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Old 02-24-2013, 07:41 PM
 
195 posts, read 235,577 times
Reputation: 247

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geologic View Post
Do you know why it decline? It should be obvious:

+ Oil prices dropped sharply (but has since bounced back)
+ Some of the war-related military spending declined
+ The US is producing more oil at home

Even so, the balance of payments is still unsustainably large, and the need to fob US debt onto foreigners is still growing and growing fast

It is certainly wrong to say: "the US balance of payments is moving towards neutral".
How do you know that is the destination?!

Let's get a more up-to-date chart
Your missing the biggest factor, the depreciation of the $ and the appreciation of other currencies. Those factors you mentioned are small when compared to the value of currencies.

 
Old 02-24-2013, 07:51 PM
 
9,520 posts, read 14,842,524 times
Reputation: 9769
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geologic View Post
Look, even if there are some GREAT electric cars, there are three big problems:

+ They are very expensive
2013 Leaf is $29,000. Expensive, but not prohibitively so. Less than a year's rent for a 1BR apartment in most of Manhattan.

Quote:
+ The infrastructure for recharging them is very limited (important, given their range)
True, but as I said, building out the infrastructure for that is much cheaper than reorganizing the country around a lack of personal transit.

Quote:
+ All electric cars do is to SHIFT the energy burden for oil to something else (coal? nuclear?),
they do not eliminate the energy requirement
Oh, of course. But the US has an incredible amount of coal, which solves your cash drain issue. And large fixed generators have enough efficiency advantages that electric can be more efficient even given losses along the way.

Quote:
Moving people closer together, and giving them more energy efficient means of transport CAN reduce the overall energy requirement. So that's where I look for a solution, in finding a new way of living: carfree, and with less energy needs.
Ah, but we don't have a way to do that. Barack Obama cannot order the army to come in, destroy the suburbs, and forcibly relocate everyone into dense areas served by electric rail.
 
Old 02-24-2013, 07:52 PM
 
12,302 posts, read 15,205,734 times
Reputation: 8109
It is true that electric cars just shift the source of energy. But isn't it time oil distillates got some competition for transportation fuel? Another bit of secret information: with all its oil, Saudi Arabia is building a High Speed rail line.Saudi high-speed rail set for 2014 completion - Transport - ArabianBusiness.com
 
Old 02-24-2013, 07:54 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,072 posts, read 16,094,154 times
Reputation: 12647
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geologic View Post
Do you know why it decline? It should be obvious:

+ Oil prices dropped sharply (but has since bounced back)
+ Some of the war-related military spending declined
+ The US is producing more oil at home

Even so, the balance of payments is still unsustainably large, and the need to fob US debt onto foreigners is still growing and growing fast

It is certainly wrong to say: "the US balance of payments is moving towards neutral".
How do you know that is the destination?!

Let's get a more up-to-date chart
Actually, as a net exporter of oil and oil distillates, the drop in prices is causing us to have a larger negative balance of payments since we export more oil than we import

The current balance of payments is actually moving away from neutral. It's -3.2% as of 2011, down from -2.7% in 2009.

Current account balance (% of GDP) | Data | Table
 
Old 02-24-2013, 07:59 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,072 posts, read 16,094,154 times
Reputation: 12647
Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Oh, of course. But the US has an incredible amount of coal, which solves your cash drain issue. And large fixed generators have enough efficiency advantages that electric can be more efficient even given losses along the way.


Ah, but we don't have a way to do that. Barack Obama cannot order the army to come in, destroy the suburbs, and forcibly relocate everyone into dense areas served by electric rail.
Don't forget natural gas. It has some problems (like a lack of natural gas stations, half the trunk in a Civic GX is taken up by its gas tank, high cost of the tanks). Natural gas is currently about 40% cheaper than nuclear for producing electricity in a combined-cycle natural gas plant, which is about 300% more efficient than burning the natural gas in a combustion engine. As the cost of electric cars goes down, they may make more economic sense, especially in small cars where the size of the natural gas tanks is a real burden, than burning natural gas directly would.
 
Old 02-24-2013, 08:07 PM
 
9,520 posts, read 14,842,524 times
Reputation: 9769
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Actually, as a net exporter of oil and oil distillates, the drop in prices is causing us to have a larger negative balance of payments since we export more oil than we import
No, we still import considerably more oil than we export, net imports of $291 billion for 2012.

http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/...lease/exh9.txt


Quote:
The current balance of payments is actually moving away from neutral. It's -3.2% as of 2011, down from -2.7% in 2009.
Yes, but it's 2013 now. And it depends on when you pick your benchmark, too.
 
Old 02-24-2013, 08:10 PM
 
2,493 posts, read 2,195,701 times
Reputation: 3351
Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Ah, but we don't have a way to do that. Barack Obama cannot order the army to come in, destroy the suburbs, and forcibly relocate everyone into dense areas served by electric rail.

Sure we do. Stop subsidizing the suburbs and gas prices. Invest in our cities and their schools.
 
Old 02-24-2013, 08:18 PM
 
195 posts, read 235,577 times
Reputation: 247
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddyline View Post
Sure we do. Stop subsidizing the suburbs and gas prices. Invest in our cities and their schools.
How are we subsidizing gas prices? Last time I checked we tax gasoline, the opposite of a subsidy.
 
Old 02-24-2013, 08:46 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,613,838 times
Reputation: 13019
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geologic View Post
1. Are you concerned about the vulnerability that car-dependent people, and a car-dependent country have to rising oil prices?[
No. Public transit costs will also increase as fuel costs rise--in fact expect mass transit fares to more than triple over the next decade while service declines as government subsidies continue to dry up. Additionally, generally suburbans housing is higher quality and lower cost, so it all equals out (provided one drives an economical car and not a gas guzzler.)

Quote:
2. Have you thought deeply about why America is getting poorer, and why some other countries, which are also oil importers (but much less per capita) are getting richer? And I mean getting behind the headlines, and superficial nonsense you read in the mainstream media, and trying to really understand what is happening.
Because we are allowing too many uneducated immigrants in who are willing to work for less than minimum wage and we have a culture of entitlement where people think it's everyone else's job to pay for their keep. In many cases people aren't getting poorer, because the wealth was artificially inflated in the bubble to begin with. We're just finally landing where we should have been all along.
 
Old 02-24-2013, 08:49 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,613,838 times
Reputation: 13019
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddyline View Post
Sure we do. Stop subsidizing the suburbs and gas prices. Invest in our cities and their schools.
How are the suburbs being subsidized? The reality is that urban cores receive far more subsidies than their neighboring suburbs.

Just for an example, 90% of FTA funding goes to 109 urbanized areas with over 200K population. The entire landmass of those areas would fit into the state of New York. The rest of the country splits less than 10% of what's left.
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