Category Archives: Economics

Animal’s Daily Debt Cancelling News

“Cancelling” student debt is a stupid idea, and here’s a good explanation as to why.  Excerpt:

An unthinkable conundrum is our reality: the dumbest people in your high school class are now in political power, making the same thoughtless demands they made back when you thought it was just their hormones. 

“I don’t feel like paying my debts because it’s too hard,” is the summary of their I WANT FREE STUFF demand du jour. 

“OK, so who should pay your debts?” you ask. “That’s selfish and racist,” is the response. Seriously. 

This would all be a fantastical, hysterical story, if it were not real.

In anticipation of Biden’s looming presidency, leftists began organizing their FREE STUFF priority lists. On the top of many lists you will find cancellation of student loan debt and free healthcare. Where do they think the money will come from? Why, your wallet, of course! Biden is expected to raise taxes to pay for that “free” stuff. 

Never forget this: the understanding that they must take money from the working to pay for the debts of those not working (or not earning as much) — is in itself proof that they know “free” or “cancel” is a lie. There is no such thing as free because someone always pays for it, and leftists know this. That’s why they call to raise taxes “on the rich” — a puffed lie because it is not wealth that is taxed yearly, but earnings, income, work product. It is work that is taxed, not “wealth.” 

The article makes a good point; advocacy of “cancelling” student debt is a direct subsidy of Gender Studies degrees by plumbers, carpenters, car salesman and every other productive citizen in the country.  That’s bad enough to condemn the idea in and of itself, but the most important thing that makes this a bad idea is missed in the linked article:

Responsibility.

Every damn one of these mindless brats yelling to have their loans paid by someone else – make no mistake, that’s what they are asking for – signed a furshlugginer loan agreement, detailing terms of repayment, interest rates, conditions for forbearance, and so on.  It’s the law.   Now they want a mulligan.

What’s next?  Will they buy a new Mercedes, and demand to have their car loan forgiven with no consequences?  Their mortgage?  To hell with that.  As go any loans, so go student loans:  You signed.  You agreed to the terms.  You pay.  End of story.

Animal’s Daily Ethanol News

Before we start, check out my latest Alaska update over at Glibertarians.  And thanks to our pals over at The Daley Gator for the linkback; if you’re not reading The Daley Gator, well, daily, you should be!

Here’s an interesting summary of the stupidity that is the U.S. policy of subsidizing ethanol.  Excerpt:

The first subsidy for ethanol as fuel arrived under the Carter administration when Americans, shocked by turbulent, rising oil prices, grasped at straws, or more specifically, corn stalks, seeking to cushion the blow. But ethanol’s boom truly arrived thirty years later with the passage of the Renewable Fuel Standard program, requiring a small percentage of “renewable” biofuels – almost always corn ethanol – to make up a small proportion of conventional gasoline in transportation fuels, usually about ten percent.

Fifteen years after the program’s inception, it’s becoming apparent that corn ethanol has been a failure for everyone except corn growers. For starters, it has driven up the price of corn. Again, that’s great for corn farmers and corn-growing states like Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, and Minnesota, but not so great for consumers across the country. Whether its for feeding livestock, distilling sugars, or making food products, corn goes in to much of the stuff we eat, so when its price goes up because of ethanol, food prices increase for all Americans.

“The ethanol program functions as a hidden food tax—the most regressive of all taxes,” Mario Loyola, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, wrote for The Atlantic last year. “And the effects on poor Americans are magnified for poor countries that depend on imports of food.”

Ethanol’s government-mandated grasp on agriculture is best exemplified with a startling statistic: “In the United States, the cultivation of corn for ethanol now requires a staggering 38 million acres of land—an area larger than the state of Illinois. By comparison, the total area of cropland used to produce grains and vegetables that humans eat is only about twice that acreage,” Loyola wrote.

Not sure if she’s in favor of the ethanol mandate or not.

The inestimable Rojito has a flex-fuel engine, meaning it can run on up to 85% ethanol fuel, or E85.  When I first purchased the truck, about thirteen years ago, I ran a few tanks of E85 through it to see how it worked.  The truck ran fine on E85; in fact, it seemed a little peppier, which is odd, because the energy content of the ethanol-based fuel is a lot lower than regular gasoline.  Because of that, though, Rojito averaged only about 11MPG on E85, compared to about 20MPG on the more usual E10.

Even at a buck a gallon cheaper for E85, it actually cost more.

This is a manifestly stupid policy.  The problem is, as the linked article points out, that the popularity of the subsidy in farm states is likely to result in us being stuck with it for the foreseeable future.  Of course, it’s not as though we can actually let market demands determine agricultural prices; ethanol isn’t the only stupid subsidy we gift to agricultural products.

Rule Five Understanding the Left Friday

This essay came out a couple of weeks ago, penned by The Grumpy Economist’s John Cochrane, but I just stumbled over it; it seems a good topic for this Friday before the election.  Excerpts, with my comments:

A new wave of government expansion is cresting. It poses a threat not just to our economic well being, but to our freedom — social, political and economic.

1. A will to power

Consider the economic agenda proposed by the Democratic presidential candidates:

  • A government takeover of health care. 
  • Taxpayer bailout of student loans. Necessarily, after that, government funded and administered college.
  • An immense industrial-planning and regulation effort in the name of climate. 
  • Government jobs for all. “Basic income” transfers on top of social programs.
  • Confiscatory wealth, income, estate and corporate taxation. 
  • Government and “stakeholder” control of corporate boards. 
  • Rent controls and subsidies. Expanded, politically-allocated “affordable” housing. 
  • Expanded regulation of wages, hiring and firing.
  • Extensive speech and content regulation on the internet. 

And this is the center of the movement, not its fringe that talks of banning air travel. Though the fringe becomes the center quickly here.

The phenomenon here described is the Overton Window, defined thusly:

The Overton window is the range of policies politically acceptable to the mainstream population at a given time.  It is also known as the window of discourse.

The movement of discourse moves; shifting the Overton Window can make what is unthinkable today acceptable next month.  Just look at Barack Obama’s “evolution” on same-sex marriage from 2008 to 2016 as an example.

Now note that the bulleted items above, all proposed by at least one or more of this cycle’s Democrat candidates.  Few if any of those would have been on the table only a couple of election cycles ago; the Left has succeeded in shifting the Overton Window, so that now we are forced to address these ideas.

Cochrane continues:

Free-market economists, the few of us who remain, respond in the usual way. “I share your empathy, but consider all the disincentives and unintended consequences will doom these projects now, just as they have a hundred times before, and end up hurting the people we want to help. Here is a set of free-market reforms that will actually achieve our common goals…”

But why say this for the 1001th time? Nobody’s listening. We’re making a big mistake: We are presuming a common goal to produce a free and prosperous society, and somehow this crowd missed the lessons of history and logic of how to achieve it. Let’s not be so patronizing.

If their answers are so different, it must be that they have a different question in mind. What is the question to which all this is a sensible, inevitable answer?

Ask that, and only one question makes sense. Power. All these measures gives great power those who control the government.

And this, True Believers, is the crux of the matter.  Consider this also:

Consider the associated political agenda

  • Stacking the Supreme Court. 
  • Eliminating the electoral college. 
  • Eliminating the filibuster. 
  • Detailed federal control of elections.
  • Even more government control of campaign finance.
Anna

Only grab and keep power, and shove it down their throats fast makes sense of that. 

The Left means to get power and keep it.  They’ve already done so in California.  If they manage to seize control at the Imperial level (in which case I may have to stop using the term ‘Imperial’ sarcastically and start using it literally) they will make sure they never, ever, have to relinquish that power again.  And what they do with that power won’t be pretty and it won’t be fun.

That sort of thing never is.

Get out and vote Tuesday, folks.  It may be the last time for a while when your vote actually represents any real choice.

Go vote!

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

A week from today, we should – maybe – know who will be President for the next four years.  Although, I’m suspicious that, should Groper Joe actually win, he’ll be “resigning for health reasons” a day or two after the two-year mark, enabling Round-Heels Harris to serve the rest of his first term and still run for two more terms.  And that, True Believers, is a horrible thought.  The polls are narrowing but what’s really obvious is that the enthusiasm is all with the President.  Let’s hope he pulls it out.

But the GOP did get one thing of note done this week, and I can sum it up with five words:

  1. Associate.
  2. Justice.
  3. Amy.
  4. Coney.
  5. Barrett.

Chuck Schumer (Sanctimonious Prick – NY) can eat shit.  Seriously, what an asshole.

With that said…

On To the Links!

James Clyburn (Asshole-SC) is a mendacious piece of shit.  Seriously, what an asshole.  (I seem to be saying that a lot lately.)

Betcha twenty bucks she was off banging some guy she has on the side.

RIP James Randi.  A good summary of the man from the article:

His message: Mind readers are frauds. Fortunetellers are frauds. Faith healers are frauds. Dowsers are frauds. Spoon benders are frauds. Mediums are large frauds. Astrology is baloney, as is psychokinesis, precognition, channeling, psychic surgery, astral projection and anything and everything else that asserts the ability to harness supernatural forces.

RIP Jerry Jeff Walker.

Baby tyrannosaurs.  Neat!

Pro-Trump rallies in the…  NYC Orthodox Jewish community?  Cuomo did this, make no mistake about it.

I wonder if Hollywood twit Chelsea Handler realizes what a racist comment this is.

NPR delenda est.

Career bureaucrats delenda est.

This Week’s Idiots:

The Nation’s Elie Mystal is an idiot.

Michael Steele is an idiot.

Tablet’s Carly Pildis is an idiot.

Slate’s William Saletan is an idiot.

Clinton creature Robert Reich is an idiot.

DaNang Dick Blumenthal is an idiot.

And so:

This song was originally done by a band called Nine Inch Nails, with whom I’m not overly familiar, but when Johnny Cash did a cover of it for his swan song, the songwriter, one Trent Reznor, reportedly said “it’s Johnny’s song now.”  You can see why, for yourselves.

Rule Five Right to Commerce Friday

I first stumbled across this last week, and have now read it a couple of times and like it more every time:  An Inalienable Human Right to Commerce.  Excerpts, with my comments:

Rights, of course, are not given by states; they are not legal, but natural. As human beings, they exist axiomatically and cannot be taken away. Being subject to legal or regulatory strictures (and whether one adheres voluntarily or not) indicates the presence of an artificial imposition separating human beings from the fulfillment of their choices and their selected personal interactions.

Surely, for example, the lockdown (‘stay-at-home’) orders – originally put in place to “flatten the curve” but in some places having remained largely in effect since March or so – are unconstitutional, and it’s only a combination of fear, political maneuvering, and full dockets which have prevented their review. That’s certainly the assumption I’ve held since March or so: forcing people to stay home, impoverishing them and wrecking small businesses as well as introducing scores of other problems, clearly can’t be legal. It’s the sort of thing one would see in a notoriously (or newly) despotic regime, or briefly imposed during a sudden emergency

This entire lockdown fiasco will likely be litigated for years to come, and even given President Trump’s wholesale re-engineering of the Imperial judiciary, it’s anything but certain that the results will be on the side of liberty.  The current thinking among pols and judges alike seems to be that there is some “except in the event of an emergency” clause in the Bill of Rights, perhaps among those “emanations and penumbras” we keep hearing about.

To the extent that the United Nations is representative of supranational government perspectives, a look at its positions on commerce – individual or multinational – is instructive. Of the few mentions across the entire UN website, the most extensive discussion involves ten principles which firms are expected to “incorporate … into [their] strategies, policies, and procedures.” The “Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact” include:

  • Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and
  • Principle 2: make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.
  • Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
  • Principle 4: the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour;
  • Principle 5: the effective abolition of child labour; and
  • Principle 6: the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
  • Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
  • Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and
  • Principle 9: encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
  • Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.

While some of these are quite prudent and justifiable as guidelines (setting aside the colossal arrogance of asserting a “basic responsibili[ty]” among hundreds of millions of individuals starting, managing, and working for private firms worldwide “to people and [the] planet”) there isn’t even a vague suggestion of reciprocal rights.  

Of course not; the United Nations doesn’t give an ounce of rat’s pee about reciprocal rights, or any other kind of rights.  But we don’t have to concern ourselves over much with the UN, whose proclamations and bloviation carry no weight of law in the United States (in fact, I’d rather see us depart the UN once and for all.)  We can, however, look to our own nation’s issues with what I agree is a fundamental human right; the right of commerce.

In the closing paragraphs of Atlas Shrugged, author Ayn Rand described a famed judge clarifying and editing what is implied to be the U.S. Constitution, and adding the following text:  “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of production and trade . . .”  (Rand, Ayn. Atlas Shrugged: (Centennial Edition) (p. 1168). Penguin Group US. Kindle Edition.)

Well, why not?  A constitutional amendment enshrining the right to commerce would be great, although I suspect it’s impossible in our current political climate.  But commerce, trade, should be enshrined and recognized as a fundamental human right, for two reasons:

  1. Commerce – free trade – is a fundamental aspect of liberty; a truly free people should be able to make their own decisions on how to best utilize their own skills, abilities, talents and resources in free, open trade.  No government official, functionary or elected employee has the right to interfere in free trade.
  2. Free trade has lifted more people out of poverty, more nations into the developed world, than any other economic system in the history of mankind.

I agree with the author; commerce, free trade, is a human right.   If a trade involves deception then it is fraud, if it involves force, then it is theft; those are the only instances in which government should be involved.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Alaska has been great this week.  The weather was better than expected, the local folks, food and booze are fabulous as always.  I even flushed a fast-flying ruffie on a short walk into the woods, one of those short walks off the highway that us middle-aged guys occasionally have to take while on a long drive.

Incidentally, if  you’re even in the area, I recommend the Glenallen Highway for a scenic day’s drive.  You could do the entire Palmer to Tok drive in a very long day (which, in summer, Alaska certainly has) and if you just go from Palmer to Glenallen you cut about a third of the drive off and can easily make it back to Palmer by suppertime.

Now that you’ve heard all about that:

On To the Links!

Haw haw haw!

No shit, Sherlock.

The President sends a tweetstorm from Walter Reed.

Here are some big-city insights from an actual cop.

Democratic Bile Will Re-Elect Trump.  Not at all unlikely.

Venusans?  Venusians?  Venusoids?  Venusii?

The most dangerous part of air travel is still probably the drive to the airport.

Pope Francis should stick to religion and stay away from economics, because on that topic he’s woefully uninformed.  And by woefully uninformed, I mean, he doesn’t know his ass from his face.

Shark born with no skin or teeth, strongly resembles Nancy Pelosi.

R.I.P, Eddie Van Halen.  Sixty-five is way too young.

This Week’s Idiots:

California continues to prove it’s run by idiots.

Vox’s Ezra Klein continues to prove he’s an idiot.

Bloomberg’s Timothy O’Brien is an idiot.

MSNBC’s Joy Reid is an idiot.

The Nation’s Eric Alterman is an idiot.

Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick is an idiot.

And So:

This seemed like the song to leave you all with today, so, without further ado:

Animal’s Daily California’s Example News

At least California has some decent scenery.

Ever wondered about the advantages of having a Curios & Relics FFL and the process for applying for one?  Check out my latest over at Glibertarians and you’ll know the answers.

This in recently from Reason.com:  California’s is a Cautionary Tale for America.  Excerpt:

In a series of tweets, Donald Trump has depicted California as a “cautionary tale” for the rest of the United States, as CalMatters recently noted. As is often the case with this president, his ideas are a mixed bag and his incendiary approach is less than constructive. But, as someone who has been writing about California’s policies for two decades, I concede that he makes a valid point.

California bounds from one crisis to another, with most of them being self-imposed. The latest one involves the raging wildfires that turned our air into a putrid soup. Obviously, heat waves and high winds were the proximate cause, but poor land management, ill-conceived liability and insurance laws, and the misuse of existing firefighting budgets are the fundamental problems.

The last crisis involved homelessness. Just because COVID-19 pushed it off of the front pages doesn’t mean that it’s become any less severe. “Gavin N has done a really bad job on taking care of the homeless population in California,” Trump tweeted last year. “If he can’t fix the problem the Federal Govt. will get involved.” The president and his supporters have depicted San Francisco, with its festering homeless issue, as a dystopia.

Trump is right that our state, which thinks that building $700,000 per unit housing for the homeless is a good idea, has done its usual terrible job. As a believer in federalism, I disagree with giving federal bureaucrats a bigger role in a state problem. I visit San Francisco regularly and it remains one of the world’s great cities despite the encampments and defecation. But it’s on a downward trajectory.

When cost of living is included in the calculation, California has the highest poverty rates in the nation. Its obscene housing costs, which are the direct result of poor policy choices, is the reason so many Californians struggle. Instead of reforming the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), slicing developer fees and eliminating urban-growth boundaries, the state is committed to more “affordable” housing subsidies.

This is the result of one-party rule, True Believers.

While the Constitution grants the states great power in organizing elections, sometimes that latitude backfires.  Case in point:  California’s “jungle primary” system, where the two candidates in a general election are the top two vote recipients in the open primary, regardless of party, which can (in California) result in a Democrat running against a Democrat.  The result here has been a supermajority of Democrats in California for some time now.

By the fruits of their labors shall ye know them, and look at the fruits of the labors of California’s Democrats:  A state literally and figuratively on fire, riots in the streets, feces and discarded needles on the sidewalks, bums passed out blocking the doorways of small businesses already struggling under onerous taxes and overbearing regulations.  Look also at some of the highest housing costs in the nation, and (adjusted for the cost of living) some of the highest rates of people working for below-poverty level pay.

Congressional Democrats want to take this show on the road.  There used to be a saying, “as goes California, so goes the country.”  I can’t think of a more horrifying end to the greatest nation in human history.

Election Day is coming fast.  You know what to do.

Animal’s Daily Young Commies News

National treasure PJ O’Rourke nails it again.  Excerpt:

What’s the matter with kids today? Nothing new. A large portion of the brats, the squirts, the fuzz-faced, the moon calves, the sap-green, and the wet behind the ears have always been “Punks for Progressives.”

As soon as children discover that the world isn’t nice, they want to make it nicer. And wouldn’t a world where everybody shares everything be nice? Aw … kids are so tender-hearted.

But kids are broke — so they want to make the world nicer with your money. And kids don’t have much control over things — so they want to make the world nicer through your effort. And kids are very busy being young — so it’s your time that has to be spent making the world nicer.

For them. The greedy little bastards. Kids were thinking these exact same sweet-young-thing thoughts back in the 1960s, during my salad days (tossed green sensimilla buds). Young people probably have been thinking these same thoughts since the concept of being a “young person” was invented.

That would have been in the 19th century — during America’s first “Progressive Era” — when mechanization liberated kids from onerous farm chores and child labor laws let them escape from child labor.

Example #3,495,393 of the “soft people make hard times” phase of societal development.  As I’ve stated before in these virtual pages, I think we are transitioning to this phase from the “good times make soft people” phase; events of the last summer make me think we’re on the downhill slope of that transition.

O’Rourke’s real gem, though, is this:

They’ve got it coming. Young people are not only penniless and powerless, they’re also ignorant as hell. They think of wealth as something that’s limited, like the number of Hostess Ding Dongs on the 7-Eleven shelf. They think rich people got to the 7-Eleven first and gobbled all the Ding Dongs, leaving poor people to lick the plastic wrappers.

Young people don’t know that more Ding Dongs can be produced. They don’t know how or why more Ding Dong production is possible. And they certainly don’t know how to get the cream filling inside.

(Leaving aside the wild indignation of young people about the very existence of synthetic industrial and undoubtedly poisonous food such as Ding Dongs. They eat them anyway. Watch them shop at the 7-Eleven when they think nobody’s looking. But I digress.)

Young people believe that the way to obtain more wealth is to take it away from rich people.

You can’t do it. Well, you can do it. But you can only do it once.

You can take the Ding Dongs from the Hostess factory for free, but once you’ve eaten them you can’t go back to the Hostess factory and take more Ding Dongs for free. The Hostess factory is out of business.

It would be difficult to explain economics (and the stupidity of socialism) any more clearly than this.

The rise of socialist “thought” (I use scare quotes here as I doubt any of the young people O’Rourke described are doing much, if any, actual thinking) speaks to the softness of our society, the failure of our education system, and the rather baffling shift away from understanding the value of liberty.

So how do we get these kids to start,  you know, thinking?

Rule Five Communism in America Friday

Here is a series of articles I found interesting, in The American Mind‘s Communism in America archive.  Excerpts and analysis follow.  The excerpts and my comments will only scratch the surface, by necessity; by all means, go read the whole thing.

From The Plot to Change America, by Mike Gonzales:

Where had Marx and Engels gone wrong? (Italian Com­munist leader Antonio) Gramsci came up with a meta-explanation. The bourgeoisie had acculturated the working­ man to do its bidding, giving him “false consciousness.” In this manner, the bourgeois did not even have to coerce the worker into submission.

The cure, Gramsci thought, was to carry out a “con­sciousness raising” indoctrination campaign that would convince the average proletarian he had been duped by tradition, religion, the family, the educational system, and all the cultural trappings of society. Consciousness raising would let the worker understand his true interest and induce him to renounce any idea of succeeding individually; he would thus join with those in his class in a collec­tive effort to transform the system.

Sound familiar?  Sound like the indoctrination going on in our university system today?  Sound like the elitist pricks in academia and government assuring us that they know more about what’s good for us than we do?

Here’s my favorite; from The Communist Roots of “White Privilege” by Kyle Shideler:

The modern American Left—which has entirely adopted the assumptions of the New Left—genuinely believes that through the elimination of “white privilege” the last stumbling block between it and its long-promised revolutionary utopia will be removed. But of course, this is not so, because their fundamental assumptions about Americans and American society are wrong.

Everyday Americans must realize that even while the radical Left demands they kneel and renounce their privilege, the reality is that they can never be appeased. And so the riots and violence will continue, along with the academic, corporate and bureaucratic struggle sessions, until we unambiguously repudiate them.

Much of the American political left and their useful idiots who are lighting fires and smashing windows this summer are, of course, continuing to feed the crocodile, hoping it will eat them last.  And it may – but it will most assuredly eat them.  As evidence, I offer a statement from Groper Joe’s campaign, threatening that riots and unrest will get worse if President Trump is re-elected.

Did you get the implications of that?  “Nice country you have here,” the Democrats are saying, “…it would be a shame if anything… happened to it.”  These are Mafia protection-racket tactics, in a Presidential election.

Last but not least – and by all means, go read them all – is Listen When They Tell You Who They Are, by Murray Bessette:

And yet, one need not rest content with deduction from principles and policies. You can take their word for it.

M4BL (Movement for Black Lives) explicitly says: “We are anti-capitalist.” As do the three co-founders of BLM—Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi. As reported by the New York Post, Cullors explicitly asserted in an interview with Jared Ball of the Real News Network that both she and Garza “are trained Marxists. We are super-versed on, sort of, ideological theories.”

Opal Tometi, the third comrade in the founding trio, was not only photographed with socialist Venezuelan dictator Nicholas Maduro, but penned a lengthy letter of support for him and the socialist revolution he leads, praising the work of Cuban doctors (who are trafficked by the Cuban regime) and condemning the “defamation of late President Hugo Chavez [by] labeling him a dictator.”

The observation that BLM and M4BL are Marxist political organizations ought not to be controversial. It is simply a fact.

The best way to defeat these people is simply to quote them.  Broadcast, loud and clear, exactly what they say among themselves.  Broadcast their support for collectivism, their hatred of individual rights, of liberty, of equal treatment under the law, of everything that makes a free society, well, free.  We, as a nation, have already gone way too far down the road towards totalitarianism, but maybe – just maybe – an informed electorate can hold the fall off another generation or two.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Pirate’s Cove, Whores and Ale and Bacon Time for the Rule Five links!

Now then: Energy policy and environment commentator Michael Shellenberger has weighed in on the Democrat Party’s energy policies, and it’s worth reading.  Excerpt:

In many respects, the Biden-Harris plan is even more aggressive than California’s. “The plan is very bold,” Leah Stokes of the University of California, Santa Barbara, told the Financial Times. “There is no [US] state right now that has a target this ambitious.”

But California’s big bet on renewables, and shunning of natural gas and nuclear, is directly responsible for the state’s blackouts and high electricity prices. 

“We will be forced today to ask utilities to cut off power to millions today, and tomorrow, and beyond,” said Stephen Berberich, the President and CEO of California’s Independent System Operator, CAISO, on a Monday morning conference call. “Demand will greatly exceed supply.”

The immediate cause of California’s blackouts is a mismatch between electricity supply and demand. Higher temperatures have led to greater demand for air conditioning. And California has less electricity, including from wind energy, available.

And yet, while California is hot, weather conditions are well within the normal range for the state’s summer weather.

The underlying reason blackouts are occurring is because California lacks reliable, in-state supply. And the reason for that is California has been closing both natural gas and nuclear power plants.

“People wonder how we made it through the heat wave of 2006,” said Berberich. “The answer is that there was a lot more generating capacity in 2006 than in 2020…. We had San Onofre [nuclear plant] of 2,200 MW, and a number of other plants, totalling thousands of MW not there today.”

California has been descending into madness for at least a couple of decades now, but the Groper Joe/Roundheel Harris ticket intends to take this insanity nationwide, at least on energy policy.  Along with all of their other insane, intrusive, statist policy proposals, of course; fortunately I still think their chances of actually winning the election are pretty low.

Even so.  This insistence on wind/solar and so forth, even in the face of rolling blackouts, seems another facet of a problem the Left (and, honestly, more than a few on the Right) have – the idea that they can make some desired outcome a reality by believing in it really really hard.  But physics is a harsh mistress; believing really really hard won’t help people who are in the middle of a rolling blackout, who lose their refrigerators and air conditioning in the middle of a heat wave.

I don’t doubt that many of the people that buy this “green energy” horseshit have good intentions.  But we all know which road is paved with those.