‘It is one thing to wish to have truth on our side, and another thing to wish sincerely to be on the side of truth’. (Richard Whately)
In The Ultimate Resource, originally written in 1981, Julian Simon challenges the notion that humanity is running out of natural resources - click for a short summary, from where the below excerpt stems:
Based on preliminary research for The Ultimate Resource, Julian L.
Simon and Paul Ehrlich entered in a famous wager in 1980, betting on a
mutually agreed upon measure of resource scarcity over the decade
leading up to 1990.
Ehrlich was the author of a popular book, The Population Bomb,
which argued that mankind was facing a demographic catastrophe with the
rate of population growth quickly outstripping growth in the supply of
food and resources. Simon was highly skeptical of such claims.
Simon had Ehrlich choose five of several commodity metals. Ehrlich
chose 5 metals: copper, chromium, nickel, tin, and tungsten. Simon bet
that their prices would go down. Ehrlich bet they would go up.
The basket of goods, costing $1,000 in 1980, fell in price by over
57% over the following decade. As a result, in October 1990, Paul
Ehrlich mailed Julian Simon a check for $576.07 to settle the wager in
Another Nobel prize winner, Milton Friedman, commends Simon:
I think he probably should have
been considered for a Nobel Prize. He took a very independent position
with little backing, dug deep and provided very good evidence for his
predictions and expectations.
The basic point I believe in
your natural resource discussion is that the economic product in
question is not coal or oil or natural gas but energy.The question is, what is the
supply curve of energy? The use of coal or oil is a simply a means of
producing energy. The stock of coal, of oil, etc., is certainly in some
sense finite, but that doesn’t mean that the potential amount of energy
capable of being produced by whatever source is to be considered finite.Energy will be produced in
whatever way is cheapest at the time and as new means of producing
energy are discovered the particular mode of producing energy will
change from coal to oil to natural gas to atomic sources.
And on peak oil, as the current phrase goes, he notes:
... oil is not as an economic matter an
exhaustible resource. That result follows from the Hotelling
demonstration that an exhaustible resource will have a price that is
rising over time.
... a resource that is finite will
exhibit increasing relative prices over time. In fact, oil has not done
so; its price has been falling. Hence, the Hotelling analysis implies
that oil is not from an economic point of view a finite resource, that
it is a producible commodity like most others which has an elastic
supply curve, more elastic in the long run than in the short run.
On Morning Joe this morning, they showed a clip from the "Today" show showed Vice President Biden saying, "We are not there to nation build.
We're not out there deciding we're going to turn this into a
Jeffersonian democracy and build that country."
Did you get that? He says that nation-building is tough to sell to the American public, so therefore Biden is misrepresenting our ambitions in order to sell the war to the public. We are, according to him, indeed nation-building.
Hey Time, where are the pictures of the women and children who have been disfigured simply as a result the years and years of war in their country?
Some of us remember that a major factor in Gore's loss because Americans were tired of Clinton's nation-building. George W Bush ran on a platform that guaranteed we were done meddling in the international affairs of other sovereign nation. As politicians do, he reneged on that promise as quickly as he could. I can only pray that the GOP will make different decisions next time they're handed the keys to the tanks.
The Hill has a story about how another bill probably isn't going to make it through the Senate today, which is always good news.
Reid pulled $1.5
billion in disaster assistance for farmers from the bill in a
last-minute attempt to save it. A GOP senator suggested to Reid that
removing the provision sponsored by Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) could
have ended the filibuster.
The agriculture funds are designed
to keep farms operating while the Department of Agriculture implements
disaster funding included in the 2008 Farm Bill.
Did you get that? The funds that the farmers aren't getting are actually funds they claim to need to keep going while waiting for the government to pass out funds they were approved to get 2 years ago.
From 2003 to 2007, 893,658 major surgical operations were evaluated
using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) database: lung resection,
esophagectomy, colectomy, pancreatectomy, gastrectomy, abdominal aortic
aneurysm repair, hip replacement, and coronary artery bypass.
were stratified by primary payer status: Medicare (n = 491,829), Medicaid (n = 40,259), Private Insurance (n = 337,535), and Uninsured (n
= 24,035). Multivariate regression models were applied to assess
RESULTS:: Unadjusted mortality for Medicare (4.4%; odds ratio
[OR], 3.51), Medicaid (3.7%; OR, 2.86), and Uninsured (3.2%; OR, 2.51)
patient groups were higher compared to Private Insurance groups (1.3%, P
< 0.001). Mortality was lowest for Private Insurance patients
independent of operation. After controlling for age, gender, income,
geographic region, operation, and 30 comorbid conditions, Medicaid payer
status was associated with the longest length of stay and highest total
costs (P < 0.001). Medicaid (P < 0.001) and Uninsured (P <
0.001) payer status independently conferred the highest adjusted risks
of mortality. CONCLUSIONS:: Medicaid and Uninsured payer status confers
increased risk-adjusted mortality. Medicaid was further associated with
the greatest adjusted length of stay and total costs despite risk
factors or operation. These differences serve as an important proxy for
larger socioeconomic and health system-related issues that could be
targeted to improve surgical outcomes for US Patients.
So, Medicaid patients stayed in the hospital longer and incurred more costs than both the uninsured and the insured do, but died sooner. Medicare patients died sooner than people with real insurance.
So much for the "people without insurance are dying!" meme. Now it's "People with government insurance are dying!"
So by all means, lets get the government more involved in medicine. We can all die sooner (saving Social Security in the process) and pat ourselves on the back for making life death fair.
NJ Gov. Chris Christie on "Morning Joe": This teacher complaining, they're getting four-to-five percent salary increases a year in a zero percent inflation world; they get free health benefits from the day they're hired--for their entire family--until the day they die. They believe they're entitled to this shelter from the recession when the people who are paying for that shelter are the people who have been laid off, who have lost their homes, had their hours cut back, and all we asked them to do was freeze their salary for one year and pay one-and-a-half percent of their salary for their health benefits. For the average teacher in New Jersey, you're talking about $750 a year for full-family health coverage. Now, I don't think that's a lot to ask, and I don't think we can continue anymore to be having the good people of New Jersey who have been laid off and all the rest--as much as I love teachers--you know, everyone's got to be part of the sacrifice.
I think we've played some of this before, and had a little bit about Chris Christie. He may not be perfect, but I sure find him to be a breath of fresh air. Be sure to see read the whole thing at the link, and watch the video.
Admittedly, government by error is the typical mode of government. Nowadays, erroneous reigning is simply the key to success for government and those endeavouring to occupy the heights of government. The public like and support the habit, which is why I disagree with Randall Holcombe.
When President Obama demanded that BP turn over $20 billion to the
federal government to compensate those harmed by the oil spill, some
people called the president’s demand extortion, but BP quickly agreed,
and it should have. Everything about that arrangement is beneficial to
BP, and ultimately a liability for President Obama.
I would have thought, it's a tactical victory on the strategic path to transferring
judicial functions of government to the executive branch.
The author goes on in the next sentence to wonder:
This appears to be a tactical error made by the president. Trying to
look tough in a difficult situation, President Obama assumed for himself
a responsibility that should have been BP’s.
I am afraid, assuming responsibilities the executive branch, in fact, politics in general, ought not to assume is the main task of the rhetorically gifted meddlers that strive to end up in the Oval Office.
Does Holcombe not see that modern politics must incessantly increase its conceit and arrogance, its totalitarian reach? It cannot possibly sustain itself by demanding limits to its arrogation.
Complaints about the presidential intervention - a serious threat?
How many more years of worshiping the presidential father figure, how many more years of public enthusiasm for the visible hand do we need to recognise eventually that most of us wish for the strong, arbitrary hand.
Nothing would be easier for Washington to come up with convenient new allegations against BP, and enforce them in a show of courageously steadfast leadership.
Say what you will about Elizabeth Warren or the new Government (or really Fed Empowerment) financial legislation, but I think she nails it in regard to the next leg down in Real Estate. Between now and 2014, there is $1.4 trillion in commercial real estate loans that will come due. The property values are underwater and cannot be refinanced without banks taking yet more write-downs. So what you saw in 2007 for housing will happen again now. Get ready for TARP II.
In the summer of 2012, Barak Obama will ride a bulldozer with his hardhat on while tearing down a house in detroit. Now, to compete with that image, Mitt Romney will crash a wrecking ball into a 5 story tall building in the Detroit suburbs (but will do it without the helmet to protect his hairstyle.)
I think most of the movie is probably right here in this clip, but never the less, I like his message:
The description "An honest discussion about black conservatives in America. RUN WITH US..Join our eNewsletter with updates on the film's progress. This is is a non-profit project. Visit our website at http://www.runawayslavemovie.com.
"Run away from the slavery of tyranny toward the blessings of liberty!"