School Choice and the LGBTQ Controversy

Progressives would see all children drown rather than provide lifeboats for some. 

School Choice and the LGBTQ Controversy
By: George Noga – May 24, 2020

      Progressives in Florida have worked themselves into a lather because some families exercise their freedom of choice under the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program to send their children to religious schools that are not LGBTQ friendly. They would rather take away the freedom of over a hundred thousand families than permit a few families to use their liberty to make choices with which they disagree.

        The LGBTQ scare is a smokescreen; liberals always have hated school choice because they are enamored with big government and teachers unions. From the start of the school choice movement, at which I was present, opponents have demonized choice. At first, they claimed vouchers could be used to fund schools run by the KKK or witches covens. Their latest claim that religious schools are anti-LGBTQ is being used as a bludgeon against corporations participating in the scholarship program and, in these hyper-PC times, they have caused a few companies to quit the program.

        A key question is: “Whose money is it, anyway?” No one objects to families using their own money for their children to attend the school of their choice. So, to whom does tax credit scholarship money belong? Credits differ from vouchers, which are funded by government. Unlike vouchers, credits never were state funds. The tax credit program was built on the principle of funder choice to keep government out and to permit families to choose. Progressives treat scholarship families as inferior to those using their own funds to pay for their children to attend the same schools.

        That government schools discriminate against religion is obvious; less obvious is that public schools promote their own religion. They teach a vapid, politically correct, secular and valueless orthodoxy that, instead of reinforcing parental values, is antithetical to them. Tax credit scholarships permit the lucky recipients to escape failed government hell holes, which often are petri dishes for social dysfunction and breeding grounds for behavioral pathologies. Progressives oppose religious schools but force children to attend schools that indoctrinate them with the government religion.

        Critics of the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program are hard at work cudgelling companies with the club of political correctness if they don’t agree to quit participating. However, if companies quit the program, that means fewer scholarships inasmuch as  companies can’t pick and choose who receives the scholarships or which schools recipients choose. Thus, a family may not, for example, have a scholarship available to move their LGBTQ child from a public school where he/she is being bullied relentlessly into a private school that provides a safe, nurturing environment.

       Progressives are acolytes of the secular, valueless government religion; they hate it when even one person sends their children to a real religious school. They shamelessly have used the KKK and witches covens as scare tactics. Progressives would much rather see all children drown than to provide lifeboats, solely because they object to the choices a few people on the lifeboats may make.

Our next post on May 31st chronicles the death of the American dream.
More Liberty Less Government  –  –

The Spending Crisis: Monopoly Money

Americans are not accustomed to thinking about currency risk; this needs to change.


The Spending Crisis: Monopoly Money

By: George Noga – May 17, 2020

       My last post on May 10, 2020 established new all-time MLLG records for forwards and reader feedback. If you missed it, go to to understand what all the hullabaloo is about. It was one of the most consequential posts in my 13 years of blogging – until this post. This post may be even more consequential!

           I now can see clearly how the spending crisis plays out and, as a corollary, how better to prepare for it. Due to an unforeseen confluence of events, the end game came into focus. More time at home due to coronavirus restrictions allowed for discernment. Second, mountains of new pandemic-related debt made the crisis imminent. Third, as shown in my May 10th post, we have passed the point-of-no-return and are nearing critical mass. Fourth, I read excerpts from a new, unpublished book by Ray Dalio, arguably the most astute investor of our era, that crystallized my thinking.

Possible Government Responses to the Spending Crisis

         There are five main ways government can respond to the crisis: (1) cut spending; (2) raise taxes; (3) default and/or restructure; (4) seize pension assets; and (5) print money. The first two options clearly are untenable. Spending cuts would need to be so deep and tax increases so huge the social cost would be unacceptable. Moreover, such actions would need to be sustained for decades – an impossibility. Default would be too painful as the defaulted debt represents someone’s assets. Seizure of pension assets (by converting them into government pensions) would be a hard sell. That leaves option five – print monopoly money. BINGO!  (See our 5/12/19 post for more on this.)

        Government will print money because it is expedient, poorly understood by most people and results in the least (apparent) pain. Printing money and inflating (basically the same thing) historically has been the go-to choice for governments with their backs against the wall. It is likely there also will be token spending cuts, tax increases and other actions, but they will be more symbolic than consequential. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib’s proposal to issue trillion dollar coins may not be that far fetched.

        A few words about timing. The analysis in my May 10th post shows the debt ratio at 169% in 2025 and 264% in 2030. That makes the onset of the crisis no more than 5 to 10 years away – perhaps less. Ray Dalio has stated the US is in the seventh inning of its debt crisis – that means he believes we are 78% of the way to Gotterdammerung!

Preparing for the Crisis – Protecting Your Family and Your Assets

         Readers always ask what measures can be taken to prepare for the crisis and I am frequently asked what I am doing to prepare for the inevitable. At this juncture, I am taking the most obvious, commonsensical and lowest-risk actions described below. Note: My posts of 10/14/18 and 10/21/18 (on website) discuss these issues in depth.

1. Firearms: Although I strongly support the second amendment, I do not presently own firearms. The debt crisis will be accompanied by a high probability of civil unrest, breakdowns of law and order, interruptions of public services and financial chaos. Therefore, I am reevaluating and likely will acquire guns and ammo.

2. Gold: I will begin investing in gold, precious metals and hard assets. Initially, this will be 5% of my portfolio – perhaps increasing to 10% over time. It also is wise to keep a supply of small denomination gold and silver coins at home for use in a crisis.

3. Currency: Americans are not accustomed to thinking about currency risk. This needs to change. Per Ray Dalio, Americans need to think about currencies in the same way they think about holding any other asset. I am diversifying my currency risk with a foreign bank account denominated in a foreign currency and by buying bond funds that focus on highly rated bonds in currencies of countries with low debt ratios.

4. TIPS/Long Bonds: The hardest hit asset when the monopoly money starts flying off the printing presses will be long-dated bonds. I am divesting such assets. I also will take a position (5% to begin – more later) in TIPS to protect against hyperinflation.

       The above measures are only initial responses; there will be more to come. It  appears my analysis and writing about the spending crisis soon will be validated. I derive no pleasure whatsoever from this and wish I was wrong. I do take some small consolation however, if I am able to help readers better prepare for the inevitable.

Next Sunday: A memorable posting about school choice and the LGBTQ issue.
More Liberty Less Government  –  –

The Spending Crisis: Reductio ad Absurdum

Given current trends, the annual interest on our debt will exceed GDP; let that marinate!

The Spending Crisis: Reductio ad Absurdum

By: George Noga – May 10, 2020

OF THE 600 POSTS I HAVE AUTHORED DURING THE PAST 13 YEARS, NONE IS MORE CONSEQUENTIAL THAN THIS ONE! Usually I limit posts to 600-700 words but did not wish to break this one into two parts; hence, it is twice the normal length. I used my time at home due to coronavirus restrictions to research and to prepare an expanded, fresh and gripping analysis of the spending crisis.

       For the first time, I employ an apagogical argument that proves a contention by deriving an absurdity from its denial. Specifically, reductio ad absurdum disproves an argument by following its implications to an absurd conclusion. The fallacy lies in the argument that can be reduced to absurdity; reductio ad absurdum merely exposes the fallacy, in this case that the US can continue spending and borrowing.

       What makes this analysis so different and riveting? (1) I have taken a much deeper dive into the data; (2) Assumptions about the composition of the debt are changed; (3) Realistic assumptions are used instead of optimistic ones; (4) More recent data are available; (5) The reduction to absurdity argument is adduced; and (6) It explains why, at its beating heart, the spending crisis is moral rather than economic.

Assumptions About GDP

       GDP for 2019 was 21.4T (trillion); for 2020 I used the latest Goldman Sachs forecast – a 6.3% reduction from 2019. For the first time, I assume mild recessions (4% contractions) once a decade in 2026-27, 2036-37 and 2044-45. Other than recession years, I assume GDP grows at 2%, in line with the past decade, and then slowing to 1.5% in later years. These are middle-of-the-road, Goldilocks assumptions.

Assumptions About Debt

      Public debt at year-end 2019 was $17.2T. To that I add coronavirus spending Phases I, II and III of $2.3T (total) and my Phase IV (infrastructure, etc.) estimate of another $2.0T. I also must add the 2020 structural deficit of $1.0T and the additional operational deficit due to coronavirus of $0.8T. This results in a public debt of $23.8T at year-end 2020. For future years, I assume the debt grows at a rate in line with the trend of recent years – with appropriate adjustments for recession years.

“Before long, public debt and total debt will be one and the same.”
Public Debt Versus Total Debt

         Here I make a notable departure from the past. Previously I have counted only the public portion of the debt, which is $7T less than the total debt. The difference consists of intragovernmental debt owed to Social Security, FHA and other agencies. Before now I excluded such debt because it is non-marketable, accrues (but does not pay) interest and is notional in nature. Before long however, the government must begin issuing public debt to fund the intragovernmental debt for, inter alia, paying future Social Security benefits. Therefore, I now assume that intragovernmental debt of $1.0T is converted to public debt each year from 2021 through 2027. Thus, public debt and total debt will be one and the same by the end of 2027.

Government Sponsored Enterprises (“GSEs”)

        Fannie Mae (FNMA), Freddie Mac (FHLMC) and a few other GSEs are owned by the federal government. In a rational universe, they would be consolidated into the accounts of the federal government. Although the feds are not legally liable for the debts of Fannie and Freddie, there is an industrial-strength implicit guarantee based on precedent. Fannie and Freddie guarantee $7T of debt; in a crisis they would need trillions in bailouts. For this analysis, I have not included any debt for GSEs.

Unfunded Liabilities and Obligations

       The Treasury Department estimates federal unfunded liabilities are $122T; this means the government has made promises to pay that amount without providing any funding. Over time, these obligations come due and must be financed with – you guessed it – more debt. I have not counted any of this $122T in this analysis. I once studied unfunded liabilities and concluded that a more realistic estimate is double the Treasury number, or one-quarter of a quadrillion dollars. In even more cheery news, state and local governments have another $10T in unfunded pension liabilities.

Reduction To Absurdity

        Based on the assumptions described supra, following are the Debt/GDP ratios for select years. The GDP and debt are in trillions of dollars. Data for 2019 are actual.

Year             GDP              Debt             Ratio
2019             21.4               17.2                80%
2020             20.1               23.8              119%
2025             22.2               37.5              169%
2030             22.6               59.7              264%
2040             24.4             161.2              659%
2050             26.4             588.4           2,226%

       In five years the ratio is projected to be 169%; within a decade it is 264%. In twenty years the ratio skyrockets to an absurd 659%, while in 2050 it is a preposterous 2,226%. The US has passed the point-of no-return. The Titanic has hit the iceberg and there is no way to unhit it; now it is but a matter of time until the inevitable happens. Because of the humongous coronavirus spending, the advent of the crisis has been advanced by five to ten years – all in just the past few months.

       By reducing to absurdity the future spending and debt, this analysis proves it is impossible to sustain our spending and borrowing for much longer. It is risible that the US can have a ratio of 2,226%, or even 659%. Moreover, the 2030 ratio of 264% is tinctured with absurdity; even the 2025 ratio of 169% is problematic. Even with a powerful tailwind from MMT, it seems like we have fewer than 10 years left.

        While trafficking in the absurd, let’s peek at interest on the debt. At the current US composite rate on its debt (2.5%), annual interest on the debt will reach $1 trillion circa 2026 – in just over five years. If the interest rate to service our debt increases to 4.5% (a low number historically) interest payments would exceed GDP by 2050. Let that metric percolate for a while; our annual interest on the debt would exceed GDP!

“We always chose the easy path. As a nation, we failed morally.”

        It is impossible to look at the data and analysis presented herein and to imagine we have more than five or ten years left before the spending crisis reaches critical mass and discombobulates our lives for the next 20-25 years, i.e. a lost generation. It will be worse than the dot-com bubble, the great financial crisis and coronavirus combined. Great and sustained sacrifice will be required until all the excess debt is purged. The gargantuan spending cuts necessary (20% to 30%) will rend the social fabric of our nation; we will be lucky to avoid anarchy and to maintain the rule of law.

The Moral Root of the Crisis

        Ever since I began writing about the spending crisis, I have posited that, at bottom, it is a moral crisis, not an economic one. Historically, the US has borrowed heavily only to finance wars. Our national debt in 1980 was less than $1 trillion and our debt ratio was under 30%. Inexplicably, that’s when we began our debt binge.

       We gave some segments of the population huge tax cuts to beguile them into accepting massive spending on other segments of the population. We spent vast sums on certain cohorts of Americans to bewitch them into tolerating the tax cuts on other cohorts of Americans. We have repeated this pattern up to the present in a futile  attempt to avoid tough choices and to buy social peace via massive borrowing.

         The decades of the 1980s and 1990s were prosperous. There were no major wars, natural disasters, pandemics or financial meltdowns. The baby boom generation constituted 38% of the population and was in its peak productive years. There were few retirees and Social Security and Medicare generated massive fiscal surpluses. The Berlin Wall fell and the USSR collapsed, unleashing an enormous peace dividend.

         The period since 1980 should have been the easiest time in American history to balance the budget; instead, we kept borrowing feverishly and never stopped. We danced while the band played on. We must plumb the depths of our souls to understand why we became so addled and addicted to spending and borrowing. For whatever reasons, we always chose the easy path and, as a nation, we failed morally.

       We believed politicians who promised us the moon was Stilton, wishes were horses and pigs had wings. They promised abundance for all by robbing Peter (our children and grandchildren) to pay Paul. They promised social peace by avoiding the confrontations inherent in making choices. They promised no man must ever pay for his sins. But even in this brave new world, water will wet us and fire will burn, and the Gods of the Copybook Headings, with terror and slaughter, will return!

The final paragraph uses snippets from Kipling’s, The Gods of the Copybook Headings.
Next on May 17th, we blog about school choice and the LGBTQ issue.  
More Liberty Less Government  –  –

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  –  –