The Price of Regulation

The Mercatus Center has a new study out claiming that regulations are enacting an enormous toll on our economy.

Economic growth in the United States has, on average, been slowed by 0.8 percent per year since 1980 owing to the cumulative effects of regulation:

If regulation had been held constant at levels observed in 1980, the US economy would have been about 25 percent larger than it actually was as of 2012.

This means that in 2012, the economy was $4 trillion smaller than it would have been in the absence of regulatory growth since 1980.

This amounts to a loss of approximately $13,000 per capita, a significant amount of money for most American workers.

Caveats first: it is possible, even likely, that Mercatus is significantly overestimating the impact of regulations. The reason is that their analysis is cumulative. They find that regulations knock 0.8% off our economic growth every year. Well, if you multiply that exponentially over 32 years, you get a huge amount. Their study only goes back to 1980. So … if they extended it back to 1950, how much would they say regulations are costing us? I addressed this before when some numbnuts said our economy would be four times bigger without regulation. When you play with exponential numbers, you get big results.

Moreover, regulations have an economic benefit, as Ron Bailey notes:

According to agency calculations, American families would see up to $7 in health benefits for every dollar invested through the Clean Power Plan. By lowering particulate, ozone, and nitrogen oxide pollution, the EPA argues, Americans will gain the health equivalent of $55 to $93 billion annually; the yearly costs will be only $7.3 billion to $8.8 billion by 2030.

Garbow added that EPA regs don’t just stop harms but spur technological innovation. He specifically cited regulations that support the deployment of renewable energy supplies, and he pointed out that there are now more jobs in the solar power industry than there are in coal mining.

Those caveats having been made, however, I think Mercatus is probably in the ballpark or at least in the parking lot. Other estimates have generally been in the 10-20% range and I don’t think anyone would argue that regulations have no cost on our economy. Even if Mercatus has overestimated the impact of regulations by 100%, that would still be a 10% hit on the economy and $5,000 out of each our pockets.

Moreover, as Bailey notes, the supposed benefits of regulations are probably overestimates themselves. Many are based on past regulations when we did think like stopping companies from dumping toxic chemicals in water or belching smog into our neighborhoods. But there is a huge difference between reducing smog to very low levels and reducing it to zero. The former has huge health benefits and low cost. The latter has high cost and low benefits.

Most importantly, as Megan McArdle argues, regulations do not exist in a vacuum. They exist on top of and beside existing regulations.

“In one year,” wrote Warren Meyer in 2015, “I literally spent more personal time on compliance with a single regulatory issue — implementing increasingly detailed and draconian procedures so I could prove to the State of California that my employees were not working over their 30-minute lunch breaks — than I did thinking about expanding the business or getting new contracts.”

I know what you’re going to say: Employees should have lunch breaks! My answer is “Yes, but.…” Yes, but putting the government in charge of ensuring that they get them, and forcing companies to document their compliance, has real costs. They add up.

An economy with but one regulation — employees must be allowed a 30-minute lunch break, and each company has to document that it has been taken — would probably not find this much of a drag on growth. But multiply those regulations by thousands, by millions, and you start to have a problem.

(Meyer runs the oustanding Coyote Blog where he opines on economics, business and climate science. Those of who are in the climate skeptic camp could find a lot in his recent series on global warming, where he argues for the “lukewarmer” position. More germane to this, you should read his recent post about the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the massive amount of paperwork it is imposing on businesses so that lawyers can file lawsuits we can achieve pay equality.)

One regulation on pollution is not a big deal. But the cumulative weight is crushing, especially on small businesses. Over the last decade, through Bush II and Obama, we have seen a steep decline in new business and IPOs. A huge number of businessmen and economists think is because of over-regulation (particularly the Sarbanes-Oxley law). Maybe the EPA is right about the economic benefits of those regulations. But even if they are, those regulations are on top of a million others, eradicating most of the supposed benefits. Taking away ten hours of a businessman’s time is nothing … unless you’ve already regulated him so badly he only had ten hours left to expand his business.

Look, no one opposes all regulation. We don’t want to go back the days when we had lead in our water, air and food. But we have long passed the point of diminishing returns. And it’s holding back our economy in a big way. McArdle again:

All of these costs have to be carefully weighed against the benefits of regulations — and not just on a regulation-by-regulation basis, as is currently done, if such cost-benefit analysis is done at all. Each hour of a firm’s time that is sucked up by compliance is an hour that is not spent growing the firm, improving the product, better serving the customer. And as the number of the hours so spent increases, and the number of precious hours spent on growth and operations shrinks, each added hour we take is more costly to both the business and to the rest of us. With labor markets lackluster and growth underwhelming, that’s a cost that none of us can well afford.

To be fair, a huge part of the problem is state and local regulation. That needs to be addressed on a state-by-state basis. But the Federal government could set the tone quite easily. The GOP Congress could pass a law that:

  • Puts a two-year moratorium on new federal regulations.
  • Mandates agency-level review of each and every regulation on the books (which might have the side benefit of actually documenting in one place how many regulations we have — no one actually knows).
  • After two years, only re-enables regulations that the agencies have documented are critical to a clean environment or worker safety or some other concrete goal.

They could set a broad goal of cutting the number of regulations in half. And then dare Obama (or Clinton) to veto it.

The biggest problem with our government right now is that our leaders are asleep at the wheel. They have let regulations, tax codes and spending grow without real supervision. That can work fine for a few years. But eventually, the clinking, clattering, cacophony of caliginous cogs and camshafts that is government starts grinding the country to a halt. Periodically, you have to take a hatchet to the regulations if the country is to function. It’s been 23 years since we did that. We are long overdue.


Who would have think that a tyrannical asshole like Nye would fall this low? Well, I did. These supposed scientists, like Nye and DeGrasse-Tyson, are nothing but left wing shills with delusions of grandeur.

Leading climate activists are warning moviegoers to shun the May 2nd nationwide one-day theater screening of “Climate Hustle,” a new film debunking climate alarmism and its big government solutions.

Bill Nye (not a real “science guy,” FYI), who entertains the idea of throwing climate skeptics in the slammer, warned the film’s producer, Climate Depot publisher Marc Morano, that “Climate Hustle’s” content endangers not just the nation, but also the world:

“I think it will expose your point of view as very much in the minority and very much not in our national interest and the world’s interest.”

U.N. Climate Scientist Michael Oppenheimer has, likewise, condemned the film – without even viewing it – for daring to dispute climate alarmism. “Marc is a propagandist,” the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scientist cautions viewers.

Yeah, think hard on that. If you really believe the stuff you are peddling is science, you wouldn’t be this worried about contrary opinion. If you are peddling bullshit, having others point that out however will be detrimental. Basically a shorter Bill Nye is “drink our koolaid, and don’t let the facts get in the way”.

I am gonna buy a dozen tickets to this movie.

Cruz-Fiorina 2020

This smacks of desperation:

Ted Cruz formally named Carly Fiorina as his vice presidential running mate Wednesday — a last-ditch move to regain momentum after being mathematically eliminated from winning the GOP presidential nomination outright.

“After a great deal of consideration and prayer, I have come to the conclusion that if I am nominated to be president of the United States that I will run on a ticket with my vice presidential nominee Carly Fiorina,” Cruz said during a rally in Indianapolis.

Fiorina joined the Texas senator on stage, and Cruz’s staff changed the podium in between Cruz and Fiorina’s remarks to display a new logo featuring both their names.

Indiana and California are the last chance for Cruz to derail Trump. I’m guessing he thinks Fiorina will boost him in California. I’m also guessing he’s wrong. No one ever voted for a President based on his Vice President. In fact, given some of the hamsters we’ve had as Vice Presidential nominees — Palin, Gore, Quayle, Mondale, Agnew — I’d say the running mate is almost irrelevant to a candidate’s prospects.

I bet the LSM will not blame this on the crooks in charge…

Can I ask if you are surprised to find out that now that we have experienced Black Jesus’ “Hope and Fundamental Change” in action, that we are seeing European level of anemic economic performance and being snowed into thinking it is not the fault of the bullshit policies of these crooks? From the article:

The U.S. economy expanded in the first quarter at the slowest pace in two years as American consumers reined in spending and companies tightened their belts in response to weak global financial conditions and a plunge in oil prices.

Gross domestic product rose at a 0.5 percent annualized rate after a 1.4 percent fourth-quarter advance, Commerce Department data showed Thursday. The increase was less than the 0.7 percent median projection in a Bloomberg survey and marked the third straight disappointing start to a year.

Shaky global markets and oil’s tumble resulted in the biggest business-investment slump in almost seven years, and household purchases climbed the least since early 2015, the data showed. While Federal Reserve officials on Wednesday acknowledged the softness, they also indicated strong hiring and income gains have the potential to reignite consumer spending and propel economic growth.

First off, low oil prices, unless you are in the criminal green industry or in the oil business itself, are awesome for any business. Lower oil costs means lower fuel costs, which for every business that moves shit around means lower costs period, and more profits. Investments are slumping, not because of the drop in oil prices – I have made a killing myself investing in oil companies right now – but because too many people are catching on that the stock market rise is mostly from devaluation of the dollar (makes assets worth more on paper) and because there was nothing else that was safe to invest in. The problem is that since the 2008 crash any growth has come without a growth in employment numbers, and whenever it happened otherwise, because government pissed money propping up junk industries that will die sooner than later. We have had morons lie to us that the economy was growing when all it did was stay on life support while massive government spending and borrowing tried to hide that fact.

“The fact that personal consumption is a bit on the soft side is a disappointment, especially in light of the low gasoline prices,” said Thomas Costerg, senior economist at Standard Chartered Bank in New York, who correctly projected first-quarter growth. “Consumption seems to be stuck in a low gear.”

Yeah, that slump happens because fewer people are employed you moron, hence less cash to spend, and those of us that are still employed realizing we better hide our money in assets that government can’t fuck us over for having. Yeah, I know the LSM has been touting the stupid unemployment numbers that totally hide the fact so many people have dropped off the rolls and so many more are working part time because they can’t get full time employment, but I remind you that when these numbers were lower during a republican president, they were then falsely touted as signs of an abysmal economy. We have that now, but because of Black Jesus and the fear of pointing out this Keynesian shit doesn’t work, nobody wants to say we are fucked.

Businesses are also aware of the existing shitstorm and the potential doubling down of this shitstorm. Can you blame them when you have a party where the 2 candidates, one a criminal and the other a prime example of life’s losers with a grudge against his betters, competing about whom will steal the most from the productive sector to buy votes with? If I was one of these companies, I would definitely be looking at how to hide assets. Especially when the LSM never reports on how full of shit these vote buying collectivist scumbags really are screwing us. Bernie, whom sadly is the lesser of the donkey evils, wants to give us free college, but nobody points out how well government controlled free lower education has worked out for us. The criminal on the other hand is trying to out communist the communist. Who do you think will pay for all this free shit?

None of this stops the cheerleaders from trying to convince the serfs that despite the abysmal reality, that improvement they have been telling us was just around the corner or had arrived, for more than 7 years now, is just around the corner:

The dismal performance in the first quarter, however, is unlikely to carry over in the spring, most economists contend. They view the labor market as a better indicator of where the economy is headed than the more backward-looking GDP report and they point to strong job creation early in the year as evidence that growth is stable.

The case for a spring rebound will get the first big test next week when the government issues the employment report for April. Economists predict an increase of around 200,000 new jobs, matching recent gains. Only a big shortfall in new jobs is likely to set off alarms about the second quarter.

Here is my bet on how this plays out: they tell us that we have finally made it, only to revise the numbers – always downward and indicating things are terrible -some months later. And when they do this, it will all be “unexpected”. And we are all supposed to believe them despite the fact that we have seen this same shit for close to 8 years now. We have never recovered, and if you look at home ownership trends, it is obvious that these morons have been lying to us. The real estate sector doing well is basically Chinese oligarchs gobbling up everything still of value. And for all their talk about social justice and sticking it to the “haves”, the Obama SJW machine seems to have really created some serious imbalance between the rich and the poor, but definitely not in the direction they pretend they want to move it. The fact is that friends of the crime syndicate in power now are rolling in the dough, while others are not doing so well.

Things suck because the people in charge have made it far worse. That’s the facts, Jack.

End Game

Last night came very close to ending the Presidential primaries. Trump won all five primaries by decisive margins, outpacing Cruz and Kasich combined by over 300,000 votes and taking, according to one analysis, 110 of the 118 delegates. Barring a complete collapse in Indiana and California, he is likely not only to have a plurality of delegates but a majority. The hopes of a contested convention would appear dashed.

This was obvious to me a while ago when Paul Ryan took himself out of the running for a contested convention. It would have been political suicide for him to offer himself as a candidate if Trump won. I think that Ryan, being one of the smartest people in politics, saw the writing on the wall and wanted no part of that. I also think this is why Christie and others have been flocking to Trump since this election season has shown that a) endorsements don’t ultimately make a difference in the outcome; b) endorsements do make a difference in cozying up to the nominee. And, the more I think about it, the more I think Cruz and Kasich saw this as well. The last few weeks, it has seemed more like they are running for 2020 than 2016.

So this is it. Trump 2016. Despite a media insistence that it wouldn’t happen, despite an onslaught of opposition, despite constant “gaffes”. I think we can finally retire the notion that media elites know what they’re talking about.

I don’t expect this will go well. Trump might win. His opponent is Hillary, after all. But the possibility of an electoral massacre looms large. Trump is trying to pivot to the center but I don’t see that working for two reasons: Trump can’t keep his damned mouth shut; Trump is already well-known. This isn’t like Romney where he could rebuild his image to a public that hadn’t been paying attention.

There will be a lot of post mortems and I’m sure the media will find a way to blame it on Southerners or something. But make no mistake: Trump won almost everyone in the GOP tent. He won the supposedly more intelligent and urbane East Coast elites by massive margins. The only people who opposed him were midwesterners and Mormons, the latter of whom overwhelmingly rejected him. So I don’t want to hear any more crap about the supposed intellectual deficiencies of people in flyover country or the supposed craziness of Mormons. They were the only ones who kept their wits about them.

Clinton won four of five states, increasing her delegate lead to the point of being insurmountable. I’m sure there will be a lot of post mortems of the Sanders campaign, too. My take? Well, Sanders did way better than anyone expected, mostly because people don’t like Hillary Clinton. But, in the end, Clinton had too many advantages: heavy support among blacks, backing of the party elites, support from unions and special interests, name recognition. Moreover, as the campaign went on, Sanders was exposed as a guy who was long on rhetoric and short on policy detail. His foreign policy credentials didn’t exist. His plan to pay for all his new spending didn’t work. His answers to detailed questions got increasingly evasive. You can only go so far with huge glittering promises of free shit.

So here we are: the contest no one wanted. Clinton v. Trump in the contest to see who the voters dislike more. If the Libertarian Party can’t get a significant part of the vote this year …

This is gonna piss off the proles

I am not stupid enough to believe that I need to find me a radioactive spider so I can become a webslinger, but I always felt some people, and in particular those with an agenda, exaggerated the risk of radiation. After all, radiation is everywhere. Sure Earth is blessed with a magnetic system that shields us from the brunt of the ugly stuff the sun throws at us, but the entire cosmos is about radiation, and a lot of it is not in the visible spectrum and considered to be quite harmful.

The fact of the matter is that radiation is with us at all time. Most people don’t know it, but the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Storage site was torpedoed by some devious and evil scumbags that demanded the radiation from the site be below the natural radiation occurring from the granite bed rock that was going to provide the ecological stability for the site. Yes, the earth produces radiation naturally, and we are exposed to it. I remember reading, a long time ago I admit, that many scientists believe radiation played a critical role in creating the complex organic molecules that produced life. And while the common belief is that radiation is so evil that after a nuclear war only roaches would inherit the earth, I always pointed out that since we had no reliable and measurable experience here – the effects of radiation in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and even the Nevada dessert where they tested nukes, seem to have really been exaggerated IMO – this was all conjecture.

Well, it looks like Chernobyl is now causing people to rethink radiation as well. Like with all things, what kills you isn’t that you are exposed to it, but how much of it you are exposed to. As I have already pointed out when having discussions about one topic or another around pollution, quantity is king. Shit, even too much water, a substance that is absolutely necessary for life as we know it, kills you! I remember some moron at work telling me all the men in Boston would soon grow boobs because some stupid Boston Globe article had pointed out all the water in Boston was contaminated with female hormones. I dug and found out that while they had found this contamination, it was like 3 particles per billion, meaning that someone would need to drink the equivalent of 3 lifetimes worth of water consumption for the average human to end up with the equivalent of a single hormone treatment dose. No dudes with tits there, man.

We know a lot less than we think we do, and we are learning that fact every day that science makes a new potential discovery like this one. Now beware of the Chernobyl man. I hear Khan came from something like that! Just kidding. He was the product of experimentation after the NHS doctors went on strike because of low pay and insane work hours demanded by penny pinching government bureaucrats that think doctors should earn the same amount of money as turd polishers do (all labor is worth the same!).

This is what Bernie’s America will end up looking like

Despite the fact that it looks like the ‘gimme free shit party’ is not doing well with voter turnout, there are a lot of people that are backing donkey candidate Bernie Sanders, a man that never held a real job in his life (his first full time job was one working in government and happened when he was 40), and whom seems angry at the world because he never got what he feels he was due. Like Obama, the community organizer, and for that matter that criminal Clinton, Bernie is a man of no real accomplishments, but at least unlike Obama and Hillary, he seems to not be a down right crime syndicate boss.

I suspect a lot of Bernie’s backers are donkeys that have some conscience and simply can’t make themselves vote for that criminal Clinton. But then, there are many people that are true believers in the wealth redistribution bullshit Bernie peddles too, despite the historical evidence that this shit always ends badly for the people that put it in practice. Collectivism doesn’t work when it goes beyond the family unit, and the reason is very simple, even if the people that espouse it don’t want to admit it: the jealousy and greed that makes this philosophy that advocates taking from others attractive also blinds the followers to the fact that the leaders that promise to do this for them simply are looking to replace the existing haves, and will not really worry much about the “have nots” once they do so. From the USSR, to communist China to North Korea, Cuba or any other of the failed shit, it always ends bad. Sure the marxist backing Bernie will point to Europe, and especially Sweden, as their models, but they are not being honest when they do so. Europe, because of the wealth and mediocre collectivist leadership it has had, has not yet completed the full transition to what always comes from this dark ideology.

Want a look at the end result? Well, take a good look at what is happening in Venezuela or for that matter to Brazil, yeah Brazil, countries that have let this ideology run its course. One went super totalitarian, while the other is almost there. Shit, keep an eye on our neighbor to the north. I have a feeling they are going to be doing some real stupid shit that will hurt them real bad in the next few years, all in the name of social justice or whatever. And Europe, unfortunately for the Europeans, because of the corruption in Brussels and despite the many changes being made to delay the inevitable, will run out of other people’s money sooner than later, as well. Of course this will not dissuade people that feel they have a right to what others have – especially when they justify that right by claiming the others got what they have through nefarious means – from feeling that they will go along as long as the getting is good. To them having the whole thing burn down seems like justice, I guess.

Do you miss that cowboy yet?

The Telegraph has an article titled “Why should we take advice from a president who has surrendered the world to chaos?“. I am surprised the media is finally admitting that the bulk of the people that used to believe Obama was going to save the planet now see that Obama has been a crappy POTUS and has done more harm to world stability than any president in my lifetime, including Jimmy Carter and the left’s Boogaboo GWB. Obama is nothing more than a community organizer, and a lousy one at that because his ego gets in the way, and we are all going to suffer long and hard because of the damage he and his administration – including the criminal old woman running on the premise that it his her turn because her plumbing is on the inside – have wrought.

Bernie to the Left of Sweden

Reason ran a great article this week, pointing out again that Bernie Sanders idea that we should be more like Sweden ignores the reality of Sweden is like these days:

Bernie Sanders thinks the U.S. should look to Sweden and other Scandinavian countries to “learn what they have accomplished for their working people.” The Vermont senator has said so repeatedly throughout his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, prompting GOP rival Marco Rubio to say, “I think Bernie Sanders is a good candidate for president—of Sweden.”

This reality will not endear my home country to American socialists, but it’s better to be hated for the right reasons than to be loved for the wrong ones, as the saying goes. Being more like modern Sweden actually means deregulation, free trade, a national school voucher system, partially privatized pensions, no property tax, no inheritance tax, and much lower corporate taxes. Sorry to burst your bubble, Bernie.

Sanders ideas of … really, everything … seem not to have moved much from the 1960’s ground in which they were sewed. Nowhere is this more pronounced than on economic policy. He still thinks of the Scandinavian countries as bastions of socialism when all of them have moved in a decidedly laissez faire direction over the last twenty years: smaller government, free trade and economic deregulation. They are still way more socialist than the United States. But all rank as “mostly free” in the Heritage Foundation’s economic freedom, with Denmark having occasionally ranked as more free than the United States. All of them rank ahead of us on Cato’s Human Freedom Index by dint of having more personal freedom and comparable economic freedom.

I think a large part of Bernie’s success so far has been that he’s not Clinton. The party elite and the Clintons themselves went to great efforts to preclude an alternative to Clinton this year (even, some conspiracy theorists think, to the point of encouraging Trump to run). Sanders, however, is not a Democrat and is not controlled by them. So he ran a real campaign and not a token one. The result has been a surge of support because his earnestness is so refreshing by comparison to Clinton’s deviousness.

I also think a large part, however, was the novelty. It’s been a while since an avowed socialist was on the political scene and I think that appealed to a lot of Democrats. However, Bernie’s ideas are as outdated now as they were when Bill Clinton reformed the Democratic Party back in ’92. And polls have shown that support for Bernie’s ideas evaporate when people become aware of how much they will cost (as the Sweden article notes, you can’t fund a welfare state entirely on the backs of the rich).

That’s why I think Clinton will still win this thing. As the hope of spring turns into the realities of summer/fall, people will remember why we don’t elect honest-to-God socialists in this country. And they will turn away from the junk food that is Sanders to the broccoli that is Clinton.

A story for those that believe the “Science is settled” or “Scientific consensus” nonsense

So in the age where some claim science knows it all, comes another story of how much we really still don’t know. Here is the entire article, because it bears reading:

Over the past whole year, there’s been a lot of excitement about the electromagnetic propulsion drive, also known as EM Drive – a logically impossible engine that’s challenged almost everyone’s prospects by continuing to stand up to experimental study. The EM drive is so thrilling because it yields enormous amounts of propulsion that could hypothetically blast us to Mars in only 70 days, without the need for dense and costly rocket fuel. Instead, it’s actually propelled forward by microwaves bouncing back and forth inside a sealed off chamber, and this is what makes the EM drive so powerful, and at the same time so debatable.

As effective as this kind of propulsion may sound, it challenges one of the essential concepts of physics – the conservation of momentum, which states that for anything to be propelled forward, some kind of propellant must be pushed out in the opposite direction. For that reason, the drive was generally laughed at and overlooked when it was designed by English scientist Roger Shawyer in the early 2000s. But a few years later, a group of Chinese researchers decided to construct their own version, and to everyone’s amazement, it really worked. Then an American inventor did the something just like that, and convinced NASA’s Eagleworks Laboratories, supervised by Harold ‘Sonny’ White, to give it a try. And they admitted that it actually works. Now Martin Tajmar, a well-known professor and chairman for Space Systems at Dresden University of Technology in Germany, has worked with his own EM Drive, and has once again revealed that it produces thrust – although for reasons he can’t clarify yet.

Tajmar offered his outcomes at the 2015 American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics’ Propulsion and Energy Forum and Exposition in Florida on 27th of July, and you can read his entire paper here. He has a long history of experimentally testing (and exposing) revolutionary propulsion systems, so his outcomes are a big deal for those looking for outside confirmation of the EM Drive.

Most importantly, his system produced a parallel amount of thrust as was initially forecast by Shawyer, which is more than a few thousand times greater than a typical photon rocket.

So where does all of this leave us with the EM Drive? While it’s fun to speculate about just how revolutionary it could be for humanity, what we really need now are results published in a peer-reviewed journal – which is something that Shawyer claims he is just a few months away from doing, as David Hambling reports for Wired.

So it might turn out that we need to modify some of our laws of physics in order to clarify how the drive actually works. But if that opens up the opportunity of human travel throughout the entire Solar System – and, more significantly, beyond – then it’s a sacrifice we’re certainly willing to make.

Emphasis mine. There are many out there that claim that the laws of physics are well known and defined but as this article clearly illustrates – and believe me, there are countless other examples like this out there that you never hear about – we have still got a ton of crap that we not only don’t understand, but more importantly, think we understand, yet actually may be or are, totally wrong about.

Nothing is settled. Anyone that tells you that is a fucking moron and dangerous. Our working knowledge of the universe is in its infancy. Even basic things we take for granted might be incorrect as this article shows. And the universe is far more complex than most people can even imagine. Remember that the next time some moron with a poli-sci, failed theology, or gender studies degree tells you that we have scientific consensus or that the science is settled so they can push a political agenda. And yes, corporate bias could taint science, but nothing taints it as bad as government driven bias.