Coal vs Natural Gas Forecast

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Over the past 10 months or so, articles like this have been a “dime-a-dozen”…

ENERGY TRANSITIONS

Coal plants keep closing on Trump’s watch

Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter
Climatewire: Tuesday, February 21, 2017

In the next four years, utilities have plans to close 40 coal units, federal figures show. Six closures have been announced since Trump’s victory in November.

E&E News

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Saudi Strikes Back Against U.S. Shale

By Jody Chudley – Re-Blogged From The Daily Reckoning

Here we go again…

The price of oil is plunging.

For the first quarter of 2017 West Texas Intermediate (WTI) held a pretty stable range between $54–58 per barrel. Now it is back to the roller coaster that we have been on since mid-2014.

As I write this, WTI is struggling to hold $43 per barrel and is sinking like a rock.

Oil prices are falling fast

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On Say’s Law

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

One of my regular readers has raised the important subject of Say’s Law, the denial of which both Keynesian and modern monetarists are emphatic. They need this fundamental axiom to be untrue to justify state stimulation of aggregate demand. Either Say’s Law is right and state intervention is economically disruptive, or if it’s wrong modern economists are right to ignore it and progress their science beyond it.

The basis of post-Keynesian economic stimulation assumes a breakdown between consumption and production can occur, and the correct response is for government to step in and revive failing demand. It is the favored explanation of the 1930s slump. Obviously, Say’s Law would have to be discarded.

This article revisits this subject, explains where Keynes went wrong, redefines the Law to include money as a good, and explains why supply-side is less destructive than demand management. Say’s Law is crucial to understanding why increasing state intervention to revive economic demand cannot work, and has led us into the current crisis.

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Great Numbers, Curious Timing

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

Pretend you’re running a corrupt government and something big and scary happens in another part of the world. Brexit, for instance. You’re quite naturally worried about the impact on your local economy and political system. What do you do?

Well, one obvious thing would be to call the statisticians who compile your economic reports and tell them to fudge the next batch of numbers. Since you already do this prior to most major elections, they’re neither surprised by the request nor concerned with how to comply. They simply go into the black boxes that control seasonal adjustments or fabricate things like “hedonic quality” or “imputed rent,” and bump up the near-term levels. Later revisions will lower them to their true range but by that time, hopefully, the danger will have passed and no one will be paying attention.

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Fooled by GDP

By Steven Horwitz – Re-Blogged From The Foundation For Economic Education

Economic activity versus economic growth.

Even the smartest of economists can make the simplest of mistakes. Two recent books, Violence and Social Orders by Douglass North, John Wallis, and Barry Weingast and Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson both suffer from misunderstanding the concept of economic growth. Both books speak of the high growth rates in the Soviet economy in the mid-20th century. Even if the authors rightly note that such rates could not be sustained, they are still assuming that the aggregate measures they rely on as evidence of growth, such as GDP, really did reflect improvements in the lives of Soviet citizens. It is not clear that such aggregates are good indicators of genuine economic growth.

These misunderstandings of economic growth take two forms. One form is to assume that the traditional measurements we use to track economic activity also describe economic growth, and the other form is to mistake the production of material things for economic growth.

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