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Another sector of transportation that could be weaned off oil are the railroads. They would require major government help doing this due to the cost and securing a big and cheap enough supply of juice.p>I’m all for the pie in the sky solutions like the hybrid, hydrogen and electric car. But they aren’t there yet, so why not get started doing what we can do already? br> — Paul Petersen br> Hillsboro, Oregon /p>
Martin Hutchinson’s “The Politics of Oil Addiction” is so full of holes, flawed reasoning, and poorly made assumptions that is difficult to know exactly where to begin with criticism of it.
How about the persistent notion of taxation to encourage conservation? This idiotic beast has been around in one form or another since Jimmy Carter’s “gas guzzlah” tax. To debunk this one, Martin, check last year when fuel speculators briefly had gasoline at a high of $3.29 per gallon here in the Northeast following Hurricane Katrina. No conservation was encouraged. It still takes the same amount to run a service truck for a week at $3.29 as it does at $2.09. It just costs a whole lot more to do the same work. Who do you think pays for the increase, genius? What we could see was the highly regressive impact of high costs as well as the negative drag on economic productivity. Fortunately, these price increases were relatively brief before longterm economic damage resulted. You think it’s a good idea to legislate this into permanent policy? It does show the stupidity of this notion as energy policy. Incidentally, how intelligent is the idea of taking economic cues from those masters of the thriving market economy, the Europeans?
Second, how is changing from one imported fuel source, oil, to another, sugar cane ethanol make us less vulnerable to supply interruptions and political extortions? Perhaps Evo Morales in Bolivia, or an Aristide in Haiti is easier to deal with than Chavez or the House of Saud? This might be nice table chatter at cocktail parties which you attend, but it seems fairly blind to most of us.
You also don’t seem to understand why the domestic auto industry is in trouble. It’s not rooted in CAFE standards, dude. It is rooted in decades of irresponsible management by people such as Roger Smith and William Clay Ford. Heavy-handed union demands for unsustainable benefits also factor in. By the way, they build “immensely ugly and slightly dangerous” SUVs because we buy them! This is market forces at work not evasion of CAFE.p>You rant on about anti-oil snobbery. In fact it fills most of your essay. But underneath all of the good sounding rhetoric, you betray the typical ivory tower arrogance about oil needs and usage as well as ignorance of how your pet ideas would devastate any average working class family as well the small businesses (like the one I work for) so vital to our economy. Please take your rant back to the cocktail party circuit. Thankfully President Bush is not consulting you for energy policy ideas (I hope!). br> — Robert L. Barninger /p> p> Mr. Hutchinson did a very nice apology for the president’s use of the words “oil” and “addiction” in such close proximity. I love that phrase,”cocktail party arithmetic.” The problem with such math is that it is usually mixed with cocktail party philosophy. History teaches me that there is no assurance that cocktail party arithmetic will be banned from government policy making. When arithmetic becomes the dishonest servant of questionable philosophy, we permit people like Karl Marx to claim without challenge that after the perfect communist state is established, the state will wither away.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?