Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Free Market

Market Basket Tells Workers: Return by Friday or You’re Done

This article was first published at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, August 13, 2014:

 

 

Typical Market Basket in Portsmouth, NH.

Market Basket in Portsmouth, NH.

In a carefully worded letter sent to its 25,000 employees on Tuesday, Market Basket’s new co-CEOs Felicia Thornton and James Gooch requested that the workers who have so far been successfully striking the 71-store New England grocery chain cave in and return to work. They should know the workers’ decision by next Monday.

Said the letter:

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Tennessee Restaurant Welcomes Guns — Holstered “Unless Need Arises”

 This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, July 21, 2014:  
Colt clone in 45 cal. with Fastdraw Holster

Colt clone in 45 cal. with Fastdraw Holster

When Sharma Floyd, owner of Shiloh Brew and Chew in Maryville, Tennessee, read about a shooting at a convenience store in North Carolina that had posted a sign on its front door banning guns on the premises, she considered it both a warning and an opportunity:

They had put up a sign that said “No Weapons Allowed” and they were robbed at gunpoint two days later. The … store manager was shot.

And that got me thinking.

First, she determined that, while she herself doesn’t own a gun, her customers certainly had a right to do so if they wished. Second, she had lost some business to a large group of motorcyclists “because they thought I didn’t allow weapons. But I believe it’s ok to carry as long as you have a permit.”

Third, she decided how best to make her position clear. She posted the following sign:

 

 

Guns are welcome on premises.

Please keep ALL weapons holstered unless need arises.

In such case, judicious marksmanship is appreciated!

Thank you. Shiloh Management.

Almost immediately she began to get not only positive feedback but also a boost in business:

I can honestly say I have gotten way more support than the one person who really gave me a lot of grief over it.

I have had so many customers take pictures of the sign, ask to meet me in person, and thank me.

Perhaps without knowing it, Floyd borrowed the language for her sign from Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colorado, owned by Lauren Boebert. Boebert posted her sign months earlier, and business grew so much that it caught the attention of the Daily News, USA Today, and Denver’s 9News. Boebert goes one step further: Her waitresses openly carry while on duty, and they’re trained to protect themselves if necessary. When asked if this was just for show, Boebert was firm in her denial: “[The guns are] real and they’re loaded and we know what we are doing. I fear for anyone who tries to rob us.”

She added:

We encourage [carrying] and customers love that they can come here and express their rights.

This country was founded on our freedom. People can come in carrying their gun, and they can pray over their food.

Her establishment even offers gun safety classes once a month for those customers who don’t carry, but want to.

Over the last year a few major chains have been targeted (pun intended!) by anti-gun groups for allowing their customers to carry while shopping, drinking coffee, or eating, with modest success. Target, Starbucks, and Chipotle have each announced that they “respectfully request” that those who carry guns leave their sidearms outside. In each case the language of the announcements was carefully crafted so as to offend as few people as possible. This example from Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, will suffice:

In recent months, Starbucks stores and our partners who work in our stores have been thrust unwillingly into the middle of this debate. That’s why I am writing today with a respectful request that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outside seating areas.

In each case it was a “request” and not a “demand,” leaving the option to carry open to their customers, or to shop elsewhere. As noted elsewhere, this is perfectly consistent with all freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution’s Bill of Rights.

Some have started having regrets over making such requests. Just a month ago, Jack in the Box restaurants announced its “preference” that customers leave their firearms outside:

Creating a warm and inviting environment for all of our guests and employees is a top priority for Jack in the Box. The presence of guns inside a restaurant could create an uncomfortable situation for our guests and employees and lead to unintended consequences.

While we respect the rights of all our guests, we would prefer that guests not bring their guns inside our restaurants.

The irony of that request was made clear within days at one of their stores in Houston. Customers and employees were placed into “an uncomfortable situation” with “unintended consequences” when four thugs who didn’t get the memo entered the restaurant with guns drawn and forced the customers and employees to give up their wallets and purses. What’s more, this was the third armed robbery at a Jack in the Box restaurant since the company’s announcement. Perhaps thugs can read, after all?

The vast majority of restaurant chains, however, have decided not to touch the issue, granting local franchisees the power to make a decision in line with state laws. According to CNBC, McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Baskin-Robbins, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, and LongHorn Steakhouses remain “gun friendly” in states that allow them to be so. In addition, TGI Friday’s, Subway, and Cheesecake Factory also allow customers to carry concealed if they so desire.

Pro-gun groups are springing up to help gun owners find restaurants that are friendly. There’s the Tennessee Firearms Association (TFA), whose members have canvassed most of western Tennessee and confirmed that Olive Garden, Lonestar, Picasso’s, Chili’s, O’Charley’s, Red Lobster, and Red Robin all are happy to seat gun owners and greet them with a smile.

There’s Brian Crosswhite, the owner of Cajun Experience in Leesburg, Virginia, who has just opened a website — 2Amendment.org — with the intention of having gun-friendly businesses sign up and receive a “2AO – 2014” sticker for their front door. In addition, gun owners are able to use an iPhone app to find local establishments friendly to their interests.

Crosswhite is also taking advantage of the current furor over guns in restaurants by offering his customers an “Open Carry Wednesday” where those with permits get 10-percent off regular menu prices.

Leave it to entrepreneurs to see an advantage and press forward with it. Whether with clever signage, stickers, apps, or just plain word-of-mouth, restaurateurs are taking advantage of the free market to continue to serve their customers. The current debate is only helping things along.

 

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Texas 7, California Nothing

This article was first published at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, July 9, 2014:

Moving Day.

Moving to Texas from California

One would think the good doctor is running for Congress from Texas, but he’s not. He’s running to boot a hard-left Democrat who’s been representing the 24th District in California for 15 years by touting all the good things Texas has been doing compared to California. In a letter to the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Brad Allen, a pediatric heart surgeon from Paso Robles, wrote:

As a Californian, I am pained to say that three of the nation’s five fastest-growing cities – and seven of the top 15 – are in Texas.

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Gas Prices Ease as U.S. Oil Production Soars

This article was first published by TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, July 7, 2014: 

English: $4.06 Gas Prices, Lewiston, Maine, Cu...

Despite predictions to the contrary, the price of gas over the July 4 weekend dropped by two cents per gallon, confounding seers who were looking at gas approaching $4 a gallon. Those prognosticators were guilty of “straight-line thinking in a curvilinear world” — meaning that since gas this year was 20 cents a gallon more than a year ago, they believed it would continue to go up steadily for the foreseeable future.

With political disruptions in Iraq and Syria seriously reducing their contributions to the world’s oil supplies, one would think that prices would have to go straight up.

One would be wrong.

On July 4, Bank of America reported that U.S. production of crude oil (along with the liquids separated from natural gas) “surpassed all other countries this year with daily output exceeding 11 million barrels [per day] in the first quarter.” Francisco Blanch, BofA’s head of commodities research, told Bloomberg,

The U.S. increase in supply is a very meaningful chunk of oil. The shale boom is playing a key role in the U.S. recovery [from the Great Recession].

If the U.S. didn’t have this energy supply, prices at the pump would be completely unaffordable.

The nearly exponential growth in oil production, thanks to the free market’s invention and development of fracking technology, has put the United States firmly on the path of energy independence. As we become energy independent, disruptions in the supply chain from the Middle East will matter less and less.

Texas and North Dakota — which Professor Mark Perry calls “Saudi Texas” and “Saudi Dakota” respectively — are now producing almost half of all U.S. oil, and would rank as the fifth largest oil producing country as a separate nation. The growth in production is astonishing, according to Perry:

A decade ago the combined conventional crude oil production in the states of Texas and North Dakota … represented less than 21% of total U.S. crude oil output.

By 2008, the combined crude oil output in the two states … were producing one-third of all U.S. crude oil.

In eight out of the last nine months, their combined share exceeded 47% of all U.S. oil.

Perry predicts that it will exceed 50 percent sometime before the end of the year. And that prediction could come back to embarrass him, if the International Energy Agency (IEA) is correct. The IEA is estimating that total U.S. crude oil production (currently at 8.4 million bpd) will continue to soar, exceeding 13 million barrels per day in less than five years. That 50-percent increase in oil production would mean that the United States could be producing nearly 80 percent of its domestic needs for energy, closing in on energy independence.

In the very short run, gas prices will remain higher than they should be, thanks to the disruptions of supply in the Middle East, but with the continuing success of fracking making shale oil deposits now available with current technology, prices may reasonably be expected to decline further over time. Blanch admitted as much to Bloomberg:

The shale production story [in the United States] is bigger than Iraqi production, but it hasn’t made the impact on prices you would expect.

Typically such a large energy [production] growth should bring prices lower but in fact we’re not seeing that because the whole geopolitical situation outside the U.S. is dreadful.

Those involved in capitalizing on the fracking revolution, however, are taking a much longer view. The annual investment in oil and gas development and production hit a record $200 billion this year, one-fifth “of the country’s total private fixed-structure spending for the first time,” said Blanch.

The explosion in the oil patch is doing much to offset the otherwise nearly stagnant economy. In the last 10 years, direct jobs in the patch have almost doubled, while “indirect” jobs that support the industry have almost tripled in that same time period. As Professor Perry noted: “No other sector … has added as many jobs for American workers or made as much of an overall economic contribution to the US economy as the oil and gas sector.”

Citizens often don’t know how well they have it here. At present the average cost of gasoline is $3.69 a gallon for regular. In Norway it’s an astounding $9.79 a gallon, while in Germany it’s $8.50, and in England a gallon of petrol is $8.25.

The only thing that will keep the price of gas from continuing its two-year decline is government, either through restrictions on energy development or through increased taxation. At present about $2.37 of that $3.69 represents the cost of crude oil. Refining costs are about $.45 a gallon, while distribution, marketing costs, and profits (estimated to be between eight and 15 cents per gallon) cost another $.33 a gallon. Taxes (federal and state) take up the balance: $.42 a gallon. Federal excise taxes are $.184 cents a gallon, while state taxes average about $.24 cents a gallon. If gas continues to drop in response to the natural laws of supply and demand (greater supply means greater demand thanks to the lower price), the temptation to raise state and federal excise taxes will become overwhelming.

In Germany, for instance, half the cost of a gallon of gas is due to taxes. In Great Britain the tax take on a gallon of gas is more than 60 percent. In Sweden it’s even higher.

At present, however, the laws of supply and demand are providing an enormous advantage to American drivers compared to their counterparts abroad. And they continue to confound the experts predicting ever higher prices at the pump as well.

A graduate of Cornell University and a former investment advisor, Bob is a regular contributor to The New American magazine and blogs frequently at www.LightFromTheRight.com, primarily on economics and politics. He can be reached at badelmann@thenewamerican.com This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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More Proof that US Climate Temperature data is being Manipulated

Cover of "The Real Global Warming Disaste...

Writing in his Real Science blog, Steven Goddard explained how he found out that NASA had altered US temperature readings to show a warming trend where none existed: he compared graphs published on NASA’s website in 1999 to those available today. He even set up an animation of the two temperature graphs to show the extent of the fraud.

He went further by exhuming quotes from climate changers who also have changed their opinions, including the infamous James Hansen. In 2003 Hansen authored a paper for the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change entitled “Can We Defuse the Global Warming Time Bomb?” in which he concluded that “halting global warming requires urgent, unprecedented international cooperation…” with the clear implication that

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IMF’s Toolkit Inadequate for Next Housing Bubble, Official Admits

 

Bubbles.

This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, June 16, 2014:

Last month, the Financial Times saw what’s coming: Housing prices rose last year at the fastest rate since 1995, setting the stage for the next global bust. Eleven countries they were watching had year-over-year rises in double digits, adding:

Even Germany, known for its stable housing market, is prompting concern, with the Bundesbank warning that valuations are as much as 25 percent too high in [some] big cities.

It admitted great concern that regulators won’t be able to do anything about it, either, just like last time:

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Chinese Economist at IMF warns of Global Housing Bubble

Board of Governors - International Monetary Fu...

Board of Governors – International Monetary Fund (IMF) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The false assumption that regulators can be safely counted upon to steer economies – local, national or global – to full employment with minimal inflation while avoiding booms and busts was unknowingly exposed in the latest yelp from the Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Zhu Min. In Chinese, his name means “people rule” or “democracy” but his ideology is firmly rooted in the Keynesian fallacy that economies can be successfully managed by experts without assistance or input from the common folk.

In announcing that the IMF has launched a new website, Global Housing Watch, Min delights in thinking that the world’s economy can be driven by looking through the rear view mirror. He said:

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Eric Cantor Handily Defeated by Virtually Unknown College Professor

Eric Cantor headshot

In a primary election that Paul Rothenberg, a non-partisan political analyst, called “the political version of the San Francisco earthquake,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) lost overwhelmingly to obscure economics professor Dave Brat. This is the first time since 1899 that a House Majority Leader has lost his reelection bid in his party’s primary. Despite being outspent by Cantor by more than 25-to-1, Brat breezed to victory on Tuesday, capturing 55 percent of the vote to Cantor’s 44 percent.

Virtually ignored by establishment Republican groups like Club for Growth and Heritage Action, Bart won by basing his campaign on

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Uber: The Smartphone App That Eats Taxis

 

iPhone apps

iPhone apps (Photo credit: ilamont.com)

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, June 4, 2014:

When software inventor and now venture capitalist Marc Andreessen looked at investing in Uber just after its launch, he said “Uber is the software [app that] eats taxis.” At the end of its fourth year, Uber is not only eating taxis, but providing thousands of new jobs for people every month. Last week Uber’s founder, Travis Kalanick said:

Just four years ago we set out to build a better option for people to move around cities: to make getting a ride safer, easier and affordable.

But Uber’s positive impact goes further. Hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs are using the platform to build their own small business, resulting in a huge job growth engine….

The first rule to making a startup successful is to determine precisely and exactly who its customers are. With Uber, it’s both the customer needing a lift, and the driver providing it. The service is predicated on a simple premise:

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Ride-Sharing Revolution Adding Thousands of new jobs Every Month

English: Yellow cabs in Manhattan. Nederlands:...

The ride-sharing revolution continues to accelerate, adding 20,000 new jobs every month, according to the head of Uber, the initiator of the revolution. Said Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick:

Just four years ago we set out to build a better option for people to move around cities: to make getting a ride safer, easier and affordable.

But Uber’s positive impact goes further. Hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs are using the platform to build their own small business, resulting in a huge job growth engine…

When economist Mark Perry’s plane arrived at Reagan National Airport late Tuesday night, May 27, it sat on the runway for another hour and a half waiting for a gate to open. When he finally deplaned at 12:30 a.m., he just wanted to get home and go to bed. But so did everyone else:

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Large Employers face huge fines for not Complying with ObamaCare rules

English: President Barack Obama's signature on...

English: President Barack Obama’s signature on the health insurance reform bill at the White House, March 23, 2010. The President signed the bill with 22 different pens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A just-discovered ruling by a writer at the New York Times earlier this week threatens to upend various employer-sponsored health plans and ultimately cost employees more for coverage they likely won’t be using. The ruling by the Internal Revenue Service back in September negates an option that many employers with more than 50 employees were considering: canceling their plans and just reimbursing their employees with funds to go buy their own coverage on the ObamaCare exchanges.

This option, according to the IRS, would cost employers $100 per day for each employee

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GM Bailout Cost Taxpayers far more than just $11 Billion

General Motors HydroGen4

General Motors HydroGen4 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Detroit Free Press’ announcement on Wednesday that taxpayers lost more on the General Motors bailout in 2009 than originally thought was brief, to the point, and missed most of the real story behind the GM bailout. Taxpayers lost $11.2 billion following the government’s sale of the last of the stock it held in GM following the company’s government-assisted bankruptcy and restructuring, according to the announcement.

The key quote from a Treasury spokesman, however, was revealing. Said Adam Hodge:

The goal of Treasury’s investment in GM was never to make a profit, but to help save the American auto industry, and by any measure that effort was successful.

Not if one was a bondholder in GM. Not if one believed that

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Supreme Court lets stand New Mexico Court Ruling in sex Discrimination case

New Mexico Supreme Court

On Monday the Supreme Court declined to hear on appeal the case of Elane Photography v. Willock, giving tacit approval of the ruling by the New Mexico Supreme Court.

In 2006 Elaine Huguenin, co-owner of Elane Photography in Taos, New Mexico, received an email from Vanessa Willock asking her to photograph her upcoming “commitment ceremony” with her same-sex partner, Misti Collinsworth. Huguenin respectfully declined and referred her to another photographer who handled the task. When Willock learned that Huguenin declined because of her Christian beliefs, Willock filed a complaint with the New Mexico Human Rights Commission. It was all downhill from there.

The commission not only

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Mike Rowe Touches the Third Rail of Retailing: Walmart!

Mike Rowe, the popular host of Dirty Jobs on the Discovery Channel and frequent voice behind ads for Ford, Caterpillar, Motorola and Lee’s Jeans, learned how thin his popularity is among some of his fans when he touched the third rail of retailing: Walmart. In his voiceover of Walmart’s ad appearing during the Olympics, Rowe announces the retail giant’s plans to

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Argentina’s economy is cratering, again

While Wall Street declined by 3 percent over global growth concerns last week, few were noting or even interested in the 11 percent decline in the Merval, Argentina’s stock market index. It hit a high of 5,970 on Tuesday, January 21, the day before the Argentina government devalued its currency, and closed at 5,337 on Monday. The peso itself has been in decline far longer, having lost nearly

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America’s Economic Freedom Slide Continues, says the Heritage Foundation

The latest Index of Economic Freedom released by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal shows just how successful the Bush and Obama administrations have been in their seeming attempts to turn the United States into a third world economy. The index shows

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Of Myopia and Markets

The enforced elimination of the traditional incandescent light bulb by Congress has been used repeatedly by several commentators as a classic example of crony capitalism at work. They missed the most important point: the free market has provided alternatives that are largely neutralizing the state’s mandates.

The story began with efforts by companies like GE, Sylvania, and Phillips conspiring with green environmental groups to pressure Congress into banning incandescents so that consumers would be forced to purchase more efficient but more expensive and higher profit alternatives that they make, such as LED (light emitting diode) bulbs, halogens, and CFLs (compact fluorescent lights – those with the curly tops).

They didn’t really want or need an outright ban, just a mandate that bulbs would have to be slightly more efficient – just enough more so that the present ubiquitous invention by Edison wouldn’t be able to meet it. And the mandate was staged in so the consumer wouldn’t squirm too much at having his alternatives eliminated and being forced to pay more for those that remained. On January 1st the final step – banning 40s, 60s, and 75s – took place.

The New York Times got into the act, surprisingly, pointing out that Phillips – the huge Dutch conglomerate that makes LEDs – formed a “coalition” (the Times’ word) with a number of environmental groups also seeking limits on incandescents (among other things), including the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Said the head of Phillips’ “strategic sustainability initiatives,” Harry Verhaar:

We felt that we needed to make a call and show that the best-known lighting technology, the incandescent light bulb, is at the end of its lifetime.

In that single phrase, the hubris and crony-capitalist mentality is on full display: we know better than consumers do about what’s best for them. We get to decide where the market is headed. We need to “make the call.” Besides, we have the latest technology to replace the incandescents. Sure, they’ll cost more, but think of the savings! And we could sure use a boost to our bottom line, but that’s only an afterthought. Besides, we tried to persuade the consuming public that Edison’s invention is inefficient and expensive to operate and that our new, more expensive technology is really going to save them big bucks over time. But they just don’t listen. They keep buying incandescents, and we keep having to make do with the tiniest of profit margins. So we really were forced to hook up with those greens to get the job done.

The math certainly is persuasive: a 60-watt light bulb costs, for example, around $2 or so, but burns up more than $7 of electricity every year and only lasts a year and a half under normal usage before burning out, whereas an LED, which costs $13, burns just $1.57 of electricity in a year, and lasts more than five years. Think of the savings!

Unfortunately, the consumer doesn’t care. He doesn’t care that most of the energy used in incandescents is turned to heat, not light. He doesn’t care that they last only between 750 hours and 2,000 hours. And so, three quarters of the four billion light bulb sockets in the US are still filled, and being refilled, with incandescents. Something had to be done!

The lobbying efforts began in earnest, with many politicians “caving” after learning that the industry backed the mandates, and if they think it’s good, then why not? It was a classic case of “bootleggers and Baptists” coming together to present an irresistible case to waffling moderates in the House and Senate. Congressman Fred Upton said he supported the bill because it couldn’t be that bad “if the industry supported it.” Congressman Steny Hoyer said he voted for it because “the standards are supported by the lightbulb industry.”

Those efforts birthed the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, a mess of pottage designed allegedly “to move the United States toward greater energy independence and security … to increase the efficiency of products [like light bulbs]….” Of course, government can do no such thing, only the free market can do that. But no matter: the bill passed the House 264-163 and the Senate 65-27, and George Bush, the great environmentalist, signed it into law in December, 2007.

The new law wasn’t just at attack on light bulbs, but affected vehicle fuel economy and technology, increased biofuel production, enforced appliance efficiency, required federal buildings to use Energy Star products, and so on.

But it also was filled with loopholes – just the thing that the free market loves to explore to create options, alternatives, and workarounds so that consumers can obtain what they really want after all. The law didn’t apply to appliance light bulbs, “rough service” light bulbs, colored Christmas tree lights, plant lights, 3-way lights, stage lighting, candelabra lights, outdoor post lights, and nightlights as well as any bulbs less than 40 watts or more than 100.

Entrepreneurs went to work. A company called Advanced Lighting Technologies recently announced is “2X Bulb” which appears identical to Edison’s invention, but which would have made him envious: it’s twice as efficient as the 2007 law demands, and is available at prices marginally higher than those disappearing from the shelves.

The market is also putting pressure on CFLs, partly because people don’t like them (they contain mercury, they don’t handle dimmer switches well, and they don’t last as long as advertised), and partly because the prices of LED lights are dropping. The irony is clear: the market, in its wisdom, is replacing the replacements!

The market is also providing alternative sources for those consumers who still want to buy incandescent light bulbs in the familiar wattages. They are available, in any quantity, on eBay and at 1000Bulbs.com. When last checked, they were going for under a dollar, and much less in quantity. Just the thing for preppers and stockpilers.

So the lesson from the incandescent light bulb isn’t the crony capitalist one. It’s the one that the free market teaches every time. It will somehow, some way, find a way to satisfy the consumer.

—————————

Sources:

Economist Mark Perry: Crony capitalism: How private industry used government force to kill the traditional light bulb for higher profits

The Washington Examiner: Industry, not environmentalists, killed traditional bulbs

The New York Times: Bulb In, Bulb Out

Phase out of the incandescent light bulb

The 2007 Energy Act

The math: The incandescent light bulb isn’t dead

Incandescent Light Bulbs for sale on eBay

Standard Light Bulbs for sale at 1000bulbs.com

Reason: Lights Out For America’s Favorite Light Bulb

Rasmussen Reports: 72% Don’t Want Feds Changing Their Light Bulbs

2X technology explained

CNN’s obituary: RIP, light bulb

The story behind “Bootleggers and Baptists”

Annoucements of the death of the Incandescent Light Bulb are Premature

Midst celebrations welcoming the New Year, commentators were also announcing the death of the ubiquitous light bulb – the incandescent variety – that the Congress, in a fit of environmental overreach, banned in stages with legislation passed in 2007. For instance, Shawn Regan, writing at Reason magazine, called it “Lights Out for America’s Favorite Light Bulb” while CNN wrote an obituary for it, adding that it was

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Job One for New Mayor: Turn New York into Detroit

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Thursday, January 2nd, 2014:

Progressive mouthpieces like ABC News and the New York Times could hardly contain their glee over the election of one of their own to the mayor’s office: Bill de Blasio. ABC News hailed de Blasio “as the face of a progressive movement that pledges a significant realignment of the nation’s largest city … that is poised to enact sweeping changes to the city …”, while the Times delighted to note that

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Looking Ahead to 2014 – and a Brighter Future

The latest Rasmussen poll shows 41% of American adults expecting the year 2014 to be a good year “at the very minimum” while just 23% expect the year to turn out poorly. Even the briefest look back at a few of the momentous events of 2013 bode well for the future. There’s the catastrophe called Obamacare which reflects badly, as Lew Rockwell noted, on the Obama “regime, which hates nothing more than looking ridiculous and incompetent, and being the butt of the people’s jokes.”

There’s the continuing rollout of secrets from Edward Snowden which not only keeps the surveillance state on the defensive but has exposed it as untruthful and sinister.

There’s the Benghazi scandal that simply will not go away, as evidenced by the loud condemnation of a New York Times report that tried to deflect responsibility away from the Obama administration by repeating provable lies.

While each of these can be looked at as positives in the cause of freedom, a look ahead provides great encouragement as well. The home-schooling movement continues to thrive and has been enhanced by the employment of the new technology, which makes resources easily accessible and can bring the classroom into the home. Consider, for example, the online school Freedom Project Education (FPE), which offers “a classical education for students … rooted firmly in Judeo-Christian values … similar to that received by America’s Founding Fathers, promoting liberty, citizenship, and independent thinking.”

The fracking revolution, resulting in what economist Mark Perry calls the “Great American Energy Boom”, has the increasingly likely potential to wean the US off most if not all foreign suppliers of energy, perhaps as soon as 2030. The impact of such an event can scarcely be underestimated, ranging all the way from removing a primary excuse for continuing foreign military entanglements to a vastly more robust economy. At present Midland, Texas, has the third-highest per capita income of any city in the country, while the unemployment rate in North Dakota is the lowest of any state.

Favorable fracking news continues to roll in on nearly a daily basis. A study from the University of Texas at Austin last week showed that as coal-fired plants are converted to natural gas, the need for water drops precipitously:

The researchers estimate that water saved by shifting a power plant from coal to natural gas is 25 to 50 times as great as the amount of water used in hydraulic fracturing to extract the natural gas.

This is good news on two fronts: Texas is in its third year of serious drought conditions, and the greenies have used the amount of water used in fracking as an argument against it. Such good news reduces the impact of that drought on the state while defanging such environmentalists’ attacks.

Across the world remarkable improvements in living conditions are increasingly being enjoyed as advances in medicine and technology are reducing mortality and improving literacy while decreasing poverty and hunger. According to Chris Higgins, writing for Mental Floss:

We are making tremendous advances in life expectancy, disease prevention, poverty and hunger…

Every single country in the world has lower mortality rates overall than they had in 1950…

Global literacy rates are rising … with youth aged 15 and younger doing especially well…

We’re on track … to halve world hunger [compared to its 1990 rate] by 2015…

[Since the year] 2000, over 600 million people have been pulled out of extreme poverty. This represents the fastest decline in global poverty in all of human history. (Higgins’ emphasis)

Freedom is advancing on the micro level as well. The US Postal Service continues its downward spiral into irrelevance thanks to the internet and some are expecting it to disappear altogether within a decade. Cartels that protect taxi companies are being challenged by apps such as Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar which provide transportation services by connecting travelers with drivers over the internet.

The alternative cryptocurrency, the Bitcoin, continues to gain momentum even as competitors such as Zerocoin enter the digital currency arena offering the advantage of secure anonymity of transactions. There is also growing interest in making gold and silver legal tender — at least as an alternative to, if not replacement for, today’s fiat (unbacked) currency.

Free market options to the heavy-handed federal mandates of Obamacare are becoming increasingly available including cost-sharing ministries and doctors outside the system accepting cash-only patients along with monthly packages of services provided for a modest ($50 to $100) monthly fee. There are an increasing number of retail cash-only health care clinics opening in big box stores like Walmart and pharmacies like Walgreen’s.

There’s crowdfunding that’s allowing small investors to join with eager entrepreneurs offering inventive, creative alternative products and services. There’s 3-D printing. There’s Bitmessage  poised to replace today’s fully-surveilled email with encryption tools. There’s TOR which, coupled with the Deep Web will allow anonymous websurfing once again. The list goes on.

The Internet, of course, makes it possible to reach a much larger audience than otherwise would be the case. TheNewAmerican.com received more than 600,000 unique visitors during December, according to editor Gary Benoit. The parent of that website, The John Birch Society, has led the way in the freedom fight for over 50 years. In an email to members it reminded them that:

one highly effective attribute of the JBS is its focused coordination of efforts…

In 2013, JBS members worked on stopping Agenda 21, exposing Common Core, opposing gun control, blocking con-con calls, nullifying Obamacare, and educating others on the free trade agenda.

JBS CEO Art Thompson looked ahead to 2014:

Based on the knowledge we have at hand, the JBS and all of our affiliated efforts reach approximately 20 million people in our first layer of influence…

Increasing what we are capable of doing by doubling our size would give the JBS a geometric growth in influence. In other words, doubling in size would more than double our effectiveness.

After that, by again doubling our numbers we could impact a third of all the adults in America. And this does not take into consideration the accompanying indirect influence within a second and third layer of the population.

In 2013 the battle for freedom saw significant victories, even beyond those outlined briefly here. There’s nothing to show that momentum slowing in 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.