Much ink is spilled these days on the iniquitous rise of the number of billionaires. Some of this is just silly, With 2% inflation every year then we'd expect 2% more people - roughly enough you understand - to pass through any nominal marker each year. Equally, with an economy growing at some 3 to 5% a year - which is about the global real rate over time - then we'd also expect some rising number to pass through any real wealth level.
That is, the number of billionaires should be rising. Just as the number of people on $2 a day is falling, that's just how it works.
Some of the spilled ink is vile. In that all those calculations of how much billionaires made during covid start at the low point of the market - March 18 2020? - and fail to include the 30% hit they took to fortunes in the three months before that.
You know, propagandistic lying.
But there's another and different error being made here:
To pinpoint the most and least bloated national billionaire elites, I calculate billionaire wealth as a share of GDP.
Ah, no, that doesn't work. Much of what is being said is nicely perceptive. The US doesn't have the worst - worst in this definition - concentration. Sweden is highly unequal in wealth distribution. Much of American wealth is newly created not inherited, the same point Paul Graham was making recently.
But to compare the wealth of an individual to the...
The Guardian gives us one of those lovely, deliberate, misrepresentations of an economic situation. The way this story is written the evil capitalists are determined to stop good hones folks from saving the planet by generating green electricity. What is actually happening is that someone, somewhere, has to pay for the grid.
Solar pushback: how US power firms try to make people pay for going green
In states like Kansas, energy companies want to impose charges on people who produce their own power with rooftop arrays
No, that's just not right. No one is trying to charge people for going solar. What they are trying to do is charge people for being connected to the grid:
Evergy’s senior vice-president, Chuck Caisley, said environmental advocates are unfairly painting the company as anti-renewables and that he just wants rooftop solar generators to help pay for the grid they use. Utility companies argue that when...
American Prospect is the usual sorta left wing, progressive, type place. Government, especially the Federal government, should be put in charge of much more of the economy. The only time they differ from this line is when they think unions should be.
The thing is, every time they report on government actually doing something they insist it's a cluster:
“It’s a cluster,” says a self-published author and Uber driver in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, whose grant application was declined over a supposedly missing tax return she indeed filed. (She asked to remain nameless to speak freely.) “You can add back the curse word.”
Here the particular program is something run the the Small Business Administration which is throwing grants out to businesses hard hit by lockdown. Yep, the government has difficulty in giving away free money.
But unlike those measures, Targeted EIDL Advance was rolled out entirely under the Biden administration
No, it's not Trump,...
The Green New Deal group has decided to favour us with their recommendations for how to make the UK a better place. Given who actually wrote the report - Richard Murphy and Colin Hines - it's as bad as you'd think it is.
Take this about the startling opportunities for the British steel industry:
Salvation of the UK Steel Industry?
Around one million heat pumps being fitted into homes every year for decades to come
should be a huge growth opportunity for the UK steel industry. Many of these homes
will also want domestic charging points for their electric vehicles. To meet the UK’s
commitment to phase out new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030 will also require
35,000 public electric vehicle charge points to be installed each year until then.
Put together, these two programmes are not only a source of long-term, skilled jobs in
every community, but they should also help save the...
We're being told that we must waste resources in order to save resources. This is, of course, mad but then that's the institutional part of the environmental movement for you. They've so reified recycling that they believe it's a good thing at any cost. Oh, yes, and they're going to change the law so as to insist that we waste resources in order to save them.
The Guardian takes up the story:
Rare elements such as indium, yttrium, neodymium, cobalt and lithium are vital for the production of low-carbon technology, but many are being thrown away because of the lack of a requirement to recycle them, industry experts have warned.
Concern is growing over the future supply of such elements, as the switch to green technology – including electric vehicles, solar panels and low-carbon heating – will require far greater volumes of rare earths and other critical raw materials.
Industry experts have...