American Elephants


Why Do People Move? It Really Isn’t Mysterious! by The Elephant's Child
May 30, 2012, 10:04 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Energy, Taxes

Why do people move? Packing up all your stuff and moving to a new location is not an easy task, and it’s not fun. Trust me, I’ve done it a lot. It’s one thing if you decide you can finally afford your dream house, and quite another when you downsize.

But think of the boundless courage that sent the Pilgrims across months of the North Atlantic in a leaky ship, or even the Puritans, a little later, in the Winthrop fleet. Taking all your earthly possessions and leaving everything you have known to strike out for the completely unknown is something else entirely.  Americans continued to up and move — across mountains, looking for better farmland. They pushed into what is now Tennessee and Pennsylvania. And consider those who embarked on wagon trains to cross an unknown Indian territory bound for an unknown Oregon.

Fast forward to today. California, the ‘Golden State’ has, in the last two decades, lost four million more people than have come to California from other places. Lots of reasons. High taxes, if you don’t own a big chunk of Google or Apple, your chance of owning a home in the Bay Area is close to nil. Environmental extremism, with a goofy cap-and-trade law resulting in skyrocketing energy costs drives out jobs and business. Jerry Brown believes that green jobs will replace vanishing industry.

New York’s high taxes have made the Empire State a place to flee. In the past ten years, it has suffered an exodus of some 3.4 million New Yorkers, nearly a million more people than those who escaped East Germany for West Germany or West Berlin from 1949 to 1961 — an exodus that led the Communists to construct the Berlin Wall in 1961.

The outflow hasn’t stopped. New York State’s income loss for the state is $45.6 billion, according to the Tax Foundation. There is still plenty of immigration from abroad. It’s not surprising that most refugees have headed for sunny, income-tax free Florida. New Yorkers who leave an estate of more than 1 million get hit with a state death tax reaching 16%.

Governor Andrew Cuomo admits the problem, but hasn’t threatened New York’s status as “tax capital of the nation” with any substantive reforms.

I don’t know why it is so hard to understand, but people who live in high tax states are moving to states with no income tax. States with high energy costs and high taxes are losing businesses to low tax states with reasonable regulation. Some of the folks who are moving are the hated rich, and they seem to be rich because they  run their businesses — which they are also moving — efficiently, and find it more profitable to do business in states where taxes are low, energy costs are low, and the states are preferably right-to-work.

Oddly enough, most of the states with a business-friendly climate seem to be run by Republican governors who go for balanced budgets and low taxes.  Must be a coincidence.



The Green Lobby Wants to Destroy Modern Civilization. by The Elephant's Child

America has undergone a monumental change, and the major media are just waking up to it. The administration has apparently not heard. America is awash in fossil fuels. We have lots. All that bit about being dependent on foreign oil — nevermind. America has a boom in shale natural gas, and even Fortune magazine admitted it in a cover story.

So, naturally, as night follows day, the Sierra Club has announced a new battle plan called “Beyond Natural Gas.” This is a companion piece to “Beyond Coal,” in which the Sierra Club has been lobbying for rules to force the shutdown of America’s coal-fired power plants, the closure of coal mines, an end to the use of coal — which supplies just a little less than half the electricity in the country.

The theme was previously that coal was dirty, disgusting, dangerous, and we should rely instead on clean natural gas. Now that they have the closure of coal-fired power plants well underway, they are turning to eliminating natural gas. Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune announced their goal this month.”We’re going to be preventing new gas plants from being built wherever we can.” They have rolled out a new website that says:

The natural gas industry is dirty, dangerous and running amok. The closer we look at natural gas, the dirtier it appears, and the less of it we burn, the better off we will be.

Sounds vaguely familiar. But this is no idle threat. The Sierra Club has deep pockets, with 1.4 million members, generous funding from liberal foundations, and the knowledge of just how to work the media and the politicians. The lobby has successfully helped to block new nuclear plants for more than 30 years, the “Beyond Oil” campaign helped to keep much of America off-limits to oil drilling, and its “Beyond Coal” campaign has all but shut down new coal plants, and is working on shutting down the old ones.

The Sierra Club was once a modest affair, founded by John Muir in 1892, to “make the mountains glad.”It is the oldest and arguably the most powerful environmental group in the nation.  But it is no longer my father’s Sierra Club. It used to offer  summer horse packing trips into the high Sierra, featured Ansell Adams’ beautiful photographs of Yosemite, and grew into photography books, animal books and all those nice things that make us love nature — that we can put on our coffee tables to show how ecologically with it we are.  It has grown into a radical environmentalist organization of 1.4 million members with leadership positions held by activists with radical ties. It has managed to maintain a “mainstream” image, but its goals are hardly mainstream.

The radicalism of radical environmentalism is way out there, and makes little sense. They essentially oppose modern civilization, and all its peoples.  They are attempting to shut down the power plants that power the wind farms and solar arrays that they, for now, favor.  How long will wind energy be acceptable when Congress offer special waivers to the wind farms for the eagles they chop up? The green energy bubble is bursting everywhere.  The Energy Tribune notes:

The EU’s ideologically-driven Energy Road Map prioritized ‘green’ renewable energy, diverting away from Russian natural gas dependency and harmonizing energy and environmental needs. The result: a devastatingly inept screw up that threatens continent-wide power outages even, as Die Welt recently reported, in Germany as early as next winter.

In short order, EU energy policies have created an unsustainable, publicly-subsidized, market-skewing ‘green’ energy bubble, eschewed a cheap fossil fuels policy and realistic alternatives to Russian gas imports. Together those failed policies have resulted in the double double-whammy of soaring of energy prices and, as is now being reported, diminishing European industrial competitiveness.

The Sierra Club gets no awards for consistency. They were all for natural gas when the price was $8 or more per million BTUs and the supply seemed to be limited.  But gas prices have fallen to $2.50, and natural gas may come to dominate U.S. energy production. Wind and solar and biofuel power may never be competitive. If the subsidies are removed, there will be no profit in wind and solar anyway. It’s ordinary people who will benefit if there is a plentiful supply of cheap natural gas. It will benefit industry and the economy, and there are somewhere around 600,000 jobs in the natural gas industry alone, not to mention the jobs provided by a thriving economy fueled by cheap, abundant energy from natural gas and coal.



Morning Cute III by The Elephant's Child

A Bison calf was born in Chicago at the Brookfield Zoo on May 16. the first birth of this species since the early 1970s. Feisty little girl. Zoo Borns is a great website for moments when you are tense, or down. Who can look at baby animals and not relax.

And there are so many species that I’ve never heard of. Great website to share with the kids. Zoos all over the world are cooperating in an effort to save endangered species.




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