Suing to Shut People Up


Lawfare is not limited to pro se thugs with personal grudges. Several U. S. states and a territory may be about to try to chill free speech about an important scientific question. What’s Up With That? takes a look at a proposal to use RICO laws to go after people who do not believe the “settled science” concerning climate change.

I’m Not Making This Up, You Know


The American Enterprise Institute reports that while Bernie and Hillary are complaining about how much CEOs are paid, the average CEO makes less in a year than Hillary’s speaking fee for a one-hour speech.

It might be a little disingenuous and hypocritical for Hillary Clinton to complain about excessive CEO pay when her minimum speaking fee, reportedly $225,000 for a one-hour talk, is more than the $216,000 average annual CEO salary in 2014. We could say how unfair it is that the average CEO in America has to work a full year, 50 weeks full-time, to earn the same income that Mrs. Clinton earns in about 50 minutes giving a speech! How unfair! How immoral! Something must be done!

Read the whole thing.

The Economy Outside the Beltway


The President claimed in his State of the Union speech that the national economy is doing well. That may seem true inside the Beltway, but out here in the Real World, it doesn’t look so good.

Salena Zito writes that economic discontent is widespread.

The economy is dismal not just in the old Rust Belt but nationwide. On Tuesday, the National Association of Counties released its gold-standard study that shows, six years after the economic expansion began, 93 percent of U.S. counties have failed to fully recover from the devastating contraction they suffered during the recession.

Only 7 percent, or 214 out of 3,069 counties nationwide, recovered by 2015 to their pre-2008 numbers on total employment, economic expansion, home values and unemployment.

Read the whole thing. She suggests that the economic malaise of the Obama economy is one of the key drivers of the populist unrest pushing both the Trump and the Sanders presidential campaigns.

John Hinderacker chimes in, noting that the economic recovery over the last 7 years has been the worst in the past 70, in large part because of government disincentives.

In other words, government welfare programs are crushing America’s economic growth.

He’s posted a staggering chart of federal welfare programs that spend over a terabuck (a trillion dollars) each year. It’ll still be too hard to read after you click to enlarge it.

Meanwhile, back inside the beltway, DC city officials are bent out off shape because their minimum wage hike has caused Walmart to have second thoughts about building more stores in the city.

Hmmmm.

Your Expected Return


If you win the big Powerball drawing, you won’t get your 1.3 gigabucks all at once. That’s the payout over 30 years. If you take the net present value payout of the annuity, your winnings after taxes will be much less.

How much less? Your best expected return on your $2 “investment” in a ticket is about $1.79. It’s still a sucker bet.