What Will It Take To End Anti-Greenhouse Gas Insanity?

It was nearly six years ago, in one of the very early posts on this blog, that I wrote as to the global warming scam, “[E]ven as the cause becomes more and more ridiculous, the advocates just double down again and again.” At the time, world temperatures had failed to rise in accordance with alarmist predictions for about 15 years running, and I still had the naive idea that the politics of this issue ultimately would follow the scientific method; in other words, that the hypothesis of catastrophic human-caused warming would inevitably be forced to face the test of empirical evidence. Over time, empirical evidence would accumulate. As it became more and more clear that the evidence failed to support the hypothesis, the whole thing would gradually fade away. But up to that point, as I reported in that April 2013 post, what was happening was closer to the opposite. Extremely weak or completely negative empirical evidence for the hypothesis only made the advocates more and more extreme in their demands for immediate transformation of the world economy to “save the planet.”

The intervening six years have seen the ongoing accumulation of considerably more evidence, essentially all of it negative to the catastrophic global warming hypothesis, but my faith that actual evidence could resolve the issue has been almost completely shattered. Massive alterations have been made to the world thermometer temperature records by US and UK bureaucrats — almost entirely to reduce early-year temperatures and thereby create an apparent warming trend far greater than exists in the raw data. I have covered this issue extensively in a now-twenty-two part series “The Greatest Scientific Fraud Of All Time.” Meanwhile, every hurricane, tornado, drought, flood, or other damaging act of nature is presented by the progressive press as evidence of human-caused “climate change” — even as the actual occurrences of such events have been definitively shown to have no increasing trend over time. Actual evidence gets massively altered, buried and/or ignored.

And now here we are in 2019, and the demands of the anti-greenhouse gas activists have only become more shrill and strident. Exhibit A is the so-called Green New Deal, a call to end most or all GHG emissions by 2030 at a cost of maybe 100 trillion dollars or so. And we are treated to claims by seemingly serious elected officials that the world will end in 12 years if we do not follow these prescriptions. If mere adverse empirical evidence cannot end this insanity, what can? . . .

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"Pied-à-Terre" Tax Brings Excitement To The Air In New York City

What brings excitement to the air in your home town? Perhaps some annual festival, or the first flowers of spring, or maybe the arrival of the Christmas season? Well, here in New York it’s a little different. We feel excitement in the air when our politicians finally figure out how to stick it to the evil rich people who are so offending us by coming here and spending their money. And thus right now there’s some real excitement in the air, because we are about to teach those sinister people the lesson of a lifetime in the form of a brand new “pied-à-terre” tax.

Just a couple of months ago — January 23 to be precise — things were different. Then, it wasn’t excitement that was in the air, but rather the seething resentment felt by all right-thinking highly-successful Manhattanites when they find out that there is somebody out there who is even more successful and is going around showing off the wealth. January 23 was the day that the Wall Street Journal reported that a hedge fund guy from Chicago by the name of Ken Griffin had just closed on the purchase of the most expensive home ever bought in the United States. The home in question is a multi-level penthouse apartment at a new tower just being completed on Central Park South, lately known as “billionaires’ row.” The Journal reported the closing price as $238 million. Worse still, Griffin doesn’t even live principally in New York; and even on top of that, he’s been going around snapping up hugely expensive properties in one city after another. . . . Really, can we stand for this? . . .

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Manhattan Contrarian Quiz: Achieving Perfect Fairness In A Property Tax System

Every so often here at Manhattan Contrarian, we have a Quiz. For example, you may remember the big Climate Tipping Points Quiz back in October 2018, or the Racist And Sexist Remarks And Slurs Quiz from August 2018, or even the What Is Science Quiz from April 2017. That last one had only one question. Today’s Quiz is again a one-question test. The question is, How do you achieve perfect fairness in a property tax system? We will consider specifically the property tax system in New York City — which is widely criticized for being both convoluted and also greatly “unfair” — and examine two very different recent demands to fix the “unfairness.” Your task will be to determine which of the two demands will produce success in fixing the unfairness. Three other possible answers to the Quiz are “both,” “neither” and “it is not possible to have a perfectly fair property tax system.”

Before getting to the two demands, perhaps I should mention that the convolutedness of NYC’s current property tax system is very much the result of dozens if not hundreds of tweaks along the way, each seemingly intended to increase the “fairness” of the system as perceived by some particular bureaucrat or group of bureaucrats at some point in time. And yet the complaints only increase. Always, the complainer can point to some respect in which his or her treatment by the system is obviously and grossly “unfair.” This must be fixed immediately!

Our first demand originates with a group called Tax Equity Now NY LLC. . . .

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Public Policy In Action In Progressive New York

You may think that California —solidly in the grip of progressive deep thinkers — has to be the craziest state out there. I mean, what could be more loony than thinking you can “save the planet” from carbon emissions by building a high-speed rail project from San Francisco to LA, spending $5.4 billion on the project, and then canceling it?

Well, here in New York we think we can give those West Coast nutcases a good run for their money. I’ll give you a few data points, and then let you decide.

First up, we have the doings in the state legislature. As you may know, in the recent elections the Democrats finally got full control of the State Senate (after some decades during which Republicans had held onto a tenuous one or two seat grip on power through a variety of stratagems and machinations). Now the progressives can finally do the things they have been blocked from doing for all those long years in the wilderness. That is, unless reality gets in the way of their progressive fantasies.

So what do they have in mind? . . .

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We've Driven Amazon Out Of New York!

It’s official! Earlier today, Amazon announced that it was pulling out of the deal to build a “second headquarters” in Queens (part of New York City) and hire some 25,000 people there. The New York Times is on top of the story:

Amazon on Thursday canceled its plans to build an expansive corporate campus in New York City after facing an unexpectedly fierce backlash from some lawmakers and union leaders, . . . The company, as part of its extensive search for a new headquarters, had chosen Long Island City, Queens, as one of two winning sites, saying that it would create more than 25,000 jobs in the city.

Leading progressives immediately took a victory lap. For example, there was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (tweet quoted in the Times article):

Anything is possible: today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world.

(Note: the proposed Amazon HQ is not actually within AOC’s district, but about 1 mile or so away.) And Elizabeth Warren:

@amazon – one of the wealthiest companies on the planet – just walked away from billions in taxpayer bribes, all because some elected officials in New York aren't sucking up to them enough. How long will we allow giant corporations to hold our democracy hostage?

You’re probably wondering about the Manhattan Contrarian’s take on this situation. . . .

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New York City Housing Authority: Can Anyone Do Socialism Better?

Readers of this blog know that you don’t have to travel to Venezuela or North Korea to watch socialism failing. Right here in New York City, we have the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), run in a classic socialist model consisting of public ownership, most costs covered by taxpayer subsidies, and absolutely no one who ever gets an extra nickel in their paycheck for keeping the place from falling apart. Result: costs go up and up and up, and the place is falling apart. For a few of my previous posts about NYCHA, see here, here and here.

In February 2017 I asked the eternal question, “Which Will Collapse First: North Korea Or The New York City Housing Authority?” Close to two years later, they’re still running neck and neck.

If you’re wondering if NYCHA is really falling apart, the daily newspapers will give you plenty of evidence. As just one example, here’s a report from ABC News on November 24, headline “NYCHA tenants living without heat fed up, want answers.” Excerpt:

The tenants in the Grant Houses in Harlem are suffering, and it is not even winter yet. They have frigid tap water and cold, dead radiators. "I have a right to expect heat, I have a right to expect hot water. If I have a complaint, I expect for it to be repaired," says resident Barbara Stevens. Tenants are outraged, and they're not alone. At one time or another last month, tens of thousands of apartments in the city's public housing system were without heat, hot water or both - and thousands more in the past few days alone. Comptroller Stringer is demanding answers. "This is a citywide disgrace!" he said. . . .

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