What’s more, these stories about state and local governments being hit hard rarely explain that politicians in those states failed to responsibly budget for crises. Such rainy-day budgeting should not have been that difficult, given that the country was experiencing an unprecedented decade of economic growth when rivers of revenue poured into state and local coffers. More revenue makes it easier to beef up rainy-day funds, which then helps fill in budget gaps. While some states have learned their lessons from the last recession, most states did not.
The lockdown economy of recent months has made consumption less discretionary, more a matter of basic needs. We should expect old habits to return as economies revive. But this unexpected experiment with less consumption and lower emissions does put the challenge in perspective. Even with the dramatic drop in economic activity in recent months, the world will still emit about 35 billion tons of carbon in 2020. Achieving global “net zero” emissions in three decades, as a growing number of activists and politicians advocate, would require the equivalent of a series of ongoing and ever-tightening lockdowns until 2050.
“The point that I would make is that Demonization and Persuasion are mutually exclusive rhetorical modes. The former is dehumanizing and the latter is humane. The young social justice activists employ Demonization with pride. Again, think of them as adherents of a religion that seeks to identify and persecute heretics.” – Arnold Kling .