Contradictions?

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D, MN) condemns our sanctions against Iran—sanctions against that nation’s government, various members of that government, and against that government’s oil sales and other business’ international activities.

calling them “crippling” and asserting they would “starve the Iranian people.”

Of course, the crippling nature of the sanctions is the point of them: to convince the men of the Iranian government to change their ways, to in President Donald Trump’s words, stop trying to kill Americans, stop trying to kill our friends and allies, and to stop trying to get nuclear weapons. If sanctions were not crippling, they’d have no effect. Omar knows this.

Private Charity

Readers of this blog know that I’ve long championed private charity as better suited to working our social ills than Government welfare—better economically, better for individual liberty, better for personal responsibility/morality.

Karl Zinsmeister, Editor in Chief of Philanthropy Magazine, offered some ways in which this is shown empirically to be true in his Wall Street Journal op-ed, which was adapted from his piece in the magazine’s winter 2020 issue.  One statistic that jumped out at me is this one:

77 million citizens volunteer time and labor [annually]

Population and Income Redistribution

People are moving from politically blue States to politically red ones, and they’re taking their money with them.

Four states have lost population since 2010 including West Virginia (-3.3%), Illinois (-1.2%), Vermont (-0.3%) and Connecticut (-0.2%), but 10 experienced declines last year. New York was the biggest loser as a net 180,000 people left for better climes. Over the last decade New York has lost more of its population to other states (7.2%) than any other save Alaska (8%), followed by Illinois (6.8%), Connecticut (5.6%) and New Jersey (5.5%).

And

European Keynesianism

Europe’s investors are hoping for some Keynesian stimulus—or what passes for Keynesian stimulus—in the coming year to continue 2019 boomlet in stocks.

Getting stocks to propel higher however, may require faster growth. Some see that slug of faster economic activity coming from a possible government ramp up in stimulus spending.
“Whichever way you slice it, there is a much greater burden on governments to do more” said Anik Sen, Global Head of Equities at PineBridge Investments.

It’s a Start

TikTok is a People’s Republic of China company (for all its public moves to resite its headquarters outside the PRC) that’s a popular social-media app that’s used for posting short videos.

However.

TikTok collects information about its users, including data that could be used to track the location and movements of individuals….

As a result, tour military is banning the use of the app on government devices; the Coast Guard and Air Force have joined DoD, the Navy, the Army, and the Marines in the ban.

Maybe Build Their Own Connections

Idaho wants to connect several of its western communities to a renewable energy hub in eastern Oregon, and the green citizens of eastern Oregon agrees with the sentiment.  Just don’t use actual power lines to do the connection.  Brian Kelly, Restoration Director for the Greater Hells Canyon Council in eastern Oregon:

We need to develop more renewable energy, of course, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of damage to our last remaining wild places….

Yep.  Dan Shreve, Head of Global Wind Energy Research at Wood Mackenzie:

Wage Growth

It’s been almost entirely missed by Progressive-Democrats and almost entirely ignored by the Left and its NLMSM.

Rank-and-file workers are getting bigger raises this year—at least in percentage terms—than bosses.
Wages for the typical worker—nonsupervisory employees who account for 82% of the workforce—are rising at the fastest rate in more than a decade, a sign that the labor market has tightened sufficiently to convey bigger pay increases to lower-paid employees.

Capitalism and the Progressive-Democratic Party

Barton Swaim, in his Wall Street Journal op-ed, pointed out “socialists'” error when they claim that capitalism is a system.  Their attempts at such a definition—whether of economics, or politics, of…whatever—is necessary, though, in order for them to draw their supposedly favorable comparisons between the socialism flavor of the moment and capitalism.

But capitalism isn’t a system at all, as Simone Weil pointed out 80 years ago, using the then-European economy as her example, and which Swaim cited:

Data Transfer and Privacy

The European Union’s Court of Justice had recommended to it by an adviser to the court in a particular case involving Facebook that

Companies, including US tech giants, should be blocked from transferring European users’ data in some cases if they can’t guarantee it will be handled in compliance with European Union privacy laws….

That would seem to include a large number of international companies besides ours. Yet several EU member nations are moving apace to bring Huawei into their communications networks….

Hmm….

Foolishness

Russia and Ukraine have agreed a new natural gas transit arrangement to facilitate Russian natural gas through Ukraine to Europe.  The EU was in on the negotiations, and it’s pleased.  Maros Sefcovic, who was Vice-President of the European Commission for the Energy Union until last January and who then transitioned to Vice-President of the European Commission for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight, led the EU’s part of the negotiations.  He now says,

Russia remains a reliable supplier to European markets and Ukraine maintains its role as a strategic transit country.