TOE&LIT Excerpts 2


In the main class distinct areas of representation, the republicans are for lower taxes, minimum social spending, and deregulation. Many democrats do not deviate greatly from the positions of republicans concerning action in the representation of these interests, although nearly all of them represent the interest of the middle and lower classes in speech. The other area of class distinction is not an area of party distinction either in platform or action. Neither party talks about government contracts, but both parties work to ensure their sponsors are rewarded with business.

Illegal Immigration: Overstated and Uncorrectable

It is interesting how much attention illegal immigration receives considering how few illegal migrants are actually crossing into the United States. There are roughly 15,000 people in CBP custody on any given night. Presumably some are on their second attempt or more, meaning there is probably a portion who are not new migrants. (1) The average stay of a migrant in CBP custody is about one month. (2) Meaning if CBP did nothing, the United States would gain only (15,000 per month x 12 months) 180,000 illegal immigrants per year, which isn’t likely to have a perceivable impact on the lives of citizens.

180,000 people, joining a population of 330 million, is the equivalent of having $1833 and adding $1 or losing $1. That is the extent to which illegal immigration is a problem. The conditions in which migrants are held in detention facilities has become a source of concern, but as a problem itself, in regard to how illegal immigration impacts the lives of Americans, illegal immigration is overstated.

1: Vox, 6/25/2019 “The Horrifying Conditions Facing Kids in Border Detention, Explained”, by Dara Lind. Vox cites CBP reporting to congress on number of migrants in custody. “between May 14 and June 13, US Border Patrol facilities were housing over 14,000 people a day — and sometimes as many as 18,000.” (

2: Freedom For Immigrants “Detention by the Numbers”. “In FY 2017, the average length of stay at any one immigrant prison or jail was 34 days, compared to 22 days in FY 2016 and 21 days in FY 2015.”( Source: National Immigrant Justice Center “November 2017 ICE Facility List”

White Gold Coup

Matthew Eisler draws attention to fact that lithium has been over supplied and lost more than 50% of its value in the last two years falling from $25,000 a ton to $10,000 a ton. He references an uncertain electric vehicle market as the reason why the price is unlikely to recover anytime soon. The statistic itself is a little misleading, because the price peaked in 2017 at $25,000mt, but in 2014 lithium prices were only $6000mt, meaning demand drove up the price, the market responded and over supplied, and the drop in price is the correction. (6) JP Morgan projects a surge not only in electric vehicles but also in hybrid vehicles which is consistent with nearly every other market prediction. (7) Batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles are only one use for lithium and demand will increase as nations seek to transition to renewable energy, where lithium is used for grid storage systems and many other products.

Eislers’ article goes on to point out how the coup harms development of the lithium resource implying US support for the coup, and whatever role the US may have played in facilitating the coup is not motivated by lithium. Lithium is a finite resource. Elon Musk has plans to create about a dozen gigafactories, which are plants to assemble lithium batteries. Musk estimates it will require 100 gigafactories to power the world with renewable energy. (8) There is enough lithium resources on the planet to supply 100 gigafactories for about 70 years. (9) Bolivia’s lithium resources are estimated to be about 16% of the world’s supply. (10) The importance of lithium cannot be overstated in the next few decades.

6: Matthew Eisler, 11/15/2019 “Bolivian Lithium: Why You Should Not Expect Any White Gold Rush in the Wake of Morales Overthrow”. The Conversation.

7: JP Morgan, 10/18/2018 “Driving Into 2025: The future of Electric Vehicles”. “The growth in electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) is climbing and by 2025, EVs and HEVs will account for an estimated 30% of all vehicle sales. Comparatively, in 2016 just under 1 million vehicles or 1% of global auto sales came from plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs).”

8: Sean O’Cane, 11/30/2018 “Tesla Will Live and Die by the GigaFactory”. The Verge

9: Tam Hunt, 6/2/2015, “Is There Enough Lithium to Maintain the Growth of the Lithium-Ion Battery Market”? Gtm Since this article was written, an additional 15 million tons of resources have been discovered (see note 10), which moves the projection from 50 years, into the neighborhood of 70 years with 100 gigafactories, which still speaks to the scarcity of the resource in consideration of its importance as an element required to store energy.

10: US Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries, February 2019. Bolivia’s lithium resources are estimated at 9 million tons, the world resources of lithium are estimated at 55 million tons. Meaning Bolivia’s lithium resources represent about just over 16% of the worlds known resources.

A Self Propelled Coup

If Maduro resigns the people of Venezuela suffer at the hands of a regime that will prioritize US interest above that of the underclasses. If Maduro stays, the people of Venezuela suffer at his tied hands. There is nothing he can do with the sanctions in place to improve the quality of life for Venezuelans. Without the ability to sell oil, and without access to assets held abroad the noose tightens around the neck of the Venezuelan economy.

Prior to the sanctions, in 2017, Maduro signed the national budget which was 8 trillion bolivars, roughly 8 billion dollars. (4) Venezuela is a country of 32 million people. To put that into perspective, Chicago is a city, not a country, of 2.7 million people with an annual budget of 8.6 billion dollars, with a population much less dependent on the local government than the population of Venezuela. Another way to put the number into perspective, Amazon had annual profits in 2018 of 10 billion dollars. You cannot run a country of 32 million people on 8 billion dollars a year, and this was 8 billion dollars two years ago prior to the economic siege imposed by the United States where the country is greatly limited in its ability to access the global market. 73% of the 2013 Venezuelan budget went to social spending.

Maduro should resign for the good of the Venezuelan people.

4: Reuters “Venezuela’s Maduro Signs 2017 Budget, Bypassed Congress Cries Foul”. By Eyanir Chinea, and Alexandra Ulmer. 10-14-2016

Australian Gun Control Fails to Reduce Incidents of Mass Murder, or Mass Murder Victims

In Australia, in the 20 years prior to the 1996 mass shooting there was a total of 95 people killed in mass murder events. In the 20 years after 1996 there were 96 people killed. Meaning gun control has not prevented the amount of deaths resulting from mass murder. Peters disingenuously states that because of the gun control measures Australia has never seen another mass murder event like what was experienced in 1996. It is disingenuous because with the exception of the Coniston Massacre in 1928, which was a murder of indigenous people, Australia has never seen anything like what happened in 1996 in terms of the volume of casualties prior to 1996.