Day: November 7, 2014

Spinning faster than windmills …


Filched from Steven Hayward, Power Line

International climate talks are a sideshow designed to keep politicians and bureaucrats busy, and the shallow, superficial climate campaign happy and engaged.


News out of Europe yesterday is that the EU has adopted an ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction target, calling for a 40 percent reduction in GHG emissions by the year 2030. But the announcement was larded with lots of talk of “flexibility” and contains so many contradictory elements that it is clear this is not serious. My favorite condition is this one:

A 27% renewable energy target that is binding at an aggregate European level but voluntary for individual member states.

In practice what this means is: Let Germany do it. They’re dumb and rich enough to keep subsidizing this nonsense. And why not? Germany is sticking it to the rest of the Euro-zone economies with its de facto domination of…

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Gabriel Kolko’s Unfinished Revolution

Bill Totten's Weblog

Kolko reshaped the way we think about how the state protects and advances capitalist interests.

by Eli Cook (June 25 2014)

Gabriel Kolko, historian and socialist, died last month in his home in Amsterdam. He was 81.

When Kolko’s The Triumph of Conservatism appeared on the scene in 1963, it was not only a book of history but heresy. This was the era in which American liberalism reigned supreme, and social commentators such as Daniel Bell confidently assured the public that the formula for sustained economic prosperity and political freedom had been uncovered in the form of a capitalist system kept in check by a powerful and centralized regulatory government.

American liberals of the era rarely challenged the basic assumption on which their worldview hinged: that the purpose of the modern state was to inhibit and constrain – not advance or sustain – corporate interests. As is evident from…

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Roger Kerr, New Zealand Business Roundtable Executive Director

I am starting a blog series exposing myths in the privatisation debate.  It could become a lengthy exercise.

This one is on Air New Zealand.

Since Air New Zealand was effectively nationalised by the Labour government (I’ll leave aside here arguments about that controversial decision) it has often been regarded as a success story. Thus Finlay MacDonald in the Sunday Star-Times of 30 January described it as “a glamour product” and a letter in Friday’s Herald said “Air New Zealand is a classic example of a government/private partnership working well.” The government has also referred to Air New Zealand as a model of partial privatisation.

Under Ralph Norris and subsequently Rob Fyfe, I think it is fair to say that the airline has been innovative and performed well operationally. But the bottom line for any commercial business is just that: its bottom line. How has Air New Zealand performed for investors, the majority…

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Average Marginal Income Tax Rates for New Zealand, 1907-2009 (WP 12/04) — The Treasury – New Zealand

Figure 5 - AMTRs for New Zealand 1907-2009   .

Note:  Average marginal tax rate calculations exclude the impact of ACC levies, the Benefit system and the Family Tax Credit (FTC) system which, at various times since the 1970s, involved lump sum transfers to lower income families with children that were withdrawn at higher income levels at rates of up to 30c/$, thereby adding to effective MTRs.

Comment: The average marginal tax rate has been pretty stable in New Zealand since about 1990 excepting for a drop in the late 1990s and then an increase in 1999.


The Pope Is Wrong about Capitalism: Free Markets Are Best for the Less Fortunate

International Liberty

Forget the debate over whether Obama is a socialist.

Now we’re discussing whether Jesus is for big government. Or, to be more accurate, the Pope has started a debate about whether free markets are bad, particularly for the poor.

Samuel Gregg of the Acton Institute wrote about the underlying theological issues in an article for National Review, but I hope I also contributed to the secular aspect of the debate in this BBC interview.

The first thing I said was the rather obvious point that there’s a lot more to life than accumulating wealth.

My most important point was that capitalism is the only successful model for creating broadly shared prosperity and I used examples from the Pope’s home region of Latin America to show that nations with more economic liberty are far more successful.

But I emphasized that supporters of freedom have a challenge because many…

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That Catcalling Video and Why “Research Methods” is such an Exciting Topic (Really!) — The Message — Medium

The filmmakers claim to have shot this video while walking the streets of Manhattan for 10 hours, but over half of the shots in the video are actually taken from just one street, namely 125th St. in Harlem.

via That Catcalling Video and Why “Research Methods” is such an Exciting Topic (Really!) — The Message — Medium.

Why Middle-Class Americans Can’t Afford to Live in Liberal Cities – The Atlantic

via Why Middle-Class Americans Can’t Afford to Live in Liberal Cities – The Atlantic.