Yahoo! News reports that 67% of Americans polled wisely believe we should drill domestically. George W. Bush and John McCain, fortunately, agree. That’s the good news.
The bad news, from a freedom perspective, is the number of people either seriously considering or already sold on the idea of “nationalizing” (read: socializing) the fuel industry. When asked the question, “should the government nationalize all the oil companies and run them on a non-profit basis,” a mere 47% of those polled said, “no.” Even more troubling, to me, is that when asked whether an oil company who discovers an alternative fuel sourceshould be allowed to keep the profit, only 52% said “yes.” These are the main numbers I want to deal with. You can view the entire Rasmussen Report here.
For some people, the above numbers will be read as a victory, of sorts, for the “common man.” Most of those individuals will be voting for Obama. And it is to those individuals I would like to address my rebuttal.
Gas prices are making people angry. And, perhaps, rightly so. Fingers of blame for these prices are pointed in every direction, but as usual, it is not the argument that makes the most sense, but that which is shouted the loudest, that seems to gain credibility. As a result of the Democrat propaganda machine, the oil industry has been demonized and incorrectly turned into “enemies” of the American people. I would submit that the poll results listed above reflect not a considered approach to economics, but a response made in anger — a smackdownof the Democrats’ official scapegoats. The result? There are now Americans who favor violating the Constitutional rights of those who have made investments into America’s fuel and energy sources.
Let’s focus on this point for a moment. Let’s forget that, had Bill Clinton agreed to drill ANWR and off-shore when he was asked, we would not right now be dealing with a dependency-based supply-demand crisis. Let’s forgetthat, thanks largely to Environmentalists and Congressional Democrats, we have not built a single new refinery (including to replace those which have been destroyed by natural disaster) in thirty years. Let’s forget, in other words, that this is ultimately the government’s fault — that same government to whom people now advocate handing over the reins of oil production. We’ll touch on the real culprits later.
First, let’s deal with what’s being advocated by some Americans: the socialization of the oil industry. History has shown repeatedly that socialization simply doesn’t work. It creates a bureaucracy that is expensive to taxpayers, and time and time again has caused the necessity for rationing of needed product — which directly negatively impacts the liberty of all Americans. There are those who suggest that such a necessary item should not be left in the hands of private individuals — that, since oil is so very important to our society, government is its right and proper controller. Of course, food is also pretty important (more so than oil, even), but I doubt very many of these advocates for oil nationalization would be in favor of the government taking over America’s farms. Or have we really forgotten that every socialist nation in the world has either failed outright, been relegated to third-world status, or embraced some forms of capitalism in order to stay afloat?
Then you have the simple fact that this approach run counter to the role of government established by our Constitution. Of course, when it comes to “Big Oil,” the Constitution seems to some Democrats, and at least 29% of those polled by Rasmussen, not to apply. Though everyone seems to agree that oil companies would do better if they invested in alternative energy (or, for some, that oil companies should do it regardless), only 52% of those polled believe companies should be allowed to keep profits from those discoveries — with 29% saying they should not(!). What? Not only is this a horribly naive approach to economics (crossing well past the border into stupidity, actually), but this runs so counter to Freedom and Liberty that these people must choke when they are forced to call themselves “Americans.”
First, nobody is going to invest time, energy or funds to explore alternative fuels without the potential of profit. This simple fact ought to be a no-brainer. But evidently those without brains disagree. Either that, or they simply aren’t suggesting that people “volunteer.” They are suggesting instead that either companies be forced to invest in alternative fuels without compensation (slavery), or that a government bureaucracy do it (socialism). And of those who don’t believe outright that these are horrible, horrible ideas, half just aren’t sure. It’s as if years of history have been either forgotten or ignored.
How does such a thing happen? Simple. It’s pretty well-established that in order to succeed, liberals rely on dissatisfaction. In order to get elected, Democrats need crisis, and they need somebody to blame for it. They can’t very well point the fingers at themselves, so the National Socialist — oops — I mean, Democrat Party found a class of citizens to blame for society’s ills: the wealthy. “Big Drug,” “Big Tobacco” and “Big Oil” are the perpetrators of crimes against society, while CEOs and other “Corporate Executives” are the Juden in the Democrats’ little historical pageant. The creation and prosecution of a scapegoat is the most important element to the success of those who would limit freedom — a scapegoat recognized only by the hero on the white horse, who alone can combat him. For Germany, it was Hitler. For us it’s Obama and the Democrat Party. I am not seeking here to minimalize the horrors visited on European Jews during the Nazi regime — nor to suggest that Obama et al have plans to torture, murder and burn corporate CEOs or oil execs. Jail, over-tax and strip of basic property rights, sure… but murder is mean, and doesn’t in general get people re-elected.