Be Brave – Nikki Haley

[BTW, she is my choice for Prez] Free speech and intellectual freedom are the civil rights issues of our time. Are you ready to defend them? That’s the question that former US Ambassador Nikki Haley poses in this challenging video.

The Sovietization of California (Rush Reads Prager)

The article Rush Limbaugh reads from can be found at CAPITALIST MAGAZINE. Some key parts are here:

The left’s claim to “follow the science” is a lie. The left does not follow science; it follows scientists it agrees with and dismisses all other scientists as “anti-science.”

Science does not say that eating inside a restaurant at least six feet from other diners, let alone outside a restaurant, is potentially fatal, but eating inside an airplane inches from strangers is safe.

Science does not say mass protests during a pandemic (when people are constantly told to social distance) are a health benefit, but left-wing scientists say they are — when directed against racism. In June, Jennifer Nuzzo, a Johns Hopkins epidemiologist, tweeted: “In this moment the public health risks of not protesting to demand an end to systemic racism greatly exceed the harms of the virus.” She cited )the former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tom Frieden:

  • “The threat to Covid control from protesting outside is tiny compared to the threat to Covid control created when governments act in ways that lose community trust. People can protest peacefully AND work together to stop Covid. Violence harms public health.”

Even The New York Times, in July, acknowledged the double standard:

  • “Public health experts decried the anti-lockdown protests as dangerous gatherings in a pandemic. Health experts seem less comfortable doing so now that the marches are against racism.”

Science does not say, “Men give birth” or, “Men menstruate.” But the left routinely argues that “science says” such things and that “science says” there are more than two sexes, many more….

 

Capitalism or Socialism: Which One Is More Democratic? (Prager U)

What is the difference between free-market capitalism and democratic socialism? And which system is actually more fair and responsive to the needs of the people? Here’s a hint: names can be deceiving. Dinesh D’Souza has the answers.

Larry Elder vs. Michelle Obama (Or, Reason/Evidence vs. Rhetoric/Lies)

Larry Elder goes through the most recent “pro-Biden Screed” by Michelle Obama. Larry Elder lays out a negative and positive case for Trump… but even with Trump’s negatives, he is far better than Biden [now] and Hillary [previously]. Let me say also, while I can tell when Prager gets mad about a subject… people show anger in differing ways. I believe this is about the most upset that I have heard Larry on a topic. It may not sound like it — but I have been listening to the many for YEARS.

“Burn Down This System” Chair of BLM for N.Y. (Larry Elder)

The chair of Black Lives Matter for Greater New York said recently on Fox News, “If the country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system.” He said he could be speaking figuratively or literally, saying “it’s a matter of interpretation.” To help assess these statements, Larry Elder takes a look at some of the demands from the group.

Red States vs. Blue States (Supply-n-Demand)

I wanted to share two articles to exemplify and introduction to a HERITAGE FOUNDATION article about competition between states. The first is this article found over at HOT AIR, and it shows the damage that distortions to supply and demand for some sort of egalitarian or environmental concern can have on productive endeavors that increase the wealth of the common man. Wealth creation in other words:

If you know anything about New York in the modern era (both the state and the Big Apple), you’re likely aware that it’s not exactly a friendly landscape for the oil and gas industry. The “Keep it in the ground” crowd has a lot of influence with the Democrats who control the government. That[‘s] why, back in 2013, when the new Constitution Pipeline was proposed to carry natural gas from Pennsylvania’s rich shale oil fields to New York, activists were able to block the construction despite it already having been approved by federal regulators. Similarly, when National Grid (the local energy consortium) requested an extension to the Williams Co. Transco pipeline, they were also tied up because of the outcry from environmental activists.

Here comes the surprise that nobody could have possibly seen coming. The city and its surrounding downstate region are still expanding with new construction projects, but their energy suppliers have told them that they will not be able to supply natural gas to any new customers because they’re already at capacity. (NY Post)

Long Islanders were recently hit with bad news. National Grid, which provides natural gas for nearly 600,000 Long Island residents, announced it won’t be able to provide fuel for new customers if the proposed Williams Co. Transco pipeline expansion isn’t approved by May 15.

Earlier this year, energy company Con Ed imposed a similar moratorium on new natural-gas service in parts of Westchester County due to limited capacity on existing pipelines. These crises are completely avoidable…

For too long, politicians like Gov. Andrew Cuomo and their ill-considered energy policies have hampered the development of safe, efficient energy infrastructure, subjecting American consumers to unnecessarily high energy costs and unreliable service.

So you don’t want pipelines, eh? But you say you’d like to build more houses, apartments and office buildings? Well, you’d better figure out how to cook your food and heat your living spaces with solar panels pretty quickly because (to borrow a phrase from GoT) winter is coming. And so is lunchtime…..

The second article deals with on the one hand a Utopian [mis]understanding of alternative energy and it’s own “supply-and-demand” features built into the environmentalist hypothesis (that in the end do not fit reality). I have said for years that the supply of heavy metals and lithium which are the main ingredient to make power cells for cell phones and laptops (small/reasonable), to a whole swath of them in rows in electric cars (unreasonable).

Let me explain why I just said “unreasonable.” These ventures with Tesla and other manufacturers of electric vehicles are not a “supply-and-demand” by the free market. These ventures into wind, solar, and electric vehicles ONLY EXIST because our government has funded their “viability” in a world that if left to stand on their own would go out of business. The technology is old and never really worked, and the only people that buy Teslas, as an example, are the rich, and they are given a form of welfare to do so. (In other words, the rich are getting a form of bailout by environmentalists that say the rich are ruining the environment.)

Here is POWERLINE’S article in part:

“Green” advocates aspire to power the entire U.S. electrical system with wind and solar energy. How are they going to do that, given that wind turbines produce electricity only around 40% of the time, and solar panels produce electricity, in most areas, less than 25% of the time? The truthful answer is that whenever utilities build (or contract with) a wind farm or a solar installation, they also build a natural gas plant to provide electricity during the majority of the time when the “green” resources are idle. This is why wind and solar energy, unlike nuclear power, actually lock us into fossil fuel use for the indefinite future.

Of course, green power advocates don’t admit that they plan on using natural gas forever. They hold out hope that electricity produced by wind and solar facilities will be stored in batteries–giant ones, I assume–so that it can be used when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. No such batteries exist, of course, which is why they are not already in use. And any existing or foreseeable battery technology would rely on vast amounts of lithium, which must be mined.

Currently, the Chinese are “rush[ing] to dominate the global supply of lithium.” We do have lithium deposits in the United States, notably in the Panamint Valley of California. The Los Angeles Times reports: “A war is brewing over lithium mining at the edge of Death Valley.”

Recently, the Australia-based firm Battery Mineral Resources Ltd. asked the federal government for permission to drill four exploratory wells to see if the hot, salty brine beneath the valley floor contains economically viable concentrations of lithium. …

The drilling request has generated strong opposition from the Center for Biological Diversity, the Sierra Club and the Defenders of Wildlife, who say the drilling project would be an initial step toward the creation of a full-scale lithium mining operation.

That is the idea, I suppose.

[….]

Does it matter? There is great demand for lithium used in existing technologies–phones, laptops, electric vehicles, and so on. But the idea that batteries of any foreseeable design will combine with wind turbines and solar panels to satisfy America’s need for electricity is a fantasy. For one thing, batteries of the requisite capacity would be prohibitively expensive. It has been calculated that, using the most advanced battery technology on the market, Tesla’s 100 MW, 129 MWh battery in use in South Australia, it would cost $133 billion to store the electricity needs of my state, Minnesota, for 24 hours. That is more than one-third of the state’s annual GDP…..

AGAIN, the immutable law of supply-and-demand will come into play in rising prices of “alternative energy” and scarcity of availability… based on egalitarian environmental concerns. N O W, here is the intro to the HERITAGE FOUNDATION article noting the differences between blue-state policies and red-state policies… much of which is based on supply-and-demand regarding energy needs:

The competition among the states is becoming more intense as businesses become more mobile. Toyota and Boeing are two high-profile employers in America that have crossed state borders because of the policy advantages of one state over another. Toyota moved from high-income-tax California to no-income-tax Texas, and Boeing, based in Washington, a forced-union state, opened a new plant in South Carolina, which has a right-to-work (RTW) law. Texas Governor Rick Perry and California Governor Jerry Brown have openly sparred in recent years about which state is more pro-business. Interstate competition allows governors and legislators to learn from each other about which policies create wealth and which policies diminish wealth inside their borders.

In recent years, governors have generally divided into two competing camps, which we call the “red state model” and the “blue state model,” raising the stakes in this interstate competition. The conservative red state model is predicated on low tax rates, right-to-work laws, light regulation, and pro-energy development policies. This policy strategy is now common in most of the Southern states and the more rural and mountain states. Meanwhile, the liberal blue state model is predominantly found in the Northeast, California, Illinois, Minnesota, and, until recently, Michigan and Ohio. The blue states have doubled down on policies that include high levels of government spending, high income tax rates on the rich, generous welfare benefits, forced-union requirements, super-minimum-wage laws, and restrictions on oil and gas drilling.

In no area are the effects of these competing models more evident than in tax policy changes of recent years. California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, and Oregon have raised their income tax rates on “the rich” since 2008.[1] In four of these states, the combined state and local income tax rate exceeds 10 percent, reaching 13.3 percent in California and 12.7 percent in New York.[2] Meanwhile, the “red states” of Arizona, Arkansas,[3] Kansas,[4] Missouri,[5] North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Idaho[6] have cut their tax rates. This has widened the income tax differential between blue states and red states for businesses and upper-income families.

Similarly, red states such as Oklahoma, Texas, and North Dakota have embraced the oil and gas drilling revolution in America. Blue states such as New York, Vermont, Illinois, and California have resisted it. Blue states have raised their minimum wages; red states generally have not.

In this study, which is a summary of our recent book with Rex Sinquefield and Travis Brown, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of States: How Taxes, Energy, and Worker Freedom Will Change the Balance of Power Among States, we examine whether these policy differentials matter and, if so, by how much.

The answer is that the states’ policy choices on taxes, regulation, energy policy, labor laws, educational choice, and so forth have a large and in most cases a statistically significant impact on the prosperity of states over each 10-year time frame examined on a rolling basis from 1970 to 2012. There are always exceptions to the rule, but in most cases the red state model is substantially outperforming the blue state model.

We find in particular that two policies matter most. Right-to-work states substantially outperform non–right-to-work states, and states with no or low income taxes have a much better economic record than high-income-tax states…..

Capitalism vs. Socialism (Prager U)

Decades after capitalism seemed to have triumphed over socialism, politicians are once again arguing about the merits and drawbacks of these opposing economic systems. Why are we still having this debate? Andy Puzder, former CEO of the parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., explains the misconceptions that keep the debate alive.

Texas vs California Bullet Trains

Larry Elder discusses two paths to Bullet Trains with Professor of Economics, University of California, Los Angeles and Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University — Lee Ohanian. Dr. Ohanian catches us up with the latest regarding Trump’s economy as well. I haven’t done audio of the sage for a while (job change), but it is good to catch up with this run. Here is the professors article on the trains:

The Bible Assumes Private Property and Business Ownership

(Originally posted February 2011)

Here is a great quote from Dr. Grudem:

A. PRIVATE PROPERTY

According to the teachings of the Bible, government should both document and protect the ownership of private property in a nation.

The Bible regularly assumes and reinforces a system in which property belongs to individuals, not to the government or to society as a whole.

We see this implied in the Ten Commandments, for example, because the eighth commandment, “You shall not steal” (Exod. 20:15), assumes that human beings will own property that belongs to them individually and not to other people. I should not steal my neighbor’s ox or donkey because it belongs to my neighbor, not to me and not to anyone else.

The tenth commandment makes this more explicit when it prohibits not just stealing but also desiring to steal what belongs to my neighbor:

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s” (Exod. 20:17).

The reason I should not “covet” my neighbor’s house or anything else is that these things belong to my neighbor, not to me and not to the community or the nation.

This assumption of private ownership of property, found in this fundamental moral code of the Bible, puts the Bible in direct opposition to the communist system advocated by Karl Marx. Marx said:

The theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: abolition of private property.

One reason why communism is so incredibly dehumanizing is that when private property is abolished, government controls all economic activity. And when government controls all economic activity, it controls what you can buy, where you will live, and what job you will have (and therefore what job you are allowed to train for, and where you go to school), and how much you will earn. It essentially controls all of life, and human liberty is destroyed. Communism enslaves people and destroys human freedom of choice. The entire nation becomes one huge prison. For this reason, it seems to me that communism is the most dehumanizing economic system ever invented by man.

Other passages of Scripture also support the idea that property should belong to individuals, not to “society” or to the government (except for certain property required for proper government purposes, such as government offices, military bases, and streets and highways). The Bible contains many laws concerning punishments for stealing and appropriate restitution for damage of another person’s farm animals or agricultural fields (for example, see Exod. 21:28-36; 22:1-15; Deut. 22:1-4; 23:24-25). Another commandment guaranteed that property boundaries would be protected: “You shall not move your neighbor’s landmark, which the men of old have set, in the inheritance that you will hold in the land that the LORD your God is giving you to possess” (Deut. 19:14). To move the landmark was to move the boundaries of the land and thus to steal land that belonged to one’s neighbor (compare Prov. 22:28; 23:10).

Another guarantee of the ownership of private property was the fact that, even if property was sold to someone else, in the Year of Jubilee it had to return to the family that originally owned it:

It shall be a Jubilee for you, when each of you shall return to his property and each of you shall return to his clan (Lev. 25:10).

This is why the land could not be sold forever: “The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine. For you are strangers and sojourners with me” (Lev. 25:23).

This last verse emphasizes the fact that private property is never viewed in the Bible as an absolute right, because all that people have is ultimately given to them by God, and people are viewed as God’s “stewards” to manage what he has entrusted to their care.

The earth is the LORD’S and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein (Ps. 24:1; compare Ps. 50:10-12; Hag. 2:8).

Yet the fact remains that, under the overall sovereign lordship of God himself, property is regularly said to belong to individuals, not to the government and not to “society” or the nation as a whole.

When Samuel warned the people about the evils that would be imposed upon them by a king, he emphasized the fact that the monarch, with so much government power, would “take” and “take” and “take” from the people and confiscate things for his own use:

So Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking for a king from him. He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots. And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. He will take your male servants and female servants and the best of your young men and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD will not answer you in that day” (1 Sam. 8:10-18).

This prediction was tragically fulfilled in the story of the theft of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite by Ahab the wicked king and Jezebel, his even more wicked queen (see 1 Kings 21:1-29). The regular tendency of human governments is to seek to take control of more and more of the property of a nation that God intends to be owned and controlled by private individuals.

SOCIALISM likewise is the taking over of private property, industry, and the capital of a man’s labor. Here is a good working definition of socialism followed by Professor Richards describing it as well:

In order to have a “favorable” view of socialism one must have either forgotten what the entire world learned about socialism from the late nineteenth century on, or have never learned anything about it in the first place. The latter is obviously true of much of the younger generation.

Socialism started out being defined as “government ownership of the means of production,” which is why the government of the Soviet Union confiscated all businesses, factories, and farms, murdering millions of dissenters and resisters in the process. It is also why socialist political parties in Europe, once in power, nationalized as many of the major industries (steel, automobiles, coal mines, electricity, telephone ser­vices) as they could. The Labour Party in post-World War II Great Britain would be an example of this. All of this was done, ostensibly, in the name of pursuing material “equality.”

In the foreword to the 1976 edition of his famous book, The Road to Serfdom, Nobel laureate economist Friedrich Hayek wrote that the definition of “socialism” evolved in the twentieth century to mean income redis­tribution in pursuit of “equality,” not through govern­ment ownership of the means of production but through the institutions of the welfare state and the “progres­sive” income tax. The means may have changed, but the ostensible end—equality—remained the same.

Hayek’s mentor, fellow Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, explained in his classic treatise Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis, that the wel­fare state, the “progressive” income tax, and especially pervasive government regulation of business were all tools of “destructionism” in the eyes of the socialists of his day. That is, he observed that the proponents of socialism always employed a two-pronged approach: (1) the government takeover of as many industries and as much land as possible, and (2) attempts to destroy existing capitalist societies with onerous taxes, regula­tions, the welfare state, inflation, or whatever they thought could get the job done.

Thomas J. DiLorenzo, The Problem with Socialism (New Jersey, NJ: Regnery, 2016), 4-5.

Democrats Favor Socialism Over Capitalism… Sorta

Here Dennis Prager discusses a recent poll showing that Democrat are in LOVE with socialism. USA TODAY notes the following about the poll:

According to a Gallup poll published Monday, a majority of Democrats no longer hold a positive view of capitalism, while nearly 60 percent of them feel good about socialism. More than 70 percent of Republicans, on the other hand, see capitalism positively, while only 16 percent of them have a positive view of socialism.

The positive view of socialism among Democrats, and those who lean Democrat, actually dropped a point from 58 percent in 2016. But in those same two years, positive feelings about capitalism plummetted from 56 to 47 percent

At one point Prager notes that socialism hasn’t made one dime in money… which made me think of this quote from an excellent book:

  • A 2009 study by the Swedish Economic Association discovered that the Swedish economy had failed to create any new jobs on net from 1950 to 2005. Thanks to conservative reforms, however, progress was finally being made, and Sweden’s national debt went from 80 percent of GDP in 1992 to 40 percent by 2008.

Thomas J. DiLorenzo, The Problem with Socialism (New Jersey, NJ: Regnery, 2016), 79.