Sunday, October 23, 2011

Explaining a Few News Items

Lots of articles about the problems besetting the Occupy movement, especially Occupy Wall Street. I take no pleasure in their difficulties, but this seems inevitable for a movement that has adopted the French Revolutionary model, with the whole Paris commune/General Assembly concept. It is good to remember that the French Revolution ended in slaughter and dictatorship. The American Revolution stood the test of time, because a constitutional republic with separation of powers restrains the worst impulses of the mob. Early on I had hoped that their movement would focus on crony capitalism and call for an end to cozy relationships between business and government, but they don't seem to be trending in that direction. I also could be wrong about that, because I don't trust the media to accurately portray them any more than the tea party movement was accurately portrayed.
Add Image
Much has been made of stagnating wages in the U.S., especially on the left. Professor Perry at Carpe Diem suggests that their may be a relationship to the number of workers entering retirement and stagnating incomes. I agree but not for the reasons cited by Perry. He suggests that the workers leaving the workforce see household incomes stagnate because they are now retired. But I don't think the statistics include retirees. However, there is an impact of the increasing number of retirees and the relatively fewer Gen Xers as compared to Baby Boomers. As the boomers retire, they leave the work force at their peak earning years. But there are fewer Xers to replace them, but more Millenials than Xers. This causes the average age of the work force to trend younger, and therefore less well paid. See the bulge of retirees at the 50-55 year old group below.

Opposition to the Keystone pipeline, designed to bring so called "tar sands" oil from Canada to the United States is usually couched in language about the potential impact to water supplies and the like. However, famous global warmist James Hansen, also director of the Goddard Space Flight Center, explicitly links opposition to the pipeline to preventing global warming.
Phase out of emissions from coal is itself an enormous challenge. However, if the tar sands are thrown into the mix it is essentially game over. There is no practical way to capture the CO2 emitted while burning oil, which is used principally in vehicles.
Note that this is a tacit admission that there is plenty of oil in the ground, by a leading warmist. It is interesting to note that the enviros try to have it both ways, arguing simultaneously that our dependency on oil will come a cropper as we run out of oil, and also saying that if we keep burning oil we will wreck the environment. If we were really running out, then they wouldn't have to worry, would they?

No comments:

Post a Comment