Red-Pill Economics

Welcome to the Paradise of the Real:

The Nation yesterday published a hilariously illiterate essay by Raúl Carrillo, who is a graduate student at Columbia, a Harvard graduate, and an organizer of something called the Modern Money Network, “an interdisciplinary educational initiative for understanding money, finance, law, and the economy.” All three of those institutions should be embarrassed. Mr. Carrillo is the sort of man who thinks that 40 pieces of candy can be divided and recombined in such a way as to arrive at a number greater than 40. His essay, “Your Government Owes You a Job,” argues that the federal government should create a guaranteed-job program, “becoming our employer of last resort.” Mr. Carrillo’s middle-school-quality prose must be read to be appreciated — “Would jobs for all skyrocket wages and prices, spurring inflation? Such unfounded belief holds the jobless hostage to hysteria” — but his thinking is positively elementary. It does, however, almost perfectly sum up the symbolism-over-literal-substance progressive worldview: “You need dollars to eat,” he writes, “and unless you steal the dollars, you generally have to earn them.”

But you do not need dollars to eat. You need food to eat. Experiment: Spend six months locked in room with nothing other than a very large pile of dollars; measure subsequent weight loss.

Mr. Carrillo’s intellectual failure is catastrophic, but it is basic to the progressive approach. Mr. Carrillo argues that a guaranteed-job program would “pay for itself,” mitigate deficits, empower women, strengthen communities, liberate us from Walmart and McDonald’s — I half expected him to claim that it would turn a sandwich into a banquet. But the question he never quite gets his head around is: Jobs doing what? Americans in guaranteed government jobs “needn’t construct trains or solar panels,” he writes. Instead, they could be employed in “non-capital intensive” sectors such as “child-care, eldercare, and” — focus in here, kids — “community gardening.” Experiment: Offer for sale at a price of $250 a voucher entitling its bearer to one year’s worth of meals at McDonald’s, one year’s worth of groceries at Walmart, or one year’s worth of produce from your local community garden; compare sales figures.

Read the whole thing.

The Science Is Settled

It’s just not settled in the way that the warm mongers want you to believe.

[Update a few minutes later]

The latest on campaign laws, The Columbia “Journalism” Review, and freedom of speech, from Mark Steyn:

That “chill” is not just an incoming ice age but the chill of free speech and vigorous debate, too. My comment – on the “fraudulence” of Mann’s hockey stick – was not “deplorable”, but necessary. The stick is, indeed, fraudulent: It does not prove what it purports to, and Dr Mann well knows that, which is why in East Anglia, in Virginia, in British Columbia, and now in the District of Columbia he refuses and obstructs proper scientific disclosure. So my comment is truthful, as I will be happy to demonstrate at trial. And there is something very strange (and actually almost Pravda-like) about a “journalism review” that finds alternative viewpoints “deplorable”. It’s because so many others – from planet-saving narcissists like James Cameron and transnational opportunists like Rajendra Pachauri all the way down to the boobs and saps of The Columbia Journalism Review – insist that the cartoon alarmism of the hockey stick cannot be questioned that it becomes not just non-deplorable but highly necessary to question it.

And of course, questioning is what science is all about.

Mann Suit Analysis

Ken White has looked at the amicus briefs (I think), and explains, as entertainingly as possible, what the current status of the case is:

So: here we are. Mr. Mann has filed a motion to dismiss the appeal on the theory that the denial of an anti-SLAPP statute is not immediately appealable and on the theory that the defendants are all awful haterz who think Waterworld is a feel-good movie. That motion and the Court of Appeals’ order for the parties to brief the issue apparently crossed in the mail. If the District of Columbia Court of Appeals had a docket accessible online, or gave electronic notice of orders, that would not have happened, but since it is 1986 and the District of Columbia is an obscure jurisdiction, it is understandable they do not. National Review et al. has filed response to the order saying they are entitled to an immediate appeal and that, in so many words, Mann is a butthurt censorious twit. Defendants are supported by amicus briefs on the appealability issue from the ACLU, a conglomerate of media companies, and the District of Columbia itself, whose amicus ought to say “lol we suxxors at drafting statutes plz fx k thx bye,” but in fact does not.

Next up, unless it finds another procedural dodge, the Court of Appeals will decide whether the DC Anti-SLAPP statute allows an immediate appeal. If the answer is no, it goes back to trial court for discovery and motions and possibly trial; if the answer is yes, then the Court of Appeals addresses the merits of the anti-SLAPP motions — which, in my opinion, are meritorious.

Obviously, we think so as well.

An Orwellian Dissent In Schuette

Observations from Taranto:

Roberts’s statement was trivially true, which means that Sotomayor’s defies logic. Her argument amounts to an assertion that a ban on racial discrimination is a form of racial discrimination–that everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others. Also Orwellian is her claim that she wants “to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race.” Such an assertion is almost always disingenuous. After all, the way to speak openly and candidly is to speak openly and candidly. Declaring one’s intention to do so is at best superfluous throat clearing.

And while Sotomayor may be open, she isn’t candid. She presents a potted history of race in America in which there is a straight line from Jim Crow segregation through literacy tests to the Michigan amendment, which “involves this last chapter of discrimination”–even though it bans discrimination, and even though Sotomayor acknowledges that its substance is perfectly constitutional.

One can understand how a mediocrity like Sotomayor likes racial and gender discrimination, since she’s benefited so much from it herself.

California’s Bullet-Train Boondoggle

continues to collapse:

A lawyer familiar with the case mocked this argument as amounting to, “Damn the legal niceties, this mean judge is getting in our way.” – See more at: http://calwatchdog.com/2014/04/22/gov-browns-legal-strategy-to-prop-up-bullet-train-faltering/#sthash.Na3IFURm.dpuf

This is a problem that won’t be solved until California gets an intelligent electorate.

The Climate Abolitionists

Chris Hayes is going down a dangerous road:

“It’s a bit tricky to put an exact price tag on how much money all that unexcavated carbon would be worth, but one financial analyst puts the price at somewhere in the ballpark of $20 trillion,” Hayes writes. “So in order to preserve a roughly habitable planet, we somehow need to convince or coerce the world’s most profitable corporations and the nations that partner with them to walk away from $20 trillion of wealth.”

Note the phrase: “convince or coerce.” If persuasion were to fail, coercion — presumably by the federal government or some very, very powerful entity — could be pretty rough. Certainly by writing that the “climate justice movement” should be known as the “new abolitionism,” Hayes makes an uneasy comparison to a 19th century conflict over slavery that was settled only by a huge and costly war — a real war, not a metaphorical one. Is that how environmentalists plan to save the planet from warming?

They have to destroy humanity to save the planet.

Chelsea Clinton’s Fetus

An open letter to it:

Before you were even born your mommy’s mommy pretended that it’s a completely normal thing to announce your own grandchild’s birth to the world at a joint press appearance with your mom, hosted on Skype and live-streamed. With America Ferrera!

Although you will at all times pretend to be a normal baby, you actually already have your very own career, like doctor or fireman or lobbyist! Can you say “Campaign Asset”? Good, now let’s learn about skill sets! You only need one talent. Ready? It’s “Soften the Candidate”! Sort of like human bubble bath.

It’s apparently driving a lot of hostile comments from readers.

“Free-Speech Zones”

…and other college lies. Questions you should be asking before spending tens of thousands of dollars on a university or college.

[Afternoon update]

Time to toss out abusive college administrators:

Events like these call into question both the judgment of academic administrators and the existence of campus police forces as a separate institution. In his book, The Fall of the Faculty, Johns Hopkins Professor Benjamin Ginsberg talks about the profusion of “deanlets” that has overtaken higher education. But it’s even worse when those deanlets not only eat up the substance of institutions, but also command armed force. It’s extremely doubtful that any outside law enforcement agency would have responded to any of the “threats” listed above, but campus police, called in by insecure deanlets, have little choice. This sort of behavior, though, is unfair, bad for morale, and likely to spur expensive and embarrassing litigation. (Note that some of these cases were resolved when the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, an academic civil liberties group, intervened and posed a threat of legal action.)

As with the morons running public schools, no judgment is required, apparently.

The Pacific Salmon Are Back

…and of course, the environmentalists hate it:

The point deserves emphasis. The advent of higher carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere has been a great boon for the terrestrial biosphere, accelerating the rate of growth of both wild and domestic plants and thereby expanding the food base supporting humans and land animals of every type. Ignoring this, the carbophobes point to the ocean instead, saying that increased levels of carbon dioxide not exploited by biology could lead to acidification. By making the currently barren oceans fertile, however, mariculture would transform this putative problem into an extraordinary opportunity.

Which is precisely why those demanding restraints on carbon emissions and restrictions on fisheries hate mariculture. They hate it for the same reason those demanding constraints in the name of allegedly limited energy resources hate nuclear power. They hate it because it solves a problem they need unsolved.

I hope this means a lot of cheap fresh wild salmon in the stores this summer.

A “Tenuous Grasp Of Science”

That’s certainly a polite way to describe these fools:

A half-liter of urine dumped in a 143 million-liter reservoir would get a urea concentration of about 3 parts per billion, according to Slate. (We calculated it would be a 50 nanoMolar solution.) Meanwhile, the EPA allows concentrations of arsenic in drinking water up to 10 ppb. Salt water has a salt concentration of around 35,000,000 parts per billion, or 600 milliMolar.

Do these morons have any idea how many birds poop in that lake every day? In drought-stricken California, that wouldn’t be just a firing offense — they’d be strung up. But I’ll bet he’s all on board with battling climate change.

As Glenn says, the nation is increasingly being run by chuckleheads.

Cats

What are they thinking?

Miklósi, I was surprised to learn, had also conducted the pointing test with felines. Like Agrillo, he had a hard time getting cats to cooperate in his laboratory—so he went to their homes instead. Even then, most of the animals weren’t interested in advancing science; according to Miklósi’s research paper, seven of the initial 26 test subjects “dropped out.” But those that did participate performed nearly as well as dogs had. Cats too, it appears, may have a rudimentary theory of mind.

But when Miklósi took the study a step further, he spotted an intriguing difference between cats and dogs. This time, he and his colleagues created two puzzles: one solvable, the other impossible. In the solvable puzzle, the researchers placed food in a bowl and stuck it under a stool. Dogs and cats had to find the bowl and pull it out to eat. Both aced the test. Then the scientist rigged the exam. They again placed the bowl under a stool, but this time they tied it to the stool legs so that it could not be pulled out. The dogs pawed at the bowl for a few seconds and then gave up, gazing up at their owners as if asking for help. The cats, on the other hand, rarely looked at their owners; they just kept trying to get the food.

Now before you conclude that cats are dumber than dogs because they’re not smart enough to realize when a task is impossible, consider this: Dogs have lived with us for as many as 30,000 years—20,000 years longer than cats. More than any other animal on the planet, dogs are tuned in to the “human radio frequency”—the broadcast of our feelings and desires. Indeed, we may be the only station dogs listen to. Cats, on the other hand, can tune us in if they want to (that’s why they pass the pointing test as well as dogs), but they don’t hang on our every word like dogs do. They’re surfing other channels on the dial. And that’s ultimately what makes them so hard to study. Cats, as any owner knows, are highly intelligent beings. But to science, their minds may forever be a black box.

As another recent study showed, cats recognize our voices. They just don’t care.

President Asterisk

Some thoughts from Roger Kimball:

Barack Obama has been lying — lying, not “mis-stating,” not somehow getting it wrong because he was misinformed, ill-advised, out to lunch — no, he has been lying to the American public public since 2009. Here is a little recap of 36 times he promised that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan, period.” It’s less than 3 minutes long. Watch it a couple of times. Then ask yourself — especially if you voted for Barack Obama — ask yourself, was he telling the truth?

That’s the thing about credibility. Its loss is infectious, corrosive. Lose it here, and you find that you’ve lost over there as well. The Examiner is quite right, “it has been increasingly difficult for many Americans to continue accepting at face value his statements on other major public issues. In both the Benghazi and IRS scandals, for example, Obama claimed to have known nothing about them until they were reported in the national media.” Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain! (Quoth Dorothy: “If you were really great and powerful, you’d keep your promises.”) Flap, flap, flap: here they come! If it were true (don’t you love the subjunctive?), if, I say, it were true that Obama was just as ignorant as you or I about what happened in Benghazi or the IRS until the media told him then why the huge cover up? Why, as the Examiner asks, “has the president’s attorney general and so many other of his most prominent appointees withheld thousands of documents subpoenaed by Congress and requested by journalists under the Freedom of Information Act? Are there passages in those withheld documents that make it clear Obama knew much more than he has admitted?” What do you think? (While were at it, why can;t we see Barack Obama’s Occidental College records? Are there items there that prove he applied to the college as a foreign student, thus committing fraud? What do you think?)

Come to think of it, it would still be nice to see the Khalidi birthday-party video.

There is no reason to believe this administration about anything it says, on any subject. And there is good reason to believe that his reelection, if not indeed his first one, was illegitimate.