American Elephants


Political Parties and Their Understanding of the World by The Elephant's Child

It’s often hard to understand the divide between the two political parties. We don’t speak the same language, and we don’t always seem to live in the same world. The Left is interested in equality, fairness, control, power, and distributing blame. They care deeply about those who are not equal and want power specifically to redistribute that which needs redistribution in order to make everything fair.

The Right, in general, assumes that life is not fair, and that is not something that can be fixed. What you can do instead is to provide opportunity, and it’s up to those who chafe at not being equal to make the most of the opportunity offerred. Not everybody will make the effort, but life is hard, and there’s no way to make it fair for everyone, but it’s important to provide opportunity. This is not acceptable to the Left because it doesn’t fix things.

The Right understands that when you lower the taxes paid by businesses and the people who run them, it means they have more money to invest, to experiment, to create, hire and expand, which they promptly do, and the economy grows as new products hit the market, new businesses open, new plants open and hire workers, and the increased prosperity means that workers get raises which means they can buy things they’ve been wanting, and the economy grows.

The Left sees only tax cuts for the rich who do not need tax cuts because they are already rich, and seethes. Their unfortunates are still unfortunate, and they resolve that the first thing they will do when they regain power is to hit the undeserving rich with much higher taxes to help those unfortunates. To get control and keep it, they will need more dependable voters so they resolve to import them, by opening the borders for good workers for mowing their lawns and useful stuff like that.

In venues where they still have control, the Left will choose to raise the minimum wage so the workers will vote for them the next time, and they can feel good about helping the poorer workers. The owners of most restaurants cannot afford to raise the cost of their meals, so they lay off some of their workers, or cut back their hours. “New York City restaurants are eliminating jobs, reducing employee hours and raising prices due to the higher costs of the $15-per-hour minimum wage.”

A once-growing industry is contracting, according to an online survey conducted by the New York City Hospitality Alliance, an association representing restaurants in the city.

Last year, “full-service restaurants recorded a 1.6 percent job loss, which is the first recorded annual loss in two decades,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the trade group.

The Left is taken aback at the callous actions of greedy restaurant owners mistreating their employees, and vows to increase the taxes of the rich even more to provide more benefits to the poor and people who have been laid off or lost their jobs. They resolve to move closer to  a welfare state because it doesn’t cost much and provides so many benefits.

If people knew how much the present consumption of social benefits entails less prosperity in the future, the population would have a critical attitude towards the welfare state and politicians would have a harder time selling their fraud. Just as a society that ranks security over liberty loses both, a society that attributes a higher value to social benefits than to wealth creation ends up with neither wealth nor benefits.

So there you go. The problem is that we just don’t speak the same language at all.



“The Day the Dinosaurs Died” by The Elephant's Child

Recommended Reading:

The New Yorker magazine has a fascinating, but long, story today titled “The Day the Dinosaurs Died” with the subhead “A young paleontologist may have discovered a record of the most significant event in the history of life on Earth”.

If, on a certain evening about sixty-­six million years ago, you had stood somewhere in North America and looked up at the sky, you would have soon made out what appeared to be a star. If you watched for an hour or two, the star would have seemed to grow in brightness, although it barely moved. That’s because it was not a star but an asteroid, and it was headed directly for Earth at about forty-five thousand miles an hour. Sixty hours later, the asteroid hit. The air in front was compressed and violently heated, and it blasted a hole through the atmosphere, generating a supersonic shock wave. The asteroid struck a shallow sea where the Yucatán peninsula is today. In that moment, the Cretaceous period ended and the Paleogene period began.

If you can make the time, you will find the article deeply rewarding, Open the link and save it, you’ll be glad you did.



Words of Wisdom for a Monday by The Elephant's Child
April 1, 2019, 3:59 am
Filed under: Capitalism, Communism, Economics, Economy, Free Markets, Freedom, History | Tags: , ,

Historians inescapably both write with the benefit of hindsight and shape the stories they tell. So history always appears much tidier and more dramatic to the reader than the events depicted seemed to those who lived through them day by day. Human beings have to live with a future that is always unknown while enveloped in the fog of mere existence that can be as hard to penetrate as the far better recognized fog of war.
……………………………………………………………………..John Steele Gordon
……………………………………………………………………..An Empire of Wealth

In sum, Communism failed and is bound to fail for at least two reasons: one, that to enforce equality, it’s principal objective, it is necessary to create a coercive apparatus that demands privileges and thereby negates equality; and two, that ethnic and territorial loyalties, when in conflict with class allegiances, everywhere and at all times overwhelm them, dissolving Communism in nationalism, which is why socialism so easily combined with “Fascism.” In recognition of this reality, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union abandoned the slogan, calling on all proletarians to unite.
………………………………………………………………………Richard Pipes
………………………………………………………………………Communism, a History

We don’t have a “profit system” – we have a profit and loss system, and the loss is the important part because it is a signal that company is badly managed and needs to do something about it.
………………………………………………………………………Milton Friedman



I Really Don’t Know Clouds At All by The Elephant's Child

I learned something new to me. from a comment from Richard Lindzen, MIT Professor of Meteorology, emeritus. The upper level cirrus clouds have a greenhouse effect comparable to water vapor but are mostly ice, not liquid. The upper level cirrus are called Spissatus clouds and are the highest clouds in the atmosphere, forming in the higher tropopause, where most of the water vapor freezes out, or even in the lower stratosphere. Unlike most cirrus clouds, which are generally thin and wispy, Spissatus clouds are dense and opaque, blocking sunlight. They are often found at the top of thunderheads and, due to the shape formed by high altitude winds where they are blocked from rising further, are called anvil clouds.

They are formed at the tropopause because it is there that  thermal inversion occurs – rather than atmosphere being colder with increasing altitude, the atmosphere starts being warmer with increasing altitude.

The tropopause with its temperature inversion separates the troposphere from the stratosphere. The warming of the stratosphere with increasing altitude is from ozone created from oxygen by ultraviolet sunlight. Ozone is not an important greenhouse gas below the stratosphere.

Lindzen has written and produced evidence of what is called the “iris hypothesis.” The testable hypothesis states that increasing temperatures in the tropics, particularly increasing sea surface temperatures (seas cover about 75% of the tropics), will reduce cirrus clouds, reducing the greenhouse effect of these clouds. Independently, Roy Spencer, et al. have used satellite data to support the iris hypothesis. The Climate Establishment strongly disagrees, but there have been additional papers and evidence supporting the hypothesis using satellite observations.

For the whole story, go here




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