URLs du Jour


  • Our Eye Candy du Jour is the fourth entry in Reason's Citizen vs. Government series.

    The Citizen is looking a little frazzled. Understandably.

  • We've previously blogged about this, but Veronique de Rugy can't be missed: New CBO Report Projects Delusional Spending Levels.

    America's national debt now stands at close to $27 trillion. According to a new report by the Congressional Budget Office, by the end of 2020, federal debt held by the public is projected to equal 98% of GDP — and in the following year, this burden will grow to 104% of GDP. But its growth doesn't stop there. Even in the unlikely scenario that spending doesn't increase, the CBO projects that national debt will weigh in at 107% of GDP in 2023. That'll be the highest level in our nation's history — higher than during the Great Depression and even higher than its peak during World War II.

    Yet nobody in Washington seems to care about this disease of chronic profligacy, and COVID-19 has only made things worse. As economist John Cochrane of Stanford University's Hoover Institution rightly notes, the pandemic response "resembles a sequence of million-dollar bets by non-socially distanced drunks at a secretly reopened bar: I'll spend a trillion dollars! No, I'll spend two trillion dollars! That anyone has to pay for this is un-mentioned."

    For reasons I can't remember, I usually watch a half-hour or so of the local news at 5pm. The unspoken context for many of the reports that touch on Federal spending: why isn't there more of it? Specifically, on us. It's assumed that it's free money. The bill won't come due.

  • Ever since I read her Lost in Math last year, I've been following Sabine Hossenfelder's blog. She takes the unusual approach of providing her posts in both text and video. Very 21st century.

    Today she has something to say about demands that we "follow the science".

    Today I want to tell you why I had to stop reading news about climate science. Because it pisses me off. Every. Single. Time.

    There’s all these left-wing do-gooders who think their readers are too fucking dumb to draw their own conclusions so it’s not enough to tell me what’s the correlation between hurricane intensity and air moisture, no, they also have to tell me that, therefore, I should donate to save the polar bears. There’s this implied link: Science says this, therefore you should do that. Follow the science, stop flying. Follow the science, go vegan. Follow the science and glue yourself to a bus, because certainly that’s the logical conclusion to draw from the observed weakening of the atlantic meridional circulation.

    Sorry if you were shocked by Sabine's f-bomb. If you click over, you can watch her video deliver the same in a German accent. If that floats your boat. Or Wenn das dein Boot schwimmt.

  • And our Google LFOD alert rang for the [Rhea County TN] Herald News which reports the States with the Most Reckless Drivers. And you know what? We're number nine!

    They may say “live free or die” in the ninth state on the list, and it seems like this laissez-faire attitude carries over to precautions on the road. New Hampshire’s rate of reckless driving is 36 percent higher than the national average. The Granite State has also experienced an astronomical increase in driving rates from the beginning of the pandemic until September: with a 484 percent relative increase, New Hampshire drivers returned to the roads in great droves. Unlike many of the other states on this list, New Hampshire’s population density, while lower than the national average, is not comparatively very low — it ranks 21st in the nation on population per square mile. As a repeat offender from 2019, it seems as though the driving norms in New Hampshire are less stringent — and result in more driving violations — than the rest of the country’s.

    Our go-to on highway carnage stats is this State by state comparison of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. For 2018 (the latest year available), they report that New Hampshire had 10.8 motor vehicle crash fatalities per 100K population, below the US overall average of 11.2.

    And 1.07 deaths per 100 million miles traveled, also below the US average of 1.13.

    So we're reckless, but not reckless enough to kill ourselves.

    Another interesting factoid: we are (famously) alone in not mandating seat belt use for adults. The IIHS says that 70% of New Hampshire fatalities were "Unrestrained". And on that particular stat, New Hampshire is number one. Eek! Take that to heart, folks: buckle up even if you don't have to.

Last Modified 2020-09-24 6:18 PM EDT