Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; (D&C 98:10)

Friday, April 29, 2016

What is the deal being negotiated between Solar Energy and Electricity companies?

"Mayes pointed to an agreement reached earlier this month between New York utilities and solar companies as a path to a permanent solution. That deal set up a transition from current models that pay rooftop solar customers full retail price for power they send back to the grid while keeping incentives in place." ("Deal ends fight between SolarCity and APS, for now", 28 Apr 2016, ABC 15)

I found this as the deal that was made in New York

"The proposal would have community solar customers receive full retail net metering credits, but they would be partly paid by developers. The proposal would also have behind-the-meter solar credited at the full retail rate until 2020, with possible exceptions for specific locations. Starting in 2020, net metering credits would go down for new solar users until they are equal to their value, as determined under the REV docket." ("NY utilities, solar companies propose transition away from retail net metering", Krysti Shallenberger Apr 20, 2016)

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Demagogue

ˈdeməˌɡäɡ/
a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular desires and prejudices rather than by using rational argument.


The Correlation Between Minimum Wage Increase and Youth Unemployment

From "The Correlation Between Minimum Wage Increase and Youth Unemployment" by Merrill Matthews, Mar 4, 2014

Minimum wage-increase critics assert that arbitrarily hiking the cost of labor has its largest negative impact on the least skilled workers, which tend to be younger people just entering the workforce. If that’s true, we should be able to see some correlation between U.S. minimum wage increases and a rise in youth unemployment—and we do.

The accompanying Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis graph tracks youth unemployment since 1970.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Congress increased the minimum wage, which had been $1.60, in 1974 ($2.00), 1975 ($2.10) and 1976 ($2.30). Congress skipped 1977 and started a run of four successive years: 1978 ($2.65), 1979 ($2.90). 1980 ($3.10) and 1981 ($3.35). Correspondingly, youth unemployment began rising in 1974.

The next minimum wage increase came in 1990 ($3.80) and 1991 ($4.25). You will see on the graph that youth unemployment starts to rise in 1990 and peaks around 1992.

There was a minimum wage increase in 1996 ($4.75) and 1997 ($5.15), but youth unemployment continued a several-year decline, making this increase the anomaly.

The last minimum wage increase came in 2007 ($5.85), 2008 ($6.55) and 2009 ($7.25), and so did an increase in youth unemployment.

Thus there is an identifiable correlation between minimum wage increases and rising youth unemployment. The 1996-7 anomaly is likely explained by strong economic growth, which can mitigate the damage normally caused by bad economic policies.

Interestingly, every recession since 1970—the gray areas in the chart—was preceded by a rise in youth unemployment. Indeed, rising youth unemployment looks like a leading indicator of a coming recession.

Now, correlation does not mean causation. There are a lot of factors that affect unemployment and recessions. But the minimum wage-increase/rising-unemployment correlation is so close that dismissing any connection, as Team Obama wants to do, is economic blindness or political spin.
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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Character Development, Citizenship Training, And Personal Fitness

Sometimes we can get too caught up in the goal of helping every scout in our program to be an eagle scout. I think that this is a worthy goal. I long for the ideal where every boy scout earns his eagle rank in spirit and in deed.

If we focus on advancement to the exclusion of the other methods of scouting, we lose the spirit of scouting and I think lose the hearts of the boys who might catch the spirit of scouting.

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. (Mark 8:35)
I choose to trust the aims and methods of scouting. I will learn and develop myself and our troop such that we use all the methods of scouting.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Making Sense of Marriage

I great, concise explanation of the two main views on marriage and why so often those from the two view talk past each other rather than understanding.



This is also great, We are Gay and Children of Gay Parents, We Don't Support Gay Marriage

Thursday, April 14, 2016

I Like Instant Runoff the Best

So Colorado has used a different system to select their delegates. There are plenty of other state that Trump has gotten way more delegate than would be his right if you counted the votes proportionally.

I say let Colorado do what they are going to do.

My favorite system of voting is the instant run off. It allows you to rank those running without worrying that you might be throwing your vote away.

And no one gets elected without a majority of the votes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant-runoff_voting

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Where is the balance between civil rights?

Is it OK for a doctor to refer a patient who wants an abortion to another doctor that is willing to do it?

Is it OK for a citizen to refuse military service based on their pacifist religious beliefs?

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Minimizing Harm

In considering the best policy for dangerous drug use a friend referred me to the idea of minimizing harm.

Whilst harm minimisation remains a highly contested term (Wellbourne-Wood 1999), there does appear to be a core consensus around the following principles:
Firstly, harm minimisation implies that drug use should be viewed as a public health, rather than a criminal or legal, issue. Drug users are entitled to be treated as normal citizens with the same rights and obligations as other members of the community (Single & Rohl 1997, p. 48).
Secondly, the harm minimisation approach is value neutral and accepts that illicit drugs are and will remain part of our society; that their elimination is impossible; and that further efforts to eliminate them may result in greater harm to society (Rumbold & Hamilton 1998, p. 135). Harm minimisation rejects the notion of drugs wars which inevitably become wars on drug users, rather than on drugs (Mendes 1999, p. 10).
Thirdly, whilst harm minimisation does not involve support for illicit drug use, governments acknowledge that where injecting drug user continues to occur, they have a responsibility to develop and implement public health and law enforcement measures designed to minimize the harm that such behaviours can cause, both to individuals and the community. These measures include education, drug substitution programs, needle-exchange programs, abstinence-oriented interventions aimed at
reducing drug use, and interventions aimed at reducing the supply of illicit drugs (National Drug Strategy Unit 1998, p. 17).
(Quoted from "Social Conservatism vs Harm Minimisation: John Howard on Illicit Drugs", Journal of Economic and Social Policy, 7 Jan 2001)
Drug users would gain much from "education, drug substitution programs, needle-exchange programs, abstinence-oriented interventions aimed at reducing drug use, and interventions aimed at reducing the supply of illicit drugs"

Charities and governments can offer these programs. It is important that we do not take them for granted. “The greater the distance between the giver and the receiver, the more the receiver develops a sense of entitlement.” (“That I Might Draw All Men unto Me”, Dale G. Renlund, Apr 2016)