There are people who have no imagination. They can’t imagine anything but what is right in front of them right now. Then there are those with overactive imaginations. They imagine– or fall for– everything, regardless of whether it’s possible or realistic. And many people exhibit both conditions simultaneously, but it depends on what you’re talking about at the moment.
“Remember $2 gas?” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich asked in 2012 as he sought the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. Politicians love to remind us of low gas prices in the past and promise their return in the future. But in early April, Reuters reports, US president Donald Trump threatened to severely curtail the US government’s military relationship with Saudi Arabia unless the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reduced oil output to drive prices back UP.
“Caplan’s point is a good and striking one. His conclusion is fairly extraordinary, though: He is apparently claiming that all (or a plurality) of the major decision makers in the American government are power-hungry demagogues who deliberately decided to channel money into stimulus rather than research because they are bad people.”
Local employers are now giving employees “travel papers” so they can prove to cops who might stop them for being out on the road that they are traveling “legitimately”. I personally know that Walmart, Family Dollar, a cattle feed producer, and other businesses have issued such papers. Probably everyone whose business is deemed “essential” enough to be allowed to stay in business is doing the same.
I just returned from cruising the Caribbean on Anthem of the Seas. Maybe you’ve heard of it? Fortunately, no coronavirus panic marred our vacation, and the concluding scare at the dock turned out to be a false alarm. Though I’d seen a little of the Caribbean before, this trip was a heavy dose: after a stop at San Juan, Puerto Rico, we sailed on to St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia, and St. Kitts. Here are my social science reflections.
Much of the focus on home delivery culture, both positive and negative, is on lots and lots of stuff becoming more and more accessible. That’s true, and relevant, whether you’re a fan of consumer culture or bemoan it. But home delivery culture also incentivizes businesses to do things that are good for all of us. And it does so through market mechanisms rather than through political haggling.
On a recent weekday morning, the first floor of Tiffany Pierce’s home in Queens, New York, was abuzz with activity. Six children, ranging in age from five to 12, were making art, learning about mathematical asymmetry and digging deep into topics ranging from geography to science. Pierce runs an art-inspired, micro-learning homeschool co-op, bringing together local families who want a more personalized approach to education for their children. Together, the families hired a teacher four days a week to craft an inviting and intellectually-engaging learning environment, while Pierce volunteers her space and support.
Have you ever had to go to work next to a construction site? If you’re like most people, you’re happy when it’s over. The end of a construction project means the end of congested roads, loud equipment noises, and the occasional equipment mishaps. I get it. There’s a building going up next to my office building right now.
You are going to have no real choice but to drive on some government roads. You are going to have no choice but to use some things government paid for with money it stole. You can barter and use silver for some trades, but fiat “money” is unavoidable. You may benefit in some roundabout way from government’s unethical (and evil) actions which you oppose. That’s reality.
It’s true, as Collins points out, that the federal gas tax hasn’t been raised in more than 25 years — and that, contrary to popular perception, its revenues come nowhere close to covering highway construction and maintenance costs. But it’s also true that gasoline is on its way out. Timeline estimates vary, but it’s reasonable to predict that by 2030 the vast majority of vehicles on American roads will be electric. Gasoline will become a minor player, then a novelty, then a rarity, all while politicians are counting on it to pay for their big plans.