Kamala Harris supports the Green New Deal. Let’s see what that entails.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

October 9, 2020

Kamala Harris supports the Green New Deal.

Source: https://www.harris.senate.gov/news/press-releases/harris-statement-on-the-green-new-deal

According to NPR, the Green New Deal offers “economic security” to people who are “unwilling” to work.

Source: https://apps.npr.org/documents/document.html?id=5729035-Green-New-Deal-FAQ

This proves that the people who created the Green New Deal have zero understanding of human nature.

According to the same NPR link, the Green New Deal wants to get rid of fossil fuels and nuclear power.

I wonder what they will do when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing.

Also, acccording to the same source, the Green New Deal also offers “safe, affordable, adequate housing” to everyone.

Meanwhile, I’d like to point out what government provided housing is actually like in the real world.

In the four minute video posted below, the housing conditions at a three bedroom apartment at a public housing project in the Bronx in New York City are absolutely horrible.

There are rats, roaches, and black mold.

There are leaks in every room.

And every time the tenant calls maintenance to ask for repairs, the government employees always make up some bogus excuse for why they can’t fix anything.

And why should the government employees fix anything, when they know they can’t get fired?

And as all of this is going on, the federal government is giving them $30 million per week to make these repairs.

Since they’re not actually making these repairs, what are they really spending that money on?

The video also says that at other apartments in the same building, sometimes there is no heat, sometimes there is no hot water, and sometimes there is even no running water at all.

Here’s the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pz9PJOrDaXk

October 9, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Economics, Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Since we started burning fossil fuels on a widespread, global scale, the number of people killed by natural disasters has gotten smaller, not bigger

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

September 28, 2020

Since we started burning fossil fuels on a widespread, global scale, the number of people killed by natural disasters has gotten smaller, not bigger.

Does this mean that we have fewer natural disasters now than in the past?

No.

Instead, what it means is that the huge amount of wealth that we have created by burning fossil fuels has made us better able to withstand natural disasters.

This chart shows the number of people killed (per 100,000 population) by natural disasters by decade.

You can see a bigger version of the chart by clicking this link: https://www.businessinsider.com/natural-disasters-used-to-be-so-much-worse-2015-2

 

September 28, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , . Economics, Environmentalism. 1 comment.

San Francisco elected official Hillary Ronen blames the city’s homeless problem on “Republican ideology.” She is wrong. Here are six reasons why “progressive ideology” is the real cause of the city’s homeless problem.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

September 1, 2020

Hillary Ronen is an elected government official who gets paid $140,148 per year to work as a member of the legislative body for San Francisco.

In this video, Ronen blames San Francisco’s homeless problem on “Republican ideology.” (Skip to 8:52 in the video).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uw8MACDZ3RI

Ronen is wrong.

“Republican ideology” is not the cause of San Francisco’s homeless problem.

Here six are reasons why “progressive ideology” is the real cause of San Francisco’s homeless problem.

First of all, here is a link to an article that was published by the Atlantic in 2007.

When a developer builds housing, there are three separate and distinct costs: the cost of land, the cost of construction, and the cost of getting a building permit (which the article refers to as the “right to build”).

The article includes this chart:

So in San Francisco, getting a building permit (which the article refers to as the “right to build”) adds approximately $700,000 to the cost of a new home.

And please remember, this cost for the “right to build” is completely separate from the cost of the land, and the cost of construction.

The cost for the “right to build” is determined entirely, 100% by zoning laws, density restrictions, and other local government policies.

Since Hillary Ronen is an elected government official who works as a member of the legislative body of San Francisco, she is one of the people who is responsible for the city’s zoning laws, density restrictions, and other local government policies.

Secondly, here’s another example of how hard it is to get a building permit in California:

http://www.aei.org/publication/texas-great-american-job-machine-solely-responsible-1m-net-us-job-increase-since-2007/

January 23, 2015

… there were more permits for single-family homes issued last year through November in just one Texas city – Houston (34,566) – than in the entire state of California (34,035) over the same period.

Let’s put this into perspective.

Houston is 628 square miles.

California is 163,696 square miles.

So even though California is 260 times as big as Houston, Houston actually issued more new building permits for single family homes in 2014 than did the entire state of California.

Just think about that for a minute.

Those numbers show just how incredibly, ridiculously hard California makes it to build new housing.

Anyone who has ever bought or sold anything at eBay understands that, all else being equal, the bigger the supply of something, the lower price, and the lower the supply, the higher the price.

By making it so difficult to get a building permit in California, the government is causing housing to be far, far more expensive than it would otherwise be.

Third, here is a great article by Thomas Sowell about how the politicians in California have waged war against the construction of new housing.

Fourth, this video also explains San Francisco’s war against the construction of new housing. And please note that it is progressives, social justice warriors, and other left wing activists who are the ones that are most opposed to building this new housing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExgxwKnH8y4

Fifth, in the video with Ronen that I included at the beginning of this blog post, she brags about creating a new government program that gives free illegal drugs to homeless people. (Skip to 7:56 in the video.)

Being high on illegal drugs makes the problem of homelessness bigger, not smaller.

And sixth, the Washington Post published this article, which is called:

“Rand Paul is right: The most economically unequal states are Democratic”

The article includes this chart, which ranks the states by their levels of inequality based on their Gini coefficients.

You can see a bigger version of the chart at this link:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/NJ6UOCWVE426LBX7NOQN6ECZVU.jpg

The information in the chart verifies the title of the Washington Post article. Blue states have more inequality than red states.

So that’s six different reasons why Hillary Ronen is wrong to blame San Francisco’s homeless problem on “Republican ideology.”

In each and every one of those six cases, it is actually “progressive ideology” that is causing San Francisco’s homeless problem.

San Francisco is waging a very strong, major war against the constriction of new housing.

For Hillary Ronen to blame this on “Republican ideology” is a huge lie.

On the contrary, since Ronen is one of the left wing, progressive, elected government officials responsible for San Francisco’s housing policies, it is Ronen’s own fault that San Francisco has such a big homeless problem.

September 1, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Economics, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Liberal YouTuber Rebecca Watson says, “… you definitely can vote for politicians who will keep their constituents healthy by easing income inequality…” Meanwhile, the Washington Post says, “The most economically unequal states are Democratic.”

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

August 15, 2020

Rebecca Watson is a liberal YouTuber who lives in San Francisco.

At 7:45 in this video, she says:

“… you definitely can vote for politicians who will keep their constituents healthy by easing income inequality…”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3wiCiKNFqk

Meanwhile, the Washington Post published this article, which is called:

“Rand Paul is right: The most economically unequal states are Democratic”

The article includs this chart, which ranks the states by their levels of inequality based on their Gini coefficients.

You can see a bigger version of the chart at this link:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/NJ6UOCWVE426LBX7NOQN6ECZVU.jpg

The information in the chart verifies the title of the Washington Post article. Blue states have more inequality than red states.

And since Watson lives in San Francisco, I’d like to point out this article from Vanity Fair, which is called:

“San Francisco’s Income Inequality Rivals that of Developing Nations”

This video is called:

“Inside Nancy Pelosi’s District: This Is Not What America Should Look Like”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wh6saOx-Q6s

I’ve watched a lot of Watson’s videos, and I know that she hates and loathes Republican politicians.

It seems to me that Watson is voting for politicians who make income inequality bigger, not smaller.

August 15, 2020. Tags: , , , , , . Economics. Leave a comment.

The Maduro diet: How most Venezuelans lost an average of 43 pounds in two years

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

July 15, 2020

In May 2017, the Washington Post reported:

In a recent survey of 6,500 Venezuelan families by the country’s leading universities, three-quarters of adults said they lost weight in 2016 — an average of 19 pounds… a level of hunger almost unheard-of outside war zones or areas ravaged by hurricane, drought or plague.

In February 2018, Reuters reported:

Venezuelans reported losing on average 11 kilograms (24 lbs) in body weight last year… according to a new university study…

That’s 43 pounds in two years.

Before I explain how this came to happen, I want to start out by explaining what did not cause this to happen.
(more…)

July 15, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Communism, Economics, Food, Military, Police state, Politics, Social justice warriors, Venezuela, War against achievement. Leave a comment.

Black America Needs Fathers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuT-g9amfPw

June 3, 2020. Tags: , , , , , . Black lives matter, Economics, Racism. Leave a comment.

United Nations on COVID-19 shutdown: “…mitigation measures that may inadvertently do more harm than good… An estimated 42-66 million children could fall into extreme poverty as a result of the crisis this year… could result in hundreds of thousands of additional child deaths in 2020”

On April 15, 2020, the United Nations published this 17 page report, which is titled: Policy Brief: The Impact of COVID-19 on children.

The report cites the predicted harm that will happen to children in low income countries as a result of the COVID-19 global wide shutdown. Examples of this harm to children include increases in malnutrition, loss of education, increased rates of teen pregnancy, reduced access to health care, reduced rates of vaccination, increased rates of infectious disease, increased rates of water borne illness, and increased rates of death.

The report goes on to explain that some of these negative consequences could have very severe, permanent effects on children.

Page 2 refers to: (all of the bolding in this blog post is mine)

...mitigation measures that may inadvertently do more harm than good

and goes on to say:

…An estimated 42-66 million children could fall into extreme poverty as a result of the crisis this year…

The transition from page 2 to page 3 states:

Economic hardship experienced by families as a result of the global economic downturn could result in hundreds of thousands of additional child deaths in 2020, reversing the last 2 to 3 years of progress in reducing infant mortality within a single year. And this alarming figure does not even take into account services disrupted due to the cri-sis – it only reflects the current relationship between economies and mortality, so is likely an under-estimate of the impact. Rising malnutririon is expected as 368.5 million children across 143 countries who normally rely on school meals for a reliable source of daily nutrition must now look to other sources. The risks to child mental health and well being are also considerable. Refugee and internally displaced children as well as those living in detention and situations of active conflict are especially vulnerable. 

Page 4 states:

As health services become overwhelmed in car-ing for large numbers of infected patients requir-ing treatment, children and pregnant women are less able to access standard care. Children of frontline workers have also had to adapt to alternative childcare arrangements. Children living in areas of armed conflict, who already struggle extensively to access health services may be further excluded from attention and access to the severely stretched health systems. Physical distancing and lockdown measures, restrictions of movement and border closures, and surveillance strategies are all affecting chil-dren in myriad ways. Face-to-face child services – schooling, nutrition programmes, maternal and newborn care, immunization services, sexual and reproductive health services, HIV treatment, alternative care facilities, community-based child protection programmes, and case management for children requiring supplementary personal-ized care, including those living with disabilities, and abuse victims – have often been partially or completely suspended. 

Page 4 ends with this:

While children are not the face of this pandemic, its broader impacts on children risk being catastrophic and amongst the most lasting consequences for societies as a whole.

Page 6 states:

The physical distancing and lockdown measures needed to save lives and supress the transmis-sion of the virus have resulted in a significant reduction of economic activity across all major economies and the resultant global recession…

At a household level, the collapse in income threatens the livelihoods of millions of house-holds with children around the world. Inputting the forecasts from the IMF optimistic scenario into an IFPRI poverty model4 indicates an increase in extreme poverty (PPP$1.90 a day) this year of 84 to 132 million people, approx-imately half of whom are children, compared to a pre-pandemic counterfactual scenario.

Page 7 states:

The worldwide closure of schools has no his-torical precedent…

… The potential losses that may accrue in learn-ing for today’s young generation, and for the development of their human capital, are hard to fathom…

Page 8 states:

Those losses will be greatest for children who, triggered by the pandemic, drop out of school altogether. That possibility becomes greater the longer schools are closed and the deeper the economic contraction wrought by the pan-demic. Experience with HIV in Kenya shows that those children who lose a parent face reduced odds of returning to school. In situations of continuing conflict, children no longer in school may be incentivized to join armed forces or groups, thus perpetuating the cycle of violence.

Page 9 states:

Reduced household income will force poor families to cut back on essential health and food expenditures. Drawing again on the forecast for global eco-nomic growth from the IMF and the historical relationship between GDP growth and infant mortality in the developing world15 , hundreds of thousands of additional child deaths could occur in 2020 compared to a pre-pandemic counterfactual scenario. This would effectively reverse the last 2 to 3 years of progress in reducing infant mortality within a single year.

These estimates focus only on the effects of this year’s global recession on child health and do not account for the multiple ways in which health services are being directly disrupted by the pandemic. This includes reduced access to essential reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health interventions, such as ante-natal care, skilled attendance at birth, and treatment for pneumonia. It also includes the suspension of all polio vaccination campaigns worldwide, setting back the decades-long effort to eliminate the wild virus from its last two ves-tiges, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and to tackle recent outbreaks of the vaccine-derived virus in Africa, East Asia and the Pacific. In addition, measles immunization campaigns have been suspended in at least 23 countries that had cumulatively targeted more than 78 million children up to the age of 9. Meanwhile, chil-dren and adolescents with chronic illnesses, including those living with HIV, are at risk of reduced access to medicines and care.

Child nutrition is a vital concern. 368.5 million children across 143 countries who normally rely on school meals for a reliable source of daily nutrition must now look to other sources. That challenge is made greater by the economic shock facing households, which will negatively affect the diets of children, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers. Additionally, hastily implemented lockdown measures risk disrupting food supply chains and local food markets…

Should schools remain closed and cause girls to drop out, we should also anticipate an increase in teenage pregnancy in the year ahead. A recent meta-analysis of the prevalence and determinants of adolescent pregnancy in Africa found that adolescent girls out of school are more than two times more likely to start childbearing than those who are in school.

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) ser-vices are also at risk of disruption by lockdown measures, posing further threats to children’s health through water-borne diseases. Over 700 children under five die every day from diarrheal diseases related to inadequate WASH services, and this number could rise sharply if existing services collapse….

Page 12 states:

The ultimate impact of the crisis on chil-dren hinges on how much time it will take for the pandemic to end. A longer struggle to contain the virus not only prolongs the pain caused by the pandemic, but raises the pros-pect that the pandemic’s impact will have lingering or persistent effects on children.

For instance, the longer economies are on shutdown, the less likely they are to “snap back”. At the household level, struggling families will increasingly see breadwinners lose their jobs or be forced to sell productive assets in order to survive, with long-running consequences for child poverty. The same holds true for other impacts of the pandemic. The longer schools remain closed, the less likely children are to catch up on learning and essential life skills that support a healthy tran-sition to adulthood. The longer immunization campaigns are suspended, the greater and more costly will be the struggle to eliminate polio and to manage measles outbreaks.

For children caught at the apex of this crisis, there is a genuine prospect that its effects will permanently alter their lives. Children facing acute deprivation in nutrition, protection or stimulation, or periods of prolonged exposure to toxic stress, during the critical window of early childhood development are likely to develop lifelong challenges as their neurological devel-opment is impaired. Children who drop out of school will face not only a higher risk of child marriage, child labour, and teenage pregnancies, but will see their lifetime earnings potential pre-cipitously fall. Children who experience family breakdowns during this period of heightened stress risk losing the sense of support and secu-rity on which children’s wellbeing depends.

Page 13 cites multiple, real world examples of the harm that happened to children as the result of the shutdowns during the Ebola epidemic. This includes substantial increases in the problems of childhood nutrition, lack of health care, lack of vaccinations, and lack of education.

Regarding the effects on vaccination during the Ebola epidemic, the report states:

The proportion of Liberian children under 1 who were fully immunized fell from 73 percent before the epidemic, to 36 percent during the epidemic, and recovered only partially to 53 percent by the end of 2015. Measles cases in Liberian children under 5 rose, likely due to the lapse in vaccination programs. The mean number of monthly cases of measles rose from 12 before the epidemic to 60 immediately afterwards.

I never would have guessed that the measures to deal with a new infectious disease would include reducing the vaccination rates for other, older infectious diseases.

In developing countries all over the world, the shutdown due to COVID-19 is causing huge harm, in multiple different ways, to a very large number of children. Some of these things will have permanent effects on these children for the rest of their lives.

April 20, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , . COVID-19, Economics, Education, Health care. Leave a comment.

How Shutting Down The Economy Much Longer Could Kill Tens Of Thousands Of Americans

https://thefederalist.com/2020/03/30/how-shutting-down-the-economy-much-longer-could-kill-tens-of-thousands-of-americans/

How Shutting Down The Economy Much Longer Could Kill Tens Of Thousands Of Americans

It is vitally important, literally life and death, that the proper costs and benefits are weighed with the decision on how much and how long to shut down economic activity through the pandemic.

By Thomas K. Duncan and Audrey Redford

March 30, 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic continues across the world, leaders and policymakers have scrambled to respond to the growing health crisis. In the United States, multiple state governors have issued statements urging their citizens to follow social distancing guidelines.

Other governors have taken more extreme measures, issuing orders to effectively lock down entire state economies. The current goal of these responses has been to slow the spread of the virus in the hope of reducing the strain on the health-care system. Discussion over the proper precautions is a necessity in such a time.

There have been forecasted estimates of virus-related death totals for the United States from as high as 10 million, to 2.2 million, to more conservative estimates of 5,000. The models used to estimate the potential death rates are not without criticism and repeated adjustment. Sampling bias may be a significant problem. These data errors are an important problem to resolve as policymakers use these models to inform their responses.

Lives Depend on Economic Activity

The difference between social distancing and complete economic shutdowns is too dramatic not to be taken seriously. It is imperative that more testing be conducted to provide better access to data, as well as the health benefits that come with knowing who does and does not have the virus. However, as important as it is to get the cost of not shutting down right, it is also important that policymakers properly weigh the cost of the economic shutdowns themselves.

Getting the cost right is not simply a matter of valuing “profits over people,” as the social media memes may suggest. Rather, even in times of crisis, the ability to operate in a functioning economy is important for the people within it.

The economy is the people, and the people are the economy. The ability to continue to function in a market system does matter to individuals within the system, particularly when the ability of business to remain open and continue to employ them is in question.

We have already started to see some of these human effects as the unemployment has quickly rocketed beyond even the early initial projections. A rise in unemployment is correlated with a number of negative socio-economic effects. For some, these effects can be quite deadly, particularly when the changes are rapid, as is currently the case.

The Longer the Shutdown, the More People Will Be Hurt

The economic predictions for the shutdowns may be as varied as those for the virus itself. The Federal Reserve’s James Bullard has noted that unemployment may rise to as much as 30%. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has estimated a possible unemployment rate of 20%.

Bullard’s number is higher than the unemployment seen in the United States during the Great Depression (25%), and both estimates are significantly higher than the unemployment during the Great Recession (11%). Even if we take the more conservative estimate of 20% unemployment, that is a 16.5% rise in unemployment from its recent historic lows of 3.5% unemployment.

Although it is difficult to estimate how long this downturn may linger, that is a severe shock to the economic system. It is possible that people return to work and economic activity returns in strength in short order after the shutdowns are lifted.

Even then, the costs of shutting down will have been quite large. However, it is also possible that some businesses who had to pause activity for a month or more may not be able to return at all. The recession could be longer than some economists are projecting. If the economy does linger in its downturn, the human costs to the shutdown will inevitably begin to increase.

Possibly 28,797 More Deaths from Opioids

A 2017 National Bureau of Economic Research paper finds a 3.6% increase in the opioid death rate per 100,000 people for a 1% rise in unemployment. There were 14.6 opioid death rates per 100,000 in the United States in 2018. If we use the more conservative estimate of a 20% unemployment rate without a quick return to lower levels, then there would be an estimated 59.4% rise in deaths per 100,000, leading to an increase of 8.7 deaths for a total of 23.3 for opioids.

With a current U.S. population of 331 million, there are 3,310 groups of 100,000, meaning there is potential for an additional 28,797 deaths from opioids annually. Consider that for 2018, the Centers for Disease Control reports that there were 67,367 deaths from all-drug deaths, with 46,802 of those coming from opioid use. The 46,802 deaths were considered an opioid crisis. A possible 75,599 should not be dismissed quickly.

The negative effects will not be felt just through opioid use either. The numerical increase in deaths provided above is only for opioid users, but the all-drug death number will rise as well. In a 2018 study, Bruguera, et al, found that of the 180 drug users they surveyed about use during the Great Recession, 58.3% reported an increase in use while only 25.6% reported decreasing use, resulting in greater all-drug use for the period.

Similarly, Mulia, et al, (2014) connects a rise in alcoholism to economic loss during the Great Recession. The CDC estimates that 2,200 people die in the United States just from alcohol poisoning annually, not to mention the additional alcohol-related deaths that occur. In 2017 alone, there were also 22,246 deaths resulting from alcoholic liver disease. As the jobless rate increases and the economic losses continue to mount, these numbers are likely to rise.

Unemployment Increases Suicide, Homicide

The deaths related to economic downturns go beyond those from chemical dependency, also. The mental toll is not inconsequential. For example, Blakely, et al, (2003) find that being unemployed may also increase the risk of suicide two to threefold. Milner, et al. (2014) similarly finds that unemployment is associated with a higher relative risk of suicide, with prior mental health issues being a key factor in that association. While a study by Kerr, et al, (2018) did not find that unemployment is directly linked to suicides, it did find a significant link between poverty, suicide, and alcoholism.

When breaking the population into age groups, Lin and Chen (2018) do find that unemployment does have a direct impact on older portions of the population, the portion of the population many of the current shutdowns are most meant to protect. Whether it is the direct unemployment effect or the potential poverty produced from the economic shutdown that leads to greater suicides, an increase from the 48,344 suicides and 1,400,000 suicide attempts in the United States in 2018 should give decision-makers pause during their response to this pandemic.

Increased harm to oneself is not the only harm caused by economic downturns. There is also the threat of rising crime in general. Ajimotokin, et al, (2015) estimate that a 1 percent change in unemployment will increase the property crime rate by 71.1 per 100,000 people and the violent crime rate by 31.9 per 100,000 people.

With our estimated 16.5% rise in unemployment, we could see a significant increase in both property and violent crimes. The violent crime also may add to the death toll in this period. Kposowa and Johnson (2016) find that unemployed workers are more than 50% more likely to become homicide victims than those who are employed. They also find people not in the labor force are 1.3 times more likely to be victims than those who are employed. As workers become discouraged due to an inability to find jobs during a recession, their lives as well as their livelihoods are called into question.

The future during such a pandemic is largely uncertain, and misinformation is rampant in the current panic. Policymakers face tough decisions as they navigate the issues of data collection, virus transmission, and economic ramifications of doing too little or too much. It is vitally important, literally life and death, that the proper costs and benefits are weighed with the decision on how much and how long to shut down economic activity through the pandemic.

This article originally appeared from the American Institutes for Economic Research and is reprinted with permission, with slight alterations to implement AP style plus an editor-chosen title and subheds, as is the industry norm.

Thomas K. Duncan, Ph.D., is an associate professor of economics at Radford University. He received his Ph.D. from George Mason University. Audrey Redford is the assistant professor of economics at Western Carolina University. She earned her Ph.D. in agricultural and applied economics from Texas Tech University.

March 31, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , . COVID-19, Economics, Health care. Leave a comment.

March 15, 2020: Bernie Sanders mentions the current “Ebola crisis” two different times. He also implies that multi-millionaires are immune from it.

Yesterday, Bernie Sanders mentioned the “Ebola crisis” twice.

Here are his exact words:

“The Ebola crisis, in my view, exposes the dysfunctionality of our health care system, and how poorly prepared we are despite how much money that we spend. And the Ebola crisis is also, I think, exposing the cruelty and the unjustness of our economy today.”

“We have more income and wealth inequality in America today than at any time in 100 years. And what that means that in the midst of this crisis, you know, if you’re a multimillionaire, no one’s happy about this crisis…”

Here’s video of Sanders saying those words. It’s the second video here, not the first one.

https://twitter.com/Julio_Rosas11/status/1239347669409173505

Here is a transcript of what Sanders says next:

“… if you’re a multimillionaire, no one is happy about this crisis, you’re going to get through it…”

Meanwhile, in the real world, there is nothing in the medical literature that says that multi-millionaires will “get through” either Ebola or the Coronavirus.

And assuming that Sanders meant to say Coronavirus and not Ebola, it is age, not wealth, that is, by far, the bigger factor that determines whether you will live or die.

Here is a chart that shows the death rate by age in China. Source of image https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus

Click here to see a bigger version of the image.

 

March 16, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Economics, Health care. 1 comment.

Attention Natalie Stoclet! Your use of water in the United States does not “affect the water crisis” in Cape Town, South Africa. The real reason that Cape Town has a “water crisis” is because it chose to reject Israel’s offer of help to build desalination plants.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

March 3, 2020

A writer named Natalie Stoclet recently wrote this article, which is called “I lived a week without using any water – and it showed me just how much we’re affecting the water crisis.”

Stoclet describes the “water crisis” with these words:

663 million people in the developing world don’t have immediate access to water, yet the average American household uses more than 300 gallons of water per day.

Stoclet then explains her attempt to address this problem:

There are many simple ways to conserve, from turning off the tap while brushing your teeth to taking shorter showers.

I went a week without water to try and see how much we really use and found the hardest part was the mental challenge.

That is not logical. The water that Stoclet avoided using during that week did not somehow get magically transported to the countries where those 663 million people live. Her week of conservation did absolutely nothing whatsoever to help any of those people.

Stoclet also wrote:

663 million people in the developing world don’t have immediate access to water. Millions of those may have to walk up to six hours to find it. This is a task often reserved for young children and this often means that they don’t even have time to pursue an education.

You think about cities like Cape Town, which just barely avoided the crisis of running out of water.

The reason that Cape Town has a shortage of water has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Stoclet’s use of water.

The real reason that Cape Town has a shortage of water is because it chose to reject Israel’s offer of help to build desalination plants.

Israel itself is a very densely populated country, in the desert, with perpetual drought.

If any country should have a shortage of water, it’s Israel.

But according to this article from haaretz.com, this is what desalination has done for Israel:

Over and Drought: Why the End of Israel’s Water Shortage Is a Secret

Remember all the years of being told to conserve ‘every drop?’ Well, times have changed: Today, Israel has so much affordable water, it can offer to export it. So why is this achievement being kept so secret?

There is now a surplus of water in Israel, thanks largely to the opening of several new desalination plants

Those desalination plants did not appear by magic. Instead, Israel chose to build them.

Cape Town, by comparison, chose to reject Israel’s offer of help to build desalination plants.

And Stoclet’s act of going a week without water will do absolutely nothing whatsoever to help the people of Cape Town.

According to the same article from haaretz.com, the cost of desalination in Israel is only 40 cents per cubic meter. That works out to less than 1/5 penny per gallon.

Stoclet wrote the following:

You think about cities like Cape Town, which just barely avoided the crisis of running out of water… Yet at the same time, the average American household uses more than 300 gallons of water per day.

Israel desalinizes that same amount of water – 300 gallons – for less than 60 cents.

And yet, Stoclet’s article has no mention whatsoever of desalination as a way to solve the “water crisis” that 663 million people are experiencing.

Instead, Stoclet mistakenly thinks that her own water consumption somehow “affects the water crisis.”

The 663 million people suffering from the “water crisis” don’t need Stoclet or anyone else to reduce their own use of water. Instead, what those 663 million people need is desalination.

Stoclet also wrote:

It has been made easy for us to treat water as a limitless resource

While it’s true that the earth has a finite amount of water, it’s also true that that water is infinitely recyclable. The water that we drink today is the same water that the dinosaurs drank 100 million years ago. And as long as we build enough enough desalination plants, and the people who use that water are willing to pay 1/5 penny for each and every gallon that they use, then we can indeed treat water as if it is a “limitless resource.”

Note from Daniel Alman: If you like this blog post that I wrote, you can buy my books from amazon, and/or donate to me via PayPal, using the links below:

amazon logo

March 3, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , . Economics, Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Palestinian workers prefer to work for Israeli employers

https://www.jns.org/report-palestinian-workers-prefer-to-work-for-israeli-employers/

Report: Palestinian workers prefer to work for Israeli employers

Higher salaries, legal protections and lack of discrimination are among the reasons most Palestinians would prefer to work for Israeli firms.

February 16, 2020

The United Nations “blacklist” of businesses operating in Israeli settlements was lauded by the Palestinian leadership following its publication last week, but a recent report indicates that Palestinians actually prefer to work for Israelis rather than Palestinians.

Titled “Why Palestinians prefer to work for Israeli employers,” the report, by Israel-based media watchdog group Palestinian Media Watch, affirms that whenever Palestinian workers have the opportunity to work for Israeli employers, they are quick to leave their jobs with Palestinian employers. The report cites an article in the official Palestinian Authority daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida that praises the Israeli-employment sector.

According to senior PMW analyst Nan Jacques Zilberdik, who co-authored the report with PMW director Itamar Marcus, there are a number of reasons Palestinians prefer Israeli employers.

“First, the salary from Israeli employers is more than double that of the Palestinian sector, but that is not all. Palestinians working for Israelis are protected by the same laws as Israeli workers, including health benefits, sick leave, vacation time and other workers’ rights, whereas these protections are not granted by Palestinian employers. Also there is no gender or religious discrimination in the Israeli sector.”

Speaking on the official P.A. TV show “Workers Affairs,” Israeli-Arab labor lawyer Khaled Dukhi of the Israeli NGO Workers’ Hotline said Israeli labor law is “very good” because it does not differentiate between men and women, Israelis and Palestinians, Muslims and Jews. However, he explained, “Palestinian workers who work for Israelis still suffer because Palestinian middlemen ‘steal’ 50 percent, 60 percent and even 70 percent of their salaries, especially those of women.”

The higher Israeli salaries have been consistent for years, according to surveys published by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Labor Force Survey for the second quarter of 2018 showed that the average daily wage for wage employees in the West Bank was NIS 107.9 ($31.5) compared with NIS 62.6 (18.3) in Gaza Strip. The average daily wage for the wage employees in Israel and the Israeli settlements reached NIS 247.9 ($72.3) in the second quarter of 2018, compared with NIS 242.5 ($70.8) in the first quarter of 2018.

 

February 22, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Economics, Politics, Racism, Religion. Leave a comment.

“Number one: Stop having children with people who don’t support them”

Dave Ramsey is a financial advisor with a radio call in program.

In this case, the caller is an unmarried woman who has three children, all of whom were fathered by the same man, who is an abusive, illegal alien and an identity thief, and who does not pay any child support.

Ramsey starts out his response with the following:

“Number one: Stop having children with people who don’t support them”

Here’s my take on this woman’s behavior:

George Carlin was right when he said the following:

“Think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of ’em are stupider than that.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lbTU5m59Ns

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rh6qqsmxNs

February 12, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Economics, Immigration, Parenting. 2 comments.

Yes, AOC, we can ‘capitalism our way out of poverty’

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/actually-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-we-can-capitalism-our-way-out-of-poverty

Yes, AOC, we can ‘capitalism our way out of poverty’

January 22, 2020

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez studied economics, but she isn’t exactly known for fluency. But even considering the New York Democrat’s track record of economic illiteracy, her latest comments about capitalism are still a doozy.

Ocasio-Cortez made headlines this week for claiming that the Democratic Party is actually moderate and centrist. It was a silly claim to make, but people largely ignored another part of her comment. She asserted, as a way of dismissing centrist Democrats, that they are fools for believing that we can “capitalism our way out of poverty.”

Actually, congresswoman, we can. Literally billions of people have done so in the very recent past.

The last several centuries of human history demonstrate that capitalism and free trade can work wonders when it comes to expanding global prosperity and reducing poverty.

I don’t know what they taught Ocasio-Cortez in the economics department at Boston University — she might want to demand a refund — but I, along with most undergraduates in the field, learned in my very first year of studying economics the basic fact that capitalism has radically reduced poverty. Students are often taught about the “hockey stick of human history.” Incomes and economic growth were stagnant for centuries and centuries, and then came the advent of market capitalism and the spread of trade. As society shifted away from mercantilism and feudalism toward this new way of operating, economic growth instantly skyrocketed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9FSnvtcEbg

https://twitter.com/HumanProgress/status/1003750249041747974

(Click on link below to see a larger version of the image)

https://humanprogress.org/article.php?p=1247

https://twitter.com/HumanProgress/status/1003750249041747974

Economic history resembles a hockey stick. For thousands of years, economic growth was negligible. At the end of the 18th century, however, economic growth and the standard of living started to accelerate in Great Britain and then in the rest of the world

— HumanProgress.org (@HumanProgress) June 4, 2018

It can be hard to visualize all of this progress when we’re just talking about abstract economic growth figures at the country level. But as Bill Gates has famously noted, raw poverty data show radical reductions due to capitalism, too.

https://twitter.com/BillGates/status/1086662632587907072

(Click on link below to see a larger version of the image)

https://ourworldindata.org/a-history-of-global-living-conditions-in-5-charts?linkId=62571595

 

https://twitter.com/BillGates/status/1086662632587907072

This is one of my favorite infographics. A lot of people underestimate just how much life has improved over the last two centuries:

— Bill Gates (@BillGates) January 19, 2019

In recent decades, state-run economies such as the Soviet Union collapsed, while markets globally, including in formerly communist nations such as China, liberalized and trade expanded globally. This has resulted in outstanding progress. According to HumanProgress.org:

https://humanprogress.org/article.php?p=1528

The World Bank has just released its latest numbers, and according to them, the proportion of the world population in extreme poverty, i.e. who consume less than $1.90 a day, adjusted for local prices, declined from 36 percent in 1990 to 10 percent in 2015.

Even though world population increased by more than two billion people, the number of extremely poor was reduced by almost 1.2 billion. It means that in the now much-despised era of globalization, almost 130,000 people rose out of poverty every day.

This is no coincidence. A report from the Fraser Institute concluded after comprehensive study that “nations that are economically free outperform non-free nations in indicators of well-being.”

No one is saying that capitalism is perfect, or that further progress doesn’t need to be made. But Ocasio-Cortez gets it exactly wrong when she asserts that we can’t “capitalism our way out of poverty.” It is a historically and economically ignorant thing to say, and it really highlights the mentality that would allow someone, even in this day and age, to embrace an outdated and backward ideology such as socialism.

February 9, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Economics. Leave a comment.

Immigration patterns prove that everyone wants to live in a capitalist country. Even the people who claim to be against capitalism never actually move to a non-capitalist country.

Immigration patterns prove that everyone wants to live in a capitalist country. Even the people who claim to be against capitalism never actually move to a non-capitalist country.

January 22, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , . Communism, Economics, Immigration. Leave a comment.

The only way that rich people could pay Bernie Sanders’s proposed annual 8% wealth tax would be by selling enough stock to get the money to pay the tax. This would drive down stock prices, and would hurt every single middle class person who has a pension, a 401K, or an IRA.

Billionaires don’t just have billions of dollars in cash just sitting around, waiting to pay Bernie Sanders’s proposed annual 8% wealth tax.

For example, the richest person in the world is Jeff Bezos, the guy who created amazon. 99.9% of his wealth is in the form of stock in the company that he himself created. In the beginning, that company was worth zero. The only reason that it has value today is because he created that value. The stock in any company is worth only as much as what people are willing to pay for it.

If Sanders forced Bezos to pay an 8% annual wealth tax, Bezos would have to sell enough of his amazon stock to get the money to pay the tax.

That would drive the price of the stock down.

And that would hurt every single middle class person who has a pension, a 401K, or an IRA.

And it gets even worse than that.

Sanders tried to justify his annual 8% wealth tax by saying

“Billionaires should not exist.”

But if billionaires don’t exist, then the companies that those billionaires created would not exist either.

And the goods and services that are provided by those companies would not exist either.

Which is why Sanders also said that people in the U.S. have too many choices when it comes to deodorant and shoes, and that it’s a “good thing” when people have to wait in line to buy food.

Sanders said that Americans have too many choices when it comes to deodorant and shoes. These are his exact words:

“You don’t necessarily need a choice of 23 underarm spray deodorants or of 18 different pairs of sneakers when children are hungry in this country.”

Well, as it turns out, the policies of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro have caused a shortage of both deodorant and shoes in Venezuela.

Sanders also said that it was a “good thing” when people have to wait in line for food.

These are Sanders’s exact words:

“It’s funny, sometimes American journalists talk about how bad a country is, cause people are lining up for food. That’s a good thing! In other countries people don’t line up for food: the rich get the food and the poor starve to death.”

You can see and hear Sanders saying those words in this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJBjjP8WSbc

Well, as it turns out, the policies of Chavez and Maduro have caused shortages of food in Venezuela.

For example, in May 2017, the Washington Post reported:

In a recent survey of 6,500 Venezuelan families by the country’s leading universities, three-quarters of adults said they lost weight in 2016 — an average of 19 pounds… a level of hunger almost unheard-of outside war zones or areas ravaged by hurricane, drought or plague.

Then in February 2018, Reuters reported:

Venezuelans reported losing on average 11 kilograms (24 lbs) in body weight last year… according to a new university study…

That’s 43 pounds in two years.

Here’s a photograph from 2014 of people in Venezuela waiting in line for food: (posted here under fair use from http://www.businessinsider.com/long-food-lines-are-in-venezuela-2014-2 )

You can read all about how Venezuela ended up like this at this link.

All of this happened in Venezuela because Chavez and Maduro decided to wage war against the rich.

What is exactly what Sanders is trying to do.

In fact, I have never, ever heard Sanders criticize any of the specific economic policies of Chavez or Maduro.

Sanders hasn’t criticized Chavez or Maduro for setting price controls on food.

Sanders hasn’t criticized Chavez or Maduro for nationalizing farmland.

Sanders hasn’t criticized Chavez or Maduro for nationalizing the electric, steel, cement, and construction industries.

On the contrary, every single economic policy that Sanders has ever expressed support for adopting in the U.S. is completely in line with the economic policies that were enacted by Chavez and Maduro in Venezuela.

You cannot help the poor and the middle class by hurting the rich people who provide the goods and services, as well as the jobs, that the poor and the middle class need.

Bernie Sanders’s hatred for the rich exceeds any concern for the poor and the middle class that he claims to have.

Sanders would rather hurt the middle class and the poor, as long as it also meant that he got to hurt the rich.

A falling tide lowers all ships.

Sanders has repeatedly criticized the existence of “millionaires and billionaires.” (Although he stopped doing so after the New York Times reported that he was one of them.)

Sanders defended his own millionaire status by saying the following:

“I wrote a best-selling book. If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too.”

I agree with Sanders.

But here’s the difference between what I believe and what Sanders believes: I believe that it’s a good thing when any person becomes a millionaire or billionaire by providing their customers with the goods and services that their customers choose to buy. By comparison, the only person whose millionaire or billionaire status Sanders has ever defended is his own.

And I never trust anyone who doesn’t hold themselves to the same standards that they expect everyone else to follow.

October 9, 2019. Tags: , , , . Bernie Sanders, Economics. 1 comment.

Why a “Billionaire” Wealth Tax Would Hurt the Working Poor and the Middle Class

https://fee.org/articles/why-a-billionaire-wealth-tax-would-hurt-the-working-poor-and-the-middle-class/

Why a “Billionaire” Wealth Tax Would Hurt the Working Poor and the Middle Class

Although the wealth tax was drafted with the poor in mind, its passing could cause them more harm than benefit.

By Mark Hornshaw

October 4, 2019

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders wants to tax billionaires out of existence, or at least make them an endangered species. His proposed wealth tax of up to 8 percent per year would mean “the wealth of billionaires would be cut in half over 15 years,” he says.

The progressive tax would start at 1 percent on retained wealth over $32 million, rising to 2 percent over $50 million, and so on, reaching to the top rate of 8 percent on wealth over $10 billion. Whatever is left would be taxed again the following year, and every year until it was gone.

Let’s assume for the sake of argument that you don’t have an ethical problem with taxing people a second time on wealth that has already been taxed. And let’s set aside the issue of whether billionaires would simply leave their wealth on the table for Sanders to take, rather than fleeing to places with less ambitious governments. Let’s posit for the sake of argument that the tax achieves its aims.

The question then becomes, would it be beneficial for the working poor who Sanders is appealing to? Would it leave them better off or worse?

Net Worth Isn’t What You Think It Is

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has a net worth of $109 billion, according to Bloomberg. If you think you can get a decent abode for $1 million, then it seems like he could buy 109,000 plush houses. Does anybody need that much wealth? Wouldn’t it be better off going to people who need it more? How does leaving that corporate wealth in private hands help the average person? This is the simplistic way that Sanders wants you to think about the situation. But this is not a true reflection of the situation at all.

In pre-capitalist feudal times, wealth was acquired by conquest and subjugation. The Duke in the castle was there because his group was militarily the strongest, having defeated the previous band of marauders, who defeated everybody else in the area. A Duke’s castle might be sacked by the army of another Duke, but the common person’s lot in life would be the same, albeit with a new master.

In this system, nearly all production was for the benefit of the wealthy “strongman.” The tailor-made fine clothes for the Duke. The blacksmith shod the Duke’s horses, the woodworker made the Duke’s furniture, and so on. For everybody else, virtually nothing was produced at all apart from meager subsistence. It was not possible to “become” wealthy in such a society—there was no peaceful process by which it could occur.

Sanders and many others would like you to view the world in that paradigm. But that is not how a market economy works.

Sure, the rich still appreciate their custom furniture and fine clothes—and you can make a modest living as a craftsman or tailor. But you don’t become a billionaire yourself from those activities. You become a billionaire in a market economy by producing products for millions, or even billions of people.

The people who started Amazon, Google, Walmart, Apple, Microsoft, and Disney got rich through their unparalleled level of service to the masses. They were “voted rich” through the voluntary choices of millions of people.

Amazon is one of the most amazing engines of poverty reduction and enhancement of living standards the world has ever seen. They literally make the working poor less poor, by offering them goods and services they like at prices they can afford. (Not to mention the opportunities Amazon creates by empowering and encouraging entrepreneurs to start new side businesses at very low start-up cost.)

The Problem with a Wealth Tax

I’m sure Bezos has some nice houses (as does Sanders) and other luxury items that would make our minds boggle. But not $109 billion worth. Most of the wealth of people like Bezos consists of shares in the companies they started, which were initially worth zero. It is other people’s recent valuations of those shares on the stock exchange that we are quoting. The figures come from multiplying the last traded parcel of shares by the total number of shares owned – not from any realistic offer to purchase the whole company.

Somebody like Bezos does not normally keep a spare $8 billion under the mattress, just in case Uncle Sam asks for it. In order to raise that money, he would have to sell down some of the stock of his company, and probably much more than $8 billion worth at the current valuation. But who would buy them?

When you credibly threaten to confiscate wealth, valuations can plummet. Not to mention the fact that all other billionaires (at least American ones) would be in the same predicament, being forced sellers of large portions of their own stocks.

Perhaps during the initial rounds of the tax, there may be some small investors, small enough to be flying below Sanders’s radar for the time being. But if these shareholders thought they could do a better job running those companies, they could just buy those shares on the open market right now. By not doing so in an un-coerced market, they are indicating that they feel less competent than the current owners.

So over time, it would be unlikely that any new Amazons or Apples would be started, and existing firms would be placed in ever less capable hands, with ever lower valuations as the wealth tax works its way down the line from billionaires to millionaires.

Sanders would either have to tax a vastly diminished pie or ask foreign investors to buy up US firms or, more likely, just confiscate shares directly and nationalize the companies. After a very short time, these companies would end up being majority-owned by the state – a veritable “trillionaire.”

Who’s Best Suited to Run a Business?

But perhaps you agree with Sanders that billionaires should not even exist, so it is still worth it anyway, regardless of how much tax is raised. The key question is, would the state do a better job running those companies than the entrepreneurs who started them or the investors who may have voluntarily bought them?

This is an important question, since these companies were started to provide goods and services to the masses, so it is the poor and middle class who will suffer if they do not operate efficiently. But now, instead of being run by competent, productive, future-oriented billionaires, these companies would be managed by an incompetent, non-productive, ultra-short-term-oriented trillionaire institution.

A billionaire businessperson could, if they wanted to, spend their fortune building statues of themselves. But that would only be a drain on the wealth they had acquired through previous rounds of serving customers. They would quickly find that it does not generate new income, and would promptly stop, choosing instead to invest in ways that expand the business by serving even more people. There is an effective feedback loop to weed out unproductive choices and reward productive ones.

But the state, for its entire existence, has had the privilege of being able to just confiscate any resources it wants and order them to be used in any way its rulers direct. It can choose to build statues, pyramids, or whatever it wants, whether or not it serves real consumer needs. Neither does it have to worry about competition from new entrants doing a better job; it can just ban them. Since nobody gets to choose whether to commit the resources or buy the finished goods, there is no way of knowing whether those resources were spent wisely or poorly.

This does not mean people in government don’t make any good decisions. They will stumble upon some good ones over time. But the people involved do not bear any direct consequences for their bad decisions, and neither are they directly rewarded for their good decisions. They have less effective mechanisms for weeding out the bad decisions and doubling down on the good ones. There is more incentive for managers and employees to make their own job more comfortable and less demanding, and there is less consequence for leaving customers twisting in the wind.

In short, a wealth tax means state-owned enterprises, and a state-owned enterprise can get away with being unresponsive, self-absorbed and lazy.

If you dislike productive billionaires, you ought to be 1,000 times more suspect of confiscatory trillionaires.

October 6, 2019. Tags: , , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Communism, Economics. Leave a comment.

Bernie Sanders wants to do the same things to the U.S. that Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro did to Venezuela

Bernie Sanders has described his proposals for the Green New Deal on his website. (Original, archive.)

And here is a link to a blog post that I wrote about the things that Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro did in Venezuela. It includes links to verify each and every one of my claims.

The two things are very similar in many ways.

Both Chavez’s and Sander’s plans call for massive government control of the agricultural, energy, transportation, manufacturing, construction, and steel industries.

Both plans call for replacing the free market with government decision making.

In the U.S., lots of people on the political left praised Hugo Chavez’s actions in Venezuela. In addition to the many college professors and social justice warriors who praised Chavez, Chavez also received praise from Sean Penn, Oliver Stone, Naomi Campbell, Michael Moore, Don King, Noam Chomsky, and Danny Glover.

The things detailed in Sanders’s plan sound a lot like the things that Chavez was talking about when he started implementing his policies. Before Chavez died, he personally chose Nicolas Maduro to be his successor. Since Chavez died in 2013, Maduro has been continuing Chavez’s policies.

The results of these policies in Venezuela have been horribly disastrous.

For example, in May 2017, the Washington Post reported:

In a recent survey of 6,500 Venezuelan families by the country’s leading universities, three-quarters of adults said they lost weight in 2016 — an average of 19 pounds… a level of hunger almost unheard-of outside war zones or areas ravaged by hurricane, drought or plague.

Then in February 2018, Reuters reported:

Venezuelans reported losing on average 11 kilograms (24 lbs) in body weight last year… according to a new university study…

That’s 43 pounds in two years.

You can read all about how this came to be in my blog post.

And then you can read about Sander’s proposals in his very long and detailed article on his website. (Original, archive.)

Just as huge numbers of progressives and other left wingers in the U.S. had praised Chavez’s policies, a lot of these same people are now praising Sanders’s proposals.

Both Chavez’s and Sander’s policies have massive government takeovers of the agricultural, energy, transportation, manufacturing, construction, and steel industries. Both plans involve replacing the free market with government control.

What makes Sanders think that the results of his policies would be any different than the results of the policies of Chavez and Maduro?

In fact, Sanders actually said that it was a “good thing” when people have to wait in line for food.

These are Sanders’s exact words:

“It’s funny, sometimes American journalists talk about how bad a country is, cause people are lining up for food. That’s a good thing! In other countries people don’t line up for food: the rich get the food and the poor starve to death.”

You can see and hear Sanders saying those words in this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJBjjP8WSbc

Here’s a photograph from 2014 of people in Venezuela waiting in line for food: (posted here under fair use from http://www.businessinsider.com/long-food-lines-are-in-venezuela-2014-2 )

Sanders also said the following:

“You don’t necessarily need a choice of 23 underarm spray deodorants or of 18 different pairs of sneakers when children are hungry in this country.”

Well, as it turns out, the policies of Chavez and Maduro have caused a shortage of both deodorant and shoes in Venezuela.

Sanders has repeatedly criticized the existence of “millionaires and billionaires.” (Although he stopped doing so after the New York Times reported that he was one of them.)

Sanders defended his own millionaire status by saying the following:

“I wrote a best-selling book. If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too.”

I agree with Sanders.

But here’s the difference between what I believe and what Sanders believes: I believe that it’s a good thing when any person becomes a millionaire or billionaire by providing their customers with the goods and services that their customers choose to buy. By comparison, the only person whose millionaire or billionaire status Sanders has ever defended is his own.

Chavez and Maduro managed to scare many of the millionaires and billionaires, as well as their capital, investment, skills, innovation, and jobs, out of Venezuela. And when Chavez and Maduro scared away those millionaires and billionaires, they also scared away the production of the goods and services that those millionaires and billionaires had been engaged in.

Sanders wants to “break up big agribusinesses” and encourage “urban, rural, and suburban Americans” to “transform their lawns into food-producing … spaces.”

Chavez seized more than 10 million acres of farmland from private owners, and now Maduro is encouraging everyone to grow their own food.

The industrial revolution was powered by fossil fuels. Before the industrial revolution, 90% of people in the U.S. were farmers. Today, with the use of fossil fuels as both fertilizer and fuel, it only takes 2% of the U.S. population to feed the entire country. Truck drivers whose trucks are powered by fossil fuels then transport that food to the other 98% of the population.

Chavez reversed that trend in Venezuela, and now Sanders wants to do the same thing in the U.S. Just as the Venezuelan government took over big agribusiness and is now encouraging everyone to grow their own food, Sanders wants to do the same thing in the U.S.

Sanders wants to replace private automobile ownership with mass transit, even in “rural communities.” While I myself think that mass transit in densely populated cities is a great thing, I also understand that it’s not practical in “rural communities” with much lower population densities.

Chavez and Maduro caused sales of new cars to fall by 99.4%.

Sanders said:

“I favor the public ownership of utilities, banks and major industries.”

CNN reported that Sanders was in favor of nationalizing

“the energy industry, public ownership of banks, telephone, electric, and drug companies and of the major means of production such as factories and capital”

Chavez nationalized all of those things, and it destroyed each and every one of them. Venezuela now has long term, chronic shortages of pretty much everything.

In 2011, Sanders published the following on his official U.S. Senate website: (Original, archive.)

“These days, the American dream is more apt to be realized in South America, in places such as Ecuador, Venezuela and Argentina”

Of course, Sanders didn’t explain why so many Venezuelans have fled the country and relocated in the U.S.

Sanders also didn’t explain why no one in the U.S. is moving to Venezuela for these so-called better opportunities.

Sanders wants to get rid of fossil fuels.

Chavez and Maduro waged war against the oil industry, and now Venezuela has frequent blackouts.

After Chavez took over the country’s oil industry, he did such a terrible job of running it that he actually managed to create a shortage of gasoline in a country that has some of the world’s biggest oil reserves.

And that reminds me of this quote from Milton Friedman:

“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.”

So, to summarize:

1) Sanders said that it’s a “good thing” when people have to wait in line for food.

2) Sanders said that people have too many choices when it comes to deodorant and shoes.

3) Sanders hates millionaires and billionaires (not withstanding the singular exception of himself).

4) Sanders wants to replace the free market with government control of the agricultural, energy, transportation, manufacturing, construction, and steel industries.

5) Sanders wants to replace large scale, industrial farms with urban gardens where everyone grows their own food.

6) Sanders wants to reduce private ownership of automobiles, even in rural areas with low population densities, where mass transit is not practical.

7) Sanders wants to nationalize major industries.

8) After Chavez had already adopted many of his own destructive policies, Sanders specifically cited Venezuela as being better than the U.S.

The more and more that Sander’s proposals get examined, the more and more it becomes apparent that they resemble those of Chavez and Maduro.

Bernie Sanders wants to do the same things to the U.S. that Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro did to Venezuela.

September 3, 2019. Tags: , , , . Bernie Sanders, Economics, Venezuela. Leave a comment.

Bernie Sanders said it’s a “good thing” when people have to wait in line for food. Meanwhile, in the real world, this is what it’s actually like to wait in line for food in Venezuela.

Bernie Sanders said that it’s a “good thing” when people have to wait in line for food.

These are his exact words:

“It’s funny, sometimes American journalists talk about how bad a country is, cause people are lining up for food. That’s a good thing! In other countries people don’t line up for food: the rich get the food and the poor starve to death.”

You can see him saying it in this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJBjjP8WSbc

Meanwhile, in the real world, this is what it’s actually like to wait in line for food:

(more…)

August 8, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Communism, Economics, Social justice warriors, Venezuela. Leave a comment.

Hypocrite Bernie Sanders says it’s “not acceptable” that some of his employees have complained about getting paid less than $15 an hour

Bernie Sanders has repeatedly said that he wants the minimum wage to be raised to $15 an hour.

However, he pays some of his own employees only $13 an hour.

And he said it’s “not acceptable” that some of his employees have complained about this.

These are Sanders’s exact words:

“It does bother me that people are going outside of the process and going to the media. That is really not acceptable. It is really not what labor negotiations are about, and it’s improper.”

This makes Sanders a hypocrite in two ways.

First of all, he doesn’t pay his own workers the $15 minimum wage that he wants all other employers to pay.

And secondly, he’s against his own employees complaining about their pay, even though he has always supported free speech for everyone else’s employees who complain about their pay.

Of course this is also the same Bernie Sanders who repeatedly criticized “millionaires and billionaires,” but then hypocritically defended his own membership in that very same group after the media reported that he was one of them.

July 20, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Economics. Leave a comment.

In order for the women’s soccer team to be paid as much as the men’s team, at least one of these two things should have to happen

In order for the women’s soccer team to be paid as much as the men’s team, at least one of these two things should have to happen:

1) The women’s games generate as much advertising revenue as the men’s games.

2) The women’s team plays 25 games against the men’s team, and the women’s team wins at least 40% of those games.

July 9, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Economics, Sexism, Sports. 1 comment.

Attention banks! Do not give a mortgage to Simon Galperin!

A guy named Simon Galperin just wrote this article, which is titled, “I’m a 29-Year-Old With $235k in Student Debt. I’ll Never Pay It Back.”

Galperin’s statement that he will never pay back his student debt is not because of a medical issue that has rendered him unable to work.

Instead, his statement is proof that he is irresponsible, lazy, spoiled, and entitled.

He also says he believes that innocent taxpayers should be forced to pay off his student debt, so that he can then get a mortgage to buy a house.

If Galperin ever does apply for a mortgage to buy a house, I hope that any bank that considers giving him a mortgage will come across this article that he wrote, and realize that he is an absolutely horrible credit risk.

June 17, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Economics. 4 comments.

AOC and Bernie Sanders Don’t Understand Math

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajDfQ-hd3pQ

https://medium.com/@SenSanders/senator-bernie-sanders-and-representative-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-s-plan-to-stop-big-banks-and-1817c205587b

Senator Bernie Sanders’ and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Plan to Stop Big Banks and Payday Lenders from Ripping Off Americans

By Bernie Sanders

May 9, 2019

If you get a credit card from a store like Macy’s, Kohl’s, or Lowe’s, interest rates are even higher. Stores like these are charging customers an average interest rate of more than 27 percent. And many of the stores rely on these high-interest-rate cards for more than a third of their revenue. Incredibly, Macy’s earned almost 40 percent of its revenue from these cards and Kohl’s recently made 35 percent of its total profit from high-interest-rate cards.

What this means is that if you buy a $500 refrigerator from Lowe’s or Home Depot on one of their credit cards, you will likely owe an additional $136 in interest.

June 9, 2019. Tags: , , , , , . Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders, Economics, Politics. Leave a comment.

Trump’s Tariffs Have Already Wiped Out Tax Bill Savings for Average Americans

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/trump-tariffs-wiped-most-families-080000425.html

Trump’s Tariffs Have Already Wiped Out Tax Bill Savings for Average Americans

June 7, 2019

(Bloomberg) — President Donald Trump’s trade wars have already wiped out all but $100 of the average American household’s windfall from Trump’s 2017 tax law. And that’s just the beginning.

That last $100 in tax-cut gains could soon completely disappear — and then some — because of additional tariffs Trump has announced. If the president makes good on his threats to impose levies on virtually all imports from China and Mexico, those middle-earning households could pay nearly $4,000 more.

Subtract the tax cut, and the average household will effectively be paying about $3,000 more in taxes through additional levies on the products they consume.

“It’s giving with one hand and taking with the other,” said Kim Clausing, an economics professor at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, who has written a book promoting free trade.

Here’s how the math works. Middle earners got an average tax cut of $930, according to the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. The tariffs already in effect cost the average household about $831, according to research from the New York Federal Reserve.

China Goods

Add in the additional tariffs on another $300 billion in Chinese goods that Trump proposed in May and that increases the cost for the average family of four to about $2,294 annually, according to research from Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a coalition of business groups that oppose tariffs.

Trump has also threatened to levy tariffs on all imports from Mexico, starting with a 5% tax beginning as soon as Monday that would increase monthly to 25% by October. If the tariffs reach their highest level, that would increase costs for households by $1,700 annually, according to Gary Hufbauer, a senior fellow at the centrist Peterson Institute for International Economics.

The full force of the Chinese and Mexican tariffs and subsequent retaliation would mean that consumers are paying an additional $3,994 because of tariffs, more than four times the $930 tax cut for middle earners that the Republican Party touts as its signature legislative achievement.

The tariffs are “clearly demolishing” the benefits of the tax cuts for both businesses and consumers, said Daniel Ikenson, who directs trade policy at the libertarian Cato Institute. “Many households and consumers have been spared so far, but the next round of tariffs will be more problematic.”

In the beginning of the trade dispute, Trump and his advisers sought to put tariffs on imports that consumers don’t directly buy, such as steel and aluminum. But as the trade feud with China has escalated, they ran out of non-consumer goods on which to put levies. The most recent round of announced tariffs includes consumer products, such as apparel, sporting goods and kitchen ware.

Trump’s most recent threat on all imports from Mexico would increase prices on cars and auto parts, televisions, phones and air conditioners, as well as produce, such as avocados, citrus and pineapples.

Only the top 5% of earners would continue to see a net tax cut of more than 1%, according to the right-leaning Tax Foundation. Tariffs would also depress wages by about 0.5% and result in the loss of nearly 610,000 full-time jobs, according to the foundation.

That creates political problems for Republicans in Congress who have continued to back Trump even as they disagreed with his trade policies. Republicans have cited the passage of the tax-cut law, low unemployment rates and wage increases as signs that Trump’s policies have buoyed the economy. But there are signs that support is beginning to fracture.

The tax cuts “vaulted America back into the most competitive economy,” said Representative Kevin Brady, a Texas Republican who led the passage of the tax cut legislation in the House. “Higher tariffs and the uncertainty that comes with trade disputes” hurt the economy, he said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged the administration this week to delay imposing the tariffs until Republicans in Congress could plead their case to Trump. Most Senate Republicans have objected to Trump’s use of tariffs to force tougher border enforcement by Mexico. Lawmakers are weighing moves to block the levies.

“This is a man-made disaster, because Donald Trump is not focused in any way on advancing a well-thought-out doctrine,” said Representative Hakeem Jeffries, a top Democrat from New York. “He seems to be carrying out at times personal vendettas, at other times political objectives and sometimes an effort to distract from the news of the day.”

Little Noticed

The effects of tariffs have yet to become noticeable to average consumers. That could soon change. The tariffs on goods from Mexico are slated to go into effect Monday, barring a last-minute deal between Mexican and U.S. negotiators. The Chinese tariffs hitting consumer goods could go into effect in the coming months.

Negotiators met for a second day Thursday to try to come to some agreement that would avert the tariffs. Mexico pushed for more time, but Vice President Mike Pence said the U.S. plans to impose tariffs on Monday.

“It’s not like all of sudden prices will jump 25%, but they could increase 10% or 11%,” said Brian Yarbrough, a senior equity analyst at Edward Jones, said of tariffs of 25% or more. “At some point, price increases will choke off demand, resulting in fewer sales.”

Republicans are hoping to campaign in 2020 on the message of a strong economy buoyed by their tax reductions and deregulation, which began two years ago. But the fresh sting of tariffs risk erasing any economic goodwill those policies generated.

“For the average household it will be a net loss, no doubt,” the Peterson Institutes’s Hufbauer said. “It will be painful.”

June 7, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , . Donald Trump, Economics. 2 comments.

Venezuela’s Collapse Is the Worst Outside of War in Decades, Economists Say

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/17/world/americas/venezuela-economy.html

Venezuela’s Collapse Is the Worst Outside of War in Decades, Economists Say

Butchers have stopped selling meat cuts in favor of offal, fat shavings and cow hooves, the only animal protein many of their customers can afford.

May 17, 2019

MARACAIBO, Venezuela — Zimbabwe’s collapse under Robert Mugabe. The fall of the Soviet Union. Cuba’s disastrous unraveling in the 1990s.

The crumbling of Venezuela’s economy has now outpaced them all.

Venezuela’s fall is the single largest economic collapse outside of war in at least 45 years, economists say.

“It’s really hard to think of a human tragedy of this scale outside civil war,” said Kenneth Rogoff, an economics professor at Harvard University and former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund. “This will be a touchstone of disastrous policies for decades to come.”

To find similar levels of economic devastation, economists at the I.M.F. pointed to countries that were ripped apart by war, like Libya earlier this decade or Lebanon in the 1970s.

But Venezuela, at one point Latin America’s wealthiest country, has not been shattered by armed conflict. Instead, economists say, the poor governance, corruption and misguided policies of President Nicolás Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chávez, have fueled runaway inflation, shuttered businesses and brought the country to its knees. And in recent months, the Trump administration has imposed stiff sanctions to try to cripple it further.
(more…)

May 20, 2019. Tags: , , , . Communism, Economics, Venezuela. Leave a comment.

A Simple Plan To Address The ‘Student Loan Crisis’

https://townhall.com/columnists/derekhunter/2019/04/25/a-simple-plan-to-address-the-student-loan-crisis-n2545285

A Simple Plan To Address The ‘Student Loan Crisis’

By Derek Hunter

April 25, 2019

It’s the greatest crisis facing the country today and threatens not only the present, but the future as well. It’s not the national debt, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, climate change, health care, or any of the other issues Democratic candidates for president routinely ramble about, no. This is something far more serious – people making informed, really bad choices. And the Democratic Party is rallying to their defense.

Out of pure self-loathing, I watched most of the 5-hour lovefest on CNN Monday with Democratic candidates for president. One hour each for Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg. These back-to-back town halls featured pre-selected questions from a screened audience of college students looking to government to solve their problems. Of course, government can’t solve your problems, especially when your biggest problem is looking to government to solve your problems.

Still, it was a look not only into the minds of the candidates, it was a look into the minds of people who, someday, will be in elected office themselves. It was scary.

A day after more than 300 people were killed in a terrorist attack because of their faith, I don’t remember a single question or statement from anyone about it. There were, however, a lot of questions about student loans.

Judging by the amount of coverage student loan debt has gotten this year, you’d think there were loan officers hiding in bushes outside of high schools waiting to jump out and force college bound seniors to sign their lives away to big banks.

That’s not happening, of course, students are signing those documents willingly after actively seeking out loans for college. But you’d never know it by the way the candidates talk about student loans.

The issue isn’t so much an issue as it is an opportunity to pander. Candidates dangle varying versions of loan forgiveness and “free” college to students with more debt than many companies as a way to buy votes. It’s also a way for Democrats to advance an idea that is at the core of progressive politics: no personal responsibility.

So much of what Democrats are pushing this year is designed to insulate people from the bad choices they make – don’t worry about consequences, government is here to “fix” it. It’s the “let mommy kiss your booboo” of 2020.

Nothing captures this attitude like student loan forgiveness. Fully informed people making bad choices to borrow more money than their education will ever be worth, flocking to politicians promising to make it all better.

Rather than stealing from taxpayers to absolve people of their bad decisions, here’s an alternative that will serve the much more important purpose of teaching future generations about responsibility: tell the truth.

One questioner at Monday’s CNN event asked what can be done for her. According to her question, she’d amassed $25,000 in loans for just her freshman year of undergraduate studies at Saint Anselm College, which cost $38,000 per year in 2017. Rather than pander to someone like this girl, all candidates, and all Americans, should ask her why in the hell she chose to attend such an expensive school. Ask what undergraduate degree she thought could justify such a move. These people need to be taught that a degree in interpretive dance or 1940s bisexual polar bear studies might make you super-woke in your Young Socialists of America drum circle, but they aren’t viable for future employment.

Additionally, every student with a complaint about student debt should be asked the following:

1. Why go to an expensive school if you can’t afford it without taking on massive debt?

2. Why would your parents allow you to choose a school if you have to take on upwards of $100,000 in loans?

3. Do you understand the concept of a loan?

Knowing those questions had to have gone through their heads at some point, they should then be asked why they should be absolved of their debts when they willingly and knowingly made bad decisions?

They won’t have an answer, at least not a good one.

Candidates should pat them on the back, tell them they’re sorry but there’s nothing they can do for them. Not everyone is meant to lead a life of example, some people serve as cautionary tales – so let it be with these people.

Future generations can learn from the high self-esteem, snowflake generation whose parents should have but didn’t tell them “no,” so they can avoid their mistakes. Unless you’re going to be roommates with the next Mark Zuckerberg, no undergraduate education is worth $100,000 or more in debt. If you can’t pay for it with savings, scholarships, grants, and some moderate amount of loans, don’t go to that school. There are other options.

There should be no student loan forgiveness. It’ll be a tough lesson for kids to learn, but it’s one they need. Their parents failed them, their guidance counselors failed them, and they failed themselves. Let a group of liberal billionaires step-up, put their money where their mouths are and help, but don’t force an autoworker in Michigan or farmer in Wisconsin who’s helping their kid work their way through a state school or commuter college do it.

Choices have consequences, especially bad ones. At least they should. Government is supposed to protect people’s rights, not from themselves. And certainly not at the expense of everyone else. Let these people serve as an example of what not to do. It won’t help them, but it’ll do wonders for the next generation.

April 25, 2019. Tags: , , , . Economics, Education. 2 comments.

Next Page »