Economics

"Why electric cars still don’t live up to the hype"

The Washington Post somehow gives space to Charles Lane to smack down to the e-car hype.

Mass adoption of electric cars, however, cannot occur unless they can do everything gas-powered vehicles can do — including the ability to go hundreds of miles before refueling, and refueling easily — at a comparable total cost of ownership. Otherwise, electric cars will be a niche product for upper-income folks. And government subsidies for them will be a regressive transfer of social resources in return for little climate benefit, given that the U.S. power grid the cars draw from is 64 percent fueled by coal and gas.

Related: from early last year, "Electric Car-Owners Shocked: New Study Confirms EVs Considerably Worse For Climate Than Diesel Cars".


"Who benefits from rent control? Evidence from San Francisco"

"Taking all of these points together, it appears that rent control has actually contributed to the gentrification of San Francisco, the exact opposite of the policy’s intended goal. Indeed, by simultaneously bringing in higher income residents and preventing displacement of minorities, rent control has contributed to widening income inequality in the city."


"This Is Why Your Holiday Travel Is Awful"

According to this piece in Politico, New York pols once made a long-lasting mistake in centralizing power. They followed that up by making a second, terrible, long-lasting mistake in decentralizing power. They want, of course, a third chance. But how optimistic should Big Apple taxpayers be?

Even the most minor repairs can get caught in a net of Kafkaesque negotiations. In the mid-1970s, an escalator between tracks 15 and 16 ground to a stop. Engineers determined that the work would cost $82,000. For four years, executives at the two railroads stood at a stalemate, unable to resolve how to split the bill. Finally, Amtrak grudgingly agreed to cover 80 percent of the tab in March 1979, and maintenance workers were deployed to bring the escalator back into service. A day later, the newly repaired escalator broke again.


"New York’s $4B Medicaid mess shows why push for single payer is insane"

Good question:

The Cuomo administration recently revealed that New York’s Medicaid program is running over budget by an astonishing 16 percent, or $4 billion, even though enrollment is flat and medical inflation is at historic lows.

This seemingly out-of-nowhere spending spike has triggered the Empire State’s worst fiscal crisis since the Great Recession. It raises an awkward question for fans of single-payer health care in Albany: If state government can’t properly manage the fraction of the health-care system it already controls, why should it be trusted to take over the whole thing?


It's the pensions, stupid

Maybe it's just me, but I think the probability of a huuuuuuge problem originating in unfunded pensions is far greater than one caused by global warming. For some support, see the following:

"America’s public-sector pension schemes are trillions of dollars short".

"'Inherently Unstable' US Pension System Will Require Federal Bailout, Former Illinois Pension Chief Says".

"'Their house is on fire': the pension crisis sweeping the world".

"Netherlands Headed For Unprecedented Crisis: Millions Of Retirees Face Pensions Cuts Thanks To The ECB".

And of course from a few weeks back there's this: "Police fire tear gas and water cannon at protesters as France is paralysed by worst nationwide strike for decades: Sixty-five arrested in Paris as schools shut, public transport stops and Eiffel Tower closes in protest at Macron's pension reforms".