Blame The Government!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Blame the Government!

After reading Mari's post on Fossil-Foolishness I went in about three different directions at once. If I had hair, I'd be pulling it out. The idea of an additional gas tax to somehow address the current energy crisis is unthinkable to me. I've got about three posts going on this as we speak. But where I would like to start is with the blame game. I just watched last nights Daily Show with John Stewart. His guest was Wall Street Journal Editor Kimbereley Strassell. John Stewart was intent on figuring out what's going on with the oil crisis. Strassell played her role as capitalist propagandist to the hilt. Let's take a look at some of the things she said.

Why are oil prices so high?

On the supply side, you've got a lot of political disruptions where we get most of our oil: Iran Iraq, Nigeria, places like that.

We don't need a gas tax. We need the media to do its job and inform us of what's really going on. Now I understand that John Stewart's Daily Show is not a premier news show, but for people under 30 in this country it is one of the prime sources of news information. And this show rates big with liberals and others on the Left. Here we have a guest–one of those "experts we're always hearing from–who attributes the high oil prices to "political disruptions."

Political disruptions makes it appear that the problem is short-term. Once we smooth things out in Iraq, Iran, and Nigeria, everything will be just fine. So I guess that means we'll have to invade Iran and Nigeria. I'm sure Strassell would love that. But the problem isn't short-term. We are reaching our global peak in oil production. That's not due to "political disruptions" it's due to the fact that we've already used up about half of all the oil in the earth and the remaining half will be even harder to get out.

But John Stewart is really concerned with the gas prices. Strassell concedes:

Now the gas thing is a different issue. If you want to blame someone for the gas thing.

I would.

It's partly the oil prices, but it's also some mistakes Congress made. This ethanol mandate they put in place last year is affecting the price of gas.

Yeah about 40% to 60% of it is oil prices. That's more than partly. I'd say that's mostly, but maybe I'm splitting hairs here. The key is that Strassell is placing the blame firmly on Congress. Blame the government. Nevermind the record profits oil companies are making. Nevermind the criminal $400 million retirement plan given to Exxon Mobile CEO. I mean the guy was such an extraordinary CEO that Exxon Mobile made $36 billion in profits last year. That $36 billion was largely due to the hardwork and dedication of Lee Raymond. Some say the guy never even sleeps; he just works tirelessly for Exxon Mobile. So nevermind any of that stuff. Just hate the government.

She goes on to say:

Be mad at Congress.

Be mad at state legislatures.

And finally we have the summation of capitalist ideology:

Alaska would be good. If you want oil prices to come down in the future, the last thing you want to do is go take all the company profits because the point is you want them to take that money and go invest it in places that don't have a lot of political uncertainty.

Destroying the pristine eco-system of Alaska would be "good." It would take ten years to get online and we could use the amount of oil there in one year in this country.

So to sum it up: Blame the government, blame the nuts in the Middle East and Africa, and quit crying about the Elk, we've got oil to drill in Alaska!

Blame the government. Look to the government for solutions. That seems to sum up the spectrum of political discourse in this country, at least acceptable mainstream discourse. Blame the government because we don't want you focusing too much on the immense scale of private power. You might realize where the real power lies. Look to the government for solutions–like a gas tax–because again, we wouldn't want you to focus too much on the grow injustice of a company making $36 billion in profit on such a precious resource. On the show, Strassell says how "this is the way it works." You know, it's all just a natural phenomena. We plunder the natural resources from around the world and make huge profits off of them while the people in the region–Venezuels, Iraq, Saudi Arabia–live in poverty (That's starting to change in Venezuela thanks to my main man, Hugo Chavez!).


Published in: on April 19, 2006 at 10:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

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