Monday, July 1, 2013

US Energy Policy's Unintended Consequences

Making the "masses" happy - central planning style....
High fuel costs force Filipinos to resort to inadequate public transit.
The world's intellectual elites believe along with famed braniac, Albert Einstein, that the smart people of the world should be able to figure out how to make everyone happy and content. So they've tried it out with a variety of political strategies designed over the past hundred years to centralize power in the hands of our intellectual "superiors" and to give them a shot and cleaning up the mess for us all by increasingly controlling our lives from on high.

Unfortunately, as much as Einstein knew about physics, he apparently understood little about human beings in large groups.  Sadly, even those with advanced degrees in the science of managing the affairs of people in large groups know very little about the subject. Sociology, philosophy, entertainment, politics and economics are as much akin to the practice of voodoo or the science of shooting craps as they are to physics or biology. The leading lights of these sciences like Frances GaltonKarl Marx, William Fulbright, George Bernard Shaw, Margaret Sanger and John Maynard Keynes have tried diligently to promote policies that would improve the human race (mostly the lesser members of said race).

President Obama is the child of this idea - that the human race can be improved through a more powerful government and by placing smart people in charge of planning the lives of the masses.  One of the things he believes strongly in is the idea that the planet is being killed by the people who live on it and that something must be done about it.  It is obvious to Mr. Obama and his cohorts that smart people must figure out a way to manipulate the dullards of this world into doing things that will save the planet.

One of their pet ideas is the idea that people need to be concentrated into smaller planned communities and that personal transportation should be limited.  Fossil fuels have emerged as the environment-destroying villain since they are relatively cheap - a quality that only encourages people to use personal transportation machines fueled by fossil fuels. 

The social-political brains have, therefore, decided that fossil fuel must be made far more expensive in order to force more people to use public transportation.  Once people become used to using public transit, pollution from fossil fuels will be dramatically reduced and our dependence on fossil fuels vastly decreased.  The air will be cleaner and people will move closer to city cores where the jobs are and urban sprawl will be arrested and nature can reclaim the abandoned suburban wasteland.  It makes deceptive sense.

Unfortunately, the big-brained central planners do not have brains big enough to handle everything.

One of the results of discouraging oil exploration and fossil fuel resource development that the left may not have thought of when they decided that higher fuel costs would "save the planet" was the impact their manipulative energy policies have on the "poor" whose welfare is supposed to be their raison de'etre for doing all this in the first place.

The picture above is a peek at the future. Increasing fuel costs have forced Filipinos to use public transit to get to work, just as the President promised us it would do in the United States before he was even elected.  What he didn't figure into his calculations was the impact of higher fuel costs in the US on the economies of poorer nations.  So we get scenes like this in countries whose infrastructures have not grown fast enough to keep up with the central planners and their bright ideas for making everyone safe and happy. 

These jammed crowds are an immunologists nightmare. How do you clean places like this where people are jammed cheek by jowl practically 24 hours a day?  Turn loose some new strain of flu or a biological weapon in a transit station like this and it will spread via public transit like a viral nuclear bomb.  And why do you think terrorists set off bombs in places like this?  For maximum effect, of course. People crammed together are not only easier to blow up, but when panicked, tend to climb over each other and trample further hundreds of their fellow travelers to death.  What US energy policy as driven by the political left in the United States has done is create easier and better targets for terrorists both here and abroad.

Don't worry.  The central planners have a solution for that - condoms, abortion and birth control.  Reduce the population, insure plenty to eat for all, provide universal medical care, reduce education standards so that everyone graduates and feels good about themselves and the population will, because they have the most important elements of Maslow's Hierarchy of Need" settle into nice quiet complacency and "self-actualize".  So goes the theory anyway.

Trouble is, it's not working in the US. All we've done is create shortages of workers in key areas, which other countries, that don't have unlimited abortion on demand, are happy to send us from their surplus smart people, leaving poorer countries with fewer of the skilled workers they need to drag themselves up out of poverty. While the US has always benefited from the brain boost we get from waves of legal immigration, it doesn't do much for the increasingly socialist societies from which we are draining the intelligence.The rush to socialism is a bloody nightmare!

The problem for the central planners and collectivists is that no group of people and certainly no one person is smart enough to figure out how to control everyone's life.  It's too complex. You'd have to reprogram everyone's brain to some level of uniformity in order to get them all to behave in a simple enough way that would allow for the simplicity you need to successfully make everyone happy as Einstein hoped. You'd have to adopt the method advocated by the Greek King who was asked by a neighboring king how to rule his people and hold onto his power. The Greek King took him to a ripening cornfield and had his soldiers go into the field and lop off the heads of any corn stalk that stood higher than the others. Lesson delivered.

No man is smart enough to control a society of individuals with free will other than by brute force.  As Ronald Reagan said, "Socialism will only work in two places - heaven where they don't need it and hell where they already have it."

Only God can manage to create a society where all are truly happy and content and I don't believe that's Him sitting in the oval office.

Just sayin'

Tom King (c) 2013

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