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 Richmans' Trade and Taxes Blog

Academia forces changes at the IPCC. EPA should be next.
Howard Richman, 7/24/2012

Until recently, the United Nations IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has been largely ignoring cosmoclimatology (effects of the sun and cosmic rays upon climate), attributing climate variability to GHG (Green House Gas) concentrations in the Earth's atmosphere.

But on June 27, IPCC issued a press release stating that it had just completed implementing the August 2010 recommendations of a prestigious academic group called the InterAcademy Council, which had excoriated the IPCC for its unscientific procedures, recommending that in the future its authors and review editors give "due consideration ... to properly documented alternative views" (p. 18) and ensure "that genuine controversies are adequately reflected in the report" (p. 21).

The theory that solar activity is correlated with climate was given a tremendous boost by the finding that the length of one solar cycle negatively correlates with the earth's temperature during the next cycle, especially temperature in those regions that are far from the equator. According to this theory, the earth is expected to cool significantly, especially in the higher Northern latitudes and lower Southern latitudes during the eleven years following 2013. For more info on this theory, see:

The theory that cosmic rays strongly influence Earth temperature over periods of time greater than 22 years took off after Shaviv and Veizer's 2003 paper which showed a close correlation between ice ages and greenhouse ages of the last 500 million years based upon movement of the solar system through areas of high and low cosmic ray concentrations. Follow the following link to read their paper:

In 2009, Jasper Kirkby gave a lecture at the CERN (Europe's premier research center) in which he reviewed the accumulating literature linking cosmic ray inflow variability with climate variability. Studies have correlated cosmic ray inflow with Earth temperatures whether the scale is hundreds of millions of years or hundreds of years. Follow the following link to watch that lecture:

The cosmic ray theory was given a confirmed mechanism by an experiment conducted by Kirkby and his colleagues at the CERN. In 2011, they found that ground-level cosmic-ray concentrations can increase the rate that cloud condensation nuclei form by a factor of between 2 and 10.

Although the IPCC is being forced to consider alternative theories in its future reports, the EPA (the US Environmental Protection Agency) still appears to be ignoring them. When it gave itself power to regulate carbon dioxide in 2009, it ignored an internal report by its own employees which urged, among things, for it to look into the growing evidence for cosmoclimatology. Specifically, the internal EPA report stated:


Comments: 2

Mercantilism and Free Trade Aren't the only Alternatives
Howard Richman, 7/18/2012

In his July 17 Foreign Policy blog entry, Daniel W. Drezner (You campaign in mercantilism. You govern as a free trader) excuses President Obama's hypocrisy on trade. Obama accuses Romney of being an outsourcer, even though his own trade deficits are dismal, as we pointed out in the July 12 American Thinker (Who's the Real Outsourcer: Romney or Obama?).

Drezner assumes that there are only two alternatives, the "mercantilist" philosophy of seeking a trade surplus and the realistic "free trade" philosophy. But free trade is not realistic when you let your economy be gutted by mercantilist predators.

In an July 2 OpEdNews commentary (Has Our Defense of Freedom Made America Less Independent), Hugh Cambell endorses balanced trade as a "3rd alternative," one that would work. He recommends Warren Buffett's import certificate plan, as does one of America's premier trade economists Ralph Gomory, as did my father, son and I in our 2008 book, Trading Away Our Future. Cambell writes:

The title of Dr. Stephen R. Covey's most recent book, namely, The 3rd Alternative: Solving Life's Most Difficult Problems implies that there is a globalization alternative that moves beyond the polar-opposites of isolationism and free-trade. Such a 3rd Alternative is a balanced trade model highlighted in a November 2003 Warren E. Buffet and Carol J. Loomis Fortune magazine article, titled: America's Growing Trade Deficit Is Selling The Nation Out From Under Us., which can be found at:

Similarly, in a July 16, Huffington Post commentary, Representative Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and Pat Choate point out that balanced trade would be a tremendous boost to the American economy (Fair Trade Can Help Close America's Jobs Gap):...


Comments: 1

Again! Failure of the Media to Report Actual Claims for Unemployment Insurance
Raymond Richman, 7/12/2012

If you were watching CNBC this morning, Thursday, July 12, 2012, you heard the “great news” that the number of initial unemployment unemployment insurance claims decreased during the week ending July 7, to 350,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 376,000. While the US Bureau of Labor Statistics was circumspect in calling the number “the advance figure for seasonally adjusted” initial claims, none of the commentators did. The BLS is also circumspect by also reporting “the advance number of actual claims” which totaled 439,743 during the same week, an increase of 69,971 from the previous week....


Comments: 0

Who's the Real Outsourcer? - we're published in today's American Thinker
Howard Richman, 7/12/2012

We conclude:

[Obama] has always been two-faced on the trade issue. During the 2008 presidential campaign he promised publicly that he would take on Chinese trade manipulations. But behind closed doors, speaking to his outsourcing Silicon Valley campaign donors, he claimed that those who opposed Clinton's and Bush's trade policy were racists and xenophobes bitterly clinging to guns and religion. Specifically:

You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.

And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

Even while President Obama criticizes Romney for having outsourced a handful of jobs several decades ago, he continues to outsource 30,000 additional American manufacturing jobs to China each month, month after month. In contrast, Romney promises to get tough with China starting on day one if he is elected. It would be refreshing to have a president who talks the talk and walks the walk. Such a person is long overdue.

You can read it at the following website:


Comments: 0

Who's the real outsourcer, Romney or Obama?
Howard Richman, 7/9/2012

The Obama campaign has been running a series of campaign ads which call Romney an "outsourcer." According to Glenn Kessler in the Washington Post (4 Pinocchios for Obama’s newest anti-Romney ad), they create a false portrayal.

First, the Obama campaign ads claim that Romney regularly outsourced jobs when he was head of Bain capital, a generalization based upon a single instance. Kessler writes:

The Obama campaign rests its case on three examples of Bain-controlled companies sending jobs overseas. But only one of the examples — involving Holson Burns Group — took place when Romney was actively managing Bain Capital.

The Obama campaign also claims that Romney outsourced jobs as Governor of Massachusetts. Again, this generalization is based upon a single instance. Kessler writes:

The claim that Romney outsourced jobs as governor is equally overblown.

This concerns Romney’s veto of a bill that would have prohibited Massachusetts from contracting with companies that outsourced the state’s work to other countries. Lawmakers were especially concerned about a $160,000-a-month contract with Citigroup to operate a system of electronic food-stamp cards that included a customer phone service center in India.

On CNN last Sunday, Candy Crowley challenged one of Obama's campaign advisers on the campaign's decision to continue to air these adds even though they were basically untrue. You can watch the interview on The Blaze.

So why is the Obama campaign making a mountain out of this mole hill? Perhaps they are doing so in order to hide the real mountain. President Obama has been outsourcing on a grand scale. Take China, for example.

Under Obama's stewardship, Chinese factories sell to America freely without restraint, but should American factories sell to China, they face barrier after barrier. By permitting this unequal trading arrangement, Obama prevents American manufacturing jobs from coming back.

As we related in the May 9 American Thinker (Here Comes the Made in China Cadillac), when President Obama let the Chinese government raise tariffs upon GM's large-engine made-in-America cars from 25% to about 47%, he helped the Chinese government force GM to build factories in China and give away its Cadillac technologies to Chinese competitors simply to have access to the Chinese market. American workers not only lose present jobs, but they lose the future jobs that innovative technologies could produce.

Similarly, by letting China place a 30% tariff on all excavators, Obama virtually forces Caterpillar to build its new crawler factories in China in order to access the Chinese market, as my father and I pointed out in the October 4, 2010, American Thinker (WTO Helping China Loot Caterpillar).

Then there are American meat products. China lets in American raw grains, but not American meat. It uses a variety of subterfuges to keep out American meat, including a tariff of up to 105.4% on U.S. chicken exports. as my son, father and I pointed out in the Feb. 15, 2010, American Thinker (Playing Chicken with China).

And tariffs are only one of the tools China uses to keep out American products. It simply makes it impossible for American meat to be imported. It manipulates currency exchange rates so that American products are about 25% to 40% more expensive in China than they would otherwise be. It publishes catalogs of goods that exclude American products from those that can be procured by China's huge and growing government sector.

And the Chinese government excludes exports from purchase by its 1.3 billion people simply by moving its economy back toward socialism. In March 30, 2011, testimony before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, Dr. Derek Scissors, a senior fellow of the Heritage Foundation, explained the mechanism. He wrote:

In most sectors [of China's economomy], there is no market of 1.3 billion. Instead, there is what is left after the SOEs [State Owned Enterprises] are handed the bulk. This applies, of course, to American companies looking to serve the Chinese market. It is no surprise that official data indicate the foreign investment share has plummeted in the past few years. The truncated market extends to U.S. exports. The various forms of subsidy provided to SOEs are far bigger barriers to American goods than the yuan’s peg to the dollar. Subsidization has been and can be increased to offset currency changes.

The following chart tells the same story through statistics. Under Obama's stewardship, every month for the last 27 months, U.S. net exports (exports minus imports) in goods to China have fallen steadily due to the Chinese government keeping out made-in-America products:...


Comments: 2

Piers Corbyn makes his July USA solar-based weather forecast public
Howard Richman, 7/7/2012

Piers Corbyn, the British astrophysict who has been using his solar-based techniques to successfully predict weather in Great Britain, has been predicting weather in the United States for the last few years. He usually requires that subscribers pay for his forecasts in advance, but this month, he is making his June 29 forecasts public due to the extreme nature. Here are some quotes from his press release about his predictions for the U.S.A. in July. First he notes his success with predicting June weather back at the end of May:

WeatherAction long range forecast issued end May for ~29June to 1July correctly warned of serious Forest Fires in S/W USA and serious thunder and hail storms in N/E (areas approx). This followed major success through June and previous months.

On June 29, he made the following predictions for July in the USA:


Comments: 4

The USA Must Follow Spain's Lead in Ending Wind and Solar Subsidies
Raymond Richman, 7/7/2012

Spain has cleared the decks for its economic recovery by ending its subsidies to “Green” energy. The crisis in the Eurozone requires Spain to bring its fiscal budget in better balance. Spain has ended its subsidies for building wind and solar plants. New wind and solar plants will have to be financed by investors with no subsidies in the form of cash grants and tax subsidies. The average wind and solar plant built in the U.S. receives subsidies from state governments and the federal government which amount to an estimated 50% of the total costs of the project. This is at the expense of the American taxpayer who, in addition, pays higher prices for electricity and outsourcing of his job. Spanish Associate Professor of Economics, Gabriel Calzada Alvarez, of King Juan Carlos University concluded that the wind and solar plants crowd out two jobs in the economy’s private sector for every job they create in the alternative energy sector. He testified before a U.S. Congressional Committee that the same is true of the alternative energy plants built in the U.S.

More than $69 billion of wind and solar plants have been installed in Spain since 2004. The unreliability of wind and solar energy means that there is no saving in capital since back-up power facilities using traditional fuel sources are required to ensure a continuous supply of electricity.  

To make matters worse, public utilities have been ordered to purchase electricity from wind and solar plants at prices exceeding the costs of electricity from traditional sources, coal, natural gas, nuclear, etc. The same is true in the U.S. The effect is to raise the prices of electricity to households and businesses on whom it acts like a sales tax. It raise the cost of living and it dampens the desire to invest in new factories in the U.S. since it will increase the future prices of electricity. ...



Comments: 1

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  • [An] extensive argument for balanced trade, and a program to achieve balanced trade is presented in Trading Away Our Future, by Raymond Richman, Howard Richman and Jesse Richman. “A minimum standard for ensuring that trade does benefit all is that trade should be relatively in balance.” [Balanced Trade entry]

    Journal of Economic Literature:

  • [Trading Away Our Future] Examines the costs and benefits of U.S. trade and tax policies. Discusses why trade deficits matter; root of the trade deficit; the “ostrich” and “eagles” attitudes; how to balance trade; taxation of capital gains; the real estate tax; the corporate income tax; solving the low savings problem; how to protect one’s assets; and a program for a strong America....

    Atlantic Economic Journal:

  • In Trading Away Our Future   Richman ... advocates the immediate adoption of a set of public policy proposal designed to reduce the trade deficit and increase domestic savings.... the set of public policy proposals is a wake-up call... [February 17, 2009 review by T.H. Cate]