Archive for the ‘Economics’ Category

LinkSwarm for April 1, 2016

Friday, April 1st, 2016

Happy April Fools day! No tricks here, just the usual Friday LinkSwarm:

  • ObamaCare didn’t do jack to lower costs. (Hat tip Instapundit.)
  • Indeed, Obamacare is the fail that keeps failing: “As a result of the ACA, between 4 million and 9 million fewer people are projected to have employment-based coverage each year from 2017 through 2026 than would have had such coverage if the ACA had never been enacted.” (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Great news! The Nigerian Army has rescued rescued 800 Boko Haram hostages. That’s compared to the number of those hostages rescued by the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag, which is (stops, counts, carries the one) Zero.
  • Bad news: They just kidnapped 300 more. (Hat tip: Weasel Zippers.)
  • Following the Brussels attack, the standard ruling class rituals of aversion are in full bloom.
  • Donald Trump suggested targeting the families of terrorists. Putin’s Russia does exactly that.
  • The Obama Administration treats Little Sisters of the Poor worse than Exxon, Visa and Pepsi, all of whom have health plans lacking the abortion mandate. Then again, as Instapundit noted: “To be fair, that was basically because they hate those groups and wanted to punish them.”
  • Xi Jinping has accumulated more power than any leader since Mao. “He has been fighting dissent with even more ruthlessness than he has been waging war on graft. Not since the dark days after the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 has there been such a sweeping crackdown on critics of the party.”
  • Belgium’s current crises sounds an awful lot like where California is headed: Expensive government that’s congenitally incapable of solving problems.
  • Canadian bank depositors are now officially at risk of bail-ins.
  • David Brin says the Amendment that most protects the right of citizens to film interactions with the police is the Sixth.
  • Rob Ford was more than just a loud-mouth drunk. “Ford was a political pragmatist who simply didn’t give a damn what anyone thought about him other than his constituents. It was that gumption that endeared him to hundreds of thousands of Torontonians.”
  • Supergenius New Yorker writer thinks Arizona is next to Texas.

    Screen shot 2016-03-23 at 10.56.52 PM

    (Screen shot has been included because the article has been edited and no notice made of the deleted error.)

  • Illegal alien rapes 12-year old. (Hat tip: Director Blue.
  • Lake Travis hits full again.
  • Hulk Hogan may have just destroyed Gawker.” Well, we can only hope…
  • Lunatic hoplophobe associate professor of English calls 911 to report ROTC maneuvers on campus at the University of North Dakota. (Hat tip: Tam.)
  • Old and Busted: The Suicide Prevention Hotline. The New Hotness: The Suicide Encouragement Hotline. Not an April Fools joke, alas…
  • Why grackles love supermarket parking lots.
  • Texas vs. California Update for March 31, 2016

    Thursday, March 31st, 2016

    Lots of Texas vs. California linky goodness, much of it via Jack Dean at Pension Tsunami, who’s been emailing me links of significant interest.

  • Texas continues to grow:

    As last week’s US Census Bureau population estimates indicated, the story of population growth between 2014 and 2015 was largely about Texas, as it has been for the decade starting 2010 (See: “Texas Keeps Getting Bigger” The New Metropolitan Area Estimates). The same is largely true with respect to population trends in the nation’s largest counties, with The Lone Star state dominating both in the population growth and domestic migration among 135 counties with more than 500,000 population.

    Snip.

    Houston, which is the fastest growing major metropolitan area (over 1 million population) in the nation includes the two fastest growing large counties. Fort Bend County added 4.29 percent to its population between 2014 and 2015 and now has 716,000 residents. Montgomery County grew 3.57 percent to 538,000. In addition to these two suburban Houston counties, Harris County, the core County ranked 16th in growth, adding 2.03 percent to its population and exceeding 4.5 million population.

    Dallas-Fort Worth, the second fastest-growing major metropolitan area has two counties among the top 20. The third fastest-growing county is Denton (located north of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport), which added 3.42 percent to its population over the past year and now has 781,000 residents. Collin County, to the north of Dallas County, grew 3.17 percent and now stands at 914,000 residents. Its current growth rate would put Collin County over 1 million population by the 2020 census.

    Travis County, with its county seat of Austin, grew 2.22 percent to 1,177,000 and ranked 12th. Bexar County, centered on San Antonio grew 2.01 percent and ranks 17th.

    Overall, Texas had four of the five fastest growing large counties, and seven of the top twenty. California had none. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)

  • The Austin metropolitan area passes 2 million people.
  • The California Policy Center has a devestating roundup of what’s wrong with California’s economy. To wit:
    • “A now has by far the nation’s highest state income tax rate. We are 34% higher than 2nd place Oregon, and a heck of a lot higher than all the rest”

    • “CA has the highest state sales tax rate in the nation. 7.5% (does not include local sales taxes).”
    • “California in 2015 ranked 14th highest in per capita property taxes (including commercial) – the only major tax where we are not in the worst ten states. But the 2014 average CA single-family residence (SFR) property tax is the 8th highest state in the nation. Indeed, the median CA homeowner property tax bill is 93% higher than the average for the other 49 states.”
    • “California has a nasty anti-small business $800 minimum corporate income tax, even if no profit is earned, and even for many nonprofits. Next highest state is Rhode Island at $500 (only for “C” corporations). 3rd is Delaware at $175. Most states are at zero.”
    • “California’s 2015 ‘business tax climate’ ranks 3rd worst in the nation – behind New York and anchor-clanker New Jersey. In addition, CA has a lock on the worst rank in the Small Business Tax Index – a whopping 8.3% worse than 2nd worst state.”
    • “The American Tort Reform Foundation in 2015 again ranks CA the ‘worst state judicial hellhole’ in U.S. – the most anti-business.”
    • “CA public school teachers the 3rd highest paid in the nation. CA students rank 48th in math achievement, 49th in reading.”
    • “California’s real poverty rate (the new census bureau standard adjusted for COL) is easily the worst in the nation at 23.4%. We are 57.3% higher than the average for the other 49 states.”
    • “Of 100 U.S. real estate markets, in 2013 CA contained by far the least affordable middle class housing market (San Francisco). PLUS the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th.”

    It’s like a whole bunch of Texas vs. California roundup statistics all in one big green ball of fail. Read the whole thing. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)

  • “California’s 50% [minimum wage] increase would eliminate nearly 700,000 jobs—which means higher unemployment for the poor and least skilled in particular.”
  • Why did Carl’s Jr. flee California? Taxes, regulations and lawsuits.

    CKE Restaurants CEO Andy Puzder told the Wall Street Journal in 2013, “California is not interested in having businesses grow.”

    The article points out that many factors, including local building regulations, make one community less desirable than another for businesses.

    For example, it takes 60 days in Texas, 63 in Shanghai, and 125 in Novosibirsk, Russia for one of CKE’s restaurants to get a building permit after signing a lease. But in Los Angeles, Ca. it takes a whopping 285 days.

    Puzder added, “I can open up a restaurant faster on Karl Marx Prospect in Siberia than on Carl Karcher Boulevard in California.” The street in California is ironically named for the restaurant chain’s founder.

    California’s labor regulations may also play a role in a company’s desire to seek alternative locations. In that same interview with WSJ, Puzder said his company had spent $20 million in the state over the past eight years on damages and attorney fees related to class-action lawsuits.

    (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)

  • Justice Scalia’s death dooms the Friedrichs vs. California Teacher’s Association lawsuit.
  • “If a Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research’s estimate is accurate, public pension debt in California is even worse than feared. Preliminary calculations from a forthcoming SIEPR study peg the unfunded retirement tab for state and local government employees at more than $1.2 trillion.” (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Texas unemployment rates drops to 4.4%.
  • San Bernardino’s bondholders get screwed so the bankrupt city can continue sending money to CalPERS. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • California’s colleges are so money-hungry they’re screwing in-state students out of admissions so they can charge more to out-of-state applicants, including those who wouldn’t normally be able to get in. Sort of like the UT admissions scandal, but less politically connected and more widespread and money-grubbing… (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • But there’s one type of student California admissions isn’t keeping out: antisemites. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Even the supposed beneficiaries of California’s high speed rail fantasy have become disillusioned with it.
  • A hot relocation to Texas rumor just in: “Plano – new home of Toyota Motor’s North American headquarters – has been mentioned as a possible relocation site for a Wichita-based subsidiary of conglomerate Cargill.”
  • LinkSwarm for March 18, 2016

    Friday, March 18th, 2016

    I hope you’re not too hung over from St. Patrick’s Day (and didn’t get stabbed to death on the Ides of March). Here’s a Friday LinkSwarm:

  • Marco Rubio says that Ted Cruz is the only conservative left in the race. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • John Boehner calls Ted Cruz “Lucifer.” With that even-tempered perspective, it’s impossible to figure out why he’s no longer Speaker…
  • Ted Cruz unveils his national security coalition. Media reports on this have been particularly poor…
  • African-Americans living in poor neighborhoods cannot rely on Democratic leaders to take the decisive steps needed to ameliorate the problem as long as the Democratic Party can take the black vote for granted. The question, then, is how long can Democratic Party leaders and candidates continue to rely on African-American voters before African-American voters take matters into their own hands.”
  • No amount of primary wins will make Hillary Clinton’s email troubles go away.
  • And if the FBI doesn’t get her, the NSA might. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • “The Tea Party movement — which you also failed to understand, and thus mostly despised — was a bourgeois, well-mannered effort (remember how Tea Party protests left the Mall cleaner than before they arrived?) to fix America. It was treated with contempt, smeared as racist, and blocked by a bipartisan coalition of business-as-usual elites. So now you have Trump, who’s not so well-mannered, and his followers, who are not so well-mannered, and you don’t like it.”
  • Got to hand it to Donald Trump: this is an effective ad. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Jews leave France in record numbers. (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • Obama Administration finally comes out and admits that the Islamic State has committed genocide against Yazidis, Christians and Shiites. That’s like Harry Truman finally declaring the Holocaust genocide two years after the liberation of Auschwitz…
  • Putin takes his toys and goes home.

    Contrary to his expectations of finding a pliable ally in Iran, he found the Iranians in control, glad to borrow his air force, arrogant and disdainful in Damascus (and Baghdad) and well on the path to dominating a vast stretch of strategically vital territory. And Iran has no interest in playing junior partner to anyone—least of all a traditional Christian enemy.

    Suddenly, Putin had a vision of a nuclear-armed, radical-Shia empire on Russia’s southern flank. Those Iranian missiles that can reach Israel? They can reach major Russian cities, too.

    Putin’s initial bet on Shia Iran also backfired by turning the Islamic world’s Sunni majority against him — not least Saudi Arabia, which can continue to hold down the price of oil and gas, punishing Russia’s economy far more than it wounds American fracking efforts. And Sunni terrorists have taken a renewed interest in Russia.

  • Hellfire missile intercepted in-route to Portland, Oregon.
  • Minimum wage hike causes fast food restaurants to start investing in automation. Just like conservatives said it would.
  • Texas Public Policy Foundation vs. Bureau of Land Management is now TPPF and The State of Texas vs. BLM. (More background here.)
  • Penny Arcade on Gawker:

    Gawker is poison AIDS cancer. In the same way that the Cross is the symbol for the redemptive power of Christ’s blood, Gawker is the symbol of a metastasized social media. Gawker is Nidhogg, the dragon which gnaws at the root of the World Tree. The causes they enunciate are tarnished, just for being in their mouths.”

    I don’t wish ill on anyone who works there, obviously. I mean, I guess their every action technically does sustain a legitimately evil beast of legend, some Revelations type shit, and they ruin lives for profit whenever they aren’t simply wasting your time.

  • Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton rules that state contractors must continue using E-verify.
  • Everything you know about Altamont is wrong. (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • The story behind that memorial mural on the pillar at the Lamar underpass right before Fifth Street.

    Lamar Mural

  • Man the pollen in the air is really bad this time of year in Austin…
  • Dog shows up safe a month after being presumed lost at sea. (Hat tip: Borepatch.)
  • Will the last Elvis impersonator to leave Las Vegas please turn off the neon.
  • LinkSwarm for March 11, 2016

    Friday, March 11th, 2016

    Here in Texas it’s rained every day this week, resulting in flooding along the Sabine. Try to stay dry and enjoy this complimentary Friday LinkSwarm:

  • Ted Cruz pegs the meter with this comment. (Hat tip: Conservatives 4 Ted Cruz.)
  • GOP squishes finally start backing Cruz as only way to stop Donald Trump.
  • Could our FBI director actually be doing his job, without fear or favor?
  • In related news: Could Hillary Clinton’s grand jury already be empaneled? (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “Marco Rubio is a horrible failure.”
  • There have been adultery accusations popping up on Rubio’s campaign trail, which doesn’t necessarily mean anything. However, I was surprised to read they date back to at least 2010.
  • Failed ObamaCare co-ops haven’t repaid $1.2 billion in taxpayer loans.
  • Think California is boned? Europe’s pension crisis is even worse:

    Europe’s population of pensioners, already the largest in the world, continues to grow. Looking at Europeans 65 or older who aren’t working, there are 42 for every 100 workers, and this will rise to 65 per 100 by 2060, the European Union’s data agency says. By comparison, the U.S. has 24 nonworking people 65 or over per 100 workers, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which doesn’t have a projection for 2060.

    Also this:

    The global decline of the blue model stands to inflict even more pain on Europe than on the United States. Europeans are worse at making babies than the United States, worse at integrating immigrants, worse at saving money to pay boomer retirement bills—but no worse at making promises to voters that they will be unable to keep.

    (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)

  • “Venezuela’s accelerating economic meltdown is rapidly turning into a full-fledged humanitarian crisis. For too many in that country, the pervasive shortages of food, medicine, electricity, and other basic goods are making everyday life a nightmare.”
  • How “liberation theology” was designed and run from Moscow.
  • Differences between Christian and Islamic eschatology.
  • If you have trouble firing handguns, you may find this gripping reading. (Hat tip: Stuff from Hsoi.)
  • “UC-Berkeley Law School Dean Resigns After Being Sued For Sexual Harassment.” (Hat tip: Instapundit, who asks “Why are leftist institutions such cesspits of sexual predation?”)
  • “The San Francisco Chronicle used to give out firearms as subscription premiums.”
  • Another Adobe Flash vulnerability in the wild.
  • It begins.
  • Inside Tokyo’s Nakagin Capsule Tower, the only remnant of a “Metabolist future” that failed.
  • Mr. T. says goodbye to Nancy Reagan.
  • LinkSwarm for February 29, 2016

    Monday, February 29th, 2016

    Happy Leap Day, everyone! Enjoy a yuge LinkSwarm, and if you’re in Texas or another Super Tuesday state, take time to dig out your voter registration card for tomorrow.

  • The Case for Cruz: The Math. “In the states where Cruz is ahead of Rubio in the upcoming Super Tuesday, he is either beating Trump or within striking distance. In the states where Rubio is ahead of Cruz in the upcoming Super Tuesday, Trump has a huge lead. Rubio doesn’t lead in a single state.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “Sixteen Reasons Why Ted Cruz Is The Better Anti-Trump Than Rubio.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • The Millennial Case For Ted Cruz. “Polls show that Hillary beats Trump in a general election. On the other hand, Cruz beats Hillary in a general election.” (Hat tip: Conservatives for Ted Cruz.)
  • Cruz releases nine years of tax returns, calls on Trump to do the same.
  • Analysis of Ted Cruz’s positions on defense.
  • How Ted Cruz’s ads are so Hollywood slick.
  • Cruz has rebuilt his stump speech around the Scalia vacancy.
  • Lefty Robert Reich’s attacks on Ted Cruz provides yet more reasons to vote for Cruz.
  • Our cultural elites just can’t figure out why those ignorant gun- and religion-clinging redneck freaks of JesusLand keep flocking to Trump when he says he love them. It’s an insoluble mystery…
  • 40 reasons not to vote for Donald Trump.
  • Trump University was a scam. “Many people believe that higher education is a de facto scam. Trump University, Donald Trump’s real-estate institution, was a de jure one.”
  • Hillary heckled.
  • DNC vice chair steps down to support Bernie Sanders. An understandable move, given the DNC is so far in the tank for Hillary under Debbie Wasserman Schultz that supporting Sanders is probably looked on as akin to treason… (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Mark Steyn lays out some grim election analysis: “No one loses as expensively as Republicans.”
  • 720,000 taxpayers have their tax form information stolen from the IRS. Our country is in the very best of hands!
  • Public employee unions are the establishment. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Left-wing protesters shut down lecture on welfare reform at London School of Economics. Here’s the book protester’s don’t want people to read: Adam Perkins’ The Welfare Trait: How State Benefits Affect Personality.
  • Muslim immigrants will cost Sweden fourteen times more than their defense budget. Good thing Germany and Russia are so historically peaceful neighbors…
  • Merkel must have a political death wish: “German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday defended her open-door policy for migrants, rejecting any limit on the number of refugees allowed into her country despite divisions within her government.”
  • Stratfor analyses China’s new military facilities on Woody Island. “While the media’s response to China’s actions on Woody Island suggests that they represent a watershed moment in the militarization of the South China Sea, in reality they are neither surprising nor particularly meaningful.”
  • How disasterous Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro could be removed from power.
  • The truth about the MiG-29. Longish but interesting piece. Turn out the Soviet super fighter was very good at basic fighter aircraft maneuvers, but had poor avionics that severely limited the pilot’s situational awareness.
  • Mass transit doesn’t actually save any energy. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Male feminism is a sort of disease.”
  • Joe Straus’ primary opponent Jeff Judson has a couple of major financial backers, including Alice Walton.
  • Beloved, innocent man shot down by Seattle police. And by “innocent” I mean “a convicted rapist with a gun, crack and heroin.”
  • “Turn down the fucking music.” “Yhe more and more you attempt to compensate for the fact people have no social skills, making the music so loud conversation is impossible, the more and more intelligent and competent people you will drive away.” (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.
  • Soldier of Fortune magazine to cease publication.
  • Man makes video designed to show that SERPA holsters are safe, proves the opposite. (Hat tip: Tam via Dwight.)
  • Tweet 1: The bus is turning around. Tweet 2. The bus is on fire. Tweet 3. The bus exploded. (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
  • The OSS World War II escape knife.
  • Following Minimum Wage Rate Hike, Seattle Employment Declines…Unexpectedly!

    Saturday, February 27th, 2016

    Remember how liberals crowed about Seattle’s minimum wage hike was raising people out of poverty without any negative economic effects whatsoever?

    Not so much:

    Early evidence from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on Seattle’s monthly employment, the number of unemployed workers, and the city’s unemployment rate through December 2015 suggest that since last April when the first minimum wage hike took effect: a) the city’s employment has fallen by more than 11,000, b) the number of unemployed workers has risen by nearly 5,000, and c) the city’s jobless rate has increased by more than 1 percentage point (all based on BLS’s “not seasonally adjusted basis”).

    Moreover, this occurred when the surrounding area was still adding jobs:

    While the city of Seattle experienced a sharp drop in employment of more 11,000 jobs between April and December last year [employment] in Seattle’s neighboring suburbs outside the city limits (Seattle MSA employment minus Seattle city employment) increased over that period by nearly 57,000 jobs and reached a new record high in November 2015 before falling slightly in December.

    [Additional] evidence showing that while jobs in the city of Seattle were tanking starting last April, employment in the suburbs surrounding Seattle was increasing steadily to a new record high in November. That departure in employment trends: job declines inside the city limits of Seattle compared to increasing employment outside the city limits suggests the possibility that the difference in labor costs could have been a contributing factor.

    Strangely enough, once again the economic laws of supply and demand are not repealed when liberals find them inconvenient.

    LinkSwarm for February 19, 2016

    Friday, February 19th, 2016

    Tomorrow (Saturday, February 20) is the South Carolina Republican primary. (Democrats don’t vote in South Carolina until next Saturday, February 27). Current polls have Ted Cruz gaining on Donald Trump. (Hat tip: Conservatives 4 Ted Cruz.)

    A small LinkSwarm going into the weekend:

  • Remember Hillary’s big lead in Nevada? As frequently happens to items owned by the elderly, she seems to have misplaced it.
  • Also, the AFL-CIO has decided not to open their bank vault of compulsory union dues to Hillary.
  • Ted Cruz’s already has a grassroots army on the ground in Texas.
  • Remembering Ted Cruz’s role in DC vs. Heller. (Bonus: Here’s the brief on Heller Cruz helped author.)
  • The most trusted states in the union have Republican governments, while the least trusted ones are run by Democrats. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Venezuela’s socialist government is so desperate they’re trying a few “too little too late” reforms, like “replacing a leftist sociologist who has denied existence of inflation” with a businessman and raising the price of subsidized gasoline. Problem is, since they’re socialists, gasoline is still heavily subsidized compared to market prices.
  • Charles Koch agrees with Bernie Sanders. Sort of…
  • China stops reporting cash outflows. Hmmm….
  • Rio de Janeiro to Olympic athletes: Suck it up and swim in the cesspool.
  • How to prep for a fire. And I’ve already downloaded one of those emergency radio apps for my iPhone.
  • Harper Lee, RIP.
  • Socialist Paradise Update: Venezuela Runs Out of Food

    Monday, February 15th, 2016

    And how are things going in South America’s socialist paradise?

    Venezuela’s opposition legislature has declared a “nutritional emergency,” proclaiming that the country simply does not have enough food to feed its population. The move comes after years of socialist rationing and shortages that forced millions to wait on lines lasting as long as six hours for a pint of milk, a bag of flour, or carton of cooking oil.

    Opposition legislator Julio Borges announced the measure on Thursday, which would allow the legislature to push for more imports on basic food goods and inspect government-owned food companies to ensure they are meeting efficiency standards. “This will make corporations and expropriated lands produce food again, will simplify the process of national and foreign investment, and establish incentives for investors,” Borges promised.

    People are fighting each other in virtually empty supermarkets to buy the little food available, and via Powerline comes word that they’re rationing electricity to shopping centers.

    The problem with socialism is that, sooner or later, you run out of other people’s money. And when that happens, people die. “In a hospital in the far west of this beleaguered country, the economic crisis took a grim toll in the past week: Six infants died because there wasn’t enough medicine or functioning respirators.”

    Bunches of one-party Democratic cities like Detroit have managed to bankrupt themselves just on union pensions and the welfare state. If Bernie Sanders got his wish and America actually tried socialism, how well do you think such blue bastions would fare when they were finally allowed to steal people’s money with both hands?

    Venezuela’s Economy Burns

    Thursday, February 4th, 2016

    While one of the two leading Democratic contenders for President openly calls for socialism, let’s check in on how one socialist paradise is doing:

    The only question now is whether Venezuela’s government or economy will completely collapse first.

    The key word there is “completely.” Both are well into their death throes. Indeed, Venezuela’s ruling party just lost congressional elections that gave the opposition a veto-proof majority, and it’s hard to see that getting any better for them any time soon — or ever. Incumbents, after all, don’t tend to do too well when, according to the International Monetary Fund, their economy shrinks 10 percent one year, an additional 6 percent the next, and inflation explodes to 720 percent. It’s no wonder, then, that markets expect Venezuela to default on its debt in the very near future. The country is basically bankrupt.

    Inflation has gotten so bad that Venezuelans are now paying more than 1000 bolivars to the dollar on the black market. Which is why the government is flying in planeloads of money. As P. J. O’Rouke said of similar hyperinflation in Nicaragua’s own socialist paradise economy: “You have to go to Moscow University two or three times to make money worth this little.”

    But with the opposition party having defeated the socialists in parliamentary elections, they can turn things around, right? Well…

    Socialist president Nicolas Maduro has changed the law so the opposition-controlled National Assembly can’t remove the central bank governor or appoint a new one. Not only that, but Maduro has picked someone who doesn’t even believe there’s such a thing as inflation to be the country’s economic czar. “When a person goes to a shop and finds that prices have gone up,” the new minister wrote, “they are not in the presence of ‘inflation,’ ” but rather “parasitic” businesses that are trying to push up profits as much as possible. According to this — let me be clear — “theory,” printing too much money never causes inflation. And so Venezuela will continue to do so. If past hyperinflations are any guide, this will keep going until Venezuela can’t even afford to run its printing presses anymore — unless Maduro gets kicked out first.

    But for now, at least, a specter is haunting Venezuela — the specter of failed economic policies.

    Philip K. Dick once noted that reality is that which, if you ignore it, doesn’t go away. Socialists may not believe in hyperinflation, but hyperinflation very much believes in socialism…

    LinkSwarm for February 1, 2016

    Monday, February 1st, 2016

    The Iowa Caucuses are today! Why they’re Monday rather than the usual Tuesday, I couldn’t tell you. (And speaking of elections, today is your last day to register to vote in the March 1 Texas primary.)

    Here’s a LinkSwarm with more than a dollop of presidential election news:

  • ObamaCare is an exercise in moving goalposts:

    Back in 2015 the CBO estimated 21 million Obamacare enrollees in 2016. They are now estimating 13 million will sign up this year. How many will actually sign up is not going to be known for another year or so, but I wouldn’t particularly bet on it being more than 21 million, and I wouldn’t particularly counsel against thinking that it’ll be less than 13 million.

    Oh, the news gets better. The original claim that 11 million people signed up for Obamacare in 2015 has likewise been revised by this report, which now apparently reports 9.5 million. And here’s something that will really reassure folks worried about our deficits: the original assumption was that there would be 15 million subsidized plans and 6 million unsubsidized ones in 2015, or 71%/29%. The actual totals were 11 million subsidized, 2 million unsubsidized, or 85%/15%. Let me put it a different way: the Obama administration has managed to somehow simultaneously drastically miss their signup goals AND do so in a way where there won’t even a commensurate savings for taxpayers.

  • “The Clintons have made careers of defying our assumptions about how low they can go.”
  • Hillary’s emails disqualify her from the presidency. “There is near certainty that at least the Russians and the Chinese but also the Iranians and North Koreans were reading all incoming and outgoing email to Hillary in real time from almost the moment she hooked up her ‘home brew’ server.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • More on the subject by Guy Benson at Townhall.
  • Bernie Sanders: The bum who wants your money. “Despite a prestigious degree, however, Sanders failed to earn a living, even as an adult. It took him 40 years to collect his first steady paycheck — and it was a government check.”
  • Republicans are more engaged in Iowa than Democrats.
  • Jim Geraghty offers up a forest of links why each of Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and Marco Rubio can win or lose tonight.
  • Ace of Spades is shocked, shocked that the Republican establishment is trying to take out Ted Cruz to help Marco Rubio.
  • Financial heavy hitter Sheldon Adelson is backing Cruz. (Hat tip: Conservatives4TedCruz.)
  • Watch Cruz turn around an Iowa farmer hostile over ethanol subsidies.
  • “If there is anyone with a chance of underperforming his 28 percent of the electorate (again, the new Register number), it is Trump. And if Trump does underperform, the question will be whether he falls enough for Cruz to catch him.” (Hat tip: Conservatives4TedCruz.)
  • Trump does poorly among Republicans with college degrees, but well among those with less education. “He is continually the candidate not only with the highest very favorable rating, but the highest very unfavorable rating. He is utterly unacceptable to a very significant portion of the Republican electorate.”
  • “Why there are so many things with titles like ‘Why I still believe Donald Trump will never be president.'”
  • “Jeb Bush kicks off 3 state farewell tour.”
  • Enivironmentalist predictions from 1970: “Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions.” (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • EU goes out of the way to insist that widespread sexual assault by Islamic men in Cologne had nothing to do with Islamic ‘refugees.’
  • Another day, another 100 Nigerians killed by Boko Haram.
  • Finland farked.
  • Tips for non-western immigrants to America. “Perhaps this little rhyme can help: To live here in the West, God willing, just say no to honor killing.”
  • A whole lot of hedge funds are shorting the Yuan.
  • Larry Correia reports from the SHOT show.
  • The last gunsmith. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Remembering Marvin Minsky, and how he cited Hayek in some of his work.
  • “Muslim Uber driver attacks pregnant woman’s service dog.”