Archive for the ‘#economics’ Tag

The Myth of the Bee-pocalypse | Shawn Regan   Leave a comment

Sean Regan

You’ve probably heard by now that bees are mysteriously dying. In 2006, commercial beekeepers began to witness unusually high rates of honeybee die-offs over the winter — increasing from an average of 15 percent to more than 30 percent. Everything from genetically modified crops to pesticides (even cell phones) has been blamed. The phenomenon was soon given a name: colony collapse disorder.

Image result for image of honey beesSince colony collapse disorder began in 2006, there has been virtually no detectable effect on the total number of honeybee colonies in the United States.Ever since, the media has warned us of a “beemaggedon” or “beepocalypse” posing a “threat to our food supply.” By 2013, NPR declared that bee declines may cause “a crisis point for crops,” and the cover of Time magazine foretold of a “world without bees.” This spring, there was more bad news. Beekeepers reported losing 42.1 percent of their colonies over the last year, prompting more worrisome headlines.

Based on such reports, you might believe that honeybees are nearly gone by now. And because honeybees are such an important pollinator — they reportedly add $15 billion in value to crops and are responsible for pollinating a third of what we eat — the economic consequences must be significant.

Riding the buzz over dying bees, the Obama administration announced the creation of a pollinator-health task force to develop a “federal strategy” to promote honeybees and other pollinators. The task force unveiled its long-awaited plan, the National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators. The plan aims to reduce honeybee-colony losses to “sustainable” levels and create 7 million acres of pollinator-friendly habitat. It also calls for more than $82 million in federal funding to address pollinator health.

But here’s something you probably haven’t heard: there are more honeybee colonies in the United States today than there were when colony collapse disorder began in 2006

Read the rest of the article on FEE: The Myth of the Bee-pocalypse | Shawn Regan

Posted September 5, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Environmentalism

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Adopt A Highway   Leave a comment

Image result for image of a gravel roadMy friend Mila sent this to me via email and it was intriguing enough that I researched it. Mila lives here in Alaska, but she was born in the Ukraine. Her husband Alex is from Russia. They escaped the USSR about two years before perastroika, so they know a thing or two about risking all for the chance at freedom. Maybe someday they will let me interview them.

Anyway … back to the subject at hand

 

The Moscow Times:

“Smugglers have transformed the gravel track in the Smolensk region in order to help their heavy goods vehicles traveling on the route, said Alexander Laznenko from the Smolensk region border agency. The criminal groups have widened and raised the road and added additional turning points, he said.

The road, which connects Moscow to the Belarussian capital of Minsk, is known to be used by smugglers wishing to avoid official customs posts and is now under official surveillance.

A convoy of trucks was recently stopped on the road carrying 175 tons of sanctioned Polish fruit worth 13 million rubles ($200,000). The produce was subsequently destroyed, TASS reported.

Local border guards, customs and police officers have checked over 73,000 vehicles entering Russia from Belarus this year, Laznenko said, claiming that the number of heavy goods vehicles crossing the border from Belarus has increased dramatically in the last year, he said.”

 

So, as I work on the 3rd book in Transformation Project (yeah, that’s right, I’m working on it even though the 2nd book is more than a month from launch), I’ve been asking myself these questions, trying to see beyond my marginally statist myopia.

Who will build the roads if the government doesn’t?

Apparently criminals will, if they need to and it benefits their own interests. And, catch what they’re bringing in — fruit.

Image result for image of truckload of fruitOh, the horrors of black marketing! Someone might get addicted to bananas.

The smugglers adopted a gravel road from Moscow to Minsk, raised it, widened it and added turning points. The secret project increased traffic and prompted a government takeover, complete with customs abuses.

So, let’s just take a pause and think about this. A company builds roads. By the way, the government does not build roads. The government gives money to companies to build roads. So the government goes away (or at least stops being able to fund roads) and the company does what?

Well, the statist answer is that they would go bankrupt because no roads would be built. The capitalist solution would be that they either build the road themselves and recoup the cost through tolls or they contract with the people who need to road to get their goods to market and build the road on their behalf.

See! No government needed! Just enlightened self-interest and a dump truck and grader.

How Government Encourages Food Waste | Baylen Linnekin   Leave a comment

Dumped cherriesCountries around the world are enacting new legislation to combat food waste. Hidden behind many of these government campaigns to reduce food waste is the frequent cause of that food waste: other government regulations.

Source: How Government Encourages Food Waste | Baylen Linnekin

New boom just like old boom?   Leave a comment

Like Craig Medred I lived through the TAPS construction, but unlike him, I am on board with building the gas line because of the long-term economic benefits to the state and its residents. Medred was brand-new to Alaska at the start of TAPS, which means he doesn’t remember what it was like to live in the poorest state in the union. My parents lived through that and, though the TAPS construction was hard to live through, they were glad for the economic benefits it brought to the state. It meant my brother could come home for the Outside because there were jobs here now.

I’m looking at that for my kids now. They can’t stay if there are no jobs. This is a wonderful place to live, but it costs to live here and you have to be able to make a living. We need an economy. Oil is tied up in government regulation and oil companies sitting on leases they refuse to produce (partially because of government regulation). We had the good sense to create a law that says if the gasline is built, the leasees must produce the gas. Alaska needs to diversify our economy, but that is difficult for individuals to do when you don’t own your subsurface mineral rights. Gas could be a tool to making that happen because it’s availability instate will lower electrical generation and space heating costs. We’ve seen what low-cost natural gas can do to a community in Alaska. Anchorage has greatly benefited from a sweetheart deal for Cook Inlet gas.

We shouldn’t take the potential social effects lightly. One of the downsides to waiting 40 years to build the second pipeline is that the people who lived through the first construction and learned the lessons from it are retiring out of state or dying. The longer we wait, the more likely we are to be unable to deal with the social effects simply because there’s no wisdom of experience left. The social costs are less when there are wise veterans left to guide you through it.

The final factor is that it is likely Alaska will never be in a fiscal position to build the gasline if we don’t do it now. Once they start taxing Alaskan incomes, we will see a loss of population and businesses. If oil remains low priced, the State’s economic power will diminish. We’re headed back toward being the poorest state in the union if we don’t invest in our future while we can.

 

Thirty-six years ago, the late Joe McGinnis authored a best-selling book about Alaska titled “Going to Extremes.” It went to extremes. Widely popular outside the 49th state, it was not …

Source: New boom just like old boom?

Posted August 12, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Alaska

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Good News, Elizabeth Warren: Women Already Have Equal Pay | Diana Furchtgott-Roth   1 comment

America’s equal-pay-for-equal-work crusaders have already won.

At the Democratic Convention, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker lamented that American women do not earn “equal pay for equal work.” A Hillary Clinton administration, they promised, would right this wrong.

The latest U.S. Department of Labor data show that women working full-time make 81 percent of full-time men’s wages. But this figure is both inaccurate and misleading. This statistic looks only at raw averages and does not take into account factors such as education, skills, and hours worked.

Found on FEE Source: Good News, Elizabeth Warren: Women Already Have Equal Pay | Diana Furchtgott-Roth

Posted August 8, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

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The New Revanchism: The Theme of Politics Today | Jeffrey Tucker   Leave a comment

The vast gulf that separates politics from real life seems to be growing.

What strikes you most about the world today is precisely how little confidence people have in political solutions.If you listen to the leading politicians talk these days, you would think that the whole of American life is currently dominated by violence, injustice, discrimination, pillaging, isolation, deceit, fear, poverty, suffering, and decline generally. There are left and right wing versions of this story, but each portray a population cowering in fear, seething with resentment, obsessed with inequity, longing for a time gone by…and begging politicians for the strength and vision to change things.

 

Source: The New Revanchism: The Theme of Politics Today | Jeffrey Tucker

Posted August 4, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

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Global Food Security Act Leaves African Farmers in the Dirt | Stacy Ndlovu   Leave a comment

This Act will most certainly not improve global food security, especially in Africa, because it fails to address a fundamental cause of food insecurity in the developing world: US agricultural subsidies.

Source: Global Food Security Act Leaves African Farmers in the Dirt | Stacy Ndlovu

Posted August 3, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

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