By Nathan Barton
A good day to everyone reading this. Let me know what you think both on these and other stories. Many of the stories I comment on are suggested by other people. There have been some interesting things happening this week.
My oh my. The first US leg of Keystone XL pipeline open on Wednesday in Oklahoma and Texas. Funny, no mass protests, no Earth First terrorist attacks, and no sudden uptick in greenhouse gas emissions OR jump in global temperatures. Guess we will have to wait for Spring for that. So I guess you better make that trip to Oklahoma or Texas you’ve been putting off, before this evil 2.3 billion dollar, 487 mile long nightmare come true destroys the ecology, climate, society, and governments of the two states. Of course, the important thing here is that the FedGov has REFUSED to take any action on the rest of the project, which has to be approved by DC because it crosses into Canada. We were idiots to give DC the power over things like this, and see where it has gotten us. And we didn’t learn, as the next stories help us see.
Fox News reports that A new study by the World Bank and the International Finance Corp. found that the U.S. ranks well behind countries like Rwanda, Belarus and Azerbaijan in terms of how easy it is for an entrepreneur to start a new business (but narrowly beat Uzbekistan, yeah!!!). Of course, the World Bank refuses to recognize that we are not “A nation” but 54 DIFFERENT nations (counting DC and all the territories), and that difficulty in starting a new business varies horrifically from say, Wyoming or South Dakota, to New York or California. To say nothing of the difficulties in STAYING in business.
You see, apparently the apparachiks in DC have proposed new federal rules to boost better bolstered booster seats in cars which would require that they protect children against side crashes and prevent deaths of about five children and injuries to 64 others each year. Of course, since these improvements would raise the cost of these seats significantly, many families might not be able to afford them, and thus INCREASE deaths and injuries that would otherwise have been prevented by any kind of child restraint system. Of course, to the fedgov thugs, these rules would be a win-win, since it gives cops another excuse to search the cars of anyone they want – for the chilluns, of course. But that is not the only transportation-related problem on my desk today.
Are you ready for still HIGHER prices? A study of the impact of the 2013 changes to the insane FedGov rules for truckers to drive their rigs, the “reform” of the Hours of Service (HOS) rule warns us what is coming. Those changes reduce the hours that they can drive (or do other things) and the study shows that shippers can expect to see carriers increase rates. Which means business and other consumers will see prices go up like mad. This is for two reasons: first, trucking firms are running out of people willing and able to get CDLs and drive trucks, so they are short of drivers AND have a high turnover rate. And what drivers they DO have and keep, can’t drive as far or work as long. Or so says the The Global Supply Chain Institute of the University of Tennessee’s [UT] College of Business Administration. And it makes sense to me.
And of course, we can figure out what is happening to employment as a result of more regs like this.
A writer for the Independent Institute asks the pedantic question “Are our unemployment statistics broken?” and quickly demonstrates that they are not just broken, but intentionally and deliberately, malice aforethought broken. To increase the power of government and the wealth of a select “elite” who could not be so rich and powerful if they did not suck everything they can from others via the straw of government. Not only do the current statistics exist seemingly only for the purposes of lying about a “recovering economy,” but hide the fact that individuals in large portions of the country and in large groups recognized by ethnic and other factors are in such dire straits as to threaten a massive economic shutdown. Today, TheBlaze tried to “factcheck” the claim that the actual unemployment is really 37%. The government claims that it is 6.7% and lower in December than in the past. They try to tap dance around it, and I’m just an engineer, but it seems to me that the statement that it is 37% IS valid. Just because someone isn’t looking for or does not want a job, does NOT mean that they are not unemployed. Same thing for college students and people in training and volunteer (non-paying: REAL volunteers) are not EMPLOYED for a wage or salary, no matter how much they are spending their time productively, and no matter how much they are enjoying it, or who is paying for them to live. Equally so for those who are disabled. Claims that we have only 6.7 percent unemployed, as the government and too many mainstream AND alternative media claim, are bogus and dangerous.
On to some other items:
The FedGov (White House minions apparently) have decided that waiting more than 30 minutes to vote is unacceptable. Really? Our ancestors – shoot, you and ME, would find this hard to believe. When I COULD vote in my own precinct stateside, I waited more than 30 minutes a LOT of the time. Of course, I was there with friends and neighbors and teachers and classmates and family, and I guess it just didn’t bother me. After all, I didn’t have to worry about going outside in the dark and getting mugged, because in those days I COULD go armed in the polling place and the other issues raised were questions about which caliber and whether a revolver really made sense to carry, and when were we all going to go out to the edge of town for some more opportunity to shoot rats and rabbits. Not like today, really.
Project Syndicate tells us that the world is better off today than people realize, because the amount of extremely poor people has been cut in half over the last three decades, down to only 17 percent of the global population in 2010, compared to 42 percent of the population in 1981. That makes sense, I guess, but it is one size fits all. Looking back the 33 years to 1981, before the fall of the Soviet Union and even the Berlin Wall, it makes sense that much of the world IS in better shape. But there are places, like much of the former Soviet Union, and the former Yugoslavia, and places like Lebanon and Detroit, where that is NOT true. And the real noticeable problems are of much more recent origin. Yes, most of us in the West are probably better off than in ’81, but NOT than we were in ’91 or ’01, and NOT just economically, but in terms of liberty and local society.