[Vision2020] Wal-Mart impact studies

Jeff Harkins jeffh at moscow.com
Wed Sep 6 10:06:31 PDT 2006

Ms. Swanson,

Thank you for showing an interest in my reading 
habits. I am familiar with Mr. Lynn's work.  I 
find it not at all unusual that you are intrigued 
by his writing on the WalMart issue.  But Lynn is 
a known advocate of government controlled 
markets.  Here are some snipits from his recent writings.

"The success of any national energy policy is not 
measured by the development of
new technologies, or even the harnessing of that set of technologies to
manufacture a radically more efficient car. On the contrary, it can be highly
counterproductive for any society wanting to change consumption habits to
regard a particular set of technologies as an 
ultimate goal. Technologies are tools,
which can be put to use to reach a particular social goal, such as cutting fuel
consumption or emissions. Congress, for instance, could enact a set of policies
that would put a million Prius-like vehicles on 
the road within three years. But,
absent other policies to reshape the overall 
market to ensure that the rest of the
U.S. national vehicle fleet does not simply 
become bigger and less efficient, such
a program may actually do nothing to reduce overall national fuel consumption
and carbon emissions. It may simply divert money and attention from easier,
cheaper solutions.

The single most important lesson of PNGV, then, is that programs such as
FreedomCAR and Freedom Fuel must be regarded as no more than
complements to efforts to use regulation to 
reshape the overall market for energy
at the national—or preferably the global—level. The keystone to any effective
long-term energy policy aimed at reducing environmental damage is a
technology-blind set of regulations that ratchets 
up the cost of emitting carbon.
Similarly, the keystone to reducing dependence on imported oil must ratchet up
the cost of using that fuel. In either case, the 
goal must be to reshape the market
for energy use in vehicles in such a way that the 
automotive industry has a clear
incentive to blend new technologies into their fleets—in whatever way the
individual companies see fit—to reduce fuel consumption and emissions in line
with well-defined objectives. Only once such goals are set can the public
effectively evaluate a program, be it PNGV or FreedomCAR, that uses public
funds to aid private enterprises in developing technologies useful in achieving
these goals."


Here is his view on global trade:

The corollary is that it is time for governments 
to adjust the rules that shape how the private 
sector runs the production infrastructures on 
which all countries depend, to ensure that 
compartments are built back into these systems. 
Much can be accomplished using modified versions 
of policies tried and proven safe years ago. 
These include a more aggressive use of antitrust 
power; a requirement that companies dual source 
all components in real time; and limits on how 
much of any one product, component or service 
importers can source from any one nation. The 
prospect of more state involvement need not be 
regarded with horror; after all, rich nations did 
not do badly at developing their industrial 
systems in the half-century before radical laisser faire.


This cite captures his agenda quite clearly:

Rather than attempt to retreat into an equally 
impossible autarky, it is far more likely that 
America will re-embrace the responsibility of 
using state power to engineer markets and systems 
to serve its own people, while ceding to other 
states far more space to serve their citizens in 
ways of their own choosing. The next global 
system will be far more heterogeneous, 
cosmopolitan, liberal and flexible than today's.


I wonder just what Lynn has in mind for the 
banking system.  I am reminded of an old adage, 
Ms. Swanson ... one best be careful of what one 
wishes for, it just might come true.

One final point - please explain the reference to 
"The Hack" inserted between Steve and 
Peterson.  What exactly are you attempting to say 
with that moniker? Is it just simple name calling 
or do you have a deeper meaning in mind?

At 06:27 AM 9/6/2006, you wrote:
>Thanks for posting.  I hope Jeff Harkins and Steve "The Hack" Peterson read
>it, too.  Here's the link:
>         http://www.harpers.org/BreakingTheChain.html
>B. J. Swanson
>-----Original Message-----
>From: vision2020-bounces at moscow.com [mailto:vision2020-bounces at moscow.com]
>On Behalf Of Stephen Cooke
>Sent: Tuesday, September 05, 2006 2:17 PM
>To: vision2020 at moscow.com
>Subject: [Vision2020] Wal-Mart impact studies
>Barry C. Lynn
>"Breaking the Chain: The Anti-Trust Case Against Wal Mart:" Harper's Mag.
>(July '06).
>  List services made available by First Step Internet,
>  serving the communities of the Palouse since 1994.
>                http://www.fsr.net
>           mailto:Vision2020 at moscow.com
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