Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Bottoms Up!

I have been thinking about shipbuilding, and how to bring more of it back to America. This is in line with President Trump's thinking.

The Navy is going to need new vessels, if only to keep the Chinese honest. But more than that, historically the US, like other countries, had tariff preferences for imports in US-built and flagged vessels. A big cost in building and running merchant ships is labor, and crew and shipyard labor is costly because of a very oppressive regulatory environment (the Jones Act, OSHA, EPA, etc.). If we can reduce some of that burden on labor, that will make building and running US ships less expensive, and perhaps make it possible to foster the US Merchant Marine not just in protected niches like the routes from the mainland to Hawaii or Puerto Rico, but in the mainland export-import trade with the rest of the world as well. Encouraging the industry by lowering labor costs will also open up some space for innovation and new technology by reducing the per unit cost of any innovation brought to market.

I haven't gathered or analyzed any figures, but my hunch is that by reducing the regulatory burden and levying tariffs on goods imported in foreign vessels, we can encourage domestic shipbuilding and grow the US merchant marine, adding jobs for Americans while reducing the costs to domestic US shippers. There is no free lunch here, all this will come at the price of a modest increase in costs to US exporters and importers and a decline in wages for the lucky few working in the existing industry. All of this is probably in massive violation of existing trade agreements, so we will have to open up things that the conventional wisdom wants firmly closed. Glorious fun, that!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Combating the Power of Media Lies

What if the accusations against President Trump are false, as increasingly seems likely to be the case? How does one combat such a huge series of lies?
My latest at American Greatness!  

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Trump, the Russians, and the Carlos Slim Times on Secrecy of Sources and Methods

Trump to Russian Foreign Minister: ISIS is plotting something really bad.
Russian Foreign Minister: Mr. President, how do you know this?
Trump: Hey Sergey, we got ways.
New York Times: According to our anonymous IC mole, Trump endangers Israeli agent who lives at 15 Palm Court Apartment 306 in Mosul.

{According to Al-Jazeera, less compromised on Trump than the Carlos Slim Times, the intell came from the Jordanians.
But I would bet that McMaster and Tillerson are telling the truth that the whole story of "blown intell" is a lie.}

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Draining the Academic Swamp

Secretary DeVos, take a stand for freedom against the thugs through your control of the accreditation process! I show how at American Greatness.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Chairman Trump

Trump is more like a Chairman of a board than a CEO.
And so, I argue at American Greatness, was George Washington.

Friday, March 31, 2017

The one who loves wisdom and the wise one

The philosopher asks:
Is it true?
If it is, how can I know it?
The wise one asks:
Is it true?
If it is, how can I use it?
--My Ko Ching

Sunday, March 19, 2017

On the market in health care.

Arguing that you can't have a free market in health care because when people need health care can't bargain because they are sick is like arguing that you can't have a free market in hotel rooms because most of the time that the guests are in the room they can't bargain because they are asleep.
However, I discuss principles for the public provision of health care in this 2010 post from the Obamacare debates.