Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

31 July 2016

Progressivism Evolves from Soak the Rich to Soak the Poor

Progressivism used to pretend to soak the rich in order to provide welfare for the poor.  To some degree it did what it pretended to do, but it mostly hurt the middle class to provide welfare for the poor and a false and easy sense of morality to the rich.  Of course the rich looked down on the poor and claimed to make their supposedly miserable lives better even as they shut them off from joining the middle class.

The platform of the Hillary-run Democratic Party has now been proclaimed the most Progressive in terms of its environmental policies ever.  Tom Steyer, the single largest campaign donor of the 2014 elections with donations of about $74 million, has already spent $31.5 million on the 2016 campaign with most of his effort aimed at ensuring the Democratic Party has radical and destructive environmental and energy policies.  Once again, he is the biggest campaign donor so far in this election.  The Democrat pledge to end freedom of speech for corporations and for-profit companies is not intended to apply to this businessman's gigantic donations.  "Free speech for me, but none for you" is the motto of the Democrat Party.

Under the bought influence of Tom Steyer, the Democrat Party platform is the "most progressive environmental platform in the history of the Democratic platform or in the history of American politics", according to the buyer himself.  Steyer boasts that efforts to thwart climate change appear everywhere in the platform document.  “So it really isn’t a question of any one single silver bullet. It’s an attitude where we basically put it into every discussion we have, so when we’re talking about jobs, we’re also talking about clean energy, we’re also talking about fighting climate change.” 


Of course, the number of coal mining, oil and gas fracking, railroad, pipeline, and power plant jobs killed is de-emphasized and the number of so-called green energy jobs is hugely exaggerated.  The health benefits of using less and less fossil fuel are multiplied many times in their imaginative telling of the story.  The dangers of fossil fuels to the environment are blown to heroic proportions, while those of covering state-sized sunny areas with photovoltaics, boiling birds with directed and amplified sunlight, and blenderizing birds with spinning dicing blades are lost in silence.  Where any other structure made by man is an abomination to the beauty of nature, tall and broad wind generators are a problem only when they are in the backyard of wealthy "Progressive" aristocrats eager for the absolute power of the nobility of ages once thought behind us. The fact that the few unemployed coal miners so deep in despair that they commit suicide greatly exceed the numbers of those killed by air-borne pollutants downwind of coal-fired power plants, is never noted.  The fact that unemployed workers due to the war on fossil fuels who commit suicide can actually be counted, while there is no epidemiological evidence for those imagined downwind deaths due to the use of coal or natural gas in electric power generation plants, gives the aristocrats of power no qualms at all.


Not only does the War on Fossil Fuels cause unemployment and the destruction of huge prior capital investments, but it causes the cost of energy to go up greatly.  It also causes energy to be less reliably available.  Both increased cost and decreased reliability hurt the poor and the lower middle class the most.   They pay a larger fraction of their incomes for energy.  They are the most likely ones to lose their jobs, whether they work in an energy related field or for a company whose energy prices are going up because of the Democratic Party efforts to make them go up, or to skyrocket, as Obama once said was his purpose. Some companies are so dependent on reliable energy that as energy becomes unreliable, their costs go up due to lost time and production.  My own materials analysis laboratory is such an example of a company that pays a terrible price when the electricity goes down.  And while the rich can afford a stand-by generator at their home, less than rich Americans commonly cannot afford that luxury.


So, the Democratic Party "Progressive Environmental Agenda" is absolutely committed to harming the poor and generally the less than wealthy.  It offers rich scammers wondrous opportunities to turn modest campaign contributions into huge government loans and grants for their fake green energy companies, which fail left and right, err ... left and left and left.  The companies go bankrupt after paying the principals great salaries and the taxpayers lose the money they loaned the fraudulent companies and receive little in innovations for their grants.  The green companies last longer than they should because of additional mandates that their energy output be used to meet unrealistically high quotas.  The economic fallacy of a government-directed economy once-again has proven the principle that government direction is vastly inferior to private sector direction. 


It takes but a little unproductive kick to the head of the private sector to significantly reduce the growth of the per capita real private sector income.  The new big government real per-capita private sector income growth rate is about 1%.  This is the growth rate which the new Progressive Democrat program will actually try to decrease in the name of the environment. Most Americans can expect to live another 40 years.  So under the "Progressive" embraced 1% real per-capita private sector income growth rate, that essential measure of the health of the economy will be 1.489 times larger than it is today.  An easily achievable growth rate, with a modest decrease in the size of government and in regulations, of 2%, gives us a private  sector economy which is 2.208 times larger than what our economy is now.  A little more effort to reduce the relative size and scope of government could achieve a real per-capita growth rate of 3% a year.  At the end of 40 years, the private sector economy would be 3.262 times larger than it is now.


So, the economy desired by the Democrat Party in 40 years will be a pip-squeak economy compared to that of an economy with a real per-capita growth rate of 3%, such as a smaller government economy can readily achieve.  The smaller government private sector economy is 3.262 / 1.489 = 2.19 times larger.  Does big government really offer sufficient value to trade it for an economy that can readily be more than twice as big in 40 years?  The many more jobs and much better paying jobs of 40 years from now also will come with many more improved products, more scientific advancement, much better medical care, much more national security, improved retirement security, and even more ability to treat the environment with care than will the Democratic Party dream private sector economy dominated by big government.


This choice really is a no-brainer choice.  It requires one to shun the truly retrogressive Democratic Party platform and to embrace with confidence the productivity advantages of the private sector.  One has only to understand that the fear and the alarmism spread by the Democrats on the environment and against the private sector comes with horrible consequences for our future, that of our children, and especially that of our grandchildren. It appears that Democrats simply do not care about the future.  In fact, the near zero economic growth of the Middle Ages appears to be their favored growth model.  For some of them, the ravages of the plague with huge population and economic decreases are even better.  So of course, not caring about the future of human beings, they represent themselves as Progressives!  That lie and their refusal to recognize the existence of individuality in their embrace of collectivism are the most fundamental errors of their political worldview.  These are grievous, unnecessary errors indeed.


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