Modern Monetary Theory and Coronavirus

MMT likely will influence the amount the US can spend and borrow before crisis begins.

Modern Monetary Theory and Coronavirus
By: George Noga – May 3, 2020

          We have long planned a post about Modern Monetary Theory (“MMT”) as part of our intermittent series analyzing the issues in the 2020 election. The coronavirus epidemic has added a palpable sense of urgency to plumbing the depths of MMT because the untold trillions in new money being created by the government in response to Covid-19 will provide an acid test of MMT much sooner than contemplated. This post focuses on explaining and analyzing MMT – a daunting task even for us.

Our next post May 10th is among the most consequential of the 600 posts we have written over the past 13 years! It presents an up-to-the-minute projection of the US Debt-to-GDP ratio incorporating the multi-year impact of the mammoth new debt and deficits that result from the effects of coronavirus. The analysis in the May 10th post is new and different than anything we previously have written about the spending crisis. This truly is a blockbuster and one you definitely don’t want to miss.

Just What is Modern Monetary Theory?

        First off, MMT is not so modern; the accepted origin is a book “Soft Currency Economics” by economist Warren Mosler published in 1993. However, as with most economic theories, its underpinnings can be traced back for centuries.

         The main tenet of MMT is that any government that issues its own fiat currency can create and spend unlimited amounts without the need to finance it via either tax revenue or debt instruments. Such a government can never be forced to default on debt denominated in its own currency. Further, any such monetization does not compete with the private sector or cause higher interest rates. The only problem acknowledged by MMT proponents is that inflation can get out of hand under some conditions.

        In layman’s terms, MMT asserts that the USA has much more leeway to spend money than previously thought; it can’t ever go broke; and the debt to GDP ratio is immaterial – provided inflation is managed. Progressives like Sanders, Warren and AOC believe MMT is the Holy Grail of economics which can be used to finance the green new deal and the rest of the progressive wish list – all at once. Beware however, MMT makes for strange bedfellows and it also has many conservative adherents.

Is MMT Valid and Does It Work?

        The strongest case against MMT is millennia of human experience. From Rome to today, many countries with their own fiat currency have defaulted or suffered other terrible economic fates, MMT notwithstanding; the lengthy list includes, inter alia,  Weimar Germany, Argentina and Zimbabwe. Logically, MMT defies understanding; how can we create and spend money ad infinitum without adverse consequences? If MMT works, why doesn’t every country use it? It appears to be pie-in-the-sky or like finding a unicorn at the end of a rainbow. Many top economists and businessmen including Bill Gates, Jerome Powell and Warren Buffet believe MMT is claptrap.

      To its credit, MMT explains certain economic phenomena better than classical economics. The USA and Japan among others have seen budget deficits skyrocket and bond markets respond in accord with MMT; yields on government bonds decreased despite sluiced up supply and trillions of dollars of quantitative easing. Massive government borrowing has not crowded out corporate debt or raised interest rates. Simply, some markets are acting in ways that can best (only) be explained by MMT. The chief economists for Goldman Sachs, Pimco and Nomura believe MMT is valid. The top investor of our era, Ray Dalio, attributes much of his success to MMT.

         So, how can such diametrically conflicting theories, logic and data be reconciled? Economic principles that have stood for millennia are not going to be replaced by MMT nor will countries be able to borrow unlimited amounts. Nonetheless, thanks to MMT nations may be able to borrow more – much more – than previously thought possible. Moreover, the recent behavior of bond markets and interest rates can’t be reconciled with other economic theories. MMT provides much better explanations for what is happening. In short, MMT works in certain areas where other theories don’t.

         Although MMT may permit more borrowing, this is a double-edged sword. The increased debt will make the resultant crisis deeper and longer. Another disastrous result of MMT is that it vastly diminishes the power of markets and central banks to allocate money and credit and to control the money supply and interest rates. To a corresponding degree, MMT increases the power of politicians. Progressive politicians could use such power to control the entire economy and spend the USA into oblivion.

More Liberty Less Government  –  –

50th Anniversary of Earth Day – It’s Getting Better All the Time


Why must every Earth Day be about environmental gloom, doom and apocalypse?


50th Anniversary of Earth Day

It’s Getting Better All the Time

By: George Noga – April 26, 2020


          This is the fifth and final post in our series marking the 50th anniversary of Earth Day; the prior four posts are easily viewable on our website at This post celebrates the astounding environmental successes of the past 50 years. We conclude by outlining five environmental principles for the next 50 years of Earth Days.

         In all the years I have been blogging, I cannot recall seeing even one prediction by environmentalists that was upbeat; everything is gloom, doom and apocalypse. The earth is overpopulated; mass starvation is inevitable; air pollution will poison the air; we are headed for an ice age followed by global warming; we will run out of natural gas, oil and most minerals; there will be mass extinctions of animals; ad infinitum.

        What actually transpired the past 50 years has been the opposite; virtually every measure of human and environmental wellbeing is the best it ever has been and is getting better all the time! Earth’s population has doubled since 1970, but food is more plentiful and is produced with a smaller environmental footprint. Malnutrition is at its lowest level in history. Obesity has replaced starvation as a major concern. Billions of people have been lifted out of poverty and extreme poverty is nearly eradicated.

       Natural resources are more plentiful, their prices are falling and there is a veritable glut of oil and natural gas. Other key metrics that are doing great include: deaths from extreme weather, ambient air and water quality, life expectancy, emissions per unit of GDP, waterways suitable for swimming and fishing, oil spills, wastewater treatment, energy use per unit of GDP, auto fuel economy and timber growth and utilization.

     This amazing human and environmental progress is well documented in recent publications: It’s Better than it LooksIt’s Getting Better All the TimeThe Moral Arc, Enlightenment NowProgressAbundance and Rational Optimist. To understand the vapidity of the environmental movement, I recommend you read Green Tyranny by Rupert Darwell and Science Left Behind by Berszow and Campbell.

Earth Day: The Next 50 Years

        To achieve optimum, human and environmental progress for the next half century, we outline five fundamental principles that must be scrupulously followed.

1. Capitalism: The only path to a better environment is through free market capitalism. Nations must be affluent to lavish money on the environment. Incredulously, leaders of the green movement all advocate collectivist principles which brought about the worst environmental disaster in human history – the former USSR and its satellites.

2. Nuclear Energy: Nuclear represents the best solution to achieve a clean environment while also combating climate change. Until environmentalists embrace nuclear, you will know they are unserious. More people died at Chappaquiddick than at Three Mile Island and Fukushima (from radiation) combined.

3. Cost/Benefit Analysis: There must be a rigorous and rational economic calculus. We cannot spend humongous amounts of money for putative, infinitesimal and uncertain benefits in the distant future while ignoring the present needs of humanity.

4. Human Wellbeing: While people may need to make sacrifices for the environment, they must not be left entirely out of the equation. Human wellbeing must be considered in situations where the benefit to the environment is uncertain or minimal, while the cost and suffering to people is immediate, apparent and massive.

5. Science Not Religion: Policies must be based on empiricism and science and not on religion. As demonstrated in our post of April 12th, environmentalism is a religion replete with its own gods, dogma, angels, demons, Eucharist and sacraments.

           You will know environmentalism has become mainstream when Earth Day is no longer about only environmental apocalypse and when environmentalist leaders are not afraid to recognize and to celebrate the successes that have been achieved. Maybe there even will come a time when they can acknowledge that human and environmental wellbeing is the best it ever has been and it is getting better all the time!

Next on May 3rd, we blog about Modern Monetary Theory or MMT.
More Liberty Less Government  –  –

50th Anniversary of Earth Day – The Environmentalist Playbook

The ersatz existential environmental crisis that led to the original Earth Day


50th Anniversary of Earth Day

The Environmentalist Playbook

By: George Noga – April 19, 2020

        The incredible, but 100% true, story described in this post is about the advent of the environmental movement and how it led to the first Earth Day; moreover, it resulted in a playbook environmentalists have used over and over ever since that time. This is the fourth in our series on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day; the previous parts are on our website: The final part is next week.


        In the mid 1960s an existential environmental crisis threatened Earth; lakes, rivers and forests were dying. Scientists were certain they identified the cause and that it was man-made. Nascent environmentalists became alarmed and organized for action. Politicians quickly fell into line. International conferences, including at the United Nations, were convened and a war on coal (the putative cause) was declared.

       Public alarm was intense; in Sweden and Germany hysteria reached fever pitch. The media outdid themselves with hyperbole, sensationally asserting that the planet was dying. The National Academy of Sciences and the EPA said that the evidence of its cause was overwhelming. The President of the United States formed a blue-ribbon scientific working group to study the problem. International protocols were signed. When the next US president expressed skepticism, 3,000 scientists protested. Cap and trade legislation was pending in Congress. Then came a huge bombshell!

Every environmental scare since 1970 followed the same playbook.

       The blue-ribbon scientific working group (National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program or NAPAP) found that the science was mostly wrong. The principal cause of the problem was changes in land use which resulted in calcium depletion in the soil which, in turn, vastly reduced the acidity of forest floors. The emissions from burning coal in power plants was not the principal cause. Based on the NAPAP report, the problem was rectified and the planet saved. To this day, the EPA never has admitted it was wrong and it still clings to the discredited zombie science of coal emissions.

       As you undoubtedly have discerned by now, the preceding story was about acid rain. Although coal emissions as a principal cause of acid rain has been debunked, it provided a dress rehearsal and a template that environmentalists would use over and over again. They used it for global cooling and the coming of the new ice age in the 1970s. This was followed by global warming in the 1980s which morphed into today’s climate change. But it all began with the environmentalists’ acid rain dry run.

The Environmentalist Playbook

        Every environmental scare since the 1960s has used the same playbook. First, an existential threat to the planet is conjured. Scientists, funded by government, study the problem and claim to be absolutely certain they identified the cause; anyone who disagrees is branded a denier or even a heretic. International organizations jump onto the bandwagon and issue politically motivated studies and protocols. The media then glom onto the crisis and sensationalize it with apocalyptic headlines.

     The public, especially impressionable school children, panics. Politicians, not wanting to allow any crisis go to waste, use it as a pretext to demand more power and money and to further their other not-so-hidden agendas. And, of course, so-called environmentalists never will admit of having doubt or entertain the notion that they might be wrong and if proven wrong they continue to deny the facts.

      There is one other common feature of the environmentalist playbook: they are proven wrong. They were wrong about the cause of acid rain. They were spectacularly wrong about global cooling and the coming of a new ice age. The final story is not yet written about climate change but, at a minimum, the environmentalists have grossly exaggerated the significance of the anthropogenic component.

        On this golden anniversary of the environmental movement, take a few moments to reflect on the playbook environmental alarmists first learned with acid rain and have used for the last 50 years. Now that you understand their game plan, you shouldn’t be vulnerable to manipulation by pseudo environmentalists peddling junk science.

Next on April 26th, we present our plan for the environment for the next 50 years.  
More Liberty Less Government  –  –

50th Anniversary of Earth Day – Understanding the Environmental Religion

Environmentalism is the religion for the right people with the right ideas and the right intentions.


50th Anniversary of Earth Day

Understanding the Environmental Religion

By: George Noga – April 12, 2020

        Environmentalism is a religion. Its pantheon of gods includes sustainability, green energy, biodegradability, conflict-free, organic, fair-traded, recycling, pesticide-free, non-GMO, renewable, wokeness, biodiversity and, of course, political correctness. Its angels are solar panels and windmills; its demons are coal, carbon dioxide and plastic. Its Eucharist is non-GMO organic food and its principal sacrament is recycling.

      It has its own dogma based on accepted myths rather than on objective reality. It persecutes apostates, calling them heretics. There is a mythical Garden of Eden where man existed in harmony with nature before falling from grace by polluting. Judgment day will come soon unless we earn salvation through sustainability. It is the religion for all the right people with all the right beliefs and with all the right intentions.

Five Biggest Environmental Myths

1. Recycling is good for the environment: Much recycled waste goes into the same landfills as other waste, but requires additional trucks, crews and fuel. The US Office of Technology Assessment reports recycling often leads to more pollution. Acolytes see recycling as a morally redemptive act satisfying emotional needs and requiring just enough effort, but not too much, to impart an eco-high. Our angst is with government- mandated recycling, not with market recycling. Businesses voluntarily and profitably recycle, inter alia, steel, aluminum, tires, copper, batteries, glass and newsprint. Only such market driven recycling makes sense economically or environmentally.

2. There is a shortage of landfills: If every US county devoted one square mile to landfills, it would be sufficient for 4,000 years. Private companies are opening huge new landfills and costs are plummeting. The only places where landfill capacity is scarce are in parts of the northeast and is due entirely to progressive politics.

3. Conserve paper to save trees: This is the biggest green whopper of all. Trees are a farmed product grown expressly for paper. To conserve paper to save trees makes no more sense than to conserve cloth to save cotton. Paper is natural, biodegradable, organic, renewable and sustainable. Working forests provide clean air and water, wildlife habitat and carbon storage; there are more trees planted than consumed each year. Environmentalists’ emails often include a political admonition to “please consider the environment before printing“. How would they react if Christians appended to their emails: “Please consider adoption before aborting”. In any event, please feel free to print this email, knowing that you will be helping to save the environment.

Plastic bags are a marvel of environmental efficiency.

Packaging is a problem: Packaging is a boon to the environment, resulting in less breakage and waste. Less advanced economies, without modern packaging, generate more waste. Mexico has fewer packaged goods but creates 33% more waste than a comparable US household. McDonalds produces less than two ounces of waste per customer, less than eating at home. As for those ubiquitous plastic bags, see infra.

Plastic is evil: Plastic bags are a marvel of environmental efficiency; they are cheap, convenient, reusable, waterproof, strong, light, utilize few resources, reduce waste and don’t require much energy to manufacture or to transport. Although they are not biodegradable (like many other things in a landfill), they also don’t decay and emit greenhouse gasses. Environmentalists virtue signal by banning plastic bags and straws, but they quaff water from bottles containing more plastic than hundreds of bags. Plastics pollution in our oceans is a serious concern, but most comes from fishing boats and all of it originates from China and third world nations – none from the USA.

        Here are the main takeaways. You will know it is okay to recycle when the market deems it profitable. Print this email and make as many copies as you like. Go ahead and use plastic bags, straws and utensils. Above all, remember that environmentalism is a vapid religion based on shared myths and is contrary to objective reality.

In our next post on April 19th, we reveal the environmentalist playbook.
More Liberty Less Government  –  –

President Trump and Coronavirus


The lights are flashing and the gates are down, but there is no train coming.


President Trump and Coronavirus
By: George Noga – April 7, 2020

       Readers have asked for my thoughts about the coronavirus pandemic and President Trump’s handling of it. I am happy to oblige as I have time on my hands these days. I have tried hard to be objective, but I call the balls and strikes as I see them.  Note: In a few weeks we will have two postings about the financial effect of the pandemic.

      America’s response to the coronavirus pandemic is inherently political; this is altogether fitting and proper. We make our life and death decisions, including war and peace, through politics. Our politics also narrowly circumscribes the range of choices available to our political leaders, especially with an election in six months.

        Any president, regardless of his politics, must observe certain protocols. He must seek advice from, and appear solicitous of the advice of, the foremost authorities: generals in time of war, economists in time of financial crisis and epidemiologists in time of pandemic. Yet, politicians always make the final decisions – not unelected generals, economists or doctors, who often have their own agendas.

      Initially, political leaders must err on the side of caution; it is always better to overreact until the dimensions of a crisis are understood. We expect our leaders to communicate effectively; we want them to be honest but also to offer hope. We expect them to have situational awareness and to demonstrate leadership. Above all, they must deliver the goods (medical supplies) even if shortages are the fault of others. Finally, leaders must appear above politics – even if all the while they behave politically.

      Our venomous politics dictates how certain media questions must be answered, such as “How many deaths are you prepared to accept to save the economy?” Trump has learned not to take the bait and he gave the only answer he could “None“, knowing full well it was disingenuous. Judges and juries routinely place a value on life. Each year Americans accept 34,000 influenza deaths, 38,000 traffic deaths and many from military actions. All of these could be mitigated, but we accept them because we value our lifestyle more than the attendant risks. Same with coronavirus.

President Trump’s Handling of the Crisis

       Trump has handled the above protocols reasonably well as reflected by the 60% approval rating for his management of the crisis. On the negative side, Trump was slow at the outset, too loose with data, overly optimistic and far too braggadocious. Americans should know by now to judge Trump on his actions, not his words. And his actions – two in particular – get high marks. His early decision to ban travel from China (for which he was called racist and xenophobe) and later Europe was inspired. His coup de maitre however was the early and effective involvement of the private sector, something completely alien to his political opponents and to other world leaders.

Heroes and Goats

        Crises reveal heroes and goats. Despite some early missteps, Drs. Fauci and Birx likely are in the running for person-of-the-year honors. Mike Pence has performed at a high level. Governors Andrew Cuomo and Gavin Newsom have behaved admirably. The private sector companies that stepped up to help qualify as heroes. The American people have responded valiantly, particularly the pharmaceutical industry, the medical community and all those who keep the supply chain moving. Thank you!

     There are many goats led by Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, who treat the pandemic like a gigantic political smorgasbord. Joe Biden, carping from his Delaware basement, is negative and incoherent; the lights are flashing and the gates are down but there is no train coming. Governors Inslee of Washington and Whitmer of Michigan are goats. The mainstream media have behaved shamefully and disgracefully but it is communist China that occupies the ninth circle of hell – for treachery.

Next on April 12th, we resume our series observing the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.
More Liberty Less Government  –  –

50th Anniversary of Earth Day – Original Earth Day 1970 Predictions

Predictions included mass starvation, resource depletion, extinctions and a new ice age.


50th Anniversary of Earth Day

Original Earth Day 1970 Predictions

By: George Noga – April 5, 2020

           Imagine that on the original Earth Day in 1970 you had a crystal ball and could foresee the state of humanity and the environment a half century later – in 2020. Here’s what you would write: “Billions of people will be lifted out of poverty and extreme poverty will be ending. Although population will double, food will be plentiful and produced with a smaller environmental footprint. Starvation will be replaced by obesity as the major problem. Natural resources will be more plentiful than ever as proven by falling prices. In short, virtually every measure of environmental and human wellbeing will be the best it has been since 1970 and is getting better all the time!”

Predictions by Scientists and the Media Made on Earth Day 1970

Dr. Paul Erlich – Stanford University:Population will outstrip the small increases in food supply we make. Everyone will disappear in a cloud of blue steam in 20 years. Four billion people, including 65 million Americans, will perish in the great die-off.”

Dennis Hayes – Organizer Earth Day:It is already too late to avoid mass starvation.”

Professor Peter Gunter – North Texas State:Demographers agree almost unanimously that widespread famines will begin by 1975 and by the year 2000 the entire world, except North America, Western Europe and Australia, will be in famine.

Life Magazine:Scientists have evidence to support that within a decade urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution. By 1985 air pollution will have reduced sunlight reaching Earth by one-half.

Kenneth Watt – Ecologist:The world will be about 11 degrees colder in the year 2000,  about twice what is takes to put us in an ice age. . . . By 2000 we will use oil at such a rate there won’t be any more.”

U.S. Geological Survey: They reported there was only a ten-year supply of natural gas remaining. Now, 50 years later, they estimate the supply will last over 100 years.

Harrison Brown – National Academy of Sciences: Writing in Scientific American, Brown stated humanity would run out of copper, lead, zinc, tin and gold by 1990.

Dr. Dillon Ripley – Smithsonian Institute:In 25 years somewhere between 75% and 80% of all living animals will be extinct.”

        I could fill many pages with predictions like those supra. Nor did I cherry-pick the most absurd predictions; all of the ones above are from leading scientists. There was not even one upbeat prediction I could find that was made on the original Earth Day or on any Earth Day since. One would think so-called environmentalists would be chastened by their dismal record. But predictions they are making today are every bit as ludicrous as the ones in 1970; instead of being chastened, they are emboldened.

         So, brace yourselves for the palaver you will be force fed during the weeks ahead by the media mob and environmental wackos regurgitating their dog-eared shibboleths. But before you (and especially your children) get too worked up over the doomsday predictions you undoubtedly will be bombarded with, consider the predictions made in 1970. The ones they are making today are likely to be just as true.

In our next post on April 12th, we take on the environmental religion.  
More Liberty Less Government  –  –

Half Century of Earth Day: 1970 to 2020

Watermelon environmentalists are green on the outside but red on the inside. 


Half Century of Earth Day: 1970 to 2020

By: George Noga – March 29, 2020

          We observe the golden anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, 2020 with a month-long series about the environment. Today’s post, the first in the series, articulates our beliefs about the environment. The remaining posts in this series are:

Predictions made on the original Earth Day (April 5)

The environmental religion (April 12)

The environmentalist playbook (April 19)

It’s getting better all the time (April 26)

MLLG Statement of Beliefs About the Environment

In 1970 the environmental movement, like other seismic movements of our era, began in response to legitimate concerns. People of good will joined together to raise consciousness and to enact laws. They achieved great success as most problems were solved or vastly improved. Nonetheless, some serious problems, such as ocean plastics pollution, remain albeit caused by China, India and third-world countries. Most people, believing their mission accomplished, moved on. At that point, hard core leftists hijacked the environmental movement as a lever to achieve their other goals.


Today the environmental movement is led by watermelon (green on the outside but red on the inside) poseurs. They are supported by the usual gaggle of useful idiots: college professors, big government acolytes, movie stars, religious leaders, teachers, media elites and progressives. Unfortunately, they also have captured the hearts and minds of many of our children and grandchildren. Moreover, it isn’t just our children; too many of us still are beguiled by green Svengalis peddling fairy tales.

Hard core leftists have hijacked the environmental movement.

MLLG doesn’t take a back seat to anyone about protecting the environment. We support laws and regulations for clean air, water and energy. We favor biodiversity, sustainability, saving rainforests and right on down the line. There are three differences between MLLG and those who claim (usurp) the mantle of environmentalism.


First – we are for free market capitalism, free trade and limited government. For any nation to spend serious money improving the environment, it must be wealthy. The path to wealth lies only through capitalism. The worst environmental disaster in history was the former Soviet Union and its satellites. Clueless former commies, just like those who created environmental Armageddon, are now leading the green movement.


Second – our beliefs are based on empiricism and science – not on dogma. Green extremists clamor for ever more costly laws to achieve ever more infinitesimal putative benefits. Many greens have turned into environmental terrorists – opposing any and all infrastructure projects. They oppose relatively safe pipelines even if it results in oil moving by rail, which poses far greater environmental risks. Their dogma opposes nuclear energy although it is an environmentally friendly source of energy.


Third – when human wellbeing is at stake, we support rational trade offs. For example, we would allocate water to farmers in the San Joaquin Valley instead of to the delta smelt. Our calculus favors humans whenever the benefit to the environment is uncertain or minimal and the cost and suffering to humans is prodigious.


We are staunch environmentalists whose ideas will do more to help both people and the environment than those of green extremists. Our beliefs are based on capitalism, science, cost-benefit analysis and human values; their beliefs are based on socialism, dogma, unlimited spending and are antithetical to human values.

Next on April 5th, we examine predictions made on the very first Earth Day.
More Liberty Less Government  –  –

Amazon – Baltimore – Caracas – AOC – More

Last year’s Caracas blackout provided a real life glimpse of an EMP attack.


Amazon – Baltimore – Caracas – AOC – More

By: George Noga – March 22, 2020

       It has been over a year since we did a microtopics posting wherein we combine several topics that are blogworthy, but too short for an entire posting.

Amazon pays no income tax: I have heard this trope so often it has become a cliche. Progressive savants castigate Amazon for not paying income tax. Consider this syllogism: An income tax taxes income; Amazon has no (cumulative) income; therefore, Amazon pays no income tax. Amazon had such humongous losses in prior years that it still has federal carryforwards of $625 million of operating losses, $1.7 billion of tax credits and $260 million of capital losses. However, Amazon pays billions each year in payroll, state, local and foreign taxes. Progressives know all this, but choose to demagogue and to pander to Americans’ ignorance and fears.

My night in Baltimore: The murder rate in Baltimore is double Mexico’s and closing in on that of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. I once had a business meeting in downtown Baltimore that ran late and I found myself unexpectedly on the streets at night. I have been to third world countries but never experienced anything scarier than that night in Baltimore. I would have preferred Mogadishu. Most murders aren’t even prosecuted; only 15% result in prison and many convicted killers receive probation.

Milton Friedman:The state exists to protect us from coercion by other individuals and groups and to widen the range within which we can exercise our freedom. It is purely instrumental and has no significance in and of itself. Society is a collection of individuals and the whole is no greater than the sum of its parts. The ultimate values are the values of individuals who form the society; there are no other values or ends.”


Venezuela and EMP attack: I blogged about an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack on the USA on 7/23/17; it is on our website: Thanks to Chavez, Maduro and socialism, we got a foretaste of an EMP attack. Last year’s power outage in Caracas produced chaos and despair. Hospitals could not function and dialysis patients died. Gas and water could not be pumped and food ran out prompting, widespread looting. And this tragedy was from just a five-day blackout and with aid available in nearby areas. If the power outage had lasted for months and been more widespread, like in a real EMP attack, the ultimate death toll could have approached 90%.

Robespierre, Madame Defarge and AOC: I have compared a popular vote election to the French Revolution because it instantly actualizes the will of the majority. There are no guardrails, restraints or checks and balances. It is only a slight leap to compare wannabe Jacobin AOC to Robespierre and Madame Defarge. It is easy to envision AOC presiding over the Committee of Public Safety to enforce progressive dogma and political correctness. Her enemies would be lucky to escape with their heads.

National Popular Vote (“NPV”): Our post of 2/2/20 (on our website) mentioned the NPV movement, whereby states pledge to cast their electoral votes for whoever wins the national popular vote. I neglected to point out that the NPV movement faces another big hurdle in the Constitution; Article I, Section 10 states in part: “No state shall, without the consent on Congress, enter into any agreement or compact with another state”. It’s amazing what you can learn by reading the Constitution!

Next, we begin our month-long observance of the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day.
More Liberty Less Government  –  –

Tyranny of the Majority


Tocqueville: The greatest danger in a democracy is tyranny of the majority.

Tyranny of the Majority

By: George Noga – March 15, 2020


         Our post of 2/2/20 about the Electoral College (There is no such thing as the popular vote) generated one of the highest open rates ever. Consequently, we followed up with a related post on 3/1/20 (Fallacy of one person, one vote), which also enjoyed uber-strong interest. Recognizing a good thing, we now continue in the same vein with this week’s post. All the aforementioned posts are available at:

       In the early days of the MLLG blog, I occasionally titillated readers with a hardball version of political trivia. My favorite all-time question is: “What is the form of government of the United States“? I offered readers the following choices:

1. Constitutional republic

2. Representative democracy

3. Democratic republic

4. Direct democracy

5. Constitutional democracy

6. Democracy

         Few people (virtually no one under age 30) got it right, even though they pledged allegiance “to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands” and sang “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” their entire lives. Most assume the USA is a democracy, although that word never appears in either the Declaration or Constitution. Our founding documents guarantee certain (inalienable) rights and minority protections (against the majority); hence, the USA is not a pure republic.

        America’s founders, extraordinarily well-versed in history, had justifiable contempt for democracy, which they regarded as a form of tyranny. Thomas Paine said, “A democracy is the vilest form of government there is.” James Madison (Federalist 10) wrote “In a democracy there is nothing to check the inducement to sacrifice the weaker party.” John Adams: “Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.” Edmund Randolph at the Constitutional Convention said, “In tracing evils to their origin, it is in the turbulence and follies of democracy.” Alexander Hamilton responded, “Liberty is not found in the extremes of democracy.” John Marshall: “Between a republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos.”

Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner.

Americans regard democracy as the ideal because that’s all they hear; few have given it serious thought. If they understood democracy and the tyranny of the majority, they wouldn’t favor abolishing the Electoral College and substituting a national popular vote, nor would they support restructuring the Senate or ending the filibuster.

         My research was unable to identify even one example of a democracy where the majority has not tyrannized the minority. Majoritarian tyranny is occurring throughout the world today including in Iraq, Syria, Turkey, China, Russia, Mexico, Myanmar, Sudan, the Arab world, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Bolivia, Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia, Botswana, Congo, Central African Republic and throughout most of Latin America.

      During just the past century, over 100 million Europeans were slaughtered in thirty genocides, ethnic cleansings, holocausts and pogroms. I have a list available. Nearly every one of these resulted from tyranny of the majority – and this happened in “civilized ” Europe for cryin’ out loud; don’t get me started on the rest of the world.

        Now what do you think about democracy, majority rule and direct elections? Do you have newfound respect for the Electoral College, the Senate and the filibuster? Forward this post to your children and grandchildren to help them understand that pure majority rule results in tyranny. Our constitutional republic – including the Electoral College and Senate – has preserved our liberty for 233 years and counting.

Next: AOC, Robespierre, Madame Defarge and much more. Don’t miss this one!
More Liberty Less Government  –  –



Issues of 2020: Universal Basic Income

Even communists demand that each person give according to his abilities.

Issues of 2020: Universal Basic Income

By: George Noga – March 8, 2020


        This is the next in MLLG’s intermittent series covering 2020 election issues. Previously, we wrote about Medicare for all (12/8/19), the Electoral College (2/2/20) and the wealth tax (2/16/20); all these are available on our website:

      The idea for a universal basic income (“UBI”) originated with American revolutionary Thomas Paine in the 18th century. The modern genesis belongs to British politician Rhys-Williams in the 1940s. Milton Friedman advocated it in a 1962 book in the form of a negative income tax, although he later came to oppose the idea. Today, Yang, Castro, Williamson and Gabbard favor UBI of $1,000 per month – no strings attached. Warren, Sanders and Buttigeig all are sympathetic to the concept.

          UBI makes for strange bedfellows. Liberals favor it for social justice reasons, while conservatives view it as the least destructive way for government to transfer wealth between citizens. UBI (or a variant) has been implemented in other countries but failed to take root anywhere it was tried. Finland ended its UBI program in 2019. Currently, about half of all Americans (72% of those ages 18-34) support UBI.

The Case for Universal Basic Income

        There is a crescendo of voices in academia, media and politics asserting that automation, driven by advances in artificial intelligence, robotics, computers, 3-D printing, driverless vehicles and other technology will displace millions upon millions of jobs in the coming decade causing entire trades and professions to disappear. They argue UBI is necessary to provide for all these millions of jobless people.

         Advocates claim it can pay for itself by displacing all transfer payments and welfare including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, SSI, and housing subsidies plus all the bureaucracy that supports these programs. Some conservatives and libertarians sign on to UBI in the wane hope it will reduce the role of government in people’s lives and will be a more efficient way to effect transfer payments.

     Progressives cite social justice as their rationale, including providing greater security, choice and freedom to recipients. They allege it empowers individuals because there are absolutely no strings attached. Supporters cite Alaska which since 1982, despite its rugged individualistic culture, pays every citizen a royalty share of its energy fund – last year the amount was $1,600 or $6,400 for a family of four.

The Case Against Universal Basic Income 

       For centuries, going back to the industrial revolution, doomsdayers have argued advances in technology would result in massive unemployment. Each and every time for 300 years, the opposite has happened as new advances created as many or more new jobs than those displaced. Despite recent tech advances, the unemployment rate is at an all-time low even though more workers are entering the workforce. Advocates of UBI say it is different this time, but so did worrywarts for the past three centuries.

      The political apparat would not eliminate any bureaucracy; they would incessantly tweak UBI to attach conditions and mandates. UBI soon would metastasize into a monster. Politicians would favor some groups at the expense of others based on the politics du jour and engage in class warfare. A Chinese system could evolve in which each person’s UBI depends on his/her social credits. UBI would require everyone to have a universal ID and a bank account, leading to an Orwellian twilight zone of government control. If history teaches anything, it is distrust of government; however, you can’t take the politics out of politics and UBI would be a political Godzilla.

         As with many other pie-in-the-sky schemes, the strongest argument against UBI is a moral one. It would entitle people to the work of others, untethered from need and with absolutely nothing required in return. Even communism demands that each person give according to his abilities. UBI would sever the link between income and work, create a cycle of dependency and would serve as a gateway drug to collectivism.

       Universal Basic Income would result in less liberty and more government, directly opposite MLLG’s raison d’etre. UBI should stand for Universally Bad Idea!

Next on March 15th, we address the tyranny of democracy.
More Liberty Less Government  –  –