Armstrong and Getty react to and read from a few articles making the point that out of almost all nations of comparable size, we are #1 in infrastructure soundness. Here are some of the articles read from (note, stories go in order of: Left Leaning; Libertarian; Conservative)
No, America’s Infrastructure Is Not ‘Crumbling’ (WASHINGTON POST at FREE MEDIA: reproduced below)
Our Infrastructure Is Not ‘Crumbling.’ Repeat: Our Infrastructure Is Not ‘Crumbling’ (REASON)
End of the Runway: Rethinking the Airport Improvement Program and the Federal Role in Airport Funding (HERITAGE FOUNDATION)
One of my beefs, as an example, is this:
A few days after the Chicago City Council approved a $1.3 million legal defense fund to help illegal immigrants facing deportation, officials in Los Angeles unveiled their version with more than seven times the money. It appears to be a growing trend of using public funds to protect those who have violated federal law. The offenders are municipalities that have long offered illegal aliens sanctuary and an array of taxpayer-funded benefits.
Shortly after the city announced its fund, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors offered to kick in another $3 million to provide lawyers for illegal aliens that may face removal under the new administration. The board voted 4-1 in favor of contributing to the L.A. Justice Fund. The supervisor who voted against it, Kathryn Barger, said it’s irresponsible for the board to allocate funding for such a program.
That is a lot of funds that could have been used for city and county infrastructure projects instead of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Why do I say TDS? Because Obama deported more people than Trump… and not a single public money program was spent on legal defense of ILLEGALaliens.
We already spend almost 500-Billion on infrastructure, and Biden’s “Build Back Better”/Partly The Green New Deal, spends “Only $110 billion of the so-called $1 trillion-plus bipartisan infrastructure package goes toward road, bridges, and other major projects that the American people generally consider ‘infrastructure,’” (BREITBART)…. over ten years.
The WASHINGTON POST story that the ARMSTRONG and GETTY SHOW read from, but it is behind a paywall. So the following is an unlocked version of it.
No, America’s Infrastructure Is Not ‘Crumbling’ (FREE MEDIA)
By Charles Lane,
The United States covers 3.8 million square miles, with 95,471 miles of shoreline and about 12,000 miles of commercially navigable inland waterways; it soars from 282 feet below sea level in Death Valley to 20,310 feet above sea level at Mount Denali.
Knitting this vast and varied territory together are 2.7 million miles of paved roads, more than 500 commercial airports, more than 615,000 bridges, approximately 140,000 miles of freight railroad and more than 300 ports on the coasts, Great Lakes and inland waterways.
Miraculous as these engineering marvels are, it would be even more amazing if some U.S. infrastructure — e.g., the Boston-to-Washington passenger rail corridor, the up to 10 million homes that still get their water through lead pipes, or Texas’s electrical grid — did not need expensive modernization or replacement.
Yet the task before us is not to rescue a neglected, “crumbling” system, as President Biden put it while announcing his $2 trillion American Jobs Plan — in rare agreement with his predecessor, Donald Trump, who pitched his own infrastructure bill (without success) by talking about tiles falling from the ceiling inside New York City’s tunnels.
The real challenge is to take what is by any reasonable measure the best, or nearly the best, infrastructure in the world, and to sustain improvements that have already been occurring in recent years.
Biden warned that U.S. infrastructure is “ranked 13th in the world,” as if it were shameful to outscore about 90 percent of the 141 economies analyzed in 2019 by the World Economic Forum.
In fact, 13th place represents an upward shift of about 10 spots since the 2011-2012 WEF survey — and still underrates the United States.
Of the 12 economies the WEF ranked ahead of the United States in 2019, three — Singapore, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates — are tiny coastal city-states. It’s patently spurious to compare their infrastructure challenges with those of the United States.
Among the 10 geographically largest countries, including Canada, Australia, China and Russia, the United States places first, based on WEF criteria. The United States is also top among the 10 most populous countries.
Relative to other wealthy countries, the United States does still trail the Netherlands, Switzerland, Japan, Korea, Spain, Germany, France, Austria and the United Kingdom. However, it’s more realistic to treat the six continental European countries in this group as a unit, since goods and people move through them freely, via the borderless Schengen area. (The European Union members partly share infrastructure costs.) Coupled with deletion of the aforementioned micro-states, this adjustment puts the United States in the top five.
WEF ratings rest largely on a subjective survey in which business executives rate their countries’ roads, ports, and air and rail services on a scale of 1 to 7. This tilts against the United States because the rail-quality question does not distinguish between passenger (poor in the United States but excellent in Europe) and freight (a U.S. strength).
The American Society of Civil Engineers, a pro-construction lobby, issues quadrennial, and unflattering, “report cards” on U.S. infrastructure, frequently cited in support of the “crumbling” talking point. The ASCE’s 2021 report card gave the United States a C-.
But that was the best grade in 20 years. “Five category grades — aviation, drinking water, energy, inland waterways, and ports — went up, while just one category — bridges — went down,” relative to ASCE’s 2017 report card, the organization acknowledged.
That lone downgrade (from C+ to C) occurred despite a decline in the share of highway bridges the U.S. government rates as “poor,” to just 7.5 percent, concentrated in lightly traveled rural areas. The ASCE complained, nevertheless, that “the rate of improvements has slowed,” while a small percentage of the nation’s bridges slipped from “good” to “fair.” (Both “good” and “fair” denote safe, usable structures.)
Talk about accentuating the negative! The impartial Congressional Research Service saw the cup half full in a May 2020 report, noting that “the number and share of bridges in poor condition have dropped significantly over the past 20 years,” and that “a relatively modest increase in spending” between now and 2040 could solve the problem.
As for interstate highways, a 2019 study by economists from the University of Pennsylvania and Brown University confirmed that “over the past generation, the condition of the interstate highway network improved consistently,” according to government data, even as “its extent increased modestly, and traffic about doubled.”
Obviously, all such assessments incorporate subjective judgments and debatable definitions. The big picture, though, is that the gigantic U.S. infrastructure is fundamentally sound — impressively, but not surprisingly, given that governments at all levels spent $370.5 billion on it in 2018, up from $284 billion in 2008, according to official data. Recent projects include the $8 billion modernization of New York’s LaGuardia Airport, a $4.4 billion bridge connecting Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, and a more than $2.4 billion overhaul of Central Florida’s I-4 highway.
To repeat: There’s no reason for complacency about U.S. infrastructure. Yet alarmist generalizations don’t help us identify the most pressing needs with the greatest potential economic benefits. They might pave the way to wasted resources and public disenchantment.
ARMSTRONG and GETTY SHOW read from the following article as well “Highways and Bridges Are Not Crumbling (REASON)“
One of the great myths of American politics, no matter who is president and no matter who runs Congress, is that our infrastructure is “crumbling.” Former President Barack Obama repeatedly warned us about our “crumbling infrastructure.” President Donald Trump now tells us that our infrastructure is “crumbling.” The next president is going to hatch a giant plan to fix our crumbling infrastructure as well, because most voters want to believe infrastructure is crumbling.
The infrastructure is not crumbling. Ask someone about infrastructure and his thoughts will probably wander to the worst pothole-infested road he traverses rather than the hundreds of roads he drives on that are perfectly safe and smooth. That’s human nature.
So “crumbling infrastructure” peddlers play on this concern by habitually agonizing over things like the impending outbreak of tragic bridge collapses that will kill thousands. They bring up tragedies like the 2007 disaster with the Interstate 35 bridge over the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis even though, according to federal investigators, the collapse was due to a design flaw rather than decaying infrastructure. Many outlets and politicians simply ignore the inconvenient fact that the rare fatality involving infrastructure typically has nothing to do with “crumbling” and everything to do with natural elements or human error.
In reality, the number of structurally deficient bridges, never high to begin with, has been dropping over the past 30 years despite all the hand-wringing. The overall number has fallen from over 22 percent in 1992 to under 10 percent in 2016. According to a Reuters analysis of those bridges, only 4 percent of those that carry significant traffic need repairs. Of the nation’s 1,200 busiest bridges, the number of those structurally deficient falls to under 2 percent—or fewer than 20 bridges in the entire country. And none of those bridges need repair to save them from collapse.
That has never stopped politicians from fearmongering, however. “Our roads and bridges are falling apart; our airports are in Third World condition,” Trump claimed during his 2016 campaign. Yet as the Heritage Foundation’s Michael Sargent points out, the percentage of airport runways deemed as poor has fallen from 4 percent in 2004 to 2 percent in 2016. And for the past 30 years, the number of “acceptable” or above roads has remained relatively consistent at approximately 85 percent.
Perhaps because they’re constantly being told that America’s roads are on the verge of disintegrating into dust, some voters aren’t aware that federal, state and local governments spent $416 billion on transportation and water infrastructure in 2014—around the same 2.4 percent of gross domestic product they’ve been spending for decades. About $165 billion of that $416 billion, incidentally, was spent on highways. (This doesn’t count the bipartisan Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act of 2015, which added another $305 billion over five years.)………..
A recent report from the RAND Corporation looks at America’s infrastructure and concludes that “not everything is broken.” In face, what is broken, more than the infrastructure itself, is “our approach to funding and financing public works.” This is largely because governments by-pass market signals and rely on “often complicated and multilayered governance arrangements and competing public goals and preferences” to make decisions about where to spend money.
For example, the report shows that government spending on infrastructure as a percentage of gross domestic product declined from a peak of 3 percent of GDP in 1960 to about 2.5 percent in 1980, and has hovered between 2.5 and 2.7 percent since then. But governments also made a clear trade-off in infrastructure spending: spending on roads declined from 1.6 percent of GPD in 1960 to around 1 percent in and since 1980, while government spending on mass transit grew from 0.1 percent in 1970 to 0.4 percent in and since 1980.
This would be fine if spending on mass transit had been as productive as spending on highways had been. But it wasn’t. Until the 2008 financial crisis, per capita driving continued to grow despite the lack of much capital spending on new roads, while per capita transit ridership was stagnant or declining. The report doesn’t have data after 2014, when per capita driving began to increase again while transit ridership began to collapse.
In an excellent Armstrong and Getty Show, audio of Seth Rogan as well as a refutation of critical race theory by Allen Guelzo on Fox News’ Martha MacCallum:
Allen Guelzo joined The Story with Martha MacCallum on Fox News to discuss the dangers of using critical race theory in school curriculums. Dr. Allen Guelzo is a visiting scholar in The Heritage Foundation’s Simon Center for American Studies and a Princeton University professor and acclaimed scholar of American history. (YOUTUBE)
(Originally aired 2017) The self-appointed leaders of Black Lives Matter say all they want is for people to know more about the high-profile murders of black men and women at the hands of police offices. But there’s a not-so-hidden agenda behind this Marxist-inspired revolutionary war on our peace officers.
This clip is from her original show aired in 2017 with CRTV, but it might as well have been produced today because everything she exposes in this clip is being manifest full throttle right now. As usual, this feisty little conservative firebrand is right on target! (FREEDOM FORUM)
Many good intentioned Americans have updated their social media status and purchased products to show support for #BlackLIvesMatter. But do they really know the radical leanings of the official organization?
We take you along to meet the self proclaimed marxist founders of Black Lives Matter and unpack some of their extreme leftist views.
The Architects of Woke series takes aim at far-left post-modernist and Marxist thinkers and activists responsible for the spread of identity politics from college campuses to society at large. “The 1619 Project’s Fake History”, covers the New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project. Directed by Nikole Hannah-Jones, the project attempts to reframe our understanding of American history by alleging the central event in the founding of the United States was the first importation of enslaved Africans to Virginia in 1619 and not the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The project has been notably criticized by esteemed historians for its factual errors. Despite this, schools across the nation have embedded the 1619 Project into their curriculums, perhaps endangering our nation’s understanding of its founding for generations to come…
Allen Guelzo joined The Buck Sexton Show shortly before the Pulitzer Prize Foundation announced that Nikole Hannah-Jones would be receiving the award for her 1619 essay. The NYT’s 1619 Project has been criticized by leading historians for its many factual inaccuracies.
Arthur Milikh joined the Ed Morrissey Show on Hot Air to debunk the myths outlined in the NYT’s 1619 Project and tell the true story about America’s founding.
There is a strong desire in Greenland for full independence—especially among Greenland’s political elite. Only one political party does not support independence (and that party holds only one seat in the 31-seat parliament).
For Greenland, the question is not if it will become independent, but when and how.
Few inside Greenland’s government think it is ready now, but Denmark’s official position is that Greenland can become independent whenever it pleases.
After Germany invaded Denmark in 1940, the U.S. quickly deployed forces to protect Greenland from Nazi Germany. Ever since, the U.S. has maintained a military presence on the island.
In 1946, the Truman administration tried, unsuccessfully, to buy the entire island from Denmark for $100 million. The U.S. was, however, granted long-term access to important military sites.
Today, the main U.S. military presence is at Thule Air Base in the north of the country. Thule also serves as a very important early warning radar and satellite tracking station for the protection of the U.S. homeland.
So while the U.S.-Greenland security relationship is already good, U.S. policymakers should use the president’s newfound interest in Greenland to advance closer economic relations with the country and expand America’s diplomatic presence there.
The only way to fly commercially to Greenland is from Iceland or Denmark, but that could change in the coming years. Greenland is set to begin construction on three new airports this year, to be finished in 2023 (in Qaqortoq in the south, in Nuuk the capital, and Ilulissat in the north).
Greenland’s government hopes the new airports will allow direct flights from North America and open up new opportunities for business and tourism.
The U.S. is also making new initiatives.
After years of putting it on the back burner, the Trump administration recently announced that the U.S. will maintain a part-time diplomatic presence in Greenland. This is something The Heritage Foundation has been calling for. While this is a very welcome first step, over time this should become an enduring and permanent presence.
The U.S. once had a consulate in Greenland, from 1940 to the early 1950s. Greenland is in America’s backyard and a critical part of America’s security architecture….
The whole “debacle” — so called — is putting Greenland’s interests first. I found out that apparently this has been in the works for some time. Since WWII in fact… as well as more recently (PJ-MEDIA):
….Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) took his two Harvard degrees over to The New York Times to explain just why our real estate mogul POTUS may be onto something.
After news leaked last week that President Trump had expressed interest in acquiring Greenland from Denmark, his critics predictably derided him as crazy. But once again, the president is crazy like a fox. The acquisition of Greenland would secure vital strategic interests for the United States, economically benefit both us and Greenlanders, and would be in keeping with American — and Danish — diplomatic traditions.
Strategically positioned in the Arctic Circle, Greenland has long attracted the attention of American policymakers. As far back as 1867, Secretary of State William Seward explored the acquisition of Greenland around the time that he negotiated the purchase of Alaska from the Russians. I myself raised the prospect of acquiring Greenland with the Danish ambassador just last year.
Take that, haters!
This country has needed some big, original thinking for a long time now. While the liberals are forever looking for new ways to suck the joy out of our lives and diminish American achievement, Trump’s all, “You know…Greenland is just sitting there.”
We haven’t done a major real estate deal in over 150 years and we’re certainly not picking up any new territory via warfare these days, so buying Greenland is looking better and better if the U.S. is going to remind the world what’s what.
Sen. Cotton again:
America is not the only nation to recognize Greenland’s strategic significance. Intent on securing a foothold in the Arctic and North America, China attempted in 2016 to purchase an old American naval base in Greenland, a move the Danish government prevented. Two years later, China was back at it, attempting to build three airports on the island, which failed only after intense lobbying of the Danes by the Trump administration.
Beijing understands not only Greenland’s geographic importance but also its economic potential. Greenland is rich in a wide array of mineral deposits, including rare-earth minerals — resources critical to our high-tech and defense industries. China currently dominates the market in these minerals and has threatened to withhold them from us to gain leverage in trade negotiations. Greenland also possesses untold reserves of oil and natural gas.
It just got moved into the “No-Brainer” column, people…..
In other words… China is looking to the mineral rich and strategically powerful option of Greenland… why shouldn’t we? In fact, this geopolitical chess match with China has been going on (over Greenland) for a few years now. More on this in the Washington Times article below.
The WASHINGTON TIMES (the indomitable Tammy Bruce in fact) notes that Greenland is mismanaged by Denmark:
…But this usual panic from the jealous chattering class once again reveals the Democrats and envious Trump haters’ biggest unforced error — constantly underestimating Donald Trump. This requires deliberately maintaining a remarkable ignorance about the economic and national security issues we face as a nation.
One of those issues is the vital importance of Greenland, its horrible mismanagement as the Danish elite virtue signal about their environmentalism, condemning its 55,000 residents to poverty-stricken lives, and the national security risks economic dereliction invite. The incompetence ruining Greenland, in fact, compelled Greenlandic officials to reach out to China as they searched for a Sugar Daddy to fund infrastructure projects….
The WT’scontinues with the strategic infighting over the territory:
…what’s worth knowing is what precipitated the president’s comments. In 2017, Greenland’s prime minister flew to China and asked, as the Journal reported in February of this year, “Chinese state-run banks to finance the new commercial airports, including a big one for one of the smallest capitals on earth, Nuuk, which can now be served only by propeller planes. The bankers were interested, people at the meetings said, so long as a Chinese company constructed the airports.”
Reports indicate this action was triggered by Denmark refusing to help.
Then-Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis was not happy and convinced Danish officials to fund the infrastructure, sidelining China. This was an effort by China starting in 2018 and only ending when they officially withdrew in June of this year. For those who look past their shallow view of the United States and the administration, one would know it’s no coincidence that the president’s remarks on Greenland became public just two months after we successfully fought off China in their latest swing at the North American island….
Continuing still, the WASHINGTON TIMES notes the royal families response to the whole thing:
…After a few days of screeching from those paralyzed by Trump Derangement Syndrome, the Danish royal family is chiming in with comments indicating they may be moved by the art of the deal.
“In comments sent to Newsweek, along with other publications including The Sun, Dr. Princess Antonia of Schaumburg-Lippe … suggested the interest should be taken as a compliment. ‘A purchase offer is a compliment for magical Greenland, as only desirable areas receive offers,’ she said. ‘The people of Greenland should and can decide about their own destiny.’ Her son, Prince Mario Max Schaumburg-Lippe, added: ‘I love Greenland and want the beloved citizens there to be happy. ‘Whatever they feel best and decide, needs to be supported,’ ” the news magazine reported.
While Democrats and resisters continue to chase their tails, it would serve them well to stop and admit that American exceptionalism is back. For everyone.
On this episode of White House Brief [above], Jon Miller describes why Trump should take Greenland: ” President Trump canceled his trip to Denmark because of the prime minister’s rotten attitude over selling Greenland to us. America absolutely should acquire Greenland. It will capture our imagination and revitalize our spirit in a way not seen since the Louisiana Purchase.”
James Pinkerton over at BREITBART throws some “eco-unfriendly” water on the fire:
…Yet even from afar, we know that Greenland offers a fantastic development opportunity. And so, if the Danes are too green and politically correct to extract that wealth, perhaps the U.S. can blaze a rich new trail.
Of course, some will say that all this is a pipe-dream, even if the U.S. were to become sovereign in Greenland. That is, the greens in America would work just as hard as the greens in Denmark to stop any such development, preferring to leave Greenland as it is, undeveloped. Yes, American greens, backed up by numerous billion-dollar foundations, would do precisely that: They’d organize, agitate, and litigate to leave Greenland to the seals and polar bears.
So we can see: Green power is not to be underestimated. As a matter of fact, the greens are so powerful in the U.S. that they have, in much of the country, taken the issue of natural resource development off the table. That’s why, for example, efforts to fully exploit America’s hydrocarbon resources have been stymied. As has been pointed out by Breitbart News, the total value of oil and natural gas, under federal lands and waters, is $128 trillion. That’s a lot of wealth — six times America’s annual GDP, six times our national debt — and yet green power is such that few even talk about tapping into our natural abundance….
Pinkerton finishes his article with this:
…So let’s give Trump credit for his Greenland idea. Even if nothing comes of it during his presidency, he has expanded the “Overton Window” — that is, the range of acceptable political discourse — reminding us that greatness comes from expansion and innovation, not from contraction and enervation.
One fine day, development will come to Greenland, as well as to other desolate places. Such development can, and should, be done cleanly as well as profitably.
There may never be a Trump Tower in Greenland. But even so, the MAGA spirit could be extended to include the new phrase, MGGA — Make Greenland Great Again.
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.)
“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.
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. 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. Meanwhile, the “red states” of Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Idaho 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.
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…..
WASHINGTON — Medical doctors and a mom of a trans-identifying child are urging the government to shut down medical operations that are harming children.
Their efforts to resist the medicalization of gender has led them to discover that government-funded research now allows wrong sex hormones such as testosterone to be given to girls as young as 8.
At a Thursday panel at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, Dr. Michael Laidlaw addressed the medical harms of hormonal treatments and surgical interventions being performed on young people who believe they are the opposite sex. Doctors administering these treatments are advocating these harmful practices on increasingly younger children, he explained.
Today, medical scenarios such as girls as young as 13 and 14 undergoing double mastectomies and 17-year-old boys with penises of 9-year-olds, developmentally speaking, because of chemical puberty blockers, are now showing up, Laidlaw, a Rocklin, California-based endocrinologist, explained in his remarks.
To date, hormone blockers such as Lupron, which is used to treat both prostate cancer patients and children with precocious puberty, has never been through an FDA-approval process for the purpose of blocking normal puberty, and is prescribed off-label. Laidlaw refers to puberty blockers as a form of “chemical conversion therapy” and noted that the largest professional association for endocrinologists, The Endocrine Society, now recommends delaying puberty in gender dysphoric youth at Tanner stage 2, which is soon after the pubertal signals in the brain begin to occur.
The reason that Jazz Jennings, transgender star of the TLC series “I am Jazz,” has reportedly never had any sexual sensations or orgasms is because his natural puberty was halted at this stage and was not allowed to occur, the California doctor explained. These puberty-blocking drugs also disrupt normal brain and bone development, putting kids at future risk of osteoporosis, he said.
In England, Oxford professor Michael Biggs discovered through a freedom of information request that at the Tavistock gender clinic, children reported greater self-harm with these particular medications, and girls exhibited greater emotional problems and dissatisfaction with their bodies, Laidlaw noted.
“Now you’d think if you had these side effects of these medications, wouldn’t you want to stop?” Laidlaw asked.
During his presentation, he played video clips of two doctors active in the medical transitioning of children, Ilana Sherer and Johanna Olson-Kennedy.
Sherer explained that puberty blockers are given to children at age 8 or 9, when they are in third and fourth grades. Olson-Kennedy is doing a 5-year study, for which she has received a $5.7 million National Institutes of Health research grant, and in one of her publications, it shows that mastectomies have been done on girls as young as 13. In the clip Laidlaw showed, Olson-Kennedy is seen on tape insisting adolescents have the capacity to make life-altering decisions, including to have their breasts removed….
The HERITAGE FOUNDATION has a great article about marriage. There points are zeroes in on marriage and its positive effects on children. They also point out that since the “War on Poverty” was implemented by President Lyndon Johnson, this single motherhood % and poverty can be seen to be the most affected. In other words, when a mother has a child out of wedlock because the man knows he doesn’t have to pay the bills, society will make up for his selfishness, that child is most affected. So, if you truly care for the child (as progressives almost always say they are), stop the “War on Poverty” as we know it, and start the “War on Broken Families.”
….“Over a third of single-parent families with children are poor, compared to only 7 percent of married families. Overall, children in married families are 82 percent less likely to be poor than are children of single parents.”
Robert Rector’s study, “Marriage: America’s Greatest Weapon Against Child Poverty,” detailed the problem in each state and he concluded that the Feds need to focus on marriage more.
“Policymakers on the state and national levels recognize that education reduces poverty, but they’re largely unaware that marriage is an equally strong anti-poverty weapon,” said Rector, a nationally recognized authority on the U.S. welfare system.
Heritage said that “while more Americans grow dependent on welfare, government fails to communicate the benefits of marriage even as it warns young people not to smoke, do drugs, have “unsafe” sex, or drop out of school.” Rector calls this “tragic.”
Is this “new dynamic” good for the continued health of the American way, or will it push us further towards a European way of viewing society? Two Books I highly recommend will be after the video:
Although Kay wasn’t necessarily advocating for single parents, the statistics concerning that are scary (via SingleParentSuccess.org):
In 1995, nearly six of 10 children living with mothers only were near the poverty line. About 45 percent of children raised by divorced mothers and 69 percent by never-married mothers lived in or near poverty, which was $13,003 for a family of three in 1998.
75% of children/adolescents in chemical dependency hospitals are from single-parent families.
More than one half of all youths incarcerated for criminal acts lived in one-parent families when they were children.
63% of suicides are individuals from single parent families.
75% of teenage pregnancies are adolescents from single parent homes.
There’s no question that children growing up with both of their parents fare far better in life than any other domestic arrangement.
With such statistics readily available, it’s sad to see a member of the media call it old fashioned to marry before having kids.
THE BLAZE posts on this excellent response to a question at a Heritage Foundation panel. MOONBATTERY says this of Dr. Cretella: “Dr. Cretella is President of the American College of Pediatricians. No doubt social engineers are out for her head”.
Michael Medved responds to the food stamp issue that Democrats and the Left are bringing up. I take a clip from yesterday’s show and insert it into the middle of today’s show to give the listener some ammunition when these banal arguments come up. At the 5:17 mark, the caller mentions taxes for the millionaires as part of his argument. Medved Responds well to this challenge at the… and at the 6:24 mark you hear the caller respond with a bumper sticker jingle. In other words, talking about facts matters little to these people, but at least you will be able to influence those around you eavesdropping in on the conversation.
For some good food stamp news items, see FOX NEWS.
I posted this video on LIVELEAK, and a comment got me “clicking around” the internet to test what the person said. Here is the comment:
For every $1 spent on food stamps there’s a $1.80 stimulative effect to the economy. The poor person spends the funds at the grocery store, which allows the store to employ more people, the store spends the funds to buy more food which helps farmers and food producers. On the other hand, tax cuts for the wealthy have a negative effect on the economy, it just doesn’t trickle down enough so it drains economic growth. Plus it helps feed poor people that can’t afford to eat. — Warren H.
First, it should be noted that this idea was championed mainly by Moody’s chief economist Mark Zandi, a hard-core Keynesian. However, it should be noted that unfortunately “for Zandi, there has never been any empirical evidence of the Keynesian multiplier. Government doesn’t take one dollar and turn it into more by spending it. God doesn’t live in the White House, no matter how much Paul Krugman prays.” (AMERICAN THINKER)
…The Keynesian argument also assumes that consumption spending adds to immediate economic growth while savings do not. By this reasoning, unemployment benefits, food stamps, and low-income tax rebates are among the most effective stimulus policies because of their likelihood to be consumed rather than saved.
Taking this analysis to its logical extreme, Mark Zandi of Economy.com has boiled down the government’s influence on America’s broad and diverse $14 trillion economy into a simple menu of stimulus policy options, whereby Congress can decide how much economic growth it wants and then pull the appropriate levers. Zandi asserts that for each dollar of new government spending: temporary food stamps adds $1.73 to the economy, extended unemployment benefits adds $1.63, increased infrastructure spending adds $1.59, and aid to state and local governments adds $1.38. Jointly, these figures imply that, in a recession, a typical dollar in new deficit spending expands the economy by roughly $1.50. Over the past 40 years, this idea of government spending as stimulus has fallen out of favor among many economists. As this paper shows, it is contradicted both by empirical data and economic logic…
They then respond to the above:
The Evidence is In
Economic data contradict Keynesian stimulus theory. If deficits represented “new dollars” in the economy, the record $1.2 trillion in FY 2009 deficit spending that began in October 2008–well before the stimulus added $200 billion more–would have already overheated the economy. Yet despite the historic 7 percent increase in GDP deficit spending over the previous year, the economy shrank by 2.3 percent in FY 2009. To argue that deficits represent new money injected into the economy is to argue that the economy would have contracted by 9.3 percent without this “infusion” of added deficit spending (or even more, given the Keynesian multiplier effect that was supposed to further boost the impact). That is simply not plausible, and few if any economists have claimed otherwise.
And if the original $1.2 trillion in deficit spending failed to slow the economy’s slide, there was no reason to believe that adding $200 billion more in 2009 deficit spending from the stimulus bill would suddenly do the trick. Proponents of yet another stimulus should answer the following questions: (1) If nearly $1.4 trillion budget deficits are not enough stimulus, how much is enough? (2) If Keynesian stimulus repeatedly fails, why still rely on the theory?
This is no longer a theoretical exercise. The idea that increased deficit spending can cure recessions has been tested repeatedly, and it has failed repeatedly. The economic models that assert that every $1 of deficit spending grows the economy by $1.50 cannot explain why $1.4 trillion in deficit spending did not create a $2.1 trillion explosion of new economic activity.
CATO likewise notes that the numbers were fudged to provide exaggerated outcomes:
Food stamps are effective economic stimulus. Led by Mark Zandi and other Keynesian economists, food-stamp advocates have made wildly exaggerated claims about the program’s role in stimulating the economy. Zandi, for instance, claims that “extending food stamps is the most effective way to prime the economy’s pump.”
But aside from the fact that those economic models just as well predict an alien invasion would be a boon to the economy, there is little evidence to support the theory. Even the Agriculture Department’s own inspector general concluded that it was unable to determine whether the additional dollars in the stimulus’s food-stamp expansion were in any way effective in meeting the 2009 Recovery Act’s goals. Three of the four performance measures the program was supposed to use, the office found, “reflected outputs, such as the dollar amount of benefits issued and administrative costs expended” and did not provide any insight into outcomes.
On the other hand, we do know that a failure to get government spending under control will have long-term economic consequences. Food stamps are hardly the major cause of deficits and debt — that distinction lies with middle-class entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare — but every little bit helps.
Valerie Jarrett and Nancy Pelosi said similar things:
JARRETT: Let’s face it: Even though we had a terrible economic crisis three years ago, throughout our country many people were suffering before the last three years, particularly in the black community. And so we need to make sure that we continue to support that important safety net. It not only is good for the family, but it’s good for the economy. People who receive that unemployment check go out and spend it and help stimulate the economy, so that’s healthy as well.
PELOSI: Economists agree that unemployment benefits remain one of the best ways to grow the economy in a very immediate way. It immediately injects demand into our markets and increases employment. For every dollar spent on unemployment benefits, the economy grows by, according to one estimate, $1.52; by others, $2. So somewhere in that range, but much more than is spent on it…. We have a responsibility to the American people. These are people who have played by the rules, have lost their job through no fault of their own, and need these benefits in order to survive. So we must extend this insurance before the end of the year and we must extend it for at least a year. And I’d like to see that as we go forward before this year ends. Hopefully it could be part of a budget, but it doesn’t have to be part of a budget. It could be in its own vehicle as it goes forward, but it’s something we must consider.
Economists at the Heritage Foundation have written about this claim, explaining:
The theory behind extending UI [Unemployment Insurance] benefits as a stimulus assumes that unemployed workers will immediately spend any additional UI payments, instantly increasing consumption, boosting aggregate demand, and stimulating the economy.
This is not a new idea. Economists in the 1960s thought that unemployment insurance could function as an important automatic economic stabilizer. Empirical research in the 1970s demonstrated that this was not the case, and studies since then have concluded that unemployment insurance plays at best a small role in stabilizing the economy. Empirical research at the state level also finds that UI plays a negligible role in stimulating the economy.
Studies that have found that UI stimulates the economy effectively — such as studies by the Congressional Budget Office and economist Mark Zandi — rely on two faulty assumptions, thereby drawing a false conclusion:
They assume that unemployed workers spend every dollar of additional UI benefits almost immediately and that extending unemployment insurance does not affect workers’ behavior. In that case, every dollar spent on unemployment insurance adds a dollar to consumption without any direct effects on the labor market. Both assumptions are false.
Unemployment Insurance Prolongs Unemployment. One of the most thoroughly established results in labor economics is the effect of unemployment benefits on unemployed workers’ behavior. labor economists agree that extended unemployment benefits cause workers to remain unemployed longer than they otherwise would.
This occurs for obvious reasons: Workers respond to incentives. Unemployment benefits reduce the incentive and the pressure to find a new job by making it less costly to remain without work…..