American Elephants

The Experts’ New Regulations Mean Prosperity is Just Around the Corner. by The Elephant's Child


Our political elites’ agenda is power for itself. They believe they know the formula for spreading economic wealth, for engineering social  happiness, and for legal and constitutional fairness. The future will be bright, we are assured by the Federal Register, and should ease anyone’s concerns over the direction of the U.S. economy.

Hundreds of new regulations guide the economy into doing the right thing. To assure that the regulations are appropriate, agencies are required to conduct cost-benefit analysis for any regulations estimated to cost more than $100 million. The hundreds of rules underway forecast tremendous growth for our sluggish economy.

Consider one such regulation, the Utility Mercury and Air Toxic Standards (MATS), which applies to coal-fired plants. The rule was finalized by the EPA in 2011, and is estimated to cost the economy about $10 billion a year. The EPA claims the annual benefits from the rule will be between $37 billion to $90 billion — in other words, four to nine times higher than it’s costs.

The EPA says their benefits are not theoretical, but “monetized,” meaning they will show up eventually in higher gross domestic product. Our GDP is about $16 trillion, this rule should add as much as half a percent of growth to the economy.

Regulations do have costs as well. The EPA acknowledges the MATS rule will mean the loss of 200,000 jobs by 2015, and 23,000 megawatts of electricity production.  It is just one of seven major rules that will eliminate between 544,000 jobs and 887,000 jobs and cause a 1.5 reduction in the nation’s electric generation capacity.

The economic benefits trump these losses with the economic benefits of lower carbon emissions resulting from MATS. They claim the value of carbon not entering the atmosphere is somewhere between $12.60 and $119 per ton. The EPA does not explain just how this works, but they are quite sure it does. It all comes from the “social cost of carbon” as developed by a panel of  experts.

There are rules for microwaves, for cement manufacturing, for furnace fans. A single regulation for microwave ovens is said to produce benefits that are 35 times higher than its costs.

The benefits of regulation are derived primarily from the social cost of carbon, as it has been divined by a panel of experts. An interagency working group determined the price of carbon based on estimates from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of the future impact of carbon emissions.

Well, who can you trust if you can’t trust an interagency working group composed of political elites and presidential appointees? Just look at the list of working groups involved. You can tell right off that economic growth is just over the horizon. You can depend on the EPA.

Here Is What is Troubling Americans About Our Politics and Our Government by The Elephant's Child

I read a lot, but I seldom seem to get to the newest books when they are new, partly because I’m suspicious of blurbs and wait for reviews by people I trust. I’ve been fooled by blurbs once too often. So I didn’t get to Angelo  Codevilla’s book on “The Ruling Class” when it came out in 2010. It is a delight.

The people who run our government at the state and federal level have come to believe that—

Ever since the 1930s, as people who think this way have taken over more and more functions in an ever bigger government, they have become ever more inclined to dismiss the public’s opposition as ignorant and to believe themselves entitled to shape a new and different America.

Through their conception of their own superiority, and by accumulating power, they have made themselves into a bipartisan Ruling Class that now dominates public affairs and encroaches ever more into our lives’ most intimate details….

Hence, our Ruling Class’ first priority in any and all matters, its solution to any and all problems is to increase the power of the government—meaning of those who run it, meaning themselves. Secondly it is to recompense political supporters with public money, privileged jobs, contracts, etc. That is why our Ruling Class’ solution, not just for economic downturns and social ills but also for  hurricanes and tornadoes, global cooling and global warming, has been to claim more power for itself.

Codevilla says “While Europeans are accustomed to being ruled by presumed betters whom they distrust, the American people’s realization of being ruled in the same way shocked this country into well-nigh revolutionary attitudes.”

Professor Codevilla spreads the blame around in bipartisan fashion, but if you surf the internet or listen to talk radio, you are well aware that this is a major concern of the American people and they are continually trying to  figure out just what to do about it. This lucid little book is a great help to understanding.

How to Do Political Propaganda for Your Low-Information Voters by The Elephant's Child

Sheep Flock

Powerline posted a piece by John Hinderaker entitled: “Washington Post Falls for Left-Wing Fraud, Embarrasses Itself,” about the Koch Brothers being “the biggest lease holder in Canada”s oil sands.”

The Left is heavily invested in smearing the Koch brothers, and it’s important to understand why this is so. Gallup polls on political self-identification. Their 2014 poll shows the percentage of Democrats who self-identify as “liberal” has reached a new high of 23%.  Thirty four percent self-identify as moderate, and 38% identify as “conservative.” That’s “conservative Democrats,” not Conservatives.  It would be interesting to see what the difference is between conservative Democrats and Conservative Republicans, but that isn’t on offer.

Politically, the Left is heavily invested in the claim that the hated Republicans are “the party of the rich.” They deeply believe in class divisions and class warfare. Since they see themselves as the superior class, entitled to run the country, and see themselves in helping the poor by making them dependent on government. You only start hearing a lot about classes when the Democrats are in power.

If you need a shining example of “the rich” — who better than the Koch brothers who donate to Republicans, are billionaires, and make their money in petroleum that is destroying the planet because of global warming.  If you doubt the effect upon the ‘sheeple’ of this example, see any article about the Koch brothers or even just prominent mention of them and in the comments you will find pure rage and hatred of the rich and capitalism personified by the Koch brothers, because they are rich.

If you look up Koch Industries in Wikipedia, you will find that it a multi-national corporation that is involved in many different things, and petroleum refining is only one part. Should you look a little deeper, you would find that they are Libertarians, not Republicans, and donate generously to all sorts of charities that benefit ordinary people.

Should you not focus on the Koch brothers, you might notice the vast number of billionaires who donate to Democrats, and the numbers of millionaires in Congress who have never done anything but politics, and if you noticed that — it might make it hard to call the Republicans “the party of the rich.”

Fifty States of ObamaCare Failure by The Elephant's Child

Harry Reid’s pathetic attempt to claim that everyone is lying about the failure of ObamaCare brands him irrevocably as a fool, a liar, and a failure as a Majority Leader.

These few people represent multitudes. It is poor quality health insurance. You can’t travel. It’s too expensive now and the cost is going up dramatically next year.

ObamaCare is on life-support; the patient is comatose and brain dead. The family just won’t admit it.

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