“Lawn watering banned: mercury 101.3” read one Toronto newspaper. “Heat kills 100 Twin Citians” titled a St-Paul newspaper. These titles are not from the current heavily discussed heatwave. They are from the 1936 heat wave – one of the most extreme waves of the twentieth century according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Heat Wave Index. No other year since 1895 gets even close to that year in terms of intensity, and the next closest is 1934.
Highlighting this earlier historical episode is not something I do in order to push sideways the claim that heat waves have increased (and will increase further) because of climate change. I highlight this because it allows us to gain a perspective on the linkage between human wellbeing and climate that catastrophic media treatments fail to convey.
That message couldn’t have been clearer from President Biden on Tuesday when he told business and labor leaders on a conference call that the bill’s $52 billion in grants for Intel and other chip makers would not be “a blank check to companies.” The President said he will “personally have to sign off on the biggest grants.”
Hint to companies applying for money: Locate that new factory in a swing state with more than a handful of electoral votes. Mr. Biden or the Vice President may want to swing by during the 2024 election campaign.
The President also underscored that the law requires companies to pay union prevailing wages to build the semiconductor fabrication facilities funded by the bill. Communications Workers of America president Chris Shelton said this will ensure “there isn’t a race to the bottom.” Translation: Construction will be more expensive, and non-union contractors won’t benefit.
I do not think of GDP as some objective measure of production, as if we all work in a GDP factory.
Instead, I think of GDP as a measure of economic activity. And every time we go to the market for something instead of providing it for ourselves, that is economic activity. That is true when we take an Uber instead of driving ourselves, when we eat in a restaurant instead of cooking at home, when we hire a contractor instead of building a deck as a do-it-yourself project.
Economic activity consists of specialization of trade. That means outsourcing. In a primitive economy, you do your own farming, your own cooking, make your own clothing, and so on. In an advanced economy, you do less of these things. You outsource them, in a pattern of specialization and trade.
My GMU Econ colleague Bryan Caplan riffs productively on Nobel-laureate Robert Lucas’s famous observation that “Of the tendencies that are harmful to sound economics, the most seductive, and in my opinion the most poisonous, is to focus on questions of distribution.”
Seems crazy to me. Is there something we don’t know about? Are many children dying at your local unmasked summer schools and unmasked summer camps? Are the local emergency rooms clogged with juvenile Covid cases admitted because of Covid? I feel like the New York Times would be reporting on such a thing if it were true.
The @latimes is fear mongering again, as it has throughout the pandemic. Calling covid a ‘mass disabling event’ is truly irresponsible. If I were not against censorship, I would wonder why @twitter does not tag this LA Times piece as misinformation.
On behalf of @LACountyParents, I filed a petition for writ of mandate and complaint against @lapublichealth, Ferrer and Davis. We cannot live like this anymore. If she proceeds with the new mask mandate on Friday, we will immediately seek a TRO.