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: www.mllg.us. 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  –  mllg@mllg.us  –  www.mllg.us

Earth Day 2019: Print This Email!

Fight back against paternalistic, proselytizing, political preening.
Earth Day 2019: Print This Email!
By: George Noga – April 21, 2019

        “Please consider the environment before printing this email” is a common liberal animadversion appended to personal and business emails; it is wrong for four reasons: (1) it gratuitously injects politics into a non political situation; (2) the sender is clueless that it is a divisive political statement; (3) it is virtue signaling; and (4) it is factually wrong as printing does not harm the environment, but actually helps save our forests.

      Progressives would (rightfully) take umbrage if emails were appended with: “Please consider adoption before abortion”. It is even worse when businesses make political statements. Why would businesses, which would not deign to hector you about contentious political issues, arrogantly foist their ersatz environmental views about paper products on customers? You can and should push back. When I receive an offending personal email, I attach the following subscript to my reply.

         Please print this email. 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, biodegradable, organic, 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 than are consumed; there are more trees than 100 years ago. Failure to print hastens the conversion of forests into strip malls and parking lots.

         When I receive an offending business email, I append the preceding paragraph but also let them know that I resent their presumptive and unwanted intrusion into my personal life by injecting politics into a business relationship. I usually couple this with a demand that they remove my name from all their lists. When I receive responses from businesses, they claim they weren’t being political; they arrogantly and ignorantly believe there is universal agreement that conserving paper helps the environment. Well, if that were true, then what is their purpose in adding it to all their emails?

Tree Glut Causes Humongous Price Drop


         In the southeast US timber growing region, there is a veritable glut of trees which has driven prices down 50% to 70% and is causing growers steep losses. The volume of southern yellow pine (used for paper) has quadrupled in recent decades as many farmers replaced cropland with trees. In total, 2.2 million acres were replaced. Prices now are so low that it sometimes isn’t worth the cost to harvest trees. Somehow, this surfeit of trees, decades in the making, has eluded progressive tree huggers.

      Actually, I fully agree with the environmentalists’ admonition to “consider the environment before printing“. However, they (surprise) got it backwards. By all means, you should consider the environment – and then go right ahead and print all you want, the more the better. By printing, you can take great satisfaction in knowing you are doing your part to help the environment and to save our great American forests.

Next on April 28 MLLG begins its new series about the spending crisis;
This is by far our most thorough and analytic presentation of this issue! 

It’s Getting Better All the Time

The environment is the best it has been in at least 75 years and is getting better all the time.   
It’s Getting Better All the Time
By: George Noga – April 15, 2018

       We will celebrate Earth Day 2018 on April 22 with a special posting; today’s posting is a prequel. Since Earth Day began in 1970, Americans have been bombarded with ersatz horror stories even though every significant measure of environmental well being is the best it has been and is getting better as well documented in numerous publications including: It’s Better than it Looks, It’s Getting Better All the Time, Enlightenment Now, Progress, Abundance, Rational Optimist and The Moral Arc.

        Following are but a few of the metrics that are doing great: deaths from extreme weather, ambient air quality, emissions per GDP unit, streams suitable for swimming and fishing, oil spills, wastewater treatment, energy use by GDP unit, auto fuel economy, food production, commodity prices, timber growth and use, environmental quality and natural resource abundance. And the list goes on and on.

        Malnutrition in the US (and globally) is at its lowest level in history. Virtually all hunger that remains is due to distribution failures and government corruption – not to lack of food. Obesity in the US, and increasingly worldwide, has supplanted hunger as the more significant problem. Not only do we now feed an astounding 7.6 billion people, we accomplish the feat with a much smaller environmental footprint due mainly to GMOs. This doesn’t stop environmental alarmists from incantations and screeds warning of population growth and demonizing GMOs. Note: The population growth rate already is falling globally and will turn negative by end of the century.

        Despite the epic proliferation of people and the concomitant improvements in their standard of living and consumption, the earth’s minerals and resources are more abundant than ever before – and are getting more abundant all the time. The price of virtually all resources is falling, signalling that we are finding and replacing them faster than we are using them. Remember peak oil? On past Earth Days, scaremongers in science, media and politics warned we would run out of oil by 2000; instead, energy is in worldwide oversupply (really, there is a glut) and prices have plunged.

        Brace yourself for the soporific palaver you will be force fed during the coming week by the Chicken Little triad of media, progressives and environmental wackos. They will regurgitate their imperious, dog-eared shibboleths about greedy corporations spewing carbon, polluting and despoiling the environment. They will rant about frankenfoods, population growth and, of course, their favorite whipping boy (or should it be whipping person?), climate change. But you know the truth, i.e. every metric of environmental well being is the best it has been and is getting better all the time!

      As for us at MLLG, we have written an uber-special Earth Day post to be distributed on Earth Day 2018, which is next Sunday, April 22. Its topic is an environmental issue we never before have written about since these posts began in 2009. It should be a real eye opener; please be sure to read it on Earth Day!

On Earth Day (April 22) we will have something truly provocative for you.

MLLG College Commencement Address

Instead of a diploma, graduates should receive an apology and a tuition refund. 
MLLG College Commencement Address
By: George Noga – June 11, 2017
     Graduates: upon your graduation today from this elite college, you will receive congratulations and a diploma. Instead, you should demand an apology from the college along with a refund of most of your tuition. You have been swindled, deceived, bilked, scammed, hoodwinked and defrauded in almost every way imaginable.
      During your seven years here, you never were taught by a professor; most of your graduate-student instructors sat in the same class last semester that they now teach. Most of you graduated with honors; making them meaningless and reminiscent of Lake Wobegon where everyone is above average. Many of your degrees are useless; some even are harmful. If your degree is in any hyphenated subject or in one that ends in studies, consider it worthless; the same applies to degrees in Zombies in Popular Media and Queer Musicology. Most of you didn’t need a college degree in the first place.
    No instructor or guest speaker has ever challenged you with ideas contrary to progressive shibboleths. You have experienced diversity in every conceivable way except the one that matters, i.e. diversity of thought. You have been indoctrinated in pro-government, anti-capitalist, anti-business and politically correct orthodoxy. You have been propagandized and terrorized about the environment and climate change.
      You have been coddled by trigger warnings, safe rooms and even the avoidance of microaggressions. You have been cloistered in a cocoon of enforced conformity. Males have had their constitutional rights stripped away and live on the razor’s edge, one ersatz accusation away from perdition. There is not now and never was a campus rape crisis; the real world has no speech codes; and all America is a free speech zone.
      Your college has a humongous endowment and doesn’t even need to charge tuition. Nevertheless, it has colluded with government, and against you and your parents, to raise the cost of tuition. Government decided everyone needed a college degree, so they lowered standards causing a student glut and a bubble in higher education.
     Government then made student loans easily available and your college raised its tuition to capture the subsidies. Tuition has risen 400% faster than inflation. Middle income taxpayers, who foot the bills, are subsidizing your elite education and are the ones you stiff when you inevitably default on your loans. You show your ingratitude by flagrantly flaunting your disrespect of their values, religion and patriotism.
    You are victims of intergenerational theft and inherit $600,000 as your share of future unfunded government liabilities. You also inherit a dysfunctional world with multiple existential threats and an imminent debt crisis, all due to following the discredited progressive dogma you were taught at this college. You are a lost generation and will be truly lucky if your life is better than your parents’.
      Following this ceremony, go straight to the nearest unemployment office, as this elite college did not equip you to add value to the economy. Those of you finding a job will soon learn that it is not about you – it is all about the customer. Your second stop should be at a law firm to sue this college for fraud and a tuition refund. Finally, you must begin to unlearn all the crapola you were taught at this college.
       If you feel entitled to a break following graduation, spend some time in Venezuela or Cuba to experience some real socialistic comradeship – but remember to bring your own food, medicine and toilet paper. Use your time (while standing in lines) in these workers’ paradises to decide if you are a frail, delicate, fragile snowflake who must be sheltered in a safe room with a teddy bear or someone ready to face the real world.
      Finally, as alums, you will be solicited by this college for donations to add to its already obscenely large endowment. Instead, send them a copy of your student loan repayment schedule and once again demand a refund of your tuition payments.

Next up is a  special MLLG posting on June 14th – Flag Day

Original Earth Day Predictions Revisited


Predictions by environmentalists during the first Earth Day in 1970 were not only wrong, they were absurd, inane, preposterous, idiotic and harebrained but, most of all, laughable.
Original Earth Day Predictions Revisited
By: George Noga – May 14, 2017
     The 47th anniversary of Earth Day is a good time to review the accuracy of predictions made by leading environmentalists in 1970. We also take this occasion to proffer five of our own prognostications. We have not cherry-picked the most absurd predictions; there were no upbeat predictions made by any environmentalists on the original Earth Day – or on any Earth Day since. Source note: Acknowledgement is due to the American Enterprise Institute and Mark Perry for some of the data herein.
  1. Harvard biologist George Wald: “Civilization will end within 15 or 20 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.
  2. Paul Erlich: “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supply we make. Between 1980 and 1989, 4 billion people, including 65 million Americans, will perish in the great die-off.
  3. Denis Hayes, the principal organizer for the original Earth Day, wrote in 1970: “It already is too late to avoid mass starvation.” 
  4. Life Magazine reported: “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.
  5. Ecologist Kenneth Watt: “By the year 2000 if present trends continue, we will use crude oil at such a rate there won’t be any more crude oil.”
  6. Harrison Brown, a scientist at the National Academy of Sciences, writing in Scientific American stated that humanity would totally run out of copper soon after 2000 and that lead, zinc, tin, gold and silver would be gone before 1990.
  7. Dr. Dillon Ripley, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute: “In 25 years somewhere between 75% and 80% of all species of living animals will be extinct.”
  8. Ecologist Kenneth Watt once again: “The world has been chilling sharply for about 20 years. If present trends continue, the world will be 11 degrees cooler in 2000.”
  9. Biologist Barry Commoner in the scholarly journal Environment: “We are in an environmental crisis threatening the world as a suitable place of human habitation.”
  10. New York Times editorial: “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from possible extinction.
     Res ipsa loquitur pro se, i.e. the reality speaks for itself; I can’t make this stuff up. As often noted in this space, every single one of the top 100 metrics of human and environmental well-being is better today than in 1970 and is continuing to get better all the time. Environmental wackos never learn; the predictions they are making today are every bit as absurd as those they made on the first Earth Day 47 years ago.
     Not to be outdone, MLLG proffers five surefire environmental predictions.
  1. All the top 100 measures of human and environmental well-being will improve.
  2. Prices (net of inflation) will continue to fall for all metals and natural resources.
  3. The decade of the 2020s will experience global cooling.
  4. Billions of additional well-fed humans will inhabit the planet and everyone will live longer and healthier lives. Earth will continue to get ever more cleaner and richer.
  5. Apocalyptic prophets of environmental doom will continue to spout spectacularly wrong predictions – all of which will be dutifully reported and hyped by the media.
     WARNING: The only skunk at this garden party is government – which really could destroy life on Earth. Our fears and those of our children are misplaced. It is big and feckless government that truly threatens this planet, not pollution or climate change.

The next post May 21st is about the end of America’s 25 year long party.

Your Home As a Microcosm for Environmentalism


The environmental movement consists of two symbiotic segments. Its leaders are like a watermelon – green on the outside and red on the inside. Its followers guzzle the Kool-Aid and embrace environmentalism with evangelical fervor but are clueless commie pawns.

Your Home As a Microcosm for Environmentalism

By: George Noga – April 30, 2017
       Like most movements of our era, environmentalism began in response to legitimate concerns. People of good will joined together to enact laws to remedy the problems. Moderates then abandoned the movement believing their mission accomplished. Meanwhile, the Berlin Wall fell and communism collapsed. Die-hard Marxists were homeless and hijacked the environmental movement, bringing with them neo-Marxist, anti-capitalist and anti-globalization agendas which they cloaked in green language.
      Today, the movement is led by watermelon (green on the outside, red on the inside) commies and the hard left to whom the environment is merely a lever to achieve their workers’ paradise – they will get it right next time. They are joined by useful idiots, mainly big government types, professors, teachers, movie stars, feel-good progressives and unfortunately, many of our children. Ironically, these are the very same leftists who created an environmental Armageddon in the former Soviet Union and its satellites.
Environmentalism From a Micro Perspective
      Sometimes it helps to look at things differently; assume your home is a metaphor for radical environmentalism. Many years ago, quite frankly, your house was dirty and your family often became ill. You were doing okay financially and wanted to clean it up. You installed a new HVAC system, water filtration and cleaned house more often. Your house was now 90% cleaner than before and family illnesses declined markedly.
      Fast forward several years. You now are affluent and want your home super clean. You have a cleaning crew come once a week and pest control monthly. You buy top-of-the-line air and water filtration systems. You have every surface disinfected. Your budget begins to strain and you must make some compromises about spending. Nevertheless, your home is now 99% cleaner than before, which is great. Right?
      Fast forward again. You now want even more; after all, it’s impossible to be too clean. Right? You bring in the cleaning crew and exterminators daily. Not even one bug survives. You change all filters every day. Your home is now 99.99% cleaner than before. Your costs rose exponentially to achieve infinitesimal incremental benefits. That final 1% cost you $100,000; but it was worth it. Wasn’t it? You must drastically cut spending and you replace your health insurance policy with a much cheaper one.
      Your child falls ill at the neighbor’s, whose home is dirtier – as is the neighborhood. Because of your cheap insurance, you wait to take your child to the doctor; after all, these things usually are not serious. Right? The story has a tragic ending. Yet, despite this tragedy, you want your home 99.9999% cleaner, even if that final one-thousandth of one percent will bankrupt you. After all, your home never can be too clean. Right? Source note: This story was inspired by an internet article by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.
     This story is a fair representation of environmentalism today. The perfect has become the enemy of the good. Every one of the top 100 measures of environmental and human well-being is better than it was 50 years ago and is getting better all the time. (Source: It’s Getting Better All The Time by Julian Simon and Stephen Moore)
      It is imperative we get this message to our children!

Our next post is on May 6th (Derby Day) and honors the Kentucky Derby.

Understanding the Environmental Religion


This posting is renewable, biodegradable, conflict-free, green, natural, sustainable, fair traded, non-GMO, pesticide-free, recycled, organic and bio-diverse. Whew!
Understanding the Environmental Religion
By: George Noga – April 22, 2017
     Happy Earth Day 2017! The key to understanding environmentalism is to grasp that it is the religion of progressive urban atheists with eerie parallels to Judaism and Christianity. Its pantheon of gods includes everything listed above in the preheader. There is a Garden of Eden where man once existed in unity with nature. Humans then fell from grace by eating from the tree of knowledge and polluting. We all are energy sinners and judgment day is coming unless we earn salvation through sustainability.Â
     The environmental religion has angels (windmills, bio-fuel) and demons (CO2, coal, pesticides). Its dogma is renewability, biodiversity and green energy. It has its sacraments such as Eucharist consisting of non-GMO organic foods. Its chief ritual is recycling, which acolytes view as a morally redemptive exercise. It persecutes apostates, labeling them deniers and seeks to silence or to imprison them. It is the religion for all the right people with the right beliefs and the right intentions.
The Five Biggest Myths About Recycling
      We can’t deal with environmentalism in just two posts, so we must be selective. This post debunks recycling. Businesses voluntarily and profitably recycle, inter alia, steel, aluminum, tires, copper, batteries, clothing, glass and newsprint. Only when validated by markets does recycling make sense economically or environmentally. Government mandated (coerced) recycling is fatuous. The top five myths follow.
1. Recycling is good for the environment. Much recycled waste goes into the same landfills as all other waste and requires additional trucks, crews and fuel. A true cost/benefit accounting would be devastating for recycling. The Office of Technology Assessment reports recycling changes the nature of pollution – and often for the worse.
2. There is a shortage of landfills. If every U.S. county devoted one square mile to landfills, it would be sufficient for 4,000 years. In the past few years, private companies have opened huge new landfills and costs are plummeting. There are a few areas, limited to the northeast U.S., where landfill capacity is scarce – but that is entirely due to  progressive politics. Those few dysfunctional places are able to ship their garbage economically to locales that aggressively compete for their business.Â
3. Packaging is a problem. Far from being a demon, packaging is a blessing for the environment, resulting in less breakage and waste. Less advanced economies, without modern packaging, generate more waste. Mexico has fewer packaged goods but generates 33% more waste than a comparable U.S. household. McDonald’s produces less than two ounces of waste per customer, less than eating at home. Egad.
4. Paper must be conserved to save forests. This is perhaps the biggest green whopper of all time. 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, organic, biodegradable, renewable and sustainable. Working forests employ millions, provide clean air and water, wildlife habitat and carbon storage. More trees are planted each year than are consumed and there are more trees today than 100 years ago.Â
5. Plastic is evil. Plastic doesn’t decay – but neither do many other things in a landfill. Plastic is so lightweight, it uses less landfill space and is constantly getting stronger, thinner and lighter. Plastic packaging reduces waste and thereby is eco-friendly. Ersatz environmentalists favor cloth shopping bags manufactured in Asia and teeming with bacteria. They smugly and self righteously shun plastic bags while simultaneously quaffing water from a plastic bottle with over 100 times the weight of a plastic bag.Â
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

     Please feel free to print this email and to make copies. In a very real sense, your reluctance to print will discourage commercial tree farming and thereby inexorably hasten the conversion of our forests into parking lots and strip malls. By printing, you can take great satisfaction in knowing that you are doing your part to help the environment and to save our American forests. Thank you for printing.

The next post on April 30th is the final half of our 2017 Earth Day blogging.

The Panacea of Economic Growth

By: George Noga – November 1, 2014
       Throughout its 238 years, the US economy has grown by over 3.0% annually, although data for the early years are problematic. For the 60 years from 1940 to 2000, the US economy grew at a rate of 3.6%. For the following 14 years from 2001 to the present, GDP grew by 1.8%, exactly half that rate. If growth remains tepid, Americans will not recover the ground they lost and their children and grandchildren will, for the first time, be worse off than the previous generation.
        America has transmogrified into Europe which is in permanent recession due to its failed economic policies. Even stalwart Germany is beginning to stagnate. France is destroying its economy in a fit of socialistic angst. Italy has a lower GDP per capita than it had 15 years ago. Meanwhile in Brussels, Jean-Claude Junker continues to strangle EU countries with bureaucrats and regulations. In Europe a 2% growth rate is seen as optimistic, 1.5% as acceptable and no growth as possible. The average European in one generation fell 25% behind the average American due solely to differences in GDP growth. As I wrote last month, just in the past 5 years, the average American has been impoverished by 17% due to the low growth rates coming out of the recession compared to the historic growth rates in similar times. In short, we already have become like Europe although Europe continues to plumb ever new depths. We are well along in suffering a lost decade on the path to a lost generation; our progeny, like Europeans today, will lead lives of quiet desperation.
“Failure to grow America’s economy is a choice; decline is not inevitable.”
        Failure to grow our economy is a choice; decline is not inevitable. It is a choice made by our political leaders solely because they prefer to demagogue inequality, class warfare and corporate profit for perceived electoral gain. It is a choice made by the media because they are lazy, economically illiterate and prefer to flog dead camels. It also has been a choice made by ordinary Americans in the voting booth for all of the aforementioned reasons advanced by politicians and the media. There are strong signals however that ordinary Americans now are beginning to want economic growth.
Economic Growth as the Panacea

        As trumpeted by the headline of this blog post, economic growth is a panacea; indeed, it is the only solution for every problem (real and perceived) that we face today and for the coming generation. It is apropos that Panacea is the Greek Goddess of healing because strong economic growth will heal everything; to wit:

  • The crisis of spending, debt and deficits: A sustained period of strong economic growth (combined with some spending restraint) will enable the US to restore fiscal balance and to stabilize its debt thereby gradually lowering the Debt/GDP ratio to its long-term historical level of around 30%.
  • Climate change and environment: If in the distant future climate change causes some issues, the best antidote is a vibrant economy that will easily enable us to spend whatever is needed to mitigate any such problems.  Only countries with strong economies can afford to spend copiously on the environment.
  • National security: The single greatest asset (weapon) we possess for our national security is a growing, resilient economy. This enables us to spend whatever is necessary to deter any possible adversaries and to defend ourselves should that be necessary. Weakness invites aggression and fosters terrorism.
  • Jobs, poverty and inequality: It is economic growth, not government, that creates jobs. It is sustained growth that fulfills the American dream and eliminates poverty; moreover, growth is the great equalizer.
  • Unfunded mandates: The USA is facing $350 trillion (over one-third of a quadrillion) in unfunded commitments in the next 50 years for Social Security, Medicare, government pensions, Obamacare and other programs.   Absent  a high rate of growth, these promises not only cannot be kept but will require drastic reductions in programs.
Recipe for Economic Growth

      Okay, so economic growth is the panacea; what must we do to achieve it? The answer is straightforward and attainable. If we do the following  we will achieve vigorous, long-lasting economic growth.

  1. Political consensus: Probably the single most difficult hurdle for achieving growth is reaching a political consensus. Politicians and the media must agree to pursue policies that maximize growth and agree to stick with such policies for the long term. They can continue to argue over how to divide the wealth that results; that is what politics is about. Absent some consensus however, achieving sustained growth becomes problematic.
  2. Tax and fiscal policy: Taxes (personal and corporate) must be reduced, simplified and stable. People and businesses must be able to plan ahead and certainty about taxation is indispensable to investment and job creation. In the same vein, spending needs to be restrained.
  3. Eliminate uncertainty: Business hates uncertainty; it stifles planning and results in gridlock. There needs to be a broad and sustained political understanding about taxes, regulations and new initiatives.
  4. Sound money: The Fed should focus only on maintaining sound money and fighting inflation. A strong, stable and sound dollar are indispensable for a vibrant economy.
  5. Regulation: The economy is being strangled by regulation and litigation. We need to have a moratorium on new regulations while we gradually reform and roll back existing ones. Our tort system needs to be reformed.
  6. Energy: We should develop every possible energy source including ANWR, offshore and shale and natural gas on federal and state lands. We should export LNG immediately from many terminals and, of course, construct the Keystone XL Pipeline. Such a policy will create jobs, make us energy independent, stimulate the economy and, importantly, prove to be a potent weapon in keeping Putin and Russia in check.
  7. School choice: I include this because educated, trained workers are a potent economic resource. Further, school choice will bring about more equality and reduce poverty. It also is a panacea.
     The choice is ours. We can continue on our present slow growth trajectory which will condemn future generations to a downward spiraling economy and reduced living standards; they will experience untold miseries as the crisis of spending, debt and deficits culminates in a meltdown. They will inhabit a Clockwork Orange nation drowning in taxes, regulation and uncertainty. They will have part time jobs for low wages. At best they will collect 65% of the present Social Security benefits deferred until they are age 70; Medicare and Obamacare (also age 70) will be busted; health care rationed and long waits common for poor treatment. They will inherit a volatile, dangerous world where nuclear weapons proliferate, a revanchist, aggressive Putin-led Russia and all without the resources for adequate national defense.
       Or, we can make a different choice; we can choose to reject decline and to embrace high-growth policies. This would lead to a virtuous circle of better education, abundant and cheap energy, and to a far safer and more secure nation and world. It would result in fixing the debt crisis and funding all the promises we have made for the future. Most of all, it would help ordinary Americans. As year after year of high growth enriches America, the politicians can fight over how to best divide up this cornucopia – including addressing any inequality issues.
       Firstoff however, we must make the right choice. This gets us right back to the heart of Alexander Hamilton’s question: “Whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend on accident and force.” Is America today still capable of putting politics aside when self preservation is at stake? Or, do we heed the Siren song of politicians advocating failed ideologies, searching for Utopias and demagoguing political correctness, class warfare and inequality?