American Elephants


What Is The Proper Size of Government? by The Elephant's Child

Politicians keep debating the size of government. Republicans believe that government tries to do way too much, and that government is not very good at the things it does try to do. Democrats are inclined to believe that government needs to do more to alleviate the problems of society.

The recovery from “the Great Recession” has been sluggish at best, and way too many people have left the labor force. To encourage growth, the Obama administration relies on government action: the latest is manufacturing hubs, and it has been infrastructure projects,  crumbling roads and bridges, wind farms and solar arrays, job training programs, and they have all done little to change the unemployment rate, or significantly increase the labor force. But the belief in government action to change and improve society remains firm.

Over the years, economists have measured the effect of the size of government on economic growth and social outcomes like life expectancy, infant mortality, homicide rates, educational attainment and student reading proficiency. One recent addition to the studies of the result of government size comes from a study published by Canada’s Fraser Institute, entitled “Measuring Government in the 21st Century” by Canadian economist and university professor Livio Di Matteo.

Di Mateo’s analysis confirms a large body of empirical research examining the relationship between the size of government and economic outcomes. Canada’s recent retrenchment is an example of a country shrinking government without a trade-off in economic and social outcomes.

When governments focus their spending on basic, needed services like the protection of property. His findings also demonstrate that there is a tipping point at which more government actually hinders economic growth and fails to contribute to social progress in any meaningful way. Di Mateo examines international data and finds that, after controlling for disparate factors, annual per capita GDP growth rates start to decline when government spending consumes 26 percent of the economy.  Economic growth rates start to decline when government spending exceeds this level. Government spending becomes unproductive when it goes to things like corporate subsides, overly generous wages, overly generous benefits for government employees, and crony capitalism.

According to data from the OECD, the size of government in the United States was approximately 40 percent of GDP in 2012, Which suggests that a smaller size of government than we currently have would translate into higher annual economic growth.

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Harry Reid Calls Harry Reid a Liar. Or Something Like That. by The Elephant's Child

HarryReid 3
It must be really hard for politicians to grasp that they must change their ways, for the world has changed around them. The words that they say so confidently on Monday, cannot be erased on Friday, for they are preserved for all time on YouTube, and will be called up whenever it is useful to call them up.  Case in point:

Oops! Well there you go. Caught in the act for all posterity.

We heard about the evils of Obamacare, about the lives it’s ruining in Republicans’ stump speeches and in ads paid for by oil magnates, the Koch brothers. But in those tales, turned out to be just that: tales, stories made up from whole cloth, lies distorted by the Republicans to grab headlines or make political advertisements.”

“There’s plenty of horror stories being told. All of them are untrue, but they’re being told all over America.”

- See more at: http://cnsnews.com/mrctv-blog/barbara-boland/reid-denies-making-videotaped-claim-obamacare-horror-stories-are-lies#sthash.7mu0KEMB.Y7yvZ0II.dpuf

 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Wednesday that, “I have never come to the floor, to my recollection, I’ve never said a word about examples that Republicans have given regarding ObamaCare and how it’s not very good.”

“Mr. President, the junior senator from Wyoming has come to the floor several times recently talking about the fact that examples that he and others Republicans have given dealing with ObamaCare, examples that are bad, I’ve called lies. Mr. President, that is simply untrue,” Reid said.

- See more at: http://cnsnews.com/mrctv-blog/barbara-boland/reid-denies-making-videotaped-claim-obamacare-horror-stories-are-lies#sthash.7mu0KEMB.Y7yvZ0II.dpuf

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Wednesday that, “I have never come to the floor, to my recollection, I’ve never said a word about examples that Republicans have given regarding ObamaCare and how it’s not very good.”

“Mr. President, the junior senator from Wyoming has come to the floor several times recently talking about the fact that examples that he and others Republicans have given dealing with ObamaCare, examples that are bad, I’ve called lies. Mr. President, that is simply untrue,” Reid said.

– See more at: http://cnsnews.com/mrctv-blog/barbara-boland/reid-denies-making-videotaped-claim-obamacare-horror-stories-are-lies#sthash.7mu0KEMB.Y7yvZ0II.dpuf

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Wednesday that, “I have never come to the floor, to my recollection, I’ve never said a word about examples that Republicans have given regarding ObamaCare and how it’s not very good.”

“Mr. President, the junior senator from Wyoming has come to the floor several times recently talking about the fact that examples that he and others Republicans have given dealing with ObamaCare, examples that are bad, I’ve called lies. Mr. President, that is simply untrue,” Reid said.

– See more at: http://cnsnews.com/mrctv-blog/barbara-boland/reid-denies-making-videotaped-claim-obamacare-horror-stories-are-lies#sthash.7mu0KEMB.Y7yvZ0II.dpuf

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Wednesday that, “I have never come to the floor, to my recollection, I’ve never said a word about examples that Republicans have given regarding ObamaCare and how it’s not very good.”

“Mr. President, the junior senator from Wyoming has come to the floor several times recently talking about the fact that examples that he and others Republicans have given dealing with ObamaCare, examples that are bad, I’ve called lies. Mr. President, that is simply untrue,” Reid said.

– See more at: http://cnsnews.com/mrctv-blog/barbara-boland/reid-denies-making-videotaped-claim-obamacare-horror-stories-are-lies#sthash.7mu0KEMB.Y7yvZ0II.dpuf



Forecasting the Climate: Maybe Not So Bad After All. by The Elephant's Child

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will soon publish the second part of its latest report on the likely impact of climate change. It will reportedly be less frightening than last time around in 2007.

Contrary to media opinion, the real debate has never been between “deniers” and the rest, but between those who think warming is fairly harmless and those who think the future is alarming.

Matt Ridley writes in the Wall Street Journal that a small amount of warming over a long period will probably be a good thing. People can adapt. Satellites have recorded roughly a 14% increase in greenery on the planet over the past 30 years, in all ecosystems.

And if renewable energy had proved by now to be cheap, clean and thrifty in its use of land, then we would be right to address that small risk of a large catastrophe by rushing to replace fossil fuels with first-generation wind, solar and bioenergy. But since these forms of energy have proved expensive, environmentally damaging and land-hungry, it appears that in our efforts to combat warming we may have been taking the economic equivalent of chemotherapy for a cold.

Almost every global environmental scare of the past half century proved exaggerated including the population “bomb,” pesticides, acid rain, the ozone hole, falling sperm counts, genetically engineered crops and killer bees. In every case, institutional scientists gained a lot of funding from the scare and then quietly converged on the view that the problem was much more moderate than the extreme voices had argued. Global warming is no different.

 




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