Internal Tariffs

Mercantilist tariffs (as opposed to tariffs as foreign policy tools) are purely protectionist, designed to punish competitors for competing. They’re not only aimed at foreign competition, either, as Europe’s auto industry is demonstrating [emphasis added].

Auto makers in Europe eager to boost sales of their electric vehicles have a new strategy: demanding higher taxes on conventional vehicles that burn gas and diesel fuel.
The top executives at several car and truck makers are calling on European governments to introduce the new taxes on carbon-dioxide emissions from gasoline- and diesel-powered cars and trucks as a way to help their EVs better compete.

Sanctioning Russia

Maybe. President Joe Biden (D) is acting like he’s taking action that would seem to respond to Russia’s SolarWinds hack and interference with the 2020 Presidential election. His potential action includes

  • expulsion of 10 Russian diplomats, includ[ing] representatives of Russian intelligence services
  • sanctions against “dozens” of people and companies
  • target[ing] Moscow’s ability to borrow money by prohibiting US financial institutions from buying Russian bonds directly from Russian institutions.

The sanctions will take effect on 14 June.

Income Inequality

The Left and their Progressive-Democratic Party like to bleat about this and to complain further about how it has only gotten worse.

They know better.

Here’s a little tidbit, from Phil Gramm’s and John Early’s op-ed in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal:

While the disparity in earned income has become more pronounced in the past 50 years, the actual inflation-adjusted income received by the bottom quintile, counting the value of all transfer payments received net of taxes paid, has risen by 300%. The top quintile has seen its after-tax income rise by only 213%. As government transfer payments to low-income households exploded, their labor-force participation collapsed, and the percentage of income in the bottom quintile coming from government payments rose above 90%.

“Sanctions”

That’s what US, Canada, Britain, and European Union politicians are claiming they’ll impose on the People’s Republic of China in response to PRC genocide efforts against the Uyghurs in the PRC’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

The sanctions are expected to vary in type, and will include Global Magnitsky economic sanctions on individuals alleged to be involved with the mistreatment of the Muslims in the Xinjiang region of China.

Among those sanctions are these which the US, Canada, the UK, and the EU already imposed last Monday to four (count ’em) PRC officials:

  • Zhu Hailun, former deputy Communist Party head in Xinjiang

How Fast is Fast?

Starlink is touting 120Mb/sec on its downlinks from its growing constellation of satellites purpose-built and -orbited to provide Internet connections.

Other satellite Internet providers in the offing are claiming similar speeds.

Put the speeds in context, though.

My Ethernet Internet connection gets link speeds in the gigabit/sec range.

My cable Internet provider gets me downlink speeds in the low hundreds of Mb/sec (faster than Starlink’s present 120Mb/Sec).

A Treasury Climate Czar

That’s what new Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen wants to set up. That’s not necessarily a bad idea.

A climate risk office inside Treasury actually could be useful—were its purpose properly targeted.

The risks that are worth assessing and which realizations worth planning for, though, are political and economic, not climatic.

The political risk is from government overreacting with laws and regulations to the overhyping of climate.

The economic risk is from businesses overreacting in anticipation of such political overreactions.

Somehow, though, I doubt that’s Yellen’s intention for her new office.

Cent Wise and Euro Foolish

Barron’s has an example, centered on Europe’s very own Wuhan Virus situation.

The EU economy shrank last year by 6.3%, according to the latest EU forecast, published on Thursday. That amounts to about €877 billion ($1.1 trillion) of lost gross domestic product last year. Or about €17 billion a week.
Compared with this, the total bill of vaccines procured until now by the EU—based on contracts signed, and vaccine prices confidential in principle but tweeted last December by the Belgian health minister—would amount to €20.5 billion.

The finally agreed vaccine bill amounts to a bare day-and-a-half over a week’s lost GDP—and how many lives.

Another Example

…of the folly of doing business with companies domiciled inside the People’s Republic of China.

The particular company is Ant, a financial institution that PRC regulators lately decided its owner Jack Ma was getting too impudent regarding government actions—was getting too big for his britches—so the regulators blocked Ant from going public unless and until it massively reorganized and at least to significant extent downsized.

Now let’s back up in time a little bit.

That’ll be the Day

Ford Motor Co is going to switch to Alphabet’s Android for the software to drive its cars’ displays, beginning in 2023. I can tolerate that, mostly, even if it is Alphabet.

Here’s the kicker, though [emphasis added].

Ford also intends to work with Alphabet Inc’s Google for cloud services to help the auto maker develop in-car features and manage the reams of data streaming from its vehicles.

And

Ford, GM, and others are now working with Google to offer Android as built-in software, a move that allows owners to download apps directly to their vehicle’s tabletlike display….
Auto makers are mobilizing to offer in-car services to customers that would allow the companies to collect recurring revenue streams….

Alphabet Strikes Again

Alphabet, through its wholly-owned Google’s wholly-owned YouTube, has censored The Epoch Times, barring the news outlet from its YouTube channel and expelling it from YouTube’s Partner Program, through which The Epoch Times monetized much of its output.

Alphabet claims the news outlet violated its subsidiary’s subsidiary’s “Community Guidelines.” Its YouTube spokesman said,

All channels on YouTube need to comply with our Community Guidelines, and in order to monetize, channels must comply with the YouTube Partner Program policies, which include our Advertiser-Friendly Guidelines. Channels that repeatedly violate these policies are suspended from our partner program.