Tag: Subsidies

Member Post

 

“Meanwhile, the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that Biden signed into law in November includes $7.5 billion to jump start the president’s goal of having 500,000 EV charging stations nationwide by 2030. ” – Epoch Times “How many gas stations are in the United States? The figure most experts estimate is about 111,000. The […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

Member Post

 

Farm subsidies are perhaps the ultimate, but secret, third rail of American politics. While entitlements are discussed out in the open, farm subsidies are rarely talked about – even though they are the most expensive subsidy Washington doles out. All told, the U.S. government spends $20 billion annually on farm subsidies, with approximately 39 percent of […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

Member Post

 

Farm subsidies are perhaps the ultimate, but secret, third rail of American politics. While entitlements are discussed out in the open, farm subsidies are rarely talked about – even though they are the most expensive subsidy Washington doles out. All told, the U.S. government spends $20 billion annually on farm subsidies, with approximately 39 percent […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

Autumn Colors: The Color of Law, an in-depth review

 

When people are free to associate as they please, we can’t be surprised if they sometimes self-segregate. People self-sort along many affinities, including ethnic affinities. This is what lawyers call de facto segregation, and it’s none of the law’s business. De jure segregation — segregation imposed by law, including segregation promoted by public policy — is, on the other hand, very much the law’s business.

In 1866, Congress passed a Civil Rights Act (the 1866 CRA) asserting the equal rights of blacks before the law, including property rights, and real-estate rights in particular. The 1866 CRA warned

Subsidy Upon Subsidies

 

1200px-Indian_Point_Nuclear_Power_PlantConfronted with a grassy bump in a playing field, a normal person would simply level it out to match the rest of the turf. But when government is put in charge — and egged-on by lobbies — the more common solution is bring in truck-load after truck-load of soil to raise the entire field to match the bump. For the latest and most cussedly frustrating example of the phenomenon, Ron Bailey brings us this report on energy subsidies in New York State:

Unable to compete with heavily subsidized wind and solar power or electricity generated using cheap natural gas, the operators of four upstate New York nuclear reactors were planning to shut them down. Closing the plants would be a significant setback for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s ambitious plan to reduce the state’s carbon dioxide emissions from the electric power sector. Currently the state gets 32 percent of its electricity from nuclear power, 19 percent from hydropower, 3 percent from wind, and 0.1 percent from solar. Burning natural gas currently generates about 41 percent of the state’s electricity with the remainder from coal and oil.

In order to forestall these nuclear shut-downs, state regulators decided this week to subsidize nuclear power plants at a rate of $500 million per year. The deal was announced by the state’s Public Service Commission when it adopted a plan to mandate that 50 percent of the state’s electricity be produced using renewable energy by 2030. Under the new Clean Energy Standards, each nuclear plant will be allocated zero emissions credits, which utilities must purchase when buying power from them. It is estimated that the credits will sell for about $17.48 per megawatt-hour of electricity. That money will go to the bottom lines of the plant’s owners, Entergy and Exelon. Now everybody’s a subsidized rent-seeker.

Congress Should Have Let the Sun Go Down on Solar Subsidies

 

shutterstock_79128529And in one fell swoop through the 2,000-page omnibus spending bill, Congress again saddled American taxpayers with billions in handouts to the perpetually foolish and failing solar industry. In what is sure to foster the very same practices that led to the infamous Solyndra debacle, renewable energy handouts through the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) are now guaranteed until at least 2022. In other words, don’t expect ITC or its cohorts to vanish any time soon.

While solar stocks soared after the news broke of Congress’s ill-advised extension of the ITC, taxpayers should remain skeptical of the industry’s so-called success. Despite gargantuan subsidies over the past five decades, the solar industry has yet to make a convincing case for itself. In fact, there is little evidence of success. The fact is that a coddled solar industry simply can’t make it on its own.

There are many egregious recent failures of the American solar policy. As part of the Obama Administration’s solar loan program through the Department of Energy (DOE), a Spain-based solar company has received $2.7 billion in taxpayer funds since 2010. Counted among President Obama’s favorite solar companies, Abengoa solar plants across the US have massively underperformed.

Member Post

 

From Wealth and Poverty: A New Edition for the Twenty-First Century, by George Gilder: Comfortable failure will always and inevitably turn to politics to protect it from change.  Just as declining businesses turn to the state, people and groups that shun the burdens of productive work and family life will proclaim themselves a social crisis […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

Sesame Street Moving to HBO. A Nail in the Coffin for PBS?

 

Bert_and_ErnieFor the next five seasons, new episodes of Sesame Street will run first on HBO (and its online partners), then on PBS nine months later. As part of the deal, PBS gets the show for free.

So, is this 1) simply a creative funding arrangement for PBS; 2) a nail in the coffin for PBS’ very existence; or 3) best yet  — and my personal opinion — yet more proof that PBS does not need federal subsidies to stay alive and stay “public”?

For those of you still scratching your head over this partnership, it makes perfect sense from a business perspective. Though Sesame Street received funding from PBS, that money amounted to less than 10 percent of the funding needed to produce the series. The remaining cash was procured through licensing revenue from DVD and merchandise sales. However, as more and more people turn to streaming and VOD services, fewer and fewer people are purchasing the physical media which used to be Sesame Workshop’s bread and butter. According to The New York Times, approximately two-thirds of children who currently watch Sesame Street do so on demand rather than watching on PBS. Naturally, if we want more Oscar the Grouch in our lives, Sesame Workshop had to find alternate ways of financing his high-rolling, trash-dwelling lifestyle.

No, Government Isn’t Subsidizing Walmart

 

Democratsshutterstock_158807126-e1428424073184, unions, and left-wing activists frequently argue that government (actually taxpayers) subsidizes Wal-Mart and other companies that employ low-wage workers because many of those workers receive government welfare benefits such as food stamps and Medicaid. And the mainstream media pretty much accept this reasoning. Here is CBS News: “Walmart’s highly publicized pay hike is a victory of sorts for its 1.3 million employees, but American taxpayers will foot the bill for the large subsidies that will still be needed to compensate for the discount retailer’s low wages.”

So, goes the theory, if Wal-Mart would pay its workers a “decent wage” — like a minimum of $10 an hour or $15 an hour (or more) — the retailer could get off the dole! The Netflix series House of Cards recently had a fictional presidential candidate bash Wal-Mart with this reasoning: “The starting salary for an employee at Walmart is below the poverty line. Now, the American government subsidizes Walmart to the tune of $7.8 billion a year by issuing food stamps to over one in ten of its workers.”

Well, that’s one way to look at it. Here is AEI’s Michael Strain, a fan of the Earned Income Tax Credit,  yesterday at the Peterson Institute for International Economics addressing the “government subsidizes Wal-Mart” issue after it was raised by an audience member: