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Samizdata quote of the day

“The U.S. could have set an example for the world through innovation. Instead the government chose to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to achieve no noticeable climate benefit.”

Bjorn Lomborg, Wall Street Journal ($).

17 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    I beg your pardon! We in NSW, Australia, just had some snow on our Mountain ranges! As soon as Congress passed the law, the weather has gone back to normal! That is what I call Progress!

  • Steven R

    Being Danish, Mr. Lomborg may not realize the point of the law has nothing to do with climate change. Like most of what Congress does, it is really all about:

    1) Scoring points for the upcoming mid-term elections for those seeking reelection (“You must reelect me so I can continue to fight for these kinds of laws” or “you must reelect me so I can continue to fight against these kinds of laws”)

    1a) Pork for the rubes back home, part of point !

    2) Graft, namely in the various projects and spending provisions that are included in the bill, often as a part of an amendment to the bill that has absolutely nothing to do with the stated purpose of the bill, that will be funneled to friends and family of those on Capitol Hill (both Democrats and Republicans are guilty of this)

    3) Insidiously and quietly expand government power by bureaucracy

    4) Overtly expand government power by giving the government more things to arrest citizens over and the agents to do just that

    It is all political kabuki theater, but the devils are in the details of the bill.

  • Momo

    Instead the government chose to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to achieve no noticeable climate benefit

    But the level of graft and corruption!!!

    So successful by that metric.

  • Paul Marks

    If governments, and bankers, can just create money from nothing and spend it – they will do so, and carry on this “emergency” spending (subsidising their friends) till bankruptcy and economic, and cultural, breakdown is “achieved”.

    Not a discovery by Paul Marks – as Roger Sherman (the only man to sign all the founding documents of the United States) pointed this out the Constitutional Convention.

    It is nothing to with the C02-is-evil theory – if the establishment cared about C02 they would be attacking the People’s Republic of China which produces most of the C02 emissions. Instead the love the People’s Republic of China Communist Party dictatorship – and see it as a model for international “governance” to deliver United Nations “Sustainable Development Goals” under Agenda 2030 (even the Pope has sighed up for all this – partly thanks to the decades of infiltration work by Cardinal McCarrick and others).

    They spend money because they, and their banker friends, can create-it-from-nothing – so, as far as they are concerned, there is no reason at all to limit government spending, or corporate spending.

    There is only one way to stop all this spending – enforce Article One, Section Ten, of the Constitution of the United States, only gold or silver coin “legal tender” in any State. Remember even in the Civil War California and Oregon kept to that – and Federal Reserve notes did not exist before 1913. Anyone who thinks that the United States in 1913 was a “preindustrial society” is ignorant – the present monetary and financial scam-system is NOT needed for an advanced economy. Switzerland had a link with physical reality till the 1990s – was Switzerland a “primitive society” before the 1990s? At least 10% of Swiss money had to be backed by gold before the new Constitution of the 1990s.

    No more Cantillon Effect allowing the elite to create money (from nothing) and use it to buy up farm land, houses, and other real assets.

    If this is not done – then the population of the “Free World” will end up de facto serfs – with everything (even their homes) owned by a handful of international financial entities working in “partnership” with governments.

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    Update: here is a good take on the energy market from Andrew Lilico in the Spectator.

  • Paul Marks

    Last night Mr Joseph Biden announced yet more spending – this time on “forgiveness” of student loan debt, he has no legal power to do this (even Nancy Pelosi admitted that – only last year), but it has been done anyway – because the rule of law is dying in the United States.

    Would anyone like to pretend that this latest orgy of government spending is motivated by the C02-is-evil theory? Is that why they are “forgiving” student debt?

    The truth is as simple as it is brutal – as long as the government and the banks are allowed to create money from nothing, they will continue to do so till the United States is destroyed.

    As I pointed out above – Roger Sherman predicted (at the Constitutional Convention) that if the government and the banks ever got the power to create money from nothing, they would spend without limit and destroy the country.

    And that is exactly what is happening. It is nothing to do with the C02-is-evil theory – they will always find some excuse to spend money, whilst they are allowed to create money from nothing.

    I can remember when the official Federal Government debt first went above one Trillion Dollars – now it is 32 Trillion Dollars.

    People who still think of the United States and the United States Dollar as a “safe haven” in troubled times – are away with the Elves and Pixies.

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    Paul, Biden is doing this to win the votes of college-educated people, particularly women, who are now more likely to attend higher education in the US than men.

    The repudiation of the debt is appalling for various reasons:
    It is a regressive wealth transfer in general;
    It redistributes resources from men to women (without doing so explicitly, but that is the effect);
    It makes those who have diligently repaid their debt look like suckers;
    It is the sort of cynical, damn-the-consequences sort of spending measure that a hack and shabby character such as Mr Biden built his career on;
    It further adds to the Higher Ed. bubble in tuition fees and stands in the way of a necessary retrenchment of a bloated and toxic sector more known for brainwashing students and overpriced degrees than disseminating knowledge;
    It further demoralises those who choose to avoid college and go into vocational/practical lines of work instead.
    It adds to public debt, and further reduces the ability of the US to return to some form of fiscal sanity.
    It is also illegal and an abuse of EO. I hope it is challenged successfully in the courts. And I hope it blows up in the political faces of the Democratic Party.

  • Paul Marks

    Johnathan Pearce – yes agreed, on all points.

    Mr Biden or whoever is really making the decisions.

    And it may be more than damn-the-consequences, the people behind Mr Biden may actually want (yes want) the United States economy to be destroyed – as they can then say “there is no choice – we must go to a world currency and international economic governance, there is no other option”, not an invention of Klaus Schwab as J.M. Keynes and others wanted this from the 1940s onwards.

    As for American education….

    Females are doing better than males because their work tends to be better presented – and because they tend (on average) to more faithfully repeat back what they are taught.

    Can you imagine me in the American education system?

    My work is very messy (I am walking advertisement for the profession of subeditor – I am the sort of person whose work really needs a “sub”), and I always question assumptions.

    There is no way that I would even pass High School in the United States – let alone go to college. My work is messy (not neat), and I do not faithfully repeat back the “received wisdom”, I question it.

    And as the purpose of American education is to produce bureaucrats (both government and corporate bureaucrats) – they would be quite correct not to pass me.

    The “hive mind” one finds on Twitter (and so on) of people who all have the same opinions (or every question) and even use the same words, is not an accident – it is exactly what the American education system is designed to create. A bunch of lickspittle conformists – who, with no sense of irony, think of themselves as “the Resistance”. An American of spirit and character would not go near most American schools and universities.

    And our education system in Britain is going the same way.

  • Deep Lurker

    There is only one way to stop all this spending – enforce Article One, Section Ten, of the Constitution of the United States, only gold or silver coin “legal tender” in any State.


    That’s not what Article One, Section Ten says. It’s a list of things the States are not allowed to do, some of which Congress is also not allowed to do, but others it is allowed to do.

    Article One, Section Eight allows Congress:

    To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

    To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

    To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

    Among other things, some of which are forbidden to the States and others of which require the States to get special permission from Congress first.

    So Congress is allowed to coin US dollars, but Virginia and California are not allowed to coin[1] “Virginia pounds” or “California pesos” and they’re not allowed to get around this prohibition by declaring tobacco or pot to be legal tender.

    Whether Congress can Constitutionally declare tobacco, or pot, or special pieces of paper to be legal tender is a separate question, one that Section 10 does not address.

    [1]not even if the Virginia pounds are silver and the California pesos are gold.

  • Paul Marks

    Deep Lurker.

    By the very section you cite – “coin money” NOT “print money” or create it via book keeping tricks – and this was not an accident, as the “Not Worth A Continental” saying reminds us, the fiat currency of the old Continental Congress soon became worthless.

    To avoid this, to set the Federal Government on a sound basis in its monetary and financial system, was the very reason the Constitutional Convention occurred.

    As for Article One, Section Ten, the Section I cited, it says that no State may..

    “make anything but gold or silver coin a tender in payment of debts”.

    I said “legal tender” – it actually says “a tender in payment of debts”.

    “But Paul just because no State may do this – does not mean the Federal government may not do it”.

    That is the argument of what my ancestors would call a “shyster” – a corrupt lawyer who twists the words of the law to get the opposite result to what was intended.

    The point of the Constitutional Convention was to prevent the very thing this “argument” says it allows.

    In no State may anything other than gold or silver coin be legal tender – FINIS.

    If the United States of America is controlled by shysters (corrupt lawyers in the service of Wall Street Credit Bubble bankers – and D.C. politicians) then it is time for States to secede – and have done with it. Not a few States – all 50 States.

    Leave D.C. on its own – and rename it “Shysterstan”. The Credit Bubble bankers of Wall Street can go and live there – and eat each other.

  • Paul Marks

    Even if we totally ignore the Article One, Section Ten – no State may have anything other than gold or silver coin as a tender in payment of debts (and only a shyster would ignore it), the paper money that was produced in the Civil War and the paper money that has been produced since 1913 is clearly unconstitutional.

    The Federal Government has no power to print money, or have someone else do so on its behalf , or create money by book keeping tricks, or have someone else do so on its behalf – it only has the power to coin money.

    Even during the Civil War California and Oregon kept to that – both in their taxes and in the payment of debts. And Senator Conkling (one of the strongest voices against slavery – and, later, segregation right till the 1880s) also kept to this.

    If you want government spending then vote for the taxes to pay for it – do not play the create money from nothing game.

    The same for Corporate Spending – let them borrow cash money, Real Savings, NOT have money created from nothing and given to them at a token interest rate.

    Or else you will get a situation where corporate interests (with money created from nothing) can buy up real assets (such as land) and reduce the population to de facto serfdom. The money the population being “paid” for their land (homes and so on) soon becoming worthless.

    Is that what you want “Deep Lurker” – a population of serfs, controlled by government and the corporations?

  • Deep Lurker


    I object to bad arguments, even if they’re made for good positions. Yes you can argue that “coin money” in Section 8 only authorizes Congress to coin gold and silver. Perfectly good argument. But when you drag Section 10 into your argument you are making a bad argument. Section 10 and its limitations on the States is MEANINGLESS when it comes to what Congress can and can’t do.

    “But Paul just because no State may do this – does not mean the Federal government may not do it”.

    Exactly so. You have to look at other parts of the Constitution to determine whether or not Congress can or can’t do something prohibited to the States. When you insist that an explicit prohibition on the States (in Section 10) is also an implicit prohibition on Congress, you are guilty of being the shyster that you project onto others.

    Under Section 10, the States can’t coin money even from gold or silver. By your logic gold and silver coin therefore cannot be used in the States – which is a ridiculous argument, contradicted by the very next clause of Section 10. And your argument that that next clause requires that only gold and silver coin can be used in the States is equally ridiculous. You can argue that gold and silver coin is the only allowable money in the US based on other parts of the Constitution – but you can’t get there from Section 10. And when you argue that you can get there from Section 10, you are being what you call a shyster.

  • Paul Marks

    Deep Lurker – you claimed that the “money” the Federal Government (or Federal Reserve) produces was Constitutional it clearly is not.

    Not only is it not gold and silver and, therefore, can not be “a tender for payment of debts” in any State, it is not even “coined” – it is mostly printed or is just book keeping tricks (FRAUD) – just lights on banker computer screens (in the old days fake entries in leather bound account books).

    You can, if you wish, argue that the Feds can coin (NOT print or create by book keeping tricks) money that is not gold or silver – but such money could only be a “tender in payment of debts” in D.C. in military bases and in Federal Government buildings – not in any State.

    So the present monetary system is doubly unconstitutional – firstly because it is not gold or silver, and secondly because it is (mostly) not even coin.

    By the yay, as you have raised the matter of Federal jurisdiction, the police power of the Congress (the Federal power) extends to the ten mile square area of the Capital, plus things bought by the Federal government from the States “for the erection of forts, magazines, dock yards, and useful buildings” – not Article One Section Ten, but Section Eight (your section Sir).

    If a Federal police power force, say the FBI (created in the 20th century), is found outside these areas, they should be politely asked to leave – and if they will not leave peacefully they should be removed by the State Militia by order of the elected State Government. The United States military does NOT have a police power role – other than in D.C. and on military bases.

    The Tenth Amendment settles the matter. The people are not serfs belonging to the government and the banks. Indeed banking is entirely a State matter – the Federal Reserve system is unconstitutional, and the National Banking Acts of the 19th century were also invalid.

    You have a nice day now “Deep Lurker”.

  • Paul Marks

    Almost needless to say – if governments and banks can create money from nothing, then the politically connected will buy up real assets (such as land and homes) with money given to them, or “lent” to them at some nominal interest rate, before the money falls in value – this would eventually lead to the population being reduced to de facto serfdom.

    If this is lawful then the only recourse of the people is to the bullet and the bomb – so do not say it is lawful under the principles of the Common Law and the Constitution of the United States, for that would leave the people no recourse other than to the bullet and the bomb. Those of us who dislike violence wish to avoid this – in the United States and the rest of the Western world.

    I refer those interested to the dissenting opinions on the Gold Clause cases of 1935 (my father, Harry Marks, was 22 at the time) – as the dissenting Justices pointed out, if the Gold Clauses in public and private contracts could be disregarded, and the government (and pet bankers) could create money from nothing, then the Common Law (including the law of contract) was at an end.

    “But they only created a little money at first” – perhaps, but that time is over, now they are creating “money” without limit – because once the they are allowed to take a finger, they rip your arm off.

    Now it is quite clear that the government and the banks (Washington D.C. and Wall Street – and the international establishment) wish to reduce the population to de facto serfdom – “you will own nothing” (“and you will be happy” is a sick joke).

    It is time to choose sides.

    They can not, lawfully (the real law – not the laws of the regime) just create money from nothing and buy everything (and everyone) up. Damn that – and damn anyone who supports it.

    “No bad language” – I meant “damn” literally, damn the supporters of this system of “legalised” fraud to Hell.

  • Jacob

    “The U.S. could have set an example for the world through innovation”
    Spending 370 b$ (over 10 years) to subsidize useless “renewable energy” is a total and idiotic waste of resources, which also contributes to the disruption of needed (fossil fuel) energy. This is obvious.
    No need to give the US government foolish advice about what it “could have done”. You don’t have to find something “instead” of the idiocy done. The best advice Lomborg could have given is “The US [government] should do nothing”.

  • Paul Marks

    In defence of “Deep Lurker” – Roger Sherman, and others, wanted to make the wording even clearer. Because he feared that, at some future time (perhaps long after they were all dead) corrupt people would twist the words of the Constitution to pretend that money created-from-nothing by the Federal government and the banks was Constitutional.

    Roger Sherman was told he was paranoid (or words to that effect), but history has vindicated him.

    Such words as “well States may not have anything other than gold or silver coin as a tender in payment of debts – but that means the FEDERAL government can do it” were exactly what Roger Sherman (and others) feared would one day come to pass – when all the Founders were dead and could not contradict such corrupt people.

    Unless stopped this money-created-from-nothing will destroy the Republic – it is that serious.

  • Paul Marks

    Jacob yes – what the Federal government should not do, such as tell people what energy to use, it does do. And what the Federal government should do, such as defend the borders against the mass migration (really invasion) that is happening, it does not do.

    The Federal government is totally inverted. It is the opposite of what it should be.