Good news

1. The Economist reports that British Columbia is decriminalizing possession of small amounts of all hard drugs:

On January 31st British Columbia became the first province in Canada to decriminalise certain illegal drugs. Anyone aged 18 and older can now legally possess a combined 2.5 grams of illicit substances, including cocaine, opioids such as heroin, methamphetamine and ecstasy (or mdma). Owners will no longer be arrested, charged or have their drugs seized. Police will hand out leaflets with treatment suggestions instead.

2. Also from Canada:

It helps that few Canadians are opposed to migrants. Some 85% of those surveyed believe immigration is good for the economy and 69% support current or increased immigration levels. Fully 76% would like to see the country accept more refugees. By contrast, 30 years ago, when half as many immigrants came each year, 70% felt there was too much immigration.

Some of this generosity is pragmatic. Around 1m posts are unfilled across the country, about 6% of the total. With an ageing population, things are likely only to get worse. Fifty years ago there were seven workers for every pensioner; by 2035 the ratio is forecast to be 2:1. Already more than 40% of Canadians are 55 or older.

Pro-migration sentiment also stems from the fact that a quarter of Canadians today are themselves immigrants. 

3. And still more good news from Canada. A year ago, Canada had a land border with only one country (the US). Today, Canada has a land border with two countries, the US and Denmark:

The resolution also had the side effect of giving Canada and Denmark a land border with each other, which means that both countries no longer border only one other country (the United States and Germany, respectively).

4. Attitudes in the UK are also turning more pro-immigration:

If it is a race, one of the unexpected winners so far is the UK. Plenty of Brits who voted against Brexit — myself included — thought that outside the EU, the country would become more insular. But net migration reached a record high of about half a million people last year. The UK shot into the top 10 of the OECD’s rankings of countries that are most attractive to highly skilled workers. Most strikingly, the public seems fine with it. In 2022, for the first time in polling history, more people favoured maintaining, or even increasing, levels of migration than favoured cuts.

5. China’s going electric:

Chinese sales of petrol and diesel cars fell 20pc in absolute volume terms in February from a year earlier. Sales of plug-in electric vehicles kept rising explosively and reached a record 32pc of the market for standard passenger cars.

At the current pace, EV sales in China will hit eight million this year, helped by the proliferation of battery-swapping stations. Rather than charging your own car, you do an instant swap. No need to wait. No need for charge-points everywhere.

And bad news for Saudi Arabia—this is happening faster than expected:

The consensus forecast until recently was that EV penetration would reach 40pc of Chinese sales by 2030. That threshold could be crossed as soon as this year if manufacturers can produce fast enough to meet the demand. “We think EVs will reach 80pc of sales in China by 2030,” said Kingsmill Bond from energy strategists RMI.

6. Faux News network has to pay $787 million in a libel suit. (Unfortunately, the out of court settlement means that people like Tucker Carlson won’t be put under oath, having to explain the way they deceive their viewers.) And more lawsuits are coming.

7. And this:

Fox News and Tucker Carlson have parted ways. The rest of the network seems thrilled.

“Pure joy,” one Fox reporter told Rolling Stone of their reaction to the split. “No one is untouchable. It’s a great day for America, and for the real journalists who work hard every day to deliver the news at Fox.”

“Good riddance,” said a network correspondent. “For a while there it seemed like he was running the network. This clearly is a message that he’s not. In the interim, it’s a morale boost, that’s for sure.”

8. This may not be a big deal. But with so much bad news out of Xi Jinping’s China, this counts as at least a sliver of hope:

Update: Here’s the link to the resolution.



23 Responses to “Good news”

  1. Gravatar of Sara Sara
    6. May 2023 at 10:35

    Yes, all good news.

    Let’s fire more journalists we disagree with, because you know…that’s great for free speech.

    Let’s keep promoting drug use, too, because you know drugs produce good outcomes. As we saw in China, opium led to amazing decades of productivity, growth and success. There was no crime; it was the Sumner utopia of docile blue collar degenerates. Just take a look at it; the century of bliss and productive perfection, with absolutely no crime.

    =/ Not smart.

  2. Gravatar of Ricardo Ricardo
    6. May 2023 at 11:41

    Tucker has the guts to speak his mind, and terminating his contract only makes him stronger. You didn’t weaken him at all. You are not going to silence the middle class in this country by sacking a journalist. His tweets get 30M views. People trust him, because when you actually look at what he says: by which I mean if you actually take time to look at the sources, and not just believe state propaganda machines like CNN and NYT, or NPR, or take the word of establishment gangsters like Bolton and the fat ass named Cheney, and a hand-picked committee, you will see that 95% of what he says is true.

    He stands up for the middleclass.

    Re. drugs: You sound like a radical left drug cartel member of the Sao Paolo forum who profits from the demand.

  3. Gravatar of Will Will
    6. May 2023 at 12:49

    Tucker was saying one thing in private and another thing on air, as the released texts demonstrate unambiguously. In what world is that having “the guts to speak his mind”?

    I guess Scott’s comment section is still something to be avoided.

  4. Gravatar of David S David S
    6. May 2023 at 13:39

    The Neom Projects will save Saudi Arabia. In fact, MBS could hire Tucker Carlson to be part of the media campaign. That would synergy!
    And China can build it–even more synergy!

  5. Gravatar of Edward Edward
    6. May 2023 at 15:21

    Sumner is so misinformed that it’s comical.

    Today, we have a published study in Nature showing retinal vascular occlusion is 2.1x higher in the vaccinated. That is just one study; we have other studies showing higher rates of blood clotting, and heart failure.

    But he thinks Tucker Carlson is “deceiving” you. Peter McCullough, and Prof. Abdullah Alabdulgader, two of the world’s most published cardiologists are “deceiving” you. Professor Luc Montagnier, before his death, was “deceiving” you.

  6. Gravatar of Luis Pedro Coelho Luis Pedro Coelho
    6. May 2023 at 17:55

    On #5. The speed of change to EVs is actually underscored by China-wide metrics.

    I am in Shanghai right now, but visited Nanjing just a couple of weeks back. The cars in Nanjing looked liked those in Shanghai back in 2019: mostly petrol cars and mostly foreign brands. Seeing that really make it vivid for me how much has changed here.

    In Shanghai, EVs now completely dominate the road and imported cars are no longer common, except at the very high end (the nicer kind of Mercedes, Maserati, Rolls, that sort of car you see everyday; it’s still Shanghai after all). I think this will be the pattern for the rest of country and will soon spread to cities like Nanjing.

    There are several brands that are very new and many cars on the road were made by companies that have since gone broke — market competition in China is quick and brutal, but I am told by those who know that the top brands like BYD have quickly moved up the quality ladder and are now as good or better than German brands.

    The Netflix show The Rational Life ( from 2021 was set in a new car company trying to establish itself as a reputable brand, which I think captured the spirit of the times.

  7. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    6. May 2023 at 18:46

    Sara, You said:

    “fire more journalists”

    Wait, so Carlson is a journalist? I thought he was a professional liar.

    Ricardo, You said:

    “Tucker has the guts to speak his mind”

    LOL, like in those emails where Carlson makes it clear that he privately agrees with me that Trump is terrible? Is that his “mind”?

    Luis, Interesting. Has that reduced air pollution in Shanghai?

  8. Gravatar of Luis Pedro Coelho Luis Pedro Coelho
    6. May 2023 at 22:28

    Air quality is much better than even a few years ago. Still not as good as Europe, but bad air days are rare (Nanjing was also noticibly smoggier).

    AQI right now is 70, which is a typical value

  9. Gravatar of Luis Pedro Coelho Luis Pedro Coelho
    6. May 2023 at 23:02

    I just counted cars as they drove by and got to 32 EV or hybrid vs. 20 ICE before running out of fingers. EVs get a green licence plate,hybrids no longer qualify but those on the road got grandfathered in.

  10. Gravatar of David S David S
    6. May 2023 at 23:24

    Thanks for the commentary, Luis. I do worry about China though. If market competition is “quick and brutal” it must be terrifying for companies and investors. It must be miserable for consumers as well; if they buy a cheap electric car from a company that goes out of business they’ll have to buy a cheaper and better car in just a few short years.
    The CCP might have missed the opportunity to consolidate and nationalize the industry so that everyone could benefit from a more stable situation. The VEB company from the former East Germany could be a good precedent to follow.

    And who is fighting for the incumbent ICE car makers in China? Think of the hundreds of thousands of jobs that will be lost if EV’s continue their rampage.

  11. Gravatar of Luis Pedro Coelho Luis Pedro Coelho
    7. May 2023 at 02:53

    It probably is terrifying for investors, but it’s like saying “nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded.” The prize is becoming one of the top 3 auto companies in the world in less than a decade and competing with Toyota/Volkswagen. It’s not a given that this will happen, but BYD has a decent shot.

  12. Gravatar of kangaroo kangaroo
    7. May 2023 at 05:36

    I love number one. Decriminalizing hard drugs is the number one STUPID thing that libertarians support.

    Mountie: “Ok, now there, young man, did you know that meth is bad for you? I see here you’ve run over 15 people on the sidewalk! That’s not very nice now, eh? We’re going to have to get you some information about drug treatment!”

    But hey, with so many people forced into the streets by social justice policies, a little more social justice policy seems like just the right thing to fix the situation right up!! Boy, this is really going to solve a lot of problems for Vancouver. At least now the doughnut shops will be full of cops again.

  13. Gravatar of kangaroo kangaroo
    7. May 2023 at 06:10

    regarding EVs: Sandy Munro, an auto industry consultant, has been warning about this for several years – the Chinese are *way* ahead in electric vehicles, possibly except for Tesla.

    Why? Because since the 1960s “social justice” (including unions) and environmentalism have undermined every major US industry except tech – and they’re working on that now. Unions strangle companies. Environmentalism strangles entire economies. Some of both needs could be accommodated sensibly, but neither group is sensible in its demands. They relentlessly want more more more.

    Boeing right now is a great example. When there was almost a strike there a few years back, it was just amazing to listen to the senior union management. The had absolutely *no clue* about the competitive situation in the industry and the rise of China. Completely oblivious. Also they went on and on about how non union workers couldn’t build the 787. Now all the 787 production is in right-to-work South Carolina. Poor Boeing, however, may have waited too long to open plants in right-to-work states. Now it’s survival is seriously in question, and the Bidenistas are crushing companies’ ability to protect themselves from union thievery, so it just may not make it.

    Unions are what happened to the US auto industry. It went from being a industry competitively generating products for the public to one collaboratively generating salaries for union membership. That’s almost all thanks to the power given to unions.

    European unions are more sensible in working with companies than US unions, but VW isn’t exactly breaking the electric vehicle market either. GM is dead meat for sure, and my guess is that, like ALCO and Baldwin in the locomotive industry and Sears, Wards and JCP in the retail industry, most of the other autommakers (VW, F, TM, and HMC) will limp along for a generation then collapse. In business it’s rare that the incumbant survives a technological revolution.

  14. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    7. May 2023 at 07:51

    David, Sometimes your sarcasm is so subtle that people miss it.

    Kangaroo, That’s right, if we make drugs illegal the problem will go away. Look at West Virginia!

    And your union tirade is about 70 years out of date. Their share of the private sector workforce has fallen from more than a third to 6%.

  15. Gravatar of Ricardo Ricardo
    9. May 2023 at 01:38

    I hope everyone takes a moment today to recognize that 30M Russians died fighting on the eastern front, and that United States World War two veterans who received Russian Visas to join their counterparts in Moscow on Victory day, were threatened by Sumner’s establishment; they threatened to “revoke their passports” simply because they wanted to celebrate victory day with those who fought together, on the same side, in a horrific war, for a common purpose, which was to liberate Europe from the horrors of Nazi Germany. Let us not forget that those 30M lives were the only reason Nazi Germany lost that war. It was the eastern front, not the western front, that broke through the lines first.

    To not allow 90 year old men the opportunity to rejoin their brothers in arms is one more sign that the totalitarian left, like the socialist Adolf Hitler, and the communists Stalin, Mao and Fidel, are now within the halls of Washington. The names of these thugs are known to us all: Scott Sumner, Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi, war criminal Bolton, and the rest of the establishment dotards.

    Vote Trump or Robert F Kennedy Jr. Vote for peace.

  16. Gravatar of Sean Sean
    9. May 2023 at 15:47

    I don’t think the drug legalization is working out that well. Maybe it’s better than the war on drugs but it’s tough to look at these increases in OD and see a good thing.

    Not sure how you want to do the math but at 120k/year that’s 9 million total drug deaths in the states during a human lifespan. That’s a huge costs. Plus there’s evidence marijuana leads to more schizophrenia.

  17. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    9. May 2023 at 15:57

    Sean, Drugs haven’t been legalized. People are dying precisely because the drug war makes drugs far more dangerous than otherwise. People have no idea what they are consuming, there are no quality controls.

    A few states have legalized pot, but almost no one is dying of pot overdoses.

  18. Gravatar of Nicholas Nicholas
    10. May 2023 at 08:35

    Things have definitely changed since the 1990’s. It’s pretty pathetic that Russia is now a bastion of free speech and the United States is the USSR.

    The first amendment has now been restated as: “disagree with me and you get banned or fired”…0r… “agree with me or I will declare you are spreading misinformation.”

    For those not watching closely, the Biden administration just setup another disinformation unit, and the goal of this unit is to “stop foreign meddling”.

    In other words, the Orwellian ministry of truth is no longer fiction. If I disagree with a certain political position all I have to do is now claim “foreign meddling” and I can have the information removed and the publishers arrested. I can even arrest anyone who discusses it because they are “aiding and abetting.”

    It’s called a “witch hunt” and it was used quite successfully to go after dissenters in the old Soviet Union.

    We must recognize that:
    1. Every journalist on prime time television is an opiniated journalist. Some of them you agree with, some of them you don’t, but none of them give you the whole truth and nothing but the truth; there is always going to be spin. That’s their job.
    2.Hoping that an opinionated journalist is fired and silenced, is the equivalent to hoping that your political opponent is silenced.

    In other words, those celebrating, whether it’s the removal of Carlsen or the nut job Don Lemon is in itself a sign of extreme radicalization.

    There is no political centrist who celebrates silencing anyone. It’s so remote to what America stands for; that is something you would see in the old USSR or I suppose on Scott Sumner’s blog, but most centrists don’t think it’s good news. It’s bad news, and it’s a sign of a larger problem.

    But I agree that it won’t hurt him at all. Indeed, it does in fact strengthen him. If anything, it weakens fox. CNN and Fox don’t have a stranglehold anymore on news; Musk is right; the future of news is independent journalism; it’s twitter, it’s TikTok, Facebook, etc. The new generation doesn’t sit around watching Fox or CNN.

  19. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    10. May 2023 at 10:23

    Ha, Sumner, you still have a huge pool of lunatics in your comments section. Holy cow, what a bunch of idiots (w/a few exceptions). What did you ever do to deserve this?

  20. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    10. May 2023 at 10:25

    Nicholas, you’d better get out of the US and over to Russia’s utopia ASAP! Putin needs your help fighting Nazis! I’ll be happy to pack you a nice lunch and give you a ride to the airport.

  21. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    10. May 2023 at 10:34

    Nicholas, You said:

    “Things have definitely changed since the 1990’s. It’s pretty pathetic that Russia is now a bastion of free speech”

    LOL, I stopped reading after the first line. Do you nutty right wingers even realize how silly you sound?

  22. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    10. May 2023 at 10:38

    Scott, I read an actually good piece by Ross Douthat today:

    What’s he wrote shows up in spades in your comments section: Russia is the free speech bastion & the US is totalitarian, vaccines are poison & quacks are good, Tucker tells the truth, etc. It’s all there: trust all the entertainers and contrarian hacks on Tik Tok, but no one else. It almost makes me miss major_freedom. This new breed of crackpot is just dismal.

  23. Gravatar of Matthias Matthias
    20. May 2023 at 06:57

    Good post, as usual!

    Alas, bad comments also as (often) usual.

    Scott, perhaps you should take some inspiration from the other Scott (Alexander) and play the absolute dictator that you are entitled to in your own comment section.

    Btw, someone brought up a somewhat reasonable point that drugs can be harmful.

    Of course, from an economic point of view there’s two things here:

    If it’s harmful for the consumer, that’s a tradeoff they have to make for themselves.

    If it’s harmful for third parties: that’s what Pigovian taxes are for.

Leave a Reply