Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: October 29, 2010


AGW skeptics the moral equivalent of slavery defenders

Mark Hemingway at the Washington Examiner brings this little goodie to our attention:

The American public is still mired in doubt about the science and the economics of climate change, he said, but is ready for the kind of social shift that eventually brought success to the abolition movement of the 18th and 19th centuries.

“Just as few people saw a moral problem with slavery in the 18th century, few people in the 21st century see a moral problem with the burning of fossil fuels,” Professor [Andrew] Hoffman [of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and School of Natural Resources] said. “Will people in 100 years look at us with the same incomprehension we feel toward 18th-century defenders of slavery?”

So now skeptics of AGW are the moral equivalent of slavery defenders because they don’t agree that the science is there which supports the warmists view that man’s CO2 emissions are the driver of global climate change?   Really?

If people might do anything during a 100 year retrospective it will be to look askance at the rhetoric this particular issue generated from one particular side.  My guess is they’ll look at Hoffman’s analogy and shake their head in wonder at the absurdity of his claim.

I’m not sure what offends me more – Hoffman’s attempt to equate scientific skepticism with an immoral institution like slavery or his obvious ignorance of the fact that science is skepticism.

Hoffman needs to also get out more – there is little if any “social shift” in the making concerning this nonsense.  The science is not settled (in fact it is badly discredited), there is no consensus and until there is much more solid evidence from the scientific community – not some divinity school drop out and failed presidential candidate – the public isn’t going to willingly sacrifice its economic well being on some incredibly expensive scheme concocted by warmists that most likely will have no effect whatsoever on the alleged problem.

But, then, what do we slavers know.

~McQ


House Math

House math is decidedly more complex than Senate math if for no other reason than the number of House races.  All the seats are up for grabs every two years.

At present, the mix is 255/178 Dems (with two vacant I believe).  However, when you look at the races, and consider “safe seats”, the mix goes to 123/163 GOP.  That’s right, the GOP holds a 40 seat advantage in the “safe seat” category.

If we add “likely” for each of the parties, the mix becomes  148/176 GOP.  218 is the number needed for a majority.

That brings us to the “leans” either Dem or GOP category.  Assuming all those in the “likely” category  go to the designated party, “leans” is the first category where things could go either way.  While it is likely that it will go to the party in which the polls “lean”, it isn’t certain.

As it breaks down, there are 29 likely to go Dem and 48 likely to go GOP.  The difference is that of the 29 likely to go Dem, only 2 are seats presently held by Republicans.   However, on the other side, of the 48 seats leaning toward the GOP, 42 are seats presently held by Democrats – most of them Blue Dogs.

Here’s where you have to decide how many on each side will actually go to the party to which the district now leans.  In my case it comes down to a SWAG (Scientific Wild Assed Guess).  I’m saying 70% on each side.  That’s pretty conservative given the way I see this election shaping up.  However that brings our mix to 179/222 GOP (and a majority in the House for the Republicans).

That’s not even counting the 34 “toss up races”.  Of those 34 races, 32 involve incumbent Democrats while only 2 involve Republicans.   Again, going conservative, let’s say they split 50-50.   17 to each side.

The final mix?

196/239 GOP – a solid majority.  Not quite as robust as the existing Democratic majority now, but a huge swing.  And again, note that Republicans can win the majority in the House by winning 70% of the “lean GOP” races and without winning a single “toss up”.

So – my prediction? 

GOP picks up 61 seats.  That’s actually 6 more seats than I was figuring last week.

~McQ


German austerity v. US profligacy – guess which one is working out best?

While the US remains mired in recession (despite the claim its over) and the usual suspects are claiming we need to spend even more money we don’t have, Germany has managed a minor miracle. Eschewing a large stimulus package and instead opting for austerity and pro-business legislation, it has seen almost the opposite of US results:

"Although October’s decline in unemployment turned out weaker than expected, the underlying trend in the German labor market clearly remains one of rapid improvement on the back of strong economic growth," said Aline Schuiling from ABN Amro.

Data on Europe’s biggest economy over the past week has been bullish, signaling its unexpectedly strong recovery could hold up in the face of signs of fragility in the global economy.

Consumer morale remains at its highest level since May 2008 going into November on expectations for a further rebound, a survey by GfK market research group showed on Tuesday.

Business sentiment hit its highest level in 3-1/2 years in October and firms’ expectations also improved, a survey showed last week, and the corporate outlook continued to improve on Thursday.

As I’ve pointed out in many other posts, this isn’t rocket science. People respond to incentives. People respond positively to positive incentives. That’s what is happening in Germany which has economically battled back first from the absorption of East Germany and now a deep recession to a position of prosperity and growing economic stability.

Meanwhile here we’re about to go into QE2 all while popinjays like Paul Krugman encourage us to go more deeply in debt as a country because everyone knows that government spends money much more wisely and well than do individuals.

~McQ