Archive for October 26th, 2021

A Smarter Suggestion To Tax Hyper Wealth: Tax Borrowed Money USed As Income For Consumption

October 26, 2021

Why not tax borrowing of the hyper wealthy, when it is used for consumption? Say a billionaire buys an Hawaiian island with borrowed money. Then have the tax code consider the borrowed money as income, and tax it like ordinary income… One could make an exception if the money is used for research, development or re-injected in the business. For example Elon Musk owns 48% of SpaceX. As long as all this potential capital is reinjected in SpaceX, no tax. If Musk borrowed to buy himself a palace somewhere, that borrowing would be taxed. The advantage of taxing luxury consumption debt is that extravagant borrowing is only for the very wealthy. There would be a natural cutoff, and the non-wealthy would not be affected. This avoids the pitfall of taxing unrealized capital gains, which is a very scary notion, and a slippery slope… Even for the poor, as a house can end up being worth a lot, even if the owner is poor. Larry Ellison of Oracle, did not get personally taxed, because he borrowed using his stock holdings as collateral. Then he bought the huge Hawaiian island of Lanai. He is not the only billionaire to buy himself an island. Gates and Branson already did this. During the COVID crisis, Branson blackmailed a number of governments to get billions to keep his companies going. He never considered selling his tax haven island. Billionaires understand leverage. It is time we progressives also do.

Patrice Ayme

[That was a comment to the New York Times, which sat on it the entire day, approving meanwhile hundreds of other (less significant and innovative) comments, before finally publishing it… Hoping nobody would read it? 

 

The Pinnacle List

Pledges Do Not A Climate Make… Especially When They Rest On Fake Graphs And Inexistent Technology.

October 26, 2021

At the Paris COP conference, Climate “Pledges” were made. Obstruction by the Obama White House insured that the accord would be weak, toothless, and insignificant. Countries “pledged” to reduce CO2 according to their own agendas. Their projections rested on non-existing technologies and unrealistic deployment thereof. Trump objected to the whole thing in part because it required rich countries to give 100 billions a years to poor countries. I objected because the whole thing was wishful thinking. In particular, many countries made fanciful claims of future CARBON CAPTURE on an industrial scale. Nobody knows how to do this commercially in the average case (although special geological situations work)… Nor is there any imaginable way to do it at an enormous scale, short of freezing CO2 from the air, using electricity from thermonuclear reactors…. Any anti-CO2 tech which creates more CO2 than it removes is counter-effective in my opinion (but not in that of “leaders”… consider the enormous electric car effort, while power generation is left in limbo…) 

Graphs are used to make optimistic declarations about the CO2 future emissions. They typically have unexplained inflection points, where the second derivatives of emissions do not just go from positive to negative, but do it with a discontinuity (a sharp angle requiring infinite force).

The silly inflections are pure wishful thinking, but typical of the projections of the institutions in obedience of the Western establishment. The picture above is… slightly modified from today’s New York Times (10/26/2021). NYT, following the official UN discourse, claims we are in the middle band…. Thanks to “Paris pledges”. However Pledges do not a climate make. Also this assumes two changes of the second derivative of climate emission in short order, that is two inflection points, thus, that great force are to be imminently applied, as if an asteroid had landed, smashing the human CO2 emitting industry… Extending the graph linearly from present emissions give a rise not of 4, but 7 (seven) Degrees Centigrade. This graph considers all CO2 emissions from PRIMARY ENERGY, cement, steel, production and land use, an overall CO2 production from human activity, which is around 60% higher… than at the time of the noisy (and obviously ineffectual, Kyoto Accord). In 2014 we were around 550 Gigatons of CO2, and we augment now at roughly 10%… each year. Only 40% of the CO2 goes in the atmosphere. 30% goes in the ocean, 30% in the ground… Both the ocean and the soil, now carbon sinks, will reverse into carbon producers, given enough warming…

So to claim we have passed an inflection point, with a sharp discontinuity and, or, will have another soon is wishful thinking, as usual.

Let’s look at those appearances and dispel them. The statement “humanity has started to bend the emissions curve” is wishful, and probably false: yes there has been a recent brutal decrease, caused by COVID, its strict (and useless, counterproductive) lockdowns, and a world recession.

BUT the reality is completely different, draconian, and very simple. The production of coal , oil and gas is at maximum, or close to it. And why not? The world population is still augmenting and more people want to enjoy energy. 84% of the world primary energy production is fossil fuels (and energy production is 72% of CO2 production).

Even Great Britain just opened a new coal mine (to make steel).

So the world economy will rebound with a vengeance, and that means more fossil fuel than ever. It’s not a few more wind mills and solar panels made in China which will change a thing. Amusingly, the graph of bending shows a dramatic inflection point, just ahead.

Aside from an asteroid strike, it’s hard to see what could cause a dramatic inflection in the emissions of CO2. It’s not as if a miraculous new energy source was around the corner. There is none. The pure electric solution (wind, solar, batteries) depends upon gigantic investments, around 5 trillion dollars a year, worldwide.

They compete for the same precious elements. Including polysilicon, 75% of which is made in China. It is not even clear that electric cars are a CO2 advantage at this point, when the whole life cycle of these cars is considered (they’re 700 kilograms heavier than average cars, causing accidents, require huge energy for production, burn fossil fuel electricity in California!)

As long as this lunacy persists, hard morrows to follow. China and Russia, correctly, do not bother to show up at the COP26 climate conference of the UN. China is, on the surface, the world’s top polluter. But that’s only appearance: in truth China produces massively for the US and Europe. So Chinese pollution is in great part Euro-American pollution physically translated to East Asia. And Russia is keeping Europe energetic. That’s a very polluting feat, as much of Russian production is in Siberia and the far north, in very energy demanding places…

So Europe and the USA are not very honest about the CO2 crisis and the climate calamity… And deliberately so, hence their dismissal by Russia and China. Morally speaking, it starts to look like the world upside down. The delusion continues. Meanwhile, we will need a lot of fossil fuels in the next decade, especially if we want to solve the CO2 crisis, because we have to Make Ecology Great Again (MEGA!), and that will require enormous investments, enormous Absolute Worth Energy (AWE)… except if somebody wants to organize a world war… Or another world lockdown, killing more people than it will save, as the ones we have been through just did….

Patrice Ayme


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