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    • So I saw today on Google news that an Air Canada flight had to make an emergency landing because a part of its landing gear fell into the engine and it had a ruptured "tyre."

      I couldn't tell from the little that shows on Google News who the plane's manufacturer was but having listened to the NYT's "The Daily" on public radio, I wondered to myself if this was a Boeing airplane. So I clicked on one of several reports to open the article and Yes, it was a Boeing.

    • I heard something about this on the radio at lunch - the plane was circling the city to expend fuel for quite some time (hours?) before it would attempt to land.

      Imagine being on board.

    • You may have heard of a plane on the west coast that dumped its fuel instead of trying to stay aloft and several school children were drenched with fuel. Apparently, modern jets are not desigbed to land with heavy tanks of fuel and must get rid of a large amount of it before attempting to land.

    • Yes, the landing gear is not strong enough to absorb the shock if the plane is too heavy. But many jets (including this one) do not have the capability to dump fuel and need to circle instead. It's hard to design a dumping mechanism that doesn't increase the fire risk on landing, apparently.

    • This just feels environmentally irresponsible: I suspect that they could build a jet that size that could land with fuel in the tanks but it’s cheaper to dump or burn through it instead. I can’t believe that military aircraft used for personnel transport are expected to fly in circles for a couple hours in a war zone. But I could be wrong.

      What I do know is that electric jets are getting closer to reality.

      If only US electric battery research funding was being increased instead of cuts by the White House. The current one hour range of electric jets would limit most uses.

    • Stephen,

      Providing tax breaks for such things helps the wealthy get wealthier. Regardless of how one may feel about coal mining, the retired and sick coal miners are probably poorer than the company owners of electric vehicle companies and those people who can afford to purchase the products currently under development.

      Consider the customer who can afford an electric car, a private charging unit and its installation cost, and possibly solar panels, and possibly a storage battery for the solar panels, and isn't there something also required to interface the direct current with the alternating current coming from the grid?

      That person isn't living below the poverty level.

      I understand that you would like to see a faster electric based energy infrastructure. I have no issues with this desire of yours.

      BUT, if you are opposed to the wealthier Americans getting government subsidies then why are you upset when such a subsidy is terminated? Or am I missing something?

    • In a physics class in graduate school I got obsessed with the mathematics of 747s and how it was even possible that they could fly. 77,000 titanium fasteners.

      The most astonishing thing is to fly a 747 from San Francisco to London with all those passengers and luggage, the weight of the fuel in the wings equals the weight of everything else combined. It makes it impossible for the structure to take a hard landing with that much fuel. Not to mention the fire hazard.

    • James,

      I read a wonderful book about the brainiacs in the US Government’s electric battery research group during the Obama administration. What I took away from the book is that the government can make incredible progress in advancing clean energy because they don’t have the pressure of quarterly results; however, tax incentives increase the number of private companies that are willing to gamble on research. Thirty years ago, no one invested in solar because fossil fuel prices were way too low and the cost of solar energy was way too high to make it practical except for the most extreme applications such as in space (the Space Shuttle, orbital satellites).

      I believe that tax incentives such as tax rebates on the hybrid Toyota Prius ten years ago and the EV tax incentives have brought clean energy technology sooner than would have occurred without tax incentives.

      I think being able to breathe cleaner air is something that people who can’t afford Teslas will benefit from. And as the production costs continue to go down, EVs will become more affordable and the electric recharging and battery swap network will become more prevalent. I also see the technology going into public busses, which can benefit everyone as well.

      But to your question

      BUT, if you are opposed to the wealthier Americans getting government subsidies then why are you upset when such a subsidy is terminated? Or am I missing something?

      I don’t know if I’ve explicitly said I was opposed to wealthier Americans getting government subsidies. Did I think it was ridiculous for New York City to offer billions in tax subsidies to Amazon, when NYC wasn’t hurting for employers? Absolutely, and the fact that Amazon blinked and moved to NYC without any tax subsidies confirms it, IMHO.

      Do I think that Hedge Fund traders should lose the Bush tax cut that allows them to only pay 15%(?) on their earnings? Absolutely, because they add nothing to the Common Good to justify the “tax incentive.” It’s pure political corruption that they were able to buy politicians from both parties to pass that legislation.

      But when you have an extremely risky venture, with a long-term payback if it’s successful, and it’s going to benefit the country to accelerate innovation, then I think it makes sense to provide tax incentives if it will help to achieve that benefit.

      Of course, you could do the math and convince me that the tax incentive amount could be lower and still achieve that benefit. Or that there are so many competitors going after this innovation that no incentive is necessary.

      Does that make sense or at least clarify my thoughts on this?

      Ask away with additional questions if it wasn’t. 🙂

    • Do you think that if a company's invention was largely subsidized by government funding that it should still be allowed to patent its invention and hold a virtual monopoly till the patent expires on something which was developed at taxpayer expense?

    • Let’s take orphan drugs. An “orphan drug” is medication that treats a condition that perhaps less than a thousand people in the world have. It doesn’t make economic sense for a pharmaceutical company to spend money on research so the government pays for them to do research and to develop a viable treatment. Because there’s not much of a market, the government allows them an exclusive patent for 10 years but puts price controls on the maximum amount that can be charged, i.e. they can’t charge $5,000 a pill.

      Now take a drug that treats a common condition. The NIH does basic research and a drug manufacturer uses that research for free to create a drug that makes them millions. Makes no sense for them not to pay for that research, either upfront or as a royalty payment on sales, but US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez held hearings this past spring that showed this was a prevalent theft that drug companies get away with.

      I think you have to take the market realities into account when deciding on tax incentives and subsidies: if they’ll do what you want for the common good without tax incentives then don’t offer them.

    • I don't remember the name of it but on NPR this last weekend they were talking about a one time drug that costs 2 million.

      Update: I think it is Novartis's Zolgensma.

    • After Trump was inaugurated in 2017, there were a bunch of “resistance groups” that sprung up. The Meetup app created one of these groups, and both people who were long-time politically active and “never actives” (like me) showed up to meetings. At one of the meetings was a woman who had worked in the business world in a strategic role: like me, she had a business background and a firm grasp of how the business world works. We both could’ve been conservative Republicans, based on our backgrounds, but we were at a “resistance meeting” instead. The group leader at the meeting asked everyone to share their one major issue. Most of the people talked about racism or climate change or voting rights. The major issue for me, and for the other business-minded attendee, was economic justice. Because if you haven’t dealt with that issue, solving the other issues won’t be possible. It doesn’t matter if you have the right to vote, for example, if you have to hold down three jobs and can’t afford to take off to vote on Election Day. I think our views were politely tolerated, but it was clear that they thought going to protest marches on the weekends was going to solve everything and we both left the group soon afterwards.

    • While my own view of all political efforts is summarized thus:

      Better is a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king, who knows not how to receive admonition any more. For out of prison he came forth to be king; yes, even in his kingdom he was born poor. I saw all the living that walk under the sun, that they were with the youth, the second, that stood up in his stead. There was no end of all the people, even of all them over whom he was: yet they that come after shall not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a striving after wind.