October 3, 2016 Leave a comment
Trudeau’s carbon tax.
Markets, Freedom, and Truth
October 3, 2016 Leave a comment
Trudeau’s carbon tax.
June 11, 2016 Leave a comment
The Alberta government, through the CIFFC, contracted 300 of the cheapest firefighters they could possibly get.
Everyone made a big deal out of these cheerful South African firefighters, who sang and danced upon their arrival at the airport. Hooray! How cool is that?
No one has said much about the fact that these firefighters were hired as part of a South African government job creation program called “Working on Fire.” They may have only been hired shortly before their departure for Canada (they arrived on May 29).
Are they real firefighters? We can’t be sure.
Once here, the workers go on strike because of their wages, which are pathetic by the standards of a comfortable Albertan (about $4 an hour, or $50 per day). Now they might all be going home.
Premier Rachel Notley says they contracted to pay the firefighters $170 per day + food and lodgings.
So the South African government is exporting its welfare firefighters and taking $120 per day off the top for each one. They must think the Alberta government is a bunch of suckers.
Notley, who apparently thinks everyone should pay $15 minimum wage except when her government wants cheap African thralls to fight fires, says she is going to fix everything. She claims she will somehow ensure the South African firefighters get paid the appropriate Alberta wage (which is small fortune to them — each day will equal almost a month of the average firefighter wage back in their home country).
Since the firefighters are paid by the South African government, this means the Alberta government will have to give money to the South African government. It’s probably fair to think the South African government is still going to skim “a little” off the top.
The South African government tells us not to worry, because that $4 per hour wage is just an “allowance”, and their firefighters still get regular pay at home (average 2,400 rand, or about $205 per month). The welfare firefighters are double dipping!
We’ve heard of people applying the broken window fallacy to natural disasters: “This wildfire is pretty bad, but fixing things will boost our economy!” Even those people wouldn’t be so daft as to suggest it would boost another country’s economy.
Who would have thought that a wildfire in Fort McMurray would lead to foreign aid for South Africa, letting corrupt bureaucrats enrich themselves at the expense of the Alberta taxpayer?
— Read more at CBC.ca —
June 7, 2016 Leave a comment
Alberta’s NDP government passed its carbon tax law today.
Many agree that it is one of the stupidest taxes ever created, however even many arguments against the tax accept the basic premise that CO2 is a negative externality and “something must be done.”
But what if the premise underlying the tax — not to mention any other “climate change” policy — is wrong?
What if the social cost of carbon is negative — i.e. the net effects of carbon are positive?
A new paper by Dayaratna, McKitrick, and Kreutzer finds reason to believe this is justified by the empirical data:
Substituting an empirical ECS distribution from LC15 yields a mean 2020 SCC of $19.52, a drop of 48%. The same exercise for the FUND model yields a mean SCC estimate of $19.33 based on RB07 and $3.33 based on the LC15 parameters—an 83% decline. Furthermore the probability of a negative SCC (implying CO2 emissions are a positive externality) jumps dramatically using an empirical ECS distribution. Using the FUND model, under the RB07 parameterization at a 3% discount rate there is only about a ten percent chance of a negative SCC through 2050, but using the LC15 distribution, the probability of a negative SCC jumps to about 40%. Remarkably, replacing simulated climate sensitivity values with an empirical distribution calls into question whether CO2 is even a negative externality. The lower SCC values also cluster more closely together across difference discount rates, diminishing the importance of this parameter.
This all makes perfect sense, because there are non-climate effects of CO2 and they are extremely beneficial to the planet (plant growth, crop yield, human well-being). Furthermore, the climate effects of CO2 observed in the real world are far less damaging than what’s been predicted by the models of climate change propagandists — and these too are largely beneficial. On this, see Goklany’s Carbon Dioxide: The Good News, from GWPF.
So using the logic of carbon tax advocates, since carbon provides us with overall benefits, we should subsidize carbon rather than tax it extra.
From the standpoint of economics and ethics, we should neither subsidize carbon nor tax it.
If you have a carbon tax, get rid of it. If you don’t have one but think you need one, forget it.
Carbon taxes are an abomination — they do nothing to improve the environment and exist only to plunder citizens so that politicians, central planners and cronies can enrich themselves.
December 1, 2015 Leave a comment
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.
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.