Monday, September 29, 2008

Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

Why nothing is going to happen before the November elections, and the country is going to Hell in a hand-basket until then, and how it will effect you personally.

Congress is hopelessly deadlocked on approving a financial bailout of its buddies on Wall Street, and the gridlock is blinding lawmakers from doing any other real, substantive work on equally important issues…like tax policy, energy policy, and the connections between the two.

Ironically, the financial dilemma facing Congress is one of its own making, through myopic legislation agg’ed on by sycophant lobbyists pandering to willing representatives.

The result has been an economy based upon the creation of nothing tangible, creating services financed by instruments no one understood, and which no one could manage.
It was all fed by personal greed, and a certain level of laziness.

Congress’ inability to act resulted, among other things, in the moratorium against offshore drilling expiring over the weekend. Did you notice the rush by all the oil companies to plunge their drill bits into once sacrosanct geologic formations?

What was that giant sucking sound, anyway?
It was Reality smacking these politicians in their collective backsides as a missed opportunity to lead and guide the nation’s energy policy slipped through their fingers.
For the record, I am for drilling—the more the merrier—fully realizing it is not the be-all, end-all solution for our energy problems.

Thomas Friedman penned a brilliant piece this week for the New York Times in which he correctly pointed out that the solution to one problem could also solve the other: the bailout can’t do what a build-up would for our economy.

Building things.
That’s what made this country great, and our ability to produce became the envy of the modern world. We even taught the Japanese a thing or two about mass-production.

Somewhere along the line, however, we got the notion that building things wasn’t nearly as providing services…and as the tactile side of our ingenuity began to slip and slide to factories on the other side of the globe, we became more than a debtor nation to financial interests—we became a nation beholden to others to produce the raw goods.

Friedman is calling for a Green Revolution to cure the blues in our economy. Incentives to build structures that are ecologically sensitive would in the long run also be economically sensible: the less energy they require to heat, cool and operate, the less we’d have to produce.
Or buy from someone else.

The key to propping up our economy is to rev up our inventiveness in building structures and machines that are more energy efficient—and that does not necessarily mean such products should cost a premium price.
(Remember, we’re not on the best financial footing these days.)

The less energy it takes to operate our infrastructure, the less dependant we will be on foreign sources of energy. Within the Green building sphere is a wide spectrum of applications…fertile soil indeed in which ideas and innovation could flourish.

By the way--the realtively cheap fuel prices you're enjoying this month are a result of a slackening of demand.
The less we useed, the cheaper it got--even with a major hurricane blowing through.

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