When Debt Becomes Equal to GDP

By: George Noga – June 10, 2013

     Having blogged extensively about the crisis of spending, debt and deficits, I am constantly alert for new perspectives to present the crisis in terms easier to understand. I have discovered one compelling new way to do this and it is presented herein.

       First however, the media have widely reported the  decline in the projected federal deficit which normally would be welcome news. Please note I referred to the projected deficit; the actual deficit continues its inexorable march to oblivion. The decline is due to two factors: (1) higher tax collections in late 2012 in advance of the Obama tax increases; and (2) payments from Fannie Mae. Both are one-time phenomena. So you may wonder, won’t the tax increases permanently shrink the deficit? If you believe thusly, you have forgotten Hauser’s Law which teaches tax rates may rise or fall, but the overall percent of revenue to GDP remains unchanged.

The Special Mathematics of a 100% Debt/GDP Ratio

    Now for the fresh perspective. As the Debt/GDP ratio approaches 100%, some simple but gripping mathematics come into play. First, a few numbers. GDP now is $16 trillion and the public debt is $12 trillion (75% ratio). At the end of Obama’s term GDP will be $17 trillion, assuming a perhaps optimistic 2.0% compound growth rate. The public debt also will be right at $17 trillion based on continued annual structural deficits of just under $1 trillion combined with the frightening demographics and high annual compound growth of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and ObamaCare. Please note I use public debt and not total debt; this is because we must pay interest only on the public portion – a key distinction to bear in mind as you read on.

    When the interest-bearing public debt equals GDP, the math gets interesting. Historically, the average maturity of US government debt is 5 years, while the average interest rate is 6%. When public debt equals GDP in 2016-2017, we can make the following observations.

“When debt and GDP are the same, the economy must grow at a rate  equal to the composite rate on the debt to prevent a death spiral.”

    First, the economy must grow at the same rate as the overall interest rate on government debt to keep from exploding interest costs and the deficit. If interest rates revert to the historic average of 6% while GDP grows at 2%, this will, ceteris paribus, result in a 4% larger deficit. At $17 trillion, the annual debt service (interest) will be over $1 trillion with 4%, or $680 billion, resulting from the gap between GDP growth and interest rates. Note: Interest now consumes less than 1% of GDP because of historically low interest rates – which will not last.

    Second, if (miracle of miracles) the interest rate becomes equal to GDP growth, the entire benefits of the expansion of the US economy are offset by and consumed by higher debt service. To put it straight: the US economy never can grow net of interest. One can only imagine the impact of this on unemployment and every other measure of economic well being.

“If both GDP growth and interest rates were at their historic averages, there would be a differential of -2.7% , adding $400 billion a year to the deficit.”

    Third, again using historic data, if the US economy grew at its average post WWII rate of 3.3%  (phat chance) and also experienced its average interest rate of 6%, that would result in a  differential of -2.7%, i.e. debt service would explode by nearly $400 billion more each year compounded. Even if economic growth was high at say 3+%, interest rates would be higher given the concomitant strong economy. Thus, even under such sanguine conditions, debt service would grow much faster than the economy resulting in a debt death spiral.

    I hope the above perspective helps readers better understand why countries whose Debt/GDP ratios blow past 90% of their economies rarely, if ever, recover. These United States of America are headed toward a 100% Debt/GDP ratio by the end of the current presidential term. The only alternatives are: (1) massive spending cuts on the order of 30% which will wreck the social contract; (2) Draconian tax increases which will tank the economy further; (3) runaway inflation; (4) repudiation of the debt; and (5) a lost generation much like Greece is experiencing today. In fact, we are likely to experience several of the aforementioned perils. Avoiding widespread civil unrest and maintaining the rule of law will be no small feat.

Please Print This Email!

By: George Noga – June 1, 2013

      How often do you receive paternalistic, proselytizing and presumptive emails, both personal and commercial, that contain animadversions in the form of footnotes or subscripts exhorting you to “do not print” the email to “protect the environment”? If you’re like me, it’s far too often. This is nothing more than your friends or the businesses you deal with gratuitously foisting their politics on you.

   Friends or companies, who normally would not initiate a political discussion, somehow believe it is acceptable to derogate you thusly. Businesses that do this would not deign to attach email subscripts urging you to vote a certain way. They would not presume to lecture you about abortion, gun control or gay marriage. Yet somehow they arrogantly believe it is copacetic to inflict their somewhat extreme environmental views about paper products on you.

   I decided to fight back. Upon receiving an offending email, I always attach (without comment) my own footnotes to the reply; I have one for personal emails and one for business. The following paragraph contains my footnote for personal emails.

Footnote or Subscript for Personal Emails

    Please feel free to print this email along with all the attachments. Trees are a farmed product grown expressly for paper. It makes no more sense to conserve paper to save trees than it makes to conserve cloth to save cotton. Paper is natural, organic, biodegradable, renewable and sustainable. Working forests employ millions of Americans and help the environment by providing clean air and water, wildlife habitat and carbon storage. There are more trees planted commercially each year (by a vast margin) than are consumed; there are more trees than 100 years ago. In a very real sense, failure to print can hasten the conversion of forests to strip malls and parking lots. Therefore, by all means print this email and take satisfaction in knowing you are doing your part to help the environment and to save our American forests.”

Subscript for Business Emails

    For commercial emails I use the above paragraph, i.e. the same one as for personal emails. Then I add the following paragraph strictly for business.

   Your company’s email contained a footnote admonishing me not to print it for the ersatz purpose of protecting the environment. By doing this you gratuitously injected contentious and argumentative politics into what should be purely a business relationship. Surely, you would not deign to tell customers how to vote; therefore, why do you assume it is acceptable to foist other political views? Politicizing a business relationship is bad business for many reasons:

  1. If your company doesn’t believe this to be a divisive political issue, it is ignorant.
  2. You are wrong; conserving trees grown for paper does not help the environment.
  3. Even if I agreed with your politics, I would deeply resent your presumptive and unwarranted intrusion into my personal life.
  4. Inasmuch as I both disagree with your politics and resent your intrusion – I will not do business with your company and hereby demand you remove my name from all lists.
  5. Injecting politics into business always is a losing proposition. Do your shareholders
  6. know about this and do they approve?”

  You have my permission to use or to modify the above language without attribution. If you disagree with the “do not print” warning or even if you are agnostic or supportive but don’t like people cramming their political views down your throat, then – by all means – fight back!

Note to readers: During the summer months some (but not all) of our blog posts may be updates or revisions of earlier posts – usually from years ago. Our potential readership now is in excess of 100,000 as a result of various electronic journals, websites and other blogs that routinely pick up and republish our posts. Therefore, over 95% of our readers have never seen these posts before and they are just as relevant now as when originally published.

Liberals Live In a Plastic Bubble

Defining Liberalism – Part 3

By: George Noga – March 20, 2013
       Liberalism has much in common with the 1976 movie The Boy in the Plastic Bubble. The movie’s hero, Tod Lubitch, was born with an improperly functioning immune system; contact with unfiltered air could kill him. Hence, he lives inside a protective bubble insulated from the outside world. Similarly, liberals have a malfunctioning belief system that can’t handle contact with the truth; they live in intellectually isolated, segregated enclaves, i.e. inside a plastic bubble. Most live their entire lives without ever conversing with an evangelical Christian, conservative or tea party supporter. Note: Lyrics are from Eiffel 65: Living in a Bubble.
Living in a bubble baby
A bubble’s no reality
You’ve gotta have a look outside
Nothing in the bubble is the way it is supposed to be
And when it blows, you’ll hit the ground
      Liberals become more isolated than conservatives because of schools, government, media, the workplace, pop culture and even religion. They can’t relate to their fellow Americans in fly-over land. They believe to visit New Mexico you need a passport, visa, interpreter, inoculations, water purification pills and currency exchange. In contrast, conservatives, who also must endure all these liberal institutions, have an in-depth knowledge and understanding of liberalism. The following details how liberals construct their plastic bubble.
     Education: Most everyone attends K-12 public schools and colleges which are highly liberal government institutions. A liberal curriculum written by liberal professors is taught by liberal unionist teachers. Political correctness and liberal mythology permeate everything. They are taught that there are no universal values except that there are no values. It is like Lake Wobegone, without winners and losers and every child is above average.
     Media, Pop Culture and Religion: The ultra left wing media solidify liberal lies and myths. Businesses always are portrayed as despoiling villains while crusading journalists and government activists are saviors of the planet. Pop culture and the media are symbiotic. Even most (non evangelic) religions have mutated their beliefs to accommodate liberal statism.
The bubble doesn’t make you but it’s you that makes the bubble
And you better try to remember that it’s in your head
The bubble is a very tricky thing all full of hype and it is not easy
To try to see the way things are they’ll always be
       Government and Workplace: An ever bigger share of Americans work for government at all levels; it is now approaching 17% of all workers. Public sector workers now are heavily unionized and see their interests diametrically opposed to the private sector. Most everything government does promotes the liberal agenda. Political correctness, speech codes and sensitivity training now have hit the workplace resulting in a highly liberal work environment.
      The ubiquitous and powerful combination of schools, universities, media, pop culture, government, religion and the workplace, along with physical isolation, create the bubble. Once inside, escape is nigh impossible, nor do the denizens of the bubble even realize they are in a bubble. It is like they exist in a parallel universe. They do not know what they do not know. No one they meet and nothing they ever read or see forces them to confront their ignorance.
Living in a bubble baby
But it’s not the place to be
Cause it’s a place of lies and hype
Don’t believe the bubble cause it’s nothing  but a dream
And when it blows you’ll be alone
       On those rare occasions when liberals are confronted by truth, they don’t know how to react; they don’t realize how isolated they have become.  Just like Tod Lubitch, the boy in the plastic bubble, contact with unfiltered truth could kill their liberal beliefs. Consequently, their first instinct is to deny the truth; after all, nothing in their bubble has prepared them for it. Their next instinct is to call the speaker of truths racist, homophobic, sexist, ignorant and evil.
      Tod Lubitch finally left his bubble, but few liberals ever do. After all, life is more comfortable inside the  bubble than venturing out into the real world where things are not so simplistic and dogmatic and some thinking is required. Liberals don’t know what they don’t know. They prefer life inside the bubble even though that life is a lie because liberalism is a lie.

The Lies of Liberalism

Defining Liberalism – Part 2

By: George Noga – March 8, 2013
        We previously defined liberalism as a lie based on obvious contradictions and disdain for facts; let’s get specific. Liberals can’t be honest about their beliefs and must cloak and misdirect them in various ways. They favor abortion including termination of babies born alive during a botched abortion, a/k/a infanticide. They are sanguine about 50 million legal US abortions since Roe v. Wade but oppose capital punishment of which there have been about 1,300 during the same time period. Instead of directly making the case for their beliefs, they adopt palliative terms such as pro choice and women’s health. Of course, they don’t really mean pro choice as they strenuously oppose a woman’s choice about where to send her kids to school, owning a gun, having medical insurance, joining a labor union and even what to eat and drink.
      They readily embrace absurd contradictions; it is okay for a very young girl to have an abortion without parental knowledge or consent but don’t protest if the same girl is arrested for selling lemonade in her own front yard. In the craziest contradiction of all, liberals advocate gender-selective abortion that results in culling girls from the population as is commonplace in China, India and now among certain ethnic groups in America. This is nothing more than asserting we must accept the systematic killing of young girls in order to protect their rights, i.e. we must destroy the village in order to save it. How’s that for modern feminist thinking?
“Liberals advocate gender-selective abortion, i.e. the systematic abortion of 
baby girls arguing they must abort the girls in order to protect their rights.”
      Liberals voluntarily do business with Apple, Disney, Wal-Mart and countless other companies; they love their quality, value and customer service. They also must interact with DMV, USPS and IRS. Immediately following Hurricane Katrina, Wal-Mart had trucks loaded with food and water ready to help victims. Within 24 hours of Sandy, Verizon had 95% of its cell phone service running. Government did nothing. Yet liberals demonize business and prefer government; they believe corporations create oppression and governments create prosperity. They are ignorant of public choice economics that proves politicians’ and bureaucrats’ actions are based on self interest to maximize their own power and are opposed to the public interest.
      Following are a demi-dozen other liberal lies and the list (for space limitations) omits mention of energy, guns, climate change, public unions, the debt crisis and a vast array of other issues where liberal thought consists of legerdemain, prestidigitation and bald-faced lies.
  1. The US has the most progressive tax system in the world; the rich pay a higher share of taxes than in any other country and our corporate tax rate is the highest in the developed world. Nevertheless, liberals argue vociferously that the well off don’t pay their fair share.

  2. Liberals are for diversity in every possible way except for thought where they oppose it.

  3. Organic food fails every independent taste test versus conventionally grown food; isn’t healthier; requires more land; is worse for the environment; and costs more. Yet, it is a darling of liberals who oppose genetically modified food that actually is better for people.

  4. Every one of the top 100 measures of human and environmental well being is the best it has been in the past 50-75 years and is getting better all the time. In the face of all this, liberals continue to argue counter factually that things are bad and getting even worse.

  5. Our schools are terrible and getting worse. This has nothing to do with funding; it is the fault of educrats who regard it as a jobs program for adults and teachers unions that stand in the schoolhouse door blocking poor children from leaving. School choice is the civil rights issue of our age and liberals are on the wrong side despite their falsetto empathy.

  6. Photo IDs are needed to buy tobacco, alcohol, drive, cash checks, fly, open bank accounts and attend the Democratic convention. Liberals believe it is racist to require one to vote.
     In what may be the biggest whopper of them all, most liberals refuse to call themselves liberal, opting instead for non descriptive and misleading terms such as progressive, non-aligned  and independent. Not only is liberalism a lie, liberals lie about being liberal.
Coming next week: The final part in the series defining liberalism: Life in a Plastic Bubble.

Liberalism is a Lie

Defining Liberalism – Part 1

By: George Noga – March 1, 2013
       This posting is the first of three that examines and defines modern liberalism. We mustn’t however allow ourselves to become confused by political labels such as conservative, fascist, communist, liberal, progressive, centrist, populist, democrat, republican, libertarian, socialist and anarchist. Labels notwithstanding, mankind always has been divided into two camps.
      Robert Heinlein (Stranger in a Strange Land) wrote: “The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.” Grover Norquist stated it simply: people divide politically between the “leave us alone” and the “takings” coalitions. Thomas Jefferson nailed it 250 years ago: “Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties: 1. Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes. 2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe . . . depository of the public interests. In every country these two parties exist. Call them  . . . by whatever name you please. they are the same parties and pursue the same object.”
       Modern liberalism wants people to be controlled, doesn’t want to leave them alone and wants to take from them. As Jefferson described, it fears and distrusts the people and desires to arrogate all power. Today’s liberals believe in the supremacy of the state and thereby reject the principles of America’s founding documents. They must control individuals in order to control society with the aim of bringing about their vision of Utopia – inevitably resulting in hell on earth as with all Utopias throughout human history. This leads to a soft tyranny (which we already have) and ultimately results in a hard tyranny, i.e. some form of totalitarianism.
     This is a good beginning point but there is much more to understanding and defining modern day liberalism. It is anti-empirical, inconsistent with objective reality and driven by emotion; it eschews logic, reason and persuasion in favor of compulsion. It is all about feeling and its credo is sentio ergo sum, i.e. I feel therefore I am. Thus, liberalism can be understood and defined as an emotional state characterized by obvious contradictions, disdain for facts, Utopian fantasies, obsessive desires to control and to take from others and antipathy for all who differ.
Liberalism: An emotional state characterized by obvious contradictions, disdain for truth, Utopian fantasies, obsessive desires
to control and to take from others and antipathy for all who differ.”
      As accurate as the preceding definition is, it represents but a  way station in my grasp of liberalism. My thinking has since evolved to an even higher level and I have come to  understand the true nature, and hence the ultimate definition, of modern liberalism. Everything about it is based on lies. Liberalism has been mugged by reality, although none of its acolytes dares acknowledge it, preferring instead prevarication, deceit, ad hominem attacks and appeals to emotion. The true definition of liberalism thus requires only four words: Liberalism is a lie!
       In part two (next week) I describe in detail how and why liberalism is a lie. The third and final part (two weeks hence) describes how contemporary liberalism has become so insular that its adherents live lives that resemble that of the “Boy in the Plastic Bubble“. Stay tuned!

Lives of Quiet Desperation

By: George Noga – February 15, 2013

      You could see it in their faces; the look was unmistakable. I noticed it throughout our trip but it was confirmed by Mario on our final day in Europe. My wife and I were staying in Paris and took a hotel shuttle to the airport. We were the only 2 passengers on the shuttle van for the 30 minute ride and immediately struck up a conversation with Mario, our driver.

     Mario, age 33, was trilingual and personable. We soon learned he was from Italy where he  had completed his schooling but moved to France because there were no jobs in Italy. His job driving the shuttle van had zero possibility for upward mobility and he expected to remain in the same menial, monotonous position his entire working life. He was living with his girlfriend but stated he had no intention ever to marry; he was adamant about never having children. He had already begun to think about his pension which was at least a quarter century in the future.

     Contemplate Mario’s situation. He left his native country and family for a low paying, dead end job in another country where he never would totally belong. He already had driven the van for 14 years and was facing another 29 years – a total of 60,000 hotel/airport round trips. He would subsist perpetually on the economic fringe of society, eschewing wife and children. Yet, according to his calculus, this hardscrabble existence was better than the life he left behind in Italy. Multiply Mario by tens of millions of others in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece and elsewhere and you will begin to understand the magnitude of the quiet desperation I witnessed.

“We are a lost generation for sure.”

    Take Carlos from Madrid, who was quoted in a recent Bloomberg report. He graduated from university but faced Spain’s 52% unemployment rate for those under age 25. He now washes and chops vegetables for a salad bar in London. Of the 17 employees, 13 are from Spain, including 3 from Carlos’s university. “We are a lost generation for sure“, Carlos stated.

     As bad as the situation is currently, it is certain to get far worse as governments and central banks impose anti-growth policies including massive tax hikes and pile on ever more onerous regulations. Even the courts add to the perdition. The European Court of Justice just ruled workers who don’t feel well during vacations are entitled to a paid makeup vacation day for every day they were ill. Meanwhile, thanks to many millions like Mario and Carlos, Europe’s demographics are imploding. Unfortunately, Europe’s problems have reached the USA.

America is Becoming More Like Europe

    More and more Americans are working part time and in low wage jobs. Our unemployment rate is 15% when including involuntary part-time workers. Unemployment for those under age 25 is higher at 16% and that number is set to soar as ObamaCare kicks in and the cost of insuring full time workers skyrockets. America gradually is descending into a low wage, part-time economy with stagnant growth accompanied by decreasing social mobility.

     Obama’s policies fix these trends in place for at least the next 5 years – 4 more years of Obama and at least one year to change course. The high rate of government spending, massive debt, huge deficits and higher taxes are certain to result in tepid economic growth. We will be  lucky to average 2% growth per year and to avoid recession and/or an  existential debt crisis.

     In short, the youth (and increasingly the middle class) of America are becoming more like Mario and Carlos. They will be part of a lost generation and it is just a matter of time until we will begin to see the unmistakable looks of quiet desperation in our children’s faces.

Clinging to the Global Warming Religion

By: George Noga – February 1, 2013

      Why do some people still cling to the man-made global warming myth? As the headline above suggests, it has transmogrified into a religion. As all religions, it is based on faith in things unseen; it has its high priests and dogma. It is replete with its own sacraments (bio-fuel, windmills, ethanol) and demons (coal, oil, CO2). As a religion its core beliefs are unassailable and impervious to all countervailing facts and logic. It is harsh toward apostates, labeling them deniers. However, its high priests and numeraries succumb to all the usual temptations of money, power, politics and arrogance.

     Their co-coreligionists, i.e. the state sycophant media, serve as enablers by their grotesquely distorted reporting. Let’s examine recent reportage (and non reportage) to see how this works.

  • An acolyte of the warmist religion recently emailed me, gleefully citing a media story about the melting of the polar ice cap. That’s true enough insofar as it goes. However, the media never report that the antarctic ice cap has been increasing for many years. And oh by the way, the antarctic ice cap is 10 times larger that its arctic counterpart.
  • Recently the media have been flogging the story about 2012 being the hottest year in the lower 48 states by a full degree Fahrenheit. Again, a true statement. But did the media report 2008 was cooler than 2006 by 2 degrees? Did they report 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 all were cooler than 1998 by a greater margin than 2012 was hotter than 1998? Did they note the continental US is only 1.58% of  earth’s land mass?
  • It is an uncontested fact there has been no warming trend for the past 16 years. So, what does the media do? They glom on to the fact that the decade including 1998 was the warmest on record. Given 1998 was the hottest year, it follows statistically almost automatically the same decade would be the warmest decade. This media misdirection is solely to assuage readers’ anxiety from unwanted facts counter to their religion.
  • What the media ignore can be equally significant. The US Department of Energy reports US CO2 emissions are the lowest in 20 years (by 14%) despite 50 million more people. You didn’t read this in your local paper because these incredible gains result from free market hydraulic fracking and not windmills, solar or government diktats. By the way, have the media reported it has been nearly 2,300 days since a Cat 3 storm hit the USA? So much for climate change and the purported increase in extreme weather events.
  • Arguably the greatest failure of the global warming religion (and its media stooges) is to account for temperature readings from planets and moons in our solar system. NASA has taken readings from several bodies over many years and they closely track changes in Earth’s temperature. Unless there are CO2 belching SUVs on Mars and Triton, this can mean only one thing: temperature changes result from solar activity. When faced with such overwhelming evidence, warmists do what one would expect – they totally ignore it.

       Thus far I have failed to mention the ultimate apostasy, i.e. the amount of warming now projected for the remainder of the century is a net benefit to mankind. I am going to miss the warming religion when its final adherent figuratively closes the door and turns out the lights much as I have come to miss the former Soviet Union. They have much in common. Both were religions based on deeply flawed premises; they became funny (in a pathetic way) as their stars faded. And, they were such inviting targets to write about. But religions never die and there are a few die-hard commies around as there will be a similar number of warmists in a few years.

Note to readers: We have tweaked the format slightly and also added more social media sharing options which now include: email, Twitter, Facebook and Linked-in; The links are at the very top of the posting.

IPCC: Global Warming Vastly Overstated

IPCC Draft Report: Global Warming is Minimal and a Net Benefit to Mankind!

By: George Noga – January 24, 2013

    The (“IPCC”) or United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the very same folks who perpetrated the man-made global warming hoax on the world, is poised to release its Fifth Assessment Report later this year. A draft has leaked; it is posted on the Internet for all to see. I have read much of it and it is pure dynamite.

     Scientists who reviewed the draft, state that data contained therein lead inexorably to the four  observations listed below. Please be forewarned however; as always, the final report will be highly politicized. Its summary and conclusions will contradict data buried in the body of the report. The media and warmists will selectively extract data and quotes solely for scare purposes. Despite this dissembling, the conclusions are:

  1. There has been no warming for the past 16 years.
  2. Computer models used in the past to predict disaster are invalid.
  3. There will be a rise of only 1 degree Celsius between now and 2100.
  4. There will be a net benefit to mankind from this amount of warming.

        It was simple long ago to conclude man did not cause warming in any significant measure. NASA had many years of accurate readings from several planets and moons in our solar system showing their temperature changes tracked closely with earth’s. Ergo, it had to be a solar phenomenon which man could not possibly be causing.

Kyoto and Carbon Dioxide

  The world little noticed, but the Kyoto Protocol on climate change expired at the end of 2012. So, just how successful was it and how did the United States (which did not sign the treaty) fare compared to the self righteous countries that did and castigated the US? Japan promised a 6% CO2 reduction but experienced a 7% increase for a net negative margin of 13%, and this from a nation losing population and in a generation-long economic slump.

  Australia experienced a negative CO2 margin of 56% – bummer! Our neighbor, Canada, a rabid Kyoto supporter, had a margin of negative 30%. The Netherlands had a negative margin of 26%. The European Union as a whole met its target due solely to three factors: (1) economic stagnation; (2) rigging the starting date to coincide with the collapse of communism; and (3) the related closure of grossly inefficient Soviet era power plants and industries. Meanwhile, Uncle Sam had an increase over the past 20 years of only 10% despite economic development and population growth that vastly surpassed most of the world.

Europe Back to the Stone Age; Pineapples in Alaska

   Global warming has attained the status of a religion in Europe. And religions don’t die. Zoroastrianism, which faded away over 1,000 years ago, still has hundreds of thousands of adherents. Europeans believe warming could drive them back to the stone age. They may be right, just not the way they envision it. Their misplaced faith in global warming – not warming itself – could result in much of Europe reverting to a Neolithic lifestyle.

     European Union law mandates an 80% cut in CO2 emissions by 2050. In Britain, many industries face a 140% increase in energy costs by 2020. Planned offshore wind farms will cost Britons $10,000 per person. France and Germany with massive shale resources ban exploration. Germany has half the photovoltaic capacity on the planet even though a top German utility executive compares this to growing pineapples in Alaska. Europe is destroying the foundation of its prosperity because of obeisance to a dead religion – not to mention that it also is going bankrupt from unsustainable debt and social programs. Zoroastrianism may be a better choice.

Climate Religion, Zoroastrianism and Polar Bears

  The climate religion is dead. The IPCC report should be the final nail in its coffin. Yet I suspect many of its acolytes will continue to cling to it much like modern day Zoroastrians. The same pantheon of gods (IPCC) that giveth, now taketh away. There is no significant man made global warming and there never was! To the very limited extent (1 degree Celsius between now and 2100) solar caused warming may exist, it is a boon to the human race.

  Much or all of what adherents to the warmist religion ever believed is wrong about, inter alia, CO2 emissions, ethanol subsidies, rising sea levels, biofuels, melting ice caps, ocean temperatures, hurricanes, green energy, fossil fuels and polar bears whose record numbers continue to proliferate. Please don’t forget the polar bears!

Guns and Schools Revisited

Guns and Schools – Part 3

By: George Noga – January 17, 2013

      My recent miniseries on guns and schools was among the most forwarded of all time; reader response was incredibly favorable (thank you) and heavy. Given the strong reader interest, I am reprising the topic for what I trust is the final time. I covered much ground in the prior posts whereas in this one I hone in on the quintessence of the issue.
“The greatest cause of school killings is untreated mental illness
which exists for one reason, and one reason only: liberal dogma.”
      Far and away, the greatest causal factor in mass school killings is untreated severe mental illness  particularly of those prone to violence. Mental health experts estimate there are 70,000 such people in the USA today. This situation exists for one reason only: liberal dogma. Progressive groups, led by the ACLU, prevent states from passing laws that force treatment or, if necessary, institutionalize the severely mentally ill. Connecticut is among the very worst.
      It wasn’t always this way. Due to some bona fide concerns about abuses in mental facilities, but mainly due to a twisted and perverted notion about individual rights that became a canon of progressivism in the 1960s, mental hospitals were emptied. Since that time, beds in public psychiatric hospitals have shrunk by 90% despite an increase of 140 million people. Another byproduct of compliance with this liberal shibboleth is homelessness; a vast majority of which are comprised of such unfortunate souls; the same is largely true of prisons.
     Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, framed the issue in a compelling manner; he said, “Imagine the national outrage if people with Alzheimer’s were permitted to wander about the streets uncared for. But, by some perverse logic, it’s considered okay for schizophrenics.” Let’s sum up. The severely (potentially violent) mentally ill go untreated, wander among the general population, become homeless, populate our prisons and are condemned to tortured, miserable lives – all in obeisance to the liberal religion. Oh yes, and when there is a school shooting by one of these tortured souls, they blame it all on guns – also in obeisance to liberal religion.
“The severely mentally ill go untreated, wander the streets, become homeless, populate our prisons and are condemned to tortured, miserable lives – and all in obeisance to the liberal religion.”
      The second greatest causal factor in school killings is the copycat effect. Most people don’t understand just how real this phenomenon is. In fact, it is about as old as the media itself. In 1774 Goethe wrote his classic “The Sorrows of Young Werther” in which the hero committed suicide in a certain manner. Following publication, there was a spate of identical suicides throughout Europe – and this at a time of low population when few read and news was local and moved glacially. Today there are over 7 billion people (all interconnected), the media is global and pervasive and news moves at the speed of light. Oh yes, and when there is a copycat school killing, the media blame it all on guns – all the while flogging the story for all it’s worth.
      Yes, there also are some other causes (see the first two parts of this series), although guns is not one of them. Nevertheless, untreated severe mental illness and the copycat effect are, by a large measure, the two leading causes. Both result directly from the liberal religious creed and are propagated by liberal institutions. That explains why they reflexively point to guns as the cause – to shift opprobrium from themselves and onto a standard liberal demon – guns.
     All the while, they fully understand the flap over guns is an ephemeron and that there will be no changes to gun laws. One of the few, if any, bipartisan consensuses in Congress today is about guns – specifically opposing any new restrictions on firearms. The identical pattern repeats every time. First, there is a tragedy followed by demands for more gun laws. Second, after a predictable interval the clamor subsides, no new laws are passed and everything is exactly as it was before. So it is this time and so it will be again the next time.

Guns and Schools: 10 Keys to Prevention

Guns and Schools – Part 2
By: George Noga – January 3, 2013
     My previous post corrected much of the pervasive media misinformation and bias about the Newtown tragedy. It also described the real causal factors for mass shootings in schools. This post presents a principled plan to prevent rampage school killings.
  1. Change the culture. We have lowered expectations and standards for personal and civil conduct – the vicious attacks, untruths and extreme negativity of the recent election campaign being a good example. Long established rules, limits and barriers have been destroyed. Daniel Henninger in the WSJ describes it as removing all the guardrails for society. There is a linkage between cultural disarray and personal disarray. When the entire spectrum of acceptable behavior shifts, those at society’s margins go off the tracks. Our intellectual, political, religious, media and cultural elites need to rediscover self control. This will take time and won’t solve 100% of the problem, but it is a needed start.

  2. Reduce the copycat effect. The copycat effect is real and proven. This is where the media need to exercise self restraint. No one advocates legal restrictions on the press, but a voluntary industry wide code of conduct would be a good start. Before this can happen the media must acknowledge its culpability in creating future horrors. Right now the media is too busy flogging the story for all it’s worth and deflecting blame onto the NRA.
  3. Treat and/or institutionalize the violently mentally ill. The statistics are too numerous to list but they all prove most rampage type attacks are perpetrated by the mentally ill. The heart of the problem is the existence of numerous people with severe mental disorders who are not being treated – and under existing law cannot be forced to accept treatment. In the 10 worst mass US killings, the majority were by people with untreated schizophrenia. Instead of changing gun laws, the imperative is to change laws pertaining to mental illness. That will do more than anything else to prevent future tragedies.
  4. Eliminate (fake) gun free zones. A sign proclaiming a gun free zone is a welcome mat for rampage killers. Gun free zones such as at airports are real as they are backed by  metal detectors and a police presence. However, most gun free zones are merely notional and work only to increase the danger to those within the zone. It has been proven ad nauseum that more guns equate to less crime. Numerous mass killings have been stopped (see Part 1) by citizens with legal guns. Over 2,500,000 times each year legal guns prevent or stop crimes. The Gun Free School Zones Act of 1990 needs to be repealed.
  5. Understand that guns are not the issue. As I wrote last week, neither of the two deadliest school attacks in America involved guns. On the very same day as the Newtown tragedy, there was a mass school killing in China where 22 children were stabbed. Other mass school killings have involved dynamite, cars and fire. The sooner we all disabuse ourselves that guns are the culprit, the sooner we can begin to focus on the real causes.
  6. Learn from business. Mass killings in the workplace are down nearly 70% in the past 20 years and without any changes to gun laws. Of 20 mass shootings this year, only 1 involved businesses which have become more adept at understanding personality and risk. Most businesses use the run-hide-fight paradigm; they don’t ignore threats; they have violence prevention programs and they practice deterrence. They change the calculus in a potential killer’s mind that he will be able to control the situation until the SWAT team arrives. And yes, this calculus involves guns; there are few, if any, fake gun free zones in businesses.This approach is proven to work and it is idiotic to ignore it.
  7. Enact universal school choice. School deaths may be caused by individual monsters but they are abetted by a collective monster – government. Families are forced to send their children to specific schools where it is impossible (under existing law) for anyone to defend them. Some countries (Israel included) promote guns in schools and this has saved lives. If every family had choice, they could decide for themselves which school to send their children for the best education and also the best protection. I wonder how many liberals would choose to send their children to so-called gun free schools.
  8. Understand 100% protection is not attainable. Despite the best preventative measures, we cannot eliminate all school murders. Even if all the measures described herein were in place, some incidents would happen. We could use these to learn and to further enhance preventative measures. These should not be occasions for knee-jerk attacks on guns.
  9. Seek real solutions not political solutions. It is abundantly clear that viable solutions exist to vastly reduce school violence. We must resist the urge to adopt quick, feel-good political faux fixes which may satisfy for a short time but will do nothing to solve the problem. Passing a law can be quick and easy but real solutions take time and effort to bear results. We may need to shed some old shibboleths about guns in the process.
  10. Government is part of the problem not the solution. Government doesn’t do anything well except perhaps the military. Theoretically, it may be helpful to tweak gun laws to keep guns from the untreated mentally ill. I don’t advocate this however because government would botch mental illness the same way it botches everything else. Do you really want the same folks as at the DMV in charge of deciding who is too ill for guns? The solution to preventing school violence lies in more liberty and less government.
“It is not possible for any scient person to read this and continue to believe more gun laws are the answer. Yet that is all we are hearing.” 
     It should not be possible for any scient person to read this and continue to believe more gun laws are the answer – or even a tiny part of the answer. Yet that is all we are hearing. That is why I interrupted my holiday torpor to write these posts. We can vastly reduce school violence but only if we first abandon myths about guns and the lust for a quick political solution.
     Finally, I cannot write about guns in America without pointing out that our constitutional right to keep and bear arms is not primarily about hunting, target shooting, sport or even self defense. Our founders considered gun ownership, first and foremost, a political right and it always must be understood in that context.