Monday, March 31, 2008

Time to Get Angry

That's alls I can stands, I can't stands no more... Popeye

It's time for all of us to get angry about what is going on with the economics of this country. We are continuously being sold a bill of goods by the powerful elite and what we get for our money is appalling.

Look at the price of gas: Record highs at $3.20 a gallon this week. We are hearing that $4.00 by summer is possible. Is it any wonder that the economy is tanking. Gas and diesel affect every single aspect of our lives and if the price doubles as it has in the past few years eventually the wheels are going to start coming off.

So what is being done? Do you suppose they (meaning the powers that be) are authorizing new drilling and refining of the vast oil reserves in this country - say, like in Alaska at ANWR, or maybe the oil rich waters of the Gulf of Mexico where the infrastructure already exists to process it. No, of course not.

What our illustrious politicians are doing is placating farmers and environmentalists. Democrats and Republicans alike are going "green" and suckering us into believing that ethanol is a good deal for everyone. Oh yes, big business is playing right along. I mean to tell you it's a sham. It's a bigger and more dangerous sham than the Global Warming /Climate Change sham.

So, here we are as a nation sitting on billions of barrels of oil in Alaska, beneath our coastal waters and in oil shale in the western states and what are we doing? We are converting our food into fuel for our cars. It ought to be a crime. It's immoral. Frankly, it's insane.

Nearly a third of all the corn grown in the United States last year was made into ethanol. This is our food, ladies and gentleman. Food prices at the grocery store are skyrocketing. Soon enough, poorer third world countries will succumb to famine so that our politicians and environmentalists can feel good about themselves. Talk about selfish bastards.

Business does what business does - it exploits opportunity. We have 80 or 90 new ethanol refineries being built and touted as responsible patrons of the planet while oil refineries are opposed at every turn. The amount of energy wasted to make ethanol alone, not mention the highly subsidized costs should be enough for wise men and women to see the folly of it. This is economics 101. If is costs more to produce than what we get in return it's a loser! These refineries also pollute the air and water. Try living near one as thousands of residents in St. Paul's West Seventh St. neighborhood did before the state shut down the Gopher State plant a few years ago. The stench was unbearable.

Still, the sham continues. We see all the car makers pushing cars that run on "green" fuel while in the same glossy magazines they push bigger and bigger engines, and larger and larger vehicles as if gas was still $1.50 a gallon. This is flipping insane. Electric cars are just around the corner we are promised - they're always just around the corner.

I would bet that if you could dig it out you'd find the same people sitting on the boards of Exxon, BP, Ford, GM, ArcherDanielsMidland and all of them with multi-million dollar lobbies in Washington DC and all the state houses. It's an intertwined club with vested interests in keeping our elected officials fat and happy.

That be said it's no secret that various governments around the country are subsidizing ethanol production to the tune of 9 billion dollars a year while simultaneously erecting high tariffs on imported ethanol. If it is so good for the environment then why keep the price artificially high with protectionism? Silly question, I withdraw it...

It's time to get angry. It's time to start writing and calling our elected officials and demanding a stop to this. We are going to destroy the one thing that has allowed this country to grow and prosper: the ability to feed our population at a reasonable price.

Please consider this the next time you fill up your gas tank on the way to the grocery store...



DeadBeat Dad said...

I don't think ethanol should be dismissed out of hand.

The problem is not ethanol, but our source, which is currently corn--a direct conflict with the food supply. I also agree with your last point about tariffs on imported ethanol product.

Ethanol could be a long term winner if we used the best technologies & sources:

* sugar cane
* algae ( still in R&D phase )

The problems are these ridiculous subsidies & tariffs which protect entrenched and inefficient dinosaurs.

What we really need to do is get all these parties in 1 room, and show them the big picture. Bring the sugar growers in Louisiana & Mississippi together with oil cos and venture capitalists.

1. Get rid of the subsidies & tariffs in exchange for getting in on the ground floor of a whole new industry. ( ETH from sugar or Algae)

2. Get these players in on the ground floor of tax free profits from an ethanol refinery in exchange for relinquishing subsidies, tariffs, but creating good jobs and obedience to env protection.

3. Mandate ethanol gas blends ( E85) where possible

4. Make cheap gasoline a rationed commodity ( give everyone an elec debit to purchase tax free petrol for the first 500 gallons) After that, tax the shit out of it.
If you've used up your allotment of 500 tax free gals, ( or forgotten your gas allotment card) then you pay a 25% tax. That will get rid of the SUV's.

5. Give corn farmers no susidies, but a tax-free profit if more than 75% of production goes to domestic food, rather than for export or 'car food'. Any production going to export or ethanol should be taxed, but for food, the farmer pays no tax.

Will these ideas ever get enacted--no, because they are common sense which is in the best interest of the American people.

We can't have that now, can we?