Commentary: The World Needs Fossil Fuels

fossil fuels

It’s summer, and the Sierra Club says: “This is climate change in action. We are living it.”

The United Nations’ secretary-general declares that “a fossil fuel phaseout is inevitable.” And The Lancet, a respected medical journal, insists that nations must swiftly transition away from hydrocarbons.

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Commentary: Free Markets are Necessary But Not Sufficient

Family Prayer at Dinner

For most of our lifetimes, classically liberal economics so dominated the Right that nobody wondered if conservatives were abandoning free markets. In recent years, though, a new generation of conservative thinkers—more traditionalist, populist, or nationalist than libertarian—has challenged the utility and even the morality of laissez faire economic policy.

We welcome their questions and critiques, as they have compelled American conservatives to have a long overdue conversation about the market, the family, and the state. But the blunt truth is the movement cannot abandon free markets. The moral and practical case for free enterprise is as necessary today as it was when Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher used it to rescue their nations’ economies and win the Cold War.

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Commentary: Biden Gaslights America on the Economy

Biden Speaking

Joe Biden is gaslighting America on the economy. His administration is trying to oversell what has underperformed for several reasons: First, the economy is the one issue that affects most Americans most significantly. Second, Biden is doing worse on virtually every other issue. Finally, time is short: the economy is about to get worse, and the election is close. The administration’s strategy is to get Americans to believe what they hear and doubt what they see.

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More Investors Bet Inflation Is Here to Stay amid Disappointing Price Data

Investor at Work

More investors are projecting a “no landing” scenario where inflation remains elevated but economic growth continues at its current levels following a disappointing inflation report on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

Nearly one out of five fund managers polled by Bank of America predicted a “no landing” scenario as the most likely outcome in the next year, with concerns about such a scenario being intensified by a poor inflation reading that sent U.S. markets into a frenzy on Tuesday, according to Reuters. Tuesday’s consumer price index (CPI) report showed inflation decelerated in January to 3.1% year-over-year from 3.4% in the preceding month, higher than expectations of 2.9%.

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China Finishes Off Year with Sluggish Growth as Economy Fails to Recover

China flag

China’s economy grew at a rate of 5.2% in 2023, failing to return to the same growth of around 6% year-over-year that was common before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The year’s growth was an improvement on the even worse growth in 2022, which totaled just 3% for that year, and economists expect similar sluggish growth in 2024 unless a big policy change occurs, according to the WSJ. A number of different indicators added to the dismal report, including real growth in urban disposable income, which grew at just 4.8% in 2023 and was the lowest year since 2002, barring 2020 and 2022.

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Economic Growth in Northeast Pennsylvania Comes with Coal Mine Cleanup

A rush of federal money will boost Pennsylvania’s ability to address abandoned mining land, but the commonwealth will not be able to rely on federal dollars for most of the funding.

The Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee met on Tuesday to discuss the impact of the anthracite coal industry in northeastern Pennsylvania – both its environmental costs and its economic potential.

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Pennsylvania Business Leaders Alert Lawmakers to Prosperity Hindrances

Pennsylvania’s House Republican Policy Committee on Thursday heard testimony from several small-business executives Thursday suggesting that unemployment compensation (UC) taxes among other issues pose major impediments to economic growth in the Keystone State. 

As The Pennsylvania Daily Star reported this week, Pennsylvania has lagged behind other states in terms of making up economic ground lost during the COVID-19 pandemic. In July 2022, about 6.17 million Pennsylvanians held jobs, a 2.8-percent rise over the same month one year prior. National employment meanwhile increased 3.7 percent during that time. 

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Latest Pennsylvania Budget Estimate Has Modest Economic Growth, Dip in Tax Revenue

Pennsylvania’s economy will have modest real economic growth but also a dip in tax revenues in the next fiscal year as one-time boosts fade away, according to the latest revenue estimates from the Independent Fiscal Office.

The estimate for fiscal year 2022-23 does not assume a recession will hit, but does assume inflation will still be a problem, which cuts away at real gains in areas such as wages and salaries.

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International Monetary Fund Projects Weaker Than Expected 2022 Economic Growth for U.S. and China

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its global economic growth forecast for 2022 on Tuesday, citing growing COVID-19 cases, supply chain bottlenecks and soaring inflation.

The IMF now projects global gross domestic (GDP) product to grow 4.4% in 2022, down from 5.9% growth in 2021, according to the IMF’s World Economic Outlook report published Tuesday. The IMF projected global GDP would reach 4.9% in its Fall report.

“The global economy enters 2022 in a weaker position than previously expected,” the report said, blaming “downside surprises,” including soaring COVID-19 cases and turbulent markets.

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Commentary: The Flaw in Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying’s Proposal for the Future of Humanity

Bret Weinstein podcast

Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying, evolutionary biologists and visiting fellows at Princeton University, have written a fascinating new book, A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century, which Penguin Random House released in September.

The instant New York Times bestseller is riddled with interesting ideas and clever insights, ultimately arriving at a radical conclusion about how humanity must be governed in the future if we are to avoid civilizational collapse. However, the book’s concluding argument is built upon one fundamental economic fallacy, and to understand the flaw in the proposal is to understand how truly catastrophic the pursuit of Weinstein and Heying’s vision would be.

The Fear of Abundance

Weinstein and Heying’s fundamental claim is about the human propensity to seek economic growth, and the ultimate unsustainability of that goal.

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Experts Predict Less Economic Growth, Elevated Inflation for Years to Come

Woman shopping, going up escalator

A survey released Monday found that business experts expect prices and inflation to rise at elevated levels for years to come.

The National Association for Business Economics released the results of a survey of 48 economic experts who downgraded their growth predictions and projected elevated inflation through the second half of 2023, if not later.

“NABE Outlook survey panelists have ramped up their expectations for inflation significantly since September,” said NABE Vice President Julia Coronado, founder and president, MacroPolicy Perspectives LLC. “The core consumer price index, which excludes food and energy costs, is now expected to rise 6.0% from the fourth quarter of 2020 to the fourth quarter of 2021, compared to the September forecast of a 5.1% increase over the same period.”

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