23 May Some Non-Covid Links
George Will decries “Biden’s policy to use less affluent Americans’ money to entice more affluent Americans to buy EVs is only one of the contemplated regressive policies by which his administration would transfer wealth upward.”
This is because strong climate policy is enormously expensive and delivers minuscule climate benefits. President Biden has promised to spend $500 billion annually on climate policy. Yet his much-lauded pledge to double Obama’s promised reductions, even if fully delivered and maintained throughout this century, will provide little climate benefit. Run on the standard UN climate model, Biden’s new promise will at best reduce global warming by 0.07°F by the end of the century, delivering just 2% of the global climate target.
In fact, rather than return to the pre-COVID and limited work arrangements, the administration and state governments should promote more flexibility in the workplace by removing the regulatory barriers that make raising a family harder. Two such changes would be to eliminate occupational licensing for child care workers and to let employees be paid in the form of additional leave time for their overtime work.
There are many more nongovernmental ideas for helping workers, and even more to be discovered. Let’s pursue them, rather than ram through a federal paid leave program.
Weingarten paints a dystopian picture in which schools lack soap and water, which suggests an urgent follow-up question: So what have they been spending those billions of federal dollars on? There was the $13 billion in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in March 2020, and the $54 billion in the COVID-19 relief bill in December 2020 (both on top of the Department of Education’s annual $40 billion transfer to K-12 schools). Then there was the $81 billion already spent from the March 2021 American Rescue Plan (with another $41 billion being contingent on school reopening), plus $12 billion in school testing, and an estimated $70 billion extra that will trickle out over the coming years.
And we’re talking soap and water?
The argument for regulation gets considerably weaker when the regulators themselves don’t actually know what the product is. Regulatory roadblocks on fermented foods are a product with which I have a bit of personal experience. Incidentally, it speaks volumes about business and the legal/regulatory environment that one of the tracks at the 2021 International Fermentation Conference is “Business, Legal, and Regulatory,” where participants can “Learn how to launch and grow a fermentation business, and navigate the industry’s legal and regulatory hurdles.” As John W. Dawson and John J. Seater explain in a 2013 article in the Journal of Economic Growth, regulation has slowed economic growth considerably.
John McWhorter calls for ditching the term “systemic racism.” (HT Arnold Kling)
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