Wednesday assorted links

1. “The type of puffer jacket someone chooses to wear is important.

2. More Scott Sumner on China.  In a few places he is responding to points slightly different than the ones I made.  More generally, libertarians and classical liberals stress how the protection of private property rights is an essential function of government, and I agree.  Actions from the Chinese side have led to what is arguably, in the aggregate, the greatest peacetime theft of property in all of history.  So what should be done about that?  And why do classical liberals and libertarians not like to bring up this issue?

3. France is yet another example of unpopular climate change taxes.

4. The Minerva curriculum is doing well.

5. Ross Douthat defends the WASP elites (NYT).

6. The self-help books that Tim Harford likes.


5- Didn't everyone who has read anything by Douthat already know what he thinks about the WASP elites?

Yeah, that was my reaction as well. His worldview is predictable enough that it's not entirely clear to me why anyone reads his articles -- we already know what he thinks. On everything.

Nah, no WASPcock for me. I always fantazied about a nice big Ronald Reagan cock.

Oh yeah. I ways always jealous of Nancy for taking all the Reagan cock for herself.

I heard that Nancy Reagan used to give the best head in Hollywood. I would always fantasize about being Nancy sucking off Ronald Reagan in Oval Office.

Oh yeah I bet Reagan had a big head on a long shaft!

+1 on the Reagan cock. Used to jerk off to that guy at lot back in the day. I think he had a lot of girth though.

der Sklave Das Klavier

I bet Tyler hasn't given msgkings a raise in six years.

More like seven, but he promises it will be a big one if the Koch brothers keep their promises.

Hallo zusammen! Dieses Post nicht geschrieben werden besser!

Wenn mann durch erinnert mich an meine früheren Mitbewohner!
Er kontinuierlich geehalten rwden dies. iich ganz siicher senden dieser Artikel zu ihm.
Ziemlihh sicher Er wird nurr einen guten lesen. Vielen Dankk für Sharing!

Didn’t read any nuance in this one did you?

Oh, I like Ross Douthat as a writer and thinks that he does nuance and complex thinking much better than the other NYT columnists, and he isn't yet a parody of himself like David Brooks is too often. I was just joking that there was nothing new in Douthat's article.

What did you see in the article that makes you think that Douthat has changed his view of things?

I appreciate Ross Douthat much more now that he seems to have entered his late Orson Wells phase.

Ross Douthat's column is bitingly cliché. When you stand firmly along the lines of the majority for so long you lose ability understand minority opinions. How bad is it? Whit Stillman wrote a movie about the establishment called the last days of disco concerning a group of Ivy League and Hampshire College graduates falling in and out of love in the disco scene of New York City, in the "very early 1980s". The idea of the "National Interest" for which Douthat employs meritocracy as against establishment is a joke. Barack Obama is a WASP. When he said "nigger" to Marc Maron, the age of nostalgia was over. There have been foreign students at Harvard for a long time. Besides, India was colonized by England for a lot longer time than America. Whit Stillman was at Harvard in 1969. Franny and Zooey was published in 1961. As Stillman said of Metropolitan, "But a large part of the idea was to disguise our pitifully low budget by filming the most elegant subject available." Indeed, what people are feeling is chagrin, not nostalgia.

Maybe the only thing new I heard in that is an implicit endorsement of Mormonism- that is a WASP culture that both still believes in itself and has been successfully diversifying. Also note that Prof. Cowen's comments about Mormonism likely reveal his own beliefs about the old WASP establishment.

"The most striking thing about the rich is the gracious democracy of their manners--and the crude vulgarity of their way of life." --Edward Abbey

There is no indication from sketch biographies of him that Edward Abbey knew anything of the way of life actual upper class bar the renderings of Hollywood screenwriters. A man who traipses through the divorce courts 4x might, if he's not a stupid cuss, learn to be circumspect about slamming the 'way of life' of more competent people.

Interesting that you equate wealth with competence.

I fear having my pants pulled down in public and people laughing and my little penis.

I get a bonus for that one, right Mr. Cowen?

Douthat's claim that he is a Catholic, today is no worse than a few weeks back when he mentioned his Wikipedia page (except that you don't claim religion, you shield it). He went from Hegelian Christ-child (intellect celebrated) to Wagnerian rationalization. It really makes you think maybe the Jim Crow Era wasn't that bad. The opposite of WASP is not, in the way Douthat uses it, slave. Irony isn't a cure all that can be used lazily. It's that kind of sloppy use of irony that allowed rationalization after rationalization, always, of the proverbial "majority" view. When, in-fact, it advertises a corruption of the institution. If the NYT has acknowledged marginal revolution it has not been outright. Maybe they aren't aware of our existence. If they are, then clearly Michelle Goldberg, Maureen Dowd, Ross Douthat, Nick Kristof, or Charles Blow should be fired. This is how the real world of academic meaning can survive. If Thomas Friedman and Paul Krugman are engaging in debate with marginal revolution, the terms of the debate are NYT inducement of PTSD, NYT corruption and outright lying, NYT engaging in intellectual war in a peaceful environment. Maybe not, maybe none of them have acknowledged Rayward's style or A Clockwork Orange (though clockwise is on the front page).

The reason they cannot do this? Because that would admit to 30 years of out-right lying, corruption, PTSD inducement, indeed outright racism. Because Douthat talked about the "Establishment" without mentioning, who's the most significant political intellectual in the last 45 years? , oh yea that guy, Noam Chomsky.

2. Apple et al. went to China with full knowledge of the conditions and consequences, but chose to do business there anyway because labor and other costs were cheap. Don't complain now about theft when you've voluntarily gone to bed with the thief.

Apparently this can't be repeated often enough to sink into the public/media consciousness. Part of the infantilization I suppose.

- Drunk girl in skimpy clothes gets raped. She was asking for it.
- Uncooperative black guy in hoodie gets shot. He was asking for it.

- US corporations willingly sign away rights and hire ventures that save money, but make their IP vulnerable....

Is having someone copy your design and not pay license fees really a violation on the order of rape and murder?

Speaking as man, no.

Not at all. which makes the inconsistent standards regarding personal responsibility for predictable outcomes that much more perverse.

Although copying designs is, aparently, a violation worth launching a major global trade war over

There is no trade war, major or minor.

Tell that to the steel and beef industries, among others.

Cock Piss Partridge!

Rayward, Totally agree. And, if you think about it, if China were to not demand domestic joint venture partners or licensing to it, there would be more transfers and investment in China.

So, the Donald is acting in the Interests of the Business Roundtable and multinationals, making it easier for them to offshore US jobs.

This is all very Coasian: move next to the smokestack because the property prices are low.

Carparks around where I live have signs saying “Lock it or lose it! Do not leave valuables in your car”. Apparently this is the only case where it is acceptable to advise people that unwise actions may have unwanted consequences.

Do a quick Google search of "China IP rights" that excludes results from the last couple years. You will find pages of papers and news stories going back as much as 18 years, that pointed out we knew full well what was going on.

Your analogy seems like a stretch: does the naive young girl in that skimpy dress compare to the executives at Apple et al.? Of course, it was only a few short years ago that the executives at Apple et al. were greeted as heroes by the Republicans in Congress for shifting production to China while avoiding (or was it evading?) U.S. taxes.

It is fair to say that the majority of the republican and sizeable portion of the democratic establishments cheered this as it was being done

Are you aware that companies that do not make or sell products in China also get copied by Chinese firms?

Of course. What does that have to do with the companies that knowingly and willingly subjected themselves to it?

By that logic, there can be nothing objectionable about any domestic regulation either. Everyone doing business knows what the regulations are. If you don't like the regulations, then don't do business. For example, what's the problem with Elizabeth Warren's proposal to nationalize every large corporation? If you don't want the government to control board seats in your company, then just don't grow your company.

Elizabeth Warren has made no proposal to "nationalize every large corporation."

Hard to imagine where people could get that idea.

Where in this proposal is there a provision providing for nationalization of "every large corporation?" Please cite specific legislative language in the proposal providing for the government to seize ownership of, and take over the operation of, "every large corporation."

Suppose Apple builds an iPhone plant in China and imports those phones to the US. If the US government slaps a tax on those phones, then that's protectionist and interfering with free trade. However, if China slaps a tax on Apple, in the form of confiscating IP or other property, then suddenly there's no problem because Apple knew ahead of time about the confiscatory tax? Tariffs are ok as long as the proceeds go to a foreign government instead of our own government?

Suppose Trump proposed that any US company that built a plant in a foreign country would have to forfeit its US patents and other IP and give the US government a controlling interest in the firm. Would that violate classical liberal principles or would we say that, since the regulation only affected plants in foreign countries, it's really none of our business and, besides, companies are always free not to locate plants in those countries?

Companies doing business in China knew - IN ADVANCE - or should have known, that doing business in China came with a high risk of having IP pirated. Many deal, s, in fact, overtly included tech transfers or at least structures obviously rigged to enable it.

Your analogies are horrible and contrived.

"So what should be done about that? And why do classical liberals and libertarians not like to bring up this issue?"

Because they want to sweep under the rug this obvious proof of the moral bankruptcy of their appeasement policies. They support Red China's attempt at world domination. They sponsor the radical impoverishment of Western works.

3. Unpopular with whom? In the case of France, right-wing extremists who believe climate change is a hoax (it says so in the linked article). In the article, Greg Mankiw, a conservative economist, voices his approval of higher taxes on carbon emissions. The problem is what to do with the additional revenues. In France's case, Macron promised deficit reduction, not a popular position for those who are concerned about inequality. Here, what would be done with the revenues from a carbon tax has been opaque, but it's no mystery: reduction in income taxes paid by corporations and the wealthy. Cowen may be right about the unpopularity of climate change taxes, but it's not because people, other than right-wing extremists who don't believe in climate change anyway, don't support the taxes, it's who benefits from them in the short-run.

WA state had a carbon tax up for a vote. It would have been carbon-neutral. Green groups opposed it. So...

Revenue neutral, you meant to say?

Your first sentence is absurd. In France, skepticism about human-made climate change is ultra marginal, certainly no more than a few % of the population, much less than the 30% or so (according to elections) of French people who are on the far right, and the 75% (according to polls) who support the current protests. The people who oppose the carbon tax in France say two things: 1) that they are too strained to afford to think long term and pay this tax; as one put it "they talk about the end of the world. We talk about the end of the month". 2) that the particular carbon tax introduced by Macron, on gas for cars but not on kerosene for planes, fioul for heating, gas for yachts, etc. is unfair.

This article is in my view far more insightful, and accurate, than the Washington Post one.

The mainstream climate industrial complex is using fear to extract resources from the electorate that benefits them.

The public is finally becoming wise to this. The WA tax that Harun in accurately categories above is a case in point. It was not revenue neutral, it was a social justice funding vehicle.

Given the real urgency of climate change, I hope that going forward, climate policies are judged on climate criteria alone, not their ability to enable extraction of resources and control of governance.

As the RCP article I linked to explains, when legitimate policies that don;t lie to people are put forward, there is potential bipartisan support.

The world can address climate change and the US can be a leader. The political left just has to agree to stop sticking the blood out of it for its own consumptions.

That is really the big problem now.

The first one was revenue neutral. The one you reference was the one defeated this past Nov.

3. No. it's an example of the unpopularity of poverty.

Excises on gasoline aren't going to push anyone into 'poverty' and 'poverty' as the term was understood the year my father was born is exceedingly unusual in any occidental country, at least among those who aren't vagrants and drug addicts.

So, unless you are poor by your dad's 1927 definition, you aren't poor?

You will never know what it's like to have a little penis as small as mine.

So, unless you are poor by your dad's 1927 definition, you aren't poor?

Why is that baseline worse than any other?

Why is that baseline better than middle ages england, or contemporary somalia?

Of course, no one is going into poverty for that tax. But, the suburban/rural way of life that depends on driving a car to shop, commute to work, have fun on the weekend is compromised.

In France they already have cars with 4 cil./~1 liter engines. They can't make cars smaller/lighter to increase fuel consumption efficiency.

Of course les déplorables are quite right to suspect that Climate Change is a fraud. But even if they didn't they might reasonably be displeased that they are being told that they are going to have to pay much more for their diesel fuel, while also being threatened with their diesel cars being banned from city centres around Europe.

They might also resent being preached at on the subject who people who swan around in private jets and helicopters. They might even resent that the country folk get charged more for their diesel while Parisians travel around on a heavily subsidised Métro .

I don't think Climate Change is a fraud, and as I have said above, the vast majority of the "yellow jackets" in France don't believe it is, either.
But you're just on the mark starting with your second sentence.

Cock Piss Partridge!

Sorry about the childish twat claiming to be me, Joël, but there's nothing I can do about him. Or them.

Yes, typical Brit. Blaming someone else for your own issues.

Same for me, dearieme. Nothing that we can do. Fortunately it is easy to recognize the true and the false version of a poster (except Thiago sometimes).

LOL you Euro Cucks can't even fight off some harmless trolls HAHA. I guess maybe the UK DOES Have more in common with Europe - all full of cucks.

If you had jerked off the nude William F. Buckley like I did when I was a kid you'd have more character to stand up to bullies.

Nonsense. I jerk off to Margaret Thatcher. Buckley lacked good taste.

I don't think climate change is a fraud, as such. In fact, I do believe that the climate is changing, humans play a significant role and that we should deal with it.

But I do believe that much of the climate industry complex and the IPCC are pretty close to being frauds. They are using fear to raise resources and concentrate power in a a way that benefits them and hurts the people.

I hope that within the next five years the US does advance the policy of a revenue neutral carbon tax with border adjustments. If the EU joined, we might just save the world, although there would be a lot less bureaucrats stuffing there pockets on the way, so it may never happen.

3. My girlfriend would like to get one of those propane heaters for the patio. I resist because while I'm not that good on global warming, I'm not that bad. That's just straight up using the whole world, in addition to the CO2. Maybe I should say the hell with it at this point. And trade my Subaru Outback in for a Ford Raptor.

Is the tragedy of the commons, and the tragedy is winning.

"Heating" the whole world.

Try a coat or blanket. This time of year they literally give them away down at the homeless shelter.

Or, maybe connect the exhaust from the car up to the back porch...

At least anonymous, unlike Ray, didn't share with readers what he and his girlfriend were doing in the glow of that outdoor heater. Shine on, harvest moon.

Purported girlfriend (or fiancee or wife?). We haven't seen the pictures yet. He also purports himself to be very wealthy, and to have relatives in Greece who buried, and then lost, large sums of gold. His life sounds like add copy for Dos Equis.

Meanwhile, my real life reads like the internet memes attributed to Chuck Norris

Rioting over a 12 cents per gallon increase? That amounts to $1.10 per week (assuming typical American metrics of 12,000 miles per year and a 25 mile per gallon car). This seems like a tiny price to pay to have a shot reducing global warming and it's increasingly-clear catastrophic consequences. We need more of these types of taxes.

One claim I read this week was that Facebook did it!

(Their algorithms promoted militant response in a generally peaceful population.)

I'm not saying I'm completely buying it, but..

That tax would reduce global warming around 0.0%.

The first step of a journey covers 0.0% of the distance, so better not to make it.

That tax would reduce gasoline usage in France by 0.01% and global warming by exactly 0.0%. It's better not to take the first step of a journey if it's completely and utterly meaningless.

"have a shot reducing global warming"

Its climate change, not warming, please.

How is a minor reduction [maybe] in miles traveled in a medium size country going to do anything?

It is certainly net global warming. Though with a slower Gulf Stream people like dearieme might catch a chill.

They don't use diesel or gas trucks to deliver things?

Its more than personal use, its a tax on everything consumed in the country.

You're not going to be banging anyones mom, hun.

Either the tax is being felt enough to change people's driving behavior, in which case it's certainly causing pain, or it's a trivial amount, in which case it isn't doing much to change behavior. And given that gasoline demand is remarkably inelastic to small price changes, it could easily be both useless and painful.

$1.10 per week may not be much for the typical denizen of this site, but to a poor Parisian who is already suffering under the highest tax burden in Europe, it might be significant. Don't forget that not only their personal travel costs go up, butbsondo the prices of things made with that energy. And France's prices are already out of control.

I was in Paris a few years ago on business, and I ordered a coke and a BLT sandwich in the hotel restaurant - which put me over my company's meal limit. It was 24 Euros. Plus tax. Lots of tax.

And you'd think all those regulations, taxes and worker protections would reduce inequality, but poverty was everywhere. My favorite memory was seeing a homeless person sleeping in the gutter in front of a Brooks Brothers store near the Arc de Triomphe.

Contemporary climate change having so many measurable and distinct technogenic contributions from so many industries: impose technology taxes across the board, upon companies and corporations as upon each and every use (Technogenic Climate Change shows itself much more real than fanciful lies and tech propaganda that the advent of the internet would obviate paper consumption and global travel alike).

#1 Veblen goods.

#2 "And why do classical liberals and libertarians not like to bring up this issue?" Because as in this and other things it presents a stumbling block to their unified theory of how things are supposed to work. It can be easily remedied however by simply saying "...but this is China."

#3 The country that decides to virtue-signal the loudest regarding climate change is always going to have more political instability. No countrys' citizens really want to suffer the austerity of being the most virtuous in this regard at the end of the day, and no politician is fundamentally willing to make this a hill worth dying on when push comes to shove. Virtue-signaling = best description.

Exactly. Here we have this commons in the middle of our village, green grass for everyone, what could go wrong? But some say "oh no, I'm not going to buy a hundred more sheep."

Pure virtue signaling, the bastards.

file under overgrazing

It is true that the extrnalities of global warming are more distributed, out of sight, and easy for some to ignore.

That does not mean that overgrazing and global warming are not both examples of the tragedy of the commons.

You may have seen in the news that the city of La Jolla has a real dilemma about how much it can recognize or cope with sea level rise. Or you might not, and if you are far enough away you might think it has nothing to do with you, and the car in the driveway.

It is also true that for some the externalities are not distributed, or out-of-sight, or being ignored at all, even by people who are not directly impacted. Simply that a logical capitulation has and should take place regarding the efficacy of any action that could rectify the problem within their lifetimes.

I am not overgeneralizing when I say this, but EVERY SINGLE proposal put forward regarding global warming is, at best, a mitigation effort (not rectification...that will not happen), and that by the way is being very very generous. Carbon taxes, sequestration, credits, EV, solar, nuclear, none of it will save La Jolla or low-lying islands in the Indian ocean.

It is possible to be both aware of the tragedy of the commons and have no desire to be the population left holding the bag for efforts that will do nothing, especially when you know that no-one outside the Western democracies will ultimately uphold their end of the bargain. Virtue-signaling. Effort that is symbolic but ultimately futile, that makes you poorer while making you more virtuous, just like the little old lady in the Soviet apartment complex that takes care of the crappy lobby when no-one else will. And yes...every one knows it's crap. Admired, virtuous and completely forgettable at the end of the day.

French people don't want to be that any more than anybody else does, I don't blame them. Of course they know about the plight of the Seychelles, they just also know subconsciously that they're doomed. Good-boy points are over-rated.

That is definitely the "fuck it" position.

...It's also what the French working class just told Macron, and for the time being, what he agreed with.

It is definitely human nature to ignore problems which are out of sight and out of mind.

And if you think that's good enough, you're done. Future generations will get whatever, because present generations are what they are.

Still, it seems live you've traveled some distance from that earlier claim that there will be no damage (out of sight, out of mind, or in the future) and that it was all "virtue signalling."

It was in fact acting with virtue, but without appreciation, or broad enough commitment.

I’m not a hard leftist activist like you, anonymous/bear.

I agree that we have a tragedy of the commons situation. And I don’t see a solution. Theoretically, Americans could each pay $20,000 to poorer countries to subsidize their refusal to use coal. But we know it won’t be enforced in reality.

The leftist movement is anti-nuclear. So the group that supposedly cares about global darling is also specifically and explicitly against solutions.

We’ll suffer the impacts of climate change, and adapt as necessary. What will not happen is an acceptance of poverty living standards for nothing.

No, I haven't. It is still virtue-signaling in that I interpret the definition of virtue signaling as making acting like you care the 1st priority and solving the problem the next priority.

The problem is not solvable, therefore the 1st priority is the real goal. The powers-that-be know this. This is an agenda. A show. The people that give to the needy, announced by trumpets, honored by others (Mathew 6:2).

The French protestors, and others like them across the globe, have had it with this show, and the disadvantages they must suffer to keep putting it on.

I live in Alberta, which has a government dedicated to fighting climate change, Our national government is also dedicated to this.

The cost to our little province of 3 million people has so far been about 100,000 jobs lost in the oil patch because our pipelines were shut down by the greens and we can't get our oil to market. We are also losing about 7 billion per year in oil revenue, or more than $2000 per citizen per year. And, we are paying a carbon tax on all our fuel and energy.

Just how much damage would Alberta have to suffer from climate change 100 years from now to justify that level of economic damage today, even if these policies actually reduced global warming - which they won't?

I wonder if Alberta would be made better off or worse off by a rise of 3 def in average temperature. It's probably pretty bad for california, but might be a win for alberta.

before the age of plurality-winning and popular-vote-losing chief executives

When might that be, before 1790?

Before 1824 if I remember correctly (I'm old).

#2 "And why do classical liberals and libertarians not like to bring up this issue?"
Ideology blinds, it would go something like this- "well free trade makes everybody richer in the long run, and eventually incorporated into the liberal world order."
This world view is simply to narrow and boring. Authoritarianism IS appealing to many (most?), including the Chinese.
Liberals' dream won't happen. Eventually we will need to face this, and still defend it.

Its not their property being stolen. Which they probably weigh against China's poverty being reduced. so feeels good, not personal cost, virtue signal.

3. France is yet another example of unpopular climate change taxes.

Unpopular for valid reasons, it is not about climate change, it is about pension debt. The French government needs to collect interest.

There is noting about gas taxes that slow down CO2 pollution when government pension contracts are inflation adjusted. The net result of energy taxes is a transfer of energy from an efficient sector to an inefficient sector resulting in more co2 emissions, not less (or resulting in economic collapse).

If you read between the ines, Macron gave the rich a tax cut then faked the global warming to collect debt payments to Germany. Germany, the largest owner of the ECB has 38% debt/GDP ratio and thus collects the majority of ECB earnings from Club med. So, the French millennials arfe stuck paying Germany for money lent to pensions which the millennials never voted for.

This is standard failure of the generations to overlap, happening all over the world from California to China. In the USA, millennials will be, once again, moving back home to do some more overlapping with mom and dad as federal debt payments hit millennials for about 4.5% of their earnings.

2. That depends on whether you think "intellectual property" is legitimately property or is an arbitrary construct created by the government as a way of handing out privileges.
Just because it has the word "property" in the name doesn't mean that Lockean theory of private property ought to apply. In many way, IP resembles the monopoly rights practiced by merchantilists.



American workers don't care if China use Micky Mouse images and refused to pay Disney's wealthy offspring.

The Lockean theory of private property is that property is the product of labor. Its key weakness is the idea that mixing one's labor with unowned natural resources allows one exclusive right to not just the labor invested, but the underlying unowned resource.

As intellectual property is purely the result of one's labor, with no unowned resources mixed in, intellectual property is the purest, least problematic application of Lockean theory. To refuse to accept intellectual property is to repudiate the basis of all Lockean property rights. If pure labor does not create property, there are no property rights to mix with unowned resources, and therefore no Lockean claim to any form of physical property.

Rich Catholics like Douthat like betraying poor Catholics and friend-ing rich Protestants - but is he even still a Catholic, or has he once again re-selected, into a more Trump-friendly religion?

Rich Catholics like Douthat like betraying poor Catholics and friend-ing rich Protestants -

He hasn't done a blessed thing to injure 'poor Catholics' you mendacious prick.

Buddy...I've jerked off like a million times reading that section of the book. I know it well, and I don't think any right-thinking American would dissaprove.

I don't think that the catholic church looks to kindly on blowing William F. Buckley (read Douthat's very own book "Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class.")

That's because you know nothing and do not think, you just project your personal hatreds on decent people. No clergyman is going to give a rip that Ross Douthat wrote a book about Harvard or praised a Catholic layman in good standing. These aren't sins, mortal or venial.

4. The Minerva curriculum is doing well.
Good news, the riddle of making on line education may have been solved.

Online education is for losers who don’t get into Yale and Skull and Bones so they can get into the elite by being ass fucked by a Wasp scion in an old tomb.

This is where the so-called "elite" American educational institutions fall down. In Britain a boy is ass-fucked by his distiniguished teachers starting all the way in public school.

2. Infinite loop finding a tip from Ray Lopez in the write up. What is the world coming to?

I would agree with most of what Scott. The problem is that it depends on the continued sanity of the Chinese communist party leader. There are lots of things that have happened over the last couple years that calls that into question; the centralization of authority and control in one man, the technologically sophisticated surveillance methods. Those aren't things that a confident and sophisticated government does, they are evidence of fear. They are afraid that they are losing control. The amount of money that has fled the country into western countries is phenomenal, and doesn't indicate a deep respect for the regime from those who live under it.

What happens in a place like that is the returns on investment decrease making the structural problems more concerning.

My concern is the dependency of Canada on the flow of cash coming from China. The amounts have decreased substantially in the last while, so what happens when there is a fall is asset prices, or a decrease in real estate prices? How many banks fail?

That is a good point. Xi does not appear to be perfectly competent. He is the Asian Stalin.

2. It will be interesting to see how many people manage to simultaneously be outraged by China's theft of IP, and by the Trans-Pacific Partnerships extension of IP law via trade agreement.

Cock Piss Partridge!

3. I and a lot of other people would like to think that a pure, simple revenue-neutral carbon tax with the tax being offset (in the aggregate) by reductions in other taxes or dividends to citizens would work and get passed. But, alas, I'm not sure it's as easy as we think to design such a neutral carbon tax . Do we make it progressive? Sure, but that's a tiny start toward opening the door to other tiny little tweaks to fairness (and threatens to complicate things with the too familiar problems with measuring income or consumption and/or creating weird marginal-rate effects. But OK. But should I then also worry that rural communities and people would have a decent argument that it is inherently more energy intensive to live in the boonies, since transportation of goods or people will cost more (and so will heating, etc. . . .). It doesn't surprise me to read in the linked article that the resistance to Macron's tax started or was centered in rural areas. So I'd be tempted to temper my one-idea-only resolve by making a teeny weeny exception just for truly rural areas. It's 1) arguably fair based on legitimately higher energy demands, and 2) happens to favor Republican voters which might help that party get over its denialism. But, on the other hand: 1) It opens the door for other special interests or geographic interests to make their own arguments. If you live in Duluth or Birmingham with respectively high heating and AC costs how happy are you to see your energy bills raised so that the glitterati who live in L.A. and are already lucky enough to enjoy perfect weather year round will enjoy dividends your higher bills are buying (can the federal government enact a carbon tax with the netting being done state by state which might partially alleviate this concern?)? 2) Making exceptions like one for rural areas goes part (granted not all) of the way toward defeating the purpose of the tax by just reproducing current energy usage and sending a lot of dollars on expensive round trips through DC. 3) An associated problem is that, depending on how the lines are drawn, we may end up encouraging things we want to discourage like suburban sprawl. 4) And the line-drawing won't be easy and would be subject to gaming. Even so, though 4) cons is more than 2) pros, I guess I'm on balance thinking that a rural skew to a purely progressive dividend might necessary to move this. The progressivity could be dialed up, I guess, if that's needed to give the Democrats a trade for the rural skew, and it's not as If the current tax code doesn't already skew incentives in ways we don't want and encourage gaming the system.

2. Apparently you did not know about Operation Paperclip, after WW2 the US stole hundreds of billions worth of intellectual property from German companies. That is way worse than what China is doing now.

In the 19th century the US stole great chunks of IP from Britain. It made no secret of it.

Yea...sure...what IP did Britain ever come up with again? Mechanized Crumpet baking....?

If it helps you feel better about 150 years of relative decline, go for it.

he US stole hundreds of billions worth of intellectual property from German companies.

Per the Maddison Project, per capita output in Germany during the period running from 1914 to 1958 was typically 50% that of the United States, sometimes higher, sometimes lower. Given the population differential between the two territories, German output per year would thus have typically been about 20% of American output per year. In 1947, gross domestic product in the United States was about $250 bn in nominal terms. So, we figure that absent wartime destruction, Germany would have had $50 bn in output. That's consistent with $300 bn worth of income producing assets, of which intellectual property would have been a modest fraction.

Victors, spoils. Want to keep your IP, don't lose a war of conquest.

The Russians of course did far more than seize a few patents. Whole factories sent East.

2. Sumner made his point 1 his point 1 for a reason. It is correct and the most central argument in China relations.

-- the fold --

And since some apparently want me to channel more Ray Lopez, my advice for Asian relations is that you get yourself a warm jacuzzi, a bottle of good champagne and a couple pounds of rambutan.

If you post as "anonymous", it is impossible to know what "some want you to channel". You aren't anyone.

If you post regularly and want to be recognised you should use a consistent name.

#2) "And why do classical liberals and libertarians not like to bring up this issue?"

This applies not just to China but (foreign) totalitarian regimes more generally. Libertarians that are also isolationists tend to direct their skepticism of government only to domestic governments not foreign ones. The usual rationale is that what foreign governments do isn't our business, but that's clearly not true in China's case now that China accounts for a large part of global economic activity (GDP). China's government obviously intervenes in the free economic activity between American individuals and Chinese individuals. They even leverage that power to do things like regulate content of American companies' *US* websites.

Libertarians are also usually careful to distinguish between governments and people and to avoid collectivizing individual concepts. That's why it's also a mystery why libertarian isolationists view skepticism towards foreign governments as somehow interfering in the lives of foreign individuals that live under those governments. By that logic, we also shouldn't interfere in (domestic) governments' regulation of say the energy industry if we ourselves don't work in energy. Why stick our nose into someone else's industry?

5. Douthat's premise is that presidents in both parties have lost legitimacy because the opposing party refused to accept it, referencing the essay by Beinart. But that's just both-sidism. Two recent presidents last the popular vote and won the election, GWB and Trump. Nobody really questioned the legitimacy of either; indeed, Gore conceded even though all the votes hadn't been counted in Florida, the state where GWB's brother was governor. Obama won both the popular vote and the election, twice, but Republicans for eight years questioned his legitimacy because, according to Republicans, including especially Trump, he allegedly wasn't born in the U.S. Douthat's premise is all wrong. But that's typical of Douthat: he states a false premise, then basis his column on the false premise, and nobody is supposed to notice given the lengthy and circuitous route of the column. It's annoying, but so are pay toilets. No matter what Tabarrok may say about them.

More mendacious than usual. “the state where GWB's brother was governor”: you are staying a conspiracy theory that the election was stolen from Gore.

Then, you accuse “republicans” of conspiracy theorizing re: Obama’s birth certificate when you know damn well <1% of republicans were this dumb and the ones that were, like Trump, were trolling and attention seeking. Much like you!

>libertarians and classical liberals stress how the protection of private property rights is an essential function of government, and I agree.

Hey! Tyler finally admits he's not a libertarian!
Accidentally, but so what?

[Would he say "Econ professors at GMU believe X, and I agree"? No.]

3...."The state of Washington has also tried — and failed twice — to win support for a carbon tax or carbon “fee.”"
But for the huge amount spent by the Petroleum association , there was a reasonable chance the 2018 Ballot measure would have passed.

If the initiatives has been revenue neutral, they might have passed, even with whatever petroleum industry lobbying may have occured.

#1...I’m surprised Gore Tex isn’t huge since the trend clearly derives from George Costanza.

Thread Winner

Clearly costanza. Stay tuned for the puffer wallet! And don’t steal my idea

# 3 The latest US National Climate Assessment report says that in the high emission scenario ( RCP 8.5 -> ~ 3.7 C temperature increase by 2100) US climate change costs will amount to $ 590 Billion a year by 2090. Roughly $ 142 B a year in today’s money. Nothing catastrophic. The best and cheapest plan is to do nothing today. Let’s remember the war in Afghanistan has cost us over $ 1000B so far.

1. How the world has changed in such a short time, puff jackets from survival to fashion statements. It's unfortunate but the message we send today's youth is that their ancestors were brave and made many sacrifices and you, well, you are a self-absorbed dolt. Yes, I watched 41's funeral today, and the message was loud and clear. Which will go down as the greater generation, Bush's generation, which had to fight and defeat the radical right, or today's generation, which will have to fight and defeat not only the same radical right but global warming.

It’s puffer not puff. At least they will look good in their pursuit of planetary salvation.

Radical right? Interesting take, very unclear the radical right was Bush's enemy. Just as easily categorized as the radical left.

It's Ray. When he knows he's wrong, he goes big in his claims. Bush help defeat Socialists in WW2 and Commies in the Cold War. A lot of kids today are self-absorbed dolts, but Ray wants to show them some geezers are too.

2. Sumner: "I don’t believe that China is trying to destroy the liberal world order. Here’s what I think they are actually trying to do. China accepts that the liberal world order will remain in place."

The liberal world order comes later. Right now they are cementing control of the rest of the world.

At the link:

In total, 22 countries included in the survey had debt to China at the end of 2016 at a rate of 53.89 billion dollars. China's commitments on new loans to these countries at that time amounted to 87.38 billion dollars. Thus, in the event of issuing promised loans the debt of 22 countries to China will grow to 141.27 billion dollars.

In absolute terms, the following countries had the largest debt to China at the end of 2016 (billion dollars): Ethiopia - 7.31; Iraq - 7.01; Pakistan - 6.33; Egypt - 4.78; Laos - 4.19; Kenya - 4.09; Sri Lanka - 3.85; Cambodia - 3.19.

A special place is given to the neighboring Pakistan, which Beijing energetically and successfully pulls out both from financial and political control of Washington. Of all the commitments on new loans and loans ($ 87.94 billion) to Pakistan, the lion's share is 45.5% ($ 40.02 billion). The next for Kenya Kenya accounts for 7.8% (6.88 billion dollars).

We will specifically focus on the question of financing by Beijing countries in the post-Soviet space. The review includes the following five countries (in brackets - the volume of debt to China at the end of 2016, billion dollars): Belarus (3.09); Ukraine (1.59); Kyrgyzstan (1.48); Tajikistan (1.20); Armenia (0.34).

According to the share of the debt to China in the total amount of the sovereign foreign debt, these countries were ranked as follows (%): Tajikistan - 53.2; Kyrgyzstan - 37.3; Belarus - 17.6; Armenia - 6.9; Ukraine - 3.1. China's total liabilities for new loans and loans to these countries are estimated at $ 13.74 billion.

In the distribution for individual countries, this amount is as follows (billion dollars): Kyrgyzstan - 4.57; Belarus - 3.83; Tajikistan - 2.81; Ukraine - 2.48; Armenia - 0.06. In the event that Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan receive the amounts indicated, they will indeed ultimately fall into the debt trap of Beijing. And for Belarus, the debt to China will be comparable with the debt to the Russian Federation.

The so-called "help" of China to countries involved in the implementation of the OBOR project is extremely beneficial to Beijing. Loans and borrowings are of a "related" nature, i. The money received by the countries is spent on the purchase of Chinese goods, services and works. On this project, in particular, some Chinese construction companies have already grown, receiving contracts for work in foreign countries. Seven out of ten of the world's largest construction companies are Chinese.

2. Intellectual property is different from other types of private property; it is a monopoly given by the government on a good that is otherwise non-scarce. One could easily have a libertarian society with no protection of intellectual property (I’m not saying that would be a good idea, just that it is not inconsistent with libertarianism or classical liberalism). Moreover most of the Chinese efforts to acquire intellectual property are requirements that foreign companies agree to; they are not theft any more than the licensing requirements we place on foreign companies.

And surely the greatest peacetime theft of private property in history would be something like slavery or colonization...

TC is far from being honest in this issue.

I think the greatest peacetime theft of private property in history was Mao's defeat of the Nationalist Chinese (who were no angels but they did let people own property) but, alas, it doesn't seem like that is what Tyler is talking about. I agree with Sumner.

Not only is it non-scarce, it is non-rival. You can copy someone's software an infinite number of times and it doesn't deprive anyone else of the use of it.

5: I came here looking for a response from Steve Sailer. Come on, Steve!

6. Getting Things Done is a good choice. Many of the Stoics work, as does Holiday's "Obstacle." Walker's "Color Purple" and Boyd's full life novels. J. Campbell. Ben Franklin. A lot of psychology works here: Haidt's first book, Cain, Frankl, Perel... I've had people tell me that Hesse and Carnegie changed their lives.


I may be the least important man in the world.

But I take my hat off to Tyler Cowen.

Also, I have possibly mis-read Cowen. I assumed Cowen was part of group of "free-traders" who seem more closely aligned with US multinationals and the Communist Party of China than any honest set of beliefs.

Multinationals can pour unlimited funds into US media, think tanks, academia, lobby groups, trade associations and even political campaigns. They largely control the narratives on "free trade."

In this I disagree with Cowen---the Communist Party of China does not need to do anything in the US covertly (they may be). Beijing has GM, Apple, BlackRock et al to carry water for them (and US "free traders").

Sheesh, the US Chamber of Commerce has issued statements on tariffs that might as well have been written by the Communist Party of China.

So, from my hovel alongside a cowpath in a backwater region of SE Asia, I salute Tyler Cowen.

Also, ponder if huge capital inflows, borne of current-account trade deficits, lead to bloated and unstable US asset values. So when property values collapse (ala 2008), the US financial system goes down too. The IMF says this is again a distinct possibility.

#2 TC insists on his sinophobia.

3. The Australian Coalition Government removed the price on carbon emissions and then went and increased the tax on gasoline and diesel.

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