Two Heartening Responses to Seattle’s Self-Destructive Tax Grab

May 4, 2018

There’s hope for Seattle, yet.

International Liberty

I wrote last July about how greedy politicians in Seattle, Washington, were trying to impose a local income tax.

That effort has been stymied since there’s anti-income-tax language in the state constitution (Washington is one of nine states without that punitive levy), but that doesn’t mean the city’s tax-and-spend crowd has given up.

There’s a proposal for a new scheme to impose a “head tax” on successful companies.

The top three percent of the high grossing businesses in Seattle will carry the load of Seattle’s proposed employee head tax. Backers are calling it the “Progressive Tax on Business.” The tax will apply only to those companies with $20 million or more annually in taxable gross receipts as measured under the City’s Business and Occupation tax. The city estimates that will be 500 businesses. …the tax is based on total revenues and not net-income. …Councilmember Mike Obrien has been pushing…

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A conversation with Dr. Willie Soon – on polar bears, the sun, and Earth’s climate

April 14, 2018

Dr. Soon is a rare voice for reason in the climate change wars. I think you’ll find this interview worth reading.

Watts Up With That?

Science, Philosophy and Inquiry on a Galactic Scale

Contributed by Grégoire Canlorbe © 2017 Publised at WUWT by request of Mr. Canlorbe.    These are the opinions of the author and interviewee. 

  • Dr. Willie Soon is an independent solar physicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who has been studying the Sun and its influence on the Earth’s climate for more than a quarter of a century. A short while ago, he had a conversation with Mr. Grégoire Canlorbe, an independent journalist who is also vice president of the French Parti National-Libéral (“National-Liberal Party,” conservative, nationalist, and free-marketist). Here Dr. Soon speaks for himself. 

Canlorbe: You say polar bears are far less endangered by global warming than by environmentalists dreading ice melt. Could you expand?

Dr. Soon: Yes, indeed. I have argued that too much ice will be the ultimate enemy for polar bears. Polar bears need less sea ice to be…

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Markets, Choice, and the Economic Illiteracy of Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn

March 5, 2018

And it’s not just Sanders and Corbyn: most of the Left seems to have almost deliberately forgotten basic economics.

International Liberty

Not all leftists are alike.

I speculated a couple of years ago that there were four types of statists and put them on a spectrum. I put “rational leftists” at one end. If you wanted to pick a nation that represents this mindset, think Sweden. Nice, civilized, market-oriented, but plenty of redistribution.

On the other end of the spectrum were three less-palatable types.

  1. The “totalitarians,” which means a dictatorial state-run economy, as represented by the Soviet Union and China.
  2. The “socialists,” a democratically elected form of a state-run economy, as represented by post-WWII United Kingdom.
  3. The “crazies,” which I confess is a catch-all category to capture visceral, unthinking, and punitive intervention.

And for that final category, I listed Bernie Sanders and Greece as representatives.

And if you want to know why I listed Sanders, here’s some of Jeffrey Tucker’s FEE column from 2015.

Bernie Sanders, that sweet old…

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Study: no acceleration in global warming, climate sensitivity to CO2 too high

December 1, 2017

In which science-denying Earth refuses to cooperate and get warmer fast enough for climate alarmists.

Watts Up With That?

New research yields old result: Climate warming slow, steady. Observed value is half that of CMIP5 climate models.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (Nov. 29, 2017) — The rate at which Earth’s atmosphere is warming has not significantly accelerated over the past 23 years, according to research at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).

If you take away the transient cooling in 1983 and 1992 caused by two major volcanic eruptions in the preceding years, the remaining underlying warming trend in the bottom eight kilometers (almost five miles) of the atmosphere was 0.096 C (about 0.17° Fahrenheit) per decade between January 1979 and June 2017.

That was unexpectedly close to the 0.09 C warming trend found when similar research was published in 1994 with only 15 years of data, said Dr. John Christy, director of UAH’s Earth System Science Center.

This work might also indirectly affirm recent research showing the…

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Is Trump Right about America Being the “Highest Taxed Nation”?

October 11, 2017

Many of Trump’s policy proposals are good ones, such as lowering the corporate tax rate. Trouble is, with his lack of self-control, he is his own worst enemy.

International Liberty

In my ideal world, we’re having a substantive debate about corporate tax policy, double taxation, marginal tax rates, and fundamental tax reform (plus spending restraint so big tax cuts are feasible).

Sadly, we don’t live in my ideal world (other than my Georgia Bulldogs being undefeated). So instead of a serious discussion about things that matter, there’s a big fight in Washington about the meaning of Donald Trump’s words.

Politico has a report on this silly controversy. Here are some of highlights.

“We are the highest taxed nation in the world,” President Donald Trump has repeated over and over again. …He said it at a White House event last Friday. He’s tweeted it, repeated it in television interviews and declared it at countless rallies. It is his go-to talking point, his favorite line… It is also false — something fact checkers have been pointing out since…

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A useful retort for those claiming Irma and Harvey hurricanes are a sure sign of ‘climate change’

September 10, 2017

Al Gore was right: the truth is “inconvenient.” Especially for climate hysterics and the charlatans who prey on them.

Watts Up With That?

History can be a pesky thing, facts are stubborn things. There’s lot’s of caterwauling in the left about hurricane Irma on the heels of Harvey, being a sure sign of ‘climate change’ or global warming, or ‘climate disruption’ or something. A couple of days ago, king of the alarmists, Dr. Michael Mann, and his ex NCDC/NCEI toadie Dr. Thomas Peterson (architect of the Karlization of the global temperature record),  penned a ridiculous op-ed in the Washinton Post:

Only in the mind of Mann can such drivel be produced. Mann is not a hurricane expert, he’s also apparently not a scholar of history.

Dr. Philip Klotzbach is both:

So the question for Mann et al. is: what…

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What is the Default Temperature for the Earth?

August 27, 2017

Remember folks: it’s the Sun, not CO2.

Watts Up With That?

Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

The Earth’s atmosphere does not act like a greenhouse. The analogy was partially developed to help students understand the apparent disparity between energy coming in from the sun and leaving the Earth to space. However, its greater value was in creating the global warming deception because it automatically triggered thoughts of increasing artificial heat. The reality is the default temperature for the earth is cold, but the greenhouse analogy has put all the attention on the heat. Partial proof is in the fact that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) addresses only the negative impacts of warming. Climate history shows that for flora and fauna (yes, us) there are many more positive effects for warming than negative effects for cooling.

The eclipse is a good opportunity to re-examine the thinking at the basis of this situation. How much did the temperature drop along the…

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Falling Sea Level: The Critical Factor in 2016 Great Barrier Reef Bleaching!

July 12, 2017

This is a superb rebuttal to the “Great Barrier Reef is dying due to global warming” hysteria.

Watts Up With That?

Guest essay by Jim Steele

Director emeritus Sierra Nevada Field Campus, San Francisco State University and author of Landscapes & Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism

clip_image002

It is puzzling why the recent 2017 publication in Nature, Global Warming And Recurrent Mass Bleaching Of Corals by Hughes et al. ignored the most critical factor affecting the 2016 severe bleaching along the northern Great Barrier Reef – the regional fall in sea level amplified by El Niño. Instead Hughes 2017 suggested the extensive bleaching was due to increased water temperatures induced by CO2 warming.

In contrast in Coral Mortality Induced by the 2015–2016 El-Niño in Indonesia: The Effect Of Rapid Sea Level Fall by Ampou 2017, Indonesian biologists had reportedthat a drop in sea level had bleached the upper 15 cm of the reefs before temperatures had reached NOAA’ Coral Reef Watch’s bleaching thresholds. As discussed by Ampou 2017, the…

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Solar Panel Fire Destroys Multi-story Building Roof

July 2, 2017

Not only is solar power inefficient, it may also be dangerous.

Watts Up With That?

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Man BearPig – A massive fire has ripped through a new building development in London, thankfully untenanted and still under construction. Witnesses suggest the fire appears to have been concentrated around the building’s solar panels.

Large blaze breaks out at brand new block of £1million flats in East London ‘after solar panels catch fire’

  • Flames engulfed roof of Bow Wharf building near Bethnal Green in East London
  • Eyewitness said that the property’s solar panels appeared to have caught fire
  • He told MailOnline: ‘Half the roof is either burned away or collapsed’
  • By Scott Campbell For Mailonline
    PUBLISHED: 21:00 +10:00, 2 July 2017 | UPDATED: 02:26 +10:00, 3 July 2017

    A large blaze broke at a brand new block of flats in East London this afternoon with witnesses claiming the building’s solar panels appeared to have caught fire.

    The trendy ‘residential waterside development’ –…

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Life on Earth was nearly doomed by too little CO2

July 2, 2017

Say it after me, folks: “Carbon dioxide is plant food, not a demon to be feared.”

Watts Up With That?

During the last ice age, too little atmospheric carbon dioxide almost eradicated mankind

Guest Essay by Dennis T. Avery

Aside from protests by Al Gore, Leonardo Di Caprio and friends, the public didn’t seem to raise its CO2 anguish much above the Russians-election frenzy when Trump exited the Paris Climate Accords.

Statistician Bjorn Lomborg had already pointed out that the Paris CO2 emission promises would cost $100 trillion dollars that no one has, and make only a 0.05 degree difference in Earth’s 2100 AD temperature. Others say perhaps a 0.2 degree C (0.3 degrees F) difference, and even that would hold only in the highly unlikely event that all parties actually kept their voluntary pledges.

What few realize, however, is that during the last Ice Age too little CO2 in the air almost eradicated mankind. That’s when much-colder water in oceans (that were 400 feet shallower than today) sucked most…

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More Dishonest “Poverty” Research that Doesn’t Measure Poverty

June 25, 2017

Key point: “A country where everyone is impoverished will have zero or close-to-zero poverty because everyone is at the median income. But as I’ve explained before, a very wealthy society can have lots of “poverty” if some people are a lot richer than others.”

International Liberty

I periodically share data showing that living standards are higher in the United States than in Europe.

My goal isn’t to be jingoistic. Instead, I’m warning readers that we won’t be as prosperous if we copy out tax-and-spend friends on the other side of the Atlantic (just like I try to draw certain conclusions when showing how many low-tax jurisdictions have higher levels of economic output than the United States).

I’m sometimes asked, though, how America can be doing better than Europe when we have more poverty.

And when I ask them why they thinks that’s the case, they will point to sources such as this study from the German-based Institute of Labor Economics. Here’s some attention-grabbing data from the report.

The United States has the highest poverty rate both overall and among households with an employed person, but it stands farther away from the other countries on its in-work…

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Study: California once had 150 straight years of stormy, wet, weather

June 21, 2017

They’re right. If this happened now, the Green Cult would blame this on the dread demon Carbon Dioxide.

Watts Up With That?

From Vanderbilt University and the “yes, but if it happened today, it would be blamed on global warming” department.

Wet and stormy weather lashed California coast… 8,200 years ago

First high resolution evidence of California climate response to Holocene 8.2 ka event

The weather report for California 8,200 years ago was exceptionally wet and stormy.

That is the conclusion of a paleoclimate study that analyzed stalagmite records from White Moon Cave in the Santa Cruz Mountains published online Jun. 20 in Scientific Reports.

The Golden State’s 150-year stretch of unusually wet weather appears to have been marked by particularly intense winter storms and coincides with a climate anomaly in Greenland ice cores first detected in 1997. Before this “8.2 ka event” was discovered scientists thought the world’s climate had been unusually stable during the Holocene, the geological epoch that covers the last 11,700 years of Earth’s history.

This image…

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Arctic Defies Fake News Stories

May 8, 2017

There goes another Warmist, eco-zealot narrative. It seems the ice isn’t vanishing, after all.

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

We have had countless fake news stories over the winter about heatwaves in the Arctic and record ice melt.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, Arctic sea ice is just where it has been for the last few years.

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Welfare, Taxes, the Nanny State, and Supply-Side Economics

March 10, 2017

Remember, welfare traps people in poverty. It’s not a hand helping you up: it’s a hand grabbing your ankle and holding you back.

International Liberty

What’s the right way to define good tax policy? There are several possible answers to that question, including the all-important observation that the goal should be to only collect the amount of revenue needed to finance the legitimate functions of government, and not one penny above that amount.

But what if we want a more targeted definition? A simple principle to shape our understanding of tax policy?

I’m partial to what I wrote last year.

the essential insight of supply-side economics…when you tax something, you get less of it.

I’m not claiming this is my idea, by the way. It’s been around for a long time.

Indeed, it’s rumored that Reagan shared a version of this wisdom.

I don’t know if the Gipper actually said those exact words, but his grasp of tax policy was very impressive. And the changes he made led to very good results

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Putin, Trump, and False Moral Equivalence

February 6, 2017

Regardless of what the President says, there is no moral equivalence between the US and Putin’s Russia.

International Liberty

Back in the 1980s, I would get very agitated when folks made excuses for brutal communist regimes by asserting that the United States also did bad things. This “moral equivalence” argument is now being recycled by Donald Trump, who basically excuses Putin’s brutality because America supposedly isn’t in any position to throw stones.

Here’s the interview, set to start at the point where Trump discusses Putin.

This is wrong. Absurdly wrong.

Though let’s start by acknowledging that the United States is far from perfect. Our history includes black eyes such as slavery, mistreatment of native populations, incomplete legal rights for women, internment of Japanese-Americans, Jim Crow laws, persecution of gays, and other sins.

Even today, we have plenty of bad policies that restrict human liberty, often exacerbated by examples of thuggish actions by government.

But, at the risk of sounding jingoistic and patriotic, the United States began with a…

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BOMBSHELL – NOAA whistleblower says Karl et al. “pausebuster” paper was hyped, broke procedures

February 6, 2017

Welcome to Climategate 2.0? Here we have NOAA using flawed software, data not archived, replication impossible, and the principles lying about it. This is Bob Carter’s “Noble Cause Corruption” at it’s most blatant.

Watts Up With That?

They played fast and loose with the figures -NOAA whistleblower

The Mail on Sunday today reveals astonishing evidence that the organisation that is the world’s leading source of climate data rushed to publish a landmark paper that exaggerated global warming and was timed to influence the historic Paris Agreement on climate change.

A high-level whistleblower has told this newspaper that America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) breached its own rules on scientific integrity when it published the sensational but flawed report, aimed at making the maximum possible impact on world leaders including Barack Obama and David Cameron at the UN climate conference in Paris in 2015.

The report claimed that the ‘pause’ or ‘slowdown’ in global warming in the period since 1998 – revealed by UN scientists in 2013 – never existed, and that world temperatures had been rising faster than scientists expected. Launched by NOAA with a public…

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What we’ve lost

November 15, 2016

A thoughtful essay from an acquaintance on Twitter. Well-worth reading.

The Hoondat Report

On the morning of November 9, when the votes were counted and we all knew that Donald Trump would become our next president, I put the following statement on social media:

Well, folks, it’s been a nice republic.

It got a positive response from friends on the left and the right. They all sensed that something very important had been lost, though it was hard to pinpoint what. But those who find profit in that loss are leaving no end of clues, and it’s our job to read those clues.

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Climate Advocates Look to Totalitarian China for Leadership

November 14, 2016

Not surprising, since the core of environmentalism itself (as opposed to a wise conservationism) is totalitarian.

Watts Up With That?

Smog hangs over a construction site in Weifang city, Shandong province, Oct 16. 2015. Air quality went down in many parts of China since Oct 15 and most cities are shrounded by haze. [Photo/IC] Smog hangs over a construction site in Weifang city, Shandong province, Oct 16. 2015. Air quality went down in many parts of China since Oct 15 and most cities are shrounded by haze. [Photo/IC] Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Trump’s America cancelling billions of dollars of UN climate payments apparently opens the way for totalitarian China to assume the moral high ground in global environmental diplomacy.

Trump Win Clears Way For China to Lead on Climate

The election of climate change skeptic Donald Trump as president is likely to end the U.S. leadership role in the international fight against global warming and may lead to the emergence of a new and unlikely champion: China.

China worked closely with the administration of outgoing President Barack Obama to build momentum ahead of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. The partnership of the two biggest greenhouse gas emitters helped get nearly 200…

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As Confirmed by New Global Rankings, Rule of Law Is Why Western Civilization Is Superior

October 20, 2016

And the deeper we fall into a cronyist progressivism –whether under Democrats or a “lite” Republican version– the further the rule of law will be eroded.

International Liberty

The great contribution of western civilization is the notion that the power of government must be constrained by laws.

This doesn’t mean that all laws (or even most laws) are good. But, as explained in this video, if the choice is between the “rule of man” (the arbitrary and capricious exercise of power) and the “rule of law,” there’s no contest.

This is why issues related to the rule of law account for 20 percent of a nation’s grade in the rankings from Economic Freedom of the World.

And it’s why some people get very upset when, for instance, the Obama Administration chooses to unilaterally change – or simply chooses to not enforce – certain laws that are inconvenient to the President’s agenda.

But while the rule of law has been eroding in the United States, the good news is that we still rank in the top 20…

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Pension Promises to State and Local Bureaucrats Are a Ticking Time Bomb

October 17, 2016

Interestingly, these pension bombs aren’t limited to just Blue states.

International Liberty

America’s main long-run retirement challenge is our pay-as-you-go Social Security system, which was created back when everyone assumed we would always have a “population pyramid,” meaning relatively few retirees and lots of workers.

But as longevity has increased and fertility has decreased, the population pyramid increasingly looks like a cylinder. This helps to explain why the inflation-adjusted shortfall for Social Security is now about $37 trillion (and if you include the long-run shortfalls for Medicare and Medicaid, the outlook is even worse).

But Social Security is not the only government-created retirement problem. State and local governments have “defined benefit” pension systems for their bureaucrats, which means that their bureaucrats, when they retire (often at an early age), are entitled to receive monthly checks for the rest of their lives based on formulas devised by each state (based on factors such as years employed in the bureaucracy, pay…

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