Constitutional war keeps US people safest when fought to total surrender, with reconstruction by the US


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…[2]

Constitutional war is funded, armed, staffed, regulated, and declared by Congress

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States…

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States…

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress…[3]

Constitutional war is executed by the president

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States…[4]

In hazardous situations, the first consideration needs to be safety

Self Preservation is the key in any rescue. Every year, approximately five people lose their lives while attempting to rescue someone in trouble. While it may seem counter-intuitive, your own personal safety should remain paramount in any rescue situation.[5]

Passengers should always don their own mask prior to assisting others (such as children) with their mask.[6]

Boss Spearman: Sounds like you got it all worked out.
Charley Waite: Yeah, except the part where we don’t get killed.[7]

No dumb bastard ever won a war by going out and dying for his country. He won it by making some other dumb bastard die for his country.[8]

Constitutional war has kept US people safest when fought to total surrender, with reconstruction by the US

In 5 conflicts, Congress has declared war 11 times creating constitutional war
In 5 conflicts, the US has declared war 11 times, creating constitutional war[9, 10, 11]

Constitutional wars with total surrender and with reconstruction by the US have brought peace and prosperity. Other approaches have brought mixed results.

  1. The Constitution of the United, 16 Mar. 2020, Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.
  2. US Declaration of Independence.
  3. US Const., a 1, sec. 8.
  4. US Const., 2, sec. 2, cl. 1.
  5. Rescue, Accessed 21 Apr. 2017.
  6. Oxygen, 29 Jan. 2017, Accessed 21 Apr. 2017.
  7. Open Range (2003), Accessed 21 Apr. 2017.
  8. No Bastard Ever Won a War by Dying for His, 24 Apr. 2015, Accessed 21 Apr. 2017.
  9. Elsea, Jennifer K., and Richard F. Grimmett. Declarations of War and Authorizations for the Use of Military Force: Historical Background and Legal Implications. Report RL31133, Congressional Research Service, 2014.
  10. Pei, Minxin, and Sara Kasper. Lessons from the past: the American record on nation building. Policy Brief 24, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2003.
  11. COUNTRY COMPARISON :: GDP – PER CAPITA (PPP).The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency, 2016. Accessed 20 Apr. 2017.

Unconstitutional filibuster/cloture keeps government big

Senate action on cloture motions, 1917-2016, shows the ascendance of unconstitutional filibuster/cloture

Senate action on cloture motions [1]

Unconstitutional filibuster/cloture violates the Constitution’s core practical purpose, and plain text

…the core purpose of the new Constitution was to jettison the Articles and the “[g]reat inconveniences had… been experienced in Congress from the article of confederation requiring nine votes in certain cases.”

Delegates… fixed representation in the House according to population, while giving each state an “equal voice” in the Senate.

Article I, Section 3 specifies that the Vice President shall serve as President of the Senate, “but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.” Put simply, Article I, Section 3 shows that the Framers meant for final Senate action on proposed matters to hinge on the vote of a legislative majority, with the Vice President’s vote to determine whether an aye-voting or nay-voting majority exists in the event that the Senators themselves are “equally divided.”

Article I, Section 7 states that “[e]very Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate… shall…. be presented to the President. The critical term in this clause is “passed,” which Americans understood at the time of the framing… to hinge on “the act of a majority of a quorum” in the absence of “specific limitations… found in the Federal Constitution” itself. This understanding finds support in established practice at the time of the framing, Noah Webster’s dictionary of 1828, and the two English legal dictionaries that existed in 1787.

…the Constitution specifies five and only five instances in which the chambers of Congress are to act by supermajority vote. This list… demonstrated understanding—noted by Joseph Story nearly two-hundred years ago—that “departure from the general rule, of the right of the majority to govern, ought not to be allowed but upon the most urgent occasions.”

…Article II’s unitary textual treatment of judicial-branch and executive-branch nominees counsels against countenancing a different treatment of the two groups with regard to permissible forms of senatorial “consent,”…

…Article VI requires Senators… to take an oath to support the Constitution, and so they must honor the limits it imposes.

Unconstitutional filibuster/cloture was confirmed illegal during ratification

In Federalist No. 22, Hamilton decried… “If a pertinacious minority can controul the opinion of a majority… the sense of the smaller number will overrule that of the greater…”

Federalist No. 54 assured the ratifying community that “[u]nder the proposed Constitution, the federal actswill depend merely on the majority of votes in the Federal Legislature

In Federalist No. 58, Madison… concluded that… supermajority voting rules would invite “an interested minority [to] take advantage of [such rules] to screen themselves from equitable sacrifices to the general weal or … to extort unreasonable indulgences.” “It would no longer be the majority that would rule; the power would be transferred to the minority.”

Federalist No. 58 spoke of the risks of supermajority voting rules “[i]n all cases where justice or the general good might require new laws to be passed.”

Federalist No. 75… found fault with “all provisions which require more than the majority of any body to its resolutions.”

Unconstitutional filibuster/cloture was Progressively slipped into place

…the earliest Senates permitted a majority of members to halt debate on any pending matter pursuant to what was called the “Previous Question Rule.”

…the Senate abandoned the Previous Question Rule in 1806… instead for a system that in effect required unanimous consent to end debate on pending matters.

A true filibuster—pursuant to which dissenters openly take and hold the Senate floor—threatens to saddle dissenters with opprobrium by exposing their actions for all to see, making vivid their willingness to throw a wrench in the workings of the upper chamber. …the need to filibuster in this way had exactly this deterrent effect.

…senators utilitized speech-based delays only in exceptional cases for the remainder of the nineteenth century.

…targeted use of obstructionist speechmaking triggered ameliorative reforms, including the Senate’s replacement in 1917 of its unanimous-consent policy with a rule that authorized cloture by a vote of two-thirds of the members in attendance.

…during most of the twentieth century, filibusters focused on civil rights bills, which were bitterly denounced by southern segregationists. …the high water mark of obstructionist speechifying came when southern Senators occupied the floor for seventy-four days in an effort to block passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

…in 1975 the Senate adopted its current rule, which requires sixty votes to end debate, regardless of the number of Senators present. In addition, during this same time frame, the chamber embraced a “two-track” system… in which delays in acting on one matter would not block the Senate from moving forward with other business… The modern stealth system leads to no floor debate.”

Unconstitutional filibuster/cloture keeps unconstitutional big government ratchet-locked in place

One effect of these changes is that the use of Rule XXII to block action by Senate majorities has soared to unprecedented heights in recent years—indeed, to dizzying heights. As a result, “almost all significant legislation” now needs the support of sixty Senators…

…the Cloture Rule… has come to contravene the fundamental principle of legislative majoritarianism established by our founding charter.[2]

  1. Senate Action on Cloture Accessed 28 Jan. 2017.
  2. Coenen, Dan T. “The Filibuster and the Framing: Why the Cloture Rule is Unconstitutional and What to Do About It.” Boston College Law Review 55.1 (2014): 39-92.

Initial property rights come from showing up in force, and developing your claim

California gold rush miners with pistol showing illustrates the origins of initial property rights

California gold rush miners, with pistol showing [1]

In the most general sense, ownership rights are “the expectations a person has that his decision about the uses of certain resources will be effective.”

Initial property rights require first showing up

The discovery which started the famous gold rush was made on Janu­ary 24, 1848…

…the rigors of the voyage to California, whether by boat or foot, killed many potential miners before they reached the gold fields, eliminat­ing all but the strongest.

…several wealthy individuals residing on the east coast financed mining companies to go to California. On average, these com­panies consisted of forty to fifty persons who were to mine gold as a group and share it with their financial backers remaining in the states. Well documented accounts of these companies reveal that most did not survive as a group long enough to reach California. Those that did, soon dis­banded, forsaking their original agreement and each individual worked for himself.

…there were no federal laws regulating the private acquisition of exclusive rights to mineral lands.

…even had there been prior legal con­straints… most of the local and federal law enforcers in California deserted to the gold fields.

“Two companies of regulars, every day diminishing by desertions, that cannot be prevented, will soon be the only military force in California…”

By the end of August, 1848, the number of miners was estimated at somewhere between 5 and 10 thousand. …after the famous rush of 1849 which brought people from nearly every country in the world, the population was thought to be over one hundred thousand and, within two more years this figure reached a quarter of a million.

…the first miners… found gold bearing land to exist over an area three hundred miles long and one hundred miles wide along the western foothills of the Sierra Mountains.

Initial property rights require developing your claim

…theory implies that the total amount of homogeneous mining land will always be divided evenly among the competing miners. …individuals holding more productive land will get less land than others whose holdings are not so productive. 

Each time a new deposit was discovered, a group of miners would rush to the site and form a new district through explicit contract. It is estimated that between 1848 and 1866 there were nearly five hun­dred independent mining districts established, each with its own unique distribution of land among the contracting parties.

“The first workers on the bar had taken up claims of a generous size, and soon the whole bar was occupied. The region was full of miners and they came pouring down upon the river, attracted by the reports of a rich strike, until their tents and campfires presented the appear­ance of a vast army. Those without claims far exceeded in number the fortunate ones. A miners’ meeting was called to make laws. Majority ruled in a mining camp in those days, and it was voted to cut down the size of claims to forty feet. The claim owners were powerless to resist, but had to admit to the fiat of the majority. The miners were then registered in the order of the date of their arrival upon the bar, and in that order were allowed to select claims until all were taken. Even then there was a great crowd of disappointed ones.”

In these contracts, it was provided that each individual was to get a parcel of land of specified size. As long as the miner worked this parcel, called a “claim,” at stipu­lated intervals, he had exclusive rights to the land and all the gold con­tained.

Using a pick and shovel in temperatures approaching 100 degrees, washing dirt in rivers formed from melting glaciers, subsisting on a diet of questionable nutritional content and living in unsanitary conditions quickly destroyed the weak and the sickly.

Initial property rights require showing adequate force

…every mining district had provisions for punishing claim “jumpers” and excluding outsiders in their bid for some of the already claimed land.

Walls were not constructed around claims nor were jails built.

…the miners did not hire specialists in force to help them maintain their exclusive land rights.

…weapons such as cannons or rockets were not used in the gold fields.

The pistol, which nearly every miner wore, was the primary instrument for maintaining exclusivity.

While some men probab­ly could use the gun with greater accuracy or speed than others, I suspect that the variance in ability was not large. The six shooter was not called “the equalizer” for nothing.

…the assumed and observed vari­ance in the ability to use force was insignificant, so all observed distribu­tion patterns were attributable only to differences in land values.

Initial property rights come from taking risk and adding value; they aren’t given up lightly

…the initial allocation is not a random process…

…any reallocation pro­gram which assigns to individuals less wealth than they could have through the use of their own force will be a costly failure.[2]

  1. Arrival of the Watertown Boys: Letters from John C., 17 Feb. 2011, Accessed 15 Apr. 2017.
  2. Umbeck, John. “Might makes rights: A theory of the formation and initial distribution of property rights.” Economic Inquiry 19.1 (1981): 38-59.

English-language expertise and peak skill take decades

Age at best publication vs. age at first publication shows that English-language expertise and peak use take decades

Age at peak skill vs. age at initial expertise for writers. Expert-to-peak averaged 11-13 years, and took up to 45 years.[1]

English-language expertise starts with years to proficiency

… even in two California districts that are considered the most successful in teaching English to limited-English-proficient students, oral proficiency takes 3 to 5 years to develop, and academic English proficiency can take 4 to 7 years.

This paper follows on precedent-setting research… estimates of up to 10 years before students are fully proficient in English, i.e., are fully competitive in the academic uses of English with their age-equivalent, native English-speaking peers.[2]

English-language expertise is not necessarily automatic

…the ‘compressed’ discourse style of academic writing is much less explicit in meaning than alternative styles employing elaborated structures. These styles are efficient for expert readers, who can quickly extract large amounts of information from relatively short, condensed texts. However, they pose difficulties for novice readers, who must learn to infer unspecified meaning relations among grammatical constituents.[3]

This article presents a case study of a nonnative-English-speaking scholar from Hong Kong and his experience in publishing a scholarly article in an international refereed journal on his return from doctoral study in the United States.

…Oliver had considerable exposure to English throughout his life. His first contact with the language was at kindergarten, when he was 3–4 years old. Following kindergarten, he went to an English-medium elementary school. After that he moved to an English-medium secondary school that was staffed primarily by Irish Jesuit priests. His undergraduate education was at a Hong Kong university that has a bilingual policy of teaching in Chinese or English. On graduation, he worked for a time. Later, for his MA and PhD, he moved to a major research university in the United States, where he had very little contact with non-English speakers either inside the university or outside, where he had friends in the local community, living for 2 years with an American family. Oliver said that he considered both Chinese and English as his mother tongue.

Oliver was lucky in that… the single reviewer of his submission had the skill to see a publishable article in a manuscript that two nonspecialists (the research assistant/local editor and I) were unable to envision and that had what the reviewer described as “second language mistakes that interfere with clarity and obscure meaning”… The in-house editor did an aggressive job, cutting the paper from 43 pages to 29. Entire paragraphs were removed, and virtually every sentence was rewritten.[4]

English-language expertise and peak skill take decades

Most children these days are being taught grammar and are given creative writing assignments as early as Elementary school… …in our sample… it is certainly plausible that they started writing creatively at age 10. The average age in which any writer in our sample produced their first work is 32.8 years. The average age at which any writer in our sample produced their “best” work is 43.4.[1]

‘It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous.’—Robert Benchley [5]

In our sample of writers, it took an average of 10.6 or 12.8 years (depending on whether you exclude those whose best work was also their first work) to produce a “masterpiece” of fiction once they had started publishing. Since our sample included contemporary writers, mostly still living, there is still a good chance that the writer’s “best” work has yet to been produced, which would only increase our overall mean. According to Simonton (1997), the average peak year for novelists is 27.1 years into their career…

…many of the skills required to become an expert in literature (i.e., constructing a problem representation, goal setting, planning, etc.) are also required of any task in which people are trying to extend themselves or to achieve a novel or superior result.[1]

In many fields, English-language expertise and peak skill are only just a start

The most frequently reported outside ability for scientists is that of verbal ability… When disabilities are mentioned, however, disabilities in language are named for scientists…[6]

…it is quite possible that writers might require less time for expertise acquisition than other domains. It has been suggested… that the greater the knowledge base of a domain, the more formal knowledge is required for truly innovative work within it.[1]

  1. Kaufman, Scott Barry, and James C. Kaufman. “Ten years to expertise, many more to greatness: An investigation of modern writers.” The Journal of Creative Behavior 41.2 (2007): 114-124.
  2. Hakuta, Kenji, Yuko Goto Butler, and Daria Witt. “How Long Does It Take English Learners to Attain Proficiency?” The University of California Linguistic Minority Research Institute Policy Report 2000-1 (2000).
  3. Biber, Douglas, and Bethany Gray. “Challenging stereotypes about academic writing: Complexity, elaboration, explicitness.” Journal of English for Academic Purposes 9.1 (2010): 2-20.
  4. Flowerdew, John. “Discourse community, legitimate peripheral participation, and the nonnative-English-speaking scholar.” TESOL quarterly 34.1 (2000): 127-150.
  5. Kaufman, James C., and Claudia A. Gentile. “The will, the wit, the judgement: The importance of an early start in productive and successful creative writing.” High Ability Studies 13.2 (2002): 115-123.
  6. Raskin, Evelyn. “Comparison of scientific and literary ability: a biographical study of eminent scientists and men of letters of the nineteenth century.” The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 31.1 (1936): 20-35.

Immigration surplus couldn’t be a world GDP increase of 60%, but could be 7%

Global gains from open borders shaded area shows immigration surplus

The immigration surplus made concrete, on paper:

  • North’s gain from Southern workers, trapezoid B, equals South’s loss, trapezoid C.
  • North’s total gain, trapezoid AB, is bigger than South’s loss, trapezoid C. The difference is the total immigration surplus: trapezoid AB‘s shaded portion, which is triangle A.
  • This is idealized with migration costless; and with poor Southern immigrants suddenly producing like rich Northern natives; and with migration continuing when Northern natives’ wages fall.

Immigration surplus has been called a world GDP increase of 60%

To get a better grasp of the issues at hand, it is best to begin with a description of the basic model.

As in the generic study in the literature, the removal of immigration restrictions (combined with the assumption of costless mobility) would lead to a huge increase in world GDP. Specifically… world GDP would increase by $40 trillion, almost a 60 percent increase. Moreover, these gains would accrue each year after the migration occurs, so that the present value of the gains nears one quadrillion dollars!

…if only countries would stop being countries.

Immigration surplus that big would take exodus of 95%, productivity leap, native wages down 40%

The simulation implies that 2.6 billion workers, or 95 percent of the workforce in the South, will move. If these workers bring along their families, the 95 percent mobility rate implies that nearly 5.6 billion persons would move from the South to the North.

For immigration to generate substantial global gains, it must be the case that billions of immigrants can move to the industrialized economies without importing the “bad” organizations, social models, and culture that led to poor economic conditions in the source countries in the first place.

The formation of social networks among migrants could substantially lower the costs of migration for the second or third billionth mover. But congestion costs in the receiving countries could also increase exponentially, making it harder to resettle that marginal migrant.

The earnings of the North’s native workforce fall by almost 40 percent, and the earnings of Southern workers increase by 143 percent.

A little humility about what we actually know would seem to be a prerequisite before anyone proposes a breathtaking rearrangement of the world order. …it seems likely that a particular [immigration] policy is chosen because that choice leads to the greatest benefits and/or smallest costs in that place and at that time.[1]

Immigration surplus could plausibly come from emigration of 12%, with productivity lag

In this paper, we quantify the effect of a complete liberalization of cross-border migration on the world GDP and its distribution across regions.

As for desired migration, we aggregate four waves of the Gallup World Poll survey… About 290,000 adults from 142 countries were questioned about their desired migration and preferred country of destination. These countries are representative of about 97 percent of the world population.

Data on potential migration reveal that the number of people in the world who have a desire to migrate is around 400 million. For the year 2000, we identify 274.5 million desiring migrants aged 25 and over. Adding them to the effective migrants gives a total stock of 386.1 million potential migrants (i.e., 12.1 percent of the population).

Most of these desiring migrants originate in poor countries and want to relocate to rich countries.

The main regions of origin are Asia (30 percent of the total, including China and India), sub-Saharan Africa (17 percent), Latin America (14 percent), and the Middle East and Northern Africa (8 percent).

In terms of destinations, a vast majority want to emigrate to an OECD, high-income country (27 percent to the United States, 26 percent to Europe, and 16 percent to Canada, Australia, and New Zealand). Other important destinations are Japan, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

It is widely documented that many immigrants with higher education tend to find jobs in occupations typically staffed by less-educated natives… Highly educated immigrants trained in developing countries, in particular, are likely to be less productive in high-skill jobs than natives with similar educational degrees.

Plausible immigration surplus in the first generation could be world GDP increase of 7%

…when total factor productivity (TFP) is an increasing function of the proportion of college graduates in the country’s labor force… in the medium term… (i.e., over one generation)… liberalizing migration increases the world GDP by… in the range of 7.0 percent…[2]

  1. Borjas, George J. “Immigration and globalization: A review essay.” Journal of Economic Literature 53.4 (2015): 961-974.
  2. Docquier, Frédéric, Joël Machado, and Khalid Sekkat. “Efficiency gains from liberalizing labor mobility.” The Scandinavian journal of economics 117.2 (2015): 303-346.

Money control by government people denies us money self-regulation by business people

US consumer price index 1800-2016 shows effect of money control by government people after 1913

US Consumer Price Index for 1800-2016,[1]
scaled so 1913 CPI = 100

Under private control between wars before 1913, prices fell; a dollar bought more. Under government control since 1913, prices shot upward; a dollar buys less.

Money control by government people is not natural

Money is a government monopoly.

If there is no incentive to please consumers, the products or services monopolies sell tend to be more expensive and of lower quality than would be the case under competition, where a number of firms are free to compete for the consumer’s business.

Natural rights theorists argue that individual rights are being violated if government, which is supposed to protect property and political rights, prevents individuals from entering a line of business.

Money is not a natural government monopoly. It came into existence spontaneously out of the market process. Gold and silver coins, and promises to pay in gold and silver, have served consumers well for hundreds of years. From 1839 until the advent of the Federal Reserve Bank in the United States in 1913, most money in circulation consisted of privately issued bank notes…

Money control by government people is unstable and does us outsized harm

“The economy has been much less stable since the establishment of the Fed restored a government monopoly in currency issuance. The wholesale price index in 1913 [the year the Federal Reserve Board came into existence] was 87 percent of what it had been 73 years earlier… By contrast, in the 73 years since the founding of the Fed, the wholesale price index has risen to 825 percent of its 1913 level.”

“What we should have learned is that monetary policy is much more likely to be a cause than a cure of depressions, because it is much easier, by giving in to the clamour for cheap money, to cause those misdirections of production that make a later reaction inevitable, than to assist the economy in extricating itself from the consequences of overdeveloping in particular directions. The past instability of the market economy is the consequence of the exclusion of the most important regulator of the market mechanism, money, from itself being regulated by the market process.

“Just as the absence of competition has prevented the monopolist supplier of money from being subject to a salutary discipline, the power over money has also relieved governments of the necessity to keep their expenditure within their revenue…There can be little doubt that the spectacular increase in government expenditure over the last 30 years, with governments in some Western countries claiming up to half or more of the national income for collective purposes, was made possible by government control of the issue of money.”

Government control over the money supply increases centralization, which tends to reduce individual freedom. Asserting economic control over the individual also runs the risk of political control, since economic and political freedom are intertwined.

Money control won’t be given up easily by Progressive government people

One way to minimize this excessive control over the individual is to prohibit government from controlling the money supply. “One of the most effective measures for protecting the freedom of the individual might indeed be to have constitutions prohibiting all peacetime restrictions on transactions in any kind of money or the precious metals.”

Unfortunately, constitutions have a tendency to get twisted beyond recognition by the courts, at least that has been the American experience, so having a constitutional provision is not a perfect solution either. But it is better than nothing.

The long-run solution seems to be to phase-out government money as private money takes its place. Once government money is abolished there will be less pressure to restore the government’s monopoly position.

Money control by business people would be self-regulated by producers and consumers

Initially, the introduction of private money would be slow. However, over time, the money that holds its value best would be preferred over money that depreciates in value — the exact reverse of Gresham’s Law, which holds that bad money drives good money out of circulation. Gresham’s Law only holds true when government sets fixed exchange rates between or among competing currencies.

Thus, money would act just like other goods and services. Consumers would shop for the brand that best serves their needs. They would prefer stable currencies to unstable ones, and the market would weed out the bad from the good.[2]

  1. Consumer Price Index (Estimate), Accessed 25 Mar. 2017.
  2. McGee, Robert W. “The Case for Privatizing Money.The Asian Economic Review 30.2 (Aug. 1988): 258-273.

Trade strengthens plants, so people’s productivity increases and prices fall

Nonexporter plants and exporter plants vs. labor productivity, showing that trade strengthens plants

Figure 2A. When labor productivity is higher, plants export more.

Trade strengthens plants a few plants at a time and a few products at a time

…exporters are in the minority; they tend to be more productive and larger, yet they usually export only a small fraction of their output.

…of the roughly 200,000 plants in the Census, only 21 percent report exporting anything.

Even the plants that do export sell mostly at home. Around two-thirds of the exporters sell less than 10 percent of their output abroad. More than half of exports come from these plants.

Fewer than 5 percent of the exporting plants (which also account for about 5 percent of exporters’ total output) export more than 50 percent of their production.

Trade strengthens plants by leaving them larger and more productive

How can we reconcile the low level of export participation and export intensity by individual plants with the fact that 14 percent of gross U.S. manufacturing production is exported? The major reason… is that the plants that export are much bigger, shipping on average 5.6 times more than nonexporters. Even excluding their exports, plants that export ship 4.8 times as much to the U.S. market than their nonexporting counterparts.

…plants… differ substantially in measured productivity. A substantial number of plants have productivity either less than a fourth or more than four times the average.

Plants that export appear to be more productive.

…Figure 2A brings out the striking association between [productivity and export performance]. The exporters’ productivity distribution is a substantial shift to the right of the nonexporters’ distribution.

…exporters have a 33-percent advantage in labor productivity overall, and a 15-percent advantage relative to nonexporters within the same 4-digit industry.

When trade strengthens plants, prices get lower

…greater efficiency not only raises the probability of exporting, it will also likely result in a lower domestic price. Even though, as we showed above, more efficient plants tend to be further ahead of their rivals, so can charge a higher markup, these rivals, nonetheless, tend to be more efficient themselves, forcing the plant to set a lower price.

Although foreign markets are small in plants’ revenues, the international economy nonetheless plays an important role in determining which producers are in business and which are good enough to export.

Trade strengthens plants because people shift to high-productivity plants

Lower trade barriers… tend to nudge out low-productivity plants while enabling the highly productive to sell more abroad.

Even though the number of U.S. plants fall there is little net job destruction (but substantial job turnover).

Aggregate productivity rises as employment shifts from low-productivity plants driven out by import competition to high-productivity plants turning toward export markets.[1]

  1. Bernard, Andrew B., et al. “Plants and productivity in international trade.” The American Economic Review 93.4 (2003): 1268-1290.

Profit option signals are generated by activity-based costing (ABC)

The hierarchy of factory operating expenses show profit option signals

The hierarchy of factory operating expenses

Profit option signals from allocating costs to where value is added

The gross numbers on corporate financial statements… represent the aggregation of thousands of small stories about bow the company designed, produced, and delivered its products, served customers, and developed and maintained brands.

  • Some activities like drilling a hole or machining a surface, are performed on individual units.
  • Others – setups, material movements, and first part inspections – allow batches of units to be processed.
  • Still others – engineering product specifications, process engineering, product enhancements, and engineering change notices – provide the overall capability that enables the company to produce the product.
  • And plant management, building and grounds maintenance, and heating and lighting sustain the manufacturing facility.

…managers need to distinguish the expenses of direct labor, direct materials, and electricity, which are consumed at the unit level, from the expenses of resources used to process batches or to support a product or a facility. Batch- and product-level expenses can be controlled only by modifying batch- and product-level activities.

Profit option signals from unit, batch, product, and facility costs

The example of a large equipment manufacturer with a machining shop containing dozens of numerically controlled machine tools shows the important distinction in emphasis between traditional cost systems and ABC analysis.

A detailed ABC analysis revealed that more than 40% of the department’s support resources were not used to produce individual product units. The company developed five new drivers of overhead resources:

  1. setup time,
  2. production runs,
  3. materials movements,
  4. active parts numbers maintenance, and
  5. facility management.

The first three related to how many batches were produced, the fourth to the number of different types of products produced, and the fifth to the facility as a whole rather than to individual products.

For a simple drive shaft, for example, the traditional system had allocated $13.38 of factory overhead to every 100 units. For the 8,000 units actually produced, the allocated overhead costs were $1,070. In contrast, the ABC system signaled that production of the shaft consumed about $1,700 of unit, batch, and product-sustaining support resources.

The heavy equipment manufacturer in our example recognized that its low-volume products were a drag on profits. To avoid outsourcing all of the low-volume products, the division opened a special low-value-added job shop.

It went from a single facility producing a broad mix of products to two focused facilities: one for high-volume products and the other for low-volume products.

Profit option signals guide repricing, resource saving, and resource management

Managers should take two types of actions after an ABC analysis.

First, they should attempt to reprice products: raise prices for products that make heavy demands on support resources and lower prices to more competitive levels for the high-volume products that had been subsidizing the others.

Second, and more important, managers should search for ways to reduce resource consumption. Reducing resource consumption gives managers an opportunity to boost profits.

…management can use the freed-up resources to increase output, which in tum generates more revenues. …management can eliminate or redeploy resources periodically to bring spending down to the new lower levels of resource consumption.

….management must take some action to capture the benefits from the signals ABC analysis sends.

  1. Cooper, Robin, and Robert S. Kaplan. “Profit Priorities from Activity-Based Costing.Harvard Business Review 69.3 (1991): 130-135.

Climate model bias is incentivized in science, economics, and politics

Lower-Atmosphere Temperatures Predicted by United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Models and Measured by Satellites and Weather Balloons Demonstrate Climate Model Bias

Figure 64.1. Lower-Atmosphere Temperatures Predicted by United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Models and Measured by Satellites and Weather Balloons

Climate model bias is naturally selected by government-funded science

An accurate cost-benefit analysis can only be done if there is a reliable forecast for climate change and its specific impacts.

The… federal Interagency Working Group (IWG)… by relying on the output from published general circulation models (GCM) that simulate future climate as carbon dioxide is added to the atmosphere, is saying that those models are sufficient. They are not. The most logical interpretation of the ongoing (and increasing) disparity between the collectively modeled and observed temperatures (as shown in Figure 64.1 [above]) is that the forecast models are simply too sensitive to carbon dioxide changes.

Additionally, Congress should direct that all SCC calculations take into account the massive increase in global food production (valued at $3.2 trillion since 1950) that is a direct result of increasing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, as well as the nearly global increase in green vegetative matter. The current models used by the IWG to determine the SCC are woefully insufficient on these accounts.

A remarkable finding published in 2016 by the Royal Society, the national academy of science of the United Kingdom, may explain the time and money spent. It shows that the way we reward scientists is producing, in the authors’ words, increasingly “bad science.” A corollary is that, if the federal government suddenly disburses enormous amounts of funding for a given field, as it has for climate studies, then the quality of research will decline significantly.

Climate model bias makes for government-friendly economic analyses

Proponents of a carbon dioxide tax… cite something called the “social cost of carbon” (SCC). The Obama administration’s SCC was generated by a federal Interagency Working Group (IWG) that ignored specific… Office of Management and Budget (OMB)… directives with regard to the determination of the SCC and its use in cost-benefit analysis of federal actions.

“For regulatory analysis, you should provide estimates of net benefits using both 3 percent and 7 percent”—with a discount rate of 7 percent representing “an estimate of the average before-tax rate of return to private capital in the U.S. economy” and 3 percent reflecting the low case. Had the IWG included a 7 percent discount rate as guided by the OMB, they would have arrived at a substantially lower estimate of the SCC—some 80 percent (or more) below the current IWG mean SCC value.

“Your analysis should focus on benefits and costs that accrue to citizens and residents of the United States.” Yet the administration’s IWG reports (and subsequently relies upon) a value of the SCC determined from the accumulation of costs projected to occur across the globe while burying the U.S. domestic costs (which are estimated to be only 7 to 23 percent of the global value).

Climate model bias is used to weaken property rights and build dependence

…the Paris Agreement on climate change… states, “Developed country Parties shall provide financial resources to assist developing country Parties with respect to both mitigation and adaptation in continuation of their existing obligations under the Convention.”

“Continuous and enhanced international support shall be provided to developing country Parties.”

“Developed country Parties shall biennially communicate indicative quantitative and qualitative information related to paragraphs 1 and 3 of this Article, as applicable, including, as available, projected levels of public financial resources to be provided to developing country Parties” [emphasis added].

Climate model bias is used to promote bigger government

First and foremost, Congress should turn down any legislative proposals for a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, erroneously called a “carbon tax” by proponents. Such a tax would be as insidious as the income tax, which began as a very small levy but ultimately evolved into the fiscal and byzantine morass that it is today.

Legislators will never give up an equivalent amount of revenue that they could spend on desired projects. …we can’t “expect three trillion dollars to walk down K Street unmolested” by special interests and lobbies.[1]

  1. Michaels, Patrick J. and Paul C. Knappenberger. “Global Warming and Climate Change.” Cato Handbook for Policymakers, 8th ed., Cato Institute, 2017, pp. 627-636.

Control stability is affected most by control valve stiction

Cascade control of an exothermic chemical reactor, illustrating control valves that affect control stability

Cascade control of an exothermic chemical reactor [1]

Control stability is affected most by control valves

While the sensors of the process variables are the eyes, and the controller the brain, the final control element represents the hands of the control loop.

The final control element will influence the stability of a loop more than all the other control elements combined.

Control valves are the most common type of final control elements… What… is a control valve? The distinction between automated and control valves is the ability of the latter to modulate or assume an infinite number of throttling travel positions during normal control service.[2]

Control stability is at risk from safety and environmental protection that’s provided by sealing control valve stems with “packing”

Configuration of a pneumatic spring-diaphragm sliding-stem control valve, illustrating packing that affects control stability

Configuration of a pneumatic spring-diaphragm sliding-stem control valve [3]

Packing is a sealing system which normally consists of a deformable material… in the form of solid or split rings contained in a packing box. Packing material is compressed to provide an effective pressure seal between the fluid in the valve body and the outside atmosphere.

Common Packing Problems

  1. Desire to use just one packing material throughout a plant. The material of choice is normally graphite ribbon packing… Friction increases by magnitudes of 2-5 times.
  2. Overtightening, which leads to reduced life and high friction.
  3. Corrosion. primarily of the valve stem. The corrosion destroys the stem finish, which in turn destroys the packing from the inside towards the outside.
  4. Under-tightening, which normally comes with normal in-service wear, and regular/routine maintenance does not include retightening the packing’s force-loading mechanism. Under-tightening will lead to leakage, which if not corrected immediately, will lead to a complete packing failure rather quickly.[4]

Control stability is disrupted when a control valve has sticky stem packing – “stiction”

Level loop limit cycles due to static friction stick-jump, which illustrate that control valve stiction affects control stability

Closed loop behavior of a self-regulating level loop in presence of stiction or static friction stick-jump… …a level loop limit cycles due to stiction and the stem jumps to a new position once the controller overcomes the stiction…[5]

Friction is a force that tends to oppose the relative motion between two surfaces that are in contact.

… it usually takes more force to get an element to break out of its static condition and begin moving, whereas less force is usually required to keep it moving.

Static friction is the force that must be overcome before there is any relative motion between the two surfaces. Stick/slip or “stiction” are colloquial terms that are often used to describe static friction. Static friction is one of the major causes of dead band in a valve assembly. Dead band is the range through which an input signal can be varied, upon reversal of direction, without an observable change in the output signal.

Process disturbances… typically… are continually stopping and reversing direction. This means that the control elements also must continually follow this same stop-and-reverse-direction pattern. Every time the control element has to stop, static friction can become a factor.[6]

  1. Edgar, Thomas F., et al. “Process Control.” Perry’s chemical engineers’ handbook. 8th edition, edited by Don W. Green, McGraw-Hill, 2008, pp. 8-1 – 8-96; p. 8-24.
  2. Baumann, Hans. “Your best bet in control valves.InTech 56.7 (July 2009): 35.
  3. Fang, Lei, et al. “A semi-physical model for pneumatic control valves.” Nonlinear Dynamics 85.3 (2016): 1735-1748.
  4. Basic operation and function of control valves. Cashco, 2010, p. 56.
  5. Srinivasan, Ranganathan, et al. “Issues in modeling stiction in process control valves.” 2008 American Control Conference. IEEE, 2008.
  6. Jury, Floyd D. Control valve impact on loop performance. Technical monograph 49. Emerson Process Management, 2008.