AEI Monday night links 1. Chart of the Day (above) shows another historic US energy milestone: America’s crude oil output reached 12 million bpd last week for the first time in history. In just a decade, US oil production increased a whopping140% from 5 million to 12 million bpd, arguably the most remarkable energy success story in history. Imagine how much different today’s energy situation would be without fracking and horizontal drilling, e.g., if the downward trend in US crude oil production from conventional drilling methods from 10 million bpd to 5 million bpd between 1970 and 2005 had continued. We’d be fretting about domestic output of only 4 million bpd, and increased dependence on OPEC, Saudi Arabia, Russia, etc., instead of celebrating the 12 million bpd milestone! 2. Who’d
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1. Chart of the Day (above) shows another historic US energy milestone: America’s crude oil output reached 12 million bpd last week for the first time in history. In just a decade, US oil production increased a whopping140% from 5 million to 12 million bpd, arguably the most remarkable energy success story in history. Imagine how much different today’s energy situation would be without fracking and horizontal drilling, e.g., if the downward trend in US crude oil production from conventional drilling methods from 10 million bpd to 5 million bpd between 1970 and 2005 had continued. We’d be fretting about domestic output of only 4 million bpd, and increased dependence on OPEC, Saudi Arabia, Russia, etc., instead of celebrating the 12 million bpd milestone!
2. Who’d a-Thunk It? Parenthood is an important driver of gender imbalance in STEM employment? See the article in Nature “Nearly half of US female scientists leave full-time science after first child” with this key find: “More than 40% of women with full-time jobs in science leave the sector or go part time after having their first child. By contrast, only 23% of new fathers leave or cut their working hours.”
3. Update on UCSD’s No Men Allowed Biology Conference (see CD post here):
These UCSD websites below show that men are the underrepresented minority gender at UCSD for biology and related science programs, but the minority gender is not allowed to present research at a biology conference that starts
Undergraduate enrollment for Biology majors:
Males 2,057 (37.3%) / Females 3,453 (62.7%) or 168 females per 100 males
Graduate enrollment Biological Sciences:
Males 182 (48.4%) / Females 194 (51.6%)
Graduate enrollment Health Sciences:
Males 146 (45.3%) / Females 176 (54.7%)
Graduate enrollment Scripps Institution of Oceanography:
Males 122 (45.9%) / Females 144 (54.1%)
4. Quotation of the Day I is from Thomas Sowell:
The grand fallacy of the political left is that evil is localized in some set of ‘oppressors’ from whom we can be ‘liberated.’ That is also its great attraction, for it allows people to attribute their dissatisfactions to other people.
5. Quotation of the Day II is from an oppressed UC-Berkeley student Lupita Lua’s op-ed “Color Blind-ed“:
When I came to UC-Berkeley and took the ethnic studies class, I realized the inequalities I saw all my life were the result of blatant racism…The ethnic studies class I took made me realize that even though I identified as a person of color, my life was influenced by many representations of white supremacy, two of the most significant ones being colorism and heteronormativity…. Additionally, ethnic studies made me realize that white supremacy is not only reflected through colorism but also through heteronormativity. These expectations of sexuality were an imposition by settler colonialists.
I realized that my parent’s expectations of me being heterosexual and feminine could be traced back to the heteronormativity imposed by white settlers. All my life, I had been colonized… I will no longer allow white supremacy to control my life and will continue to be a critic of its different manifestations. I will continue to decolonize myself by changing old attitudes and habits. Ultimately, ethnic studies fundamentally changed the way I view the world. It empowered me by showing me how I was being oppressed and how I was oppressing others.
MP: That has to be one of the scariest op-eds I think I’ve ever read….. YIKES! OMG!!
6. Quotation of the Day III from Heather Mac Donald on higher education’s delusional victimology:
From the moment a student steps on a college campus today as a freshman or a fresh person, I should probably say, the bureaucracy is determined to drum in to that student’s head, identity politics, which says, he is either a victim or an oppressor. Oppressors are obviously most famously white males, heterosexual white males. The only way they can get out to of their oppressor category is to become an ally – an ally of the oppressed.
The most preposterous delusion of all of this is student actually believe that they are at risk of their lives from circumambient racism and sexism on a college campus. This is an environment that in traditional liberal terms is the most tolerant environment in human history for society’s traditionally marginalized groups.
Yet, there is a massive bureaucracy dedicated to cultivating in students this delusional sense of their own oppression, which then they carry with them, it’s a chip on their shoulder that prevents them from seizing the magnificent opportunities to learn, to read every book that is ever been written, and they carry this chip, this delusional victimology into world at large, and they are going around blaming American institutions of endemic racism and sexism, when that no longer is true.
MP: Some good counter-balance there from Heather.
7. Climate Change is a Pretty Low Priority for Most Americans, according to Pew Research Survey January 2019 poll, it ranks No. 17 out of 18 issues.
8. Trade Deficits = Job-Generating, Capital-Creating Foreign Investment Surpluses for a Better America. One recurring example that exposes President Trump’s fundamental misunderstanding of how foreign trade actually works is his constant and misguided criticism of America’s trade deficits at the same time he welcomes the job-creating capital inflows from foreigners that necessarily result from our current-account deficits (see Venn diagram above). Don Boudreaux explained it this way: “To lament America’s trade deficit is to lament the fact that foreigners are investing in America. And that seems very odd.”
Exhibit A: According to Middle Tennessee State University’s Business and Economic Research Center, “In 2018, for the fourth time in five years, Tennessee attracted over $1.5 billion in new foreign investment. Eighteen foreign-owned firms headquartered in 12 different countries opened new facilities or expanded existing operations during the year. This is creating just over 3,000 new jobs.”
See map below showing graphically the $1.5 billion in foreign direct investment in just one state last year — Tennessee — that was part of the flip-side of America’s merchandise trade deficit.
9. Should Stock Buybacks Be Banned? No, says Edward Yardeni, Wall Street’s legendary economist and investment strategist:
There is certainly room for improvement in corporate governance. On the other hand, I see no need for regulating buybacks. Most corporate managers are driven to make their companies as successful as possible, as evidenced by record earnings both on a per-share basis and in aggregate. America’s free-market capitalism continues to boost the prosperity of most Americans, in my opinion, without more help from the government.
Finally, let’s recognize that income and wealth inequality are inevitable consequences of a system of free-market capitalism. The rich do tend to get richer, especially when the rest of us also prosper along with them, since they benefit from consumers with more purchasing power to buy what their companies produce. Socialism does create more equality, but that’s because it tends to generate less growth for the economy and less prosperity for most people. Take your pick.
10. Video of the Day (below) featuring John McWhorter discussing the Jussie Smollet case and “victimhood chic,” with this money quote:
You know that things have gotten better when somebody can actually feel comfortable pretending to be oppressed rather than really being oppressed. When people were really suffering, the hoses in Birmingham, you’ve got people redlined, nobody was going to act, that was very rare.
As tragic and pathetic as what Jussie Smollett allegedly did, as disgusting as it is, it’s a sign we’ve come further than we often like to admit.