Monday, November 06, 2006

Uh, What? Oh, It's the SSPRC!

Let's take a trip to The Soviet Socialist People's Republic of California, and take a look at what's on the ballot there. Hmmmm. Proposition 87. Its proponents say that by charging energy companies to drill for oil in that state, the state gets money to give to alternative energy research. It will, they say, help Americans wean themselves from foreign oil. They claim that the issue, if passed by the proletariat and elected by legislature, would prevent Big Oil from passing the added costs of drilling in California to the consumer.
Let's ask some theoretical and rhetorical questions here. If, suddenly, there was absolutely no oil or petroleum fuel available, would we be prepared to have ways to transport goods and services, to get to the market, our jobs, and schools? The intent of the proposition 87 is sincere in that it would encourage the use of alternative energy, but is enough available to immediately replace the use of fossil fuels? Can we all afford to ride bicycles to work, drive solar powered, hybrid, or hydrogen cell automobiles, and are enough of these available to everybody? Are engine components that can withstand the high temperatures and non-lubricating characteristics of ethanol thoroughly tested and readily available to the general public?
My reason for posing these questions is simply that proposition 87 has the potential to stop oil production in California. It is a thinly veiled attack on the perceived enemy of the proletariat, Big Oil. Oil companies earn an average of nine cents to every consumer dollar, far less than the profit margin of dairy companies or coffee producers. There is no point in running a business unless a profit can be made. It is a fact of life.
Proposition 87 would make oil production unprofitable in California, and would result in loss of jobs, and diminish the cash flow in the economy. It is, in reality, a punitive tax, which would result in drastically higher fuel costs throughout the United States, bringing about drastically higher inflation rates. But, no matter, we can just blame all that on Bush and the Republicans, no matter what the cause, right?
To be sure, reduced reliance on foreign oil is a very worthy goal to work toward, as is speeding up research on alternative fuels and alternative energy sources. But, as those resources are not immediately available, proposition 87 would actually increase the demand for foreign oil. That means more money for Al Qaeda and Hezbollah. I suppose the proletariat would blame that on Bush, as well.
In truth, what Prop 89 proposes is that billions of dollars be taken out of the economy, used to hire bureaucrats--read those who contributed to certain legislative and administrative campaigns--to "administer" the taxpayers' contribution to alternative energy research, then return the twenty- or thirty-thousand dollars that is left over back to the economy, to be used for such research. That is the way Big Government works.
In consensus reality--as opposed to California reality--funds from the private sector and free trade commerce more efficiently provide energy research companies with more capital that can be used for actual research.
Why not, instead, offer tax incentives to the energy companies to spend more research money on alternative resources? That is where the money is going to be in what is, ideally, the near future. The oil companies will eventually have to switch to producing alternative energy, anyway, so why not give them incentive to begin research now? That is, after all, what the executives get the big bucks for anyway, isn't it?
Libertarian philosophy does not tolerate government meddling in the affairs of private enterprise, but, as long as Big Government is going to hold your hand while you cross the street, why not charge Starbucks a fee for opening drive up windows? Why not use revenues from public parking and toll roads for energy research, and development of alternative energy resources? Why can't we figure out ways to reduce the demand for gasoline and fossil fuels? This makes more sense than destroying the economy in the name of conservation.
Hopefully, common sense will prevail, and Proposition 87 will be defeated in the polls, but then, common sense and California aren't exactly best of friends, are they?

Correction--Note to Self: The name of the leader of Hezbollah in Lebanon is Nasrallah, not Rasmallah. Writing from memory is not always the best way to check facts. Apologies to my readers.

3 comments:

Jenn of the Jungle said...

I live here. It makes me weep. If not for the fine weather and proximity to the ocean, I would vacate.

RevJim said...

Jenn, you would love Colorado, except we don't have an ocean...yet.

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