Thoughts On A Sunday

It was a chilly morning here at The Gulch yesterday morning, hitting -8ºF and reaching 17ºF as a high. It was nice and sunny all day, giving an impression it was warmer than it really was. At least there was little, if any wind, which made it less biting that it otherwise might have been.

It was quite a bit warmer today, promoting some melting of the ice and packed snow from our last bit of winter weather.


On more than one occasion I have covered issues dealing with the cable/satellite TV industry, how the content providers determine what the cable/satellite companies will charge for video programming, cable/satellite companies dropping some providers, the imbalance between the number of channels received in a customer’s home and the number of channels actually watched, and the increasing number of people dropping their cable/satellite subscriptions in favor of a streaming service like Netflix, Hulu, Prime, CBS All Access, Disney+, and a host of other services.

Yet another blow to cable/satellite pay TV services is the decrease in the number of channels coming into homes. “...the average number of channels received by U.S. TV households fell precipitously to 179.5 in 2019 from 191.8 in 2018.” However, the prices charged to subscribers either remained the same or rose.

While the average number of channels received has been declining since it peaked in 2005, 2019's 6.5% decline was a pronounced drop.

It could reflect that American households are cutting back on their subscription TV channel packages, especially as more of them move to premium and ad-supported OTT subscription services, but whatever the case, it is notable and something to keep an eye on.

The traditional linear TV business model is coming apart as content providers keep jacking up prices and cable/satellite TV companies keep shedding customers.


This does not bode well for the Pyrite State.

Half of California’s registered voters said they have either given serous or some thought to leaving the state.

It’s not surprising considering the hostile business and political environment.

The state’s Republicans have come to feel like second-class citizens, shut out of much of the political process, particularly in light of the state’s so-called “Jungle Primary” system which leads most state office elections to see one Democrat running against another Democrat.

Much of the middle class cites the high cost of housing as another factor motivating them to leave. That can be laid at the feet of highly restrictive housing and zoning laws that make it unattractive to build anything other than higher end housing. Some cities, like San Francisco, are so restrictive it can take years to get construction of housing approved and just as long to get the requisite permits to start construction. That restricts the supply of housing and also drives the cost of that new housing up because any developer is going to build housing that gives them enough return on investment to offset the cost of getting the housing approved.

High taxes is another reason for so many considering leaving the state.

California, which has the highest income tax rates in the U.S., is already losing residents to lower-tax states.

As previously reported by FOX Business, more than 86,160 Golden State residents left for Texas in 2018, and 68,516 went to Arizona. More than 55,460 left for Washington, and more than 50,700 went to Nevada. Of those top four destinations, three have no state income tax. Arizona does, but rates are significantly lower than in California.

According to IRS data, California lost about $8 billion in 2018 thanks to the outflow of residents.

It’s not just income taxes but business taxes that have increased the burden upon California businesses.

One has to wonder if a tipping point will be reached and California will see its bigger businesses and wealthier residents leaving the state, and with it, its tax base.


This ought to fill people working for Michael Bloomberg with paranoia. In this case, righteous paranoia.

Pro -Bernie Blogger Warns People Who Work For Bloomberg: "It's very important for us to create a black list of every operative who works on the Bloomberg campaign"

Gee, I’m hearing echos of the KGB in a statement like that. Then again Bernie is a Bolshevik.


The nation’s former “Newspaper of Record”, the New York Times and the UK’s The Guardian, have slammed President Trump for rolling back over-the-top environmental regulations, but it has backfired on them because the International Energy Agency issued a report showing the US saw the largest decline in energy-related CO2 emissions in 2019 on a country basis – a fall of 140 Mt, or 2.9%, to 4.8 Gt. US emissions are now down almost 1 Gt from their peak in the year 2000.

From the NYT:

"President Trump has made eliminating federal regulations a priority. His administration, with help from Republicans in Congress, has often targeted environmental rules it sees as burdensome to the fossil fuel industry and other big businesses."

It’s interesting that we can get rid of over-reaching environmental regulations and still have cleaner air and water while decreasing our CO2 emissions, and doing it better than any of the nations participating in the Paris Accords.


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the weather is up-and-down, one set of school February vacations start, and Monday has returned all too soon even though it is a holiday.