21.5.09

Politikere og moral

Min seneste "På Spidsen"-klumme fra Berlingske Tidende--denne gang om, hvordan politikere ofte mener, at borgerne skal gøre ét, men selv praktiserer noget andet.

Det klima-industrielle kompleks

Min gamle kollega, fagfælle og studiekammerat, Bjørn Lomborg, har en tankevækkende kronik i Wall Street Journal om det, der kan kaldes det "klima-industrielle kompleks": Snævre særinteresser med en privatøkonomisk interesse i at ekspandere miljøreguleringen og derfor i at overdimensionere miljørpoblemerne:

"This phenomenon will be on display at the World Business Summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen this weekend. The organizers -- the Copenhagen Climate Council -- hope to push political leaders into more drastic promises when they negotiate the Kyoto Protocol's replacement in December.

The opening keynote address is to be delivered by Al Gore, who actually represents all three groups: He is a politician, a campaigner and the chair of a green private-equity firm invested in products that a climate-scared world would buy.

Naturally, many CEOs are genuinely concerned about global warming. But many of the most vocal stand to profit from carbon regulations. The term used by economists for their behavior is "rent-seeking."

The world's largest wind-turbine manufacturer, Copenhagen Climate Council member Vestas, urges governments to invest heavily in the wind market. It sponsors CNN's "Climate in Peril" segment, increasing support for policies that would increase Vestas's earnings. A fellow council member, Mr. Gore's green investment firm Generation Investment Management, warns of a significant risk to the U.S. economy unless a price is quickly placed on carbon.

Even companies that are not heavily engaged in green business stand to gain. European energy companies made tens of billions of euros in the first years of the European Trading System when they received free carbon emission allocations. ...

U.S. companies and interest groups involved with climate change hired 2,430 lobbyists just last year, up 300% from five years ago. Fifty of the biggest U.S. electric utilities -- including Duke -- spent $51 million on lobbyists in just six months.

The massive transfer of wealth that many businesses seek is not necessarily good for the rest of the economy. Spain has been proclaimed a global example in providing financial aid to renewable energy companies to create green jobs. But research shows that each new job cost Spain 571,138 euros, with subsidies of more than one million euros required to create each new job in the uncompetitive wind industry. Moreover, the programs resulted in the destruction of nearly 110,000 jobs elsewhere in the economy, or 2.2 jobs for every job created."

Moral blandt britiske politikere & "clubmen"

Den omsiggribende skandale om britiske politikeres misbrug af offentlige kasser til private formål fik forleden i den fine avis The Telegraph nogle kloge ord med på vejen af Andrew Roberts, der var forarget over premierminister Gordon Browns indirekte sammenligning af politikerne med medlemmerne af "private gentlemen clubs", d.v.s. de klubber, der mestendels er beliggende i London-bydelen St. James. Som en dedikeret og begejstret "club man" kan jeg kun være enig i udsagn som f.eks. dette:

"What infernal cheek! How dare the denizens of Westminster, mired in this cesspit of scandal of their own making, look three-quarters of a mile westwards and try to equate London clubmen with their repulsive practices. If one is looking for sleaze and corruption in today's society, where do you look for it: Westminster, or St James's? If club members were caught doing half of what it turns out MPs have been up to, they would immediately be forced to resign their memberships and never show their faces again. ...

The House of Commons has been called "the best club in London", but only by people who aren't members of any others. For it lacks the key ingredient that makes up a really good club: the blackball. Absolutely anybody can become a Member of Parliament who has the qualifications of a thrusting temperament, opinionated nature, desire to boss us about, need to show off and, very often, a gnawing inferiority complex and mother fixation. Who would want to belong to a club full of people like that? ...

If you want to witness vicious, noisy, self-interested, boorish and, we now discover, corrupt behaviour in London society, where would one go? To the sepulchral Athenaeum, courtly Brooks's, elegant White's, beautiful Garrick, noble Pratt's, witty Beefsteak or palatial Reform? Or to the chamber of the Commons on any day the House is sitting?"

15.5.09

Myten om de uregulerede markedskræfter

Jeg har dd. min faste klumme i Berlingske--denne gang om den p.t. ofte hørte påstand om, at vi lever i en verden af "laissez-faire" og "uregulerede markedskræfter".

4.5.09

Når meningsmålinger giver politisk ukorrekte svar ...

Min "På Spidsen"-klumme i Berlingske dd. beskæftiger sig med et emne, som jeg normalt holder mig langt fra: Indvandring og integration. Imidlertid er de omtalte meningsmålinger gode eksempler på, at "lytterne" nogle gange ikke ønsker at høre de budskaber, de ikke kan lide ...