No surprise to those of us opposed to this monstrosity all along.
In this case, the technology involves the nano-scale construction of solar voltaic cells that boost energy conversion to ten times greater than was previously thought to be the limit.
Now somebody needs to refine it and someone else needs to deploy it. 'Cause cheap power is invaluable to sustaining a growing economy and our standard of living.
The divine Mrs. Megan McArdle.....Suderman has a very pleasant read on the recent trend among some on the left to deride those of us that believe in a little less government by saying "try Somalia". Asking for a modest reduction in government spending is not exactly the same thing as saying let's not have any government at all.
Likewise, asking for a little more government spending is not exactly the same thing as endorsing the transformative power of communist North Korea. A little more spending is a step in the wrong direction, but that is a different story.
In any case, the fsking she offers to one Michael O'Hare is delightful to read.
Ezra Klein brings us the news that the director of the CBO is projecting that extending the Bush era tax cuts will result in lower revenue and thus higher deficits.
Elmendorf doesn't deny that tax cuts stimulate the economy. But they don't stimulate it that much, he says, and over the long run, the net economic growth from the tax cuts will be quite small. The net deficit impact won't be. "Lower tax revenues increase budget deficits and thereby government borrowing," Elmendorf said, "which crowds out investment, while lower tax rates increase people’s saving and work effort; the net effect on economic activity depends on the balance of those forces." True to form, he brought a graph:The graph and the rest of Ezra's pontification are at the link.
One supposes based on the selective quoting involved that Ezra may not have heard of the other solution for deficit problems. The director of the CBO has.
It is called "cutting spending". You can get burned at the stake for uttering such word in Washington D.C.
Unfortunately, the GOP likes to talk about tax cuts while offering vague and ill defined spending cuts that take place in the future. Equally unfortunate is the Democrats' penchant for raising taxes at the drop of a hat while exhibiting behavior that suggests that they have never met a government program that was not worth funding.
We are quickly approaching dire straights. The best course out of that situation will require a little sacrifice by everyone.
Until someone begins to seriously discuss across the board spending cuts, there is no reason to increase taxes. Shared sacrifice means that those on the receiving end will have to pony up as well.
Kevin Williamson has a nifty little essay on government as force. It is sort of a redux of a P.J. O'Rourke idea about deciding which government programs get funded by putting a gun to grandma's head and asking "do we give away day care or do we kill Grandma?" That is not a direct quote, but the intent is there.
The resort to violence is what makes the question of what kind of things it is legitimate for states to do an important moral concern. It seems to me perfectly reasonable to shove a gun in somebody’s face to stop him murdering, raping, or robbing. It seems to me entirely unreasonable to shove a gun in somebody’s face to extort from him money to fund a project to get monkeys high on cocaine. Those seem to me fairly reasonable distinctions. It is illegitimate for government to use force or the threat of force for projects that are not inherently public in character.Government is force. At some point there will be government agents with guns knocking on doors with the intent of putting people in prison for "non-compliance". As Mr. Williamson suggests, using force to stop bad people from abusing other people is a reasonable use of force. The same cannot be said for other government functions.
The question of how much illegitimacy a state may perpetrate before becoming generally illegitimate itself is of real interest and has been, of late, the subject of some spirited discussion between some of my colleagues here and me. (You probably can guess on which side of the fault line I stand.)
But I would like to make it clear that I am not indulging in a figure of speech: I think it’s a pretty useful heuristic: If you’re not willing to have somebody hauled off at gunpoint over the project, then it’s probably not a legitimate concern of the state.