Friday, February 6, 2009

Socialist Browner; A Stimulus by Any Other Name

The Socialist International denounces America’s “neo-liberal market ideology,”and would prefer “global governance.”

President Obama wants to emphasize science so he chose Carol Browner for his “Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change.” Browner’s career is not as a climate scientist but an attorney who ran the EPA during the Clinton Administration, so she does not represent “change.”

She also put in a stint with the Socialist International. The 170 members include parties like the Democratic Socialists of America, Canada’s New Democratic Party (NDP), Nicaragua’s Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP), the Radical Social Democratic Party (PRSD) of Chile, and many others.

The Socialist International denounces America’s “neo-liberal market ideology,” and would prefer “global governance,” ostensibly by wise international socialists such as themselves, as a way to address both economic inequities and the issue of climate change: the Socialist International deploys a commission for climate change calling for so-called rich countries to reduce consumption. [emphasis added]

Carol Browner was one of 14 leaders of this commission. The Obama transition team knew about Browner’s stint with the Socialist International, but recommended her anyway. Conveniently, Browner’s post does not require confirmation. One can only conclude that the Obama administration agrees with Browner’s Socialist International approach, at some odds with the facts.

In December, when much of the country was experiencing extreme cold, the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee released a minority staff report with statements from many scientists skeptical of climate-change orthodoxy. Environmental physical chemist Dr. Kiminori Itoh says that warming fears are the “worst scientific scandal.” The report also cites Ivar Giaver, a Nobel laureate in physics, who says “I am a skeptic . . . Global warming has become a new religion.” Dr. Joanne Simpson, PhD in meteorology and formerly of NASA, says that “As a scientist I remain skeptical. The main basis of the claim that man’s release of greenhouse gases is the cause of the warming is based almost entirely upon climate models. We all know the frailty of models concerting the air-surface system.”

“I am convinced that the current alarm over carbon dioxide is mistaken,” explains Dr. Will Happer, professor of physics at Princeton and former director of energy research at the Department of Energy. “Fears about man-made global warming are unwarranted and are not based on good science,” Dr. Happer says in the report.
Those fears demonstrate fear for the regulatory, anti-enterprise, and anti-U.S. approach championed by the Socialist International and Carol Browner.
Condensed from "Welcome to Watermelon Season" by K. Lloyd Billingsley, Editorial Director, Pacific Research Institute Vol. 14 No. 5: February 4, 2009

Don’t Call It “Stimulus”

David Friedman raises a very good point:
A well chosen name wins an argument by assuming its conclusion. Label cash subsidies to foreign government as “foreign aid” and who can be so hard hearted as to oppose them? Call subsidies to the public schools “aid to education” and you neatly skip over the question of whether additional spending in the public school system results in more education.

And “economic stimulus” is a classic example.

Everyone—including Obama, back when he was running for President—is against deficit spending. Relabel it “stimulus” and everyone is for it. The label neatly evades the question of whether having the government borrow money and spend it is actually a way of getting out of a recession—a claim for which evidence is distinctly thin. It is stimulus, so obviously it must stimulate.

So what should we call it? President Obama’s spending proposal? The deficit-spending package? I think we’d have trouble getting the media to call it the Big Boondoggle. Maybe the government bailout, following the Wall Street bailout and the auto bailout?

Alas, we’re probably stuck debating the “stimulus.” But that means the battle was half lost before it began. Cato at Liberty

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