“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so that does.” – Mark Twain
Our fearless leader should have listened to Mark Twain. The State of Union left out the most important issues. Most of what we heard is what Trump sees in his mind.
State of the climate
The climate emergency was ignored, again. The increasing concentration of carbon dioxide at 412 parts per million, growing at 2 ppm per year, is a world away from the 350 ppm target.
State of migration
The brave Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers were recognized as heroes defending a “very dangerous border.” Trump ignored the thousands of migrant children taken from their mothers to discourage others from seeking asylum.
The zero-tolerance “humanitarian” measures were rushed. Border Patrol Agents detained the parents seeking asylum and ICE took the children. ICE had no plans to reunite the children with their families, then claimed it would take an extraordinary effort, and now the Health and Human Services Department says even if they could “the children would likely be emotionally harmed.”
State of deception
Trump said, “We are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and independence –- not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free, and we will stay free.”
I don’t know where Trump gets his news, but I found a likely source. Socialism Is Evil: The Moral Case Against Marx’s Radical Dream, by Justin Haskins, 2018. Haskins writes, “Whatever problems exist in a capitalist society, they pale in comparison to the moral tragedies that must accompany Marx’s socialism.” Haskins is the Heartland Institute’s executive editor and a frequent guest of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Fox News, and the Drudge Report.
E = M + G is a simple model of the economy based on the roles of the market and the government. In capitalist countries, individuals own most of the land, factories, and everything else in the market. The government builds sewers and roads for the common good. In socialist countries, the government owns most of the property.
Morality and evil are not economic concepts. You may notice that forests, rivers, wetlands, and all other life-giving systems are ignored in traditional economic models, driven by profits and growth. Compassion, kindness, hunger, suffering, and survival of life are immaterial. Trump ignores all that can’t be measured in billions of dollars.
State of the economy
The U.S. national debt was ignored, again. The national debt is growing over $1 trillion per year to an alarming $22 trillion today. Most of the debt, $16 trillion, is held by the American people.
The Denver teachers’ strike is a clear indication that our most important people are underpaid. Why would they have to work two other jobs to pay their bills?
No one knows much about the jobs Trump says he created. Headcount is meaningless without knowing the quality of the jobs in terms of safety, benefits, number of hours per week, duration, and wages. What was not said is the number of people laid off or out of work, due to poor health or other reasons.
State of oil
In December 2018 the U.S. became a net oil exporter. Dreadful news for the U.S. The cost of extracting a barrel at the well is higher than the price per barrel.
When the U.S. ran out of oil fields, fracking became the only game in town. Oil is a traded commodity, where the price is set based on oil supply, demand, and perceived risk. Oil investors ignore the cost, hoping the price of oil will go back to over $100 per barrel.
Banning fracking would pay for the Green New Deal!
Flooding the oil market has kept the price per barrel below $50. Big Oil gets massive subsidies disguised as tax exemptions. Poor public health from deadly wastewater, aquifer contamination, toxic air, and pipeline leaks is the price of oil exports. April 15 is coming, file on time. Taxpayers will cover the booming financial losses of fracking madness!
Dr. Luis Contreras