Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Negative Industrial Policy

I see that the CEO of Dow Chemical is blaming the government for the rising cost of energy. A good CEO in the MBA/ bureaucratic mold, he complains about our lack of industrial policy: "The government’s failure to develop a comprehensive energy policy is causing U.S. industry to lose ground when it comes to global competitiveness, and our own domestic markets are now starting to see demand destruction throughout the U.S."

Is that a fair characterization? It is true that we don’t have a "comprehensive" energy policy. We do, however, have a variety of policies that shape and direct the market for energy in the U.S. We have rules regulating the kinds of plants that may be built in the U.S., and where they may be built. We have policies regulating what we may import, how, and at what cost.

In short, the vast array of EPA, zoning, trade, and other such regulations keep us from having a free market in energy, which would allow us to liberty to figure out how to get more energy more inexpensively. Perhaps the best energy policy we can have is to open up these markets. We don’t need the government to guess which types of plants should be build where. But we could use some help allowing us to find our own way without a maze of regulations complicating the process.

Discussions - 4 Comments

Come on.

Don't you know that capitalism and the free market is evil, especially when practiced by The Great Satan?

In other words, sanity has long ago left the arena regarding anything related to energy (along with numerous other big government topics).

America's CEO's are the most statist people in the country, about on a par with its liberal academics.

I recall a conversation Dr. Schramm and I had in the late 90's regarding factions, specifically, majority factions. We were warned about their evil; we had a government constituted to fight their spread. Nevertheless, we seem powerless to stop their formation.

More specifically - the real majority faction today is that aggregate of people who want governmental action. Comprised of the poor, racial minorities, gays, CEO's, baseball fans, abortion advocates, sub-prime borrowers, investment houses, spotted owls -- really, any group who has "lost" to the free market -- this majority faction has the most heinous thing serving as their rallying point: Their hand is held out, incessantly, for aid from Uncle Sam. And unfortunately, these types of people not only comprise a majority in our country, but they've also affected our cultural viewpoints so that the average American citizen sees nothing wrong with it.

JFK had it wrong. Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what your country can do for you. Everyone's a capitalist, until they lose. When you lose, just join the winning team, and become part of that majority faction.

Of course, de-regulation is exactly the thing that is needed to combat energy costs. Not that we'll ever see it in this country, however....But energy costs are merely a manifestation of this problem. The true sickness lives in the slowly-but-surely destruction of the American (human?!?) soul, as we move further and further under the watchful eye of our governmental institutions.

Well, if we get a truly free market in energy, without the government being involved, then that would very likely mean a rapid phaseout of nuclear power, so there's one good thing to be said for it.

As for deregulation being prescribed, please recall that electricity markets were deregulated. The link between that happening and the California and New York and beyond blackouts is obvious to those with their eyes open and their heads not lodged someplace inconvenient.

/// Just say no to McSame (as Bush) in '08!! ////

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