San Diego – I was beginning to think today would never arrive and that I would have to endure the idiotic, verbal manure being hurled around by people I would expect to know better and have more than a coincidental and more frequent connection with the facts!
The damage is unfortunately already done; I have learned that people I initially respected are willing to throw their intellect and their country onto a midden pile in order to rationalize their often one-issue obsessions and blindly partisan perspectives totally unburdened by the slightest concern over whether or not the invective and venom they spew towards not only the other side’s stalwarts but anyone with the temerity to suggest perhaps on occasion the other side might have a point is accurate. I find NOTHING to respect in such activities and behaviors and had this gone on much longer I fear my view of some of my so-called “friends” on the social media (some of whom I’ve never even met) would suffer some irreparable damage. Now it is just a case of damage control.
There are no good sides here. There is no side with a pipeline to truth and none seemingly interested in even a pipeline to fact. No side seems willing to withhold wild promises impossible or impractical to keep so long as one more simple minded voter can be swayed in their direction. No side is willing to be specific about plans to implement their vague objectives, but both are being more than specific, truth be damned, about the ills and evils of the near demon on the other side.
But most importantly, no one is willing to admit and address the woeful truth that we have let the country and the state get so far out of whack fiscally that any plan remotely likely to put us back on solid ground will be so painful to ALL citizens, even if that pain is temporary, that to propose it seriously is political suicide because there are simply too many parasites feeding at the government trough. That they think so little of the voting public is probably the one accurate assessment they have made.
On the upper end are parasites feeding off of an impossibly complex tax code with so many loopholes one could pilot a super tanker through them. And at the lower end are parasites feeding off of an impossibly corrupt group of politicians buying votes with taxpayer funded pabulum. And in the middle are the country’s backbone folks who both sides claim to want to save but who, in fact, are wantonly being used in order to pay for the feedbag used to keep their real constituents in line.
I don’t see any good choices among those presented to us. The incumbent side wants desperately to tear down the country so it can be rebuilt along the lines of his father’s dream world, a social utopia, a world that has never successfully existed on its own merit and productivity. And the challenger side would seem to favor a world of the late 19th century where abuses of power became legendary, clichéd, and spawned the start of the socialization process with Woodrow Wilson.
I’m sorry, I don’t like either of those choices yet shortly i will find myself having to vote for one or the other. Upon what can a decision be made other than the lesser negative? Well, perhaps there is something…
I think that within the next term, or two terms at the most, several technologies and events will happen that will reframe our world regardless of who is in office though that person will ride its coattails to extreme power or to political perdition depending on how they play those cards. But the stakes will be enormous and extend way out into the future.
On one hand there is the very real possibility that in the short term, say in the first two to three years, a dedicated transformer such as the incumbent can, with the help of the Fed and the fiat currency, so induce massive inflation via continuing the debauching of the currency as to hasten our economic collapse. On the other hand, I’m not sure or confident that the challenger, if he wins, will be able or interested in bringing back our connection to the political ideals that motivated this country’s founders or if he will simply turn the dogs of the other kennel loose on the people.
At best the challenger may buy us some time by slowing the engine hauling us down a transformative path I openly despise and at worst won’t continue to rush headlong down it.
But within 3-7 years I think we will see something amazing happen that will give us the opportunity to revisit the same levels of growth and prosperity that happened in the late 1800s and again in the late 1940s through the 1950s and from the same resource: energy… oil and gas. Based on proven reserves we have more oil and gas locked up in the Bakken shale fields and surrounding areas than the rest of the world, including the middle east, EVER had; and it is primarily on U.S. territory (with some substantial areas also in Canada containing oil sands.)
If, and here is the big “IF,” the government supports the research into the technology to extract oil from the huge shale deposits (over 20 known deposits with each having over 20 times the reserves of the giant East Texas fields that funded and fueled those two giant spurts in our economy in the past) we have the potential of seeing a jump in productivity and economic health not seen for nearly a century.
Even now, with limited efficiency, we are extracting so much oil from those areas coupled with more traditional oil fields that we are on our way to becoming a major oil exporter not a major oil importer. But extraction efficiency for the shale is the key here. And government support (or at least the lack of interference) to both developing and implementing that technology is the key to developing and deploying that greater efficiency.
Thank goodness the fields are not on public land or the current administration would have already shut them down as it has the more traditional well sites and refining capability across the country!
If the government then will take steps to remove that energy’s marketing strategy from the world market pricing, or even just allow it to drive the supply-and-demand cycle without interference nationally, there is the potential for a huge – HUGE – and positive impact on our economy, our living standards, our employment figures, our national productivity, and of course our national economy.
It was John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil and its offshoots and increasing competitors, using the Vanderbilt railroads as transportation, leveraged by Morgan’s banks using Carnegie’s steel that combined to fuel the industrial revolution and pushed us into the forefront of world economy. It made those giants wealthy but it also raised the standard of living across the entire country and made us ALL much better off with a productivity jump unprecendented in human history.
And it was oil from the so-called “Stickleback” fields in East Texas that fueled the engine of industrial and manufacturing victory against the Axis powers and underwrote the post WWII re-growth that FDR took the credit for. Without the products and use from that incredible oil flow, none of those “New Deal” projects could have happened.
But, again, the positive outcome for our own future’s exploitation of the Bakken and similar fields will happen only if the government allows it. If the current administration is still in power it will face a horrid philosophical dilemma. To allow that oil to be extracted and used will mean acting like the leader of a republic not of a country sized commune. It will mean creating a comprehensive environmental policy that allows resource development while safeguarding the environment and planning for environmental recovery when needed. And that is a compromise rabit environmentalists will oppose along with the potential lowering of the price of fuel and its commensurate improvement in productivity from farms to factories. Therefore, to do that will put the president afoul of his base.
On the other hand, if he allows it, when the country sees a huge growth spurt, then like both Wilson and FDR, he will become so popular, and powerful, that he can slip in all of the Czars and extra-Constitutional activities he wants and the people will all applaud him. I would predict that if our current leader is re-elected and this technological leap happens in the next four years (I’m betting on about three years for it), and if he plays his cards wisely, we will see him toss the XXII amendment out the window, with rabid voter approval, and ride in for even more terms and a free hand to reshape the country as he wishes.
But regardless of who wins today and will be President for at least the next four years, technology will continue to advance either above or below the table. I think that next big spurt will come regardless of politics and policy and the only issue will be over who is allowed to benefit from it; our country or another. Because of that potential, even though I think in the short term voting choices are little better than Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dum, what may happen during this next term is so important and powerful that the person in leadership at that time and their likely policies toward it cannot, by me at least, be ignored.
Since I believe Obama’s approach is up in the air but in the end, if he allows the technology to flourish it will only give him the power to accelerate our rush into a deeply socialistic state, whereas Romney’s seems at least a little less likely to aim his and our future in that direction, I am forced to come kicking and screaming to the position where I will vote against Obama and only tacitly for Romney.
But what a pathetic place in which to find ourselves! The only candidate with a real vision has a vision to which I am profoundly opposed on political and philosophical grounds. We as a country are sitting on the greatest find of important resources the world has ever seen. We got to where we were in the first place because we had, what appeared to be unlimited resources while the rest of the world had depleted or were in the process of depleting theirs. Now we have under our feet more oil potential than we could use in 100 years. If – IF – we used that to power a major growth spurt while, at the same time, exploring all of the alternatives that could be used to actually run the country and allow those reserves to be extended way out into the future, we would have just insured our long term position as THE place in the world to come to.
But it is one gigantic “IF!”
Oh well, I guess I need to get dressed, and get on down to the polling place where I can hold my nose and once again, vote for the lesser of two (to me) awful choices. Here in Kalifornia it is probably a true throw-away vote but the process is important and its retention is vital to us as a country. So get out and vote for whatever you believe in. It is your right to do that, a right purchased with blood. So don’t ever take the process lightly even if the specifics of a vote, at the moment, seem less important. There are still countries and places that are amazed and jealous that we actually can choose our own leaders. Whether those choices are wise ones or not, is another matter entirely.