I come not to praise but to bury scandal plagued Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, who was forced to resign amidst the growing weight of public scandals, ethics investigations and criminal proceedings concerning political payoffs related to various green energy schemes and the governor ha pushed.
I don’t know if Kitzhaber’s support for energy efficiency, low-carbon energy standards, carbon-dioxide limits and renewable electricity was strictly driven by the quest for filthy lucre for his friends or if Kitzhaber was a blind true-believer in the green energy schemes he supported. I suspect the later, which makes his resignation even better in my opinion.
After all, a corrupt politician usually stops pushing bad policies when he/she stops receiving payoffs to support them whereas a true believer will push them regardless of the harm done in the belief that despite harming the people they are supposed to serve, “its the right thing to do.”
I suspect the jobs for is fiancé and green energy cronies were just added benefits received in the pursuit of environmental boondoggles that the Governor deep-down believed in.
My suspicion is that not all governors who support unreliable, expensive, environmentally harmfully green energy schemes are true believers. Regardless, it might be fruitful for muckraking purposes or from the perspective of legitimate investigative journalism to examine the books of green energy companies, and the governors, political advisors and gubernatorial appointees doing business in states at the forefront of the highly subsidized green energy revolution and attacks on reliable, relatively inexpensive fossil fuels that consumers, voting with their dollars, indicate they truly love.
Could other green governors be tied to similar scandals? As one who despises paternalistic intervention in individuals’ lives and the effect crony capitalism has on the economy, I hope so!
The title of Justin Gillis’ recent NYT article is an excellent tip-off of how bad environmental reporting has gotten: “What to Call a Doubter of Climate Change?”
Now, as a skeptical Ph.D. climate scientist who has been working and publishing in the climate field for over a quarter century, I can tell you I don’t know of any other skeptics who even “doubt climate change”.
The mere existence of climate change says nothing about causation. The climate system is always changing, and always will change. Most skeptics believe humans have at least some small role in that change, but tend to believe it might well be more natural than SUV-caused.
So, the title of the NYT article immediately betrays a bias in reporting which has become all too common. “He who frames the question wins the debate.”
What we skeptics are skeptical about is that the science has demonstrated with any level of certainty: (1) how much of recent warming has been manmade versus natural, or (2) whether any observed change in storms/droughts/floods is outside the realm of natural variability, that is, whether it too can be blamed on human activities.
But reporters routinely try to reframe the debate, telling us skeptics what webelieve. Actually reporting in an accurate manner what we really believe does not suit their purpose. So (for example) Mr. Gillis did not use any quotes from Dr. John Christy in the above article, even though he was interviewed.
Mr. Gillis instead seems intent on making a story out of whether skeptical climate scientists should be even afforded the dignity of being called a “skeptic”, when what we really should be called is “deniers”.
You know — as evil as those who deny the Holocaust. (Yeah, we get the implication.)
He then goes on to malign the scientific character of Dr. Richard Lindzen (a Jew who is not entirely pleased with misplaced Holocaust imagery) because the majority of scientific opinion runs contrary to Dr. Lindzen, who is also a member of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences.
Do I need to remind Mr. Gillis that the cause(s) of climate change are much more difficult to establish than, say, the cause of stomach ulcers? There is only one climate system (patient) to study, but many millions of ulcer sufferers walking around.
And yet the medical research community was almost unanimous in their years of condemnation of Marshall and Warren, two Australian researchers who finally received the 2005 Nobel Prize in medicine for establishing the bacterial basis for peptic ulcers, one of the most common diseases in the world.
Does Mr. Gillis really want to be a journalist? Or just impress his NYC friends?
The idea that the causes of climate change are now just as well established as gravity or the non-flatness of the Earth (or that ulcers are caused by too much stress and spicy food, too?) is so ridiculous that only young school children could be indoctrinated with such silly tripe.
Which, I fear, is just what is happening.
[First published at Roy Spencer’s blog.]
What made Brian Williams inject himself into an Iraq war incident? Perhaps the reason is as simple as a juvenile desire to remain in the center of adoring attention. When prominent personalities in the global warming issue say things about themselves that isn’t accurate, that’s a whole other ballgame.
This isn’t about science details, either, which are subject to interpretation that’s best left to experts. But we don’t have to be a rocket scientist or a climatologist to spot faulty personal embellishments. All it takes is basic level fact-checking.
Many will remember how Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 – one man and one organization. However, that apparently didn’t stop various IPCC participant scientists from claiming they individually won a Nobel Prize. This became enough of a problem in 2012 that the IPCC had to issue a formal instruction (as reported at Anthony Watts’ WUWT blog) that,
The prize was awarded to the IPCC as an organization, and not to any individual associated with the IPCC. Thus it is incorrect to refer to any IPCC official, or scientist who worked on IPCC reports, as a Nobel laureate or Nobel Prize winner.
This is an ongoing problem, so much so that book author/blogger Donna Laframboise created a site dedicated to exposing it, FakeNobelLaureates.com. One of my own recently added tips there concerned Camille Parmesan, a professor of Integrative Biology having a Ph.D. in Zoology. At her UK Plymouth University web page, now you see her Nobel Prize winning designation (circa last October, anyway, three lines down in the purple box), and now you don’t at the current page, a change that happened just a couple of weeks after I alerted Prof Parmesan to that problem.
Some embellishments are heaped onto others perhaps with the people not being aware of it. Naomi Oreskes, a science historian with a soon-to-be-released movie based on her “Merchants of Smear” book, was described in the 2010 Climate Cover-Up book as an “outspoken scientist.” Many others make thissame error, one site going so far as to elevate her to “climate scientist”.
Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of IPCC, was described in global warming crusader Bill McKibben’s350.org web site as “Nobel Prize winner and Indian climate scientist Rajendra Pachauri”, no less. At least they got his country origin correct. Prominent global warming book author / critic of skeptic climate scientists Ross Gelbspan described Pachauri in a 2007 Grist.com article as a ‘leading scientist‘, The easily found fact is that Pachauri only has a Master’s and a PhD degree in Industrial Engineering.
But then we have Pulitzer-winning investigative journalist Ross Gelbspan, widely described as such, among those being Al Gore’s description of him in the companion book for “An Inconvenient Truth.” In a nutshell, Gelbspan is a hero to the enviro-activist community for supposedly exposing a conspiracy of industry-funded corruption of skeptic climate scientists. Problem is, Gelbspan didn’t win a Pulitzer, by his own admission he was not a working journalist at the time of his ‘funding corruption discovery’, and he apparently did no investigation of skeptic scientists’ funding in any way that suggests he had evidence proving skeptic climate scientists were paid industry money to lie to the public – the latter being what I dissect in detail in my GelbspanFiles.com blog. Instead, careful and in-depth scrutiny of Gelbspan’s claims reveals how they all fall apart. It’s a time consuming process comparing one narrative against another, but in the end, it becomes quite obvious how inconsistent his and others’ accusations are about ‘industry-corrupted skeptics’. People label me as an investigative journalist for my work, but I protested that label.
There’s one big difference between what Brian Williams probably did and what Gelbspan and other prominent personalities in the global warming issue do. Pro-global warming people seem to embellish themselves or the people they support in order to create an appearance of unquestionable authority, so that the ponzi scheme of man-caused global warming — constantly infused with questionable science reports and character assassination of skeptics — stays alive in the eyes of the public. If the public loses faith in the promoters of global warming the same way they lost faith in Brian Williams, the issue is toast.
[Originally published at RedState]
In some ways, our culture idolizes childhood, but in others, it utterly destroys it. Perhaps the two go hand-in-hand. The New York Times asked recently, “Is Your First Grader College Ready?” It details classes full of elementary students going on college visits and filling out mock applications. At some colleges, the wait list for elementary-school tours is so long, they offer virtual campus visits. But that’s not all. Oh, no, that is not all.
When her boys join the science club, volunteer at the food bank, even serve on the elementary school safety patrol, Ms. Meyer said, she can’t help but view it as a steppingstone to college. ‘You have to have this resume built or your kids will not even be looked at.’
Thousands of schools are buying software that shows kids the trajectory for which specific colleges they’ll be on for picking certain middle-school classes. A companion article shows kindergartners journaling their SAT “words of the week.” The number of eighth and ninth graders taking the PSAT (a sort of preliminary test that predicts SAT performance and can earn one scholarships) has increased by a factor of 10 since it was introduced in 2000.
The demand that high school now prepare every graduate for entrance into college with no remedial coursework is now a national requirement, thanks to Common Core, the “college- and career-ready pathway.” It is a dramatic increase in the expectations for high schools, or a dramatic decrease in the expectations for colleges, or both. But it’s not entirely Common Core’s fault the college frenzy has reached six-year-olds (or, rather, the parents and teachers of six-year-olds). It’s the culture of the people who produce and enforce Common Core and things like it. The Washington Post regularly publishes stories about the haggard, henpecked children of DC-area politicos, who forego sleep, internal dialogue, and all personal space to load their resumes with things like “lacrosse team captain” and “debate society president” while taking 27 Advanced Placement classes each semester. In seventh grade. While going on repeated service trips to third-world countries.
Creating Box-Checkers, Not Box Smashers
Parents like this are the forerunners of the lifestyle now reaching into the middle class: Register your child for the “best” “infant learning center” as soon as you know you’re pregnant, and plan to dump him in there as soon as you hit your sixth week of maternity leave. Concurrently check out the “best” “preschools” that are proven feeders for the “best” elementary schools that in turn feed the “best” middle and high school and colleges and jobs. Because if he doesn’t get into an Ivy he’ll never get into Goldman Sachs or the Justice Department or whatever is the raging parent status symbol of the day.
They really cared about their child they’d have considered arranging their lives so they would spend more than 20 minutes a day face-to-face with him.
Notice this is a parent thing, not a child thing. We have no proof that a child herded into Goldman Sachs as he has been everywhere else will be happy there, or if he might have been happier developing his own interests, loves, and personality. The parents tell themselves they do all this for their child, but if they really cared about their child they’d have considered arranging their lives so they would spend more than 20 minutes a day face-to-face with him (checking email on their smartphones nearby doesn’t count). And they feel that guilt, unconsciously, so to compensate they prove they love their kid by buying him advantages instead of developing them, in person, over the years, together. It seems kind of like the table salads my garden-center-owning uncle says fly off the shelves to his yuppie clientele. He charges $20 for a cute little multi-lettuce arrangement that would have cost customers about $3 to make themselves. It rivals the cost of prewashed, precut lettuce from the store. Salad, just add water.
But kids are not a salad arrangement. You can’t just “add activities” or “burnish resumes.” They’re people. People need mentoring. They need relationships. They need discipleship. They need more than an endless cycle of paid caretakers. They need to be more than stimulation whores or bores. They are more than that. They can be more than that. But they need someone to show them how.
Do parents have no other goals for their children besides locking them into a career treadmill paved with cash? Perhaps they have no knowledge of finer milestones, a more meaningful way to approach life, so grasp at the only measurement of goodness they know. Remember, folks: The same greed turned King Midas’s daughter into a lifeless golden statue. Our country is populated with thousands of little statues like her.
Don’t Make Kids Live Like a Refugee
We have good and growing evidence that loading so much onto children’s lives and minds overwhelms them. So while having the nanny drag Johnny to every extracurricular known to man may reduce a mother’s guilt, making her feel like she’s doing right by her kids, it actually makes Johnny feel like a refugee. Not kidding:
Kim John Payne has traveled the world and spent time treating children in refugee camps. While running a private practice in England, he was shocked to see so many similarities between the children there and the refugee children. Over many years, it became increasingly clear that certain kids from affluent families – living perfectly safe, privileged lives – were behaving in a manner similar to children halfway around the globe near war zones.
The refugee children were living out the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder. As Payne describes: ‘They were jumpy, nervous, and hypervigilant, wary of anything novel or new. Many had adopted elaborate little rituals around everyday tasks, such as very specific, complicated ways of navigating the maze of the camp, which they imagined would somehow keep them safe. They were distrustful of new relationships, whether with adults or their own peers, and quite a few had hair-trigger tempers.’
He says the main distinction between the two groups was that the privileged children in England were physically safe. But mentally, they too were living in a sort of war zone where they needed coping strategies to feel safe.
Payne cites a recent study about child sports. It found that participating in organized sports reduced a child’s creativity and initiative. But participating in unorganized sports—spontaneous, child-organized play—significantly improved a child’s creativity. In 2012, a researcher from the College of William and Mary found that American kids’ scores on a well-known creativity measure have dropped substantially since the 1980s. The particular test he used to measure seems to be “seems to be the best predictor of lifetime achievement that has yet been invented. It is a better predictor than IQ, high-school grades, or peer judgments of who will achieve the most,” says Boston College professor Peter Gray.
That should make status-anxious parents sit up. Not incidentally, top corporate recruiters say creativity is one of their priorities when headhunting. We’ve all heard about Google and Apple and other hot companies’ odd hiring tests, designed to measure this very thing because GPA and SAT scores don’t. How ironic—and tragic—that the same activities parents push on their children in an effort to get places like this actually handicaps them.[This first appeared in The Federalists]
Isaac Orr, a Research Fellow for energy and environmental policy gave a talk on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and frac sand mining in Appleton, Wisconsin as part of the Fox Valley Conservative Forum series.
Isaac addresses one of the main questions everyone seems to ask when they talk about fracking “Will fracking make my water catch on fire?” and discusses the economic benefits, as well as the environmental protections put in place to minimize the effect of oil and natural gas development.
What should citizens do when confronted with an intrusive, all encompassing government agenda that will eventually affect every aspect of their lives? That is the question we need to be addressing, because United Nations Agenda 21 is a reality, and it already has many countries, including the United States, complying with its mandates.
Information about U.N. Agenda 21 has not been widely published, but neither is it a secret. One only needs to do a minimum amount of research to discover the many tentacles of Agenda 21 and realize it has infiltrated into many of our cities and certainly our country, with the full cooperation of those in our highest positions of authority.
The following is Part 2, of a series to educate more people about the facets of the agenda, including the plan to scare the public into accepting changes in their life style through threats; the main one being man-made Global warming. For people to make a lifestyle change, those developing the plan needed a tangible, threatening reason to entice the public to quietly comply. The information below provides facts that should make readers more aware of the changes the “elites” in our world are planning for our future.
In November of 2013, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its “Synthesis Report,” which completed its Fifth Assessment evaluation (AR5) on the Earth’s climate. IPCC is the pathway through which the environmental proposals of Agenda 21 are being carried out, such as designing compact cities without cars under the guise of sustainability. The IPCC report claims “Human influence on the climate system is clear and growing, with impacts observed on all continents” However, there is a growing number of critics who will no longer remain or be silenced on this issue. They deserve to be heard.
Known the world over as a skeptic of man-made Global Warming, The Heartland Institute in Chicago had the fortitude and the courage to publish its own report to counter the U.N.’s AR5 report, using its affiliation with The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change or NIPCC to do so. NIPCC is an international panel of non-government scientists and scholars who have come together to present a comprehensive, authoritative, and realistic assessment of the science and economics of global warming. Because NIPCC is not a government agency, and because its members are not predisposed to believe climate change is caused by human greenhouse gas emissions, it is able to offer an independent second opinion of the evidence reviewed, or not reviewed, by the United Nation’s IPCC on the issue of global warming. Find here the independent Heartland NIPCC report published to counter the U.N.’s 2013 AR5 report. Read here comments made by 10 Heartland experts about the conclusions reached by AR5. Check here for another report that takes the U.N.s AR5 report to task.
Obama administration equates global warming with the threat of terrorism
The Obama administration has accepted the dogma put out by scientists who concocted the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in close proximity with Agenda 21, while further endorsing the propaganda as the main cause of Global Warming and linking CO2 to Global Warming. Just last week President Obama’s new national-security strategy ranked combating climate change as a top priority, and astonishingly claimed it to be at the same level of threat as terrorism, biological emergencies, and nuclear weapons in the hands of rogue states. A subsequent White House report indicated that the President is committed to confronting the urgent crisis of climate change, largely through national emission reductions, international diplomacy, and commitment to the Green Climate Fund. Rational people continue to demand the subject be given a fair and balanced investigation of all the facts, not the one-sided approach it has been given.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C) was not at all pleased with the President’s new assessment of priorities and national-security strategy, as reflected in this response:
“I doubt [the Islamic State], the Iranian mullahs, or [Russian President] Vladmir Putin will be intimidated by President Obama’s strategy of ‘strategic patience,'” Mr. Graham said. “From their point of view, the more ‘patience’ President Obama practices, the stronger they become.
The Obama Doctrine, or “strategic patience,” has led to a world in chaos. So, while President Obama pursues the debatable man-made global warming fear mongering, the known and highly critical problems affecting national security are given less attention.
MIT Professor Emeritus Richard Lindzen contradicts Global-Warming Alarmists
A recent report by MIT Professor emeritus Richard Lindzen, dismisses global-warming alarmists as a discredited “cult” whose members are becoming more hysterical as emerging evidence continues to contradict their beliefs. In discussing the cultish nature of the movement,
“As with any cult, once the mythology of the cult begins falling apart, instead of saying, oh, we were wrong, they get more and more fanatical. I think that’s what is happening here. Think about it, he said. “You’ve led an unpleasant life, you haven’t led a very virtuous life, but now you’re told, you get absolution if you watch your carbon footprint. It’s salvation!”
Professor Lindzen scoffed accordingly at a New York Times report that acknowledged there is only a 38 percent chance that 2014 was the hottest year on record, and if it was, it was only by two-100ths of a degree:
“Seventy percent of the earth is oceans, we can’t measure those temperatures very well. They can be off a half a degree, a quarter of a degree. Even two-10ths of a degree of change would be tiny but two-100ths is ludicrous. Anyone who starts crowing about those numbers shows that they’re putting spin on nothing.”
In reference to CO2, Lindzen said that until recently, periods of greater warmth were referred to as “climate optimum”; optimum being derived from a Latin word meaning “best.” Throughout history there have been natural cooling and warming periods. Climate changes have occurred throughout our planet’s history.
Lord Mockton and others react negatively to Al Gore’s award-winning Oscar documentary of 2006 – “Inconvenient Truth”
The concept of Global Warming, and the idea that CO2 is the main culprit to what is perceived by some as man-made Global Warming, reached the public’s attention with the release of Al Gore’s award-winning Oscar documentary of 2006, “An Inconvenient Truth.” Gore’s movie should have been called “Al’s Science Fiction Movie” or “Seriously Inconvenient Truths About Global Warming”, because after its release many of what he claimed to be facts, were proven to be false.
Lord Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley and political adviser to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, had many negative comments about Gore’s award-winning documentary, which, amazingly, is still considered by global warming enthusiasts as the gospel truth. Mockton announced in a more recent article in September of last year on ClimateDepot.com that his scientific satellite data shows the temperatures have remained fairly stable between October 1966 and August 2014, despite a rise in greenhouse gas emissions. Calling it the “Great Pause,” Monckton wrote, “It is becoming harder and harder to maintain that we face a ‘climate crisis’ caused by our past and present sins of emission.”
Of concern is that much of the false information in Gore’s movie are now being taught as fact in classrooms across this nation, planted within the controversial Common Core curriculum. This recent article (February 5, 2015) by Alex Nussbaum, “Temperatures Rise as Climate Critics Take Aim at U.S. Classrooms”, relates the frustration of those who doubt that humanity is indeed baking the planet. Roy White, a Texan and retired fighter pilot, shared in Nussbaum’s article how climate change is being presented from only one side in classrooms across this nation, and that Al Gore’s promoting the statement that “Global warming is an established fact and the debate has ended”, is neither factual or the truth, as more and more scientific evidence emerges proving man-caused global warming to be a myth.
Another excellent critique of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” appeared in New Scientist in October of 2007 and can be read here.
Epilogue: Wisdom and Truth
Friedrich August von Hayek (1899-1992) Nobel Laureate of Economic Sciences, left this warning for humanity:
“Ever since the beginning of modern science, the best minds have recognized that “the range of acknowledged ignorance will grow with the advance of science.” Unfortunately, the popular effect of this scientific advance has been a belief, seemingly shared by many scientists, that the range of our ignorance is steadily diminishing and that we can therefore aim at more comprehensive and deliberate control of all human activities. It is for this reason that those intoxicated by the advance of knowledge so often become the enemies of freedom.”
As more American city, county, and state governments are duped by the global warming fanatics (alarmists) into initiating new harsh laws and removing individual freedoms, the public can no longer afford to yawn and ignore U.N. Agenda 21 and all its tentacles into our lives. We must remind ourselves of Thomas Jefferson’s warning: “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add “within the limits of the law”, because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”
On Tuesday, February 10, a segment of the always-good All-star panel on “Special Report with Bret Baier” broke down presumptive presidential candidate Jeb Bush’s stance on Common Core. Bush said having a “baseline” of federal accountability matters, and insisted that could exist simultaneously with complete local and state control over education policy.
The panel didn’t buy it. Even the liberal Powers didn’t accept Jeb’s premise, and gave him points for standing up for his principle of more federal control of education policy via Common Core.
Both George Will and Charles Krauthammer’s points were excellent, but Will had the luck to go first and make this excellent point:
The problem on Common Core is his critics are talking past one another. He thinks people are objecting primarily to the contents of the standards. There is some of that. But most people feel as I do who oppose Common Core. I don’t care if the standards are written by Aristotle, perfected by Shakespeare, approved by Newton, and endorsed by Jefferson. They are wrong because they are the thin end of an enormous federal wedge that will inevitably give you a standard to cause the textbooks to be aligned with the exams, and you will get a national curriculum which is forbidden by law that will come in by stealth and indirection.
Bingo. Watch the video below. It’s well worth four minutes of your time.
Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com
For governments everywhere, taxes and regulations are like Lays Potato Chips – no one can eat just one.
In part, of course, because governments’ appetite for taking our money and controlling our lives is insatiable. It’s their nature.
And because government intervention just about always makes things worse.
Which makes predictions like this not exactly Nostradamus-esque:
Perversely and manipulatively, governments use the damage they do – to justify more government.
(ObamaCare author Jonathan) Gruber said if ObamaCare was not successful at controlling costs, “we’ll have to revisit single-payer” – i.e. government-only health care.
Governments even manage to give themselves phony props – as their policies do real damage.
Get the heads-governments-win-tails-we-lose nature of all that?
This is absolutely not U.S. government-specific.
Think of this as a permanent government stimulus. Doing all the damage of our domestic stimulus – over, and over, and….
Which inexorably leads to things like:
Brazil’s struggling sugar and ethanol mills got more good news on Monday after the government granted an expected increase in the national blend of the biofuel in gasoline to 27 percent on Feb. 15 from the current 25 percent, industry officials said.
The higher blend is the latest of several measures taken by the government expected to have a positive effect on the industry’s bottom line going forward.
I’m not expecting it to have a positive effect? Are you?
Brazil’s mills get massive government subsidies and Crony Socialist assistance – how on Utopia are they struggling?
Yet somehow Brazil’s answer to too much government is – more government. That’s what passes for “good news” in Huge Government Land.
Again, we incessantly suffer the same warped thinking here.
Let’s just mandate a unicorn in every garage.
Back to Brazil’s poor policies and thinking:
In the past years, local firms such as Raizen , Biosev, Bunge, Sao Martinho and Guarani have struggled to post consistent and robust profits.…
Again, how on Utopia are they not posting consistent and robust profits – what with the consistent and robust government money and Crony Socialist assistance?
Also improving the outlook for mills was the government’s January decision to raise taxes on gasoline starting on Feb. 1, allowing ethanol mills to raise prices in tandem and recover profit margins.
All of these new taxes and higher prices are fabulous news for Brazil’s government and its pet industry. They’ll each be getting a whole lot more money.
It’s abysmal for Brazil’s people – and their wallets. For whom – we’re told by Huge Government proponents – all this Huge Government is created and grown. You know – to ‘help” them.
Government-Uber-Alles proponents are utterly engrossed with their own navels. “Save the Government Programs” becomes an all-encompassing fetish – no matter how grievous the damage done to everyone and everything else.
(See also: Trying to keep together the utterly unrealistic, hurtling apart European Union.)
So – Huge Government Brazil has entered into another round of Huge Government. Doing Huge Government damage to even more economic sectors – to try to save a sector utterly corrupted by Huge Government.
Anyone else notice a pattern here?
The contrast between the spin put on youth e-cigarette use data last Fall and the story told by the actual data, released last month, is startling but not surprising, given the U.S. government’s over-zealous tobacco prohibition posture.
Last November, the Centers for Disease Control released selective information from the 2013 National Youth Tobacco Survey. A resulting New York Times headline was typical: “E-Cigarettes Gain Among High School Students” (here).
The CDC withheld the survey data until a couple weeks ago; now the rates of e-cigarette use can be viewed in context with cigarette smoking. The chart at left shows the real story, and it’s stunning. Past 30-day cigarette use (the CDC definition of current smoking) among high school students was 9.7%, a whopping 34% decline from 2011.
E-cigarette use increased, as did dual use, but in no way does the data suggest that e-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking among teens. In fact, this chart, along with the Monitoring the Future study I discussed previously (here), indicates that e-cigarettes may be driving teenage smoking down.
Jacob Sullum at Reason got it right: “Vaping Rises to Record Highs, Smoking Falls to Record Lows, and Activists Insist ‘E-Cigarettes Are a Gateway to Smoking’” (here)
The CDC regularly misrepresents e-cigarette statistics (here, here, and here). The agency cherry-picks information from restricted federal datasets; the media amplifies the CDC’s spin; and the story cannot be challenged until months or years later when the agency provides access to the underlying data. The public should not tolerate such misfeasance from taxpayer-funded public health agencies.
[Originally published at Tobacco Truth]
Things are not going well for Climate Chaos, Inc. The Environmental Protection Agency is implementing its carbon dioxide regulations, and President Obama wants to make more Alaska oil and gas prospects off limits. But elsewhere the climate alarm industry is under siege – and rightfully so.
Shortly after Mr. Obama warned him of imminent climate doom, Prime Minister Modi announced that India would double coal production, to bring electricity to 300 million more people. Hydraulic fracturing has launched a new era of petroleum abundance, making it harder to justify renewable energy subsidies.
Global warming predictions have become increasingly amusing, bizarre and disconnected from real-world climate and weather. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has confessed that its true goal is transforming the world’s economy and redistributing its wealth. More people are realizing that the actual problem is not climate change, which has been ongoing throughout history; it is costly policies imposed in the name of preventing change: policies that too often destroy jobs, perpetuate poverty and kill people.
Those perceptions are reinforced by recent studies that found climate researchers have systematically revised actual measured temperatures upward to fit a global warming narrative for Australia, Paraguay, the Arctic and elsewhere. Another study, “Why models run hot: Results from an irreducibly simple climate model,” concluded that, once discrepancies in IPCC computer models are taken into account, the impact of CO2-driven manmade global warming over the next century (and beyond) is likely to be “no more than one-third to one-half of the IPCC’s current projections” – that is, just 1-2 degrees C (2-4 deg F) by 2100! That’s akin to the Roman and Medieval Warm Periods and would be beneficial, not harmful.
Written by Christopher Monckton, Willie Soon, David Legates and William Briggs, the study was published in the January 2015 Science Bulletin of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Incredibly, it has already received over 10,000 views – thousands more than most scientific papers ever receive.
Instead of critiquing the paper, climate alarmists attacked its authors. Climate Investigations Center executive director (and former top Greenpeace official) Kert Davies told the Boston Globe it “simply cannot be true” that the authors have no conflict of interest over their study, considering their alleged industry funding sources and outside consulting fees. Davies singled out Dr. Willie Soon, saying the Harvard researcher received more than $1 million from companies that support studies critical of manmade climate change claims. An allied group launched a petition drive to have Dr. Soon fired.
Davies’ libelous assertions have no basis in fact. Not one of these four authors received a dime in grants or other payments for researching and writing their climate models paper. Every one of them did the work on his own time. The only money contributed to the Science Bulletin effort went to paying the “public access” fees, so that people could read their study for free.
I know these men and their work. Their integrity and devotion to the scientific method are beyond reproach. They go where their research takes them and refuse to bend their science or conclusions to secure grants, toe a particular line on global warming, or fit industry, government or other viewpoints.
Regarding Dr. Soon’s supposed “track record of accepting energy-industry grants,” the $1 million over a period of years went to the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, which took around 40% of the total off the top, for “overhead.” The details are all open public records. Not a dime went to this paper.
But since Davies raised the issues of money, conflicts of interest, failures to disclose financing, and how money supposedly influences science – let us explore those topics from the other side of the fence.
Climate Crisis, Inc. has a huge vested interest in climate alarmism – not merely part of $1 million over a ten-year span, but hundreds of billions of dollars in government, industry, foundation and other money during the past couple decades. Some of it is open and transparent, but much is hidden and suspect.
Between 2003 and 2010, the US government alone spent over $105 billion in taxpayer funds on climate and renewable energy projects. The European Union and other entities spent billions more. Most of the money went to modelers, scientists, other researchers and their agencies and universities; to renewable energy companies for subsidies and loan guarantees on projects that receive exemptions from endangered species and human health laws and penalties that apply to fossil fuel companies; and even to environmental pressure groups that applaud these actions, demand more and drive public policies.
Billions more went to government regulators, who coordinate many of these activities and develop regulations that are often based on secretive, deceptive pre-ordained “science,” sue-and-settle lawsuits devised by con artist John Beale, and other tactics. Politicians receive millions in campaign cash and in-kind help from these organizations and their unions, to keep them in office and the gravy train on track.
The American Lung Association supports EPA climate policies – but never mentions its $25 million in EPA grants over the past 15 years. Overall, during this time, the ALA received 591 federal grants totaling $43 million, Big Green foundations bankrolled it with an additional $76 million, and EPA paid $181 million to 15 of its Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee members who regularly vote with it.
Far-left donors like the David and Lucille Packard Foundation (computers), Schmidt Family Foundation (Google), Rockefeller Brothers Fund (oil), Marisla Foundation (oil) and Wallace Global Fund II (farming) support Greenpeace and other groups that use climate change to justify anti-energy, anti-people policies. A gas company CEO and New York mayor gave Sierra Club $76 million for its anti-coal campaign.
For years, Greenpeace has used Desmogblog, ExxonSecrets, Polluterwatch and other front-group websites to attack scientists and others who challenge its tactics and policies. Greenpeace USA alone had income totaling $32,791,149 in 2012, Ron Arnold and I note in Cracking Big Green.
Other U.S. environmental pressure groups driving anti-job, anti-people climate policies also had fat-cat 2012 incomes: Environmental Defense Fund ($111,915,138); Natural Resources Defense Council ($98,701,707); Sierra Club ($97,757,678); National Audubon Society ($96,206,883); Wilderness Society ($24,862,909); and Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection ($19,150,215). All told, more than 16,000 American environmental groups collect total annual revenues of over $13.4 billion (2009 figures). Only a small part of that comes from membership dues and individual contributions.
As Richard Rahn and Ron Arnold point out, another major source of their cash is Vladimir Putin’s Russia. A well-documented new Environmental Policy Alliance report shows how tens of millions of dollars from Russian interests apparently flowed from Bermuda-based Wakefield Quinn through environmental bundlers, including the Sea Change Foundation, into major eco-pressure groups like the Sierra Club, NRDC and League of Conservation Voters. Former White House counsel John Podesta’s Center for American Progress also took millions from Sea Change.
It gets even more outrageous. One of the websites attacking Dr. Soon is funded by George Soros; it works hard to gag meteorologists who disagree with climate alarmists. And to top it off, Davies filed a FOIA request against Dr. Soon and six other climate scientists, demanding that they release all their emails and financial records. But meanwhile he keeps his Climate Investigations Center funding top secret (the website is registered to Greenpeace and the Center is known to be a Rainbow Warriors front group) – and the scientists getting all our taxpayer money claim their raw data, computer codes and CO2-driven algorithms are private property, and exempt from FOIA and even U.S. Congress requests.
By all means, let’s have honesty, integrity, transparency and accountability – in our climate science and government regulatory processes. Let’s end the conflicts of interest, have robust debates, and ensure that sound science (rather than government, foundation or Russian cash) drives our public laws and policies.
And let’s begin where the real money and power are found.
Mythological trolls — described as old and ugly creatures living under bridges or in caves — are known for one central feature: generally troublesome and injurious to human enterprise. Much of the same can be said for today’s patent troll — the dubious business entity again drawing the ire of Congress that exists solely to acquire patents and make claims of infringement in court.
Thankfully key congressional leaders, including Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Partick J. Leahy, D-Vt., and Reps. Robert W. Goodlatte, R-Va., andDarrell Issa, R-Calif., say that legislation broadly supported by the executive branch will soon move its way through Congress.
These trolls, often called “non-practicing entities,” acquire and stockpile patents, watch the industry for vulnerable and cash-strapped entrepreneurs that have developed a similar idea, and then attack with an infringement claim. Often similarities with the patented material are marginal and the claims frivolous, but the defendant lacks the resources to mount a usually costly defense.
Legislation, such as the America Invents Act of 2011, and a series of White House executive orders to the U.S. Patent and Trade Office, has provided patent defendants with additional weapons and tools to battle trolls. Last year the U.S. Supreme Court, in hearing appeals in two patent infringement cases, cited vague language and lack of specificity in plaintiff patent documents in overruling decisions that favored trolls.
Patent reform advocates believe this trend will continue in 2015 with the new Congress. Many anticipate the revival of the Innovation Act, which would require plaintiffs to be more specific in their patent claims. This would give litigious trolls pause while protecting patent holders with legitimate complaints and we have every indication that this issue will be addressed in Congress this month.
Even so, there is room for patent reform that goes beyond addressing traditional NPEs.
For example, foreign governments such as South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, France and China have formed state-sponsored organizations bent on acquiring all the patents possible, regardless of where the patent is filed or who the filer is, to extract settlements from alleged infringers. Intellectual Discovery, an entity backed by the South Korean government, has acquired more than 200 patents, including one for retinal eye scan technology from Singaporean chipmaker Avago Technologies Ltd. Elsewhere, the Chinese government reportedly has backed China’s Ruichuan IPR Funds with $50 billion to acquire patents to be used in actions against U.S. companies.
Congressional leaders must be weary of such blatant free market abuses and work to address foreign trolling during trade negotiations, since many of these entities are operated by allies with whom we trade frequently. These issues can have far reaching impact and when domestic companies are put at a disadvantage, consumers of their products are left picking up the tab.
As I address in “Why Patent Reforms Are Needed: Intellectual Property Abuses Threaten Innovation and Cost Consumers Billions,” released by the Heartland Institute, the consumer impact of patent assertion can perhaps be felt most poignantly by consumers through abuses of bad acting patent “pools.” Pools are designed to streamline research and development investment by allowing innovators to collectively license complimentary patents.
The actions of bad acting patent pools, however, increasingly resemble those of trolls, especially when equipped with government-granted exclusivity for licensing a technology. The for-profit company MPEG LA originated as a patent pool for a relatively small group of patents that comprised the MPEG-2 standard for encoding video signals. Today, the company manages thousands of patents and — critics say — leverages that power by charging high-licensing fees for pools that contain a near preponderance of expired patents.
Digital TV and cable box manufacturers say MPEG LA is exploiting its exclusive licensing of a pool that conforms to government-mandated standards, such the ATSC digital broadcast TV standard, which the Federal Communications Commission requires every television, DVR and cable box sold in the U.S. to conform to. According to the Coalition United to Terminate Financial Abuses of the Television Transition, U.S. consumers pay about $20 to $30 more per digital set than consumers in other countries because manufacturers are being overcharged to use the required intellectual property.
Though legislation may not sufficiently remedy all intellectual property issues, public discourse benefits the process. I applaud policy makers for making patent reform a priority. Sound legislative action will benefit U.S. consumers and the businesses on which our economy relies.
[Originally published at Roll Call]
Yes, it’s going to cost nearly $2 trillion over the next decade that the nation doesn’t have. Yes, it’s going to radically transform the entire health care marketplace and lead to significant cost increases for families and taxpayers. But no matter what the costs, the Obama administration told us, Obamacare is necessary because there were roughly 49 million Americans without health insurance in 2010, and something had to be done about it.
Although the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates between 9 and 10 million people have enrolled through health care exchanges so far in 2015, President Barack Obama still refuses to release or is unable to calculate the number of people who did not have health insurance prior to the passage of the ACA who are now covered.
For all the praises heaped on Obama for his signature program’s alleged success, no one outside of a select few in Washington, D.C. has any clue whether the ACA is actually helping large numbers of impoverished Americans.
Although hard data is not available to the public–which is odd if Obamacare really is the wild success so many of its proponents claim–new clues released by the Treasury Department suggest the ACA has been a massive failure at helping the poor attain health insurance.
According to a top federal tax official, 36 million Americans failed to purchase health insurance in 2014. Interestingly, an estimated 30 million of those people qualified for a penalty exemption under the ACA despite not having a qualified health insurance plan.
According to healthcare.gov, the primary exemptions for avoiding the Obamacare tax penalty are incarceration, living abroad for particular lengths of time, membership in a federally recognized Native American tribe, select religious affiliations, if the lowest-priced coverage available through the exchange would cost more than 8 percent of household income, membership in a health care sharing ministry, and financial hardship.
By examining data we do have about those groups and comparing it to the number of people the Treasury Department says will be eligible for an exemption, it’s easy to see that impoverished citizens are deliberately choosing not to sign up for Obamacare even though the primary purpose of the law was to help this very demographic.
Data shows there are about 6 million incarcerated Americans, about 1 million Native Americans living on tribal lands, and likely less than 1 million who would qualify for religious exemptions, assuming the largest groups are the Amish and Mennonites. If we add another 4 million people to the total to account for Americans living abroad, a figure that gives Obama the benefit of the doubt, there are roughly 18 million Americans remaining who can’t afford Obamacare, believe the cost to be too prohibitive, or are members of a health care sharing ministry because the insurance offered is more affordable.
No matter how the Obama administration wants to spin it, there are more than 15 million Americans—far more than the number who actually enrolled through an exchange—who have decided against Obamacare despite qualifying for some sort of financial exemption.
If Obamacare, with all of its costs, regulations, and mandates, is necessary to help the tens of millions of Americans who did not have health insurance prior to the passage of the ACA, why have so many people who are poor enough to qualify for an Obamacare tax exemption found the exchanges to be anything but affordable?
[Originally published on Breitbart.com]
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its January 2015 report this morning, and on the surface the situation looks good for the Obama administration: 257,000 jobs were added in January, wages improved, and the number of full-time workers increased. The unemployment rate did go up by 0.1 percentage point, to 5.7 percent, but analysts agree this is the result of more Americans looking for jobs, not a slowing economy.
Although the BLS report presents multiple positive economic indicators, the truth is that all of them, especially the unemployment rate, mask serious concerns about U.S. economic growth. When more precisely analyzed, it’s clear the economy is not improving nearly as quickly as President Barack Obama would have the nation believe.
One of the best indicators of this is the labor force participation rate (LFPR) — the percentage of the available population considered to be working or looking for work. One of the primary reasons the unemployment rate dropped so significantly from the 10 percent mark it reached at the height of the recession in 2010 is that the percentage of the population considered to be in the labor pool declined greatly.
The LFPR for January was 62.9 percent, the lowest participation rate for the month of January since 1978, and the number of Americans not in the labor force reached 93 million for the first time ever. Incredibly, there are now 12 million more people not in the U.S. labor force compared to when Obama first took office in 2009.
The mass exodus of Americans out of the workforce has undoubtedly helped improve unemployment figures, explaining why they show significant growth contrary to other economic indicators.
Average U.S. wages are another important sign the economy is not improving nearly as quickly as many of Obama’s supporters say. Since January 2009, average private hourly wages have increased from $22.00 to $24.22, just a little more than what was needed to match inflation over that period.
The 41 cent increase in wages from January 2014 to December 2014 was much less than what was needed to keep up with higher costs for consumers. According to the BLS consumer price index, “food at home” prices increased by 3.7 percent; the cost of gas services at home rose by 5.8 percent; electricity costs moved up by 3.1 percent; and the cost of medical care services increased by 2.4 percent.
All of these figures help explain why the U-6 unemployment rate — which measures “the total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force” — remains above 11 percent nationally.
In a February opinion piece posted on Gallup’s website, titled “The Big Lie: 5.6% Unemployment,” Gallup CEO and Chairman Jim Clifton wrote, “There’s no other way to say this. The official unemployment rate, which cruelly overlooks the suffering of the long-term and often permanently unemployed as well as the depressingly underemployed, amounts to a Big Lie.”
Clifton is 100 percent correct. Although the slightly improving unemployment rates mean very little, media outlets and politicians continue using and abusing them, hoping the lie will stick. So far, they’ve been successful — unlike the millions of people who have given up looking for work and are being ignored by the official unemployment rate and the media.
[Originally published at The Daily Caller]
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its January 2015 report on Friday, and the Obama administration is sure to be happy with its findings.
According to the report, the U.S. economy added 257,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate moved up slightly to 5.7 percent. The number of full-time workers also increased, along with a slight improvement in wages.
But despite all of the seemingly positive news, key economic indicators still suggest the economy has improved little over President Barack Obama’s time in office. Many Americans are actually worse off than they were at the start of 2014.
Perhaps the most misleading aspect of the unemployment drop is that it fails to take the labor force participation rate—the number of people considered to be working or actively looking for work—into account when presenting unemployment data. This is especially important because since Oct. 2009, when the U.S. unemployment rate hit 10 percent, the number of workers considered to be a part of the workforce relative to the size of the population plummeted.
In Oct. 2009, the labor force participation rate was 65 percent, according to the BLS. The most recent available data indicate that although the unemployment rate has fallen from 10 percent in Oct. 2009 to 5.7 percent in Jan. 2015, the participation rate has significantly dropped to 62.9 percent.
The data show that one of the key reasons the unemployment has fallen is there are less people in the available labor pool relative to the population, not because the economy is growing at a rapid rate. If today’s labor participation rate existed back in Oct. 2009, the unemployment rate would have been 6.5 percent, not 10 percent. This means that since 2009, relatively speaking, the U.S. unemployment rate has improved by less than 1 percentage point.
The reason unemployment appears to be progressing at such a significant rate since the height of the recession is because the Obama administration’s employment data are wildly misleading the American public; the so-called improvement is truly unimpressive when all the relevant factors are taken into consideration.
Another important economic indicator to consider is the quality of the work available. While it’s true average private hourly earnings improved to $24.63 in Dec. 2014 from $24.22 in Jan. 2014, this increase was just barely enough to keep up with inflation, and the wage increase is not enough to match the rising cost of food, electricity, gas, and medical care commodities and services, according to the BLS consumer price index for all urban consumers.
No reasonable person will argue the economy is worse off than it was at the height of the 2008 economic crash, but those who claim America’s economic outlook has dramatically improved over the past two years are simply not paying attention to myriad data that prove the opposite to be true.
The unemployment rate remains one of the go-to signals of economic improvement or decline for many pundits and media outlets, but those who are serious about studying the state of the U.S. economy know the unemployment rate has transformed into nothing more than a political tool for presidential administrations, both past and present, to use at their leisure to mislead Americans into believing the economic climate is better or worse than it actually is.
[Originally published at Breitbart.com]
One of the most hotly contested proposals put forward by President Barack Obama during his State of the Union address is the president’s free-tuition plan for students attending two-year community colleges. Called the “America’s College Promise” proposal by the Obama administration, the plan promises to cover tuition for qualifying community college programs for students who maintain a GPA of 2.5. The White House says the plan is expected to cost $80 billion over the next 10 years.
Obama administration spokesperson Eric Schultz said although the proposal is a “significant investment… it’s one the president believes is worthwhile because we need to make sure that America’s young people are getting the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century economy.”
Pundits on both sides of the aisle have already lined up to praise the president’s plan or to denounce it as another costly government social program the nation cannot afford.
What the White House isn’t telling you and what many political talking heads fail to realize is that the free-tuition plan is really just a political ploy that does nothing to help students because existing programs, already in place, largely cover the cost of two-year community college programs at taxpayers’ expense.
According to the College Board, the same organization that runs the SAT exams, the published tuition and fee price at public two-year community colleges is $3,350. This figure is more than $2,000 less than the $5,500 nearly all students attending college can receive in guaranteed federal student loans and about $150 less than the subsidized loans most students are eligible for.
The president’s argument that a free-tuition program is necessary to help give all Americans access to quality education is simply not true; the federal government already provides access through its loan programs.
Some suggest that a free-tuition program is necessary despite the available federal loan offerings because too many students are stuck with massive tuition bills when they graduate college. While this is certainly a problem—one that has only grown since the federal government has become more involved in the student loan industry under Obama—the reality is that federal tax exemptions and existing grants already offset the entire cost of community college for many students.
The American Opportunity Tax Credit, for instance, provides a tax credit for up to $2,500 of the cost of attendance at any college for up to four years. Amazingly, up to $1,000 of the credit is refundable, which means students or their parents are eligible to receive it in most situations even if no other taxes are owed. This means that a student can loan out the cost of his or her tuition at a two-year college using federal loans subsidized by taxpayers and then receive a tax refund check of as much as $1,000, all without having to pay a single penny out of pocket.
Other federal programs also exist to help students who come from low-income households. Pell grants, perhaps the most famous of these programs, offers a maximum of $5,730 for college expenses, far more than the average cost of tuition at two-year community colleges, and the grants do not need to be repaid.
The mythology fabricated by the Obama administration surrounding access to higher education claims students are in desperate need of government assistance to stay competitive in the global marketplace, but the truth is that the government is already aiding these students much or more than Obama’s State of the Union proposal.
The president’s America’s College Promise plan is nothing more than political theater designed to win political favor with an American public still enduring a sluggish economic recovery. The only people this program will help are those who live and work at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
[Originally published at Breitbart.com]
In today’s edition of the Heartland Daily podcast, Managing Editor of Environment & Climate News H. Sterling Burnett talks with John Eick. Eick is the Director of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force.
In that role, John works with state legislators and private sector members, including think tanks like Heartland, and companies to develop model legislation that can be adopted by the states to improve their environmental quality while expanding their economic growth.
ALEC also does research at the request of state legislators concerning pressing environment, energy and natural resource matters. ALEC promotes a more appropriate balance between the responsibilities and authority of state governments and the federal government, which has in recent years become ever larger, arguable illegitimate and unconstitutional role in managing energy development and environmental protection in the state.
Eick discussed some model environment resolutions and bills that passed ALEC at its recent summit in Washington D.C. He also talks about research examining the cost of the onslaught of federal regulations from the Obama administration’s EPA on the nation and individual states.
Whether in news commentaries or on the movie screen, the businessman is presented as a heartless, greedy manipulator so concerned with squeezing the last possible dollar out of anything he does, that he is willing to destroy the planet, kill his competitors, poison little children, and sell his own mother “down the river” if it will serve his material and financial purposes.
The only thing that saves us from the end of the world at the hands of these criminal private enterprisers is either some righteous individual who refuses to “take it any more” or the virtuous hand of a government agent dedicated to protecting mankind from those who, clearly, care nothing for the common good of humanity.
Critics of Capitalism Want to Abolish or Regulate It
This imagery of the businessman’s way of gaining profits has been extended by many intellectuals, academics, and public policy pundits into a general criticism and, indeed, condemnation of capitalism.
What can be praiseworthy, ethical or just in a social and economic system that fosters people to focus only on their self-centered personal interest in the pursuit of material gain with little or no thought to the betterment and improvement of mankind?
The conclusion that many of these critics have reached over the years and decades is that the entire capitalist system must be done away with and replaced with an alternative social and economic system such as socialism; or, at a minimum, business enterprise has to be placed under the detailed supervision and regulatory hand of government bureaucrats presumed to be concerned with and devoted to the general welfare of the country as a whole instead of individual private interest.
I beg to differ from this interpretation of businessmen and the free enterprise system in general. Instead, I would argue that a truly free enterprise, competitive capitalism is the most moral and humanely beneficial way for people to live together that has ever been stumbled upon by mankind.
Capitalism’s Premise: Individual Rights and Liberty
There are basically two way human beings can interact and associate with each other: through the threat or use of force or by mutual agreement and voluntary consent.
When have you ever walked into a shoe store looked around and, maybe, tried on a pair of shoes, but when you decided to leave without buying anything a gruff and intimidating character with a club or a gun said, “The boss says you ain’t leaving without buying something”? I doubt it any of us have had any such experience.
Why? Because the philosophical and moral premise underlying transactions in the marketplace is that each participant has the right to say, “Yes” or “No” to an offer and an exchange.
Why does every person have this implied right to “Yes” or “No” without attempted physical intimidation or use of force to make him act against his will? This is due to the fact that the foundational American principle is that every one of us has an inviolable individual right to their life, liberty, and honestly acquired property.
Virtually every other philosophical and political system throughout human history has been based on some version of the opposite. That is, that you do not own yourself; your life and property are at the disposal of the primitive tribe or the medieval king, or the social, national, or racial group or “democratic” community to which you’ve been designated as belonging.
That is the premise of all forms of political and economic collectivism. You work for the group, you obey the group, and you live and die for the group. The political authority claiming to speak and act for the group presumes to have the right to compel your acquiescence and obedience to the asserted needs and desires of that collective group.
Only liberal, free market capitalism as it developed in parts of the Western world, and especially in the United States, broke free of this age-old collectivist conception of the relationship between the individual and others in society.
The modern ideas of individual liberty and free enterprise that began to develop and be argued for about 350 years ago transformed the way men lived and earned a living, and the ethical premises underlying human association in society.
A new morality emerged under which human relationships became based on mutual consent and voluntary agreement. Men could attempt to persuade each other to associate and trade, but they could not be compelled and plundered so one person could get what he wanted from another without their consent.
For Americans, it is heralded as the fundamental principle under which our country was based: It is held to be a self-evident truth that all men are created equal and endowed with certain unalienable rights among which are their individual rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Capitalism Fosters Honesty and Good Manners
As a consequence of this principle of liberty, in the marketplace of the free society individuals learn and practice the etiquette and manners of respect, politeness, honesty and tolerance. This naturally follows from the fact that if violence is ethically and legally abolished, or at least minimized, in all human relationships, then the only way any of us can get others to do things we would like them to do for us is through reason, argument, and persuasion.
The reason why the shoe salesman is motivated to act with courtesy and deference toward us when we are in his store is precisely because he cannot force on us to buy a pair of the shoes he wants to sell. We can walk down the mall corridor and buy those shoes from another seller interested in winning our business, or we can just go home without buying anything that day.
The clichés of “serve with a smile,” or “the customer is always right,” in fact are inescapable resulting manifestations of the voluntarist principle at the basis of all market transactions.
No businessman is likely to keep his market share or even stay in business in the long run if he earns a reputation for rudeness, deception and dishonesty in his dealings with either other businesses or his consumer customers.
The famous Scottish economist of the 18th century, Adam Smith, long ago explained that the motivation for respectful, polite, honest and deferential behavior on the part of any businessman is his own self-interest. If he does not, he may not long remain in business, as every private enterpriser knows who had learned to appreciate the importance of gaining and maintaining his brand-name and personal reputation in the eyes of all those with whom he has dealings.
Such polite, courteous, honest and deferential behavior may start out as the self-interested conscious and intentional attempt to merely succeed in the market pursuit of profits, when voluntary and free market dealings and transactions become the common and everyday way in which people associate.
But, over time, such rules of “good behavior” become habituated, a part of the routine of regular day-in and day-out interactions, until, finally, they are transformed into the customs and traditions expected in any and all human encounters, whether in the marketplace or not.
Thus, the practice of self-interested good manners and respectful tolerance fostered first in commercial buying and selling become embedded and reinforced as the general societal rules and ways of civilized and “polite society.” And, thus, capitalist conduct makes its contribution to a more cultured and humane civilization.
Capitalism Creates a Spirit of Humility, Not Political Arrogance
Finally, I would suggest that free market capitalism also inculcates a spirit and attitude of humility. In the open and competitive marketplace, anyone who has an idea or a dream is free, in principle, to try to bring it into reality. No private person or political power has the right or authority to prevent him from entering the field of enterprise and trade to discover if his idea or dream can profitability be brought to fruition.
The capitalist “rule of the game” is that anyone is at liberty to enter the arena of enterprise if he has the will, determination and drive to attempt to make that new product, that better product, that less expensive product. This implicitly takes for granted as an underlying assumption that no one, not any of us, has the knowledge, wisdom and ability to know beforehand whose ideas and efforts can turn out to be a success rather than a failure.
The Austrian economist and Nobel Prize-winner, F. A. Hayek, once referred to competition as a “discovery procedure.” If we knew ahead of time who in a marathon, for example, would come in first, second, third and so forth, as well as the actual relative times of the runners, what would be the purpose of running the foot race?
Even when we have the track record of previous marathons, and think we know something about the relative strengths and weaknesses of the competitors looking ahead to a future race, the fact is we do not know how the race will actually play out, until the runners finish the course.
The humility of the marketplace, no matter how strongly confident the individual businessmen may be in their own ideas and abilities, is that no one – neither an private individual nor even the most well-informed government bureaucrat – has sufficient knowledge and forethought to successfully “pick winners” and “avoid losers” for the good of society as a whole.
This can only be found out through the competitive rivalry of the private enterprisers who are each trying to make the product or supply the service that will gain the business of customers, as found out from whose products or services the buying public actually decide are the ones that best fulfill their existing or discovered needs, desires and wants.
Capitalism’s Moral and Virtuous Watchwords
The watchwords of capitalist free market morality, therefore, are liberty, honesty and humility. The freedom of each individual to live and choose for himself; the ethics of fair dealing – that is, human relationships on the basis of force and fraud are banned in all their forms; and the modesty to admit and accept that none of us is wise enough to arrogantly claim the right to plan and coercively direct others in society.
Not only would it be morally wrong to presume to tell others how best to live by reducing them to the status of commanded followers of our own ideas and desires, it would limit what all mankind can accomplish to what the government central planner or regulator can imagine and know within the limits of his own mind’s possibilities for understanding all that there is to know.
How much better, both for the individual and all the rest of us, to leave everyone at liberty to think, imagine, and act as they consider most profitably best for themselves, so all in society can, also, benefit from what a human mind can creatively conceive that others may not.
We live at a time in which real-world capitalism is hampered and stymied in almost every direction by the heavy hand of government regulation, control, restriction, prohibition and taxation. It is politically managed and manipulated capitalism, and very far, therefore, from the truly free market capitalism that I have outlined in terms of its moral premises and social virtues.
It is certainly not the twisted conception of “capitalism” that is presented in the media and the movies. Real free market capitalism, by recognizing and respecting the right of the individual to his own life and liberty and honestly acquired property, is that economic system that offers humanity the most moral system of human association imaginable by and for man.
Free market capitalism is the ethical highroad to human dignity and mutual prosperity – if only we are willing to fully establish and consistently practice it.
(The text is based on a talk given at the James Island Exchange Club in the Charleston, South Carolina area, February 9, 2015)
[Originally published at EpicTimes]
You can see immediately that 2014 is not the hottest year among even the last 18 years. Not by a long shot. Why is this chart be so different from the widely reported announcement in January by NOAA and NASA that 2014 was the hottest ever (“ever” being just since 1880, when records began)? The difference results from different temperature data being used. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) base their analyses on surface temperature measurements. The graph shown above is based on satellite measurements, which are far more accurate and don’t show any warming. Satellite measurements show 2014 was only the sixth warmest year of the last 18.
Since 72 percent of the earth’s surface is covered by oceans, temperature measurements are unavailable for a large part of the earth’s surface. By contrast, satellite measurements cover the entire earth not just at the surface but at various elevations all the way to the top of the atmosphere. There are over 160 meteorological satellites orbiting the earth and transmitting 80 million measurements every day to an accuracy of one one-hundredth of a degree. Land based thermometers can do no better than one-tenth of a degree. Clearly the satellite data is far more comprehensive and accurate than that of the surface stations. In fact, the satellite measurement systems were developed because of the weaknesses and inaccuracies of the land-based network. Yet neither NASA nor NOAA use the satellite data.
Those two agencies reported the amount of warming that made 2014 the hottest year was two-hundredths of a degree. No mention was made of the accuracy of the measurement or the range of probable error. It is against normal scientific practice to have a margin of error greater than the precision of the measurement. Yet a two-hundredths degree of warming was reported based on temperature measurements with an accuracy of one-tenth of a degree—that is, the error bar was five times larger than the reported result. An error of a tenth of a degree is in the statistical 95% uncertainty range.
Even greater uncertainty has been exposed by examination of the data itself. It has been subjected to bias, both deliberate and unintentional, in several ways which do not occur with satellite data.
In 2007 it was revealed that GISS had been artificially inflating U.S. temperatures by 0.15 degrees Celsius since the year 2000. NASA had claimed that six of the ten hottest years in U.S. history had occurred since 1995. When the erroneous data was corrected, 1998 (an unusually warm year due to El Nino—not carbon dioxide) was no longer the warmest year of the past century in the US. It fell to second place, with 1934 now being the warmest. And third place now belonged to 1921, not 2006. The formerly high-ranking years 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2004 fell well down the leader board—behind even 1900. Four of the top ten were now from the 1930s: 1934, 1931, 1938, 1939. Since more than 80 percent of the century’s increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide occurred after 1940, the warmer temperatures of earlier years can’t be explained by higher carbon dioxide levels. So why should we believe all the hype about increased CO2 emissions causing catastrophic warming in the future? Remember, too, that while CO2 was increasing steadily since 1940, the earth’s temperature was decreasing from 1940 until 1975—leading to widespread media reports about fears of a new ice age.
In April 2008 Canadian statistician Steve McIntyre documented that NASA has been “rewriting history time and time again.” Still, NASA continued the process. It falsely reported that October 2008 was the warmest October on record. Statistical scientists jumped on this claim, leading even NASA to admit it was wrong.
Then meteorologist Anthony Watts caught GISS and James Hansen doctoring data records from Santa Rosa, California, and potentially other temperature stations. The charts below show how Hansen and his underlings turned a long-term decline into a long-term temperature increase.Raw Data: Figure 2 GISS “Adjustment”: Figure 3
Figure 2 shows actual readings reported by the U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN). GISS arrives at its numbers, illustrated on Figure 3, by taking the USHCN data and applying secret adjustments. USHCN reports a temperature decline of nearly one-half degree Celsius during the twentieth century, while GISS reports an increase of one-half a degree. Hansen has refused to explain how and why he makes these adjustments. His s secrecy raises an ethical and perhaps legal question of whether the head of an agency federally funded by U.S. taxpayers can refuse to disclose how those funds are spent. It also raises the question of whether the adjustments are legitimate or merely deliberate manipulations contrived to produce a desired result.
James Hansen is the NASA scientist who started the whole global warming hysteria in 1988 when he told a Senate committee he was 99 percent sure global warming was already underway. The news media seized upon Hansen’s unsupported testimony and parlayed it into an impending planetary crisis. A new industry was born. Billions of dollars were spent, and tens of thousands of jobs were created, giving rise to growing numbers of people with vested interests in promoting the specter of global warming. James Hansen gave them ammunition. For years, as head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), he has “repeatedly been caught providing erroneous temperature reports that always err on the side of claiming more warming than has occurred,” wrote James Taylor in the February 2009 issue of Environment & Climate News. Perhaps this explains why Hansen has been adamantly opposed to having NASA utilize satellite temperature data.
There are five official temperature data records. Three of these are surface records. The other two are satellite records furnished by Remote Sensing Service (RSS) and the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAL).
The three surface records are NASA’s (GISS), NOAA, and the University of East Anglia/Hadley Centre, part of the UK Met Office. All three are run by passionate believers in man-made global warming, and all three depend ondata supplied by ground stations via the Global Historical Climate Network (GHCN), managed by the US National Climate Data Center under NOAA. A shocking report by two veteran meteorologists Anthony Watts and Joseph D’Aleo states, “All the data centers, most notably NOAA and NASA, conspired in the manipulation of global temperature records.” Thus all three do not display independent research confirming the work of the others; instead they demonstrate their common corruption.
Here’s another example of tampering with climate data, this one reported very recently, January 2015. It covers massive falsification of records for 65 years of data covering a vast area stretching across Brazil and Paraguay. PaulHomewood noticed that this area, according to GISS records, showed a temperature rise between 1950 and 2014 of more than twice the accepted global increase for the entire century. He was able to compare the original data with what was reported by GISS. Far from the temperature increase shown by GISS, the original data showed the temperatures declined by a full degree over those 65 years. The graphs below demonstrate this difference for the Puerto Casada station.
The adjusted graph from the Goddard Institute for Space Studies:Figure 4 Below, the raw data in graph form: Figure 5 Only two other rural stations exist in this vast area, and Homewood found the same thing happened with data there. You can see these graphs here. There is a far larger and more serious distortion in the global temperature data than falsifying the reports from the individual measuring stations.Temperature records throughout the world have been falsified by manipulating the locations of the reporting stations. Beginning about 1990, higher-altitude, higher-latitude, and rural stations were removed from the network in order to create a false warming trend. The global temperature record that used to be based on 6,000 reporting stations now is based on fewer than 1,500. The thoroughly-researched 106-page report by Joseph D’Aleo and Anthony Watts documents the effect with this graph: Figure 6
The rise in global temperature correlates with eliminating
data from weather stations likely to show cooling,
In many cases the stations are still reporting, but their data are no longer utilized. Often the stations have been replaced by others more likely to show warming from lower elevations, lower latitudes, or urban development, which reflects the well-known “heat island” effect of cities. Data gaps are filled in by extrapolating from nearby stations. Here are some examples from the D’Aleo/Watts report:
“In the cold countries of Russia and Canada, the rural stations in the Polar Regions were thinned out leaving behind the lower latitude more urban stations. The data from the remaining cities were used to estimate the temperatures to the north. As a result the computed new averages were higher than the averages when the cold stations were part of the monthly/yearly assessment.
“In Canada, the number of stations dropped from 600 to less than 50. The percentage of stations in the lower elevations (below 300 feet) tripled and those at the higher elevations above 3,000 feet were reduced by half. [The] depicted warmth comes from interpolating from more southerly locations to fill northerly vacant grid boxes, even as a simple average of the available stations shows an apparent cooling.”
Environment Canada reports that there are 1400 weather stations in Canada, many reporting even hourly readings that are readily available on the internet but not included in the global data base. Canada has 100 stations north of the Arctic Circle, but NOAA uses just one.
The Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) claims the Hadley Center has tampered with the Russian data: “The IEA believes the Russian meteorological station data did not substantiate the anthropogenic global-warming theory. Analysts say Russian meteorological stations cover most of the country’s territory and that the Hadley Center had used data submitted by only 25 percent of such stations in its reports. The Russian station count dropped from 476 to 121 so over 40 percent of Russian territory was not included in global temperature calculations for some other reasons than the lack of meteorological stations and observations.”
The Russians found that the 121 sites used gave mostly warmer reports than the 355 unused sites. In some cases stations records going back into the 19th Century were ignored in favor of stations with less data but which pointed to warming. The IEA team stated, “Only one tenth of meteorological sites with complete temperature series are used.”
In Europe higher mountain stations were dropped and thermometers were marched toward the Mediterranean, lower elevations, and more cities. The station dropout was almost 65 percent for Europe as a whole and 50 percent for the Nordic countries.
Africa is not showing warming despite efforts to make it appear so by eliminating thermometers from cool areas like the Moroccan coast and moving them toward the Sahara.
Analyst E. Michael Smith found that most of the stations remaining in the United States are at airports. Most mountain stations of the west are gone. In California the only remaining stations are in San Francisco, Santa Maria, Los Angeles and San Diego.
As recently as 1988, temperature records for China came from over 400 stations. In 1990, only 35.
The raw temperature data show no trend in temperatures in Northern Australia in 125 years. The IPCC, however, uses “adjusted” data. NOAA makes data “adjustments” to remove “inhomogeneities” and for other reasons. The D’Aleo/Watts report says, “We have five different records covering Darwin from 1941 on. They all agree almost exactly. Why adjust them at all? NOAA added a huge, artificial, imaginary trend to the most recent half of the raw data.” The raw temperatures in Darwin were falling at 0.7 C. per century. After the NOAA adjustment, the temperatures were rising 1.2 C per century.
NASA applies an “urbanization adjustment,” but Steve McIntyre reveals that NASA made the adjustment in the wrong direction, exaggerating the warming effect instead of showing what the temperatures would be without urban development. NASA is always tampering with its data. John Goetz has shown it “adjusted” 20 percent of its data sixteen times in two and a half years.
Lastly, we take note of the absurdity of recent studies and observations purporting to show that the effects of global warming are already occurring. In a cause-and-effect relationship, the effect cannot occur before the cause. You can’t have effects from global warming when there is no global warming and has been none for over 18 years—despite a massive increase in carbon dioxide emissions. Clearly carbon dioxide emissions have not caused global warming, because the actual temperature records show no warming. Those records have been falsified to justify the global warming doctrine for political purposes.
[Originally published at American Liberty]
For the past year or so, there has been no statutory limit on how much the federal government borrows. The debt ceiling was abandoned in the last budget deal. But in the coming weeks, it is scheduled to return—along with the predictable illusion of a debate over whether to lift the ceiling or not.
We can fairly predict the debt ceiling debate will boil down to political theater—cynics would call it a kabuki performance—because Washington always lifts the debt ceiling. Of course, fervent handwringing will no doubt ensue during that debate. It is even possible that the federal government will “shut down” (which really means: “selectively cease operations so as to punish the public collectively for any delay in debt spending”). If the champions of fiscal responsibility try nothing new, business-as-usual will quickly and inevitably resume.
But there is a real chance things could be different this time. Something new is indeed afoot. At least twelve states have filed or will file legislation to join the Compact for a Balanced Budget, which was formed by Alaska and Georgia last year. Together, if these fourteen states are successfully joined by twenty-four more, the Compact could deliver a federal Balanced Budget Amendment as soon as next year.
All that is needed is for simple majorities of Congress to do what they got elected to do by passing a resolution to set the Compact’s amendment process in motion.
Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar and a growing contingent of his colleagues are poised to do just that. Gosar plans to introduce the congressional resolution that will activate the Compact for a Balanced Budget. He knows that passing the resolution would be the perfect countermeasure to demands for still more debt spending.
No presidential signature is required for the Compact-activating resolution. By contrast, overcoming presidential threats to popular spending programs in the course of the debt ceiling debate can only be overcome via the passage of new appropriations that require a presidential signature. By supporting the resolution activating the Compact for a Balanced Budget, congressional champions of fiscal responsibility could finally get something done instead of burning all of their political capital in the course of losing the debt-ceiling debate (yet again). The debt ceiling debate could be lost (as always) safe in the knowledge that the war would ultimately be won by advancing the Compact’s Balanced Budget Amendment.
Once ratified, the Compact’s proposed amendment would bring permanent external discipline to Washington by imposing a constitutional debt limit. That debt limit could only be lifted with the approval of a majority of state legislatures within sixty days after an increase is proposed by Congress. State legislators who are familiar with budgeting and state debt limits, who are closer to the American people, and who have no control over the underlying appropriations would be in a position to judge the wisdom of borrowing beyond the debt limit.
National debt policy judgments will thereby become more impartial, more resistant to special interest influence, and more transparent as the debt ceiling debate occurs in 50 state capitals.
At the very least, the outcome of debt ceiling debates under the Compact’s Amendment would finally be uncertain. This would ignite a revolution of fiscal responsibility in Washington driven by necessity alone.
Because of this looming and rare opportunity in Congress, it has never been more important for the States to continue to show leadership. Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming must not hesitate in passing the Compact for a Balanced Budget at this critical moment in time. Twenty-four more states must join the fight as well.
After all, with the gross federal debt exceeding 100% of gross domestic product, and $18.1 trillion, the seriousness of the nation’s debt problem cannot be understated. The federal debt is out of control and the current course is unsustainable. The federal debt threatens our future and burdens our children and grandchildren. Even worse, unlimited borrowing capacity has enabled unprincipled politicians to promise $80 to $205 trillion in unfunded entitlement programs.
Not only is each child in America today born with a huge federal mortgage that they will be taxed to pay, but tens of millions of Americans of all ages are living and planning their lives in reliance upon the “Big Lie” that the promised safety net will protect them. We have a moral obligation to address this looming crisis that will destroy our way of life. The out-of-control federal debt will bankrupt our country and cripple the economy if we don’t get it under control.
If the threat of bankruptcy were not sufficient cause for reform, allowing the federal government unlimited borrowing capacity is still an intolerable position. The fact is that the federal government’s limitless credit card cannot help but cause endless fiscal irresponsibility. Limitless borrowing capacity hides the costs of waste, fraud and abuse from current voters and shifts those costs into the future, saddling our kids and their kids with an unbearable burden—when the responsible elected officials are safely out of office. More than anything else, unlimited borrowing capacity is the source and enabler of an ineffective, overstretched, and overreaching federal government.
But the justification for limiting the federal government’s borrowing capacity is driven by more than basic principles of good governance, economics, or morality. Thomas Jefferson was right when, on Nov. 26, 1798, he wrote to his friend John Taylor: “I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our constitution; I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government to the genuine principles of its constitution. I mean an additional article taking from the federal government the power of borrowing.”
Simply put, imposing a strong limit on the federal government’s borrowing capacity is the single most impactful constitutional reform we could achieve if we want to save and restore the Republic.
For all of these reasons, the political game in Washington must change when the debt ceiling debate resumes. We must impose a limit on the federal government’s credit card before it is too late. The Compact for a Balanced Budget would do just that.
Fortunately, Congress is poised to be part of the solution, rather than the problem. But not without bold, continued and determined leadership from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming.
[Originally published at Western Free Press]
“Fixing” what’s not broken. Radically changing what everyone likes. Abandoning what works exceptionally well for what’s failed miserably in the past, and forcing outdated regulations on what is the most modern part of the economy.
What a stupid idea.
In November, President Obama called for the “strictest possible” utility regulation of the Internet. On Feb. 26, the FCC plans to implement that presidential directive.
The FCC plans to subject the Internet to Title II telephone utility regulations, which would be a repudiation of decades of successful bipartisan policy consensus that Internet packet data transmissions not be subjected to 1934 telephone monopoly network regulations.
Everyone knows the Internet is not broken and has yet to break down.
The public did not know about the Internet until the Clinton administration wisely privatized and de-regulated the Internet’s operation in 1994. Since then, the Internet has become the shining example of bipartisan deregulation.
Certainly the Internet doesn’t need to be controlled and managed by a government that can’t even launch a functional ObamaCare website, or an FCC whose website can’t even handle the simple task of accurately recording public comments.
Most everyone appreciates that the private sector has proven to be a much more capable operational steward of the Internet than the federal government ever was or could be. Putting the Internet’s operational decision making under the FCC’s control for the first time is a stupid idea.
Consumers like the Internet as it is now — a free market of goods, services and ideas. They don’t want a radical change backwards in policy towards the failed policies of a pre-1994, government-controlled Internet from which no one in the public benefited.
Who wants to slow the Internet’s operational decision making to the speed of government? What a stupid idea.
Why abandon the bipartisan free market Internet policies which have been a phenomenal success over the last twenty years for a partisan return to the FCC’s legacy of Title II disasters?
For several decades the “strictest possible” FCC Title II regulations repeatedly held back American progress and innovation.
For example, telephone technology advanced very little from 1934 to 1984 under the FCC’s heavy hand. While cell phone service was invented in 1947, the glacial and controlling FCC did not approve it for consumer use until 1984. While computer modems were invented in the 1950s, the backward-looking FCC did not get around to green-lighting them for consumer use until the late 1990s.
Abandoning the bipartisan free market policies that rocketed the near ubiquitous use of smartphones by Americans in eight short years, to apply the “strictest possible” obsolete regulations to the most modern part of the American economy, is a stupid idea.
The Internet isn’t even a utility service. Water and electricity are natural monopolies regulated like a public utility because the service and economics haven’t changed for a hundred years.
In just twenty years, Internet service has advanced from stationary dial-up service to constantly improving cable, mobile, WiFi, fixed-wireless and satellite competitive Internet service provider services, and a trillion dollar flood of private investment has catapulted America’s Internet speeds roughly 200 times faster in the last 15 years.
Regulating the dynamic, competitive and innovative Internet marketplace under utility regulation that assumes no technological change or the possibility of competitive choice is a stupid idea.
How could such an obviously stupid idea get this far?
The obvious answer is partisan politics and a politically malleable FCC desperate for relevance in the 21st century.
Scott Cleland served as Deputy U.S. Coordinator for International Communications & Information Policy in the George H. W. Bush Administration. He is President of Precursor LLC, a research consultancy for Fortune 500 companies, and Chairman of NetCompetition, a pro-competition e-forum supported by broadband interests.