50 years.... and had we not done that.... that food would not have gone up in cost? That wages is the leading cost influencer? I am lost on what the point he is trying to make here.

    There is no linear corollary between wages, inflation, and cost of production or sales.

  • Wally West SLC, UT
    July 13, 2014 9:59 a.m.

    re: Open Minded Mormon (Friday morning)...

    The Good old days weren't always good and tomorrow ain't as bad as it seems - Billy Joel

    Only a fool trips on whats behind them - Ray Lewis

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    July 13, 2014 9:51 a.m.

    to Open Minded Mormon

    Are you saying Mountanman needs to pay attention to RDJ's speech in Iron Man where he is telling off the Vanity Fair reporter?

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 11, 2014 9:31 p.m.

    RE: 2bits "I feel for the next generation. Because of failed leadership, we are giving them a country with more debt than they could EVER pay, "

    Baloney. Federal debt was being retired handily during the Clinton years because Clinton dared to tax the super wealthy. It didn't hurt them any. The 1990's were great years for business.

    But when Bush II took over he couldn't wait to cut taxes for the wealthy, fought two wars off budget, and we now have the debt load of the present. But it is EASILY taken care of. Your much despised Clinton was doing it nicely.

    Watch Frontline "Ten Trillion and Counting." Please watch for an understanding of our present national debt.

    July 11, 2014 6:48 p.m.

    The whole "cutting emissions to reduce warming" is pure speculation. Since there isn't statistically significant correlation between rising atmospheric CO2 and global temperature, it's hard to see how that's a rational statement. Find some other excuse to raise taxes.

  • L White Springville, UT
    July 11, 2014 5:26 p.m.

    Finally someone had the courage to tell us the truth. After all the beating around the bush that has been goin on we finally know what this is all about. Businesses are not allowed to make a profit in America! All of that evil money belongs to the government and only the government has the right to tell us what to charge and what to pay.

    Today they demand that businesses stop making money. Tomorrow they'll demand that no empoyee can make a profit. No more worries about savings accounts or 401Ks or retirement. The government will take care of us, cradle to grave. Today they want a carbon tax. Tomorrow they'll want a breathing tax.

    But wait, this is AMERICA where businesses expect to make a profit and workers expect to make a profit. This is AMERICA where hard work pays off. This is AMERICA where anyone who is willing to scrimp and save and sacrifice can own his own business. Maybe somebody needs to spread the word. Some people must have just gotten off the boat and they might not understand what free-enterprise means.

  • LDS Tree-Hugger Farmington, UT
    July 11, 2014 4:52 p.m.

    J Thompson
    2:54 p.m. July 11, 2014

    L White
    Springville, UT
    3:05 p.m. July 11, 2014



    Let's see if I understand this pattern.

    Always the same comment,
    Always the same time,
    Always the same SPRINGVILLE, UT

    FYI -- Look on line -- A decent solar panel kit starts as low as $179
    And urban Wind Turbines can be had for >$500

    Funny --
    This NewsPaper's parent KSL run an excellent story less than 2 weeks ago of a guy in Kaysville annual bills went from ;
    Gasoline = $2550
    Natural Gas = $2600
    Electricity = $1550
    $6700 per year

    To ZERO.
    [is now all electric, including his cars]

    because of his excess sold back to RMP -- his entire out-of-pocket system is less than $15 per month!

    Oh and one final note --
    My LDS Church [authorized by the LDS 1st Presidency] is 100% solar.
    The building makes WAY more than it could ever need,
    especially mostly sitting empty Mon-Sat
    so it sells it back to RMP as well.

    I wish I could side with you,
    but my testimony of the Lord's Church leans the other way.

    Good Steward of the Earth,
    Watch over and care for,
    Beautiful and Recycle.

    Eternal concepts and commandments etc.


  • OneWifeOnly San Diego, CA
    July 11, 2014 4:43 p.m.

    Mike Richards,
    The key phrase in your post of 7:17 am July 11, 2014 is “including the profit I make.”
    If you as a business owner choose to be too greedy then your product will be too expensive for me to buy. If you sell basic items necessary for me to live but make your goods and services too expensive for me to buy coupled with paying me as your employee too little to buy these basic necessities, then the government (or perhaps a local church) might have to subsidize my ability to live (i.e., buy the basic necessities you sell). Then, the government will need to pay for this subsidy so they tax you as a business owner. Lots of companies are jumping on the band wagon of self-imposed higher minimum wages for their workers. If employers would pay a fair wage there would be less taxes needed from the wealthy and from business owners. Of course this article was about carbon tax so just substitute the words “self-imposed carbon pollution limitations”.

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    July 11, 2014 3:07 p.m.

    JSF: Sounds like exactly what is going on here in the good old USA. Try these for a fit: "Hey if Wal-Mart doesn't provide health insurance for your family, sucks to be you." "Why should you need food stamps, just get another job." "Unions don't do any good they just bleed you dry with the dues." "If your family member gets really sick and you have to take out bankruptcy, just ask your Church for help." And last but not least: "So what if the minimum wage wage raised to $10.20 adjusted to today's dollars under Ronald Reagan, that was then and is now and you don't deserve a penny more than you are making!" Now light my cigar for me will you?

  • L White Springville, UT
    July 11, 2014 3:05 p.m.

    Let's see if I understand this thread. Some people are telling us that taxing businesses more is good because it will force those businesses to buy non-existant technology to reduce our "carbon footprint" by less that 1/2 of one percent. Is that correct? Do I have it right?

    I've looked around my town and nobody has a cost-effective solar system that my hubby can bolt onto our roof that will save us any money. I cannot even buy a windmill to do that. Everything that I have looked at is so expensive that the government has to give a subsidy to get people to buy it. I do not know about you, but I am not going to ask my neighbors to pay more taxes so that I can buy something that costs too much and provides too little,

    Other people tell us that paying people more to do no more than they're already doing is a good thing. Where do I sign up? I do not think that any business would ever do that, but I don't live in Washington, D.C.

  • No One Of Consequence West Jordan, UT
    July 11, 2014 2:58 p.m.

    Selling the lie, selling the lie.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    July 11, 2014 2:54 p.m.

    A poster tells us that increasing costs is good for business in the long run. That doesn't make sense. A business must make a profit or it will have to close its doors. Except in non-free countries, every business competes against other businesses that provide the same service. All of those businesses make about the same percentage profit, unless they have some magic behind their operations. If those businesses have incereased cost, they will eventually have to raise prices or they will have to close. That's the first thing that any banker will tell you if your present a business plan to the bank.

    If prices go up, the buying power of minium wage workers goes down. Anyone should be able to understand that concept. If buying power goes down, the minimum wage worker is no better off than he was before the "government" gave him an unearned raise.

    When government interferes, people suffer. Old folks on a fixed income do NOT get a "wage" increase when government raises the minimum wage. They suffter. But, to some, they're expendable. Too few of them vote.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    July 11, 2014 2:18 p.m.

    And the goal of China's communism, income equality. Why do they have millionaires, not capitalism, but corruption. Party elitists work the system. Who pays, the state owned workers pay for it. Workers of the world unite, with the systems in place in Cuba, Venezuela, Russia, and China, you to can live a life of joyous poverty while you starve to death. Options for not going along, starve to death.

  • Sciencefirst Lancaster, PA
    July 11, 2014 2:14 p.m.

    A study from Berkeley last year showed that the world could easily be powered by solar and wind. The Citizens Climate Lobby website has a plan supported by eight Nobel economists to tax carbon fuels and give that tax money to consumers, 100%.
    The tax increases annually, and the market phases out fossil fuels as people choose solar and wind because it's cheaper. The tax goes on imports from carbon polluters like China, forcing them to go green to go green to compete. We get that tax money and can buy U.S, products with it. This plan uses conservative economic principles, no government regulations needed and a new REMI economic study shows it would create 2.8 million jobs and add $80-90 billion to GDP annually, so you don't even have to think climate change is a problem to support this idea.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    July 11, 2014 2:10 p.m.

    Venezuela's newest tax. "Anyone departing from the Simon Bolivar International Airport of Maiquetia in Caracas now faces a levy of 127 bolivars ($18) to pay for a new air conditioning unit installed earlier this year" Yes taxes don't raise the cost of living.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    July 11, 2014 2:10 p.m.

    2 bits
    Cottonwood Heights, UT
    As long as our population continues to grow... (whether by birth, or immigration)... we will need MORE energy (NOT LESS).


    When was the last time you bought a car or truck getting 8 mpg?
    Tell me you never look for the most efficient appliances?

    We need LESS, when we USE less.
    Even with more people, we can use less -- IF we are samrt, and use our God given Intelligence.

    The Scriptures tell us over and over again,
    there is enough and to spare if we use things "sparingly" [not my words, God's words].

    There is enough for need, but not for greed.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 11, 2014 1:38 p.m.

    As long as our population continues to grow... (whether by birth, or immigration)... we will need MORE energy (NOT LESS).

    We will need ALL sources of energy we currently have and then some... so keep working on the alternative, but don't cut off existing energy sources or make them skyrocket in price. That only hurts us, AND our economy.

    If you want your kids to have jobs... work on the alternative, but don't blast the pillars on the bridge we are currently using. We will need it for awhile longer.

    If you don't care if there is no industry in the USA, don't care if your kids have jobs... go ahead and play the political dogma game...


    I feel for the next generation. Because of failed leadership, we are giving them a country with more debt than they could EVER pay, and a country with no jobs even if they WANTED to work and pay their debt.

    And if the radical environmentalists are right, it's only WORSE... we will also give them a world with no breathable air, no clean water, no eatable food (genetic mutations) most cities under water, no polar bears!

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    July 11, 2014 1:23 p.m.

    I can see the newest tea party motto now:

    "Government corrupts everything... But keep your darn government hands off my oil subsidies!"

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 11, 2014 1:15 p.m.

    Re: jsf "Give it over to the government, inquire why Venezuela, and Cuba cannot get reliable electrical service, or household goods. Government is in charge. They either raise the taxes, or control the production."

    Socialism and capitalism are an ongoing pair. One is always an alternative to the other. Which alternative is better depends on the situation, often the local situation. Consider China. Though it has 100 billionaires it is still substantially socialist. The enormous Chinese growth rate (~ 8%) is in large part due to centralized socialist planning. Both socialism and capitalism can work well, and can work well in cooperation. Of course either can miss-fire.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    July 11, 2014 12:34 p.m.

    SG in SLC you are right at one level, but you do not account for each layer of a product involving an additional cost before reaching the final consumer.

    Give it over to the government, inquire why Venezuela, and Cuba cannot get reliable electrical service, or household goods. Government is in charge. They either raise the taxes, or control the production.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    July 11, 2014 12:05 p.m.

    @ Mike Richards, the biggest flaw in your argument is that an increase in the minimum wage doesn't work for business. The reality is that it is actually good in the long run. All the dire predictions made in the past when the minimum wage is increased have always proven wrong at the macro level.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 11, 2014 11:40 a.m.

    Re: Mountanman "If you want to incentivize alternative energy development, keep the government OUT of it!"

    Nonsense! The most effective agency of all time to develop energy resources was and is the Tennessee Valley Authority - both hydro and nuclear. Your ideology is showing.

  • SG in SLC Salt Lake City, UT
    July 11, 2014 11:37 a.m.


    In my example (all else being equal), if an added Carbon Tax increased the unit overhead cost from $0.30 to $0.34, the "widget seller" might only be able to increase the price to $1.02 without losing additional total profit, thus passing on $0.02 of the tax increase and absorbing the other $0.02 in decreased profit margin.

    If you are always able to pass ALL of your fixed and administrative overhead cost increases on to your customers, then apparently you operate a monopoly, or sell a good or service that is so price-inelastic (like insulin) that all of your customers will continue to buy from you, regardless of the cost. Most business, however, have to take demand into their price-setting decisions, and usually end up passing on only part of any fixed and overhead price increases, and absorbing the rest.

  • SG in SLC Salt Lake City, UT
    July 11, 2014 11:32 a.m.

    Mike Richards,

    To your, "ALL COSTS are passed on to the customer. ALL of them", I would say, "No, not ALL of them (usually)".

    To understand why not all costs are necessarily passed on in the form of price increases, you have to understand the following equation:

    Unit Price = Marginal Direct Variable Cost + Allocated Overhead Cost + Profit Margin

    Example: If it costs $0.60 in direct materials & labor to produce a "widget", and the per-unit share of overhead costs allocated to producing a "widget" is $0.30, then the selling price of the "widget" might be $1.00, yielding a profit margin of $0.10 per unit, or 10%. Let's also assume that this price happens to be the "sweet spot"; cutting the price to $0.95 doesn't yield enough increased sales to squeeze out more profit, and increasing the price to $1.05 decreases sales more than the $0.05 increase in marginal profit can make up for.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 11, 2014 10:41 a.m.

    Taxes, incentives, blah, blah, blah. Typical contemporary liberalism. No, the federal government needs to establish a green energy corporation to drive green energy technology to completion. Think TVA.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 11, 2014 10:35 a.m.


    You and I agree on one thing, the numbers don't lie. Your example failed to account for the increased cost of almost everything in America when the minimum wage is raised. In the food industry, the farmer pays more to produce a crop. That cost is passed on. The pickers are paid more to pick and pack the produce. That cost is passed on. McDonalds passes those increased costs on as well as the increased costs of paying their own employee. Every shop in America raises prices to cover increased cost. Look it up. See why the cost of a meal has increased from $2.00 to almost $7.00 at McDonalds. See why your weekly groceries increased in cost from $20 a week to $150 a week - for the same items!

    When costs increase, prices increase. If prices become too high, businesses fail. When businesses fail, people are fired. Unemployed people don't get a wage.

    The "numbers" support everything I've written. The numbers don't lie.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    July 11, 2014 10:21 a.m.

    @Mike Richards
    We wouldn't have increasing wealth inequality in this nation if it weren't for rich people deciding to keep more for themselves rather than passing part of it along to the employees.

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    July 11, 2014 9:58 a.m.

    Businesses are doing a lot better under Obama, democrat rule, than they ever did under Bush, republican rule.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    July 11, 2014 9:53 a.m.

    @ Mike R., I think everyone agrees that raising the minimum wage affects business. Those who pay a higher wage acknowledge that it does, but it's a price they are willing to pay. It's good for business, good for employees, and good for society. Take Zingermans in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This deli and bakery pays higher wages and thrives. It's a fabulous operation. The employees are dedicated to the company and have a good attitude. Customer service is excellent. The product is terrific. Bigger companies have seen similar results. You operate under the assumption that only the short-term financial impact of the business should be the deciding factor. The rest of us look at the bigger picture. The government, from the days of Washington on, has always taken actions for the general welfare of the people. A higher minimum wage is in the greater good of all, including a well run business. Your cheap shot on President Obama doesn't change this fact. By the way, business has done very well overall under President Obama. I know you won't want to admit it, but the numbers don't lie.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 11, 2014 9:23 a.m.

    Some people think that raising the minimum wage will not affect business. Have they ever got their heads in the sand. When government DICTATES that a business must pay a higher wage, the business owner has two choices: He can either raise prices or he can fire employees. He will not give the government anything. Either his customers will suffer or his employees will suffer.

    ALL taxes, whether they be carbon taxes or minimum wage taxes are passed on.

    When people have worked for Government all their lives they have too little experience about private sector issues to comment, but that doesn't stop them from telling us who own and operate businesses in the private sector how things work. That is Obama's problem. He thinks he knows how to run a country when he couldn't run a lemonade stand without government subsidies.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    July 11, 2014 9:10 a.m.

    There are many who say, "But why should we reduce emissions if China or India is still polluting?"

    To them I ask, "If your neighbor uses their living room as a toilet, should you do the same?"

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    July 11, 2014 9:08 a.m.

    Hayden, ID
    If you want to incentivize alternative energy development, keep the government OUT of it! The government corrupts everything it touches! Have we learned nothing from Solyndra and dozens of other government subsidized disasters?


    You guys and your Solyndra $200 million red-herring.

    Tell you what --
    I'll support you the very second you begin to critisize ALL corruption.
    BIG Oil and their $25 Billion annual subsides,
    The Corporate Welfare Queens of WallStreet,
    and your friends and neighbors there in Idaho, the Farmers.

    BTW --

    Nuclear Energy -- Government funded.

    Solar Panels were devolped by NASA -- under Government funding.

    Modern Wind Turbines were devolped by Boeing and GE in the energy crisis of the 1970's using Government funding
    [ironically, the Chinese build them now, because America dropped them and went back to cheap Middle Eastern Oil and Expensive Wars for it],

    Bio-fuels -- Again, Government funded -- This time you can lay some of the blame on Utah State University.

    But go ahead with your Government hating, Business worshipping....

    It might make you feel better, but it is not reality.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    July 11, 2014 8:50 a.m.

    That just silly, we need to do as the republicans say, "Nothing." So, we will be dead, and it will be our children's problem. See, fixed the republican way. Kick that can down the (cracked, pot holed, rotting interstate) road, baby!

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    July 11, 2014 8:47 a.m.

    If you want to incentivize alternative energy development, keep the government OUT of it! The government corrupts everything it touches! Have we learned nothing from Solyndra and dozens of other government subsidized disasters? Private businesses will develop alternative energy if there is a reasonable assurance they can do so profitably! Otherwise, it will never happen and the government squandering billions of taxpayer dollars can not, will not change that!

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 11, 2014 8:18 a.m.

    Americans will vehemently resist any kind of tax, regardless of how positive the outcome. It's why our infrastructure is falling apart. We went into the Iraq war with the promise of tax cuts. And so, we shall eschew any kind of levy to encourage development of a new energy economy, instead sticking to petrochemicals. The down side to that strategy, aside from the environmental damage, is that fossil fuels are going to get more expensive on their own. And we're not going to have the infrastructure in place to replace them.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    July 11, 2014 8:17 a.m.

    @Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah

    Anyone who tells us that businesses will absorb the cost of a new tax know too little about running a business. ALL COSTS are passed on to the customer. ALL of them.

    7:17 a.m. July 11, 2014


    If that be the truth -- per you yourself --
    Then you have either been lying or not being 100% truthful.

    Because raising the minumum wage wouldn't effect a BUSINESS or the Owners one single iota.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    July 11, 2014 7:51 a.m.

    The only problem is that the U.S. cutting carbon emissions will have very little effect. Last week I heard one of the top climate scientists say that if we implement all of the plans that Obama wants it will only reduce global temperature by 0.5 degrees over 100 years. Wrecking our economy for such a marginal gain is not smart.

    As for government incentives, we all saw how well Solyndra worked out. Billions of taxpayer dollars have been spent on green energy companies that went under. Of course many of their Obama supporting investors did not make out too badly as we covered their losses.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 11, 2014 7:17 a.m.

    Those of us who are in business know that ALL costs of doing business MUST be reflected in the prices that we charge. When I drive to a customer's place of business, the customers has to pay $0.55 per mile for all mileage, going and coming to his place of business. He has to pay for the time that it takes to drive to and from his business. He has to pay part of the cost of the computers I use to solve his problem. In the hourly charge that he pays are the hidden costs of electricity and heating that I use to run my business. He pays his share of the taxes that I owe on the money that I earn to service his account. In other words, my customers have to pay for everything associated with running my business, including the profit that I make.

    Anyone who tells us that businesses will absorb the cost of a new tax know too little about running a business. ALL COSTS are passed on to the customer. ALL of them.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    July 11, 2014 5:41 a.m.

    More taxes and more poverty as costs for goods for the poor skyrocket. Why do tax junkies hate poor people. Environmentalists, progressives hate poor people. Margaret Sanger offered her solution for the removal of poor people. Progressives still support her methods and programs.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 11, 2014 4:15 a.m.

    You could also put a carbon tax on imports so that U.S. manufacturers are not put at a disadvantage.