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No Matter How Much Tom Steyer Spends, Florida Isn’t Buying Climate Disaster

November 3, 2014 in Economics

By Patrick J. Michaels

Patrick J. Michaels

The legendary bank robber Willie Sutton apparently did not say that he robbed banks “because that’s where the money is,” even though everyone thinks he did. And, apparently, rich donors also don’t identify issues that are “where the voters are,” at least in Florida.

Billionaire Tom Steyer has spent $12 million trying to make Floridians scared of global warming — an issue Gallup recently found ranks dead last among voter priorities. Other research indicates that the more people are harangued about it, the more they turn off, making this money not well spent.

Blame the information age, where people can easily see for themselves that we are in our 18th year without a global-warming trend. They can also go the National Climatic Data Center’s website and plot out Florida’s yearly temperature; there is no overall significant warming trend in the entire record, which covers 118 years.

Voters are suffering from apocalypse fatigue, something well-heeled political donors would do well to recognize.”

A little advance work could have saved a ton of money. The most popular climate change website in the world, Anthony Watts’s www.wattsupwiththat.com, now has well over 200 million views. It is decidedly nonapocalyptic. The most prominent scare site, RealClimate.org, has a hundred times fewer views.

Watts’s site is run on a shoestring. While some of Steyer’s ads blame the Koch Brothers for skepticism about the end of the world, Watts has never seen a dollar of their support — or, for that matter, many dollars of anyone’s support, as it is mostly run with a tip jar.

Here’s the cool part: According to the model the Environmental Protection Agency uses to assess the climatic effects of various policies, if the emissions from the entire state of Florida dropped immediately to zero, the amount of global warming that would be saved by the year 2100 would be a grand total of seven thousandths of a degree Celsius (0.007

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No Matter How Much Tom Steyer Spends, Florida Isn’t Buying Climate Disaster

November 3, 2014 in Economics

By Patrick J. Michaels

Patrick J. Michaels

The legendary bank robber Willie Sutton apparently did not say that he robbed banks “because that’s where the money is,” even though everyone thinks he did. And, apparently, rich donors also don’t identify issues that are “where the voters are,” at least in Florida.

Billionaire Tom Steyer has spent $12 million trying to make Floridians scared of global warming — an issue Gallup recently found ranks dead last among voter priorities. Other research indicates that the more people are harangued about it, the more they turn off, making this money not well spent.

Blame the information age, where people can easily see for themselves that we are in our 18th year without a global-warming trend. They can also go the National Climatic Data Center’s website and plot out Florida’s yearly temperature; there is no overall significant warming trend in the entire record, which covers 118 years.

Voters are suffering from apocalypse fatigue, something well-heeled political donors would do well to recognize.”

A little advance work could have saved a ton of money. The most popular climate change website in the world, Anthony Watts’s www.wattsupwiththat.com, now has well over 200 million views. It is decidedly nonapocalyptic. The most prominent scare site, RealClimate.org, has a hundred times fewer views.

Watts’s site is run on a shoestring. While some of Steyer’s ads blame the Koch Brothers for skepticism about the end of the world, Watts has never seen a dollar of their support — or, for that matter, many dollars of anyone’s support, as it is mostly run with a tip jar.

Here’s the cool part: According to the model the Environmental Protection Agency uses to assess the climatic effects of various policies, if the emissions from the entire state of Florida dropped immediately to zero, the amount of global warming that would be saved by the year 2100 would be a grand total of seven thousandths of a degree Celsius (0.007

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Men Like Football's Chris Kluwe, Comedians Aziz Ansari and Louis CK Are Feminists—Yay! Now What?

November 3, 2014 in Blogs

By Rebecca Solnit, Tom Dispatch

Having men speak out for women is an extraordinary turning point. Discuss.


To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up to receive the latest updates from TomDispatch.com here.

What do the prime minister of India, retired National Football League punter Chris Kluwe, and superstar comedian Aziz Ansari have in common? It’s not that they’ve all walked into a bar, though Ansari could probably figure out the punch line to that joke. They’ve all spoken up for feminism this year, part of an unprecedented wave of men actively engaging with what’s usually called “women’s issues,” though violence and discrimination against women are only women’s issues because they’re things done to women — mostly by men, so maybe they should always have been “men’s issues.”

The arrival of the guys signifies a sea change, part of an extraordinary year for feminism, in which the conversation has been transformed, as have some crucial laws, while new voices and constituencies joined in. There have always been men who agreed on the importance of those women’s issues, and some who spoke up, but never in such numbers or with such effect. And we need them. So consider this a watershed year for feminism.

Take the speech Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave on that country’s Independence Day. Usually it’s an occasion for boosterism and pride. Instead, he spoke powerfully of India’s horrendous rape problem. “Brothers and sisters, when we hear about the incidents of rape, we hang our heads in shame,” he said in Hindi. “I want to ask every parent that you have a daughter of 10 or 12 years age, you are always on the alert, every now and then you keep on asking where are you going, when would you come back… Parents ask their daughters hundreds of questions, but have any parents ever dared to ask their son as to where he is going, why he is going out, who his friends are? After all, a rapist is also somebody's son. He also has parents.”

It was a remarkable thing to say, the result of a new discourse in that …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Money and Microeconomics

November 3, 2014 in Economics

By John P. Cochran

Dollar_bills

Peter Boettke at Coordination Problem highlights a new IEA has publication by Pascal Salin,    Money and Micro-Economics that should be of interest to advanced readers of this blog.

Insights from Professor Salin:

General:

In any human activity, we need to know the causes of a problem in order to define the best ways to solve it. This requirement often seems to disappear when people discuss economic problems.

Relevant to today’s misguided monetary policies in U. S., Europe, and Japan:

If low growth is due to excessive taxation and regulation, monetary expansion cannot help. It can, at best, create short-run illusions in some cases. But, by focusing on monetary policy, one diverts attention from the true problems. As the illusions created by monetary policy fade away, the outcome is increased instability without any of the underlying problems being solved.

On market monetarism or nominal GDP targeting:

The intellectual revolution which is needed is not one which consists of substituting a nominal GDP target for an inflation target; it is one which consists of not defining policy in terms of global quantities inspired by Keynesian economics and, instead, considering the system of incentives that face economic agents given the institutional, tax and regulatory environment.

On institutional reform:

But there may not be a better rule and set of constraints than having to compete with others. However, even if competition between private money producers was not accepted, it could be possible to increase the degree of competition in existing monetary systems. To such an end, it would be necessary to repeal legal tender laws, i.e. to allow citizens of a country (or those of a monetary area such as the euro zone) to hold and to use the currencies they prefer. This would also imply the freedom to pay one’s taxes with the currency one would choose, in order to avoid the national currency (or the currency of the monetary area) having a privileged position and being protected from competition.

The full monographhttp://www.iea.org.uk/publications/research/money-and-micro-economics and Boettke’s more detailed discussion are both worth a careful read.

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Paul Krugman Exposes the Folly of Running the Country Like a Business

November 3, 2014 in Blogs

By Janet Allon, AlterNet

Why would a country hand over its ailing economy to corporate interests?


America holds its corporate chieftains in such high regard that it looks to them to solve the country's most dire economic problems. This does not always work out. Paul Krugman analyzes why in his column Monday.

Krugman begins by looking at Japan, where the central bank announced more aggressive money measures to fight deflation last week, a move which Krugman supports and Japan's business elite adamantly opposes. Krugman takes the opportunity to examine the whole question of “the economic wisdom, or lack thereof, of business leaders.” 

Some of the people I’ve spoken to here argue that the opposition of many Japanese business leaders to the Bank of Japan’s actions shows that it’s on the wrong track. In saying this, they’re echoing a common sentiment in many countries, including America — the belief that if you want to fix an ailing economy, you should turn to people who have been successful in business, like leaders of major corporations, entrepreneurs and wealthy investors. After all, doesn’t their success with money mean that they know how the economy really works?

Actually, no. In fact, business leaders often give remarkably bad economic advice, especially in troubled times. And I think it’s important to understand why.

Krugman scores point after point as he illuminates just how wrong wealthy money managers and corporate chieftains have been about monetary policy in this country. When the Fed tried to boost the economy by printing more money, these business interests frantically warned about currency debasement, and hyperinflation, neither of which ever arrived. They harped away on fixing the debt and cutting spending as ways to grow the economy. Did. Not. Work. 

On the other hand, when decisions have been left to economists with more academic credentials as opposed to business success—like Ben Bernanke, Janet Yellen, Mervyn King, and in Europe, Mario Draghi—who have ignored or defied the advice of business leaders, things have gone a bit better. Still, Krugman hastens to point out, “Obviously there are business leaders who have gotten the economic analysis right, and …read more

Source: ALTERNET