Finding Common Ground

Climate change advocates are making extreme predications about the future in order to promote extreme environmental policies.  Climate skeptics challenge the climate orthodoxy and there is no movement towards reconciliation.  

This dynamic has been going on for 20 years.  If democrats win the White House and Senate, the status quo will change and not for the better.  Proposals by the democrat candidates are extreme and predicated on achieving zero emissions by forcing fossils fuels from our energy budget.  They are betting that be implementing even some of their policies and rejoining the Paris Accord, they will be able to move a new global agreement forward.  

That is a triumph of hope over experience. China. India, and other developing countries will not abandon their economic aspirations unless bribed to do so and the developed world cannot afford to pay the price that would be involved. And, the US cannot afford the forced abandonment of fossil fuels called for by most democrat candidates.

Policies predicated on fossil fuels being the problem assign high probabilities to IPCC estimates of climate sensitivity and natural variability. But prudent risk management policy would not ignore significant uncertainties and base a course of action on estimates that have not been proven to be robust and on political assumptions that require nations to act against their self-interest.

Over the past decade, US CO2 emissions have declined by roughly 14% while global emissions have grown by about 14%.  We know the CO2 emissions are growing, are mainly the result of burning fossil fuels, and that atmospheric concentrations warm the planet but the warming effect is not linear.  What we don’t know with a high degree of certainty is how much of the current warming is manmade and how much is natural.  We also do not adequately understand climate sensitivity since the range for doubling CO2 has remained a factor of 3.

Uncertainty doesn’t mean doing nothing.  It means that we focus on reducing the uncertainty as much as possible and take prudent and economically sensible steps to hedge against it.  But hedges aren’t free. Investing in modular nuclear reactors allows for the orderly replacement of coal fired power plants with a source of power that is not intermittent.  And, natural gas should be the alternative of choice until nuclear can become more cost effective.  Unforced advances in automotive technology can further reduce CO2 emissions from mobile sources.  Increase R&D on battery technology for both mobile sources and wind and solar storage.

The forced obsolescence of buildings, infrastructure, and mobile sources to achieve zero emissions by 2040 or some other near term arbitrary date would be enormously economically wasteful.  In all likelihood the needed turnover couldn’t happen that quickly and the emission reduction here would be at least partially offset by increases in other nations like China and India.

Developing countries will use coal as the fuel of choice unless developed countries provide mechanisms for them to adopt newer energy technologies.  Technology transfers will not only address emission concerns but also help these nations climb the economic latter faster.

The Global Commission on Adaptation has just released a report on the adaptation imperative.  While many of its suggestions may not prove cost-effective or practical, the report should help guide those investments that do make sense, such as “early warning systems for floods or heatwaves, constructing infrastructure to withstand a changing climate, improving agriculture techniques that could boost cereal yields, investing in making water resources more resilient and protecting mangroves to fortify coasts from storm surges.”  We should also change coastal building codes and adopt Dutch measures for protecting against sea level rise.

The notion of finding common ground will not appeal to progressives and environmental activists but the alternative of being stuck with the status quo should be even less appealing.  Members of Congress would do well to remember Henry Clay’s admonition that “Politics is not about ideological purity, or moral self-righteousness, it’s about governing. If you cannot compromise you cannot govern.”

Finding common ground on climate change would certainly benefit the science establishment and begin the process of reversing polarization.

The New Road to Serfdom

Senators Sanders and Warren are battling for the heart and soul of the progressive wing of the democrat party by making outlandish promises.  Neither claims to be a socialist, Sanders says he’s a democratic socialist whatever that is, but their proposals and philosophy certainly have the trappings of Socialism.  Their basic philosophy is to promise programs that guarantee individual security and deliver on those promises by increasing government authority over all aspects of life and the economy.

Senator Sanders has just introduced his Green New Deal with a price tag of $16 trillion over 10 years.  This is on top of Medicare for All, free tuition, family leave, and expanded social security.  Depending on whose analysis is used, the cost of these promises has to exceed $4 trillion annually.  The Federal Government’s budget for this fiscal year is only $4.4 trillion.

The appeal of these proposals is mystifying because taxes on everyone would have to significantly increase. The Sander’s tax plan would raise $15.3 trillion over the next decade, according to the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center (TPC).  Even if you believe these calculations, which should be taken with a lot of grains of salt, the net result is a growing national debt and more taxes for everyone. According to the Tax Foundation, the average tax rate for the top 50%in 2018 was 15.6%–the bottom 40% pay no federal taxes. To raise an additional $4 billion, tax rates would have to double.

Many of the Sanders Warren supporters may not be aware of Friedrich Hayek’s 1939 book the Road to Serfdom which he wrote as a warning to the “socialist intelligentsia of England.  Before casting their votes in either primaries or the general election, progressive democrats should read Hayek’s book  because it explains the reality of the socialist promise.  The history of past attempts at national economic planning is sobering.  Germany and Russia in the 1930s in addition to Great Britain demonstrated that the effect of national planning is a loss of personal freedom as well as the rule of law. Britain’s Lord Chief Justice warned of a new despotism “exercised by a thoroughly conscientious and honest bureaucracy for what they sincerely believe is the good of the country.  But it is nevertheless an arbitrary government …”

The historian, Jon Meacham, defined the American soul as “ the belief in the proposition, as Jefferson put it, that all men are created equal.  It is therefore incumbent… to create a sphere in which we can live, live freely, and pursue happiness to the best of our abilities. We cannot guarantee equal outcomes, but we must do all we can to ensure equal opportunity.” A government that can being into reality the progressive promises of Sanders and Warren is a government that will have to restrict the freedoms to live freely and pursue happiness.  That is the trade-off that is involved in supporting the Sanders-Warren progressive plans.  While it is unlikely that all of these proposals will be enacted if the democrats win the White House and control Congress, some will in some form.  That is the larger problem.

Implementing any of these proposals or scaled down versions will require ever more regulations and a larger bureaucracy. Regulations will be administered by federal bureaucrats; not angels who would administer them with total fairness and benevolence. Individuals have their own agendas and enjoy decision making power. Hayek warned, “That means …even a strong tradition of political liberty is no safeguard if the danger is precisely that new institutions and policies will gradually undermine and destroy that spirit.”

A Losing Strategy

The Business Roundtable (BRT) has published a new statement of corporate values and the media has responded as if some sort of major transformation had occurred.  Instead, what has taken place is the Roundtable and its members are attempting a pre-emptive move against the perceived socialist movement of the electorate.  This effort will fail and it should.

Attempting to convince Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and their supporters that big business has seen the light and reformed will only feed the beast; not persuade them that radical corporate reform is not needed.  In commenting on the Roundtable’s revised statement, some have said that it represents a repudiation of Milton Friedman’s statement that the responsibility of CEO’s is to maximize profits.  They have taken Friedman’s comment out of context.   What he said was “make as much money as possible while conforming to their basic rules of society, both those embodied in law and those embodied in ethical custom.”  

The Roundtable members should have read the entire statement because it was prescient.  The reality is that the Roundtable has validated  the cautionary warning in Friedman’s complete statement.  Friedman said that business leaders were schizophrenic in that they can be clear headed on matters internal to their businesses but “muddle-headed in matter that are outside their businesses but affect possible survival.” He was referring to talk about social responsibility that helped reinforce the view that the pursuit of profits was bad and had to be controlled by the “iron fist of government.”  If the Roundtable CEO’s think that their statement will avoid that iron fist they are greatly mistaken.  They have only provided encouragement for more government intrusion.

An examination of the total activities by most, if not all, of the BRT  companies would show that they already are guided by the principles contained in the Roundtable statement of principles.  They pay competitive wages and offer attractive benefit programs to attract and retain talented employees, they support education initiatives knowing that they long term need well educated employees.  They invest in and are active in the communities where they have facilities.  And, they invest in R&D to plan for the future.  

All of these activities are what is required to meet consumer needs in a competitive marketplace.  If CEOs and boards of directors did not begin with a focus on producing strong earnings, they would not be able to achieve the qualities that help to define and brand them.

There is a reason why many of these companies are the best in the world and it’s not from issuing a list of platitudes and being diverted from their primary mission.  Anyone who doubts this only needs to look at the history of GE under the leadership of Jeffrey Immelt.  A world class company’s survival is in question because of Immelt’s  pursuit of political leadership instead of corporate excellence.

A much better statement would have been one that challenges crony capitalism and commits those CEOs to working for a level playing field for all competitors.  Too many of these companies can afford generous political donations, direct and indirect, and high priced lobbyists to gain competitive advantage in the halls of Congress and Executive Branch agencies instead of the marketplace. Crony capitalism is making a deal with the devil and mixing metaphors, it is like dancing with an 800 pound gorilla—you stop when the gorilla stops.

Here They Go Again

Politico has recently published How Science Got Trampled in the Rush to Drill in Arctic–ANWR.  This article is clearly a reflection of the environmentalist case for opposing drilling for oil in Arctic Wildlife Refuge, although it does provide a balanced view of the support and opposition from Alaskan natives..  ANWR has been a controversial issue for decades and only now is coming close to a resolution.

The Politico article would leave the uninformed reader to the conclusion that the Trump Administration has a philosophy of damn the facts, let’s just drill. Reasonable people, especially Alaska natives, can be on either side of the drill-don’t drill question.  But the article does not provide a good context for making an informed judgment.  It clearly is making the case that the environmental risks exceed the benefits.  The case is not as clear as Politico attempts to make it. Here are some facts that have been omitted that offer a different perspective.

  • Many of the objections being raised against drilling and its threat to wild life are the same ones that were raised about the Alaskan pipeline and drilling in Prudhoe Bay.  Forty-two years after the first production in Prudhoe Bay, history has proven those objections to have been overwrought and wrong.  Wildlife has continued to flourish and the environment has been protected.
  • ANWR is 19.6 million acres which is about the size of South Carolina.  The area where drilling and potential production would take place is about the size of Washington’s Dulles Airport. Given that context, it is hard to envision how the alleged threats could be credible.
  • There is no guarantee that a lease to drill would result in actual production.  There has only been one well drilled in the area under consideration and the results of that well have never been revealed.  This wouldn’t be the first case where favorable geology turned out to be misleading.
  • The environmental assessment reported on by Politico is required by law but it is not the only environmental information available to judge whether drilling and production can be carried out safely. The final decision should be based on the totality of information that has been developed over several decades.
  • The lives of the natives who live on the Coastal Plain have improved substantially since oil production began at Prudhoe Bay. Successful production in ANWR would further enhance their quality of life and standard of living.

Decisions to produce oil depend on more than its presence.  It has to be discovered in commercial quantities that are sufficient to justify the total cost of production over the lifetime of production. In addition to drilling costs, there are infrastructure and transportation costs plus the costs of operating in a hostile environment.  The current abundance of oil globally has helped to keep the price of oil below $60 a barrel. The recent price history of crude oil combined with uncertainty about future prices might not make ANWR production a good business decision.

Thinking About Guns

The shootings in El Paso and Dayton have once again re-opened the discussion of what we should do to regulate guns and reduce the number of gun-related homicides.  Since we are also in the presidential campaign season, they have also led to candidates offering up their proposals, including a couple that are simply unrealistic.  Beto O’Rourke proposes mandatory buy-backs while Kamala Harris would ignore Congress and impose controls by executive action. 

Where is the serious discussion about reducing gun-related homicides and mass shootings?   Extremism seem to be controlling the debate.  The status quo should be unacceptable.   We need a mature and thoughtful discussion and debate on ways to reduce mass shootings and gun-related suicides that does not violate Second Amendment guarantees.  

Too many assert that mass murders won’t be solved by more regulation of weapons and ownership.    That is a hypothesis; not a fact.  We first need to have a good understanding of the problem and then a systems approach to solving it.  We should not let the best the enemy of the better.  There is a spectrum of actions for responding to gun deaths that ranges from doing nothing to confiscation, which obviously is unconstitutional.  You don’t have to be a constitutional scholar to know that proposals along the lines of Beto O’Rourke’s and Kamila Harris’ would have no serious legal standing.

Auto fatalities and gun deaths are comparable—39,773 auto deaths in 2017; 40,100 gun deaths in the same year.  Over the past 4 decades there have been laws and regulations to make driving safer. Shouldn’t we be willing to consider some analogous actions firearms?  isn’t there a compelling case for action?  

No one objects to requiring renewable licenses to operate a motor vehicle.  So, what is so objectionable to requiring gun owners to have a license and background check?   Requiring gun owners to be licensed to buy ammunition wouldn’t be an onerous burden.  Some states require alcohol purchasers to show proper identification, usually their driver’s license.

Why should the CDC be prohibited from doing research on mass shootings?  Red flag laws can be abused but carefully thought-out and crafted ones might help interventions with the most unstable and dangerous. State laws can serve as testing laboratories.  We need to better understand how changes in our mental health laws could contribute to reducing homicides without stigmatizing people with mental health problems.

There are existing laws that ban or tightly regulate weapons like sawed-off shotguns, fully automatic weapons, burst fire weapons, and grenade launchers.  So, there is precedent.  While it clearly would not make sense to ban all semi-automatic weapons, is there a valid reason for not banning any semi-automatic weapon that is a clone of what is used in combat by our armed forces?   Similarly, limits on magazine size would not adversely affect hunters and target shooters.

Safety regulations reduced auto fatalities from over 54,000 in 1973 to less than 40,000 even though the number of vehicles on the road has more than doubled.  We should aim for doing at least as well with reducing firearm deaths.



Climate Change and the Horizon

Democrat candidates for president appear to have succeeded in elevating the debate over climate change and in selling the idea that unless we take dramatic action now civilization as we know will be radically changed in a little more than a decade. They and the proponents of the Green New Deal appear to be having an impact on public opinion. However, when the size of the bill becomes explicit and the public is forced to address its real priorities climate change may not be in the top tier, especially when the public learns that forced emission reductions here will have little impact on global concentrations of greenhouse gases.

Over the three decades since climate change or global warming has been labeled an existential threat, the day of reckoning has been like the horizon, it recedes as we approach it. How likely is it that that will happen again?  It’s probably a safe bet.  John Christy in Congressional testimony demonstrated that the climate models use to predict catastrophe greatly overstate warming.  Climate sensitivity is less than advocates choose to assume. Of course, climate orthodoxy believers dismiss Christy’s work by labeling him a denier.

More recently—2018—the peer-reviewed American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Climate published a study by Judith Curry and Nick Lewis that reaffirmed Christy’s analysis.  Their results suggest that actual warming could be 30%- 45% lower than predicted by the apocalyptics.  The Curry-Lewis work is consistent with a 2018 article in Nature by Peter Cox, et al that also concluded that temperature projections were overstated.  These are not the only analytical/ scientific results that should have a tempering affect.

Climate advocates would do well to take a deep breath and acknowledge that there is room for debate.  As someone once said, all models are wrong but some are useful.  Certainly, that is the case with climate models.  Instead of weaponizing uncertainty and skepticisms, they should serve as the foundation for an informed scientific debate and collaboration.  A couple of years ago, Richard Muller, co-founder of the Berkeley Earth Project said that skepticism is “not only healthy but essential for anyone who considers himself objective. … anyone who completely dismisses the skeptics arguments, is not being objective. Climate change is subtle and complicated.”

While Muller believes that global warming is caused by human greenhouse gas emissions, he has also been clear that “there is no compelling scientific result that indicates temperature variability is increasing, that hurricanes (severe or not) are increasing; no good evidence that hurricanes or tornadoes are increasing…”

If more climate advocates would adopt his view that “Any scientist who doesn’t retain substantial skepticism on this subject is not behaving in the classic mode of science.”  Doing so could narrow the differences among scientists and importantly make it more difficult for politicians to exploit climate change as the current gang of candidates is doing. Deficit spending, the national debt, social security, medicare, and increasing violence are genuinely serious public policy issues.  Wasting scarce resources on climate change prevents them on being used to address issues for which there is little doubt about their seriousness.

Sunshine Doesn’t Dry the Swamp

A former colleague passed on this observation from a letter to the editor to the Idaho Post Register.  “The USA’s solar energy industry is currently telling its Congressional supporters that it’s finally become willing to lose some of its subsidies. …  It’s not a consequence of declining real costs …The real reason is that its leadership knows that investment tax credits (ITCs) aren’t their most important subsidy.  The real gold mine is the renewable portfolio requirements adopted by many states dictating that a certain percentage of electricity be produced by what they’re selling. Moreover, this country’s technically clueless green new dealers will likely ramp those requirements upwards over time creating a chain of events guaranteeing profits for its solar and wind energy entrepreneurs for decades to come.”

This move to mandated renewable standards is a classic example of the Bootlegger and Baptist public choice theory.  In this case, the Bootleggers are electric utilities and the Baptists are state legislatures and environmental advocacy groups.  The Baptists seek to reduce CO2 emissions as a way to avoid an asserted  climate catastrophe.  When renewables don’t do the job, the legislatures will simply increase the mandates. Solar is making the swamp wider and deeper.

The Bootleggers can laugh all the way to the bank by embracing and championing renewable  standards even though they know that solar and wind are not cost effective.   Because they only generate electricity erratically, more conventional generating capacity is needed to provide backup. Utilities make their real money by making investments in plants and infrastructure for which they receive a rate of return. Building more power plants and power lines, makes more money.  Compensating utilities this way represents what is in their best interest; not the best interest of ratepayers or cost-efficient investments.

Since wind and solar are fast growing sources of power generation, utilities must also invest in maintaining reliability since reliable electricity is essential to our economy.  The National Renewable Electricity Lab noted that “Wind and solar provide increased reliability risks because they are new changing technologies”, that are intermittent. High levels of reliability are gained from experience and the gradual adoption of new technologies.  When a legislature mandates a schedule for achieving specific percentages of alternative energy, it challenges stresses the learning process.

For utilities to have the capacity to produce electric power when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine as well as maintain high levels of reliability, utilities have to over invest to avoid problems such as those experienced by Germany, the leader in promoting renewable energy.  In January 2017, Germany’s power grid almost collapsed because wind and solar power plants under-performed as a result of cloudy weather with little or no wind.  This set the stage for massive blackouts and Germany was forced to recommission coal power plants to simply keep the lights on.  

Maintaining the necessary conventional backup has its own set of unintended consequences. According to the MIT Technology Review, “Because fossil-fuel power plants cannot easily ramp down generation in response to excess supply on the grid, on sunny, windy days there is sometimes so much power in the system that the price goes negative—in other words, operators of large plants, most of which run on coal or natural gas, must pay commercial customers to consume electricity.”

While all of this additional complexity creates additional risks of grid problems, utilities—the Bootleggers—do not see risks as much as they see money making opportunities resulting from mandated investments.  And, who pays?  Consumers, which helps to explain why Germany’s electricity rates are about three times the US average.  Pretending to be green, isn’t cheap.

Climate Politics: A Mugs Game

Democrat candidates for president talk about climate change as an existential threat that is not being addressed.  Their solutions range from rejoining the Paris Agreement to the Green New deal.

This is a collection of clever devils who claim that republicans, the fossil fuel industry, and skeptics deny that climate change is real and oppose any actions to solve the problem.  They paint a picture of an impending apocalypse that requires their leadership to avoid disaster.

Their rhetoric is nothing more than a Mugs Game, Mug was a 19thslang word for a fool, in particular someone who had been duped.  In the early 20th century, Mugs Game was applied to a wide range of activities that would result in a loss no matter how much it looks like a winning opportunity. 

If  climate advocates and their complicit media were honest, they would admit that the basis for their certitude is far less than certain and that no matter what we do, the effects will not have a great effect because the rest of the world will not commit economic suicide. EU economic growth has been declining in large measure because of programs like Germany’s ENERGIEWENDEwhich has led to electricity prices almost three times the US average.  

A review by the Climate Action Network concluded that “While all European Union countries signed up to the Paris Agreement, most are failing to work towards delivering on its objectives,”– cutting greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels.  Sweden is doing the best in achieving the 2020 interim target but most of the others will fall short in spite of efforts to exploit loopholes.  The EU actions, ineffective as they have been, demonstrate the inherent conflict between attempting to be dark green and economic growth.

Slowing economic growth makes citizens restless, so additional and more serious EU climate change action will likely take a back seat to economic concerns.

If the democrat candidates and the complicit media told the truth, it would become clear that the 40% reduction below 1990 emissions that the UN claims is needed to avoid catastrophe by 2030 is foolish, with or without US participation.  Last year, global emissions were 37 billion tons.  In 1990, they were 22 billion.  The 40% reduction would take them to 14 billion, the level of 1970.

The current crop of candidates offering elaborate climate actions know all of these facts, including that serious action to meet the Paris Agreement objective would cause a global depression.  They are not trying to save the planet; they are trying to save their jobs.  They are political entrepreneurs who are using the climate change as another way to shift more political power in Washington.  But if one them is successful next November, he or she won’t be able to completely abandon today’s rhetoric, so economic growth will once again will be imperiled.

Failure of the Big Con

According to a recent study by the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies global demand for energy which has risen 2.8% per annum since 1900, 2.2% since 2000. EIA has estimated that energy consumption will grow 28% between 2015 and 2040. Currently, the world consumes about 565 quadrillion BTUs of energy. ExxonMobil in its forecast estimates that by 2040 that number will rise to 681. This increase will be driven mainly by population growth, rising incomes and decreasing poverty.

There is a broad energy industry consensus that the expected increase in energy demand by 2040 cannot be met with today’s renewable technologies and that fossil fuels will continue to play a key role in the energy mix. In other words, CO2 atmospheric concentrations will be higher than the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) deemed acceptable in its 2018 Special Report. Whether it is the Energy Information Administration, the International Energy Agency or other organizations that forecast energy use and CO2 emissions, there is general agreement that emissions will increase from today’s roughly 34 billion metric tons to 39 billion.

If these analyses are anywhere near correct, then according to the IPCC the world will face a climate catastrophe because global temperatures will easily exceed its threshold of 1.5C. It has asserted, “To meet a goal of 1.5 °C warming, this demands immediately cutting the planet’s emissions to 45 % below 2010 levels by 2030.”

Instead of emissions being reduced 45% below 2010 levels, they are forecast to increase 15% above today’s level. According to the 2018 IPCC Special Report the world has only 12 years left to enact ”rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society″ to avoid a full-scale climate catastrophe. In interpreting the IPCC report the Huffington Post wrote that failing to take mitigating actions will cause us to enter “into an unknown and unprecedented era marked by severe and regular drought, flooding, hurricanes, extreme temperatures, mass dislocation and death, economic collapse, and an acceleration of what we now know to be the Earth’s sixth mass extinction.”

Since the IPCC goal demands immediate and drastic action, why aren’t the government leaders of the climate change movement proposing radical changes in their countries life styles and energy systems? Because they know that the goal is impossible to meet and they haven’t been able to convince their citizens adopt economically damaging goals. And, being practical politicians, they also know they would be booted out of office if they tried to implement the IPCC’s extreme policy prescription.

In all likelihood the next 11 years will be much like the past ones—small temperature changes up or down, small rises in sea levels, and no consistent increase in extreme weather events. Our climate in 2030 will probably resemble the climate we have experienced since the start of hand wringing about a climate armageddon.

The biggest questions for the year 2030 will how apocalyptic politicians explain the missing catastrophe? And, will the public finally realize that they have been the victims of the big con?

The Rise of Political Charlatans

The growing support among democrat presidential candidates for Medicare for All suggests that they haven’t heard of or don’t believe  Groucho Marx’s observation that “politics is about searching for problems, finding them everywhere, misdiagnosing them, and applying the wrong solutions.”  Indeed, these candidates help to explain why Washington DC is known as 68 square miles surrounded by reality.

The leaders of the Medicare for All movement, Senators Sanders and Warren, have somehow convinced themselves and others that replacing an oligopoly with a monopoly will solve all of our health insurance problems.  This is truly a case of “Woodenheaded”—assessing problems in terms of preconceived notions while ignoring contrary facts.  Indeed, they are really political charlatans—see real insight.

There are no examples in history where monopolies have made lives better or perform better than markets over the long run. Do voters really want a health insurance system modeled after the Postal Service or the Veterans Administration hospital system?

Our health insurance problems can be traced to a lack of competition and third-party providers.  Allowing insurance to be sold across state lines, being tougher on the consolidation race, discontinuing employer deductibility for employee health insurance, and providing a mechanism to fund catastrophic illnesses would represent major improvements in delivery of services and costs.     

The countries that have the best health care systems have not adopted the Medicare for All model.  Sweden and Switzerland are generally viewed as having health insurance programs that are among the world’s best.  Neither promotes a health insurance monopoly.  The governments mandate universal coverage that is managed at the local level but allows for private insurance for those who want more extensive coverage.  Individuals bear the cost of insurance.

While free everything might sound good to many voters, most will realize that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Someone always pays and the top 1% don’t have enough wealth to pay for all the promises that progressive democrats are making.  Just Medicare for All has been priced at over $32 trillion in its first decade.  These promises are a prescription for economic disaster.  But the politicians who make them are probably not sincere and believe that voters don’t know when they are being bamboozled.