Climate Change USA

The Brookings Institution nicely summarizes the main conclusions of the recently published National Climate Assessment (NCA).

1. Warming has been driven by human activity.

Human activities are the primary cause of warming over the past 50 years. The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased by more than 40 percent since the industrial revolution, through the burning of fossil fuels and continued deforestation…

2. Climate change impacts are happening now.

Temperatures in the United States have already increased 1.3 to 1.9 degrees Fahrenheit since 1895 (most of it since 1970) and in most areas of the United States temperatures are projected to rise by another 2 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit over the next few decades…

3. Climate change impacts will continue into the future.

Temperatures across the United States as well as in oceans and freshwater lakes are projected to rise. This will be accompanied by more heavy downpours, severe droughts, and wildfires. Sea levels are projected to rise by another 1 to 4 feet this century.

4. Climate change will adversely affect the economy and quality of life.

These impacts will have negative repercussions for human health, water supply, agriculture, transportation, energy, and coastal areas where nearly 5 million Americans and billions of dollars worth of property are located…

5. Vulnerable regions and sectors will be disproportionately affected.

Doubts about the US as Democracy


What Economists Are Saying About Today’s Bad GDP Numbers

In other words, pushing more spending no matter what.  The Fed such pump out more money into the economy.

Balancing the budget or cutting spending will hurt the economy even more than it is now.

In the first six months of 2011 real GDP grew at an annual rate of only 0.8% per year. At that growth rate, unemployment will rise at about 1 percentage point per year.

I need to see the guts of the numbers, but unless there is something very odd in them, the chance that the unemployment rate will be above 9% in November 2012 just crossed 50% heading upward.

A rational Federal Reserve would:

Begin QE III today.

A rational administration would:

Announce a technical fix to the debt ceiling today: the economy does not need the risk.

Abandon all long-term budget negotiations with anybody who requires cuts to the deficit over the next eighteen months to come to the table: the economy needs stimulus, not contraption.

Take every single uncommitted TARP and TALF and whatever dollar, leverage it up, and throw it at the economy to boost aggregate demand.

via Much Worse GDP Numbers than I Had Expected.

I Forgot About The Balanced-Budget Multiplier

A view simple concept–if you expand government spending and taxation by the same amount, then there is an equivalent increase in national income. Hence, there is more income, but not more national debt.  Great!

I wrote about the concept of the balanced-budget multiplier and of raising taxes and government expenditure by the same amount, dollar for dollar. These ideas were first put on the national stage in 1943 by Paul Samuelson, the Nobel laureate. He argued that such a policy would be one-for-one expansionary: each dollar spent is a dollar of new national income. As long as interest rates are near zero — as they were then and are now — there should be no “crowding out” of private expenditures by government ones.

This is an expansionary change in fiscal policy that won’t require additional increases in the national debt. We should start a dialogue right now about taking such action, before the damage of protracted unemployment worsens.

via Tax and Spend, but Keep Your Balance – Economic View –

Coral Gables Can’t Manage The Biltmore

I have written before that the city of Coral Gables has no business owning a large, historic hotel, and the last few years have shown us is that the city is over its head. The city management have been incapable of auditing and managing the hotel’s lease.

Perhaps the hotel should be returned to the federal government and the National Park Service, which has the policies and the money to keep track of what is happening at the hotel without getting itself tied up in unseemly relations with the hotel’s management.

The city will not have the resources and willpower in the future to keep track of the Biltmore, even if it wins a costly legal battle with the lessee, and we will then return to the same problem again.  Certainly, the Biltmore is a great asset for Miami-Dade county, but the city of Coral Gables is too small an operation to care for its historic qualities.


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