Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Like Oil for Money

Let’s briefly compare the Wall St. financial crisis to the BP oil disaster:
Both occurred within HIGHLY regulated industries.  Both industries are an essential part of our economy and an indispensible part of our standard of living.  It is certain that individuals in both industries miscalculated the outcomes of their actions or inactions and that some individuals make an extraordinary living in these particular industries.  A stunning increase in regulatory oversight has been called for in both cases as part of the solution.
While this and the past administration sought to bolster failing financial companies through current and future taxpayer funds, BP, we are told, will be held responsible for its own mess.  This is, of course, as it should be, and should have been with the financial companies. But, tied to our President’s strongly worded claims that BP will pay for the damage caused by the oil spill accident, is the bait-and-switch solution that the government will make things better through its technology-forcing promise of “alternative energy.”
The key difference in the Gulf oil spill crisis is that we are already convinced that oil is dirty. We see with immediacy the oil-soaked sea birds and feel wrenching sadness in witnessing the accidental, slow destruction of life. We’re told, both implicitly and explicitly, that it is our insatiable appetite for gas, gadgets, and creature comforts that created this tragedy.  We’re told that it’s time to minimize our dependence on such a dirty substance. How?  By maximizing our dependence on government solutions.  
Do you wonder how long it will be before we’re equally convinced that our insatiable drive to make money comes from those same dirty, base desires, and that an “alternative exchange” forced by the government, is the answer?  
Sadly, that system, the redistribution of wealth, is already well underway and its potential destructive power rivals that of any other disaster, natural or man-made.

1 comment:

HaynesBE said...

Very well constructed.
You do have a nice turn of a phrase.