Watch As Governor Ron DeSantis Takes On Woke ‘Corporatism’

The United States is a nation that has an economy, not the other way around, and our economy should be geared for helping our own people.” — Governor Ron DeSants (R-FL)


MIAMI, Florida — Speakers and attendees gathered at the National Conservatism conference this week for a series of panels and speeches discussing the movement’s objectives.

WATCH: Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “Florida is a Model for America” speech at NatCon3 in Miami, Florida.

National conservatives are less timid than establishment Republicans about using state power to go after big business and protect national interests:

they’re sharply critical of corporations, especially large tech companies they view as having an outsize role in controlling public speech and opinion and large corporations that promote left-wing ideology through employment practices and politically charged employee training.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, in his keynote address, drew a line between free enterprise and “corporatism”..

“Corporatism is not the same as free enterprise, and I think too many Republicans have viewed limited government to basically mean whatever is best for corporate America is how we want to do the economy,

My view is, obviously free enterprise is the best economic system, but that is a means to an end. It’s a means to having a good and fulfilling life and a prosperous society. It’s not an end in and of itself.”

Read the full article here.

©Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

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Economic Freedom Falls in the United States, Global Report Shows

The pandemic policies of 2020 flattened economic freedom in the United States.


The Fraser Institute’s 2022 Economic Freedom of the World Index report has been released. This year’s report covers the year 2020. The index development was led by Dr. James Gwartney in the late 1980s and early 1990s as a way of measuring economic freedom in each country.

Countries are rated on the basis of several categories and are put in four groups (quartiles) ranging from “most free” to “least free.”

The index calculates the score every year since 2000, and in five-year intervals as far back as 1970. The index rates 165 jurisdictions in the most recent report.

The report on the year 2020 is bad news for lovers of freedom in the United States. The US fell in the rankings from the 6th freest country economically to the 7th. And while that fall represents only falling by one rank, the actual decline in economic freedom is quite large.

To understand why economic freedom is falling in the US, we need to consider how the index authors measure economic freedom. They do this by considering five categories. (Readers interested in a detailed methodology can check out the Fraser website.)

1. Size of Government

The first category is the size of government. The logic is straightforward—the more resources which are controlled by government, the less individuals can access resources freely. The category measures the size of government by looking at government taxes, spending, and the amount of industry controlled by government, among other things.

In this category, the US declined in freedom. The index measures each category from 1 to 10. Getting a score of 10 means your country is the freest possible for that measure. In other words, a “10” in the size of government category would mean you have a relatively small government. A “1” would mean the government spends and taxes at very high levels.

In this category, the US fell from a score of 7.32 to 6.79. This is a decline of over half a point which is very significant for a 10-point scale. The government increased in size significantly from 2019 to 2020 due, in part, to massive spending increases.

2. Legal System and Property Rights

Central to economic freedom is the ability of individuals to rely on courts for impartial decisions relating to property disputes. The extent to which government can enforce property rights and contracts in an unbiased manner is key to economic freedom.

So how did the US fare here? Over one year, the US didn’t have much change. The score for the legal system fell slightly, from 7.64 to 7.56.

3. Access to Sound Money

The authors of the index recognize a key aspect of property rights is access to a currency that enables exchange. When government prevents access to solid currencies and engages in policies that cause the value of a national currency to fluctuate wildly, they are hampering access to sound money and impeding mutually beneficial exchange.

The authors measure money supply changes, inflation variables, and access to foreign currencies

The US is historically very high on this measure. The fact that the US dollar is the world’s reserve currency should tell us something about its soundness. In 2020 the sound money score fell from 9.75 to 9.63.

This may seem like a small change, but readers should note that this score is for 2020—before massive inflation began. The rapid expansion of the US currency started in 2020 but didn’t conclude until March 2022. So while this decrease is certainly picking up some of the currency expansion of 2020, the high inflation we’re experiencing and continued money-printing in 2021 won’t be factored in until future years.

One last thing of note is that even though this seems like a small decrease, the sound money score for the US hasn’t been this low since 2009, the beginning of the financial crisis.

4. Freedom to Trade Internationally

Economic Freedom includes the ability to voluntarily exchange your property with whoever you want—regardless of national borders. The well-being gains which spring from specialization enabled by international trade have long been recognized by economists.

Tariffs, quotas, and other restrictions on international trade are considered in this category. Again, the US saw a slight decline in economic freedom here, with the score falling from 7.83 to 7.77.

Although slight, this decline is part of a much larger and protracted trend in which the US has declined from a score of 8.81 in 2000.

5. Regulation

The last category of the index is regulation. Regulatory labor laws, restrictions on capital mobility (such as investing), and cumbersome licensing laws are a barrier to a truly free market. Laws that make certain contracts illegal because of their terms or the alleged qualifications of the participants are barriers to voluntary trade.

This category, like the size of government category, is where the US took a nosedive. From 2019 to 2020, the US fell from a score of 8.68 to 8.11. This sharp decline, over half a point, represents a massive increase in regulations.

In fact, this is the largest one-year increase in regulations in the US in this century, according to the Economic Freedom Index rankings.

The fact that the US became so much less free in the areas of “size of government” and “regulation” in 2020 should be no surprise. The rollout of massive COVID-19 spending policies and government interference in industry throughout 2020 represented a large growth of government that future taxpayers will feel for years to come.

At the same time, business regulations increased as the government attempted to use its power to stop COVID.

The author of the index, Dr. Gwartney, put it succinctly in saying, “people will continue to debate the appropriateness of the pandemic policies, but there is no question that they reduced economic freedom. The danger now is that many of these policies will remain in place in the future.”

A critical reader might wonder why this matters. What’s the big deal if economic freedom falls?

Theoretically, the argument for freedom is clear. When people are free to own and exchange property, they work to improve the value of their property. Allowing for exchange enables individuals to trade things they value less for things they value more.

There’s much to be said for why free markets are good in theory, but the Economic Freedom Index also makes the point that freer countries do better in practice. In other words, the theory works.

The authors find consistently that the “most free” countries are wealthier, live longer, have more civil rights, and are more literate. Furthermore, the poorest in the most economically free countries are richer than the poorest in less free countries. In other words, economic freedom isn’t just good for the rich.

Critics may argue that the fact that the freest countries are better off on all these margins doesn’t prove that freedom is the cause, but when paired with a logically consistent theory for why economic freedom leads to economic growth, there is a very robust case that economic freedom is the cause.

AUTHOR

Peter Jacobsen

Peter Jacobsen teaches economics and holds the position of Gwartney Professor of Economics. He received his graduate education George Mason University. His research interest is at the intersection of political economy, development economics, and population economics.

RELATED ARTICLE: What do the latest inflation numbers mean?

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

UK Abandons Net-Zero Energy Policies for Energy Security

“I’m ending the short-term thinking on energy once and for all. I’m acting now so people and businesses are supported with a new Energy Price Guarantee. I will tackle the root cause of the issue by boosting domestic energy supply to ensure we’re not in this position ever again.” —UK Prime Minister Liz Truss


In Episode 300 of District of Conservation, Gabriella discusses a development from the United Kingdom and the nation’s decision to repeal its 2019 fracking ban amid soaring energy costs. Tune in to learn how this will impact European – and  U.S. – energy policies.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

SHOW NOTES

PM Liz Truss tweets

BBC: Fracking ban in England lifted in bid to boost UK gas supply

NPR: Households across the U.K. are about to experience an 80% jump in energy costs

Sky News: Ban on fracking to be lifted as part of Liz Truss’s energy plan

Guardian: Fracking halted in England in major government U-turn

Newsweek: Putin Is Funding Green Groups to Discredit Natural Gas Fracking

Conservation Nation: Fracking Report Part 1

Conservation Nation: Fracking Report Part 2

Author

Gabriella Hoffman

Gabriella Hoffman is a Media Strategist and Award-Winning Outdoor Writer. She hosts the “District of Conservation” podcast and CFACT’s original YouTube series “Conservation Nation.” Learn more about her work at www.gabriellahoffman.com.

EDITORS NOTE: This CFACT podcast is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

America Bracing For Chaos And Pain As Tens of Thousands Railroad, Port and Hospital Workers Set to Strike

Everything the Democrat regime touches turns to shit. What normal human being would vote for this horror? The midterms should be a complete rout.

Is Biden facing a winter of discontent?

US braces for crisis as rail workers plot strike costing $2 BILLION a day, 15,000 nurses walkout in Minnesota and West Coast ports could shutdown amid contracts dispute.

By Alex Hammer For Dailymail.Com, 13 September 2022

America is bracing for chaos as tens of thousands of railway, port, and hospital workers look set to strike over the winter – plunging the country into disruption

As many as 60,000 railway workers, 15,000 nurses, and 22,000 West Coast port workers are plotting mass walkouts as they seek better working conditions

Several US freight railroads said on Friday they were preparing for widespread strike and service disruptions, a deadline set by two holdout labor groups in protracted talks with railroad carriers for better benefits

The burgeoning strike would cause mass interruptions to the nation’s expansive rail system, which are used to ferry goods shipped and flown in overseas across the country, and would costs carriers roughly $2B a day

America is bracing for chaos as tens of thousands of railway, port, and hospital workers look set to strike over the winter – plunging the country into further disruption.

As many as 60,000 railway workers, 15,000 nurses, and 22,000 West Coast port workers are plotting mass walkouts as they seek better working conditions.

Several US freight railroads said they were preparing for widespread strike and service interruptions Friday, a deadline set by two holdout labor groups in protracted talks with railroad carriers about better benefits.

The burgeoning strike would cause mass interruptions to the nation’s expansive rail system, which are used to ferry goods shipped and flown in overseas across the country, and would costs carriers roughly $2 billion a day.

The holdout from workers that transport these products – who on average earn at least $64,300 a year – already disrupted the nation’s passenger rail Monday, rattling commutes and cross-country travel for thousands of Americans in preparation for the walkouts.

Compounding the crisis are burgeoning protests from tens of thousands of workers at America’s hospitals, as more than 15,000 nurses in Minnesota staged statewide walkouts over low pay and staffing shortages. Registered nurses in the state currently make an average of $84,030 each year.

Also on the edge are the country’s more than 22,000 West Coast port workers, who man the highly trafficked twin hubs of Los Angeles and Long Beach. They are also seeking better working conditions, amid staffing issues and overwork that has become commonplace during the pandemic – despite LA workers earning six-figure salaries.

Biden administration officials are racing to prevent the strike by tens of thousands of freight railroad workers that could further disrupt an already strained supply chain and cause billions of dollars in economic damage.

The stakes for the rail system, meanwhile, are high economically – while another blow to the already backed up ports spelling trouble for the country’s supply chain, which has yet to recover from backlogs sustained during the pandemic.

The widespread chaos could spark food shortages, cause a spike in gas prices as supply dwindles, and potentially ignite further inflation.

AUTHOR

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Americans Spent More on Taxes in 2021 Than on Food, Clothing and Health Care Combined

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Key Inflation Indicator Remains Sky-High In Another Worrying Sign For Businesses

The prices faced by producers rose by 8.7% year-on-year in August as inflation continues to challenge businesses, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

While down from the near-record highs of 11.3% in June, the current price increases were over 4 times the typical rates — between 1 and 3% annually — seen in 2019 and 2020according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Producer Price Index (PPI), which measures the prices suppliers charge businesses and other customers. These elevated rates mirror Tuesday’s Consumer Price Index (CPI), which pegged inflation at 8.3%, according to the BLS.

A significant component of the decrease was accounted for by a 5.2% decline in energy costs, according to the BLS. Mirroring July’s results, the index for foods and all goods less food and energy rose by 0.1% and 0.2%, respectively.

The index for all products other than foods, energy and trade services rose by 5.6% year-over-year,  less than the 5.8% posted in July, according to the BLS. The price for unprocessed goods was still incredibly elevated, at 36.1%, more than July’s value of 30.4%, as a spike in the price of natural gas kept prices up.

The Biden administration has been taking a victory lap on economic conditions, with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen claiming the economy had undergone one of the fastest recoveries in modern history. President Joe Biden claimed that the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act had helped to combat inflation “at the kitchen table,” in a Tuesday speech at the White House.

Simultaneously, the BLS’ monthly CPI report placed inflation at 8.3%, and found that food prices had increased 13.5% annually. Rent and electricity were also up, 6.7% and 15.8% respectively.

Increased rent prices have put pressure on families in particular, with the average cost of a single family rental home up about 13.4% this year, according to CNBC. At a median cost of $2,495 per month, families who might otherwise save to purchase a house are being priced out of home ownership, CNBC reported.

Gas prices also remained incredibly elevated, despite having fallen 12.2% month-on-month, and were still up 25.6% compared to the same time last year, the BLS reported.

AUTHOR

JOHN HUGH DEMASTRI

Contributor.

RELATED ARTICLE: Food Prices Hit 40-Year High, Keep Breaking Records Every Month

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

New Study Shows A Third of Working Families Can No Longer Afford Basic Needs

“A ‘mixed economy’ is a society in the process of committing suicide. If a nation cannot survive half-slave, half-free, consider the condition of a nation in which every social group becomes both the slave and the enslaver of every other group. Ask yourself how long such a condition can last and what is its inevitable outcome. When government controls are introduced into a free economy, they create economic dislocations, hardships, and problems which, if the controls are not repealed, necessitate still further controls, which necessitate still further controls, etc. Thus a chain reaction is set up: the victimized groups seek redress by imposing controls on the profiteering groups, who retaliate in the same manner, on an ever widening scale.” — Ayn Rand The Ayn Rand Column “The Cold Civil War” 

“Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others. By what criterion of justice is a consensus-government to be guided? By the size of the victim’s gang.” — Ayn Rand, “The New Fascism: Rule by Consensus” Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal


A full third of working in the families cannot afford basic needs any more.

This is horrible consequence of the Democrats’  “economy of scarcity”  versus the MAGA Republican “economy of abundance.” In other words, communism versus capitalism, individualism versus statism.

New study shows a third of working families can no longer afford basic needs

A third of working families can’t afford basic needs: study

By Snejana Farberov and Patrick Reilly, The New York Post, September, 9, 2022

More than a third of US families that work full-time do not earn enough money to cover their most basic needs, including housing, food and child care, a new study shows.

Researchers at Brandeis University found 35% of American families do not meet the “basic family needs budget” — the amount needed to afford rent, food, transportation, medical care and minimal household expenses — despite working full-time year-round.

And the economic situation is even more dire for working black and Hispanic families, more than 50% of whom cannot afford the basics.

For comparison, a quarter of white families and 23% of Asian and Pacific Islander families are struggling to make rent and buy food, despite holding down full-time jobs.

A study by researchers at Brandeis University’s diversitydatakids.org program shows that 35% of American families with full-time jobs cannot afford the basics.

A study by researchers at Brandeis University’s diversitydatakids.org program shows that 35% of American families with full-time jobs cannot afford the basics.

Jesus Montiel, Krista Mason and their daughter Diana, 2, spend time together at their home in Wyoming, where inflation has been hitting families hard.

Jesus Montiel, Krista Mason and their daughter, Diana, 2, spend time together at their home in Wyoming, where inflation has been hitting families hard.

Low-income families with children are doing especially poorly, according to the survey, with more than two-thirds of full-time workers failing to earn enough to make ends meet.

Most of these families would need to earn about $11 more per hour to fully cover basic expenses, or about $23,500 in additional annual earnings, according to the research.

Meanwhile, black and Hispanic families would need to earn more than $12 per hour — an additional $26,500 per year — just to meet a family budget.

“These results are a wake-up call for decision makers to prioritize policies that address income inequality and racial and ethnic equity and extend real opportunities for economic self-sufficiency,” said Dr. Pamela Joshi, senior research scientist and lead study author.

View Table 1: Job Characteristics of Full-Time Full-Working Families

The study, which is based on 98,000 households, also found that more than half of low-income Hispanic families do not have health insurance, and more than three-quarters do not have pensions.

“When families can’t afford their basic needs, it places stress on parents’ health, and it increases the likelihood that children will continue to lack resources and opportunities that promote their well-being,” said study co-author Dr. Dolores Acevedo-Garcia.

The study offers several recommendations to policymakers to improve the economic outlook for low-income families, including creating more jobs that provide a living wage, expanding income support, and paid family and medical leave.

The results of the survey are based on data from 2015 to 2019, before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic that wreaked havoc on the job market, and before the recent spikes in inflation, gasoline and food prices.

View Figure 1: Additional Hourly Wages Needed by Low-Income Working Families to Earn a Family Budget at the 10th, 50th and 90th percentiles

Keep reading.

AUTHOR

RELATED ARTICLE: Americans Spent More on Taxes in 2021 Than on Food, Clothing and Health Care Combined

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Americans Spent More on Taxes in 2021 Than on Food, Clothing and Health Care Combined

Obscene and wrong. It’s why there was an American revolution and why we were founded as a nation.

Worse still, this legal plunder is funding our ruin and the destruction of our most basic freedoms.

Americans Spent More on Taxes in 2021 Than on Food, Clothing and Health Care Combined

By Terence P. Jeffrey | CNS News | September 9, 2022 |

(CNSNews.com) – According to newly released data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans in 2021 once again spent more on average on taxes than they did on food, clothing and health care combined.

During 2021, according to Table R-1 in the BLS’ Consumer Expenditure Survey, American “consumer units” spent an average of $15,495.28 on food, clothing and health care combined, while paying an average of $16,729.73 in total taxes to federal, state and local governments.

“A consumer unit,” the BLS says in the glossary for its Consumer Expenditure Survey, “comprises either (1) all members of a particular household who are related by blood, marriage, adoption or other legal arrangements; (2) persons living alone or sharing a household with others or living as a roomer in a private home or lodging house or in a permanent living quarters in a hotel or motel, but who is financially independence; or (3) two or more person living together who use their income to make joint expenditure decisions.”

On average in 2021, American consumer units spent $8,289.28 on food; $1,754.39 on clothing (apparel and apparel-related services); and $5,451.61 on health care.

That equaled a combined $15,495.28.

At that same time, American consumer units were paying an average $16,729.73 in net total taxes.

These included $8,561.46 in federal income taxes; $5,565.45 in Social Security taxes; $2,564.14 in state and local income taxes; $2,475.18 in property taxes; $105.21 in other taxes—minus an average of $2,541.71 in stimulus payments received back from the government.

Read the rest….

AUTHOR

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EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

No, Slavery Did Not Make America Rich

The historical record of the post-war economy demonstrates slavery was neither a central driving force of, or economically necessary for, American economic dominance. 


In 1847, Karl Marx wrote that

Without slavery you have no cotton; without cotton you have no modern industry…cause slavery to disappear and you will have wiped America off the map of nations.

As with most of his postulations concerning economics, Marx was proven wrong.

Following the Civil War and the abolition of slavery in 1865, historical data show there was a recession, but after that, post-war economic growth rates rivaled or surpassed the pre-war growth rates, and America continued on its path to becoming the number one political and economic superpower, ultimately superseding Great Britain (see Appendix Figure 1).

The historical record of the post-war economy, one would think, obviously demonstrated slavery was neither a central driving force of, or economically necessary for, American economic dominance, as Marx thought it was. And yet, somehow, even with the benefit of hindsight, there are many academics and media pundits still echoing Marx today.

For instance, in his essay published by The New York Times’ 1619 Project, Princeton sociologist Matthew Desmond claims the institution of slavery “helped turn a poor, fledgling nation into a financial colossus.”

“The industrial revolution was based on cotton, produced primarily in the slave labor camps of the United States,” Noam Chomsky similarly stated in an interview with the Times. Both claims give the impression that slavery was essential for industrialization and/or American economic hegemony, which is untrue.

The Industrial Revolution paved the way for modern economic development and is widely regarded to have occurred between 1760 and 1830, starting in Great Britain and subsequently spreading to Europe and the US.

As depicted in Figure 1., raw cotton produced by African-American slaves did not become a significant import in the British economy until 1800, decades after the Industrial Revolution had already begun.

Although the British later imported large quantities of American cotton, economic historians Alan L. Olmstead and Paul W. Rhode note that “the American South was a late-comer to world cotton markets,” and  “US cotton played no role in kick-starting the Industrial Revolution.”

Nor was the revolution sparked by Britain’s involvement with slavery more broadly, as David Eltis and Stanley L. Engerman assessed that the contribution of British 18th-century slave systems to industrial growth was “not particularly large.”

There is also the theory that the cotton industry, dependent on slavery, triggered industrialization in the northern United States by facilitating the growth of textile industries. But as demonstrated by Kenneth L. Sokoloff, the Northern manufacturing sector was incredibly dynamic, and productivity growth was broad-based and in no way exclusive to cotton textiles.

Eric Holt has further elaborated, pointing out that

the vast literature on the industrial revolution that economic historians have produced shows that it originated in the creation and adoption of a wide range of technologies, such as the steam engine and coke blast furnace, which were not directly connected to textile trading networks.

The bodies of the enslaved served as America’s largest financial asset, and they were forced to maintain America’s most exported commodity… the profits from cotton propelled the US into a position as one of the leading economies in the world and made the South its most prosperous region.

This is the argument made by P.R. Lockhart of Vox.

While slavery was an important part of the antebellum economy, claims about its central role in the Industrial Revolution and in America’s rise to power via export-led growth are exaggerated.

Olmstead and Rhode have observed that although cotton exports comprised a tremendous share of total exports prior to the Civil War, they accounted for only around 5 percent of the nation’s overall gross domestic product, an important contribution but not the backbone of American economic development (see Appendix Figure 2).

One can certainly argue that slavery made the slaveholders and those connected to the cotton trade extremely wealthy in the short run, but the long-run impact of slavery on overall American economic development, particularly in the South, is undeniably and unequivocally negative.

As David Meyer of Brown University explains, in the pre-war South, “investments were heavily concentrated in slaves,” resulting in the failure “to build a deep and broad industrial infrastructure,” such as railroads, public education, and a centralized financial system.

Economic historians have repeatedly emphasized that slavery delayed Southern industrialization, giving the North a tremendous advantage in the Civil War.

Harvard economist Nathan Nunn has shown that across the Americas, the more dependent on slavery a nation was in 1750, the poorer it was in 2000 (see Appendix Figure 3.). He found the same relationship in the US. In 2000, states with more slaves in 1860 were poorer than states with fewer slaves and much poorer than the free Northern states (see Appendix Figure 4.)

According to Nunn,

looking either across countries within the Americas, or across states and counties within the U.S., one finds a strong significant negative relationship between past slave use and current income.

Slavery was an important part of the American economy for some time, but the reality is that it was completely unnecessary and stunted economic development, and it made Americans poorer even over 150 years later.

The historical and empirical evidence is in accordance with the conclusion of Olmstead and Rhode—that slavery was

a national tragedy that…inhibited economic growth over the long run and created social and racial divisions that still haunt the nation.

Figure 1. US share of British Cotton Imports over time

Figure 2. Cotton Exports and Gross Domestic Product

Figure 3. Partial correlation plot between the slave population as a share of the total population in 1750 and national income per capita in 2000 of countries of the Americas

Figure 4. Bivariate plot showing the relationship between the slave population as a share of the total population in 1860 and state incomes per capita in 2000

AUTHOR

Corey Iacono

Corey Iacono is a Master of Business graduate student at the University of Rhode Island with a bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Science and a minor in Economics.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin Vows to Stop ‘Ridiculous’ State Ban on Gas Vehicles

The totalitarian Newsom government on the communist state of California has banned gas vehicles.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin vows to stop ‘ridiculous’ state ban on gas vehicles

Former Virginia Gov. Northam signed legislation in 2021 tying state’s emissions policies to California’s Air Resources Board

By: Anders Hagstrom, Fox Business, August 28, 202

Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin is working to dismantle Virginia’s push toward electric vehicles, calling the move “ridiculous” in a Sunday statement.

Virginia’s former governor, Democrat Ralph Northam, signed legislation in 2021 tying the state’s emissions policies to the California Air Resources Board. The board has imposed a regimen to eliminate the sale of gas and diesel vehicles by 2035, forcing Virginia to do the same thanks to the 2021 law.

“In an effort to turn Virginia into California, liberal politicians who previously ran our government sold Virginia out by subjecting Virginia drivers to California vehicle laws,” Youngkin wrote in a statement on Twitter. “Now, under that pact, Virginians will be forced to adopt the California law that prohibits the sale of gas and diesel-fueled vehicles.”

“I am already at work to prevent this ridiculous edict from being forced on Virginians. California’s out of touch laws have no place in our Commonwealth,” he continued.

Keep reading…

AUTHOR

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Home Purchases Now Near Its Lowest Level of the 2019-22 Period Due to Rates More Than Doubling Since January, 2021

Key takeaways:

  • The 10-year old seller’s market continues, evidenced by:
    • Modest purchase volume declines, in spite of a cumulative 39% increase in constant quality HPA since January 2020,
    • Historically tight supply,
    • The work from home revolution, and
    • Arbitrage opportunities due to metro & regional price differences.
  • Purchase volume for week 35 is down 31% & 15% from 2021 & 2019, respectively, with HPA projected to moderate to 12.4%, 11.2%, & 10% in August, September, & October 2022, respectively.
  • If the current mortgage rate of around 6% holds, we expect December 2022 HPA to slow to 6-8% (y-o-y) as demand will further moderate and supply will increase.
  • HPA declines seem most likely at the high end of expensive markets, at the low end of some FHA markets, and in metros with stagnating or declining job growth.

PDF to full report

AUTHORS

Edward J. Pinto

Senior Fellow and Director, AEI Housing Center.

Tobias Peter

Research Fellow and Assistant Director, AEI Housing Center.

EDITORS NOTE: This AEI Housing Finance Watch for Week 35, 2022 is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Bank of America’s New Racist Policy: Offers Zero Down Payment, Zero Closing Cost Mortgage Loans to Non-Whites

This is absolute racism and a flagrant violation of our civil rights laws. More unequal application of law. The greatness of quality for all under the law, shredded along with every great American freedom.

Bank of America’s New Racist Policy: Offers Zero Down Payment, Zero Closing Cost Mortgage Loans to Non-Whites

By: Daniel, Red Right Videos, September 6, 2022:

Equal rights are a rallying cry for progressive liberals. They want diversity to permeate each and every aspect of American culture. On the one hand, they insist that all Americans are created equal, particularly minorities. But they enact legislation and policies that oppress certain racial or social groups.
“My biggest prediction in 50 years on Wall Street”

Favoring Americans because of their skin tone is hypocritical. However, a number of “woke” companies have continued to exclude one race from certain programs in spite of this. During the pandemic, only Hispanic farmers were given assistance from a particular program that was designed to help.

This is hardly the only instance of how people of a specific race or skin tone are offered financial advantages. A unique initiative for home loans was recently unveiled by Bank of America. Prospective homeowners will be able to apply for a zero-down payment in a few U.S. cities.

The program will also offer zero-closing-cost mortgages. There’s only one big problem. If the aspiring new homeowner is, say, white, Asian, or anything other than black or Hispanic, they don’t qualify. There are also some other interesting features to this program of racial favoritism.

There will be no requirement to carry mortgage insurance. Besides this suspicious loan security omission, no minimum credit score is required. Does anyone else see a trend here that mirrors the dreadful housing collapse that happened in 2008?

Is Bank of America trying to repeat the same calamity that devastated the U.S. housing industry? Or maybe, Bank of America is just another massive corporation trying to look “woke.” In many respects, this doesn’t even appear to be legal.

There are housing discrimination laws in America. Offering people of a particular race or skin color an advantage in the housing market is blatant discrimination against those who do not qualify. Once again, in the name of diversity, white Americans are being discriminated against.

AUTHOR

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EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Van Jones: Biden Wants Election to Be about Trump, Not Inflation

Monday on CNN’s Situation Room, CNN Political Commentator Van Jones stated that President Biden wants the election “to be a choice between Trump and himself” but that he needs to tell people, “I’m not just going to write you off” if you don’t vote Democrat.

Jones said, “I think he’s trying to do something that’s difficult. He wants this election, frankly, to be a choice between Trump and himself, and not just a referendum on inflation, etc. So, that’s a part of the political strategy here.”

To be clear, what Biden wants is to divert attention from his catastrophic presidency and demonize Trump and the Right as domestic terrorists, fascists, and threats to democracy. His “strategy” is fear-mongering and the politics of personal destruction.

Jones continued, giving the mentally decrepit and hateful Biden far more credit than he deserves: “What Joe Biden should be saying [to the GOP] is, ‘Guys, I’m not even asking you guys to become Democrats. I want you to become Republicans again. I want you to actually be true to your best values. You are the party of Lincoln. You are the party of Jack Kemp. I want to work with you, be your best self. I’ll fix my party. I’ve got nuts in my party, but you’ve got to be better in your own party.’ That kind of conversation from Joe Biden, I think would shock a lot of people. I think the idea that you only talk to people if you can convince them to vote for you, and if they won’t vote with you, you don’t care about them, that’s not us. That’s some new, weird stuff in America. It works on Twitter. It doesn’t work when you’re trying to run a country.”

Jones is right when he says that painting half the country as the enemy is no way to run a country. But that’s the Democrat way.


Van Jones

128 Known Connections

Jones says he became politically radicalized in the aftermath of the April 1992 Los Angeles riots which erupted shortly after four L.A. police officers who had beaten the now-infamous Rodney King were exonerated in court. “I was a rowdy nationalist on April 28th,” says Jones, “and then the verdicts came down on April 29th. By August, I was a communist.”

In early May 1992, after the L.A. riots had ended, Jones was dispatched by LCCR executive director Eva Patterson to serve as a legal monitor at a nonviolent protest (against the Rodney King verdicts) in San Francisco. Local police, fearful that the event would devolve into violence, stopped the proceedings and arrested many of the participants, including all the legal monitors. Jones spent a short time in jail, and all charges against him were subsequently dropped. Recalling his brief incarceration, Jones says: “I met all these young radical people of color. I mean really radical: communists and anarchists. And it was, like, ‘This is what I need to be a part of.’ I spent the next ten years of my life working with a lot of those people I met in jail, trying to be a revolutionary.”

To learn more about Van Jones, click here.

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ANTONI: A Massive Economic Storm Is Already Overhead And Nobody Seems To Notice

When ominously dark clouds roll in on a hot afternoon driven by a stiff wind, it doesn’t take a crystal ball to know a storm is coming. Yet the economic equivalent is already overhead, and no one seems to notice.

Many people are worried about the economy, and rightly so. Investors looking to the stock market have no sense of direction as major indices and commodity prices fluctuate violently. Potential homebuyers and existing homeowners alike are seeing the housing market in freefall. Workers can find jobs, but it is difficult to find work where the pay keeps up with inflation.

While all the above are troubling, they are not the scariest harbinger today for a worsening recession.

It’s not the fact that the economy has already contracted for two consecutive quarters. Debating whether that should be considered a recession is, at this point, an academic exercise which ignores the reality of key factors that are already baked into the cake and whose impact will be felt in the coming months.

The biggest recessionary factor that should have alarm bells ringing is new orders for business, especially manufacturing, which are plummeting.

Manufacturing surveys from Federal Reserve Banks in New YorkDallasPhiladelphia, and Richmond show new orders for business falling fast, in some cases at the fastest pace on record. The corresponding service sector surveys show similar trends with deteriorating business conditions and declining new orders.

In the New York survey, current business conditions are rated worse than any time besides the depths of the 2009 crash and the pandemic. In July, future business conditions were worse than at any point besides September 2001, when the survey was taken right after 9/11. In other words, the coming economic storm is more worrisome to manufacturers than anything besides a terrorist attack.

And in case anyone thinks these may all just be regional phenomena happening in the respective Federal Reserve Bank districts, the Census Bureau’s most recent reports on new orders for durable goods and retail sales showed all growth vanished in July.

S&P’s Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) initial report for August shows new orders for the private sector falling at the fastest pace in over two years. The Institute for Supply Management’s PMI for both manufacturing and the hospital sector also showed new orders declining in the most recent reports.

Falling new orders are particularly troubling because it means businesses cannot sustain current output levels nor current employment levels.

Why is this not front-page news? Probably because it is being hidden. There is no conspiracy here; it is largely a numerical fluke left over from the pandemic. Government-imposed lockdowns severely curtailed production throughout the economy and created countless supply chain disruptions. That caused new orders at businesses to pile up, creating a record backlog of unfilled orders.

Today, those businesses are rapidly working through their unfilled orders, hiring additional employees to do so. Even though new orders coming in are declining fast, current output is still increasing, and the hiring spree continues. With nearly all the kinks worked out of the supply chain, the only missing ingredient for many businesses is labor.

But that raises a question as ominous as those storm clouds on a hot afternoon: what happens when the backlog of unfilled orders is gone?

At that point, businesses will have to scale back, output will decline and employees will be let go. Fewer people working and earning an income will mean reduced production and consumption, which means recession. Higher interest rates exacerbate the situation.

It’s no wonder that the Conference Board’s leading economic indicators have trended down for the last six months and show new orders slowing; new orders are the canary in the coalmine for this economy. Business leaders would do well to notice the bird is suffocating.

AUTHOR

E.J. ANTONI

E.J. Antoni is a research fellow for regional economics at the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis and a Senior Fellow at Committee to Unleash Prosperity.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Hawaii is No. 1 In the World – In Tourist Taxes

Last month, the website money.co.uk published an article giving our Honolulu a claim to international fame (or infamy).  It listed the city as having the highest tourist tax of any city in the world.  It noted our 10.25% transient accommodations tax, to which is added 3% county TAT.  “That’s already a hefty tax anywhere in the world,” the article says, “but when consider that the average room in Honolulu costs £321 ($390), that equates to £42.53 ($51.70) a night.”

The runner-up, according to the article, was San Francisco, which charges a 14% transient occupancy tax.  Its average room night was a bit less pricey at $212 per night, leading to a tax bite of $29.61 per night.

Meaning that, even with the article’s numbers, Honolulu is 75% higher in taxes than the second most tourist-taxed city in the world.

But that doesn’t show an accurate picture.  The article seems to have screwed up.

You see, they forgot to include the GET, which appears on hotel folios on top of the 13.25% TAT.  So, our tax is actually higher.  Quite a bit higher.

Indeed, if 4.712% is added in, our tax toll rises to 17.962%, or $70.05 a night (£57.62 for those keeping score in British pounds sterling).  This astronomical total is almost double the levy in San Francisco and almost six times that in the priciest destination in a non-U.S. country, namely Amsterdam in the Netherlands, which was scored at 11.31 euros (£9.73 or $11.82) a night.

But wait!  There’s more.

The article also compares countries charging flat rate tourist taxes, such as departure taxes charged at the airport.  Mexico is currently the winner at 224 Mexican pesos ($11.12 with currencies being converted at the rate in effect on June 30, 2020).  The next few countries, Thailand at 300 baht ($8.53), Belgium at 7.50 euros ($7.87), and Japan at 1000 yen ($7.33), all impose departure taxes at less than $10.

Conservation groups in Hawaii have been pushing for enactment of a Hawaii “visitor green fee,” which would work much like these departure taxes.  They, as well as one University of Hawaii economist, have noted that some island destinations such as Palau and the Galapagos Islands levy a $100 visitor green fee, and have urged Hawaii to adopt such a fee.  In the 2021 legislature, two bills (HB 805 and SB 666) would have imposed a visitor fee of $40.

If we actually imposed such a fee, it would vault us to the top of this list as well, and by a wide margin.  (Apparently Palau and the Galapagos didn’t make the list of the 100 most visited cities according to Euromonitor International, which the rankings were based on, and thus weren’t included.)

Fortunately, as we have noted before, such fees would violate the U.S. Constitution and thus cannot be charged by any individual State or county.  So, we shouldn’t be spending more time and energy trying to make our state and cities even more of an international outlier when it comes to tourist taxes and fees.

For those of us who think tourists are bad news and should stay the heck away from Hawaii Nei, these taxes are probably going to accomplish what you want.  Tourists are going to think twice, or more, before shelling out for an experience in Hawaiian paradise.  We have seen the economic result of tourists staying home en masse, because this is what happened during the pandemic.  The pain of workforce layoffs and business closures continues to this day.  Is that the future you want?  Is that the future we want?

We need to stop winning international contests like this.

AUTHOR

Tom Yamachika

President Tax Foundation Hawaii

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Replacement cost of a Chevrolet Volt Battery $29,842.15 but it gets worse, much worse!

In 2019 GM retired the Chevy Volt to make way for its successor, the more compact but fully electric Chevy Bolt. We recently received a copy of an estimate from Roger Dean Chevrolet, located in Cape Coral, Florida, to replace the battery in a Chevy Volt (VIN: 101RB6E4XCU113962) that has on its odometer 70,489 miles. Using an average of 12,000 miles driven per year we estimated that this Volt was purchased in 2017.

Here are the costs to replace the battery:

  • Labor $1,200
  • Parts $26,887.97
  • Misc. $41.50
  • Tax $$1,712.68
  • TOTAL: $29,842.15

QUESTION: Do we really need all electric vehicles, at all?

ANSWER: Let’s look at the numbers to answer this question.

All electric cars depreciate faster than internal combustion engine, i.e. gas-powered, cars. The most significant vehicle depreciation typically occurs after purchase and within the first three years. According to an iSeeCars study, EV owners can expect 52 percent depreciation in the first three years.

Add to this an iSeeCars August 23rd, 2022 all electric care pricing article by Julie Blackley who reported,

Electric car prices went up 54.3% in July from last year compared to 10.1% for conventional/internal combustion cars.

Used car prices remain elevated in the wake of the global microchip shortage, but they began to level off in the second half of 2022. However, according to iSeeCars’ recent analysis, over the same period prices for electric cars continued to increase significantly. In July, electric car prices saw an increase of 54.3% from the same month last year while gas-powered cars were up just 10.1%. 

iSeeCars analyzed the prices of over 13.8 million 1-5 year old used cars sold between January and July of 2021 and 2022 to determine the price growth of electric cars compared to conventional fuel vehicles.

“Until recently, mainstream electric vehicles typically depreciated rapidly due to improvements in battery technology and a lack of demand in the secondary market,” said iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer. “However, soaring gas prices, improvements in public charging infrastructure, and a lack of inventory for new EVs have led to soaring demand for used electric vehicles.

Read more

We also reported on how Biden and his administration actually caused the soaring gas prices and inflation.

Add to this a September 2nd, 2022 article which reported,

Going somewhere for the holiday weekend?  Not if you live in California and drive an electric vehicle, you’re not.  California issued an emergency alert asking people not to charge their EVs because the power grid can’t handle the demand.  This from a state that is moving to ban the sale of gas-powered vehicles. So how’s this going to work when the internal combustion engine is gone, natural gas appliances are banned, and everyone has to rely on electricity for getting around, heating their homes, and washing their clothes.  The short answer is: it’s not.  The numbers don’t add up.  But that’s the bright green energy future into which your insane leaders want to take you.

Here’s one thing that will happen in that future.  Everyone will have smart meters and the government will simply order the power cut off whenever it feels like it.  Don’t believe me?  It’s already happening.  How did you like the story out of Denver this week, where 22,000 households were locked out of their thermostats and couldn’t adjust their air conditioning when it got hot?  No car, no A/C, no appliances, whenever the government decides it’s time to control your behavior.

We also reported that  the electricity needed to charge one all electric vehicle is the equivalent of running four (4) total home air conditioning systems.

The Climate Crisis Myth

The Biden administration has used the myth of a climate crisis to push for massive funding to go all electric. Not just cars and trucks but also doing away with the use of all fossil fuels. Despite the fact that the world uses fossil fuels to produce 84% of its electrical power.

On August 5th, 2021 Reuters reported,

President Joe Biden took a step toward his goal of slashing greenhouse gas emissions on Thursday [August 5, 2021] with an executive order aimed at making half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 electric, a move made with backing from the biggest U.S. automakers. The administration also proposed new vehicle emissions standards that would cut pollution through 2026, starting with a 10% stringency increase in the 2023 model year. [Emphasis added]

Read more.

On August 2nd, 2022 the Federal Highway Administration announced,

In keeping with President Biden’s commitment to build out a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle (EV) chargers by 2030, the U.S. Departments of Transportation and Energy today announced all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have submitted EV infrastructure deployment plans as required under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program established and funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. These plans are required to unlock the first round of the $5 billion of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law formula funding available over 5 years to help states accelerate the important work of building out the national EV charging network and making electric vehicle charging accessible to all Americans. The on-time submission of every single plan demonstrates the widespread commitment from states to build out EV charging infrastructure to help accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles, create good jobs, and combat the climate crisis.

Read more.

August 18, 2022 World Net Daily’s Art Moore reported,

Led by a Nobel Prize laureate, more than 1,100 scientists and scholars have signed a document declaring climate science is based more on personal beliefs and political agendas than sound, rigorous science.

The World Climate Declaration states climate science “should be less political, while climate policies should be more scientific.”

“Scientists should openly address uncertainties and exaggerations in their predictions of global warming, while politicians should dispassionately count the real costs as well as the imagined benefits of their policy measures,” the declaration reads.

The declaration was organized by Climate Intelligence, an independent policy foundation founded in 2019 by Dutch emeritus professor of geophysics Guus Berkhout and Dutch science journalist Marcel Crok.

Read more.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is:

  1. Biden caused our current gasoline and diesel fuels crisis.
  2. Biden by executive order mandated 50% of all vehicles be electric by 2030.
  3. Biden and Congress allocated billions of dollars to build 500,000 charging stations in all 50 states, D.C. and territories.
  4. Biden unilaterally declared a climate crisis.
  5. Biden has called those who disagree with his green agenda semi-fascists.

So there you have it. Biden’s fake crisis to create an unachievable and costly green agenda that will cost every American dearly.

To make things worse on August 28th, 2022 the Biden administration has handed California the power to mandate EVs nationwide.

America will continue to go down the green brick road to deal with a Mythological Climate Agenda which will inextricably lead to an Economic Armageddon.

Biden’s goal is to turn America into Newsom’s California. Biden has gone full woke and Americans are going broke (penniless, moneyless, bankrupt, insolvent, poor, poverty-stricken).

Get it? Got it? Good!

©Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

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