New documentary: Corporate Welfare

A new CATO documentary with Johan Norberg. Corporate Welfare… “tells personal stories of the effects of tax exemptions, subsidies, government regulations, and bailouts [and] takes viewers across America to talk with individuals whose lives and livelihood have been directly affected by the outrages of corporate welfare.”

Giving companies ‘tax breaks’ sounds vaguely progressive, but actual lower taxes would benefit all… and not just a few big companies with hot-shot lobbyists and accountants. It also sounds progressive to give successful mega-farms ‘subsidies’. Because without such taxpayer-funded subsidies we’d all starve, right? Wrong… “fruit and vegetable farmers get no subsidies” and they do just fine, and can sell to whoever they want in a free market. Norberg also wonders about the curious lack of outrage from leftists over such massive and ongoing corporate subsidies.

Available in full on YouTube.

Something for the weekend #165

Welcome to my round-up of the week’s causes for optimism, as noticed in the media. Plus some links to debunking of alarmism, and to discussion of optimism vs. pessimism. Sometimes, also some debunking of unfounded optimism.

* PayPal is to allow users in the UK… “to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrency”. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash are the currencies. No Dogecoin, at least for now.

* The Wall Street Journal on how in the U.S. “The Media Ignores Optimistic Black Leaders”… “The ones you don’t hear about reject narratives of self-pity and resentment.”

* The Federalist celebrates that “Homeschooling Is Surging Across America” and probes behind the headlines for the full range of reasons. Well over a million U.S. kids have forever dropped school for home schooling, since the virus emerged.

* There is little chance of future sea-level rise being due to melting of the Antarctic ice sheet. So concludes an authoritative sea-level rise project made up of 60 researchers from 44 institutions, and using the official IPCC computer-models. One of the lead researchers summed up the findings by saying that models suggest sea-levels will rise, but that… “There is little change, however, in projected sea level rise from the Antarctic ice sheet.” Looks like Matt Ridley has another failed alarmism to add to his tick-list, then.

* A bumper harvest in Australia. Key firm GrainCorp says… “We are building one million tonnes of new storage capacity in time for harvest”. Neighbouring New Zealand is also having an outstanding harvest across many crops.

* The Spectator takes the time to look into a report on “What caused the German floods?” The actual report, when read… “paints a very different picture of the event and any causal link with climate change.” The corporate media had parroted “deadly floods nine times more likely” because.. climate change. But The Spectator finds that… “The ‘nine times figure’ comes from analysis of rainfall intensity in the localised Meuse and Ahr areas over a two day period”. On these two days was built a very wobbly house-of-cards of historical comparisons and suppositions, as the report’s authors admit. The Spectator concludes… “the ‘nine times’ figure is the extreme upper limit of a range” based on shaky assumptions.

* An eco-optimism debunked. Supposedly eco-friendly LED street-lights… “are even more harmful for insect populations than the traditional yellow sodium bulbs”, says new UK research published this week. The LED streetlights are especially bad for moths, killing nearly 50% more of them than the old lights when sited near hedges. The LEDs also produce much more light pollution.

* In the U.S., new moves to take down miles of un-needed old fences “to help migrating wildlife”.

* Kenya’s first genetically-modified cotton is ready for harvest.

* In Qatar, the first ever General Election is set for 2nd October. This small step for democracy will elect the nation’s key 45 member advisory group, formerly appointed by fiat. Only Qataris over 18 will be able to vote, not the migrant workers. But all women will be included as voters, which is a good start.

* And finally, Swedish researchers are developing a new battery concept made with cost-efficient, abundant and sustainable metals. Double-sided graphene layers are organised into a structure that suits sodium ions. In time this could mean viable sodium-ion batteries replacing lithium ones. I very rarely post battery news, but… commercial batteries made of graphite and salt? That sound very promising, and the researchers even talk of “high-capacity energy storage” uses.

Enjoyed this post? There’s more at the ‘Something for the Weekend’ newsletter archive.