Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Americans Have Forgotten What Economic Freedom Looks Like

Buses in Thailand cities come every 2 or 3 minutes or you can get a taxi for $1 or $2 for local rides— Because they are so frequent, convenient and cheap, everyone uses the buses and taxis.

In Thailand, transportation is cheap because there are many bus companies and individuals with vans to offer transportation. It’s all open to intense competition as it's so unregulated. The result: you only have to wait 3 minutes for a bus in Thailand. And a bus ride is only 20 cents!  They are also cheap because buses, taxis and many automobiles use cheap CNG (compressed natural gas) in the big cities.

In so-called "advanced" societies, like American cities, whose mass transit bus services are city-run monopolies, you have to wait 45 min or more for any bus (in my town of Houston for instance). So, few people use them except the poor. It takes forever to get anywhere. And bus route coverage here is very, very limited. Then, we continue to build and widen freeway to handle all of the personal automobiles -- all because the bus system stinks.

There are far too FEW buses. It’s because local (or any) governments don't make capital investments well. And government-run buses are expensive. The fare alone is $2 or $3 for crappy service and taxpayers are likely FURTHER subsidizing pensions for overpaid unionized bus drivers! It's corruption. Oh, and taxi medallions are a government monopoly as well -- which increases the fares!

Meanwhile, we have 19 lanes on a major freeway (I-10) thru Houston and IT’S NOT ENOUGH! Imagine the $BILLIONS that 19 lanes cost??? No one can figure out the problem because we as a people have forgotten the power of economic freedom.  We can't take even advantage of cheap CNG that we have in this country. And we can't seem to understand the problem of government and government monopolies. They don't do ANYTHING well.

We have a lot to learn from Thai people. It’s not just their ability to adapt quickly to alternative transportation fuels, but Thai people know MUCH more about economic freedom than Americans or Europeans. There are micro-business stalls lining most streets. Not many Thai people are waiting for corporations to give them jobs; they just go set up a table to sell noodle soup, or trinkets, or tools, or clothes to the passerbys. They know they are responsible for themselves —like America used to be. There's no government programs to sign-up for.

Great things result from real economic freedom and high levels of competition. Most Americans now have no recollection now of what economic freedom looks like! We’ve been led to believe that various governments are the answer to too many things. But governments ARE often the problem. Big government are ALWAYS a problem. Americans ARE also a big part of the problem too. We’ve lost our way!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Orwell's 1984 Fully In Effect in Europe

"In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
George Orwell

In my blog post Leftists Are Fascists and Nazis, I indicated that Europe's political elite are enforcing a totalitarianism not seen since Communist East Germany and the USSR. They are aggressively prosecuting any person, including Presidential candidates, that dare speak the truth. It's all about radical political correctness by Leftist leaders and their captive mass media to hide the obvious and massive problems that large-scale, non-selective immigration of mostly Muslim men is causing. The ruling elites have CAUSED this, and they refuse to acknowledge or change it! They refuse to see that they are dead wrong. And no one is allowed to speak the obvious truth or you'll be imprisoned. Welcome to Orwellian Europe.

Except for the willfully-blind Leftists and their complicit and corrupt media, it's easy for everyone else to now see why the entire Middle East is in a cultural collapse. It's the Muslims, stupid! Now, these same people are bringing collapse to Europe too. And a big part of that collapse is where EU authorities attack and imprison good people who simply express plain and obvious truths.

From Free Market Shooter:
After countless terror attacks in the name of Islam on European soil, it seems authorities in the EU are more angry over citizen’s freedom of speech and expression…
On Tuesday, Sussex police arrested 50 year-old Nigel Pelham; charged with eight counts of “publishing… written material intending to sir up religious hatred against Muslims”, it’s laughable to consider what he’s being punished for – it’s surreal! The “offensive” posts spanned between February 24 and November 16, 2015.
On that same day, German police raided the homes of 36 people accused of hateful postings over social media. Yes, the biggest problem facing the EU is hate but not the kind they’re punishing. Thus, Mr. Pelham and the 36 who had their homes raided had their fundamental human rights violated…
Totalitarianism combined with severe ongoing economic stagnation, grotesque and failing Central Bank and Government interventions, crushing debt, a failing currency experiment, failing banks, and the high risk of a financial crisis all spell inevitable crisis and collapse.  When everything is wrong, how can that be sustainable? It isn't. 

Thank God that our Founding Fathers of the USA enshrined freedom of speech and other liberties in our Bill of Rights.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Government Fake Data: 93% of Jobs Created Since 2008 Due to Fictitious Birth/Death Adjustment

In my 2014 blog "3.3 Million Jobs Created Thru 'Faulty' Birth/Death Adjustment," I estimated that some 42% of all job gains reported since 2009 were created by the now-fictitious business birth/death adjustment. It may be far worse than that. Morningside Hill has reported that some 93% of all job creation since 2008 are probably fake. 

The Birth/Death adjustment was designed to capture the jobs at new, small firms who are missed in employment surveys. It's important because small start-up firms are the major job creators in the economy. Historically, in a healthy economy, start-up firm's job creation typically exceeds small firm failures by a wide margin. But, this situation hasn't been true since the 2007 crisis. In fact business deaths have exceeded new business births since 2008. This means that the Birth/Death adjustment since 2008 should be nearly zero or negative -- not hugely positive.

Fake Job Creation Compliments of the US Govt-Especially after 2008
But evidence shows that more businesses are dying than being created which means there is no basis for a positive Birth/Death adjustment since 2008. From Morningside Hill:

After the 2007 Crisis More Businesses Are Dying Than Born (The Trend Continued After 2011)
Business "Births" Remained Lower After 2009 To The Present
So, we're left with the situation where fully 93% of all job creation sinced since 2008 and 40% of the jobs in 2016 alone were added through the business birth and death model – a model which is not supported by the data.  Here are the figures from Morningside Hill:

So where are all the reported jobs coming from?  We're told that the number of jobs has recovered and finally exceeded the number of employed in 2007.

Well, full-time jobs are being replaced by multiple part-time positions, and are double and triple counted in the Establishment Survey, so the numbers of jobs sound impressive, but the quality of jobs has declined.

The US has added a net 6.7 million jobs over the past 9 years and most were part-time jobs, while the birth and death model added 6.3 million of these jobs, this means that the actual number of full-time jobs has declined significantly. This explains why wages are mostly declining. It's also why inflation is not heating-up in general. The employment situation is still not good -- despite what the government tells you.

The sad thing is that all of the highly-paid and PhD educated economists at the Federal Reserve must believe the phony government numbers. Janet Yellen insists that the economy is nearly overheating and that the Fed must increase interest rates to tame inflation.

But it's just a case of errors on top of errors. They (the Fed) really don't know what they're doing.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

More Analyses Confirm Solar & Wind Power Is More Of a Problem Than Solution

I just posted an article entitled Large Scale Solar & Wind Power Not The Solution: Too Many Problems and Costs. There I make the argument that these unreliable and low-quality power sources are too expensive to be adopted on a wide scale. Where it is adopted on a large scale, in Europe, electricity prices are three times higher in order to provide the widespread subsidies for both consumers and conventional utilities. These alternative power supplies are not economic in a free market, especially when all the costs are included.

More evidence of how uneconomic these forms of power are is found in an article from Mises Institute called "More Solar Jobs Is a Curse, Not a Blessing" and an article from Zero Hedge.  The Mises article talks about the large employment in these alternative energy industries. More jobs are good right?? Not really. Instead, the large number of jobs shows how inefficient, unproductive and wasteful this industry relative to the small quantity of power that they produce.

From ZeroHedge,
Looking at electricity generated per worker, Coal generated an incredible 7,745 megawatt-hours of electricity per worker; natural gas 3,812 MWH per worker; wind a measly 836 MWH for every employee; and solar an abysmal 98 MWH per worker.
In other words, producing the same amount of electricity requires one coal worker, two natural gas workers — 12 wind industry employees or 79 solar workers.
In truth, about the only thing solar and wind companies do well is collect billions of dollars in subsidies from taxpayers and billions of dollars in much higher electricity rates from consumers. 
And when you look at the overall picture, solar and wind power generation is even worse than this.

Wind and solar's inefficiency extends to the cost to manufacture and install wind and solar power generating equipment. More carbon may be emitted in the manufacturing, installation and maintenance of this equipment than they save!  It takes a lot of land, steel, concrete, transmission lines to build these facilities all requiring fossil fuels to produce and install.

Wind and solar are so unreliable that they require nearly 100% backup by convention fossil fuel power plants which doubles the capital investment (going forward). By this measure alone, wind and solar at least doubles their installed cost. No "experts" will tell you about this. The cost of grid modifications are also never included in any solar or wind energy analysis either. The only way these facilities are built is through various subsidies from various governments. And once subsidies are provided to solar and wind producers, subsidies are also required by the conventional power producers.  Wind and Solar power isn't economic and they probably fail to reduce carbon emissions as well.

Wind and solar power are not our long-term solution for large-scale power. As I stated in my post, the world needs more inexpensive energy not more expensive energy. And these alternative supplies aren't so carbon-free either. Only ideologically blinded people like Obama and Merkel are unable to see these facts. Welcome to more evidence of Western Civilization's death by intellectual idiots.

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Movie "Hidden Figures" is Fake History

We live in a time where is everything for public consumption is increasingly fake and propagandized. Much of it comes from the MSM, a huge amount from Washington DC, and a bunch from Hollywood. These are places where professional liars and propagandists are in charge.

Hollywood's latest propaganda is the movie "Hidden Figures" which tries to portray a story that a handful of black ladies were the key to the Apollo moon shot and that they had to battle racism to accomplish their feat.

The problem is that it's mostly not true. Yes, it's true that Katherine Johnson did calculations for NASA and she technically was black. And that is a good thing and I'm happy for her. But Katherine herself said that she was only part of large teams to do hand calculations in a time of limited computer capability. And there were large teams to check the other teams. That the movie tries to portray that Katherine was a key figure in the program is extremely misleading.

And the racism that these heroines supposedly had to battle was largely fabricated. How do I know?  Because no one would even think that Katherine Johnson was black at all. See the photo below. The "rascist white" aspect was mostly made-up for the movie to fit the "narrative" in order to vilify white people in general. White people continue to be under attack in our cultural propaganda.

A Young Katherine Johnson. Does This Nice Lady Look Black?
The real heroes of the moon launch were all white folks. How about Wernher Von Braun who invented the rockets?

Or take Dr. Jack Crenshaw. He was a computer genius and literally invented the trajectory and equations that were used by NASA to circle the lunar vessel around the moon and back.  In other words, Dr. Crenshaw invented the Apollo mission! Without Dr. Crenshaw, there wouldn't have been a moon mission or any need for human "calculation teams" glorified in the movie. See an interview with the real hero here.  Why aren't we making a movie about him?

A bit more about Jack Crenshaw from "The Space Pioneer That No One Every Heard Of:
"Dr. Jack Crenshaw was one of the pioneers in designing the figure-8 trajectory which became known as the free-return trajectory. The early Moon missions set off for our closest celestial neighbor in the free-return trajectory which, if uncorrected, would loop them around the Moon and return them straight to Earth.
In order to orbit the Moon and land on it, the Apollo spacecraft’s Service Propulsion System (SPS) engine had to fire in order to slow the vehicle down and settle into lunar orbit. Delicate calculations were needed in order to ensure the orbit would not bring the craft into a collision with the lunar mountains."
But no one wants to portray one of the real heroes of the Apollo moon mission -- because he was white. Instead, his monumental contribution is being minimized and buried in history rather than memorialized as it should be.  Worse, Hollywood misleads you by claiming 3 black ladies were the real brains in the story! This is because the liars in charge have to make up stories to glorify any black "accomplishments" no matter how small, at the expense of white accomplishments. Welcome to "Fake History"-- compliments of Hollywood propaganda machine.

The simple truth is that more than 95% of all the major technical, scientific, medical, engineering and all other important intellectual advancements in all fields were accomplished and exploited by white people. 

I've complained about this type of media propaganda in More "Black" Shoved Down Your Throat and Leftist Media Shove "Black" Propaganda Down Your Throat."

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Large Scale Solar & Wind Power Not The Solution: Too Many Problems and Costs

Many people think that the future of large scale energy production lies in "renewables" like wind and solar PV power. This is not true. There are a number of insuperable problems with both of them, especially when it's share of electricity production reaches about 10 to 15%. At this level of intermittent production, the cost of grid modifications adds even more cost to these already costly and low quality energy sources. In our stagnating world economy, every country needs cheaper -- not more expensive energy.

Even with generous government subsidies and mandates, penetration of wind and solar power is still very small with about 4% of world's electricity energy mostly due to Solar PV "religion" in Germany and the rest of Europe. It's only about 1% of the total in the US.

The cost of solar & wind power is a large burden to consumers and taxpayers where there it has been adopted on a large scale, such as in Europe. The average cost of electricity in the US is about $0.10 per KW-h but Germany and Denmark burden it's people and industry with punitive costs of $0.33 per KW-h. It's mostly due to subsidies for the renewables since these expensive forms of power are not economic. Even then, all of the costs are probably NOT included in the unit costs. The reality is likely worse. For example, Germany has installed additional power cables to/from Sweden and France to help cope with the intermittent nature of this alternative power. Subsidizing conventional power companies, who remain partly on standby when there is abundant sun and wind, adds to the burden. Taxpayers are picking up this additional tab.

Countries shown above in "red" are those experiencing severe debt problems. Solar and wind subsidies worsen these problems
All of the intermittent power sources such as wind and solar PV require basically a 100% backup because there is no solar power at nights or during much of the winter (when power demand is highest). Wind power is very intermittent (unreliable) as well. So, going forward, widespread (>10% of total power generation) adoption of such intermittent power basically doubles the capital costs.

How can paying twice the capital cost ever make sense? Yes, existing power plants are already built, so people take comfort in ignoring the conventional utility power companies. But as subsidies rise for homeowner installations, the power utilities find their revenues and profits are down, so THEY begin to require subsidies as well.  This means that subsidies then are required for everyone!  All this to support these low quality and expensive alternatives! How can this ever work?

Many countries, including many in Europe are already having debt problems. Solar and wind subsidies ADD to their problems! It's really insane.

The Figure below shows some of the more obvious problems with Solar and Wind that ultimately limit it's adoption on a wide scale. Gail Tverberg writes frequently about these issues in her blog called Our Finite World.
Numerous Problems and Costs Associated with Low Quality Intermittent Power Generation
The cost of the solar panels (alone) have become much cheaper recently, so if you just do simple math as a homeowner for instance, the panel cost (alone) seems to make economic sense. But add the cost of installation, which doubles the price, starts to diminish the attractiveness. If one integrates the solar power to feed back to the utility grid, that adds more cost. If you try to power large power-intensive appliances such as electric ranges, central air conditioning and/or electric clothes dryers, then the number of panels and costs go up to astronomic levels. Adding batteries and inverters to power your home at night adds even more costs especially if you have significant loads. Oh, and forget powering central air conditioners on batteries --- it ain't going to happen.

On a regional or national level, the example of Germany shows the problems with widespread solar PV power adoption. For 4 months of the year during winter (when their power demand is highest), there is little sun since they are at 50 deg N Latitude with plenty of clouds, so they are reliant on conventional power generation (or purchased power from Sweden or France). In the summer, when the sun comes out, the surge of solar power generation requires that nearly all of traditional power generation to shut down and/or requires them to sell power to neighboring countries. If you don't have neighbors to sell to, then that creates a huge problem due to the time required to start and stop large conventional production. And the electric power grid must be modified to accommodate these variable power flows-- which costs taxpayers money. Then, idling conventional plants in summer cause the electric utilities to lose money where they aren't able to pay investors their dividends, so Germany has to provide assistance to the utilities!

So in Germany, the solar installations don't make economic sense because of their costs. But Germany is in the grip of a climate change/solar energy fantasy which borders on a false religion since solar has never made sense there. Making public policy based on fantasy is not likely to work.

Wind has similar problems too. There are higher maintenance costs for these generators. You will often see many idle windmills in wind farms. They aren't very durable and require frequent repair.

Trying to substitute expensive energy for cheap energy is like trying to make water run uphill. It is virtually impossible to make such a system work. It makes everyone from governments to businesses to citizens poorer in the process.