Every generation of government planners thinks they are smarter than the last, that they can solve the problems their predecessors could not through better targeted planning, etc.
Of course there is a role for government involvement through regulation and oversight, we just don't think government is the answer to all problems or even most problems.
Can anyone really point at Europe and say, "success!"? Their demographics can't support their welfare states and for the last 10 years, they've been pointing towards the U.S. and mimicking our regulation reducin', tax lowerin', ways. Eastern Europe is probably the best example of this trend, though the same thing has been happening with extreme success in Ireland and nearby Scotland, with their newfound power under devolution, is moving in the same direction.
The most successful Asian tiger? Hong Kong. And does anywhere have as low of taxes and little regulation as Hong Kong?
Ah, Milton Friedman.
- Have global warmists started calling it "climate change" because they don't really know what's going to happen to the weather? If so, how does that make them any different to the weatherman who can't predict what's going to happen beyond a 4 day forecast and even then, with very little accuracy.
(no, we don't doubt climate change just because weathermen can't predict the weather)
Don't call us climate change "deniers." We're skeptics.
Philosophically and broadly, we agree with Bjørn Lomborg. His prognosis for global warming is that the drastic measures many call for would have little impact and that the resources spent trying to reduce carbon output would be better spent helping the poor in lesser developed countries. And further, that a dynamic economy, unhampered by global warming restrictions, combined with human ingenuity, would best solve any future global warming problem.
Obviously this explanation is very simplistic, so don't dismiss Lomborg based on our explanation. He just seems eminently reasonable. And it's that reasonableness that seems to be lacking among most of the global warming true believers.
- What the latest problem global warming (er, climate change) hath wrought?
In U.S.-America, food prices tied even more than usual to rising fuel costs because of government mandated ethanol production and limits on ethanol importation.
(food responds to increases in fuel prices because.... corn prices respond to demand for ethanol, corn production responds to demands for ethanol, corn replaces other crops in production reducing the supply of wheat, potatoes, etc., food prices rise, the poor suffer)
But for the wine and cheese, Prius driving, San Francisco Democrats who patted themselves on the back for their green efforts, the costs are low. As so often happens with these ill-conceived and ill-implemented government mandates, the poor in lesser developed countries pay the price. The price? Starvation.
What if there is a more invidious force at work here than the simple law of unintended consequences? What if some global warmists wanted population reduction in lesser developed countries?
If you follow the intellectual history of the extreme left of the enviro movement, this won't seem like such a farfetched idea.
We don't normally traffic in conspiracy theories, but whacko environmentalists have been calling for population limits ever since Thomas Malthus. His ideas were retreaded by Paul Ehrlich and Jared Diamond.
Remember that idiot columnist from USA Today we linked to last week? Yeah. He called for population limits as a religious/moral duty.
And did anyone catch the news about the couple in Florida who decided not to have children in order to reduce their carbon footprint? Besides our obvious delight at them self-selecting themselves out of existence, their example highlights the incongruity of the population reductionists (double meaning intended).
If they have no children, for whom, exactly, are they preserving the environment?
We only wish that all idiots would make the same, no children decision.
*UPDATE 3 May 3:47pm MST: RD properly chided Clinton and McCain for their "summer break" tax cut. However, his "kudos" to Obama was misplaced. Though he opposes the summer break tax cut on gas, he wants to impose a windfall tax on oil companies. Yeah, that's a good idea. From today's WSJ op-ed on the three Presidential candidate's populist proposals:
This tiff over gas and oil taxes only highlights the intellectual policy confusion – or perhaps we should say cynicism – of our politicians. They want lower prices but don't want more production to increase supply. They want oil "independence" but they've declared off limits most of the big sources of domestic oil that could replace foreign imports. They want Americans to use less oil to reduce greenhouse gases but they protest higher oil prices that reduce demand. They want more oil company investment but they want to confiscate the profits from that investment. And these folks want to be President?Domestic drilling? In favor. ANWR drilling? Also, in favor.
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