Wednesday, June 19, 2013

High tax or lower tax states

Utah Best, Vermont Worst in Rich States, Poor States Report
June 5, 2013
For the sixth consecutive year, Utah's economic outlook earned the top ranking in America, according to "Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer Economic Competitiveness Index." 
Like past editions, the report compiles and updates the results from the 50 state “laboratories of democracy,” and provides a clear account of how the nation’s top performing state economies have achieved impressive levels of economic growth. It is clear that limited regulation, low taxes, low debt, pension reform, a predictable tax climate, and balanced budgets all contribute to the success of America’s top-rated states.
One conclusion from these findings in Rich States, Poor States stands out. In general, states that value limited government and low taxes, particularly on productive activities such as working or investing, experience more growth than states that tax and spend more. Increasingly we are witnessing this economic “Balkanization” effect between states.
No Income Tax vs. Income Tax
One of the great, understated facts is that states do not enact policy changes in a vacuum. When a state changes policy, for better or worse, it immediately affects the incentive structure for individuals and businesses alike — and the change in incentives has a direct effect on the state's competitiveness. In fact, over a 10-year period, the nine states without personal income taxes on wages have outperformed the nine states with the highest income taxes in growth in population, jobs and revenue. (see table 5 from book)

The stakes are high: More than $2 trillion in wealth has moved from one state to another in the past 15 years alone. Additionally, during that same time, 43 million Americans “voted with their feet" and moved across state lines for new opportunities.
Both investment and human capital are more mobile than ever. For instance, the nine states without personal income taxes have, on net, gained 2.9 million new residents from other states over the past decade. On the other hand, the nine states with the highest income tax rates have, on net, lost more than 3.8 million persons during that time. Americans continue to move toward more economic opportunity — and that opportunity continues to be greater in the states where economic policy is most competitive.
State lawmakers working to emulate Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Virginia (the topfive states in this year’s economic outlook index), and diverge from Minnesota, California, Illinois, New York and Vermont (the bottom five states in this year’s economic outlook index), should look to embrace the free market, low tax, limited government principles described in Rich States, Poor States.
Income Tax Especially Damaging
Making sure income tax rates remain low is a centerpiece of sound tax and fiscal policy. As described above, the movement between the no income tax states and the highest income tax states is astounding. The research done by Rich States, Poor States and other professional observers of economic policy leads to the conclusion that personal and business income taxes are the most harmful to economic growth. Of course, all taxes affect economic growth, but it is worth noting that income taxes are the worst offenders when it comes to slowing this growth.
Rich States, Poor States was created to provide every state legislator the tools to benchmark their state's policy environment. We hope lawmakers from across America will examine the economic success from states that value economic freedom and competitiveness.
For the well-being of the other states, we hope more elected officials will work to emulate the successful  approach to policymaking found in states like Utah, Wyoming and Texas — and avoid the numerous mistakes being made by government officials in California, Illinois and New York. It is the essence of the American experiment with federalism that each state is allowed to shape its own economic destiny.
Jonathan Williams is Director of the Center for State Fiscal Reform at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and is a co-author of Rich States, Poor States. The report is available for a free download at “Like” Rich States, Poor States on Facebook and follow on Twitter @ ALEC_Tax and @ALEC_States

Monday, June 17, 2013

Perfect Democracy

                 “As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and complete narcissistic moron.”                       - H. L. Mencken, The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920

Mencken would have predicted the apathy of the “plain folks”… he lived through the 20th century’s most hellish wars and opined:

             "The only good bureaucrat is one with a pistol at his head. Put it in his hand and it’s good-bye to the Bill of Rights".

evolutionary male deaths and girl rapes in Germany

Translator note: There was a request in the comment area for the translation of this article, and so it is done. The original German article by Akif Pirincci is titled “Das Schlachten hat begonnen (The slaughter has begun)” and can be found on the website “Die Achse des Guten” (The Axis of Good).
For the sake understanding the subject I would like to address here, it is needful that I refresh your memory first regarding an evolutionary process. Many people who meet me appear not to have paid attention to this subject in school so far as to have understood or gone through it at all. Evolution is neither a thinking being or a secret mechanism that causes flora and fauna to strive toward refinement. It is simply a model of game theory for the explanation of developments and manifestations in nature, to which also the behavior of people belongs. Charles Darwin’s thesis on “Survival of the Fittest” in his epochal work “The Origin of the Species” doesn’t necessarily mean “the survival of the stronger,” as is often circulated, rather “the survival of those that adapted.” But this description itself doesn’t hit the nail on the head, because in evolution, nothing adapts to something, rather “one” becomes adapted through conditions. There is neither an individual will in the game nor an all-steering (natural) power.
Why do I tell this? Because it basically has to do with an exemplary evolutionary process in the recent killing of a young German named Daniel S. by Turks in Kirchweyhe, particularly with the insidious genocide against a certain group of young men. The killing itself is not of interest, as horrible as that my sound, rather the “biotope” in which the genocide is taking place. And much more its consequences. The act ranks among a series of barbarities happening more and more often and following each other at smaller and smaller intervals that are being committed mostly by young men of the Moslem faith against German men. (Women are never found among the victims. They are raped as a rule, which also can be banally explained through evolution, but more on that later)

wind farm subsidies

True cost of Britain's wind farm industry revealed

Every job in Britain’s wind farm industry is effectively subsidised to the extent of £100,000 per year, The Telegraph can disclose.

Government and industry figures shows that wind turbine owners received £1.2billion in the form of a consumer subsidy.
Government and industry figures shows that wind turbine owners received £1.2billion in the form of a consumer subsidy. Photo: REUTERS
A new analysis of government and industry figures shows that wind turbine owners received £1.2billion in the form of a consumer subsidy, paid by a supplement on electricity bills last year. They employed 12,000 people, to produce an effective £100,000 subsidy on each job.
The disclosure is potentially embarrassing for the wind industry, which claims it is an economically dynamic sector that creates jobs. It was described by critics as proof the sector was not economically viable, with one calling it evidence of “soft jobs” that depended on the taxpayer.
The subsidy was disclosed in a new analysis of official figures, which showed that:
• The level of support from subsidies in some cases is so high that jobs are effectively supported to the extent of £1.3million each;
• In Scotland, which has 203 onshore wind farms — more than anywhere else in the UK — just 2,235 people are directly employed to work on them despite an annual subsidy of £344million. That works out at £154,000 per job;
• Even if the maximum number of jobs that have been forecast are created, by 2020 the effective subsidy on them would be £80,000 a year.
One source, who owns several wind farms, and did not wish to be named, said: “Anybody trying to justify subsidies on the basis of jobs created is talking nonsense. Wind farms are not labour intensive.”
There has been mounting controversy about the value of both onshore and offshore wind farms, with discontent among back-bench Conservative MPs.
The industry’s trade body, Renewable UK, has campaigned to promote the method of electricity generation as a way to create jobs. It states on its website that: “We aim to create thousands of jobs across a wide range of business sectors.”
It says the industry currently employs 12,000 people and “is set to employ up to 90,000 people by 2020”.
The promise of future jobs is dependent on the building of large-scale wind farms at sea and the construction of factories in Britain to manufacture the turbines, which are currently almost all built abroad.
Industry figures show that for the 12 months to the end of February, the latest period for which figures are available, slightly more than £1.2billion was paid through the consumer subsidy — known as the Renewables Obligation.
It was introduced by Labour to encourage investment and is added to all energy bills, meaning that besides households, industry and employers also pay, adding to the cost of all goods and services.
According to the Renewable Energy Foundation, a think tank that has criticised the cost of wind farms, it currently adds about £47 to the average household’s cost of living.
They say the total subsidy is likely to rise to £6billion by 2020 if the Government meets its target of providing 15 per cent of energy needs from renewable energy.
The industry’s projection is that by 2020 it will create up to 75,000 jobs — an effective subsidy of £80,000 a year — but failing to reach that figure will raise the effective subsidy.
The foundation claims that the subsidy will actually cost jobs because businesses will relocate abroad — or close — to save on energy bills.
Households will also have less disposable income because more money will go to pay fuel bills.
Among the examples of extremely high subsidies effectively for job creation is Greater Gabbard, a scheme of 140 turbines 12 miles off the Suffolk coast.
It received £129million in consumer subsidy in the 12 months to the end of February, double the £65million it received for the electricity it produced. It employs 100 people at its headquarters in Lowestoft, receiving, in effect, £1.3million for every member of staff.
Iwan Tukalo, general manager of Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Limited, which is co-owned by SSE and RWE, said building the farm was a £1.5billion investment in British infrastructure.
He added that “as well as supporting significant local employment during the four-year construction period”, 95 per cent of its permanent employees were local people.
The London Array, Britain’s biggest wind farm, with 175 turbines, employs 90 people at its base in Ramsgate, Kent. The array, which is 12 miles offshore, became fully operational in the spring. The foundation predicts its Renewables Obligation subsidy in its first year of full operation will be £160million — effectively £1.77million per job.
In Scotland, Fergus Ewing, the devolved government’s energy minister, published figures earlier this year showing that 2,235 jobs were “connected directly to onshore wind”. There are 203 wind farms across Scotland, and the scale of Renewables Obligation support means each post is underwritten by £154,000.
Wind farms are controversial not only because of the cost, but also because of claims that the turbines, which can be more than 400ft high, are ruining the countryside. Campaigners have said the planning system remains loaded in favour of developers and that too little of the countryside is protected from their spread.
Earlier this month David Cameron signalled that local people would have more say over wind farms in their areas. Developers would have to offer much greater compensation for building them, and planners will be compelled to take into account their visual impact and the views of locals.
But energy firms will be able to offer incentives, including lower power bills for local people, in return for planning permission, which critics say amount to “bribes”.
Campaigners also warn that turbines do not generate power when the wind is too low or too high, and cannot store it, meaning conventional generation is needed as a backup.
Dr John Constable, director of Renewable Energy Foundation, said: “Subsidies can create some soft jobs in the wind power industry but will destroy real jobs and reduce wages in other sectors, in the UK’s case because the subsidies cause higher electricity prices for industrial and commercial consumers. The extravagant subsidy cost per wind power job is an indication of the scale of that problem.”
He added: “Truly productive energy industries — gas, coal, oil, for example — create jobs indirectly by providing cheap energy that allows other businesses to prosper, but the subsidy-dependent renewables sector is a long way from this goal; it’s still much too expensive.”
There is even doubt within the wind industry that job creation projections can be met. Last week, Renewable UK issued a 64-page report urging the Government to “agree a long-term vision” for offshore wind or see jobs created on the Continent.
An Energy Bill, currently before Parliament, is the subject of wrangling over prices for renewable energy for the next 20 years. The wind industry says that without price and subsidy guarantees, a “green collar” jobs boom will not materialise.
Manufacturers are warning that some planned wind turbine factories are under threat without the price guarantees.
Gamesa, a Spanish company which had promised to open a factory in Leith in Scotland, said a lack of certainty was hampering its plans, while Siemens said it needed pricing guarantees before building a turbine factory in Hull.
Robert Norris, Renewable UK’s spokesman, said: “Parents are wondering where their children will find work in the future; the answer is in the renewable energy sector.
“Our studies show that by 2021, more than 76,000 people will be working in the British wind industry in full-time, well-paid green-collar jobs.
“In the last financial year we attracted private investment of £2.5billion, proving that the wind industry is an engine for growth at a time when other sectors are struggling.”
November 2013
What do you mean the Usa
Here is the list of faltering or bankrupt green-energy companies with taxpayer hand-outs (80% of those companies were Obama supporters and contributors):
Evergreen Solar ($25 million)*
SpectraWatt ($500,000)*
Solyndra ($535 million)*
Beacon Power ($43 million)*
Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)
SunPower ($1.2 billion)
First Solar ($1.46 billion)
Babcock and Brown ($178 million)
EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*
Amonix ($5.9 million)
Fisker Automotive ($529 million)
Abound Solar ($400 million)*
A123 Systems ($279 million)*
Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($700,981)*
Johnson Controls ($299 million)
Brightsource ($1.6 billion)
ECOtality ($126.2 million)
Raser Technologies ($33 million)*
Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)*
Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*
Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)*
Range Fuels ($80 million)*
Thompson River Power ($6.5 million)*
Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*
Azure Dynamics ($5.4 million)*
GreenVolts ($500,000)
Vestas ($50 million)
LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($151 million)
Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*
Navistar ($39 million)
Satcon ($3 million)*
Konarka Technologies Inc. ($20 million)*
Mascoma Corp. ($100 million)
*Denotes companies that have filed for bankruptcy.

Friday, June 14, 2013

No Left Turns on Principles

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

You Can't Outleft the Left

The dominant struggle of the 20th Century was the attempt to reconcile the growth of industrial economies with the social welfare demands of the left. The various attempts to "Steal the Thunder" of the left by adopting its social programs led to horrors such as Nazism on the one hand and the growth of the welfare state on the other.

Communism was finally defeated by adopting its program. The national battle against a Russian
Communist empire was won while the domestic struggle against the left was lost.

The welfare state created a fifth column of bureaucrats and recipients to act as the left's electorate. Instead of stealing the left's thunder, they subsidized the triumphant long march of the left.

The liberal Republican prescription is still to Outleft the left, adopting some of its more popular ideas and social policies in a more sensible fashion. And they have never understood that the strategy, even when it succeeds in the short term, is doomed.

Monitored all over the world

The Rest Of The World Is Absolutely Disgusted With Our Big Brother Spying Methods

The rest of the world has found out that the U.S. government has been listening to their phone calls and watching what they do on the Internet and they do not like it one bit.  Outrage has been pouring in from all over the planet, and one member of the European Parliament is even comparing the NSA to the Stasi.  But instead of stepping back and reevaluating our Big Brother spying methods now that they have been revealed, Barack Obama and other leading members of Congress are defiantly declaring that there is nothing wrong with these methods and that no changes will be made.  The U.S. government is going to continue to invade the privacy of the citizens of the rest of the world as much as it possibly can, and our leaders don't seem to really care what the international response is.  And make no mistake - the goal of the U.S. intelligence community is to literally know everything about everyone.  The chief technology officer of the CIA, Gus Hunt, made the following shocking admission back in March: "We fundamentally try to collect everything and hang onto it forever."  He followed that statement upwith this gem: "It is really very nearly within our grasp to be able to compute on all human-generated information."  In other words, they want it all, and they nearly have the capacity to gather it all already.  So where does this end?  Will the U.S. intelligence community ever be happy until they have every piece of data on every single person on the entire planet?  Do we really want a government that collects "everything" and hangs on to it "forever"?
Thanks to Edward Snowden, the rest of the globe is starting to understand the extent to which the U.S. government has been spying on them.  Needless to say, a lot of people are extremely upset about this.
In Germany (a country that knows a thing or two about Big Brother tactics), some prominent politicians are publicly denouncing the surveillance that the U.S. government has been doing on their citizens.  In fact, one German politician has accused the U.S. of employing"American-style Stasi methods"...
In a guest editorial for Spiegel Online on Tuesday, Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said reports that the United States could access and track virtually all forms of Internet communication were "deeply disconcerting" and potentially dangerous.
"The more a society monitors, controls and observes its citizens, the less free it is," she said.
"The suspicion of excessive surveillance of communication is so alarming that it cannot be ignored. For that reason, openness and clarification by the U.S. administration itself is paramount at this point. All facts must be put on the table."
Markus Ferber, a member of Merkel's Bavarian sister party who sits in the European Parliament, went further, accusing Washington of using "American-style Stasi methods".

In Italy, the government official in charge of data protection, Antonello Soro, said that the surveillance that the NSA is doing "would not be legal in Italy" and would be "contrary to the principles of our legislation and would represent a very serious violation".
In Russia (another country with a long history of using Big Brother tactics), President Vladimir Putin has expressed significant concern about the NSA spying program and there are even rumors that Russia will be offering asylum to Edward Snowden...
Alexey Pushkov, head of the Duma's international affairs committee and a vocal US critic, said on Twitter: "By promising asylum to Snowden, Moscow has taken upon itself the protection of those persecuted for political reasons. There will be hysterics in the US. They only recognise this right for themselves."
He continued: "Listening to telephones and tracking the internet, the US special services broke the laws of their country. In this case, Snowden, like Assange, is a human rights activist."
But even more important than what foreign politicians think about the NSA spying scandal is what average people all over the globe think.  This scandal is causing millions of average people all over the planet to look at the United States

Constitution or State

Have we reached a point where the Constitution is optional, not just in the eyes of the government, but also the average American?

The NSA Data Mining Matters

By Tim Dunkin (Bio and Archives)  Wednesday, June 12, 2013 
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It’s starting to seem that with every news cycle, a new Obama scandal is unearthed and brought to the light of day. Any one of the many scandals that have been revealed would be disturbing to anybody with any sense of fair play or desire for good government.
All of them together are making it apparent to the American people that our government is no longer merely corrupt, unethical, and of questionable constitutionality, but has crossed the line into blatant lawlessness, a frank disregard for the rule of law and open contempt for our organic and foundational law.
But it’s not just the Obama administration that we’re talking about here. Much of this current scandal is also applicable to, and indeed finds its root within, the Bush administration as well. What’s ironic is that this lawlessness has been made possible, in part, by all these “law and order conservatives” out there. You know the type I’m talking about: the people who think that talking about constitutional rights is a codeword for “supporting terrorism;” the folks who automatically trust that everything the government does is right, and who think that there could never, ever possibly be a conspiracy against the liberties of the American people. In short, the Right’s own version of the “low information voter,” the type of “conservative” that the Founding Fathers warned us about as a threat to our liberties. Thanks to them, our government has been enabled to go beyond its legitimate, constitutionally granted powers and into the realm of the panopticon state, all for the supposed purpose of “keeping us safe.”
I am all for using the technology that we have to do the job of keeping America safe—by which I mean, applying it to hostile foreigners and their contacts and/or compatriots in America for whom we have reasonable cause to be suspicious. But again, foreigners residing in other countries don’t have American constitutional rights to begin with, and Americans who are potentially collaborating with them can be dealt with via entirely constitutional means—the 4th amendment does not prohibit all wiretapping, searching, and seizure, it merely requires that these activities be conducted under specific, relevant circumstances. Police agencies have to have a reasonable cause for suspecting that someone is engaged in illegal activity and need to be able to convince a disinterested judge to allow them to search and seize what they say they need to so as to find the specific evidence they believe will exist. If the police and other security agencies are competent at their jobs, they should be able to do this without recourse to unconstitutional “fishing expeditions” into everyone else’s private information. The problem comes when they do this, and then try to justify it with nebulous “safety” arguments.
Frankly, if I have to choose between the Constitution or the “safety” that comes from an omniscient, omnipotent state—I choose the Constitution. This should be a false dichotomy between which we should not have to choose, since we should be able to find a middle ground where security agencies can operate within the Constitution and still protect us from foreign and domestic threats.  But if we’re going to be placed in such a situation, I’m willing to take my chances with the Constitution.
Of course, the NSA surveillance scandal has provided ample opportunities for partisan hacks in both parties to distract from the real issue—that of the federal government violating the 4th amendment and treating every single person in America as if they were potential terrorist threats who need to be recorded, tracked, and watched “for our own good”—and to use this revelation as an excuse to score some points on the other guys. “Obama did it!” “Bush did it too!” “Nyah nyah!” “Waaah!” In fact, we’re finding out that those on the Left,