Capitalism as Seen by the Left: “The Age of Enron”

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- July 16, 2019 5 Comments

“Add [to rent-seeking] the company’s rank imprudence and strategic deceit (what I labeled philosophic fraud), and a new term had to be invented to describe that which true capitalist luminaries from Adam Smith forward warned against: the contra-capitalist corporation.”

For many years now, as a poor man’s Robert Caro, I have labored to demonstrate that the worldview-testing event called Enron was Exhibit A of crony capitalism and Progressivism, not free-market capitalism and the classical liberalism.

The Progressive mainstream argued emphatically for their conclusion. Two examples are among my favorites. Paul Krugman in the New York Times: “I predict that in the years ahead Enron, not Sept. 11, will come to be seen as the greater turning point in U.S. society.” Robert Kuttner in BusinessWeek: “Defenders of deregulation are mounting a heroic effort to insist that the [Enron] debacle was merely a business model gone bad, not an impeachment of freer markets”.

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Democrats and a Carbon Tax: A Losing Issue Then, Now

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 11, 2019 No Comments

“We have done extensive polling on a carbon tax. It all sucks.”

– John Podesta (Clinton campaign manager), January 2015.

“[A carbon tax is] lethal in the general [election], so I don’t want to support one.”

– Robby Mook (Clinton campaign manager), June 2015.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign would not touch it. Neither would be Democratic Platform in 2016. “[Hillary] Clinton has no intention of being suckered into a political disaster by advocating a carbon tax,” stated Democrat consultant
Paul Bledsoe in July 2016.

If Republicans will come out for it and vote for it, that’s a different matter. But until that happens, the Democrats should have nothing to do with it, because it’s political poison.” –

So if attention-hungry, anti-Trump Republicans (such as Mitt Romney) want to make a carbon tax an issue, be careful.

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Trump on Wind Power’s Problems (cancer too)

By Sherri Lange -- April 11, 2019 34 Comments

There was shock, surprise, and humor in the media when Trump not only denounced wind “mills” for intermittency, lack of predictable value, property losses, and bird kills but also topped his discussion with

“They say the noise causes cancer. You tell me that one, okay?”

Is President Trump correct in his five critical points? Even the last one? Or is it possible, as Trevor Noah suggested, turbines might be the only things that don’t cause cancer.

1. Intermittency

Electricity must be consumed the moment it is produced. Storage to allow deviations is prohibitively expensive in all but the rarest of settings. And it has always been this way.

Trump said, “Honey I’d like to watch TV tonight: are the turbines working?” And then his quotation from the Washington Republican fundraiser:

“Is the wind blowing?

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Earth Hour This Saturday: Why Candles Instead of Electricity?

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- March 29, 2019 2 Comments

“Earth Hour not only coincides with Venezuela’s involuntary, chronic blackouts. It also joins this week’s complete, abject defeat of the Green New Deal. The 0 – 57 drubbing–with not a single Democrat voting “yes”–signals that self-made electricity blackouts will not be tolerated in the US.”

The joke goes: “What did the socialists use before candles.” The answer: electricity.

Such is true today in Venezuela, which is likely to encounter this Saturday’s Earth Hour (a turn-off-the-lights protest against modern living [1]) with an involuntary period of darkness. Atlas is shrugging under the Maduro regime, with electricity experts having fled to freer countries (a classic “brain drain”).

Venezuela is fiction-to-fact with Ayn Rand’s epic novel, Atlas Shrugged. But Rand in a previous book set up a fictional account of the fate of electricity in a dystopian world–what Earth Hour seems to long to bring about.

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‘Roger Donway: A Salute’ (2011 tribute rings truer today)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- January 15, 2019 No Comments Continue Reading

Citizen Martis Draws Ire from Big Green (countering wind power shoestring by shoestring)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- October 30, 2018 3 Comments Continue Reading

Business History Scholarship: Jack High Interview (Part I)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- April 3, 2018 1 Comment Continue Reading

Contra-Capitalism as a Business Syndrome

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- March 27, 2018 5 Comments Continue Reading

Marxism & Socialism: What the New York Times Cannot Say about Venezuela’s Carnage

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- December 19, 2017 8 Comments Continue Reading

Offshore Wind: Rough Waters for LEEDCo ‘Demonstration Project’ (environmentalists rise up)

By Sherri Lange -- November 21, 2017 16 Comments Continue Reading