You’ll probably see a lot more of these sorts of posts now that I’m not able to post as frequently. I come across articles throughout the week, but don’t really have time to get my thoughts down until the weekend.
The results of this survey don’t surprise me in the least. Rich, white, millennials grow up with technology and take it for granted. They are taught from a young age to reject progress and embrace the primitive. It’s straight out of Atlas Shrugged, really. Meanwhile, those individuals in the direst circumstances, women in developing countries, have incredibly difficult lives and can see the tremendous gains that are possible by acquiring access to modern technology. One of the greatest untold stories is how much capitalism has benefitted women, greatly reducing the amount of drudgery and manual labor necessary in homemaking. This survey reminds me of the common type of article you see fairly often in National Geographic, where a rich, white, reporter travels to study some primitive and isolated tribe, bemoaning how the tribe is losing its “culture” and “identity” because the old ways are being pushed aside in favor of modern technology. The reporters are baffled by the fact that elderly women in the mountains of Mexico would much rather open a bag of Tostitos than have to spend four hours hand-rolling tortillas every single night. Also, I’d like to suggest that most of the millennials who responded to this survey are completely full of it. They aren’t really afraid or skeptical of technology, they’ve just been brainwashed to idolize a simple and primitive lifestyle that they have absolutely no intention of ever living out themselves.
I’m a big hockey fan, and I don’t get many chances to talk about it here (hockey and economics don’t often collide), but when I saw this article posted on a hockey blog, it really struck me. Americans have this impression of Canada as some radical leftist and socialist country, but it turns out that the total income tax burden in some parts of Canada is actually less than it is anywhere in the United States, thanks to the repeal of the Bush tax cuts. An NHL player looking to maximize his income would be better off in Calgary than in Dallas or Miami. It’s also interesting that Montreal remains in last place, suggesting that Canada even has a more developed sense of federalism (as indicated by a greater range of provincial tax rates) than the United States does. No seriously though, let this sink in: Canada has a lower federal tax rate than the United States.
I guess we can’t call them “tree huggers” anymore. You’ll never guess what the enviro-nazis in my home state of Oregon are outraged about now. Too many trees! Because of global warming! What a tragedy! This article is just absurd. Are these people aware that the saw was invented centuries ago? If you want a park without trees, that’s pretty easy to achieve, almost overnight (of course, they’d have to stop chaining themselves to bulldozers and demanding an end to all logging in the state in order for that to happen). But to me, the real takeaway of this story is the hubris of the environmentalists, who presume to know what the absolute perfect climate is in any and all situations. The next time you’re arguing with an environmentalist, ask them this simple question: What is the ideal global temperature, and how do you know? They can never answer this. The dirty little secret behind “climate change” is that it assumes any and all changes are automatically bad.