Montreal’s Bloodthirsty Pit Bull Ban Shows the Essence of the State

Montreal’s city council just passed a law that lets government employees target pit bulls any dog with a “short fur” and a “big head”  for death, forces people to pay a special registration fee dog tax, and forces owners to muzzle their dogs and keep them on a short leash prevent their dogs from having fun.

Vets will be compelled tmontreal-pit-bull-ban-20160926o euthanize dogs that exist in violation of these rules, unless the vet morally objects and “makes an effort” to find another professional to do the service within 48 hours (who decides what is a sufficient effort? And what is the consequence if a vet fails to do this?).

If someone’s dog brutally kills someone, wouldn’t it makes far more sense to simply charge the owner with manslaughter than pass a new law that threatens pet owners and vets for no good reason? Wouldn’t that be better than hiring a new squad of enforcement officers to hunt down dogs with big heads for extermination?

This particularly cruel law highlights the special destructive power of the state — systematic interference with private property. Because yes, our beloved pets are private property.

The state is all about taxes, badges, guns, and death. This law delivers that in a perfect package.

Every law that interferes with private property is just like this, but the Montreal law is a blatantly brutal and vicious example.

Lawmakers, from the municipal to the federal level, are drunk with power. The ballot box supposedly gives them authority to regulate virtually anything and the idea of “property rights” deserves nary a thought.

And every law of the government is backed with guns and badges. Never forget that the government will ultimately kill to enforce the law (usually you, but in this case your dog).

When it comes to most property, the government’s interference usually only affects your use of some resource or object, even your own body.

But regulations like the Montreal ban are a form of especially unjust intervention. You’re not restricting someone from selling a certain type of food or building a house with a weird shape.

Montreal is hiring government agents that threaten the lives of people’s animals that have never hurt anyone.

Animals are property, but they are also friends. Montreal just pointed a gun at you and your friends.

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Local McDonald’s Is Ready for Minimum Wage Hikes

The Alberta NDP wants to increase the minimum wage to $15, nearly a 50% increase over the old rate.

We know they want to do this not to help unskilled, low-wage workers, but rather to enrich their union friends.

Obviously such laws outlaw certain kinds of employment and create more unemployment than otherwise. They reduce jobs available for the poorest, least skilled workers.

The McDonald’s location by this writer’s office has prepared for the foolishness of the NDP’s economic fiat.

mcdonks kiosk

It’s important to note that McDonald’s currently pays its new regular workers more than the old minimum wage already… but they don’t pay more than forthcoming minimum wage. So they have to get ready.

At a certain price, it makes sense to replace people with machines. Why not? No payroll taxes, fewer regulations, no training, and a lot less hassle overall for the employer.

Now when you need a Big Mac combo, you get to interact with a screen instead of being greeted and served by a smiling teenager.

And since you spend all day working on your computer or fiddling with your smartphone, I’m sure you’re desperate to stare at more screens.

I guess the happy fast food worker is just another wonderful occupation being destroyed by the knavery of politicians.

Do you remember the glorious era when you would roll up to a gas station and a helpful fellow would come out, pump your gas, check your oil, and clean your windshield all while you sat comfortably in your car? The minimum wage destroyed the gas station attendant job.

Fewer jobs for unskilled workers, and less service for consumers.

Minimum wage is compulsory unemployment. But here’s the amazing thing:

Even minimum wage proponents know this.

Otherwise, why would they stop at $15 an hour? Why not $100 per hour? There should be no argument against this if we follow the logic that government can make workers wealthier with a stroke of the pen.

Governments only raise the minimum wage to the point where it hurts the marginal workers.

They would never raise it to the point that it hurts, say, white adult male workers with union seniority. Because the entire point of the NDP raising minimum wages is to help unions.

Let’s not forget Premier Notley is a lifelong union lawyer and her husband is an official with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (Notley’s government office even returns calls made to Arab’s cellphone). We know whose side they’re on.

Hint: It’s not the side of the nice, polite young teenager who wants to work at McDonalds to make a little bit of money but isn’t yet worth $15 an hour.

Would You Spend Trillions of Dollars to Reduce Earth’s Temperature by 0.05°C?

Someone actually bothered to look at the IPCC’s own models to evaluate the impact of all the different programs proposed as CO2 mitigation plans on Earth’s climate. The results are extremely impressive if your goal is spending gargantuan sums of money and impoverishing humanity to achieve almost nothing.

From the abstract of the paper (emphasis and formatting added):

This article investigates the temperature reduction impact of major climate policy proposals implemented by 2030, using the standard MAGICC climate model. Even optimistically assuming that promised emission cuts are maintained throughout the century, the impacts are generally small.

  • The impact of the US Clean Power Plan (USCPP) is a reduction in temperature rise by 0.013°C by 2100.
  • The full US promise for the COP21 climate conference in Paris, its so-called Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) will reduce temperature rise by 0.031°C.
  • The EU 20-20 policy has an impact of 0.026°C, the EU INDC 0.053°C, and China INDC 0.048°C.
  • All climate policies by the US, China, the EU and the rest of the world, implemented from the early 2000s to 2030 and sustained through the century will likely reduce global temperature rise about 0.17°C in 2100.

These impact estimates are robust to different calibrations of climate sensitivity, carbon cycling and different climate scenarios. Current climate policy promises will do little to stabilize the climate and their impact will be undetectable for many decades.

To illustrate the utter impotence of these asinine proposals, let’s take the first case: the US Clean Power Plan, which would strive to reduce carbon emissions by reducing coal based energy production. If these reductions are implemented and adhered to until 2100 (when most of the people reading this will be dead), the reduction in temperature rise would be 0.013°C.

Maybe it’s just me, but that doesn’t seem like very much. Maybe some perspective will be helpful:

Everyone knows that as you go up a mountain, the air gets cooler. The rate at which non-condensing air cools with increasing altitude is called the “dry adiabatic lapse rate”. The rule of thumb states that for every hundred metres higher that you climb, the temperature drops by 1°C.

Now, a human being is typically around 1.7 metres tall, plus or minus. This means that other things being equal, the air at your head is about 0.017°C cooler than the air at your feet. And recall from above that the “impact of the US Clean Power Plan (USCPP) is a reduction in temperature rise by 0.013°C by 2100” …

Which means that after spending billions of dollars and destroying valuable power plants and reducing our energy options and making us more dependent on Middle East oil, all we will do is make the air around our feet as cool as the air around our heads … I am overcome with gratitude for such a stupendous accomplishment.

Okay then.

But that’s just one proposal for one country. What if the entire world successfully implements all its proposals by 2030 and maintains them until 2100? Far-fetched maybe, but let’s go with it.

Realistically, this would result in a 0.05°C temperature reduction by 2100.

Since it’s perfectly normal to experience a difference of 20°C in a single day, this is pretty much completely meaningless.

And again, this is all based on the IPCC’s own climate models, which have enough problems on their own but nonetheless are the basis for all the anti-carbon hysteria and fear-mongering.

— Read more at WUWT

The TPP Is a Bureaucratic Nightmare, Not Free Trade

After all the complaining about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, until now no one actually knew what it said.

The text of the agreement, negotiated in secret by state leaders with their armies of bureaucrats and lawyers, has finally been released.

Few critics who complained about the TPP will bother to read the agreement. It is a 5,544 page monstrosity of rules and regulations. Reading such a thing is so boring it may cause aneurysms.

But even a cursory examination reveals that despite all pretense suggesting otherwise, the TPP has nothing to do with free trade.

Free trade policies can be imposed unilaterally by any country at any time, without any complex multilateral agreements. This requires only a few things:

  • Legislatures must reduce or eliminate taxes on imports (tariffs) and import quotas.
  • Legislatures must reduce or eliminate subsidies and other support to their exporters (such as foreign aid requiring purchases of goods from domestic producers).
  • Governments must stop using customs agents to force citizens — at gunpoint, if necessary — to pay tax on goods they buy from other countries .

And that’s it.

In and of itself, a “free trade” document that exceeds 5,000 pages (more than twice as long as NAFTA!) must be regarded as an indicator of trade restrictions, regardless of what such an agreement is called .

Free trade policies can be summarized in less than a page: “Imports shall not be restricted. Exports shall not be restricted.” (You can make it a bit fancier if it’s really important to you that lawyers rack up a few more billable hours.)

The TPP, negotiated by the Canadian government in collaboration with the governments of the US, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Japan, Vietnam, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand and Australia, is nothing less than the adoption of labyrinthine trade regulations and restrictions. Six other countries have expressed intent to join the TPP.

Rather than purely economic integration (which is good), the TPP represents political integration (which is bad) — harmonization of tax and regulatory structure across the member states and a decomposition of national sovereignty, especially in the realm of intellectual property. The TPP gives more power to those with the most political clout — which will never be Canadian citizens.

And the TPP allows unelected, power-hungry bureaucrats to bring lawsuits against Canadian companies if they ‘violate’ the agreement (the interpretation of which is not a simple matter).

Restrictions on trade imply only impoverishment. If Canada desires free trade, it should withdraw from the agreement and abolish all tariffs and quotas. Since exports pay for imports, this would enrich Canada and its trading partners.

And amazingly enough, this doesn’t require 5,000 pages of maze-like rules and regulations.

Alberta’s NDP, Unions, and the Minimum Wage

When analyzing public policy, one must typically ignore stated goals and understand the economic incentives that make groups favor certain forms of economic intervention.

Unions, as a group, tend to favor market restrictions that prop up their higher wage rates.

Alberta’s NDP, led by Rachel Notley, favors unions.

evilnotley

This an important factor in the NDP arguing for a 50% increase to Alberta’s minimum wage, despite protests from the business community and anyone with an understanding of basic economic law. NDP goal to hike minimum wage has nothing to do with helping less productive workers make more income, regardless of what their stated objectives are.

Minimum wage laws are a classic form of monopolistic grants of privilege that benefit some groups at the expense of others. Despite the proclaimed objective of minimum wage laws, which is to increase incomes of the most marginal workers, the actual effect is the exact opposite — it makes them unemployable because they are not sufficiently productive to be employed at the legal wage rates. This means that minimum wages will always cause more unemployment than otherwise — any economist who denies this is either a liar or a fool who doesn’t even understand the basic principles of price controls.

Who benefits from such laws? Certainly not the marginal workers, for it becomes illegal to hire them at the wage justified by their productivity. On the other hand, anyone employed above the minimum wage benefits because their competition is reduced. In particular, unions benefit from minimum wage laws. Unions despise cheaper labor competition. Minimum wage laws remove competition of less productive workers by forcing them to be unemployed.

And there is another reason why unions love minimum wage hikes — it is a devious way to increase their own wages. This can work in many ways depending on the labor agreement. Some agreements trigger mandatory wage hikes when statutory minimum wages increase (because wages are based on a percentage above minimum wage). Others have provisions to open wage negotiations if minimum wages go up.

I am not making this up. Economic theory informs us that we should expect nothing less. But consider also a 2004 study in the Journal of Human Resources by economists William Wascher, Mark Schweitzer and David Neumark. They clearly showed that lower-wage union workers usually see a boost in employment and earned income following a mandated wage hike. And those non-union wage workers who are now unemployed or unemployable? Who cares! The union members already have higher wages and protected jobs. So what if this cruel policy leaves in its wake desperate workers who can no longer legally work?

As for the NDP, there should be no doubt that Premier Rachel Notley is a union hack. Most of her career has been in the service of unions. Consider a few facts from her personal history:

She is married to Lou Arab, a communications and public relations staffer for the Canadian Union of Public Employees[2] and a campaign strategist for the party. She lives with him and their two children in the historic district of Old Strathcona located in south-central Edmonton.[17]

After law school, Notley articled for Edmonton labour lawyer Bob Blakely, and went on to work for the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees representing members with Workers’ Compensation cases.

She worked for a short time for the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE),[20] worked at Athabasca University,[21] acted as volunteer co-ordinator for the Friends of Medicare “Romanow Now” campaign, and finally as a labour relations officer for the United Nurses of Alberta.[1]

Can there be any doubt that Notley will seek to benefit her union friends at the expense of other groups in society? Of course not.

Rachel Notley and the NDP are looking to empower unions. They don’t care if they hurt society’s least productive workers, like teenagers, people with disabilities, workers with language barriers, anyone without much experience for any reason, and ethnic or racial groups that may face discrimination.

Some will argue that forcing minimum wages higher makes employers invest in more equipment and develop new technology and this will increase productivity of labor. Therefore, this improves the economy. But this is a silly argument. Capitalists are always seeking ways to increase productivity, so to think they are just sitting around waiting for the government to force price floors on labor to do so is a joke.

But even assuming the employer doesn’t just reduce his quantity of labor demanded, his investment in new capital is limited by savings in the economy. Increasing minimum wage does not increase the total supply of capital available. If anything, capital will merely be shifted from some industries to others in an attempt to offset an artificially higher cost. Capital is not being reallocated because of a market requirement, and so this is not an economic improvement.

Don’t be fooled by anyone who says they want to increase the minimum wage to help the poorest workers. The main concern motivating the NDP to increase the minimum wage is helping unions.

Anyone advocating a higher minimum wage should be ridiculed and shamed out of public office on account of sheer ignorance.

In Manitoba, Feed Your Children Ritz Crackers for Lunch or Be Charged $10

To run a child care facility in Manitoba, one must be licensed by the Manitoba Government’s “Early Learning and Child Care” department. In order to be licensed, the care center must enforce certain requirements about what food the children eat for lunch on site.

One woman, obviously an uncaring and incompetent mother, sent her children to daycare with packed lunches consisting of meat, carrots, potatoes, milk, and an orange.  Mmm… that actually sounds really good… ::drool::

Uh. Pardon me.

So anyway. Guess what happens? The daycare must ensure that all children receive a “balanced meal” according to the Canadian Food Guide, otherwise it violates its licensing requirements. If a child has an unbalanced meal, then the facility must “supplement” their lunch with the appropriate item.

So these children’s lunch lacked a grain item. So what did the facility provide to fulfill that requirement? A piece of bread or something?

Don’t worry, we’ll make sure your children get their Ritz Crackers.

RITZ CRACKERS? Are you kidding me? When your body breaks those down, they are basically just sugar. A perfectly healthy lunch, like the mother gave her children originally, becomes less healthy when you add Ritz Crackers to it.  Ritz Crackers are snack foods.

Government regulation always produces inanity such as this.

No government should regulate what parents feed their children, either directly or through intermediaries like regulated daycare centers. The consequence is less healthy children.

— Read more at LRC

Bank Assets As a Percentage of GDP

And you thought the American banks were too big to fail!

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