Healing The Wounds Of The Election Will Take Time : NPR

Michel Martin reflects on the divides that seemed particularly prevalent during and after the 2016 election, and what comes next.

Restructuring is something you read about. It’s a layoff when it’s happening to you. Somebody can tell you 24 hours a day that technology and globalization brings more goods at lower prices, but if you’re on the losing end of it, so what?

But it doesn’t matter if you correctly diagnose a problem if the prescription is all wrong.

it has been and remains so unproductive to focus on perceived enemies rather than real problems, no matter how deplorable or alien you think the enemy may be.

Let’s hope for the body politic that the diagnosis and the treatment are worthy of the pain.

Source: Healing The Wounds Of The Election Will Take Time : NPR

Isn’t it better to invest in clean energy and be wrong about the dangers of climate change than to do nothing and be right?

To be absolutely clear, the climate is changing, humans are the cause (primarily through the mass combustion of fossil fuels), and human civilization is responsible for the eventual outcome.
See: Global CO2 Summary — The Keeling Curve, Seasonal CO2 Cycles, and Global CO2 Distribution


Those who don’t believe that climate change is real (or think it is manageable) think the gamble is in the other direction. Switching the entire planet over to “clean” energy would cost about 20% of global wealth (to emphasize: wealth, not income!) — around £30 trillion. It would cost the United States about $5 trillion just for itself.

Furthermore, the beneficiaries of such infrastructure and investment would not exactly be the same companies which make up the current energy infrastructure. The existing companies (and countries, since many fossil fuel companies are state-owned) would face losses of up to:

  • $85 trillion in proven petroleum reserves
  • $31 trillion in proven coal reserves
  • $468 billion in proven gas reserves
  • > $5.5 trillion in annual industry revenue
  • trillions of dollars in capital, obsolete physical infrastructure, market capitalization, and equity

Yeah, we’ll still need some non-energy petroleum products, and if old-energy companies invested in the clean energy sector then they wouldn’t lose their entire market value. But people have a very hard time agreeing to claims that they (and millions of other people) should lose everything.



Election 2016: We just saw what voters do when they feel screwed. Here’s the economic theory of why they do it — Quartz

The benefits from trade and immigration and globalization are so huge that everyone inside of developed countries should be doing better than they otherwise would have.

Policies such as trade, globalization and immigration have all been proven to be of great global economic benefit.

while China and the developing world have benefited enormously from trade, so too has the developed world. The benefits of comparative advantage are real. But the question then becomes: for every extra dollar that has accrued to the US and the UK, who has been the beneficiary?

Here’s a hint: it’s not the people who are voting for Trump and Brexit. These folks don’t care about the chart above, or what it represents as an accomplishment for humanity. It’s not their chart.

Source: The State of Working America

Yes, trade, globalisation, immigration are good things. They have grown the pie immeasurably.

But playing the ultimatum game and screwing the second player — those folks being screwed won’t care how much the pie is being grown if they feel they’re not getting a fair slice. They’ll throw the whole thing out.

Source: Election 2016: We just saw what voters do when they feel screwed. Here’s the economic theory of why they do it — Quartz


For comparison, if all households had experienced equal cumulative percent change in income from 1979 to 2007, then that percentage would have been 53.4%. The top 10% of American households by income took more than the average share of gains since 1979 while everyone else received less. The bottom 20% (bottom fifth / bottom quintile) received about half (29.2/53.4 ~ 55%) of an equal gain. The middle quintile (40th-60th percentile), the core of the middle class, received about a third (19.7/53.4 ~ 37%) of an equal gain.

Source: Change in average real annual household income, by income group, 1979–2010 | The Working State of America