Brother, Can You Spare an Intel Core i7-10700 CPU?

[Amazon Link]
(paid link)

Bruce Andrews, Intel's Corporate Vice President and Chief Government Affairs Officer recently penned a letter, appearing in Wednesday's WSJ. Andrews took exception to the editorial we quoted with approval back on April 5.

Andrews leaps to Intel's defense against allegations that it is a corporate welfare queen:

It is essential to recognize the premise of the Chips and Science Act. Semiconductors are the foundation of modern economic and strategic power, critical to every industry and process that matters in the 21st century.

U.S. policy has always recognized the centrality of sectors such as food and energy to our security and prosperity. But domestic chipmaking capacity has been declining for decades, while other countries have invested in and encouraged their own semiconductor industries. The Chips Act is a monumental step in leveling the playing field and unleashing hundreds of billions of dollars in investment in America.

And more in that vein. To paraphrase: that dumb old free market isn't good enough for Intel.

Don Boudreaux replies to Andrews at Cafe Hayek with his own letter (as yet unpublished): Rent-Seeking Is A Dirty Business.

Attempting to justify government subsidization of his firm, Intel lobbyist Bruce Andrews writes that “domestic chipmaking capacity has been declining for decades” (Letters, April 10). This claim is a half-truth. What has shrunk is the share of global chip-making capacity located in the U.S. – from 37 percent in 1990 to 12 percent today. But this trend is due to increasing chip production abroad rather than to any absolute decline in U.S. production capacity. According to the Semiconductor Industry Association, between 2000 and 2018 America’s capacity to produce wafers domestically rose by more than 50 percent, and that capacity is still rising.

Mr. Andrews will insist nevertheless that the relative fall in U.S. chip-making capacity is reason enough for the government to shower his firm with taxpayer dollars. What he’ll not reveal, however, is that Intel and other US-based chip producers own and operate chip-making facilities in Japan and other foreign countries, resulting in U.S.-based chip-producers’ share of the global semiconductor market being (in 2019) 47 percent – much more than double the sales share of the number two country, Korea, and nearly ten times greater than China’s share of these sales.

Even putting aside the immorality of forcing taxpayers to subsidize producers, the purely utilitarian case for semiconductor subsidies is a sham.

Hear, hear.

For the record, the desktop machine on which I'm typing… has Intel inside. Intel, stop making me ashamed to admit this.

Also of note:

  • Of course they did. NHJournal reports on seven local politicians who think they have the expertise to lecture Israel on how to deal with terror: Dover City Council Passes 'Ceasefire' Resolution in 7-1 Vote.

    The debate over Israel’s war against Hamas came to Dover Wednesday night when city councilors passed a “ceasefire” resolution in a 7-1 vote.

    However, rather than holding a recorded roll call vote, the council passed the resolution by a show of hands.

    The sole “no” vote came from Ward 6 Councilor Fergus Cullen, who tried to have the resolution removed from the meeting’s agenda as non-germane to their duties.

    “I have publicly announced and informed my colleagues that, at the top of tonight’s [city council] meeting, I’m going to move that we remove this item from the agenda,” Cullen told NHJournal beforehand. “This is the Dover City Council, not the United Nations.”

    However, Cullen’s motion to remove failed to get a second, and the council proceeded with discussion and a vote.

    Most of the people who showed up for the council meeting supported the resolution, and many were openly anti-Israel.

    Moral posturing from a very safe distance is not an attractive look.

  • In our Stopped Clock Department, we offer… Jacob Sullum looking at a recent, widely derided, pronunciamento: Trump's Abortion Stance Is Convenient, but That Does Not Mean He's Wrong.

    "On abortion," The New York Times claims, former President Donald Trump "chose politics over principles." In reality, Trump's recent clarification of his abortion position is one of those rare instances when political expedience coincides with constitutional principles.

    In a Truth Social video posted on Monday, Trump said each state should be free to regulate abortion as its legislators and voters see fit. The result, he conceded, would be a wide range of policies, including liberal regimes that allow nearly all abortions as well as strict bans.

    Through his Supreme Court appointments, Trump bragged, "I was proudly the person responsible for the ending of" Roe v. Wade, which for half a century overrode state policy choices by ruling out most abortion restrictions. With that obstacle removed, he said, "the will of the people" should prevail in each state.

    It's to be expected that Democrats (and the MSM, but I repeat myself) would excoriate Trump for partisan reasons. And I guess a lot of pro-lifers were disappointed too. But I'm with Sullum here: Trump's position is entirely defensible. (And you know I wouldn't say that unless I actually thought so.)

  • Commie Radio gotta commie. A lot of people are pointing out this article by Uri Berliner (a "business editor and reporter" at National Public Radio). With good reason: I’ve Been at NPR for 25 Years. Here’s How We Lost America’s Trust. A snippet:

    There’s an unspoken consensus about the stories we should pursue and how they should be framed. It’s frictionless—one story after another about instances of supposed racism, transphobia, signs of the climate apocalypse, Israel doing something bad, and the dire threat of Republican policies. It’s almost like an assembly line.

    The mindset prevails in choices about language. In a document called NPR Transgender Coverage Guidance—disseminated by news management—we’re asked to avoid the term biological sex. (The editorial guidance was prepared with the help of a former staffer of the National Center for Transgender Equality.) The mindset animates bizarre stories—on how The Beatles and bird names are racially problematic, and others that are alarmingly divisive; justifying looting, with claims that fears about crime are racist; and suggesting that Asian Americans who oppose affirmative action have been manipulated by white conservatives.

    More recently, we have approached the Israel-Hamas war and its spillover onto streets and campuses through the “intersectional” lens that has jumped from the faculty lounge to newsrooms. Oppressor versus oppressed. That’s meant highlighting the suffering of Palestinians at almost every turn while downplaying the atrocities of October 7, overlooking how Hamas intentionally puts Palestinian civilians in peril, and giving little weight to the explosion of antisemitic hate around the world.

    Did Berliner raise issues inside NPR? Sure. But:

    When I suggested we had a diversity problem with a score of 87 Democrats and zero Republicans, the response wasn’t hostile. It was worse. It was met with profound indifference.

    If I get tired of listening to my iPod, I'll occasionally put on NPR in the car. I don't even get mad at it any more, it's become nearly a self-parody, an SNL skit where the players don't know how ridiculous they sound.

  • Good advice. Michael Munger pushes back on those predicting capitalism's demise: Look With Two Is.

    Capitalism is a system for organizing, directing, and motivating large groups of people who have never met. Remarkably, capitalism also gives people reasons to act as if they knew and cared about one another. As a result, the scope and success of commercial systems over the past century has produced prosperity, and reduced poverty worldwide, on a scale that is without precedent in human history.

    Yet self-appointed experts in politics and academics routinely pronounce the end of capitalism, and they advocate for largely imaginary alternatives. As I have written elsewhere, such unicorn alternative systems actually “exist” in the sense that if we close our eyes, we all see much the same thing. The problem is that the imaginary alternatives do not exist if we look, with two eyes, at the world we actually live in.

    To open his presentation at Davos in 2020, Marc Benioff said “Capitalism as we have known it is dead.” He then shared his unicorn vision — “stakeholder capitalism” — for an hour of new age psychobabble. No part of that claim is true, however: capitalism is expanding, not shrinking, and the corruption of “stakeholders” who have tried to impose DEI or ESG by force, and moralistic hectoring, is rapidly being forced to retreat back into its fortified academic redoubt.

    How can we “look with two eyes”? It takes two fundamental concepts: the first “I” is information; the second is incentives.

    Munger does Free Market 101 very well.

  • And finally… Arnold Kling does the link-recommending thing, much like I do. But I liked this quote of his a lot:

    The government role in health care is generally to subsidize demand, restrict supply, and try to control prices. I am not optimistic about how that will turn out.

    Nor am I, and nor should anyone.