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The good news is that experts are frequently mistaken

In the spirit of the Chrismast, I'd like to spread some cheer.

By most accounts, 2021 was another another dreadful year. COVID-19 is still here, inflation has risen, the foreign policy elite has gotten everything wrong, notably in Afghanistan, and President Biden appears to have a hazy understanding of his role as president on certain days. But here we are at the end of the year, and the vast majority of us are still alive — which is why it is critical to focus on the good news in order to avoid being despondent over the holidays.

The greatest news was that the Cuomo brothers managed to self-destruct, so that America would no longer be subjected to their pompous sermons about how much superior they are than the rest of us.

The annual “State of the Polar Bear Report” was released early in the year, leading off with the comment: “Celebrate the fabulous news that polar bears had yet another good year.” Dr. Susan J. Crockford, the report's lead author, claims that, much to everyone's astonishment, bears are now more numerous, fatter (and, one may assume, happier) than they have been in decades. "Less summer ice means more food for the whole food chain, including polar bears," says Dr. Crockford. "Polar bear habitat needs are more flexible than scientists thought, and less summer ice has been advantageous rather than destructive so far." (Wait till arctic bears discover that Florida has plenty of seafood and no income taxes.) Unfortunately, the good news for polar bears is poor news for seals, who provide a tasty food supply for the bears. (While Mr. Biden decides which side the US will officially back, we take no official position on the polar bear-seal conflict.)

China has some excellent news to share. It is now utilizing record volumes of coal to create record amounts of power, which is helping to improve its GDP. It's also good news for people looking for work in the coal and power industries, where they'll be digging and transporting coal, as well as building and operating the numerous new coal power plants. However, as with many good news stories, there is a terrible side effect: increasing CO2 emissions, which have more than outweighed all of the reductions in emissions elsewhere – oh, well!

When it comes to experts, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen both admitted that they were completely surprised that consumer prices are now rising at a rate of nearly 7% per year and producer prices are rising at a rate of 10% — and that the "transitory rise" in prices is no longer transitory. If they'd been reading my column, perusing the WSJ editorial page, or watching Larry Kudlow, Steve Moore, and Art Laffer on Fox during the last year, they wouldn't have been shocked. Despite employing hundreds of economists (many from "top schools"), the Fed's forecasting performance over the previous two decades has been significantly poorer than that of most of its private sector counterparts. The Fed's economists learn in school that one of the side consequences of the central bank (the Fed) producing too much money is inflation. The Fed building appears to have a dumbing-down effect on those working there. Fortunately, but often too late, many experience a regeneration of brain cells upon leaving government employment.

Even if certain costs, such as oil, have increased by 45 percent and food prices have increased by 22 percent in the previous year, the government wants you to know that there are some extremely important things, such as toys, whose prices have decreased by 27 percent. So, if you buy more toys and less fuel and food, your actual income will stay the same in terms of purchasing power.

Economists and others have noted that governments that print money that isn't completely backed by gold, silver, or some real asset invariably debase the currency. This is why some of the greatest economists of the twentieth century, such as F.A. Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, and Milton Friedman, advocated for the abolition of central banks and the privatization of money. The good news is that many businesses are now issuing various cyber (e.g., BitCoin) and other currencies without seeking approval from the government. As inflation rises, more people will begin to use private money, and central banks will finally become obsolete as people forsake their inferior goods.

The explosion in information technology, combined with the internet, increasingly allows people to avoid stifling government rules by doing “workarounds.” Banks are losing market share partly because of over-regulation, but endless new “fintech” companies are finding better, faster, cheaper and less regulated ways of providing desired financial services.

New medical technology, such as instruments, gadgets, medications, and information, is exploding, making medical treatment better and less expensive. Government regulation has hampered innovation and patient care, but it is becoming increasingly cost-effective for providers to go their own way without the threat of government intervention. Companies' capacity to develop new uses for existing medications improves as a result of technological advancements. For example, according to a new major study conducted by highly recognized Cleveland Clinic doctors, Viagra appears to lessen the development of Alzheimer's disease by about 70% - which can only be described as excellent news/good news.

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