Category Archives: Business

The Case Against Waxman-Markey

Here. Bottom line:

Waxman-Markey would impose costs at least 10 times as large as its benefits, would not reduce the deficit, and doesn’t even really cap emissions.

But other than that, it’s a great idea.

Not to mention that the bill is twelve hundred pages long. I wonder if they’ll be given an opportunity to read it?

[Afternoon update]

What this bill will and won’t do for the climate.


The problem with the Obamacare scam:

Faced with incontrovertible evidence that he and his allies have no intention or ability to fulfill their commitment to Americans regarding their current coverage, President Obama decided today at his press conference to try to redefine the promise. What he meant, he now says, is that the government wouldn’t force people out of their health-care plan. If tens of millions of people get pushed out of their current coverage, it would be because firms chose to drop their insurance plans — never mind the fact that they would do so based on the financial incentives the government put in place.

They must think we’re stupid. Of course, based on last November’s election results, they have some basis for it.

The First Weightless Wedding

Back in the early nineties, when I unsuccessfully tried to get a weightless experience business started, this was one of the markets for it. It took a lot longer than I hoped or expected back then, and I didn’t make it happen, but I’m glad that someone did. And I see that she used one of the designs that Misuzu had the contest for as a wedding dress.

Of course, as usual, almost everyone gets this wrong:

The idea of these flights seems to be that the plane makes 16 huge dips from 36,000 feet to 24,000 feet to simulate zero gravity.

The weightless effect doesn’t just occur on the descent — it occurs through the entire parabola, up and down. If it only happened on the way down, the weightless period would only be half the time that it actually is.

Barack Obama…

meet reality:

Whew! What happened? Well, that, no doubt, is what the Obama team must be wondering. It is not merely the president’s poll numbers which are crumbling; it is the premises which formed his world view and domestic agenda which are disintegrating. The world is a dangerous place with despots immune to even “smart diplomacy.” Governments really can’t spend their way to prosperity. And even in an economic recession America remains a right-of-center country.

Obama, it seems, never confronted a critical media or a viable political opponent who could effectively quiz him on his assumptions and policy prescriptions. He waltzed through an election on essentially a “not Bush” campaign and a cloud of feel-good messages ungrounded in the real world. But once in office he finds the world — filled with rogue states, recalcitrant laws of economics, squirrely citizens, and cold, hard budget numbers — is not so easily charmed. Facts are stubborn things, after all.

I always find hilarious the lack of irony with which these people presume to call themselves the “reality based community.”

At Least He’s Being Honest

Sort of:

I’m…glad to see that Ezra Klein is explicit about his acceptance that climate change is expected to have extremely limited effects on the United States for at least the next hundred years. I figure that ought to be pretty important when debating the proper policies for the government of the United States. On the other hand, we continue to disagree about the financial efficiency of the foreign aid program defined by transforming the energy sector of the American economy in order to very slightly ameliorate a predicted problem that might affect people who might live in low-lying equatorial regions of the world decades from now.

As Bjorn Lomborg would say, it’s a lousy deal. But of course, it’s not about economic efficiency. It’s about forcing everyone into the secular religion of our moral betters.

[Early afternoon update]

Keep the lights on! Fight the bill.

Support Trader Joe’s

I haven’t been able to shop at Trader Joe’s since we left California, because for some reason they have never opened up any in Florida (I’m guessing it has something to do with state laws — perhaps the restriction on hard liquor sales in groceries?). Anyway, here’s one more reason that I wish I could:

Very sadly, the tactic employed against Israeli products in Europe has now made its way to our own country, taking root in our own backyard and focusing its attention upon a grocery retailer that many of us patronize, Trader Joe’s. Only the difference is that in the United States there is a significantly larger Jewish population than there is in Europe and we now find ourselves in a position to make an immediate and very positive impact on Israel’s behalf.

I hope that this anti-semitic (and yes, sorry, that’s what it is) boycott helps them more than hurts.

Major Economic Downturn

Women, children, minoritiesMen hit hardest:

The senior economists listened attentively as Gandy and Smeal and other advocates argued for a stimulus package that would add jobs for nurses, social workers, teachers, and librarians in our crumbling “human infrastructure” (they had found their testosterone-free slogan). Did Furman mention that jobs in the “human infrastructure”–health, education, and government–had increased by more than half a million since December 2007?

One could pardon him for not being argumentative. His boss at the economic council, Lawrence Summers, had become a national symbol of the consequences of offending feminist sensibilities and had been opposed by feminists in his appointment to the top White House post. Gandy and Smeal found their circle partners to be engaged and curious and were delighted that they stayed longer than scheduled: “We left feeling that all our preparation would bear fruit in the form of more inclusion of women’s needs, and we were right.”

They were right indeed. Our incoming president did what many sensible men do when confronted by a chorus of female complaint: He changed his plan.

No one will ever accuse him of being a strong man. Or a sensible one, actually.