Category Archives: Economics

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Housekeeping notes: A week from today we’ll be flying to Iowa, leaving our house-sitters in place here, where we will spend a week with the entire Animal family at our annual Thanksgiving/Christmas family reunion.  Posts will be scheduled for the balance of next week, and the week of the 27th will be taken up with some placeholder totty.  Regular posts will resume Monday, Dec 4th.

Now then…

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Rule Five Business Tax Climate Friday

The Tax Foundation’s 2024 State Business Tax Climate Index is out, and again our own Alaska comes out looking pretty decent. California and New York, along with other blue states? Not so much.

A look at the ten best and the ten worse alone, is revealing. Spoiler: Red states v. blue states.

The 10 best states in this year’s Index are:

1. Wyoming
2. South Dakota
3. Alaska
4. Florida
5. Montana
6. New Hampshire
7. Nevada
8. Utah
9. North Carolina
10. Indiana

The 10 lowest-ranked, or worst, states in this year’s Index are:

41. Rhode Island
42. Hawaii
43. Vermont
44. Minnesota
45. Maryland
46. Massachusetts
47. Connecticut
48. California
49. New York
50. New Jersey

Read the whole report, by all means; it’s long and somewhat textbooky but invites scrutiny and thought. And, yes, the conclusions are obvious; the best states are almost all Republican-controlled, while the worst… aren’t.

Consider the implications of that.

We’ve known for some time that places like New Jersey (dead last in the rankings) New York (second to dead last) and California (third to dead last) were in trouble for some time now.  All three of those states are hemorrhaging residents, and almost all of the people who are fleeing are moving to more tax-friendly locales, like Florida (#4) Utah (#8) and North Carolina (#9).

That’s to be expected, of course. People always have and always will vote with their feet.

The Center Square has some observations about this report as well:

New Jersey bottomed out the list, one spot above New York — while Connecticut ranked 47, Massachusetts 46, Vermont 43 and Rhode Island 41. In stark contrast, New Hampshire ranked the sixth best in the nation, while Maine ranked 34.

The Tax Foundation cites several “afflictions” contributing to the poor rankings for the northeast, including “complex, nonneutral taxes with comparatively high rates,” according to the report.

The Tax Foundation argues New Jersey’s highest in the nation property tax burden and corporate income tax rate, in addition to having one of the highest individual income tax rates, as significant factors in the state’s low ranking.

Again, this should come as a surprise to no one.  The only baffling thing in this, as in previous such reports, so many of the residents of these states keep voting in the same lunatics to be in charge of these asylums.

I would also note that Alaska, while having a very favorable business tax climate (#3), isn’t exactly an industrial powerhouse. Our population is small and, except for Anchorage, scattered widely across the vastness of the Great Land. Alaska’s infrastructure really isn’t suited to being a manufacturing powerhouse.  I expect the Great Land will remain as it is, a lovely, wild, free place, depending largely on tourism and North Slope oil for our economy.

We like it that way just fine.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Note:  Since I have two weeks worth of my RedState posts here, this will be lengthy, but you can see it all beneath the cut. And I will also say this: It’s great to be home. I still love the Colorado mountains and had a great time, but we also spent a few days in the Denver area visiting friends and family, and boy have three years in the Great Land changed my perspectives on Denver.  Big cities are noisy, and they stink.

We’re really glad to be home, in Alaska.

Now then:

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Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Some housekeeping notes: Last night I caught a red-eye to Denver, in order to recover enough (which takes longer every year) to leave Friday for Grand County, where loyal sidekick Rat and I will be sallying forth to do battle with antlered ungulates.  More news on that when/if anything happens; in the meantime, there will be some placeholder totty on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.  Barring some catastrophe regular posts should resume on Thursday, the 2nd.

Now then…

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Animal’s Daily Klueless Krugman News

Before we start, check out the next chapter of Riding the String over at Glibertarians!

Now, with that said: Paul Krugman is a cheap partisan hack, and an idiot.

‘The war on inflation is over,” wrote Paul (Nobel Prize-Winning-Economist) Krugman last week in a post on X. “We won, at very little cost.” The only thing missing was a giant “Mission Accomplished” banner.

But like the unfinished Iraq war that George W. Bush bragged about from the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, the inflation battle is far from over. Krugman’s reputation as an economist, on the other hand, should be put in a body bag and shipped to Sweden, along with his Nobel Prize money.

Krugman was mocked for his claim about inflation, and for good reason. To show how we’d allegedly won the war, he had to strip out food, energy, shelter, and used cars. In other words – most of the stuff that people spend money on day to day.

Check out the Community Notes:

When you do that, the remaining basket of goods went up by just 2.8% year-over-year this September, down from a 6.7% hike the year before.

And this is why, as I’m constantly reminding folks, Paul Krugman is a cheap partisan hack.  I’m fairly sure he knows that he is deliberately omitting important data when he crows about OMG BIDENOMICS on Twitter.

But with Krugman, like so many leftists, it’s not about data, it’s not about facts, it’s all about The Side.  If these self-same numbers had obtained during the Trump Administration, Krugnuts would have added in food, energy and transport and wailed about how awful things were.

You just can’t take Paul Krugman seriously, and yes, the Nobel people should be asking for their money back.

Animal’s Daily Canadian Energy News

The Calgary Herald is on record advocating for Canadian LNG (liquified natural gas) production.  Good for them.  That will help the U.S. as well.

A new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) projects a slowdown in the growth of natural gas consumed in the world, forecasting it will peak in North America in 2023 before declining next year.

Yet, it also highlights the opportunity ahead for countries that are willing and able to export liquefied natural gas (LNG), particularly the United States.

It’s just one more reason Canada needs to ensure it has a firm spot in the global LNG sector — something industry leaders and energy experts continue to highlight, even with last month’s projections by the IEA that oil, coal and natural gas demand will peak this decade.

And at least one person involved is showing some sanity on this issue:

“There are a lot of forecasts. You know, I’ve been in this business long enough to see peak oil many times and it’s never actually hit peak oil. This year, the world will use more oil than it’s ever used before,” Enbridge CEO Greg Ebel said in an interview Friday.

“Natural gas is a critical component in so many different regions of the world and will continue to do so as part of our sustainability goals, as part of backup for renewables . . . More and more people want to have a better lifestyle and that means cheap, affordable, secure energy.

“And, inevitably, for decades and decades to come, that is going to involve natural gas and oil.”

Of course it will.  Everyone who understands energy density and economics knows this.  It’s even become apparent in Germany, who are having to move back to coal for power generation after their green energy plans haven’t worked out and their supply of Russian natural gas was cut off.  Oh, and after they shut all of their nuclear power plants down.

Maybe some sanity is returning to the world of energy.  Then again, maybe not.  But Canada’s development of their LNG resources would help the United States, too; we are, after all, not only neighbors but trading partners, and the U.S. is a huge energy market that I’m sure Canada would love to have a bigger piece of.  And better we get it from Canada than from the Middle East.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

I’ve written before about the possibility of small, modular nuclear reactors and their possible use in providing clean, reliable electricity to remote communities – like, say, much of Alaska.  Here’s another interesting piece on that topic.

SMRs are advanced nuclear reactors that have a power capacity of up to 300 MW(e) per unit, equivalent to around one-third the generating capacity of a traditional nuclear reactor. SMRs are much smaller than traditional reactors and are modular, making it simpler for them to be assembled in factories and transported to site. Because of their smaller size, it is possible to install an SMR on sites that are not suitable for bigger reactors.

If these live up to expectations, they could be game-changers for small rural communities.  But that’s a pretty big ‘if’ – and don’t underestimate the odds of the government regulating them out of existence.

Now then…

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Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

This mess in the Middle East has now officially gotten out of hand.  More on that in the links.

When you’re a nation the size of Delaware, surrounded by people who want to kill you, it’s in your best interest to keep your military and your intelligence services dialed in, but in this case Israel obviously missed something.

Now then…

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Animal’s Daily Near Future News

National Treasure Dr. Victor Davis Hanson is back, this time weighing in on the state of affairs in the United States in an interview with Tucker Carlson.  Here, watch:

Here’s the bit (transcribed at the link above) that I found interesting; Dr. Hanson speaks:

Every time people say they wouldn’t dare do this, “Fanni Willis wouldn’t dare,” “Letitia James is an absurd prosecutor, she wouldn’t dare,” “Alvin Bragg is a buffoon, he wouldn’t dare,” “Jack Smith is a partisan.” Every time people say that they do! And so I don’t know if there i a strategy to keep Donald Trump either out of a gag order, or out of confinement at Mar-a-Lago, or out of jail.

You can see where we’re headed where Joe Biden isn’t really a viable president anymore. He’s a construct, he’s being used by the hard left, by the Obamas and the Elizabeth Warren/Bernie Sanders “Squad” wing of the Democratic Party. And it is getting to the point of caricature. You put all of those things together and add in a Kamala Harris that frightens everybody because we’ve never had such an incompetent vice president, I think, and so unfit to be president.

All bets are off! It’s like putting all sorts of ingredients of explosives into a kind of device and it is going to blow up I think, somehow. But I don’t think we can predict what is going to happen, it is just too volatile. I think the left feels that they want to push the envelope, they want to take the leading Republican candidate and create charges against him, which they know they wouldn’t ever lodge if he hadn’t run for president. They would have left him alone.

In other words, we’re in uncharted territory here.

I first started paying attention to politics in the Carter years, and was indirectly involved for the first time in 1980 when I put in some hours as a local volunteer for the Reagan campaign.  It seems like in every election since 1980, some talking head or another has bleated about the next election being “the most important since 1860” or even “the most important in the history of the republic.”  And, there are people saying that today.  But right now, damn me if I’m not beginning to think that they are right.  We have one party that will cross any line, break any rule, cheat any cheat to seize and keep power (look at California if you want to see their model) and another that is just not very good at standing up for themselves, much less us.

This isn’t the recipe for long-term stability.

A big part of the problem is the political system itself.  Our Brobdingnagian Imperial government is so massive, and spends so much money, and is so intrusive and has so, so many opportunities for graft and corruption, that it has given way to a kakistocracy.  We are being governed by the very worst among us, and they have clearly indicated that they intend to stay where they are, in control of the levers of power.

As time goes on I’m more and more uncertain that this is something we can fix with elections.  Is it too late for the ballot box?

That’s a question I’d like to see posed to someone as educated, knowledgeable and brilliant as Dr. Hanson.