Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: November 28, 2009

Why Are Businesses Not Hiring?

We’ll soon be treated to the spectacle of a White House job summit in December.  Yes, almost 11 months into his presidency, Barack Obama has discovered that the public is most concerned with the economy and jobs – not health care.  Not the environment.  Ironically, it is most likely those two things at which the administration and the Democratic Congress have been working so hard to pass into law that have caused the job situation and economic outlook to remain so bleak.

While President Obama and congressional leaders say they would like to do more to spur job creation, economists and business executives warn that their plans to impose new health care and climate-change costs on corporations would have the opposite effect.

The initiatives, according to this analysis, are likely to overwhelm any positive impact on jobs from stimulus measures by giving businesses a reason to keep laying people off.

The House’s health care bill would raise the cost of hiring in a straightforward way: by charging businesses a new payroll tax of up to 8 percent if they do not provide health insurance to workers. The Senate plan would impose smaller fines on those same employers.

The House-passed climate-change legislation would not add directly to the cost of hiring, but would raise energy prices, which are a major cost of doing business. Economists say that many companies would react by hiring fewer people.

As we’ve mentioned numerous times, businesses want, in fact usually require, a stable economy before they begin hiring or expanding. They want to see trend lines headed up and they also want a climate that is conducive to expansion and thus hiring.

With these to major bills looming and, as the Washington Times notes, major new costs a part of their passage, businesses aren’t going to
commit to doing anything until they understand how those new costs will impact them.

So don’t hold out much hope for anything major to come out of the job summit. It’s mostly for show – a way to show concern. If the administration really wanted to see jobs created, they’d kill the two monstrosities in question and provide incentives to business (tax cuts, tax incentives, etc) to spur hiring. Instead we’re much more likely to see talk about a “second stimulus” and other big government “solutions”.

Just don’t forget the promise of the last “stimulus” – it would stop unemployment at 8% and “create or save” millions of jobs.

The official unemployment rate is 10.2%.

~McQ

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Climaquiddick – Who Are The “Deniers” Now?

What an interesting week. The wheels on the AGW bus aren’t going “round and round” any more, they seem to be coming off. Unless you listen to a good portion of the alarmists who are in the middle of denying the significance of the CRU emails, that is.

But I prefer to start my examination of what has been found with a couple of quotes from Eric S. Raymond (via Reboot Congress), software engineer, open source advocate and author of the book “The Cathedral & the Bazaar“.  The first:

For those of you who have been stigmatizing AGW skeptics as “deniers” and dismissing their charges that the whole enterprise is fraudulent? Hope you like the taste of crow, because I do believe there’s a buttload of it coming at you. Piping hot.

Pretty strong, no? So why do you suppose Raymond feels confident enough to make such a pronouncement? Because his review has found blatant and undeniable fraud within the programing used to “predict” the warming supposedly taking place. Or as he says:

All you apologists weakly protesting that this is research business as usual and there are plausible explanations for everything in the emails? Sackcloth and ashes time for you. This isn’t just a smoking gun, it’s a siege cannon with the barrel still hot.

Even stronger – and here’s why:

From the CRU code file osborn-tree6/briffa_sep98_d.pro , used to prepare a graph purported to be of Northern Hemisphere temperatures and reconstructions.

From the CRU code file osborn-tree6/briffa_sep98_d.pro , used to prepare a graph purported to be of Northern Hemisphere temperatures and reconstructions.

Raymond, in reaction to this bit of code, says:

This, people, is blatant data-cooking, with no pretense otherwise. It flattens a period of warm temperatures in the 1940s 1930s — see those negative coefficients? Then, later on, it applies a positive multiplier so you get a nice dramatic hockey stick at the end of the century.

You have to love it, in a sick sort of way – the routine is called “a VERY ARTIFICIAL correction for the decline” and the correction is named a “fudge factor”. Blatant? Unbelievable. Again, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist, or a scientist at all to see through this garbage.

What does it all yield? Raymond plots it:

artifical2

How very convenient – the “hockey stick” which began “Mann-made Global Warming”. Raymond adds an update:

Now the data is 0.75 scaled. I think I interpreted the yrloc entry incorrectly last time, introducing an off-by-one. The 1400 point (same as the 1904) is omitted as it confuses gmuplot. These are details; the basic hockey-stick shape is unaltered.

As is the basic point – “data-cooking”. Blatant data-cooking.

And yet the Alarmists want to wave it all away saying it doesn’t matter. At least those who have a political agenda which are most. But even some scientists who believe the AGW case to be valid are having difficulties reconciling what happened at CRU with what they consider to be the role of science and how science must work:

What has been noticeably absent so far in the ClimateGate discussion is a public reaffirmation by climate researchers of our basic research values: the rigors of the scientific method (including reproducibility), research integrity and ethics, open minds, and critical thinking. Under no circumstances should we ever sacrifice any of these values; the CRU emails, however, appear to violate them.

Those aren’t the words of a skeptic or a skeptical pundit. They’re the words of Dr. Judith Curry, Chair, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology. Her main message, the same message that Raymond sends, is that this should all be open source and available to other scientists. What happened at the CRU is, in Dr. Curry’s words, indicative of “circle the wagons/point guns outward” mentality which uses “ad hominem/appeal to motive attacks; appeal to authority; isolate the enemy through lack of access to data; peer review process”. That precisely describes the emails and occurrences over the last few years as skeptics tried to get the CRU data.

Speaking of transparency, Mike Hulme, a climate scientist at the University of East Anglia has this to say about the scandal:

The key lesson to be learned is that not only must scientific knowledge about climate change be publicly owned — the I.P.C.C. does a fairly good job of this according to its own terms — but the very practices of scientific enquiry must also be publicly owned, in the sense of being open and trusted. From outside, and even to the neutral, the attitudes revealed in the emails do not look good.

There are two reasons I completely agree with his assessment: 1) the research is mostly publicly funded and 2) obviously public policy is being derived from their findings and conclusions. When science is used in that sort of a way, it must be doubly open and rigorous as far as I’m concerned. And, if scientists don’t like that, they can seek their funding elsewhere (which, btw, I’d prefer as this is a wonderful example of “advocacy science” if ever I’ve seen one).

Hulme goes on to say this about Copenhagen, again something I agree with completely:

This will blow its course soon in the conventional media without making too much difference to Copenhagen — after all, COP15 is about raw politics, not about the politics of science. But in the Internet worlds of deliberation and in the ‘mood’ of public debate about the trustworthiness of climate science, the reverberations of this episode will live on long beyond COP15. Climate scientists will have to work harder to earn the warranted trust of the public – and maybe that is no bad thing.

Copenhagen’s politics aren’t really about “climate change” and its dangers. Climate change is the only the excuse for an exercise in power as it relates to governments. That and a redistribution scheme to assuage the guilt of the liberal industrial states and the greed of the third world.

But Hulme’s point about “climate scientists” having to “work harder to earn the warranted trust of the public” is a sure thing given these emails.

So while the pundits using climate change and man’s contribution as a means to more power try to wave this off and given the fact that real scientists are recognizing the huge damage these emails do to the validity of the science of climate change, the pundits are now in the “denier” category, not the skeptics.

I, for one, find the irony delicious.

~McQ

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