Sunday, November 25, 2012

Rising seas: No biggie

The New York Times has an interesting interactive graphic meant to show the devestation of rising seas as global temperatures rise.  Choose the 5 foot option to see the predicted effects of rising sea levels over the next 100 to 200 years. No doubt the Times intended to raise the alarm so that we drastically cut our carbon emissions, thereby impoverishing ourselves and our ancestors by trillions upon trillions of dollars, just to make a modest dent in the chimera of anthropogenic global warming.  Instead, the relatively minor effects they illustrate help to make the case for adaptation, which would cost much less and which could be done as the effects begin occurring, rather than now, when simplistic and rigged computer models are our only guide.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Insane or delusional?

Gosh, it's difficult to know where to start on Paul Krugman's latest inane screed. One really has to wonder what goes through his head. He's certainly intelligent enough to know that the numbers and "facts" that he throws out are nonsense. So it's either that he is doing it on purpose to fool others who will give deference because he has a Nobel Prize in something completely divorced from what he's talking about, or he has lost his mind.  I suspect that latter, but, not being a psychiatrist, I won't hazard a specific diagnosis.

At any rate, let's start with the sheer stupidity of doing policy analysis by cherry-picking from a single period of history.  Krugman's basic claim is that situation of the 1950s (high taxes on corporations and the very rich, union power) worked just fine, so we can certainly go back to that now.  After all, according to Krugman,
the high-tax, strong-union decades after World War II were in fact marked by spectacular, widely shared economic growth: nothing before or since has matched the doubling of median family income between 1947 and 1973.
Let me think for a second.  Was there anything else that might have has something to do with what happened to the economy starting in 1947?  Well, it's been a while since I was in school, but I do seem to recall something about a massive worldwide depression followed by a war of some sort in which 50-70 million people were killed and all of Europe and much of Asia were flattened.  I also seem to remember talk about economic miracles in Germany and Japan, but perhaps that's just my imagination.

Assuming that my memory is correct, however, maybe we should really go whole hog on this replicating the conditions of the 1950s idea.  Wow, Krugman is way ahead of me on this already.

Update from James Taranto:
Still Crazy After All These Years
The Daily Princetonian profiles Paul Krugman, who in addition to being a former Enron adviser is a professor at Princeton:
Since he won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2008, Krugman has been on more or less "50 percent duty" as a professor, Gene Grossman, chair of the economics department, said. When he won the top award in economics, his public profile increased significantly, meaning he suddenly had fewer free hours to commit to his job as a professor, Krugman said in an interview in his office last spring.
"Since the Nobel, with all of the pressures, I am buying back my falls, which is not going to continue indefinitely," he said, noting that his other commitments are why he only teaches in the spring. "In some ways teaching keeps you sane. I feel disconnected from reality after a semester of not teaching . .  it is good to come back and teach basics," he explained.
In case that's too long to read, here are the main points: 1. Teaching keeps you sane. 2. Krugman has a drastically reduced teaching load.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

New Poverty can never be eliminated

The Census Bureau released a new supplemental poverty measure the other day.  As Mickey Kaus points out, it is a complete scam that does not actual measure poverty as people normally think of it.  The old measure tries to capture absolute poverty, but the new one measures relative poverty.  It would be possible for poverty to be eliminated under the old definition, but, by definition, it it can never be eliminated under the new one.  No wonder those who benefit from the existence of poverty (i.e., the poverty industrial complex and most of the media) like this one so much better.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

How could this unexpected?

The rate of poverty in the United States spiked up between 2010 and 2011 and this is supposed to be some sort of surprise.  What do people expect happens when the Federal government enacts scores of laws and regulations to discourage economic growth, favors pet industries over efficient ones, and promises to do more of the same for the next four years? 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

When was shame replaced by entitlement?

I recently turned 50 and have decided that I am now old enough for two life-altering changes.  In decreasing order of importance: I can now wear a fishing vest and hat wherever and whenever I darn well please; and I can now begin arguments and debates with variations on the phrase "Back when I was your age, things were different."  To the chagrin of my children, I have already embarked on the former change.  To the chagrin of anyone who is reading this blog, I will now embark on the latter.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

From a proud Missourian

I have not blogged since mid-September because I was getting tired of coming up with new ways to say how I thought that nearly every economic and regulatory policy put in place since the end of 2008 was pretty much the opposite of what should have been done.  Also, how many times can you say that the new employment/GDP/budget numbers show the long-term economic stagnation wrought by those misguided policies?