Thursday, May 01, 2008

Energy, Economics and World Domination

I am pleased to announce that since my hair grows at a rate of about one-centimeter a month, I do not have a recession in my hairline.
Well, if that logic works for the Government, why not my stylish coif?

There are three major problems facing America, and they couldn’t occur at a worse time because the country is without any real leadership—no direction is being applied—as the current administration enters its final months. These issues all basically turn on with how we deal with people—how we treat each other:

Lack of Energy Policy
Lack of trust in Financial sector leading to a lack of stability in the Real Estate sector
Lack of a reasonable Immigration/National Security plan

Our economy is in the crapper because we have relied for too long upon foreign sources of energy, our financial whiz kids got too smart for themselves, and built a house of cards that is falling, and the big, white elephant in the room is actually brown, primarily speaks Spanish, and has been the bedrock of the regional economy in the southwest for generations.

We're also up to our gills in bovine effluent because the people on both coasts believe they're better than the rest of the country with regards to land use; our financial whiz kids got too smart for themselves (repetition intentional), and we've forgotten some basics of hospitality.

You’re not going to hear this addressed on the campaign trail, in the Fed boardroom, or anywhere else people charged with the responsibility of guiding our nation into the second decade of this millennium are meeting and making decisions. The mainstream Media would rather fret over lapel pins and imaginary dates with dead presidents.

Do you know what the top five headlines are on the website this morning?
Barbara Walters had an affair with a US Senator (eww, thanks for that visual)
Miley Cyrus is cancelling her Florida tour (is she grounded?)
The D.C. Madam has been found dead (wonder if she knew the same Senator as Babwa Wawa?)
Some Poll has calculated 71% of respondents disapprove of President Bush; this is news?
The ex-nanny of Rob Lowe and his wife is countersuing the couple. Gadzooks, the future of the entire planet must be at stake!

So I guess it’s up to you and me.

Here’s my three-step plan for economic stability, domestic tranquility, and world domination:

Effective immediately, the east and west coasts are open for exploration, drilling and production of oil and gas deposits. Start up the mud pumps, grease up the drill pipes, and string some seismic cable.

Concurrently, populated areas with the density of Corsicana or greater will immediately be fair game for building a local gasoline refinery. The more refineries we have, the less of a bottleneck in our supply. The closer you live to a refinery, the less expensive it becomes to transport fuel for sale at retail.

We will develop regional energy sectors which are responsible for supplying fuel to their own. A side-benefit of this activity will be additional jobs created in these areas for the next few years while the refineries are being built. By the time they’re finished, some of those new oil wells in Maine and Oregon will have come on line for rendering.

Recognizing that this new found oil isn’t going to last forever, effective immediately, we’re going to impose a Lay-by-in-Store Energy Fee to fund the development of solar, wind and bio-alternatives for replacing the fossil fuels we lose. It will be a consumption fee with no exemptions, even by governments.
We’re all in this together.

Effective immediately, there will be a moratorium on trading fossil energy commodities by non-developers and non-end-users of the products. Hedge Funds and institutional investors hoping to cash in on the energy plays in oil and gas may not do so for a one year period, so as to eliminate the additional price volatility such speculative trading causes.

Oil is no longer a luxury, it is a strategic element crucial to our national and economic security.
Stop screwing with it.

Effective immediately, banks will begin making loans.
I realize that’s a novel idea, but that’s why they were invented in the first place. Loans will be scrutinized by a computer scoring system to get the log jam cleared, but each lender will have a compliance officer review the loans to make sure the borrower can make the payments and that the value of the collateral exists and is reasonable.
Another novel approach, I am sure.

Lenders’ fees will be built into the rate of interest they charge, but performance bonuses will be based upon the performance of the loan portfolios, not the gross business generated. You make good loans, your delinquency rate is low, you get a good bonus. You make stinky loans, you don’t get a bonus.
It’s that simple.

Additionally, if your financial lending and portfolio repackaging plan can’t pass muster on “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader,” go back to square one and begin again.

Effective immediately, all Americans will deposit 1% of their income into a savings account. Not the Social Security system, or any other account that the weasels in Washington can get their hands on.
A savings account.
Make it ING, if you want, but the point is to
a.) increase the real savings rate of the American public, and
b.) create cash reserves in the banking system from which to lend.
Voila! Instant liquidity.

Finally, and also effective immediately, all foreigners living in the US who are not citizens of this country and who wish to remain here must do the following:
a.) Learn to read and speak English fluently; that's how we communicate best here
b.) Apply for and receive a social security card
c.) Complete the process of becoming a US citizen

Caveat number one: if you’re busted for any crime before you’re “legal,” you’re immediately invited to leave.
Caveat number two: if you can’t get this done within the next 12 months, “adios,” “auf wiedersehen,” “au revoir.”

Frankly, it matters not that someone has been here illegally for the past 20-years and has procreated their own, mini-dynasty of “natural-born” American kids.

There’s a parable in the Bible about a man who owned a vineyard and needed workers and went out in the morning and hired a bunch of guys for a set wage. At midday, he needed more people, and hired them for the same daily wage. Later in the afternoon, with still more work to be done, the vineyard owner hired a third set of people, promising the same daily wage.

As you might imagine, the group that was hired in the morning, and paid the same wage as the group hired in the afternoon, were not that happy about the outcome.

The point of the parable is that the rewards for working in that vineyard are the same for everyone, regardless of when they start working.

Bending the principal ever so slightly, two contemporary applications can be made:
1.) There’s plenty of work to be done in this country;
2.) If you’ve been living and working here already, regardless of when you got here, citizenship should still be the ultimate goal.
If it's not, please leave.

That’s pretty amazing, we just solved three of the biggest problems we’re facing, and no one got red-faced, indicted, or voted out of office.
Just a little common sense.

And that world-domination thing I just threw in to get your attention.
Relax, China.

1 comment:

Enjoy Gas said...

Amen, brother! I could not agree with you more. See my musings about energy on my blog (

I have heard many economists say that we should buy as much as possible from foreign sources where labor is less expensive. That allows our own labor to be used cost effectively for goods and services that can not be purchased abroad.

While that may be a better allocation of capital and labor in an ideal economy (or for sourcing goods and services that are optional or easy to produce in many places), there is a detail that is not considered. If we import goods that we can not produce here, especially (like energy) goods that we MUST have, we run the risk of becoming overly dependent. In short energy is not bananas or toys or clothing.

As long as the source countries are truly "friendly" trading partners, perhaps it is not too bad. But to the extent that our money goes to support "enemies" and "terrorists," the REAL cost of the energy is MUCH higher than the spot price. The cost of energy from the middle east or Venezuela also includes a substantial part of both the defense budget and the foreign aid required to stabilize the area. By that I mean the whole area, not only the trading partner but also many of the countries nearby that are dealing with insurgencies funded by energy dollars.

For example, we flew to rescue of Kuwait when Iraq invaded. Part of the cost of foreign energy is “foreign aid” to Pakistan to keep it stabilized and keep its nuclear technology from proliferating into the hands of radical Islam. We have bases in Saudi Arabia to keep it stabilized. We have carrier fleets in the Indian ocean to help keep that area stabilized. All these are, at least in part necessary to protect both our own oil sources and sources for our allies. We simply can not allow radicals funded by oil money to get too strong.

As long as we have no choice but to import energy, we MUST defend the sources. Therefore it is common sense that what is needed is a source of energy that can be created anywhere at a competitive price. Solar or nuclear are the obvious options (assuming uranium availability) if we really don't have oil and coal supplies that are adequate (listen to the pod casts from Vince Rowe's 3/15/08 show where he interviewed Lindsey Williams before you finalize your beliefs on the availability of oil). I think solar (including its surrogates like biomass, wind and hydro power) is the best option and I will tell you why.

First it is available everywhere but is poorly utilized. Secondly it is abundant.

To understand how abundant it is, consider how much your sunlight bill would be if you had to pay for it like electricity ($0.14 per kWh). Any guess what the monthly bill for a family of four would be??? $1000 per month? $5000 per month? ... NO, it is MUCH more. It is over $10,000,000 per month for a family of four.

And we would not want any less, either! In fact if the sun went out, how much would a ton of gold be worth? How much would a tanker full of oil be worth? How much would all the real estate in NY city be worth? Not much.

An energy policy that increases self sufficiency and improves efficiency of use is not only a good idea ... it is a strategic NECESSITY. We can only hope that our citizen leaders will realize it ... regardless of party.