Stanley Black & Decker announced on Wednesday that it was investing $90 million in a plant in Texas – a move aimed at continuing its effort to shift production of a range of Craftsman products back to the U.S.

The new 425,000-square-foot facility will be located in Fort Worth, where tools ranging from sockets, ratchets, wrenches to general sets will be produced

Japan ends longstanding trade restrictions on American beef, setting stage for exports to grow.

Japan has agreed to lift longstanding restrictions on American beef exports, clearing the way for U.S. products to enter the market regardless of age, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Friday.

The news comes on the heels of other important trade developments on Friday, including the Trump administration’s plans to delay auto tariffs on the EU and Japan and lift steel tariffs on Canada and Mexico.

In 2005, Japan imposed restrictions on cattle over 30 months old for U.S. beef imports in response to the outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, sometimes known as mad cow disease.

According to the USDA announcement, Japan agreed to remove that age limit for U.S. beef imports. The new terms, which take effect immediately, allow U.S. products from all cattle, regardless of age, to enter Japan for the first time since 2003, the government said.

“This is great news for American ranchers and exporters who now have full access to the Japanese market for their high-quality, safe, wholesome, and delicious U.S. beef,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement. “We are hopeful that Japan’s decision will help lead other markets around the world toward science-based policies.”

American beef sales to Japan topped $2 billion last year, representing approximately one-fourth of all U.S. beef exports.


Forget Facebook, They Want to Revoke Your Access to Banking
Social media deplatforming is only the beginning; The ultimate social credit score nightmare is coming.

The biggest threat that social media censorship poses is not you being unable to access Facebook or Twitter, it’s you not being able to get a mortgage or have a bank account.

The end result of Big Tech silencing conservative voices is banks and corporations removing your access to the marketplace and severely restricting your basic right to buy and sell.

We have already seen numerous instances of people being deplatformed by BANKS for the political opinions, from Mastercard telling Patreon to remove Robert Spencer’s account, to Martina Markota and Enrique Tarrio having services terminated by Chase Bank over their support for Trump.

Mastercard also recently indicated that it would hold a vote on whether to cut off payments to “global far-right political leaders”. But this will extend to everyone. Mastercard will ‘monitor’ your financial activity for indications of dissident behavior. That’s chilling.

Before Infowars was banned by Paypal and numerous other payment processors last year, despite having an impeccable credit score, the company was slapped with a designation akin to having ties to terrorism, making banks averse to doing any business with Infowars.

Payment processors and banks are now using similar ‘dangerous person’ designations as Facebook and other Big Tech outfits to not only deplatform, but to designate a person an “extremist” for life

Once marked as an “extremist,” this designation is then intended to apply to every other area of your life.

This is the ultimate nightmare scenario – a Communist Chinese-style social credit system where you will be denied banking, loans and given poor credit rating if you associate with people or espouse views deemed “dangerous” by the establishment, which at this point is anything that counters their narrative.

Facebook already announced it will ban people merely for mentioning people like Alex Jones or Gavin McInnes or sharing their content without simultaneously denouncing it. In the near future, AI will make this process instantaneous.

Let that sink in. A giant corporation which controls the new public square is telling its 2.3 billion users what political opinions they must hold in order to be allowed to have free expression.

How to Talk to Millennials About Capitalism.

For generations, younger Americans found Communists just as scary as Count Dracula, the Wicked Witch of the West, and Darth Vader. Socialism, so strongly associated with Marx and Lenin, never caught on in the United States. To modern millennials, however, fear of socialism seems as ancient as a rotary phone.

In March 2019, Axios released results from a Harris poll showing that about half of millennial and Generation Z respondents believed that “our economy should be mostly socialist.” That result is no outlier, but rather a consistent finding over recent years. In 2018, Gallup found that 51 percent of 18- to 29-year-old Americans view socialism favorably; only 45 percent look at capitalism positively.

An August 2018 YouGov poll revealed that only 30 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds had good feelings toward capitalism, while 35 percent regarded socialism positively. Bernie Sanders, an avowed Democratic Socialist, nearly captured the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, thanks in part to youth support. Another Democratic Socialist, newly elected House member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York, herself a millennial, has achieved overnight celebrity, accumulating more than 3 million Twitter followers while trumpeting a 70 percent marginal tax rate.

Just 25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, how can socialism have made such a comeback? The likeliest answer: the Great Recession left millennials looking for alternatives to capitalism, without the Cold War ideological guideposts that positioned older generations. Both the Right and the Left have redefined socialism, moreover, so that many young supporters now think that it just means a cuddlier, more equitable government.

Yet even if socialism has been redefined, its rising approval among the young is still a problem for proponents of economic liberty. For decades, apostles of free markets could condemn bad economic ideas merely by branding them “socialist,” because real-world Marxists did such a good job of showing how much evil could radiate from a state-controlled economy. But those negative examples are mostly vanquished now.

The task ahead is to convince today’s young people that society requires liberty as well as compassion. The private ingenuity that generates new products and new jobs needs both incentives and reasonable regulation. If our current politics tell us anything, it is that this case must be made again, with arguments that resonate among Americans who’ve probably never heard of Lavrentiy Beria.


Milton Friedman on the Perennial Mystery of Socialism’s Appeal Despite Its Demonstrated Record of Failure

From Milton Friedman’s introduction in 1994 to the 50th-anniversary edition of Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom:

To understand why it is that ‘good’ men in positions of power will produce evil, while the ordinary man without power but able to engage in voluntary cooperation with his neighbors will produce good, requires analysis and thought, subordinating the emotions to the rational faculty.

Surely that is one answer to the perennial mystery of why collectivism [and socialism], with its demonstrated record of producing tyranny and misery, is so widely regarded as superior to individualism, with its demonstrated record of producing freedom and plenty. The argument for collectivism is simple if false; it is an immediate emotional argument. The argument for individualism is subtle and sophisticated; it is an indirect rational argument. And the emotional facilities are more highly developed in most men than the rational, paradoxically or especially even in those who regard themselves as intellectuals.

Experience has strongly confirmed Hayek’s central insight—that coordination of men’s activities through central direction and through voluntary cooperation are roads going in very different directions: the first to serfdom, the second to freedom. That experience has also strongly reinforced a secondary theme—central direction is also a road to poverty for the ordinary man; voluntary cooperation, a road to plenty. The battle for freedom must be won over and over again. The socialists in all parties to whom Hayek dedicated his book must once again be persuaded or defeated if they and we are to remain free men.

Once Again, Trump’s Economy Beats the ‘Experts.’

It wasn’t long ago that economists were warning that President Trump’s government shutdown — which extended into late January — would wreak havoc on an already struggling economy, especially in the first quarter of the year.

So what are these experts saying now that GDP growth accelerated to a startling 3.2% in the first three months of the year?

Early in the year, anyone following the news was being bombarded with warnings about the economic calamity that the lengthy (partial) government shutdown would cause.

“The government shutdown may have done significantly more damage than was projected at the time,” is how one writer at Seeking Alpha put it.

Politico was clanging the alarm bells even more vigorously. “Across Wall Street, analysts are rushing out warnings that missed federal paychecks, dormant government contractors and shelved corporate stock offerings could push first-quarter growth close to or even below zero if the shutdown, which is wrapping up its fourth week, drags on much longer.”

Reuters poll of economists found that  “U.S. economic growth will take a hit this quarter from the longest-ever government shutdown.”

At the start of the year, Macroeconomic Advisors pegged growth for Q1 at a mere 1.5 percent.

And AP reported in the first week of January that: “Analysts had already expected the economy to slow this year as a boost from tax cuts and increased government spending last year begins to wane. But the longer the shutdown persists, the more it could erode consumer and business confidence, compounding troubles for an economy that was already slowing.”


Instead, the economy recorded its highest quarterly growth rate since 2013. Still, the Commerce Department will revised this GDP number twice as more data come in, so it could change — it could go up or down.

But as it stands, over the past four quarters, the economy has grown by more than 2.9%, compared with the previous four quarters.

US Weekly Jobless Claims Drop to the Lowest Level Since 1969

The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits dropped to a 49-1/2-year low last week, pointing to sustained labor market strength that could temper expectations of a sharp slowdown in economic growth.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 196,000 for the week ended April 6, the lowest level since early October 1969. Claims have now declined for four straight weeks. Data for the prior week was revised to show 2,000 more applications received than previously reported.

Venezuela reports collapse in oil supply, tightening global market.

In a monthly report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said Venezuela told the group that it pumped 960,000 barrels per day (bpd) in March, a drop of almost 500,000 bpd from February.


OPEC’s oil production plunges to four-year low in March as Saudis slash output

OPEC’s output fell by 534,000 bpd in March to 30.02 million bpd, according to independent sources cited by the group in its monthly report. This year, supply from the group has fallen by more than 1.5 million bpd, helping to drive international Brent crude prices 30 percent higher.

Much of the March decline is due to Saudi Arabia’s willingness to aggressively cut production. In March, the Saudis took another 324,000 bpd off the market, bringing output to just under 9.8 million bpd and delivering on Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih’s vow to pump well below 10 million bpd.

And now you know why gas prices have been going Up! Up! Up!!

Top Democrat (Wyden) Proposes Annual Tax on Unrealized Capital Gains

demoncraps know only one thing about other people’s money. They should tax it at every opportunity so they can spend it to buy more votes.

Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden, a ranking member on the influential Senate Finance Committee, announced this week he is developing a new way to tax the wealthy – aimed at overhauling the capital gains tax structure.

The current top capital gains rate sits at 23.8 percent. The highest income bracket tax rate, by contrast, is 37 percent.

Wyden is proposing that unrealized capital gains are taxed annually – meaning that these assets are taxed each year their value appreciates even if the owner does not sell them. Under his proposal, they would be taxed at ordinary income rates – meaning the top rate would increase to that 37 percent level, from less than 24 percent.

Economists often refer to this type of proposal as “mark-to-market.”

Wyden, who is proposing the change as a means to combat inequality, said in a statement that the mark-to-market approach would eliminate “serious loopholes that allow some to pay a lower rate than wage earners, to delay their taxes indefinitely, and in some cases, to avoid paying tax at all.”

He is expected to release a white paper outlining the idea.

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that more than 90 percent of the benefits from the reduced capital gains rate accrue to households in the highest income quintile.

Republicans, however, are likely to vehemently oppose the plan. Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania called the proposal a “breathtakingly terrible idea,” as reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the Cato Institute and editor of – who opposes the measure – said there are a number of economic reasons why capital gains have been subject to different tax rules.

“Low capital gains taxes mitigate the harmful effects of inflation and encourage investment in risky start-ups and growth companies,” Edwards told FOX Business. “Silicon Valley crucially depends upon investors waiting patiently for years as their risky investments in growth companies to pay off with a realized capital gain.”

He also says many investors do not have the liquidity to pay taxes on the assets annually as they appreciate in value.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, one of the world’s wealthiest men, has cautioned against support for some of the Democratic party’s more progressive tax proposals – including freshman New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s 70 percent income tax. He has, however, called for reforms to the capital gains tax structure.

“The big fortunes, if your goal is to go after those, you have to take the capital gains tax, which is far lower at like 20 percent, and increase that,” Gates said on CNN in February.

Taxing capital gains income and ordinary income at the same rate “would get rid of a lot of complexity, because whenever those rates vary, you want to make one look like the other,” he said.

Wyden follows a host of others in his party with plans to tax the wealthy as a means of combating income and wealth inequality.


Job Openings Rise, Outnumber the Unemployed by 1 Million

U.S. employers posted nearly 7.6 million open jobs in January, near a record high set in November. It’s evidence that businesses are still hungry for workers despite signs the economy has slowed.

The Labor Department says hiring also rose and the number of people quitting their jobs picked up.

The number of open jobs now outnumbers the unemployed by roughly 1 million. In the 18 years that the data has been tracked, there were always more unemployed than job openings until last year.


If you haven’t heard about “Modern Monetary Theory,” you will. Simply put, it holds that governments don’t need to worry about budget deficits. On the contrary, they can finance anything they want to do, simply by printing money.

If you think that sounds stupid, you are right. Yet the theory is becoming popular on the American left. It has been espoused by, among others, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who explains that we can pay the $90 trillion bill for the Green New Deal by printing the money.

Of course, Modern Monetary Theory isn’t modern at all. Throughout history, governments have resorted to debasing their currency in a futile effort to create wealth–or, in any event, to pay their bills for one more day. Whether it’s ancient Rome, the Weimar Republic, Argentina or–today–Venezuela, printing money has been the last resort of the bankrupt state.

It is often said that you can’t get economists to agree on anything, but here is an exception: economists universally regard the Democrats’ panacea as a crackpot idea. The Initiative on Global Markets is a research center at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. It has a panel of expert economists to which it periodically poses questions. Today’s topic was Modern Monetary Theory, and the results were resounding. Not a single economist endorsed it:

So it’s unanimous: Modern Monetary Theory, the Democratic Party’s latest ticket to the promised land, is a fraud. And not a modern one, either.

Speaking of socialism…I heard an observation yesterday, in the context of Venezuela, that was striking and true. If I could remember who said it, I would credit him. Here it is:

You can vote your way into socialism, but you have to shoot your way out.

Another reason why we need the Second Amendment.

The Greatest Scientific Fraud Of All Time– Part XXI.

BLUF: Climate “scientists” in Australia are lowering past temperature recordings to make the current situation look far worse.

So, if they have to lie to aid their viewpoint, why should anyone ever believe them about anything else?

Just a few days ago (February 19), I posted part XX of this series. The subject of that post was a new compilation of historical temperatures for Australia (going back to 1910), known as ACORN2, just out from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. The effect of ACORN2 was to increase the reported rate of climatic warming in Australia by 0.2 deg C per century over the previous compilation known as ACORN1, which had only been issued about 6+ years ago and had itself also increased the reported rate of warming as against the previous official records by about 0.2 deg C per century. The increased rate of warming is entirely accomplished by adjusting earlier-year temperatures downward.

Could there possibly be anything honest about what is going on? My source for the February 19 post — independent Australian researcher and blogger Joanne Nova — provided a link to the the BoM’s 57-page Research Report that supposedly justified the changes. That document appeared “impenetrable” both to Nova and to me, but maybe some much cleverer person could figure out what they were doing?

Well, now we move to the next step. Another hard-working Australian independent researcher and blogger, Jennifer Marohasy, decided to get the detailed records for a particular station, just to see what adjustments had been made, and whether any possible legitimate explanation could support them. The station that Marohasy selected is Darwin. For those unfamiliar with the geography of Australia, Darwin is the biggest city (not very big — about 150,000 people) in the vast northern areas of the country. Marohasy’s February 23 post is titled “Changes to Darwin’s Climate History are Not Logical.” A version of Marohasy’s post was also published on Watts Up With That on February 22.

Basically, Marohasy documents that Australia’s BoM has shortened Darwin’s temperature record to begin in 1910 (records actually exist back to 1895), and then adjusted the earliest temperatures downward by a full degree and more C, just since the previous set of downward adjustments only 6 years ago. For example, here is what has happened on the first day of the series as it now exists:

[O]n 1st January 1910 the maximum temperature recorded at the Darwin post office was 34.2 degrees Celsius. A few years ago [in ACORN1], the Bureau changed this to 33.8 degrees Celsius, cooling the recorded temperature by 0.4 degrees. In its most recent re-revision of Darwin’s climate history the temperature on this day has been further reduced, and is now just 32.8.

And of course, it’s not just the one day. Let’s look at the first six days of January 1910:

Darwin historical temperatures.png

All of them got adjusted down by something in the range of 0.8 to 1.2 deg C, even after prior downward adjustments just 6+ years ago. The environmental reporter for the newspaper The Australian asked the BoM for an explanation, and here is what he got:

For the case of Darwin, a downward adjustment to older records is applied to account for differences between the older sites and the current site, and differences between older thermometers and the current automated sensor. In other words, the adjustments estimate what historical temperatures would look like if they were recorded with today’s equipment at the current site.

But here’s the problem, idiots: this is the same explanation you gave six years ago for the 0.4 deg C downward adjustment then. What about temperatures in the year 1910, or the equipment in 1910, or the site in 1910, changed between ACORN1 in 2012 and ACORN2 in 2019 to justify further downward adjustments averaging a full deg C? Nothing.

Trump Takes Back $1 Billion from California; Gavin Newsom Complains: ‘Political Retribution’

That is just 1 billion of around 3 1/2 billion federal bucks that were given to California for that railroad project that Gubernor Newsom just axed. Retribution my foot; Fiduciary responsibility

The Trump administration announced Tuesday that it was canceling a federal grant to California worth nearly $1 billion after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the cancelation of the state’s high-speed rail project last week.

Newsom used his “State of the State” address Feb. 12 to cancel the San Francisco-to-Los Angeles project, saying it “would cost too much and, respectfully, would take too long” to complete.

However, he told legislators he wanted to complete the portion of the bullet train under construction in the rural Central Valley, lest the state lose federal dollars granted to California by President Barack Obama as part of the 2009 stimulus: “I am not interested in sending $3.5 billion in federal funding that was allocated to this project back to Donald Trump,” Newsom said.

Don’t be Tricked by Economists on the Carbon Tax

In response to the recent pro-carbon tax letter to the Wall Street Journal signed by dozens of prominent economists, Tyler Cowen objected strongly to the “citizen dividend” aspect. Although Cowen is sympathetic to a carbon tax per se, he was alarmed that the economists in the WSJ were misleading readers:

Arguably [the lump-sum citizen dividend of carbon tax receipts] makes the policy seem less important, and mainly about the dividend, in a slightly cynical, Chavez-like sort of way. Furthermore, it tries to make a carbon tax a free lunch, which it is not, no matter how great the longer-term gains. I don’t believe ineconomists tricking people , even though I will admit tricking people can be useful. The tricking is somebody else’s job!

January jobs report smashes analysts’ expectations
Experts’ projections had the jobs figure somewhere around 170,000.

Feb. 1 (UPI) — The federal government said more than 300,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy in January, a figure that far surpasses what analysts projected.

The Labor Department reported Friday 304,000 jobs were added.

Most analysts had projected the economy would add around 170,000 jobs. One estimate this week put the number around 223,000.

The month’s 304,000 new jobs also beat the 2018 average job gain of 223,000, the Labor Department said.

Applications for US Unemployment Aid Fall to 49-Year Low

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking jobless benefits dropped last week to the lowest level since November 1969, a sign the job market remains strong despite the partial government shutdown, now in its fifth week.

The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications for unemployment aid declined 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 199,000. The four-week average, a less volatile figure, dropped 5,500 to 215,000.

Record (number of) private jet flights into Davos as leaders arrive for climate talk
Experts predict up to 1,500 individual private flights in and out of airfields serving Swiss ski resort for World Economic Forum

When those who tell us there is an environmental crisis begin acting like it’s a crisis, I’ll begin taking them seriously.

David Attenborough might have urged world leaders at Davos to take urgent action on climate change, but it appears no one was listening. As he spoke, experts predicted up to 1,500 individual private jets will fly to and from airfields serving the Swiss ski resort this week.

Political and business leaders and lobbyists are opting for bigger, more expensive aircrafts, according to analysis by the Air Charter Service, which found the number of private jet flights grew by 11% last year.

“There appears to be a trend towards larger aircraft, with expensive heavy jets the aircraft of choice, with Gulfstream GVs and Global Expresses both being used more than 100 times each last year,” said Andy Christie, private jets director at the ACS.

This is partly due to the long distances travelled, he said, “but also possibly due to business rivals not wanting to be seen to be outdone by one another”. Last year, more than 1,300 aircraft flights were recorded at the conference, the highest number since ACS began recording private jet activity in 2013.

Countries with the highest number of arrivals and departures out of the local airports over the past five years included Germany, France, UK, US, Russia and the United Arab Emirates, according to ACS.

The World Economic Forum disputed ACS’s analysis. . Oliver Cann, of the World Economic Forum, said: “We have been offering incentives to participants to use public transport for some years. We also ask that they share planes if they have to use them; something that has been gaining popularity in recent years.”

The World Economic Forum’s global risk report, released ahead of this week’s meeting, identified environmental challenges, including the failure to mitigate climate change, as top of the list of dangers facing the world economy.


Bye Bye Trade War? China Plans $1 Trillion Buying Spree to Reduce US Trade Deficit.

China has extended the olive branch back to the United States by offering a path to eliminate Washington’s burgeoning trade deficit with the country, Bloomberg reported Friday. The news comes less than a day after The Wall Street Journal reported that the Trump administration was considering lifting tariffs amid the ongoing trade war.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported Friday that China has offered to significantly boost its purchase of U.S. goods over a six-year period in an effort to re-balance trade between the two superpowers. By increasing its annual imports from the United States, Beijing would reduce its trade surplus to zero by 2024. That would require a spending boost of more than $1 trillion.

Last year, Beijing’s surplus with the U.S. stood at $323 billion.

Trade War Truce?
Trade talks between the U.S. and China are progressing at breakneck speed, a strong sign that both sides are looking to end the tariff dispute before March. That’s when the 90-day truce agreed to by President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping is set to expire.

U.S. officials are reportedly considering lifting tariffs on Chinese imports to give Beijing a bigger incentive to negotiate a fairer trade deal. Last year, the Trump administration announced duties on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods and threatened additional tariffs if Beijing responded. Tensions have simmered down since December when the leaders of both countries met face-to-face on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Last week marked the first face-to-face meetings between Chinese and American trade delegates since the G20 summit. The meetings, which went a day longer than planned, resulted in China agreeing to purchase more U.S. farm and agricultural commodities. Chinese officials have also agreed to grant wider access to mainland markets to U.S. firms.

Several risks stand in the way of a comprehensive end to the trade war. Chief among them is the ongoing drama involving Huawei Technologies Corp. U.S. federal prosecutors are following up on civil lawsuits against the tech giant by launching a wider investigation into the company. According to The Wall Street Journal, the investigation has reached an advanced stage and could lead to an indictment shortly.

5 Things Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t want you to know about the Green New Deal

Ocasio-Cortez is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), the largest socialist organization in the United States. DSA doesn’t merely want to create new government-run social programs, it desires, in the words of a member of DSA and the editor of the socialist magazine Jacobin, to “in the long run … end capitalism.” On its website, DSA blames, in part, “the globalization of capital”  for “racism, sexism, homophobia, and environmental degradation.”

1. It includes many radical programs that have nothing to do with so so-called “green” energy.

Supporters of the Green New Deal spend most of their time talking to the public about the proposal’s energy-related mandates, but some of the costliest parts of the plan are completely unrelated to the energy industry.

For example, Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal calls for the creation of “basic income programs” and single-payer health care.

The Green New Deal would also establish a federal jobs guarantee – one of the few non-energy-related parts of the plan Ocasio-Cortez has spent significant time advertising. And it would include provisions to “mitigate deeply entrenched racial, regional and gender-based inequalities in income and wealth.”

2. It would do nothing to curb global warming.

The primary justification given by Green New Deal proponents for the radical nature of the plan is that it is necessary to slow the rise of human-caused climate change, which Ocasio-Cortez and other liberals say will cause significant damage to the economy and human health over the next century.

Many scientists say there is no good evidence global warming will be catastrophic or that there’s anything humans can do to stop it. But even if we were to assume that global warming must be slowed down, the Green New Deal would do nothing to achieve this goal.

Even if the United States were to eliminate all of its carbon dioxide emissions by the start of 2030 – something that is likely impossible – the increased carbon dioxide emissions of the rest of world would more than offset the reductions in America.

Whether the Green New Deal is imposed or not, global carbon dioxide emissions are going to rise.

3. Renewable energy costs significantly more than fossil fuels.

The Green New Deal would eliminate fossil fuels from all electricity generation and transportation, forcing Americans to rely largely on expensive and unreliable renewable technologies like wind and solar power.

The Institute for Energy Research estimates that new solar power generation is nearly five times more expensive than using existing fossil fuel-powered electricity. Wind power is 3.5 times costlier.

These higher costs would drive up the price of all goods and services, not just electricity bills. And because all manufacturing would also be required to rely on “green” power, industries in the United States would struggle to match the prices of their foreign competitors, forcing some businesses to either close or move overseas.

4. The Green New Deal would empower and give handout to left-wing special interest groups and industries.

Some of the most vaguely worded parts of Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal plan are those that promise to increase the power of labor unions and give favors to left-wing industries.

According to the proposal, the Green New Deal would “deeply involve national and local labor unions to take a leadership role in the process of job training and worker deployment,” and it promises the “funding (of) massive investment in the drawdown of greenhouse gases.” That’s a code phrase for giving billions of taxpayer dollars to renewable-energy companies.

5. It would run up the national debt by tens of trillions of dollars.

Although no one knows exactly how much the Green New Deal would cost, a very conservative estimate is $40 trillion in its first 10 to 15 years. The Mercatus Center estimates the single-payer health-care proposal supported by Ocasio-Cortez would, on its own, cost more than $32 trillion.

Trump’s Trade War Comes With an Unexpected Bonus: More Trade.

A few days before Christmas, the container ship “SM Shanghai” was steaming toward California’s Port of Long Beach. Just ahead and coming to the end of an 11-day journey from China, the “Ever Lucent” was headed for the nearby Port of Los Angeles, where the “Thomas Jefferson” was preparing to sail in the opposite direction for Xiamen.

The global economy, in other words, was chugging along nicely on one of the world’s busiest sea lanes. Trade wars be damned.

In fact, President Donald Trump’s assault on globalization has had a paradoxical effect on world trade flows. A rush to get ahead of new and higher tariffs, particularly on U.S. imports from China, has motivated retailers and other American companies to increase orders, which has helped boost volumes at the country’s ports.

“The warehouse and distribution centers are full in southern California,” said Phillip Sanfield, a Port of Los Angeles spokesman. “We’re experiencing some logistical issues at the San Pedro ports just because there’s so much cargo in play here.”

Busy December

After an active 2017 when the Port of Los Angeles moved the equivalent of 9.3 million shipping containers — an all-time high for the facility — a busy December has put it on track to report another record year in 2018, according to Sanfield. Traffic at the Port of Long Beach increased more than 7.3 percent through November, on pace to surpass the record 7.5 million containers it handled last year.

There are many other signs that international commerce did just fine in 2018, thanks in no small part to a busy trade year in America, the world’s biggest buyer of goods.

Despite Trump’s efforts to reduce his country’s appetite for foreign-made products, the U.S. imported more goods and services in value terms than ever in October, the latest Commerce Department data show. U.S. exports were near the all-time monthly record set in May.