Weekly Comments Archive
Archived Issue
Sunday, October 9, 2022
ISSUE #1130
Transitions: Natural or Forced? California’s Backwards Economics

In our history, the United States has gone through many “transitions.” Here are a few examples. At one time half the population lived on farms; today less than 2 percent feed the other 98 percent.

Transportation from the East Coast to the West evolved from horses to railroads to airplanes. Communication transitioned from Pony Express to telegraph to telephone to internet.

For Will Rogers in the 1920s, movies transitioned from silent to “talkies.” And later to color. Now you don’t even have to go to a theater to see a movie.

In the early 1900’s Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller changed personal transportation from horse and buggy (fueled by locally grown organic oats) to cars (fueled by gasoline available at local filling stations). For farmers, the horsepower in 1900 was about 95% horses; by 1950, 95% of the power was from tractors. Even earlier, homeowners and businesses depended on whale oil to power lamps; then Thomas Edison invented electric lights.

Did these transitions benefit the country? Or did they cause widespread pain?

None of these transitions was forced on us by the government. But today we are in the midst of a transition that IS painful. On purpose!

Since January 2021, President Biden has forced a transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, knowing that it is “painful.” He intentionally reduced the supply of American oil, and refused to allow pipeline construction for economical transport of oil and natural gas. Yes, Biden is adding one million barrels a day from our precious oil reserves, but OPEC is reducing production by two million.

Massive amounts of money in our economy have been diverted from beneficial industrial and social uses to subsidize costs of solar panels, wind farms, Electric Vehicles, and the installation of 50,000 EV charging stations.

Last week President Biden began a speech on the economy, “Let me start with two words: Made in America.” So, in the Biden Administration, 1+1+1=2.  Of course, we want our goods to be made in America as much as feasible. Computer chips, medicine, medical supplies, automobiles… But one essential item Biden does not want produced in America is fossil fuel. He likes oil from Iran, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia over oil from Texas or Canada. China increases their use of coal and oil, but we’re supposed to live without ‘em.

Yes, I know the goal is to stop climate change. But even John Kerry has admitted the rest of the world accounts for 85% of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. If we eliminated ALL fossil fuel use here, the global total of carbon would not decrease 15%. It might even increase because more of our goods (trucks, railroad cars, refrigerators, cement) would be manufactured overseas and shipped here. And not on sailboats. Why would we want people in other countries to suffer with more pollution so we can have a clean environment? Don’t Chinese Lives Matter?

California Governor Newsom decided gasoline prices in his state are too high. So, he wants to raise taxes on Exxon, Chevron and other companies that provide the gasoline. Yes, you read that right. That harebrained scheme would not only INCREASE the price in California, it would do the same in the other 49.

California has a habit of passing laws that force other states to pay the price. You may remember California passed a law (Proposition 12) four years ago that, essentially, tells farmers across the country how to raise hogs, chickens, eggs, and veal. The California market is so huge that they set the standard. The law is scheduled to start in January. Like the tax on oil companies, this law would raise the price of food in all states. Who wants to pay more for bacon, eggs, and chicken? Who wants a “backwards transition” to raising farm animals like 50 years ago?

Fortunately for the rest of us, the Farm Bureau and Pork Producers have taken this to the Supreme Court. I realize a lot of people are angry at the Justices. But if the Supreme Court throws out that California law, we can all celebrate. With bacon!

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“I think most countries have kinder overestimated the importance of our Artists and underestimated the importance of people that did something to help provide Corn Bread and Bacon and cheapen the things we had to have.” There’s Not a Bathing Suit in Russia, 1927

“(It takes) 2 bushels of wheat to get a frying chicken… (and) 3 bushels of wheat to get you two pounds of bacon.” WA #452, Aug. 23, 1931

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