It's the Stupid Economy - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
It’s the Stupid Economy

Re: William Yeatman’s A Maverick Climate Policy:

How can anybody seriously think that McCain is a conservative after reading about his climate change proposals? He isn’t a conservative and never will be and he looks insane as well. The only reason a conservative would vote for him is because they like kissing frogs — lots of them and ugly ones too. McCain sure is one big, ugly frog. Good luck in November if this lunatic gets elected.
Christopher Holland
Canberra, Australia

William Yeatman writes that under John McCain’s plan, “Energy-intensive industries would have every incentive to move their operations to countries without carbon controls, like China.”

But there is no need to wait for McCain’s plan to take effect, or Clinton’s, or Obama’s. The present national energy policy, which without hyperbole is no new drilling in Alaska, no new drilling offshore, no new refineries, no new nuclear, has already resulted in bodies in the street that all three candidates blithely ignore.

Piston general aviation is dying. Aviation gasoline consumption, and along with it flight hours, has dropped off the scale. On a recent CAVU day, flew my Skylane to pickup a safety pilot for some instrument practice. When he hopped in, he said “I knew it was you approaching the field.” When asked in reply if he was listening on a hand-held radio, he said “you’re the only airplane in the sky.” On a ceiling and visibility unlimited day.

Power boating is dying. A cousin with waterfront property on Long Island’s south shore reports that a marine refueling station sold $50,000 in fuel on Labor Day weekend 2006, but only $2,000 in fuel on Labor Day weekend 2007. And six months ago fuel was “cheap” compared to today.

As automobile gasoline prices continue their inexorable rise, and aviation gasoline, and marine gasoline, and fuel oil, and electricity, the political dead end that our national energy policy, not to mention John McCain’s plan, has led us to will become clear to literally everyone, regardless of political persuasion. That is because the problem of energy prices uniquely cannot be solved by the Democrat solution to all other cost problems, i.e., the Robin Hood solution. Democrats can solve the medical cost problem by engaging in Robin Hood redistribution. Ditto for Medicare or Social Security or any other fundamental need of individuals. But a Robin Hood subsidizing of the cost of fuel for Democrat constituents fails to inflict the level of pain necessary to change behavior. Hence, in this one unique case, no Robin Hood. Democrat constituents simply must suffer. And suffer they will.

Until they reason that the energy policy sadists were mistaken.
Frank Natoli
Newton, New Jersey

Congratulations to author Yeatman for a deliciously sarcastic piece on Senator McCain’s environmental excesses.

Senator McCain’s proposals are in woefully pedestrian conformity with the dogma of the Global Warmists. The sale and trading of Carbon Indulgences completes the religious metaphor. McCain-Lieberman is another hare-brained edifice of central economic planning worthy of his idol Teddy Roosevelt and his mistakenly esteemed relative.

Yeatman ably documents the measures that an actual maverick would be fighting to institute against the conventional wisdom: more exploration for energy unburdened by NIMBYs and enviros, lightening the yoke of regulation that plagues the nuclear power industry, eliminating destructive government intervention in electrical power generation, ending stupid tax policies, etc.

We require no further demonstrations of Senator McCain’s grasp of economics. As Mr. Limbaugh has pointedly said, ignorance is the most expensive thing we pay for. Where is Phil Gramm when we really, really NEED him to be running one-on-one remedial instruction in economics?
Bud Hammons

I think it is a mistake to characterize global warming mitigation as being too expensive. Such arguments are associated with justifications of immoral policies like slavery or the exploitation of resources to exhaustion just because it is economically convenient. It is not wise to expect that people who have had normal liberal schooling would grasp even the basics of economics like: There is no free lunch.

Even though it is a variation of the Broken Window Fallacy, Global Warming actions represent the forced replacement of a broken window. Both the Left and the Right seem to be mesmerized by the “green jobs” that global warming will create. In the original scenario of the Broken Window Fallacy, a shopkeepers son breaks a window in his father’s shop. The glazier’s job that is created by this act is thought of as at least being good for the glazier. This, of course, is predicated on the idea that there is no conspiracy among glaziers to hire little boys to break windows.

Our modern day little boy is Al Gore and instead of breaking a window, we are pressured, under color of law, to replace the window before it is demonstrated to be cracked with a high tech substitute and with high tech super glaziers who represent the new army of green glazier jobs. The fallacy of this opinion and world view is that the mobilization of government resources to create these green jobs will abnormally send human and capital resources to activities at the expense of others that could be more beneficial.

One must wonder what would have happened to Egyptian culture had they spent enormous intellectual and material resources on other things rather than building the pyramids. When an individual does silly things with their money, it is rare that the result would be fatal for the community at large but when the government makes these mistakes, the Easter Island scenario of nearly mass extinction and chaos is a real possibility.

Hatred, fear and loathing of capitalism is a core principle among those who want to believe in Global Warming as a problem that has urgent current needs. Those on the Right who lust after the jobs that this chaos will create are also deluded. The Left is expert at converting battleships to school buildings in economic terms. At least they have been taught to basics of Buyer’s Remorse and the concept of a missed opportunity. The Left may be more teachable then the Right in this case.
Danny L. Newton
Cookeville, Tennessee

Amen, Mr. Yeatman!

The only solutions proposed by the Global Warming Nuts are all related to mandatory limits established by such scientific stalwarts as Al Gore. Wind Power and Solar Power are technologies that can never be developed to the extent that they will replace Coal/Oil Burners. A fact the loonies fail to acknowledge. One source that could help significantly is Nuclear. That will not happen in the U.S. because of fear mongering. Socialists like Gore, Lieberman, and let’s throw in Mc Cain are not looking for an answer to maintain the U.S. economy. They are looking to diminish it by forcing more and more production off shore to Beijing.
Ron LaCanne
Racine, Wisconsin

As a conservative who will hold his nose as he pulls the lever for McCain, I’d say his only stance that gives me serious pause is his membership in the Cultic Church of Homeogenic Planetary Hyperthermia. I would really like to read something that gives insight into the thought processes of otherwise reasonably intelligent people who, with frenzied fervor, latch on to these truly bizarre ideas and will not let them go until they’re pried from betwixt the hemispheres of their cold, dead cerebral cortexes.

What the McCain/Liberman Party proposes in the “cap & trade” legislation is a demonstration that McCain really and truly doesn’t know much about elementary economics. He’s a little short in the “uptake” department too. The Europeans have been very kind to the civilized world in that they have chosen to be a laboratory for really, really bad ideas. If McCain can’t see the blistering failure of his ideas as embodied by the European programs detailed by Mr. Yeatman, what are we to think? That he is incapable of learning? That once he fixates on an idea he cannot be dissuaded by any argument?

McCain famously acknowledged that economics isn’t his “strong suit.” Does he really mean that? Not a chance. And, given his stance on this issue, it is obvious that he really doesn’t know that he doesn’t know anything. This does not bode well for us. In the famous words of Detective Harry Callahan: “A man’s got to know his limitations.”
John Jarrell
San Antonio, Texas

John Sidney McCain III has absolutely no idea of how the economy works. He told us that last fall and he meant it. But he must appeal to moderates and liberals because he realizes Conservatives see through his silliness.

I predict that Joe Lieberman will be his running mate in an effort to attract more of Joe’s liberal cohorts. We will have four Democrats running for the Presidency next fall.

John McCain is not a Conservative in spite of his protestations to the contrary.
Judy Beumler
Louisville, Kentucky

The Spectator would do well to remember Reagan’s 11th commandment. While none of us will completely agree with McCain, we should be supporting him, not asking for another candidate. I am not interested in seeing our party split over these issues, thus weakening us at the polls. The importance of fighting abortion, terrorism, and higher taxes (issues where McCain seems to be quite consistent) are more important than disagreeing about global warming. Should we risk losing the election due to our bickering over this?
Dallas, Texas

Re: Jennifer Rubin’s More Reporting, Less Tingling:

First a good article.

Forget the MSM, the bigger story is Where’s THE PARTY? Don’t the Democrats vet their own runners anymore? Used to be the State and National parties did some oppo research to make sure there are no skeletons in the closet. Had they done so I doubt if Obama would have received the nod. Identity politics I presume trumps this common sense defensive procedure.
John McGinnis
Arlington, Texas

Jennifer Rubin is dreaming if she thinks the MSM is going to “get” Sen. Obama. If he becomes the nominee, they may do negative stories about him — but every one of them will be topped by one about Sen. McCain.

What MSM haven’t figured out yet is that Mr. Obama is all done. Maybe blacks and guilty white liberals will vote for a racial apologist, but not the swing voters. They know a 20-year relationship with an America-hating bigot when they see one.
Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

My recollection is that it was ABC that spiked the ROTC letter (that an ABC reporter had in hand) of Bill Clinton’s until it was too late. So, if the oily Obama keeps slipping and sliding, we can ruefully say, “Barry we hardly knew ye.”
D. Smith

Re: Doug Bandow’s Stop the Martyrdoms:

Mr. Bandow’s article on how Islamic nations persecute religious minorities is spot on. I would point out that the dictatorship of Syria does oppress Christians within its borders and the territory it controls. Syria for over 30 years, directly or through its Muslim surrogates, has persecuted Christians in Lebanon. In Iraq some Christians actually sided with Saddam Hussein’s tyranny and mass murder, but those that did not kept a low profile to avoid receiving his attention. It could be said the Christian community in Iraq benefited from Hussein’s focus on oppressing the Kurds and Shia, not the dictator’s magnanimity. It also should come as no surprise that terrorists in Iraq are targeting Christians. But that does not absolve us as a nation dedicated to religious tolerance to forcefully urge the democratically elected governments of Afghanistan and Iraq to show more tolerance to those of other or no faith. That would be a major step in their integrating into the family of free and Democratic nations.

One sentence in the article that might explain the difference between other religions and militant, violent or imperialistic Islam is, “This matters because persecution is an affront to any faith which claims to speak on behalf of a loving God.” Islamic extremists do not claim to speak for a loving god, but the only god. There mission is to compel the world to submit to their god loving or not. Reviewing their faith’s history they reached the logical conclusion that Islam spread, prospered and dominated through violence and the sword. Thus, for “evangelistic” purposes they are killing infidels and apostates with abandon to bring about the worldwide caliphate. For our enemies this is a war of faith and will not be resolved until their faith dominates the world. Barack Obama, if elected President, can talk all he wants to “his former schoolmates,” but peace will only come when the adherents of violence are dead or unable to carry out their jihad of conquest. An issue that will not be settled by Democrat cowardice and the American public hoping the problem will just go away.
Michael Tomlinson

Why should Muslims do anything to reform themselves? They have thousands of Western apologists willing to tolerate “cultural differences” — perhaps to the point of self-destruction.

Why ruin a “good” thing?
Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

Muslims not only persecute Christians in many locations, they also persecute themselves. I live inside the U. S. and have chosen for many weeks on end not to attend a religious service. No police have shown up at my door. Things are probably different for secularists and lukewarm Muslims in nations such as Saudi Arabia, Iran (and now Pakistan). In those lands, I imagine, persistently skipping prayers and failing to prostrate oneself facing east on Fridays could lead to escalating unpleasantries, probably culminating in beheading for those who are especially unmalleable. On our shores, however, thanks to separation of state and religion, our local Elmer Gantrys cannot call up the police chief if we don’t show up in our pews. In most (not all) Islamic jurisdictions, however, state and religion are not separated at all, but are fully-integrated monoliths. This would be not only a ghastly situation to live under, but it also would be very unprofitable, judging from observable rates of poverty in East and West. Western culture has resulted in astounding creation of wealth and well-being, so much so that welfare people in U. S. today live better than monarchs lived two hundred years ago. People in most Muslim lands, however, are more or less stuck in the same rut they existed in during the Middle Ages. Even the discovery of oil (and this would have meant nothing without the arrival of our economies to purchase it) has helped few of them. The wealth that has shot out of the ground in those few lucky places also shot right to the top of the monoliths and has pretty much stayed there.
Ty Knoy
Ann Arbor, Michigan

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