The Courts Get Another One Right

This case involves how much Federal control over land deeded by the Feds to a State the Feds retain when they make the deed.  In the particular case, the Feds, ‘way back in 1949, deeded land to Ohio (in particular, the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District) subject to the criteria that the land had to be used for flood control, conservation, and recreation.  Lately, Ohio began allowing fracking under the land.

Foreign Investment Risk

The People’s Republic of China seems about to illustrate one form of this risk.

The State Council, China’s cabinet, will soon announce new measures that subject many overseas deals to reviews of “strict control,” according to people with direct knowledge of the matter and documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Targeted for particular scrutiny by the pending measure are “extra-large” foreign acquisitions valued at $10 billion or more per deal, property investments by state-owned firms above $1 billion, and investments of $1 billion or more by any Chinese company in an overseas entity unrelated to the investor’s core business.

Federal Green Expenditures

Watts Up With That has some ideas for budget cutting in the next administration.  Or, actually, these ideas come from Salon (!) via WUWT (never mind that cutting isn’t what Salon meant).

  • Energy Department

2017 climate-related budget: $8.5 billion

  • Interior Department

2017 climate-related budget: $1.1 billion

  • State Department

2017 climate-related budget: $984 million

  • NASA

2017 climate-related budget: $1.9 billion

  • Environmental Protection Agency

2017 climate-related budget: $1.1 billion

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

2017 climate-related research and development: $190 million

That works out to $13.8 billion of “useless waste.”  Yes, indeedy.

Times to Invest in the Market

My personal stock market investing mantra has always gone like this: “The best time to invest was yesterday; the second best time is today; the worst time is tomorrow.”  I decided to take check that and see how accurate it might be, so I built a simple Microsoft Excel® spreadsheet to take a back of the envelope look.

Systemic Importance and Institutions

Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari is on the right track, but he’s not there yet.  He’s one of a very small number of financial regulators (of any sort of regulator, come to that) who has the self-assurance and intellectual honesty to say, and to mean, things like

I start with the assumption that regulators are going to miss the next crisis.  We’re going to miss it.

He’s got a solution to that, too, but it’s only a partial solution, and that incompleteness stems from a fundamental lack of understanding.


This time regarding the Iran nuclear weapons deal, exemplified by this excerpt from a Wall Street Journal article concerning the Obama administration’s efforts to strengthen that deal during these last two months of overt lameduckness.

The picture they [Obama officials] plan to articulate for Mr Trump’s team is stark: if the agreement falls apart, and the US is blamed for its collapse, Iran would resume its nuclear program more aggressively. In that case, the US risks alienating Europe, as well as China and Russia, and limiting its ability to use sanctions again to contain Iran. Military action against Tehran’s nuclear facilities, these officials argue, could be the only alternative.

Happy Thanksgiving

I first posted this in 2011.  I think it bears repeating today.


Today I thought I’d share some thoughts on the matter offered by other folks who are a bit more articulate than I.  In the meantime, be thankful for who we are and where we are: whatever straits we in which we find ourselves, we’re orders of magnitude better off than most everyone else in the world.

Free Trade

Specific trade deals might be good or bad, but that’s specific to the deal; such efficacies don’t say much of anything about free trade or free trade deals in general.  There are, in fact, two primary reasons for encouraging free trade, zones of free trade, and the deals that enhance free trade and generate free trade zones.  One reason is the economic benefits for the partners of the free trade deals, including lower costs—and so downward pressure on price inflation—for the citizens of the nations involved, and net (if small) job creation, which stems from those lower costs and domestic companies benefiting from the increased demand that flows from those lower costs.  It’s true that particular jobs disappear as production moves to lower cost areas (and that’s true for entirely domestic regions, too), but other jobs get created as other businesses crop up to take advantage of production shifts.

The Bias of the Press

It’s going to continue, as Howard Kurtz, writing for FoxNews has recognized.

Many in the media, mostly on the liberal side, have come up with a verb that captures their disgust at the man who will be America’s 45th president.

It’s a word that clearly signals that they will remain in opposition, in a state of perpetual outrage, that, in truth, they don’t fully accept the results of the election.

Donald Trump, they say, should not be normalized.

Especially that perpetual outrage part.  That’s not normal; that’s pathology.  Here’s Slate, as cited by Kurtz, describing the typical NLMSM and its refusal (not inability) to accept Donald Trump as the duly elected next President:

A Minimum Wage Mandate Demonstration

McDonald’s, which already has ordering stations—kiosks at its restaurant tables from which diners can order their meals and have them delivered to them—at some 500 of its restaurants in Florida, New York, and California.  The Daily Caller, citing CNN Money, says more of these kiosks are scheduled to be added, next year, in McDonald’s restaurants in Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, and DC.

Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) signed into law a new $15 minimum wage for New York State in 2016, and the University of California has proposed to pay its low-wage employees $15. Florida’s minimum wage will rise I January 2017. Seattle raised its minimum wage to $15 in 2014, followed by San Francisco and Los Angeles.