Tocqueville The Productivity Myth

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

Every now and then, there’s a rash of commentary on national productivity. And for the British, productivity is all part of the Brexit angst, with the OECD, the Treasury, the Bank of England and Remainers all saying the average Brit’s poor productivity just goes to show how much they need the certain comfort of being in the EU. As Hilaire Belloc put it, we must hold on to nurse, for fear of something worse.

Only this week, the OECD came out with a paper repeating its disproved nonsense about the economic consequences of Brexit, even recommending Britain should hold a second referendum to reverse the Brexit decision. To back up its analysis it claimed Britain’s labour productivity is at a standstill, while that of France, Germany the United States and the OECD averages are all improving.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #287

By Ken Haapala

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org – The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week. Were it not rational behaviour based on irrational government policy, this deliberate elimination of an essential service could only be described as a form of economic self-harm.” Tony Abbott, former Prime Minister of Australia

Number of the Week: $160 billion in losses

Challenging Green: On October 9, former prime minister of Australia Tony Abbott gave a noteworthy speech at the annual lecture of the Global Warming Policy Forum. Abbott is the former leader of the Liberal Party of Australia, classical liberal. In his speech, Abbott challenged the false “climate consensus” and false belief accompanying it that solar and wind power can replace fossil fuels for reliable electrical power generation. Abbott’s speech indicates he now understands the delicate balance required to keep the grid operating.

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Paris Phasing Out Non-Electric Cars

By Brad Jones – Re-Blogged From Futurism

In Brief

Parisian officials have announced plans to completely phase out usage of fossil fuel-powered cars by 2030. The entire nation will follow with its own restriction in 2040.

[Since France generates most of its electricity from Nuclear, this actually might not be a disaster. -Bob]

The Future of Fuel

Soon, drivers will only have the option of using electric cars in Paris as authorities in the French capital have announced plans to remove all gas- and diesel-powered cars by 2030.

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France: Labor Reform Gathers Steam Among Lawmakers

Re-Blogged From Worldview.Stratfor.com

The French government has the backing to potentially pass a broad labor reform package. During a press conference Aug. 31, French officials presented details on labor reform, including five “ordinances” (legislative acts similar to presidential decrees). French President Emmanuel Macron promised during his campaign to restore France’s reputation as a European power at the same level as Germany. These pro-business measures aim to increase France’s competitiveness and to help the second-largest EU economy.

The labor reform initiative proposes to give more flexibility to enterprises and aims to reduce unemployment from 9.4 percent to 7 percent by the end of the current legislature and presidency in 2022. The proposed reform includes changes to workers’ representation and contracts. Negotiation of salaries will take place at the enterprise level, instead of the sector level. French businesses would also be able to fire workers based on their economic impact domestically rather than internationally.

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The Fiscal Benefits Of Free Trade

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

Western governments have an overriding problem, and that is they have reached or exceeded the bounds of taxation, at a time when legally mandated welfare costs are accelerating. Treasury departments in all the welfare nations are acutely aware of this problem, to which there’s no apparent solution. The economic recovery, so consistently forecast since the great financial crisis, has hardly materialised and has added to the problem.

There is, if treasury economists could only understand it, a solution in free trade.

One of the UK’s leading economists and Brexiteers, Patrick Minford, produced an interesting paper, which brought up this subject. It got little coverage in the press, and even that was extremely negative. Trading on the Future was the only economic modelling exercise that showed significant benefits for Britain from free trade.

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Spain’s New Big Bubble Begins to Wobble

By Don Quijones – Re-Blogged From WOLF STREET.

Since hitting rock bottom in 2013, Spain has been one of the biggest engines of economic growth in Europe, expanding at around 3% per year. But according to a report by the Bank of Spain, most of the factors behind this growth — such as cheaper global oil prices, the ECB’s expansionary monetary policy, and the subsequent decline in value of the Euro — are externally driven and transitory in nature.

This is particularly true for arguably the biggest driver of Spain’s economic recovery, its unprecedented tourism boom, which some local economists are finally beginning to call a bubble.

In large part the boom/bubble is a result of the recent surge in geopolitical risks affecting rival tourist destinations like Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia and, in smaller measure, France, which helped boost the number of foreign visitors to Spain in 2016 to a historic record of 75.3 million people — an 11.8% increase on 2015.

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Support for Hard Brexit in the UK Hardens

By Don Quijones – Re-Blogged From WOLF STREET.

“Significant economic damage” is a “price worth paying.” But businesses are not so sure.

Europhiles hoping that time might heal or at least narrow the rift separating the UK and the EU after last year’s Brexit vote are likely to be sorely disappointed by the findings of a new poll jointly conducted by Oxford University and London School of Economics.

The survey reveals that there is more support for harder Brexit options because Leavers and a substantial number of Remainers back them. The survey’s findings bolster the case for the hard-Brexit-or-nothing position favored (at least publicly) by British Prime Minister Theresa May. The alternative — a so-called “soft” Brexit — would imply having to accept full freedom of movement for all EU citizens in return for some form of privileged access to the single market. Given that regaining control of UK borders was one of the key issues that swung the referendum in Brexit’s favor, such a proposition was always unlikely to sway a majority of British voters.

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