New Study Reveals Stunning K-12 Findings

The ratio of teachers to students has no bearing whatsoever on educational outcomes.
New Study Reveals Stunning K-12 Findings
By: George Noga – January 12, 2020

        We will get to the surprising (to some) results of an independent study of K-12 education, but first we tend to MLLG business – beginning with a preview of 2020.

          Our next post is a refresher about the evils (yes, evils) of government and why we write this blog. This is followed by a special posting on the anniversary of the Tet Offensive; it changed America in profound ways still being felt. This is followed by posts about the Electoral College and the 2020 election. We will blog about key election issues including gun violence and UBI. We will observe the 50th anniversary of Earth Day throughout April with several posts about the environment. You also can expect regular updates about the spending crisis, climate change and the election.

       Beginning our 13th year, we remain dedicated to showcasing, in our inimitable way, the blessings of liberty and the evils of government. We don’t write about the news of the day or offer commentary found elsewhere. A good example is our analysis of K-12 education, like that provided herein; it simply cannot be found anywhere else.

Please Help Cover the Costs of the MLLG Blog 

          We pay a commercial email service to send hundreds of thousands of emails and we also must maintain a high-volume website. I have been advised that, given our vast readership, I could profitably monetize the blog/website. But I will not do that. Instead, every 3-4 years I request contributions from our readers. All support goes 100% to expenses and any help you provide, even a small amount, is appreciated.

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New Independent Analysis of K-12 Education

          The five principal findings revealed herein are from a recent Cato Institute study entitled Fixing the Bias in Current State K-12 Education Rankings. Most analyses of educational performance use aggregated data, which produce misleading results. Cato has disaggregated the demographics and the heterogeneity of achievement data and also measured the spending incorporating cost of living (“COL”) adjustments.

1. Florida ranks #1: Conventional rankings show southern states as educational wastelands and New England states superior. U.S. News ranks Florida #40 and Cato’s aggregated rank is #16; however, the disaggregated rank is #3, but with adjustments for COL, Florida is #1. Massachusetts, ranked #1 by U.S. News, falls all the way to #24.

2. Teacher to student ratio is meaningless: Contrary to prevailing mythology, the ratio of students to teachers has no bearing whatsoever on educational outcomes. A good teacher in a good school will succeed and a bad teacher in a bad school will fail regardless of the number of students in the class.

3. Spending and results are uncorrelated: More is not better when it comes to spending. This destroys the holy grail of the educational establishment. Florida is number one even though it ranks low in spending. Throwing more money at dysfunctional schools with bloated administrative staff is counterproductive.

4. Unionization is harmful: There is a powerful negative correlation between unions and student achievement. Teachers unions, pure and simple, poison student learning.

5. Some factors positively correlate with achievement: Charter school enrollment has a positive correlation, showing that competition from charters helps government schools. Also, ceteris paribus, the smaller the school, the better the educational outcome.

         Someone needs to show the Cato study to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is hellbent on wasting $1 billion on teacher pay, which is wrongheaded on multiple counts. Florida already is number one in the USA and its teachers are not underpaid. Please see our post of 9/8/19 about teacher pay on our website: www.mllg.us. Also, the Cato study shows zero benefit in educational outcomes from spending more money.

        None of these findings should come as a surprise – particularly those involving spending and teacher/student ratio. Government schools are a jobs program for adults; children are mere pawns to extort more funding. If you missed it, you really need to go to our website and read our December 1, 2019 post about Providence, RI schools.


On January 19th, we remind readers why we write this blog.

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The UK Election and Its Portent for America

“Working class voters want more than economic security; they want cultural security too.”

The UK Election and Its Portent for America

By: George Noga – December 20, 2019

         This special posting was necessitated by the stunning results of the UK election. Most polls and pundits projected a hung Parliament; none foresaw the electoral tsunami that resulted in an 80-seat Conservative majority, the revolt of the working class, the crumbling of Labour’s “red wall” in northern England or the collapse of the Liberal Party. Seats that Labour had held for over 100 years were lost to the Tories. It is impossible to overstate the consequences of the UK election to our own in 2020.

      The June 23, 2016 UK Brexit vote (see our post of 6/28/16 on our website: www.mllg.us) heralded the seismic electoral shift that elected Trump later that year. Bill Clinton, one of the savviest politicians of our era, said he foresaw Hillary’s loss upon seeing the Brexit results. Afterward, he attributed Hillary’s loss to the same forces that drove Brexit and said he had felt apprehensive ever since the Brexit vote.

         A key MLLG political principle is that real people voting in real elections count much more than polls or pundits – even in elections held in foreign countries. Recent votes in France, Australia, Germany and elsewhere foretold the UK vote. But what is most critical to our own election are the reasons Brits voted as they did. No one has explained these electoral forces better than Paul Embery, a Labour Party activist, who wrote an incisive analysis immediately after the election. It is excerpted below.

Is This the End for Labour? by Paul Embery (lightly edited)

      “The British working class was not, in the end, willing to vote for a London-centric, youth-obsessed party that preached the gospels of liberal cosmopolitanism and class warfare. For the red wall to have crumbled so spectacularly underlines the sheer scale of the failure. Labour’s meltdown comes as no surprise to anyone paying attention who wasn’t blinded by ideology or fanaticism. We sounded alarm bells earlier this year following local elections when Labour hemorrhaged support in working class communities across the north and Midlands. But the woke liberals didn’t listen. 

 

         They believed constant hammering about economic inequality would get Labour over the line. They failed to grasp working class voters desire something more than economic security; they want cultural security too. They want politicians to respect their way of life and their sense of place; to elevate real world concepts like work, family and community over nebulous constructs like diversity, equality and inclusivity. By immersing itself in the destructive creed of identity politics and championing policies such as open borders, Labour alienated millions across provincial Britain. In the end, Labour lost a culture war that it didn’t even know it was fighting. 

 

        So where now? Labour must marry demands for economic justice with those of cultural stability. It must reconnect with voters in post-industrial towns who believe Labour indifferent to their plight. It must rekindle belonging built on shared values and common cultural bonds. It must respect those who oppose large-scale immigration, want a tough justice system, feel proud to be British, support the role of the family at the center of society, prefer a welfare system based on reciprocity rather than entitlements and who do not obsess about multiculturalism and transgender rights.” 

 

What This Means for the US 2020 Election

      The parallels between the UK Labour Party and the US Democratic Party are incandescently obvious. Without question, the revolt of the working class that rocked the UK election will play an outsized role in ours. If culturally disaffected Americans in the Rust Belt turn out in force, Trump could win big. The UK election was real people casting real votes in a real election and they made quite a loud statement! People everywhere have similar desires and voters in northern England are no different than voters in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and throughout the Rust Belt.

        The electoral sentiments revealed by UK voters confer a huge, but not dispositive, advantage to Trump and create a presumption, ceteris paribus, he will win. However, there also are other powerful electoral forces at work and the election is over 10 months away. We will write in depth about the 2020 election in February or March.

       Of course, the Democrats also have seen the results of the UK election and it should have scared the bejesus out of them. It is an open question how they respond. Will they cling to the phantasm that working Americans are eager for revolutionary social change, or will they take to heart the analysis of Paul Embery? Working class British voters categorically rejected the woke liberal agenda; so will American voters.


Next scheduled post is January 12th, but watch for a possible special posting sooner. 
More Liberty Less Government  –  mllg@mllg.us  –  www.mllg.us

George Washington’s 1783 Christmas

Mount Vernon Christmas: November 17 to December 24, 1783
George Washington’s 1783 Christmas
By: George Noga – December 15, 2019
Reprising a MLLG Christmas tradition, we present America’s greatest Christmas story. Known only to few, it is deeply moving and uniquely American. The events that began November 17, 1783 and ended on Christmas Eve 1783 could not have happened anywhere but in America. It shaped our republic in ways still being felt today. It is an authentic, feel-good classic to be shared with children and grandchildren. Enjoy!

Word of Peace Treaty
On November 17, 1783 Washington received word the peace treaty had been signed. Now he could resign his commission and return to Mount Vernon, from which he had been away for eight long years – except for only a few days while enroute to Yorktown. Washington yearned to be home in Mount Vernon in time for Christmas but had less than six weeks, many duties to perform and many miles to travel.
   Farewell Orders to the Troops

Washington issued his Farewell Orders on November 17th, lauding his troops for their extreme hardship and urging them never to forget the extraordinary events to which they bore witness. He closed by announcing his retirement from service stating, “The curtain of separation will soon be drawn . . . and closed forever“. Instead of using such an opportunity to promote himself, he appeared above human ambition. King George III, upon hearing his remarks, called Washington “the greatest man of his age“.

New York and Fraunces Tavern

Washington arrived in New York November 21st; he thought it necessary to reoccupy New York but had to wait for the British to evacuate. He made sure Tories who secretly assisted the Americans were shielded from retribution. He also protected the British withdrawal to prevent untoward actions. Washington was greeted as a hero with cheering and enthusiastic crowds; nearly every home had a drawing or lithograph of him in the window. Receptions and dinners were held nightly in his honor.

On December 4th Washington hosted a farewell reception for his officers at Fraunces Tavern. He realized the inadequacy of any formal address and did not trust his emotions to read one. When all glasses were filled, Washington offered a toast, “With a heart filled with love and gratitude, I now take my leave of you. I most devoutly wish your later days may be as prosperous and happy as your former ones have been glorious and honorable.” Following the toast, blinded by tears and his voice faltering, Washington continued, “I cannot come to each of you but shall be obliged if each of you will come and take me by the hand.” Each officer came forward suffused with tears and unable to utter a single intelligible word.

Philadelphia and Enroute to Annapolis

From December 5-18 Washington’s journey took him to Philadelphia where he spent several days. Next was Annapolis, where Congress was sitting. At every stop and all along his route for his entire journey, citizens gathered to pay tribute. Always courteous, the general accepted every proffered hand and returned every greeting.

America never before had and never again will experience such an emotional outpouring for one man. Every citizen understood that he conducted them through a long and bloody war that achieved independence for their country. All knew viscerally that there never would be another such moment or another such man.

Annapolis and Returning His Commission

Washington arrived in Annapolis, then the capital and seat of Congress, on December 19th. From December 20-22 he was feted endlessly at lavish dinners and balls, always preceded with 13 toasts followed by 13 cannon shots. On December 23rd there was a special session of Congress to honor Washington and to accept his resignation. Attendance overflowed the facilities with people everywhere.

He closed his address stating, “I retire from the great theatre of action and here offer my commission and take my leave of all employments of public life.” Then he withdrew from his coat pocket the parchment given him in 1775 that was his appointment as Commander-in-Chief and ceremoniously returned it. Washington’s Annapolis speech is considered the most significant ever delivered in civil society.

Christmas in Mount Vernon

Immediately after his speech, Washington set out for Mount Vernon. It was so late on December 23rd and the days so short, he got only as far as Bladensburg, Maryland before retiring for the night. The next morning, Christmas Eve, he rode to the Potomac River, crossed via ferry to Alexandria and rode the final miles. It already was dark but about a mile away from Mount Vernon he could see its many green-shuttered windows – now all ablaze with candles. It was, after all, Christmas Eve.


We are taking a holiday break; the next posting will be January 19, 2020.
Best wishes to our readers for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year !
More Liberty Less Government  –  mllg@mllg.us  –  www.mllg.us

Medicare For All – Lessons From Canada

Long waits for procedures are common in Canada; Montana offers same day service. 

Medicare For All – Lessons From Canada

By: George Noga – December 8, 2019 

           Regular readers know we spend our summers in Whitefish, Montana – 50 miles from Canada and only four hours from Calgary and its 1.3 million souls; altogether two million Canadians live within an easy drive. Neighboring Albertans, flush with petrodollars, descend on us every summer. They come for the world-class attractions of Whitefish and Glacier National Park. They come for cheap prices vis-a-vis Canada. They come for weddings, which cost 50% less due to Canada’s sky-high alcohol taxes. They also come for medical care to escape rationing and long wait lists at home. 
 

          I have made it a point for 15 summers to ask our northern visitors how satisfied they are with the Canada Health Act (“CHA”), the name of Canada’s national health care. Out of scores I have queried, only two said they were satisfied. The first liked the care in Canada but comes to Montana when the wait lists are too long. The second defended CHA by asserting it was good at triage, i.e. if you were mired on a long wait list and your condition deteriorated, they would move you up on the list.  
 

        There are long waits for procedures in Canada, while Montana offers same day service. Some Canadian medical refugees are so desperate they pay out-of-pocket at great sacrifice. I have heard many heart-wrenching stories about CHA and most of my Canadian interlocutors passionately forewarn me against the USA adopting Canada’s style of socialized medicine. The data should scare the bejesus out of Americans. 

 

         The median wait time between referral and treatment in Canada is over 21 weeks, 42 weeks in some provinces and a staggering 4 years in extreme cases. The wait for a CAT scan is 11 weeks and increasing; there are no waits whatsoever in Montana. An average US city has more MRI machines than all of Canada. At any given time, over 1 million Canadians (3% of the population) are in line. The long waits are not just inconvenient; they often transform potentially reversible conditions into chronic or permanent disabilities. “Free” medical care is not much good if you can’t get it.  

 

         The free medical care is anything but free. Canada’s confiscatory taxation results in high living costs; that’s why Canadians flock to Montana to load up their SUVs. The federal income tax is 29%; provincial income taxes are 15% to 20%; health care is 6% and a 13% VAT is embedded in all purchases. The grand total is 64% to 68%. Canada also is a nanny state that doesn’t want its children, err citizens, drinking and imposes alcohol taxes that make cocktails 600% more expensive than in Montana.  

 

         Americans can learn much from the disaster that is Canada’s national health care. Whenever anything is in great demand, it must be rationed via either time or cost. Since healthcare is free, it can’t be rationed via cost; that leaves time. BINGO!  
 

        How comforting it must be for Canadians to know if their medical condition goes to hell in a handbasket, they could be moved ahead of some of the other one million desperate souls waiting in line for treatment – that is instantly available in Montana.  


On December 15th, we reprise the greatest Christmas story in American history. 

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Government Accountability is an Oxymoron  

The most powerful force on earth is a consumer armed with a free choice.   

Government Accountability is an Oxymoron  

By: George Noga – December 1, 2019  

  

Since founding the school choice movement in Florida 25 years ago, I have debated many apologists for government schools. Invariably, their go-to argument is that private voucher schools are “unaccountable“. When everything else fails, they trot out this moldy canard. It’s time for me, once and for all, to demolish this fairy tale.  

    

            Everyone wants accountability for the products and services they consume. In free markets businesses compete to provide accountability for quality, safety and value. There is no such thing as an unaccountable free market. The most potent force on this planet is a consumer armed with a free choice; or, as Von Mises so eloquently put it, “Markets are a daily plebiscite in which every penny confers the right to vote“.  

    

          Markets deliver safety, quality and value in many ways. Foremost is branding, by which companies stake their reputation on products. When you vacation at Disney or buy an Apple computer, the reputations of the companies are on the line. Markets also deliver quality and value through franchising. If you eat at Wendy’s, you know what to expect. There also are third party rating firms like Consumer Reports, Good Housekeeping, Underwriter’s Laboratories and BBB. Lastly, social media confer enormous power on consumers; a few terrible reviews can sink nearly any business.  

    

          Markets are accountable from the bottom up, with consumers exercising control directly. Government accountability is an oxymoron; to the limited extent it may exist, it is from the top down. Consumers can exercise limited control through the political process only once every four years. With government accountability, voters select candidates with positions on numerous issues; with markets, consumers make a choice about one specific good or service. In many jurisdictions accountability is impossible due to political domination by interest groups and voting blocks. With government schools there is no branding, franchising, independent rating agencies or social media.  

    

        Contrast market accountability (Uber) with government regulated taxis. With Uber, consumers get location, name, photo, driver rating, fare and arrival time. They get a spotless car, pay via credit card and rate the driver. With taxis you get none of the above; you get an unkempt driver with poor English who drives aggressively. The taxi has a musty odor, blares obscene music and costs triple Uber; complaints are futile. Which is more accountable, the market (Uber) or government (taxis)?  

    

           An independent review of Providence, RI schools with 25,000 students found peeling lead paint, brown water, leaking sewage, rats, frigid temperature, classroom chaos, bullying, no discipline and rampant violence. Only 5% of students were at grade level. Unions protect failed teachers and principals, who at worst are placed in rubber rooms with full salary and benefits. Government blamed lack of funding even though spending was $18,000 per student – 50% above the national average. Not one person ever has been held accountable and these horrors have been going on for decades.   

    

         In sharp contrast, Providence charter and voucher schools are successful. Instead of expanding charters and vouchers, government and unions want to impose more regulations on them in the name of – you guessed it – accountability. They are trying to turn charters and vouchers into the same veritable hell holes parents are fleeing.  

  

         Lack of accountability in government is endemic just like waste, fraud and abuse. The only way to reduce these evils is to slash government spending; there is absolutely no other way.  We can increase accountability and simultaneously reduce cost, waste, fraud and abuse by giving every parent a 100% school voucher.   

  

        The next time you hear that voucher schools are unaccountable, remember Uber, taxis and rubber rooms. Remember that free markets always are accountable and that government accountability is an oxymoron. Above all, remember the Providence schools; how much of that kind of accountability do you want for your children?  


Medicare for all? Next, we take on the Canadian national health care system.   

 

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A Chinese Thanksgiving: The Story of Xiaogang

Plymouth and Jamestown have much in common with the village of Xiaogang.
A Chinese Thanksgiving: The Story of Xiaogang
By: George Noga – November 24, 2019

          This year marks the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China; it was celebrated with great pomp throughout China. Something far more transcendent and ineffable took place on November 24, 1978 – exactly 41 years ago today – in the tiny Chinese village of Xiaogang; that story is suppressed even today by the Chicoms. Following is the amazing true story of the quiet revolution that saved China.

         After taking power in 1949, the Chinese Communist Party (Chicoms) abolished private land ownership and forced peasants into communes. The result was predictable; by 1978, 40 million had starved to death with survivors near death. In the village of Xiaogang there was no food. Farmers dug up roots, boiled leaves with salt and ground roasted tree bark into flour. Then something truly remarkable happened.

           On November 24, 1978 a farmer, Yan Hongchang, invited heads of Xiaogang’s families to attend a clandestine meeting. The farmers signed a 79-word pledge to divide the commune’s land into individual family plots; each agreed to submit his share of the decreed quota to the state but got to keep the rest for his family. What happened next was predictable – and also inspirational. The farmers produced a grain harvest of 100 metric tons – equal to 20 years of quotas. There is no official record of the village having a thanksgiving celebration following the harvest, but I’ll bet it had one.

        The Chicoms tried to suppress news of the Xiaogang miracle, but word quickly spread throughout China. Within just two years, Deng Xiaoping decided to abandon collective farming. He allowed peasants to farm their own plot of land and to sell most of the harvest in unregulated markets. The rest is history. A tiny group of farmers, who understood human nature, stood up to the immense power of the state. Today there is a small museum in Xiaogang commemorating the farmers with a copy of their pledge. There also is a banner proclaiming: “The origin of our nation’s economic rise“.

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        Events in both Jamestown and Plymouth parallel what transpired in Xiaogang. The earliest Americans starved to death en mass under socialism but prospered when given property rights. Socialism was such an affront to their humanity that they died rather than pervert their human nature. If they would have worked as hard under socialism as they later did under capitalism, they would have prospered. Yet, they chose death over socialism. Whether it is in Xiaogang, Plymouth, Jamestown, Caracas or Pyongyang socialism always ends the same way, i.e. starvation amidst plenty.

         This Thanksgiving share with your children and grandchildren the authentic story of Thanksgiving in Jamestown, Plymouth – and Xiaogang. Without private property rights there is no abundance and there is no Thanksgiving – ever. When we sever the link between work and benefit, the inevitable result is privation and misery. If you want a veritable cornucopia to share with others, only capitalism can produce it.

        Pilgrims celebrating their harvest with Native Americans is a warm, fuzzy, feel-good, multi-cultural, politically correct myth that ignores authentic, enduring lessons, i.e. socialism fails and capitalism succeeds. Americans 400 years ago understood these lessons better than progressive politicians today who advocate a return to the principles that created mass starvation in Jamestown, Plymouth and Xiaogang.


Next on December 1st – the oxymoron of government accountability.
More Liberty Less Government  –  mllg@mllg.us  –  www.mllg.us

Uncle Sam is Coming for Your IRA

“I rob banks because that’s where the money is.”  (Willy Sutton)
Uncle Sam is Coming for Your IRA
By: George Noga – November 17, 2019

        Our headline is incomplete. Uncle Sam is not coming just for your IRA; he is coming for your 401(k), 403(b) and corporate and government pension. In short, he is coming for all your retirement assets. The government is coming for your pension for precisely the same reason Willy Sutton robbed banks – because that’s where the money is. It already has begun with the imminent passage of the Secure Act.

      The “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement” Act, known euphemistically by its acronym, the Secure Act, passed the House of Representatives 417-3 in May. It is expected to pass the Senate with widespread support although a few senators are holding it up for various reasons. The Secure Act is a poster child for two MLLG principles. The title of a law is inversely related to its effect and the more euphonic the name, the greater the harm. Second, any law that has near unanimous support is, ipso facto, bad for the nation – if both parties like it, we’re screwed.

Politicians and IRAs are analogous to grave robbers and King Tut’s tomb

         The Secure Act destroys decades of meticulous planning by millions of middle class Americans by eliminating the stretch IRA – that allows savers to leave their IRAs to children and grandchildren and to stretch distributions over their lifetimes. This taxpocalypse gobbles up 35% of inherited IRAs without Congress having to vote for a tax increase; it upends college planning; and, it creates an estate planning cataclysm. Although the Secure Act targets IRAs, it also ensnares Roth IRAs, 401(k)s and the entire panoply of retirement assets which can be rolled into IRA accounts.

The Secure Act is only the beginning; it gets worse – much worse

        Among the Secure Act’s occult provisions is a mandate that annuities be offered as a payout option on all retirement accounts. This is the camel’s nose under the tent and could lead to mandatory annuitization of all retirement accounts. That would force distributions into higher brackets, accelerate taxable distributions and eliminate all inherited IRAs – not just the stretch ones. Best of all for politicians, they could accomplish this without voting for a tax increase. But wait; it gets even worse.

        The spending crisis will reach critical mass – likely in the coming decade. Please see our four-part series on the US spending crisis that ran from April 28 to May 19, 2019; it is on our website: www.mllg.us.  US public debt will approach $40 trillion by the end of the coming decade. By a calamitous coincidence, US retirement assets also will approach $40 trillion in exactly the same time frame. BINGO!

         When the debt crisis is tearing America asunder and there is a pool of money that would pay off the entire debt, is there any sentient person who believes the ineluctable won’t happen? The government, either piecemeal or in one fell swoop, will seize all your retirement assets and convert them into government pensions to be paid in fiat currency. Think this is farfetched? In recent years, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Ireland and France have, through one artifice or another, seized money from pension assets.

        It’s so obvious Willie Sutton and King Tut’s grave robbers understood it. Uncle Sam must go where the money is and that is your retirement assets. The Secure Act is but the first step in what will be a long train of usurpations of your retirement assets.


Next up on November 24th is our special Thanksgiving posting.
      .
More Liberty Less Government  –  mllg@mllg.us  –  www.mllg.us

Climate of Confusion – Part VII It’s Not About Climate; It Never Was

Manmade warming is nothing but a phantasmagoria, i.e. a sequence of imagined horrors.
Climate of Confusion – Part VII
It’s Not About Climate; It Never Was
By: George Noga – November 10, 2019

         This is the seventh and final post in this series; all prior posts are available on our website: www.mllg.us. The following summarizes our beliefs about climate change.

        Climate always is changing; climate change is a tautological phrase intended by proponents of manmade warming to weaponize every weather event. Earth has been warming for nearly 200 years in fits and starts, with pauses and even intervals of cooling. We are in a 20-year pause, with no warming since 1998 other than El Nino years. This warming is a normal part of climate cycles caused by changes in solar irradiance, eccentricity of Earth’s orbit, obliquity (axial tilt) and position at perihelion. Humanity’s contribution, if any, to warming is minor and inconsequential.

        The highly touted 97% scientific consensus that mankind is responsible for most warming originated with John Cook, whose work has been discredited. All other sources, including NASA, alleging a scientific consensus are equally spurious. If, a arguendo, a consensus existed, it would be limited to man causing most warming and nothing more. Other scientific groups, including 31,487 physicists, have reached an opposite consensus. The 2018 Nobel Prize in Economics went to an economist whose work proved that mitigating warming causes humanity more harm than good.

        Data showing rising temperatures result from human adjustments to terrestrial data, nearly all of which lowered temperatures in earlier years to create a misleading impression of a warming trend. Satellite data, which have no human adjustments, show no significant recent warming pattern. Other credible data show no recent increase in record temperatures, extreme weather or net melting of icecaps. Even if all these things were happening, it would be evidence only of secular – and not manmade – warming.

       Other convincing arguments against man’s role include, inter alia, warming throughout the solar system, argument from authority, Occam’s Razor, history of junk science, failure of all climate scares to materialize, meltdown of computer models, refusal to debate, outright (hockey stick) frauds, politicization and political correctness of science and media, science is never settled, Singapore and changes in CO2 sensitivity. There also are powerful economic, political and religious arguments.

        A potent argument against government action to reduce emissions is its global scope. If the USA reduced carbon emissions to zero, it would cut greenhouse gasses by 29 ppm in 80 years with no effect on temperature. Unilateral climate actions wreck our economy, harm ordinary people and achieve no benefit. When developed nations seek to reduce greenhouse gasses, they export pollution to dirtier undeveloped nations.

        The Green New Deal doesn’t protect against an existential threat, it is one. Green energy is a dead end, a reality obvious to Warren Buffet and many western nations that are quietly expanding fossil fuel resources. Renewables are running into immutable physical limits of energy density and economic limits of cost. Wind and solar must be 100% backed by fossil fuels. Humanity should adapt to any future climate-caused dislocations instead of impoverishing ourselves in a futile attempt at mitigation.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

        We tried hard to be objective and presented every known argument for manmade warming, but the facts and logic overwhelmingly are aligned on the opposite side. In the end, manmade warming is nothing more than a phantasmagoria, i.e. a sequence of imagined horrors. Future generations will judge climate change as an historic mass delusion, rivaling tulip mania, the South Sea Bubble and the Salem witch trials.

        All progressive movements consist of two groups. There are a few leaders, who either know or who are agnostic that manmade warming is a giant hoax. Then there is a large cohort of acolytes and media who guzzle the cool aid. To progressives, truth is irrelevant because the ends justify the means. They know that their ideas are so toxic they can’t ever get what they want at the ballot box. So they search for another way, i.e. manmade climate change. It is not about climate; it never was!


Next on November 17th – The  government is coming for your IRAs.
More Liberty Less Government  –  mllg@mllg.us  –  www.mllg.us

Climate of Confusion – Part VI Global Scope – Green New Deal – Green Energy – Adaptation

The Green New Deal doesn’t protect us against an existential threat; it is one!
Climate of Confusion – Part VI
Global Scope – Green New Deal – Green Energy – Adaptation
By: George Noga – November 6, 2019

        This is part six of seven parts; all prior parts are on our website: www.mllg.us.  The global nature of climate is of supreme importance and is where we begin.

Global Scope of Greenhouse Gas Emissions  

        Climate intrinsically is global. Unilateral actions by the USA, and even by the entire western world, are insignificant because the west already has taken stringent measures vis-a-vis the rest of the world. If the USA went totally carbonless, the effect would be 29 parts per million in emissions by 2100 and would result in no discernible difference in temperature. A billion people still are without electricity and population will grow 3.6 billion by 2100 – nearly all outside the west. This moots any climate actions that exclude China, India, Africa and the rest of the non-western world.

          A closely related issue is carbon dioxide leakage. When western nations impose unilateral measures to reduce CO2, it usually “leaks” or shifts to less developed nations resulting in no net reduction. Emissions often increase because less developed nations are energy inefficient. When economic activity shifts from the USA to say Bangladesh, our emissions go down but global emissions increase. Earth would be much better off if manufacturing remained in the USA, even if our own emissions stayed higher.

The Green New Deal (“GND”)

       The environmental movement took a sharp left turn after the fall of the USSR. Former commies, with nowhere to go, infiltrated the green movement becoming watermelon environmentalists, i.e. green on the outside and red on the inside. But their goals never changed; now they are trying to achieve them by hijacking climate change.

        Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, said: “The interesting thing about GND is that it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all . . . we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.” The GND is like a progressive wish list; it includes: (1) family sustaining wage; (2) medical leave; (3) family leave; (4) paid vacations; (5) retirement security; (6) health care; (7) affordable housing; (8) anti-discrimination measures; and (9) pro union provisions. The GND opposes every reliable, affordable and abundant form of energy and costs up to $100 trillion. The Green New Deal doesn’t protect America against an existential threat; it is one!

Why Green Energy (Renewals) is Not the Future

        Green energy is not our future. No one says it out loud because they are too busy virtue signaling; but their actions speak. Across the world, nations (including Sweden, Germany and the USA) have concluded green energy can’t ever supply their needs and are busy adding massive amounts of fossil fuels to the grid. Warren Buffet just invested an additional $10 billion in oil and gas resources. Despite massive subsidies, green energy remains too expensive and nations cannot risk running out of electricity.

        It all comes down to the physics of energy. Technical innovations cannot solve the fundamental problems of green energy; they are inherent in nature. We can make more and bigger solar panels and wind turbines, but we can’t make the sun shine or the wind blow more often. Also, wind and solar must be 100% backed by fossil fuel capacity.

       The cost of wind and solar has deceased but there is little room for further savings. Battery technology has run up against immutable natural limits. Wind and solar are not energy dense, require lots of land and are not economically competitive even with huge subsidies. Fossil fuels are not an existential threat, they are an existential resource.

Adaptation is Preferable to Mitigation

       Mitigation means lowering temperature via human action and is wrongheaded because: (1) Nobel Laureate William Nordhaus demonstrated the best policy is to do nothing; (2) there is a significant chance mankind is not causing warming and mitigation would be wasted; (3) the world will be much richer  in many decades when potential warming problems may surface; (4) mankind always has been adapting to  climate; (5) spending a dollar today costs much more (present value) than spending a dollar in the distant future; and (6) adaptation can much more precisely target spending to specific identifiable problems instead of indiscriminate spending on mitigation.

         Adaptation is safer and more cost-effective. Mankind, as it has since time immemorial, will adapt to whatever curve balls climate may throw at us. Besides, market economies work incredibly well to solve any challenges facing humanity.


You won’t want to miss the final part of Climate of Confusion on November 10th.
More Liberty Less Government  –  mllg@mllg.us  –  www.mllg.us

Climate of Confusion – Part V Economic, Political, Religious Case Against Manmade Warming

Voters worldwide reject climate change alarmism, carbon taxes and regulations. 
Climate of Confusion – Part V
Economic, Political, Religious Case Against Manmade Warming
By: George Noga – November 3, 2019

        This is the fifth of seven parts; prior parts are on our website: www.mllg.us. This post outlines the economic, political and religious case against man-made warming.

Economic Considerations Related to Man-made Warming

          Even if man is causing most climate change, everything we are doing is wrong. We need honest cost-benefit analysis to prioritize spending to do the most good for the most people. It is lunacy to spend trillions today in the hope of achieving uncertain and infinitesimal benefits in the distant future. Stanford University estimated we will spend $100 trillion to (maybe) reduce temperature by .3 (three-tenths) degrees by 2100.

          We must maximize economic growth to better deal with the effects of warming, should they materialize and cause problems many decades from now. We should continue to fund research in an unbiased manner, including for renewables, battery technology and conservation. In a bold move, we could offer $100 million prizes to unleash creativity and to incentivize predetermined technological breakthroughs.

Nobel economist: “We should do nothing at all about climate change.”

        William Nordhaus won the 2018 Nobel Prize in economics for his pioneering work on the economics of climate change. He demonstrated that economic policies (including an optimal carbon tax) necessary to limit warming to 1.5 C would do far greater harm to humans in reduced output and it would be better for governments to do nothing at all about climate change. Soon after Nordhaus won the prize, the UN released a report advocating governments limit warming to 1.5 C. The media reported extensively about the UN report but (surprise) ignored Nordhaus.

Political Aspects of Anthropogenic Warming

         Voters planet wide  reject climate change alarmism, regulations, and carbon taxes; see our 1/27/19 post on our website for a comprehensive discussion. Polls show Americans rank climate change last out of 20 issues. Warmists respond by ramping up the rhetoric: climate change is now climate apocalypse; a denier is now a heretic.

         There is an established 5-stage life cycle for political movements like climate change; it is described in detail in our post of 7/15/18 and yes, it is on our website. Stage 1 (problem identified) began in 1988. In stage 2 politicians and media embrace the issue. In stage 3 the public becomes skeptical about costs, benefits and underlying facts; this began with the Kyoto Protocol in 2005. In stage 4 from 2012 to 2017, public interest wanes. We now are in stage 5, the final post-problem phase, when the issue is dead politically; it began with our 2017 withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.

The Religious Dimensions of Climate Change

          Progressives and media have proclaimed a new, universal and omnipotent god who threatens to destroy our planet if we don’t obey its every diktat. This god demands total obeisance and commands that we expend all our planet’s resources, abandon all other priorities and slash our living standards to build obelisks – far grander in scale than even the great pyramids – in its honor. Those who resist are heretics. Following are but two examples of religion trumping science; there are many more.

        Nuclear power proves definitively climate change is a religion. Proponents of human causation screech that it will destroy life on earth, but they reject out of hand the single greatest solution. Nuclear has zero carbon emissions and offers reliable and cost-effective power. Moreover, it is safe; more people died at Chappaquiddick than at Three Mile Island and Fukushima (from radiation) combined. Even the Chernobyl disaster resulted in few casualties despite incomprehensible commie screwups.

          Gas powered cars, along with nuclear power, are sinful objects in the progressive catechism. All cars in the western world could be banned and it would make little dent in carbon emissions. Nonetheless, warmists go to insane lengths to wring meaningless  CO2 reductions from cars. But electric vehicles rank high in the progressive pantheon even though, over the life cycle of an EV, there is no appreciable difference in carbon emissions versus gas cars; they just pretend EVs all are charged with wind and solar.


Stay tuned for Part VI of Climate of Confusion on November 6th.
More Liberty Less Government  –  mllg@mllg.us  –  www.mllg.us