Category Archives: Economics

Rule Five Organ Donor Friday

Ever wondered about ways to solve the shortage of donor organs for folks needing transplants?  Well, John Stossel may have an idea on how to help, at least in some cases.  Excerpt:

I just clicked the box on the government form that asks if, once I die, I’m willing to donate my organs to someone who needs them.

Why not? Lots of people need kidneys, livers, etc. When I’m dead, I sure won’t need mine.

Still, there are not enough donors. So, more than 100,000 Americans are on a waiting list for kidneys. Taking care of them is so expensive, it consumes almost 3% of the federal budget!

So why not allow Americans to sell an organ?

People already legally sell blood, plasma, sperm, eggs and bone marrow. Why not a kidney? People have two. We can live a full life with just one.

If the U.S. allowed people to sell, the waiting list for kidneys would soon disappear.

“Poor people are going to be hurt,” replies philosophy professor Samuel Kerstein in my latest video. Kerstein advised the World Health Organization, which supports the near universal laws that ban selling organs.

“Body parts to be put into Americans will come from poor countries,” warns Kerstein. “I don’t want to see poor people in Pakistan having their lives truncated.”

What arrogance.

People have free will. Poor people are just as capable of deciding what’s best for them as rich people. Who are you, I asked Kerstein, to tell people they may not?

“We are people who care about people who are different from us,” he replied, “and poorer than we are. That’s why we care.”

These are “vacuous moralisms,” replies Lloyd Cohen, an attorney who’s long argued against the ban on organ-selling.

Vacuous is exactly the right term.

The fact is, you can sell an organ right now.  Let’s say you’re approached by someone who desperately needs a kidney – somehow they have become aware that you are a compatible donor.  Let’s say that this is a fabulously rich man or woman, and they make you a quiet offer – “…just between us, you understand.  I’ll put $1.5 million in an escrow account in your name, to be released to you after completion of the surgery.”

That’s technically against the law.  But who is going to report this crime?  The person whose life was saved, or the person who is now a mill and a half richer?

There’s no reason this should be illegal.  It’s a financial transaction between capable, consenting adults, both of whom have agreed to the terms of the transaction.

“But Animal,” you might ask, “won’t this sort of thing promote organ trafficking?”

“Organ trafficking happens now,” I’d reply, “and legalizing the process should actually reduce that by providing a supply of kidneys at less (or at least comparable) cost, with much less risk.”

Stossel has this one right.  It’s not the role of government to interfere in a private business arrangement between competent, consenting adults.

Animal’s Daily Meat Tax News

Fuck off, slavers!

Some idiots are thinking that a sin tax on red meat might be a good idea.  My reply:  Fuck off, slavers.  Excerpt:

The idea is still in its infancy and faces a lot of opposition from farming groups, but it’s emerging as a trend in Western Europe, said the research group. If taxes gain traction, it could encourage more people to switch to poultry or plant-based protein and help drive the popularity of meat substitutes.

“The global rise of sugar taxes makes it easy to envisage a similar wave of regulatory measures targeting the meat industry,” Fitch Solutions said. However, “it is highly unlikely that a tax would be implemented anytime soon in the United States or Brazil.”

In Germany, some politicians have proposed raising the sales tax on meat products to fund better livestock living conditions. A poll for the Funke media group showed a majority of Germans, or 56.4 percent, backed the measure, with more than a third calling it “very positive” and some 82 percent of voters for the environmentalist Greens in favor. Similar proposals have been introduced in Denmark and Sweden since 2016, Fitch Solutions said.

Goldsmiths, University of London, announced on Monday that it’ll stop selling beef on campus as part of a push to combat climate change. The decision was met with opposition from the U.K.’s National Farmers Union, which said it was “overly simplistic’’ to single out one food product as a response to global warming.

Not only is this a stupid idea – the very concept of a sin tax is utterly antithetical to a free society.  The very concept of liberty – actual, honest individual liberty – requires that free citizens live free of coercion, whether the coercion comes from a street-corner thug or government.

And let’s be honest, that’s what sin taxes are – coercion.  The government is using their power to initiate the use of force to change people’s behavior.  The only time government has the legitimate right to do that is to prevent one person from harming another physically or financially; to prevent the use of force or fraud by one citizen on another.

The purpose of taxation is to raise what funds various levels of government needs to carry out the (few) legitimate roles of government; namely to take care of a few distributed interests, like national defense, treating with other nations, and establishing currency – that can best be done at that level.

Not to change behavior.  Not to reward or punish.

Mind  you, the idiocy proposed in the linked article is in Europe.  But the United States has long had a wealth (hah) of sin taxes, and still does; only this week Princess Spreading Bull Warren proposed a sin tax on guns.

A sin tax on red meat?  There are certainly enough nitwits here that would find it a good idea.

Rule Five Tax Deductions Friday

The Foundation for Economic Education is making a case for eliminating itemized income tax deductions.  I may have a better idea.  Excerpts, with my comments:

For decades, many economists have argued that itemized tax deductions complicate the individual income tax code, overly benefit the rich, and distort economic decision-making. Yet the popularity of itemization has made eliminating these deductions politically perilous.

Well, yes, itemized deductions do complicate the income tax code.  I don’t know as they overly benefit the rich, since the top 5% of income earners pay an overwhelming majority of income taxes.  But the entire argument about these policies “overly benefit(ing) the rich” is specious; it is based on the assumption that one’s income belongs first to the government, and that any you are allowed to keep is some sort of gift.  That’s bullshit.

New data from the IRS shows that the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has substantially weakened the reach of tax itemization. Lawmakers should finish the job by eliminating the itemization of tax deductions and applying those new tax revenues to better uses, such as extending the TCJA.

No.  Lawmakers should go all the way, by eliminating the process by which government steals the property of the citizenry.

Now, I’m not an anarchist.  I am a minarchist; I believe that government at all levels should be minimal and strictly restrained.  But even a minarchist government requires funding.  So how to do that?  Read on!

Shifting the remaining tax filers to the standard deduction has several advantages:

Some of which are horseshit:

First, these benefits are extraordinarily tilted to the top earners—both because the remaining itemizers are disproportionately high-income, and because a filer in the 35 percent tax bracket will save nearly three times as much money from the same $1,000 deduction as a filer in the 12 percent bracket.

Heavens forbid!  These policies allow taxpayers to keep more of their own property!

The mortgage interest deduction essentially subsidizes the purchase of large homes by upper-income families. Just nine percent of homeowners earning under $100,000 take this deduction, saving an average of just $770 each.

So, instead of trimming the edges of this onerous and corrupt system, let’s do away with it altogether.

The charitable giving deduction has proven to be less tax-sensitive than TCJA critics feared, as last year’s steep decline in the number of itemizing taxpayers brought only an inflation-adjusted 1.1 percent decline in charitable giving by families and individuals.

Good.  Then presumably charitable giving won’t die off when we tear down the entire system.

Overall, Congressional Budget Office estimates show that eliminating itemized deductions would raise revenues by approximately $85 billion per year (assuming the TCJA is extended).

I don’t want to raise revenues.  I want to decrease them.  Let the beast starve!

Here’s a better idea:  Stop taxing income.  Tax consumption.  A reasonable national retail-level sales tax (most assuredly not a VAT) combined with user fees for things like national parks, would:

  1. Make sure everyone has skin in the game.  Everybody buys things; everybody pays.
  2. Eliminate the entire, enormous, economic-activity-draining Imperial apparatus that now collects steals tax revenue from producers.
  3. Collect revenues from the underground economy; pimps and drug dealers buy cars, cell phones and so forth.  Let them pay taxes on their consumption, allowing a lower rate for all of us.
  4. Starve the beast.  The Imperial government has only two legitimate purposes:  To keep anyone from injuring we citizens or from taking our stuff.

Taxation is theft!  (If you don’t believe that, stop paying your taxes and see how long it takes for someone to send men with guns out looking for you.)  Let’s at least reduce the theft to a lower level, and introduce some degree of voluntary effort into the process.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Pirate’s Cove and Bacon Time for the Rule Five links, and to our pals over at The Daley Gator for the linkback!

Moving along:  You can’t make this stuff up.  Excerpt:

The billionaire creators of Google have invited a who’s who of A-list names— including former President Barack Obama, Prince Harry, Leonardo DiCaprio and Katy Perry — to the Sicilian seaside for a mega-party they’ve dubbed Google Camp.

The three-day event will focus on fighting climate change — though it’s unknown how much time the attendees will spend discussing their own effect on the environment, such as the scores of private jets they arrived in and the mega yachts many have been staying on.

“Everything is about global warming, that is the major topic this year,” a source told The Post.

Their three-day summer camp will cost the tech giant some $20 million, sources said.

But here’s the giggle line:

But according to Italian press reports, the attendees were expected to show up in 114 private jets, and 40 had arrived by Sunday.

The Post crunched the numbers and found that 114 flights from Los Angeles to Palermo, Italy, where Camp guests landed, would spew an estimated 100,000 kilograms of CO2 into the air.

“Google Camp is meant to be a place where influential people get together to discuss how to make the world better,” one regular attendee told The Post.

But that’s not all!  It gets better:

Stars there also include Harry Styles, Orlando Bloom, Diane von Furstenberg and Barry Diller, who arrived on their enormous $200 million yacht Eos, which has both sails and two 2,300-horsepower diesel engines.

Billionaire Dreamworks founder David Geffen, meanwhile, gave Perry and Bloom a ride on his $400 million yacht, Rising Sun.

Also on hand for the environmental gabfest was the megayacht Andromeda, a 351-foot behemoth owned by a New Zealand billionaire and which features its own helipad.

Many of the attendees were seen in photos tooling around the island in high-speed sports vehicles, including Perry, who has made videos for UNICEF about climate change and was seen in a Maserati SUV that gets about 15 mpg city.

This, True Believers, is a stunning display of “lifestyle-destroying regulations for thee but not for me.”  These wealthy watermelons (green on the outside, red on the inside) have no intention of stinting their own fast-paced, jet-setting luxury lifestyles to address “climate change.”  They do, however, want you to do without air conditioning and to drive a shoebox of a hybrid vehicle.

This kind of staggering hypocrisy is not unique to the attendees here, of course; as evidence, witness that Congress routinely exempts themselves from laws and regulations they foist on us, their employers.  But this case is especially egregious – the ostentatious, don’t-give-a-single-fuck display of private jets and mega-yachts by people showing up to wring their hands over excess use of fossil fuels.

I wonder if anyone in the legacy media will ever corner one of these nitwits and ask them about this stunning display of hypocrisy?

Rule Five Socialism Sucks Friday

File this under “belaboring the obvious,” but still:  Socialism sucks.  What’s interesting here is that American Thinker’s Robert Lawson has framed the argument in terms of one of my favorite beverages – beer.  Excerpt:

Over the last few years, my buddy Ben Powell, who is a professor of economics at Texas Tech, and I toured the world, drank a lot of beer, and saw for ourselves how things are going in former and current socialist nations. It turns out the quality and availability of beer in each of these countries is an accurate, at-a-glance way to assess their political systems.

Our first stop was Sweden, which Bernie Sanders and others extol as an ideal example of socialism. I’ve got news for Bernie and his crew — Sweden is no more socialist than the United States. Ben and I have been there, and the beer is good and cold, produced by privately owned companies, imported from all over the world, and sold at privately owned bars at unregulated prices. Those prices are high, because of Sweden’s notoriously high taxes, which are about 50% higher than in the U.S., but that’s not socialism.

Socialism is a system of government in which the means of production and the raw materials are controlled by the government. Think of your least-favorite government office — is it the Post Office? Or maybe the DMV? Then imagine every business in our nation, from Starbucks to Procter & Gamble to car manufacturers, being run the same way.

What does that do to beer? We went to Venezuela and Cuba to find out.

In Venezuela, the country has actually run out of beer on several occasions. Yes, you read that right. The entire country has run out of beer. How could that happen? The government, which controls the foreign exchange market, couldn’t or wouldn’t allocate enough hard currency for the largest beer company, Empresas Polar, to buy sufficient quantities of malted barley from outside the country.

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some good beer, but there’s much more to the manifest failures of socialism.

It’s popular for American leftists, like that daffy old Bolshevik from Vermont, to point at Sweden as an example of a “successful socialist state.”  It’s not.  Sweden is a more-or-less free market state (true free-market, lassaiz-faire capitalism does not exist on the planet at present) with high tax rates and a wide, deep social “safety net.”  It’s also a country with a small fraction of the U.S. population, and oh, but the way, those high tax rates apply to everyone, not just the dreaded “one percent.”  At least daffy old Bernie is honest enough to admit that his awful plans would require the middle class to pay more, too.  But in Sweden, businesses are privately owned and the profit motive applies.

In actual socialist systems, where the means of production is under control of the government, life is a 24/7 shitshow.  It’s not just beer.  Everything sucks.  Maybe you get to catch up on neighborhood gossip while standing in line for your monthly allotment of five pounds of potatoes, but that hardly seems a good trade-off.

The fatal flaw in socialism is simply this:  People will always work longest and hardest for their own monetary gain.  Bill Gates founded Microsoft to make money.  Steve Jobs founded Apple to make money.  Both became billionaires.  Both produced products that revolutionized our technological world, creating demand for those products that didn’t exist before and, in so doing, creating wealth.  That never happens in socialist systems.

Lawson concludes:  Socialism fails in practice because it is bad in theory. Central planners lack the knowledge and incentives to respond to consumers’ wants and needs. Every place that has tried it has ended up in misery, with starvation and death rather than prosperity. The beer sucks too.

It fails as well because it fails to take human nature into account.  It’s not only bad in theory, it’s not even viable as a concept.

Rule Five Good Times Friday

It’s a popular claim, mostly (but not exclusively) made by folks on the Left, to claim that wage stagnation has made people worse off than they were thirty or forty years ago.  There’s a problem, though:  It’s not even remotely true.  Excerpt:

Back in May, a young American called Akki caused a minor twitterstorm by seemingly showing what many pundits in the U.S. media frequently assert—that ordinary Americans are worse off today than they were in the late 1970s. A number of better-educated twitterati soon pointed out that Akki, a self-declared member of #TheResistance, engaged in what former U.S. President George W. Bush once referred to as “fuzzy math.”

In the meantime, Akki’s misleading claim scored over 197,000 likes on Twitter. It seems that in addition to the U.S. dollar, Americans have come to crave a new kind of currency: victimhood. Many Americans of all political persuasions relish the feeling of aggrievement and the accompanying sense of moral superiority, and if that means that they have to pretend that their lives are worse than those of their ancestors, so be it.

Per Akki, a loaf of bread in 1977 cost $0.32. In May 2019, it cost $1.98. In the meantime, the median income per person, Akki also claimed, remained the same. Ergo, Americans were worse off in 2019 than they were in 1977. The data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the most authoritative of sources, tells a somewhat different story. The real median income per person in 1977 came to $23,202. It stood at $31,099 in 2016 (the last year for which data are available). Both figures are in 2017 dollars. So, an American in the middle of the income spectrum was about $7,897 (or 34 percent) better off in 2016 than he or she would have been in 1977. And that’s not counting the increase in non-wage benefits that, due to the quirks of the U.S. tax code, continue to expand. As for the price of bread, Akki’s $0.32 would amount to $1.36 today. Target sells a loaf of bread for $1.09.

Read author Marian L. Tupy’s article Free Markets Dramatically Reduce the Cost of Living as well.

Here’s the thumbnail; people in general and American in particular are better off today than they have been at any time in history.  They spend less of their income by percentage on food.  They spend more on housing, but our housing is typically larger and has more amenities; when I was a kid, few homes boasted central air conditioning, now it’s ubiquitous.

In that second article, Tupy quotes Joseph Schumpeter, the famous economist who served as Austrian minister of finance in 1919, who observed that the “capitalist engine is first and last an engine of mass production which unavoidably also means production for the masses … It is the cheap cloth, the cheap cotton and rayon fabric, boots, motorcars and so on that are the typical achievements of capitalist production, and not as a rule improvements that would mean much to the rich man. Queen Elizabeth owned silk stockings. The capitalist achievement does not typically consist in providing more silk stockings for queens but in bringing them within reach of factory girls.

America is bringing not only silk stockings within the reach of factory girls, but also smart-phones, microwave ovens, air conditioning, automobiles with features unimaginable only thirty year ago; and all of these new things were brought about only because of what remains of a capitalist system.  Major innovation comes from the profit motive; no Steve Jobs ever dreamed up an iPod to “serve the common good.”

That’s a fundamental truth that escapes much of the population.  That’s probably a good explanation for the makeup (and lack of intelligence) of Congress these days.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Back in the Nineties, there was a guy who was Trump before Trump was, a successful, wealthy businessman who saw the country on a bad heading and who decided to do something about it.  He was Ross Perot, and while he’s mostly remembered for (probably) handing the 1992 election to Bill Clinton, he actually was pretty prescient on at least one issue – debt.  And he passed away yesterday.  RIP, Mr. Perot.  Excerpt:

A billionaire by his mid-50s after he sold a controlling interest in the data processing business he founded to General Motors for $2.5 billion, Perot’s foray into presidential politics made him one of the more colorful political figures of the 1990s.

His Texas twang, populist platform — he memorably railed against the North American Free Trade Agreement, warning of a “giant sucking sound” of American jobs to other countries if passed — and frequent TV appearances brought him wide recognition, and his 1992 campaign, in which he garnered nearly 19% of the vote and finished third behind Bill Clinton and incumbent President George H.W. Bush, remains one of the most successful third-party bids in American history.

For years, Bush blamed Perot for his defeat, saying in a 2012 HBO documentary that he believed Perot “cost me the election.” Election experts and scholarly research, however, has challenged that theory: The New York Times found Perot’s effect on the outcome of the election “appears to have been minimal,” and The Washington Post reported Clinton would have still won by a large margin if Perot hadn’t run.

I remember the 1992 election very well; the senior Bush managed to honk up his re-election effort even after his 90% approval ratings only a year earlier, at the end of the first Gulf War.  He ran a perfectly execrable campaign and was up against one of the best political operators of the late Twentieth century – I think Bill Clinton was a less-than-fair President and a lousy, undisciplined person but he was and is intelligent, glib and charismatic.  Perot took a lot of the blame for his loss, but I always thought that Bush 41 needed to lay the blame closer to home.

Perot, illustrating a problem.

Perot had a damn good point through most of this campaign:  That the nation was facing a debt problem that had potential to become an existential crisis.  We can argue the rightness of his claim all day, but now, today, we are facing 22 trillion in debt instead of 4 trillion, and the Imperial government seems less worried about this than ever.

Would a Perot Presidency have set us on a saner course?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  The Imperial City swamp is deep, cloying and filled with parasitic creatures.  But he tried, he came a damned site closer to succeeding than any third party candidate before or since, and when you get right down to it, that’s not a bad legacy.  Not bad at all.

Rule Five Those Pesky Physics Friday

Building on our Hump Day post on nuclear power; now the new Governor of our own Colorado, Jared Polis, is on record as a proponent of turning our state’s power grid over to 100% renewables.   But there’s a problem:  It won’t work.  Not even close.  Excerpt:

America operates on 60 cycles per second, or 60 Hz. That grid frequency can vary only about 2 Hz in either direction, says Griffey. “These are small variations, but if it drops below that you start kicking off loads,” he said. “Bad things happen and your system crashes.”

The grid is so sensitive to these variations that power producers must provide both reserve capacity to deal with sudden load increases and “grid inertia” to keep the frequency stable.

“You have to have inertia on the system that helps buffer load changes, and inertia is provided by turbines that spin. Renewables don’t have inertia,” said Griffey.

Without the electrical inertia available from fuel-powered, constantly-spinning generators, the entire grid can crash unexpectedly if the wind stops blowing while the sun isn’t shining.

This means that renewables like wind and solar will always require backup generators to provide both inertia and reliable power to take up unexpected loads.

And how much backup is required increases with the amount of renewables in the system.

“The more intermittent capacity you have, or the more unreliable capacity you have, you actually have to increase that reserve margin to carry more backup,” Griffey said.

“In the case of an all-wind system you’re going to be carrying 90 percent, give or take, to back it up because [windmills] only provide 5 to 15% of equivalent capacity,” said Griffey.

By equivalent capacity Griffey means that the advertised theoretical capacity of a wind farm of say 30 megawatts, called the “nameplate capacity,” only ever actually produces a fraction of that amount, called the “efficiency factor.”

Other sources place the efficiency factor of wind generators between 25% and 40%.

The efficiency of a wind farm of course varies from minute to minute depending on wind speed. Too little wind and they stop turning, too much wind and they have to be shut down to prevent destructive over-speeding that can rip a windmill to pieces.

“In terms of setting reserve margins, you can’t count on non-firm energy availability under the standards that are in place across the United States, you have to have firm deliverable power,” said Griffey.

This is also called “base load capacity,” which means constant-power sources that can deliver the usual amount of electricity the grid needs. There are three kinds of reliable base load sources: Fossil fuel, hydroelectric and nuclear generators.

Fossil fuel-driven sources provide the vast majority of base load capacity not just in the U.S., but worldwide.

Physics are pesky, aren’t they?

Here’s the thing that’s left out of these calculations:  Nuclear power.  Nuclear power using modern reactors is safe, it’s reliable, it’s clean, the amount of waste produced with modern systems is small, and we have adequate storage for it.  We went over this on Wednesday.

So why is nuclear power never included in the fever dreams of those like Alexandria Occasional Cortex and her fever-dream Green New Deal?

Because nuclear power still, for some insane reason, causes no small amount of pants-shitting among the watermelon crowd.  Perhaps it brings images of Chernobyl, that failure of 1980s-vintage Soviet technology (and we all know how great Cold War-era Soviet tech was), which is completely irrelevant given the design of modern reactors; or perhaps they are worried about Fukushima, which event can be prevented by simply avoiding building reactors in tsunami zones.

Upshot:  Proponents of clean energy will keep running into these problems of elementary physics, until nuclear power becomes part of the picture.

Animal’s Daily Random Notes News

Over at Glibertarians you can now read the latest in my series, Profiles in Toxic Masculinity!  This installment presents a character from the Old West who was quite a bit different than the movie depiction.

Meanwhile, here are some tidbits from the day’s news:

Democrats don’t want to talk about the economy.  That’s no surprise, since the economy is humming, and their proposals would be pure disaster.

Left-wing violence won’t stop with Andy Ngo.  Of course not; it didn’t start with him.  It won’t stop until one of two things happens:  The thugs of the contradictorially-named Antifa are arrested, tried and jailed, or some counter-protestors start exercising their 2nd Amendment rights.  That latter would lead to some really, really nasty scenes.

But this is a little over the top:  Progressives Are Leading America To Her Demise.  Progressives aren’t leading anything; the Democrats have a small majority in one house of Congress, and that only because they were smart enough to run moderate candidates in swing districts.  They do, however, have control of education, entertainment, the legacy news media and much of the bureaucracy, and that’s concerning.

On a lighter note, this guy has earned a Deluxe Platinum Man-Card.  For life.  Interestingly, black bears are actually more likely to attack you with predatory intent that grizzlies.  A griz may attack you because you’re too close to its cubs, or to a carcass he’s claimed, or just because you pissed him off.   But a black bear may well want to eat you.

And from the world of science – actual science, not pseudo-science nitwittery – GMO crops are yielding huge benefits in Spain and Portugal.  That ought to make some heads explode.

And on that note, we return you to your Tuesday, already in progress.

Rule Five Green Fascism Friday

Thanks again to blogger pal Doug Hagin over at The Daley Gator for the linkback!  If The Daley Gator isn’t on your blogroll, it ought to be.

Moving right along: Turns out the Green New Deal has some interesting similarities to a 20th century economic and political system that isn’t remembered fondly.  Excerpt:

Fascism was popular in the years between World War I and World War II. The exemplar was Benito Mussolini’s Italy. Mussolini was internationally admired and his tenets widely copied. Fascist and quasi-fascist governments took power in many countries, including Germany, Portugal, Romania, Argentina, and Spain.

Two important documents outline the GND. The first is a congressional resolution introduced by Occasio-Cortez and endorsed by a considerable contingent in Congress. The second is a FAQ sheet dated February 7, 2019, and formerly available on Ocasio-Cortez’s congressional website.

The documents show that the GND program is not solely, nor even principally, an environmental manifesto. It calls for, in the words of the FAQ sheet, “a massive transformation of our society.” Key elements of the program parallel fascism as preached and practiced between the world wars. Here are some examples:

First: Fascists recognize no limits to central government power. The GND sponsors seem to agree. They seek central government control over many aspects of life: health care, employment, housing, finance, manufacturing and other industry, agriculture and other land use. Not even private homes would be safe: Every home in America is to be “upgraded” to meet a range of criteria, including “affordability, comfort, and durability.”

To be fair, here are the dissimilarities:

Fascist manifestos generally call for dictatorship or oligarchical rule and the GND does not explicitly do so. But it would grant almost unlimited power to administrative agencies, and it professedly would duplicate how society was organized during World War II. The result almost certainly would be in a stronger version of the de facto executive rule prevailing then.

There’s an important distinction to be drawn between socialism and fascism, and a lot of people don’t even know what those terms actually mean.  Folks, especially poorly-informed younger people on the political Left, will sometimes toss around the term “fascist” like a six-year-old calling someone a “doody-head.”  They have no idea what the term means.  It’s just a meaningless insult.

What fascism actually is, is an economic system wherein most industry, the means of production, is still technically privately owned but production levels, prices and outputs are all controlled by government.  Is socialism, the middle-man is eliminated and the means of production is directly controlled by the government.

The Green New Deal would place government controls over vast swaths of the American economy.  The only real difference is that, instead of a Mussolini-style dictatorship, we would have a dictatorship of faceless bureaucrats; a massive Bureaucratic State in which the law would be whatever the particular NPC at some gray-steel government desk decides it is that day.

And that, True Believers, is the end of the United States as we know it.  Bernie Sanders, that daffy old Bolshevik from Vermont, may like that idea, but most folks won’t.