Monday, March 25, 2013

Barking Up Wrong Trees

Government attempts to solve problems inevitably leads to “barking up the wrong tree”. The most expensive example is fighting global warming through energy deprivation, i.e., reducing fossil fuel use without viable replacements (wind and solar aren’t). Thanks to years of recession, the United States and most European countries have reduced their “carbon footprints”, but China and India, and other developing nations, are very rapidly expanding theirs. To do otherwise is senseless. As Bjorn Lomborg logically demonstrates, more energy use increases global prosperity, prosperity facilitates adaptation, and adaptation is far more cost effective (there is ample proof that climate change is natural, and will be as beneficial as previous warm periods).

Other examples of “wrong tree barking”:

Conducting a “War on Drugs” instead of decriminalizing drug use. Didn’t we learn anything from Prohibition?

Passing and defending the “Defense of Marriage Act” instead of separating church and state – civil unions are a state responsibility, marriage is religious. Since about 40% of children have unwed mothers, it’s obvious same-sex unions didn’t cause the crumbling marriage rock.

Fighting gun violence by banning “assault” rifles. In 2011, less than 6% of gun homicides were by rifle (679 of 11,780); unlicensed hand guns wielded by minorities on minorities accounted for almost all gun violence. However, young white male registered Democrats committed almost all the mass murders, NRA members didn’t commit any, but you couldn’t tell that from the news. (I messed up by adding this italicized part, and admitted my mistake in the following post)

Providing government of the people, by the people, for the people, by only taxing a few of the people. Providing unsustainable government employee pensions that can’t be reduced.

Not taxing employer-provided health care as compensation but allowing it as a business tax deduction, while non-covered employees probably won’t be able to deduct health insurance costs paid from their taxed income.

We’re up the tree without a ladder.

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