URLs du Jour


A pretty clever video from the folks at the American Institute for Economic Research: Mises vs. Marx.

A fair debate? I know enough about my own biases to avoid weighing in. I liked it, though.

  • At AEI, Benjamin Zycher reveals The trouble with ‘renewable’ energy. Just one?

    Notwithstanding the romantic view of wind and solar power held by many, they are not cost-competitive, they are very far from clean, and they would do remarkably little to limit greenhouse-gas emissions and anthropogenic climate change, the “crisis” view of which is unsupported by the evidence. Several available analyses show that a major expansion of wind and solar power would increase the emissions of such conventional pollutants as carbon monoxide. Even apart from those problems, the renewable-electricity component of the GND is unworkable as a matter of straightforward electrical engineering, unless one believes that the American electorate will accept constant and widespread blackouts.

    Click over for the deets. Bottom line is also worth quoting:

    The forced expansion of renewable electricity and the adoption of the Green New Deal would yield no positive outcomes. They are all cost and no benefit, derived from falsehoods, environmentally destructive, anti-human, and authoritarian. They are a fitting monument to leftist ideology.

    Other than that, though, it's fine.

  • Jonathan S. Tobin points out a simple truth at the Federalist: Now That 'Sesame Street' Is On HBO, PBS Doesn't Need Tax Dollars. I would only quibble with the qualification before the comma: PBS never deserved tax dollars. But let's let Mr. Tobin make his case:

    Back in the 1960s, when television meant three national channels and a smattering of independent outlets located only in major markets, there may have been an argument for public broadcasting. With so few choices available, the idea of the state creating an educational alternative to the commercial networks made some sense. In that context, federal funding for the network that provided a home to shows such as “Sesame Street,” documentaries, classical music, and quality British imports was defensible.

    Liberals tended to dominate the news programs and documentaries. Large, liberal nonprofit foundations that have always found the government channel a friendly place to push their ideology have heavily influenced PBS programming. But WNET, New York City’s PBS affiliate, was also home to the original television news discussion show William F. Buckley’s “Firing Line.” Buckley’s program, which began airing in 1966 and ran until 1999, was the most literate show in television history and the place where many Americans (myself included) began their journey to conservatism.

    Now it's tough to find anything on PBS that couldn't have been provided by other sources. Here at Pun Salad Manor, Mrs. Salad likes watching the cooking shows, but they're essentially 30-minute commercials for their providers, who want you to buy their books and subscribe to their magazines.

  • I guess National Review's Jim Geraghty is talking to me: Never-Trump Conservatives -- Democrats Think They Can Win without You. ("Yeah, I noticed.")

    A  few days ago, Ericka Anderson, an old friend of National Review, popped up in the pages of the New York Times lamenting that “the Democratic presidential field neglects abundant pools of potential Democrat converts, leaving persuadable audiences — like independents and Trump-averse, anti-abortion Christians (some of whom are white evangelicals) — without options.”

    It’s not fair to expect the Democratic party to re-tailor its positions to appeal to conservatives disgruntled with Trump. When a Democrat and a Republican get into a bidding war for the vote of a conservative, the Republican is almost always going to win. And Democrats could reasonably argue that depending on how strictly or narrowly you define it, the demographic consisting of never-Trump or Trump-skeptical or Trump-weary right-leaning voters is not big enough to be decisive in a race. Then again, after the 2016 election came down to Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Minnesota all being decided by 2 percent or less, perhaps no demographic should be written off as being too small to be decisive.

    My "Dave Barry write-in" strategy continues to look like my best option.

  • The American Institute for Economic Research provided the video up top, and it also hosts Veronique de Rugy's latest column: Medicare-For-All Is a Plot to Pillage You.

    As Brian Riedl notes recently,  one of the ideas floating around is that we simply need to come up with a $35 trillion tax to pay for it all (I am not kidding). He writes, “Proponents [of M4A] assert that the $35 trillion that families and businesses are currently projected to pay over the next decade in health premiums, out-of-pocket expenses, and state taxes to fund Medicaid would all be replaced with a $35 trillion federal ‘single-payer tax….”  

    Yet we have no details of how that would work in practice, and no one who supports M4A so far has offered an actual plan for the elusive $35 trillion replacement tax. Riedl writes, “Congressional Budget Office data show that raising $35 trillion would require a payroll tax increase of 39 percentage points, or a value-added tax of 91 percent – an enormous burden even for families no longer paying premiums.”

    As with Obamacare, the strategy will be to hide the details until it's too late.