What went wrong with weatherization

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Popular Mechanics article on the dismal failure of the stimulus-plan - and other - weatherization projects.
It's not all bad, though. Ohio is going gang-busters! of the 32,000 units planned for attention, a whopping 2% have been processed. Ohio leads the nation!
http://www.popularmechanics.com/home_journal/home_improvement/4347294.html
"I'm from the government and I'm here to dilly-dally."
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When I visited the USA a couple of years ago (I'm from the UK) I took the opportunity to look round a few domestic house construction site. By UK standards, what I saw was abysmal in terms of energy efficiency. Houses here in the UK have insulation around four times as effective,not to mention more efficient windows and draught proofing. This was Iowa. Our average Winter temperature is maybe 35 deg F. Iowa maybe 10?. I would say there was no way these houses could be significantly improved by retrofitting insulation ect. America is twenty years behing the rest of the world. A bit like American cars in fact. Useless and outdated.
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harry wrote:

Okay, yeah, maybe most US houses are on the lightweight side. What can I say? Material and land and energy used to be cheap here. House falls down, move a mile further out and build a new one. Can't do that in UK- no room. And while new construction may be more energy-efficient on that side of the pond, what percentage of the existing housing stock is built to those standards?
But for somebody from UK to call US cars crappy? Pot-Kettle-Black, etc. At least we still have a couple of US-owned manufacturers left.
-- aem sends...
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wrote:

How's British Leylands working out for ya? Lucas?

...and when AIM says "US-owned", he means owned by the _US_OWNED_. ;-)
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The Chinese have a virtual slave labour work force. We will never compete with them. The only way to win is by innovation.
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Old news, my friend. Maybe 20 years old. The Chinese are free to work where they want, for who they want, for a wage they negotiate. Well, almost free to work anywhere, there are some internal immigration controls, largely ignored.
At local levels, the Chinese are some of the most capitalistic, entrepreneurial people you will ever meet.
Not so much at the national level. They are still figuring out capitalism and the rule of law. Most especially, figuring out how to transition from a totalitarian regime (20 years ago) to whatever version of democracy they intend, while staying in power and avoiding revolution.
But your second point is spot on. We can't compete on raw labor. The Chinese have too many people for whom $4 a day is a huge raise.
-- Doug
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Well we have a couple too. The ones we lost were mostly bought by Yanks & then sold on.
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harry wrote:

Another thing that has changed is house size. Houses have gone from maybe 1700 sq.ft. to 2400 sq.ft. or so. Family size has gone down.
Have you driven a Ford lately? GM and Chrysler don't count anymore to me. The Feds have those two companies in their grimy mitts.
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Dean Hoffman wrote:

Check your numbers. Until the '70s, 1100 sq. feet or smaller was a typical house size, unless you were rich. Bedrooms were tiny, until everyone thought they needed a barge to sleep on. Living rooms were 12 feet wide and 16 feet long, not 24x24. (Try buying a couch sized for an older house- it ain't easy.) Family rooms, if they existed, were in the basement and called 'rec rooms'. A house with a second toilet in the laundry room/mudroom, much less with a powder room in the front hall, was considered fancy. A 'master bath', for an upscale house, was often little more than closet size, with a stall shower. There are still a whole lot of sub-1000-foot pre-1960 houses out there, with even fewer amenities. And at the time, they were considered perfectly fine. They used to sell a lot more bunk beds than they do now. You didn't get your own bedroom till your older sibling went away to school or got married, or went into Army, or whatever.
-- aem sends...
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Read that as ...... 'US automakers, reluctantly funded by the US federal government'!
During previous decades the mantra was that 'private enterprise' and the market place were 'self regulating'. Huh; that didn't work and the desk chair wasn't even cool from the previous president's posterior before the automakers were in Washington looking for 'bail-outs'! The last 10 to 15 years have not been good in the Good Ole USA, eh?
Governments don't 'want' to be in private business ...... it's not something they do well. Maybe those automakers should have been allowed to go under; at least no bonus for the ham handed executives who took them to the edge.
And maybe all those workers in the auto industry who would have (and might still?) lose their livelihood should be laid off and find other jobs? But then the question would be 'what is the government doing about it?'.
If one needs needs to buy a vehicle there are plenty of manufacturers around the world, Japanese, Korean, European, even India and it won't be long before China will be (or already is?) a big player. We have found that the most suitable are Japanese, especially those manufactured entirely in Japan! The last North America produced Japanese vehicle we bought had problems with weather related items such as wipers (it snows and vehicles ice up in North America by the way!), also lousy North American made electrics that corroded quickly. Since around 1967 Japanese vehicles, for example, in these parts have gone from being described as a 'Toy' (remember those adverts?) to somewhere around 50% of the vehicles on the road! In some Arab countries, you know the ones that sell us our oil, and where they have plenty of money to buy whatever they want (and several of them) the percentage of North American style/manufactured vehicles is extremely low.
Aside from vehicles; what is also noticeable as the world economy starts to recover is that those countries that have better regulated (that's regulated not governemnt run) financial systems are recovering a lot more quickly. All this ranting about 'socialism', 'fascism', 'government involvement' etc. that the Americans who don't understand any of it, indulge in is emotional.
It all harks back to the Senator McCarthy era where his 'Un American Activities' committee could find a 'Commie' under every park bench or in every movie script. Seems to be repeating the unfortunate trait of blaming somebody else for what are obviously problems internal to the country.
Maybe the USA needs a better system of government? One that is 'By the people, for the people etc. .....'? It's seems obvious that the ' lobbying system' of government has disadvantages? One lobbyist gets ahead (or what they want) and Joe/Jane citizen are left out.
Whether having an ordinary guy who put himself through college instead of Texan oil sponsored millionaires as president will change anything will have to be seen. Maybe too many vested interest to let him get anything done?
Now back to housing ..............................
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LOL. Yeah, that's why Obama and the Dems are so hell bent on taking control of healthcare, prefering a public option and rejecting outright any number of simple steps that could be taken a few at a time to bring needed reform. Let's take for example eliminating roadblocks so that any health insurance company can sell it's products anywhere in the USA across state lines. If you're is in favor of competition and private business, then this is a simple and very logical step. Yet, Obama laments the lack of competition and at the same time refuses this simple proposal outright. Of course if the competition came from govt, then it would be OK. Even worse, despite being asked many times why he's opposed, he has yet to give an answer. Last Thursday, at the meeting to explore reaching some kind of agreement, the Obama answer was he didn't want to get bogged down in "talking points"

I guess those Toyota cars, most of which are built in Japan, that are killing people and causing runaway accidents are crowning examples of Japanese achievement. And if everything built in NA were crap, then there would be a hell of a lot of BMWs, Hondas, MBs etc that would be having all kinds of problems.

Who cares what anyone drives in some Arab countries? But for the record, HumVees seem to be very popular over there. Where are they built?

Yeah, China is having a boom at the moment. Does that make communism the best system? Last time I checked the US economy was and continues to be heavily regulated. Does that mean that the system will forsee and prevent everything that can go wrong? Of course not. Hindsight is 20-20. And if the govt is so much better, why did FNMA and FreddieMac, which are quasi govt agencies go bust too? Wasn't it Congressman Barney Frank, who's committee has supervisory authority, proclaim all was well just about a year before everything hit the fan?

I think many of us here understand it a lot better than you.

You have a govt that now owns GM and is seeking to take over 16% of the rest of the economy. At the same time they reject private free market easy solutions out of hand. Obama regularly rails against all kinds of businesses: Wall Street, Las Vegas, Insurance companies, Drug companies, etc. That indeed is moving toward socialism.

And where and under what system of govt exactly is it that this does not occur?

It's definitely changed things. And just looking at the poll numbers the people clearly don't like that change. When a Republican wins a Senate seat held by Ted Kennedy and becomes the first Republican senator from MA in 35 years, the hand writing is on the wall. And those that are too arrogant to read it, eg Obama and the Dems, will pay the price.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I'm amazed at the people who watched Affirmative Action lending destroy the home mortgage business and they now believe an Affirmative Action politician can fix everything. Oh great teleprompter in the sky, please save us.
TDD
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Their argument is that there will be "race to the bottom" as each insurance company narrows more and more its coverage in order to offer lower rates.
I think the reason is more insidious.
There are states that mandate dodgy coverage: Chiropractic, holistic medicine, herbal or aroma therapy, Naturopathy, and the like, plus they mandate coverage for arguably non-medical conditions such as alcoholism, hair transplants, birth-control pills, tattoo removal, and so on. These requirements significantly raise the cost to all but were put in place by high-decibel advocates.
Permitting sales across state lines would put pressure on these insurers to get out of the voodoo business to the disquiet of the new age types who would have crystals in every hospital room.
Of course the Republicans are not immune to unproven therapies. We conservatives believe that tax cuts can cure cancer and alleviate bee bites.
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By this writing, either you are attempting humor, or displaying ignorance.
--
Christopher A. Young
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On Mar 1, 9:17am, "Stormin Mormon"

Witness the sorry state of the USA at end of 2008!!!!!!!!!!
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I'd sure like a serious cut in government taxes, and a cut in the services which are not dictated by the Constitution. The sorry state of the US is in large part due to government intervention.
--
Christopher A. Young
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terry wrote:

Good point.
Still, for eight years the unemployment rate dipped as low as 4%, extremely low inflation, and 26 consecutive quarters of economic growth (a record). All this in spite of two wars, Katrina, and 9-11.
What changed, in the last quarter of '08, was the impending inauguration of Barak Obama.
But we still have hopey and changey; early next year the three Bush tax cuts expire and the inheritance tax jumps to 55% (from 0% today).
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<SNIP to here>

<SNIP from here>
We had 30 consecutive quarters of economic growth from the 2nd quarter of 1993 through the third quarter of 2000.
http://economics.about.com/library/data/dataquar.xls
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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Don Klipstein wrote:

You're absolutely correct. Still, the Bush economic years were kinda like the earthquake in Chile - not a record, but still pretty good.
No, wait...
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wrote:

When I visited the USA a couple of years ago (I'm from the UK) I took the opportunity to look round a few domestic house construction site. By UK standards, what I saw was abysmal in terms of energy efficiency. Houses here in the UK have insulation around four times as effective,not to mention more efficient windows and draught proofing. This was Iowa. Our average Winter temperature is maybe 35 deg F. Iowa maybe 10?. I would say there was no way these houses could be significantly improved by retrofitting insulation ect. America is twenty years behing the rest of the world. A bit like American cars in fact. Useless and outdated.
Useless and outdated? Do you mean like British royalty?
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