This past summer, progressives celebrated California regulators for passing rules to prohibit the sale of new gasoline-powered automobiles by 2035 as part of the government’s efforts to shut down climate change faster than a small business in Los Angeles. The Golden State is looking to work its magic of the iron fist for a second time by considering a proposal to ban all diesel trucks and buses. This time, policymakers are using race as their justification. If this is a genuine proposal, here are two words: good luck.
Gavination Banning Diesel Trucks
California’s Air Resources Board is mulling over a plan that would have three different phases, according to SFGate. The first is that all new trucks functioning around railways and ports must be emission-free by 2024. The second is that all diesel-powered trucks would be phased out by 2035. Finally, the state would eventually eliminate all buses and trucks powered by diesel from California roads by 2045.
“Many California neighborhoods, especially Black and Brown, low-income and vulnerable communities, live, work, play and attend schools adjacent to the ports, railyards, distribution centers, and freight corridors and experience the heaviest truck traffic,” the board wrote.
But the economics of this issue has been poorly thought out. The state is suffering from a labor shortage in transportation and logistics, as the industry is already shy tens of thousands of truck drivers, and firms are closing their doors. The timeline is also bogus since there would be insufficient infrastructure for zero-emission trucks to carry out their duties. Lastly, lithium is a material in high demand across the globe, so accelerating a push to electric trucks and buses would add to greater inflationary pressures on a myriad of fronts, from food to energy to transportation.
Despite the plethora of reasons why this plan is terrible, the green utopians insist that speeding up such a concept is critical in achieving California’s environmental dreams. For them, it is all or nothing.
Ghana Making Gold Great Again
In what might be another sign in the global de-dollarization campaign, Ghana is looking to make gold great again by purchasing crude oil with the yellow metal instead of US dollars. This might be an underreported story, but it is a critical development for the international financial system that is continually shifting away from the American hegemony.
In a Facebook post on Nov. 24, Ghana Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia confirmed that his government will be instituting the new policy sometime in the first quarter of 2023. He added that officials have been searching for measures to support the cedi, Ghana’s currency, and fight the growing cost-of-living crisis that has raised prices for fuel, transportation, and utilities and created a financial crisis for millions of people.
“The barter of sustainably mined gold for oil is one of the most important economic policy changes in Ghana since independence,” the vice president wrote. “If we implement it as envisioned, it will fundamentally change our balance of payments and significantly reduce the persistent depreciation of our currency with its associated increases in fuel, electricity, water, transport, and food prices.”
Year-to-date, the cedi has lost more than 135% of its value against the greenback. The West African state has experienced an annual inflation rate of 40%, the highest since July 2001.
What makes this a compelling story is the growing number of states that are abandoning the buck. Despite enjoying international reserve currency status, countries worldwide are decoupling from the greenback and diminishing its influence and might. Saudi Arabia and China are looking to trade in the yuan, Russia and Asia have established a SWIFT alternative, and impoverished nations have been impacted by a stronger US Dollar Index (DXY). Is there any benefit to depending on the dollar anymore?
China is on the Brink?
The world’s second-largest economy is going through a noteworthy period that many thought would have been nearly impossible just a few years ago: a social uprising and economic deterioration.
New videos are popping up on social media of protesters clashing with authorities over the latest COVID-Zero policies, which have resulted in more lockdowns and restrictions. The Chinese government now claims that there is a record number of infections as the virus ravages the entire nation. But widening public health restrictions has triggered something in a population that the rest of the world has not seen in quite some time: resistance.
Meanwhile, Beijing is attempting to stimulate the economy by slashing the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) — the number of reserves that financial institutions are mandated to hold — by another 25 basis points to just 7.8%. The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) also injected approximately $70 billion in fresh long-term liquidity into the financial system. The institution believes the latest measure will strike a delicate balance between stability and stimulus.
“[The RRR cut will] increase the long-term stable funding sources of financial institutions, enhance the capital allocation capabilities of financial institutions, and support industries and small, medium and micro enterprises that have been severely affected by the epidemic,” the central bank said in a statement.
But this public policy maneuver only proves two things: China is concerned that the yuan has weakened substantially against the US dollar this year, and the RRR reduction will let banks defer loan repayments from struggling companies amid renewed lockdowns. Big trouble in little China, indeed!
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