Monthly Archives: August 2019
Just adding in one more possibility to help cloud their minds
What this did was make millions more aware of what had just happened, since the one certainty is that the media in the US and elsewhere would not mention that Iran is building rockets to deliver nuclear weapons, or that it had experienced a humiliating disaster by having a rocket blow up on its launchpad. The third bit, of course, is that by denying America had done anything he raised the possibility that they might have even though they almost certainly didn’t. This is taken from Instapundit and found hardly anywhere else. What you don’t know really can hurt you.
No one, not even Trump, has ever successfully trolled at this level before.
I am in awe.
Lies, damned lies and global warming
We are surrounded by scammers everywhere. This is taken directly from Powerline and in full: NO U.S. WARMING SINCE 2005.
One of the problems in assessing global climate is that the surface temperature record is terrible. There are very few weather stations world-wide, and fewer all the time. Seventy per cent of the world is ocean, and therefore hard or impossible to measure accurately. Most temperatures that go into calculations of a global average are not even measured: they are interpolated, assumed temperatures based on records at other stations.
Even when measured, temperature records are not very reliable. The U.S. is generally considered to have the best records, but surveys show that over half of our weather stations do not comply with written standards. Some are located in places that obviously will be warmer than surrounding air, e.g., next to airport runways. Many are in cities, where temperatures are artificially inflated by concentrations of people, motor vehicles, buildings, etc. And on top of all of that, the alarmists who curate weather records have systematically fiddled with them, lowering temperatures that were recorded decades ago and raising recent ones, to exaggerate the supposed phenomenon of global warming.
In order to address some of these problems, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) implemented, beginning in 2005, a new surface temperature measurement system in the U.S.
[The U.S. Climate Reference Network] includes 114 pristinely maintained temperature stations spaced relatively uniformly across the lower 48 states. NOAA selected locations that were far away from urban and land-development impacts that might artificially taint temperature readings.
Prior to the USCRN going online, alarmists and skeptics sparred over the accuracy of reported temperature data. With most preexisting temperature stations located in or near urban settings that are subject to false temperature signals and create their own microclimates that change over time, government officials performed many often-controversial adjustments to the raw temperature data. Skeptics of an asserted climate crisis pointed out that most of the reported warming in the United States was non-existent in the raw temperature data, but was added to the record by government officials.
The USCRN has eliminated the need to rely on, and adjust the data from, outdated temperature stations.
So–not to keep you in suspense–what does the USCRN show so far? No warming:
At Real Clear Energy, James Taylor adds:
There is also good reason to believe U.S. temperatures have not warmed at all since the 1930s. Raw temperature readings at the preexisting stations indicate temperatures are the same now as 80 years ago. All of the asserted U.S. warming since 1930 is the product of the controversial adjustments made to the raw data. Skeptics point out that as the American population has grown, so has the artificial warming signal generated by growing cities, more asphalt, more automobiles, and more machinery.
If anything, the raw temperature readings should be adjusted downward today relative to past temperatures (or past temperatures adjusted upward in comparison to present temperatures) rather than the other way around. If raw temperature readings are the same today as they were 80 years ago, when there were fewer artificial factors spuriously raising temperature readings, then U.S. temperatures today may actually be cooler than they were in the early 20th century.
More at the link. USCRN promises to be a valuable contribution to the raging debate over climate, as long as the alarmists don’t get their hands on the data and start changing it.
The modern face of white supremacy
All this support for Donald Trump from white supremacists everywhere.
Beto O’Rourke Campaign Claims Breitbart.com Reporter Joel Pollak Ejected to Protect Black Students. “A Breitbart spokesperson hit back shortly after the O’Rourke campaign’s statement: ‘The false accusation that Breitbart is racist, or that its award-winning reporter — an Orthodox Jew, married to a black woman who serves in the military — is either racist or would make anyone at a black university uncomfortable is absurd. The irony of Mr. O’Rourke — who has stated himself that he is the beneficiary of ‘white privilege’ — purporting to decide for black students who should be banned from events that are open to the press, or what they should feel, is not lost on us.’”
And this, with the focus on Chinese (people, not the government of China) support for Donald Trump:
MSM LAUNCHES JIHAD AGAINST RIGHT MEDIA? Tuesday, it was The Epoch Times in the cross-hairs of the fact-free-zone newsrooms at NBC/MSNBC today it’s the New York Times going after Floyd Brown and the Western Journal. Anything contrary to the elitist MSM narrative is branded “disinformation,” or worse.
The people in those newsrooms call themselves “journalists,” yet, with few exceptions, that is no longer a credible label for what they do. Who will be tomorrow’s target, The Federalist? The Daily Caller? Washington Examiner? Washington Free Beacon? Instapundit?
And there is then this: 5 things to know about Republican candidate Catalina Lauf, who’s stormed national media
A new Republican candidate for Congress has catapulted herself into the national media spotlight, vying to displace Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. 26-year-old Catalina Lauf, billing herself as “Latina by heart, American first,”.
Who is she, and why is she exciting conservative media? Here are five things to know about Catalina Lauf:
1. Who is Catalina Lauf? According to the biography on her campaign website, Lauf was born and raised in Woodstock, Illinois. Her father is a small-business owner from Chicago, and her mother and grandmother are legal immigrants from Guatemala.
The power of classical economic thought
Here is a story picked up just today which had a bit in it I found quite striking since it presents a real-world economic event straight out of classical economic theory. It’s from an article titled, New recession warning: The rich aren’t spending. There we find:
The savings of the rich has also exploded, more than doubling over the past two years, suggesting that the wealthy are hoarding cash. The middle earners, or those in the 40% to 89.9% of the income distribution, have largely picked up the spending slack from the rich….
The middle-class consumer, however, is being buoyed up by strong employment and a relatively stable housing market. A U.S. economy that for over a decade has been defined by the rich reaping the gains and fueling the spending, has now flipped. Now, it’s Main Street that is prospering, while the investor class is signaling a consumer recession.
Which made me think of this from Mill’s Principles:
The proposition for which I am contending is in reality equivalent to the following, which to some minds will appear a truism, though to others it is a paradox: that a person does good to labourers, not by what he consumes on himself, but solely by what he does not so consume.
Clear as a bell to anyone versed in classical thought but to anyone else, specially to a student of modern macro, a statement near impossible to comprehend.
A strange duly neglected crank
The ‘Strange, Unduly Neglected Prophet’ was the description given by Keynes to Silvio Gesell, the author of the notion of “stamped money” which is discussed at the link. There are cranks all over economics, but there have always been more of these in monetary theory than anywhere else. They have now even risen to the ranks of central bank governors all across the world.
Gesell has always remained famous among economists because he is one amongst Keynes’s “brave army of heretics” whom he discusses in Chapter 24 of The General Theory. Apparently Gesell has now risen to a new prominence and taken on a strange new respectability. Some idea of how far we have gone is provided in the penultimate para of the article.
In our technological age, a Gesellian system of unhoardable cash wouldn’t actually have to involve stamping paper bills for a fee. It could involve high-tech physical cash, such as magnetic strips that allow the government to impose a “Gesell tax” on holding cash, as one economist proposed some years ago. Harvard University’s Kenneth Rogoff has been advocating we get rid of paper money altogether and move almost completely to a system of electronic cash. He believes it could give central banks the power to impose negative interest rates deep enough to rescue our economy from future recessions. In all of this, Gesell was a pioneer.
The nonsensical notion that recessions occur because people don’t spend their money, or their income, or hoard their savings, or whatever might be stopping people from spending, is the core belief of economic cranks everywhere. Just because it is now mainstream economic theory shouldn’t lead you to thinking that just because these once understood fallacies are today taught to everyone around the world that they actually make any sense whatsoever. They have been ruining economies and destroying our wealth for centuries. Why should anything change now?
Mill discusses the Quantity Theory of Money in 1848
From Mill’s Principles:
If we assume the quantity of goods on sale, and the number of times those goods are resold, to be fixed quantities, the value of money will depend upon its quantity, together with the average number of times that each piece changes hands in the process . The whole of the goods sold (counting each resale of the same goods as so much added to the goods) have been exchanged for the whole of the money, multiplied by the number of purchases made on the average by each piece. Consequently, the amount of goods and of transactions being the same, the value of money is inversely as its quantity multiplied by what is called the rapidity of circulation. And the quantity of money in circulation [M] is equal to the money value of all the goods sold [PT], divided by the number which expresses the rapidity of circulation [V]. (Mill  1871: 494 – letters in parentheses inserted into the text)
Note that the money value of all goods sold is PT, with the T standing for Transactions. This is the accurate rendering of the concept since the same item might be sold many times over. A sack of flour might find itself sold first to a distributor, and then to a retailer and then finally to a consumer. It is the number of transactions that matter. The transactions also incorporate all of the sales between input producers that occur well before, perhaps years before, some item is sold as a final good to a consumer.
Thereafter we come to the quantity equation which is actually a quantity identity since it is true by definition. It is true only because it could not be anything else.
M ≡ PT/V
Or in its more typical formulation:
MV ≡ PT
The number of times a unit of money is exchanged is equal to the total money value of all sales that take place inside an economy. Since there is no means to calculate T or the average price of all of the items that are turned over in the market, PT is a number that can never be calculated.
Following that para from The Principles are a large number of additional considerations that help make sense of the point and also make it more comprehensible in relation to the operation of an economy.
Whatever else Mill is or is not trying to do, what he is not trying to do is provide some means to regulate an economy by trying to adjust any of the four elements within the identity.
What’s the difference what she’s doing if it’s Margot Robbie? As it happens, she’s teaching Aussie Slang and btw the word shown on the screen is a very dirty word. And although I came to Oz as an adult, many many years ago, I knew all the words and phrases, even more of them than she did. All are everyday terms, really used in conversation, even the one on the screen.
And while you’re here, let me mention that you should go see Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood. A worthy film, and notable since Margot is in it and she is the most beautiful woman in the world, aside from my wife, of course.
If you want to know how socialists think
I was alerted by the title of Graham Richardson’s column today: Diplomacy’s a challenge when Trump goes rogue. Not his own title, of course, but as usual more anti-Trump rubbish that one expects from the socialist cabal. But it was more than that; there was this:
President Xi is a dictator and, in my view, China will need to be run by a dictator for a long time yet. Democracy is just too slow for a nation building its economy at the rate the Chinese are achieving.
Possibly the most revealing statement we have seen from the Labor Party, revealing their true sentiments towards democracy and the market economy. How do we ever trust these people in government?
There was more, of course, but this truly made me wonder how out of it such people are.
The biggest problem in the area of energy policy is the gap between supply and demand, which has not been plugged by the market — we lack a large, new power plant on the east coast…. The failure to lure any investment to bridge the energy sector’s coal deficit will mean the wide-eyed proselytisers of the new world energy renewables push will get to see the implementation of more of the schemes they have been promoting in recent years, and see if they work and at what cost.
And who does GR think is responsible? Does the Labor Party have anything to do with it? Perish the thought:
The Green-GetUp coalition has had enormous success in ensuring that no finance from any source can go to coal…. For the past five decades we were the country with abundant cheap power so the logical question is how did we manage to squander this advantage? When you have abundant reserves of coal of good quality at a good price the tragedy of worrying about energy supply is obvious.
Clearly, Australia also needs to be run by a dictator. At least in China there is no hesitation to burn coal to produce electricity.
Leaving it to the market plus the rule of law
A quite interesting article that adds to our understanding of why China is in such a hurry to shut down Hong Kong: Why People in Hong Kong Have Incomes 5x Higher Than People in China’s Richest Province. It’s not long, but will give you quite an understanding of what has made the difference. But I particularly wanted to point out the principles that lie behind its success.
- Business Efficiency – The Hong Kong government established simple procedures for individuals to start their own enterprises. Entrepreneurs fill out a single page form and pay $25. That’s it. Businesses can open that very day.
- Small Government, Big Market– Per-capita spending on government in Hong Kong is less than half of what the average New Yorker spends to support the various levels of government.
- Open Trading Systems– Hong Kong has the world’s 10th largest trading economy, with no trade barriers or tariffs imposed on other countries.
- Low Taxes – A typical New Yorker loses about half his income to taxes. In Hong Kong, the government claims just 15 percent.
- Sound Money– As the U.S. undermines the dollar with dollar printing and years of quantitative easing, raising government debt to never before seen levels, Hong Kong maintains low debt and sound money. It carries a debt to GDP ratio of 38.67 percent compared to 104.17 percent in the U.S.
- Few Government Regs – While the U.S. has reactionary regulation with many business crushing consequences, Hong Kong has an environment of permissionless innovation that embraces the benefit of “innovation allowed,” which switches the burden of proof to those who favor preemptive regulation and requires them to explain why ongoing trial and error experimentation with new technologies or business models should be disallowed.
- Rule of Law– The British, during their long rule over Hong Kong enforced, the “Rule of Law.” People who stole or killed were jailed, which left the people to flourish in a free law-abiding marketplace.
Most of it is about governments keeping out of the way, which was how we used to run our economies until modern macro rotted the minds of economic policy makers everywhere. Leaving it to the market plus the rule of law works wonders.