Wednesday, October 19, 2005

On Addictions...

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are addicts, and it is time we all admitted it to one another.

We have at least three addictions which threaten to drive us into an early grave if we don't get help.

The first is our addiction to petroleum. We are unquestionably addicted to petroleum, and our addiction means that we are no longer free. We are beholden to the pushers of petroleum, so much so that we turn the other cheek when the pushers slap us around. We turn the other cheek because we can't bear the thought of having to go on without our daily fix of the "black gold." We make the House of Saud and the House of Chavez wealthy just so we can go on a little longer with our sunny, oblivious little lives. The sons of the House of Saud burn our buildings down, and we put up with it because we're hooked on the black stuff. Friends, we simply must break our addiction to petroleum. There's no silver bullet, but its long since time we started listening to the renewable energy crowd and stood up to the envirofascists on nuclear energy. We need to reduce our demand for petroleum. This means we need to increase our supply of non-petroleum energy sources, reduce our overall energy needs, or both. This doesn't necessarily mean we need to live like paupers. It does necessarily mean we need to start investing heavily in technology, including but not limited to hybrid cars, solar and wind power. This should be one of our highest national priorities. Even though I am generally a libertarian, the externalities of our energy usage justify a certain level of market intervention.

Our second addiction is shiny, noisy crap from China. Don't get me wrong--I'm not at all opposed to shiny, noisy crap. I think shiny, noisy crap is wonderful, and I have a lot of it myself. What I am opposed to is China. I'm not a racist or an "America first" type. I'm actually a big believer in free trade in general and I think it can be a powerful force for liberation and development. I'm all for shiny, noisy crap from free nations, including India, Mexico, Canada, Europe, Japan, Taiwan, Israel or Korea, as examples. The problem with shiny, noisy crap from China is that China is run by an iron-fisted totalitarian dictatorship which is working around the clock to build a military machine capable of taking on the United States in conventional terms, and our insatiable hunger for their shiny, noisy crap is funding the construction of their juggernaut. When you buy that shiny little wastebasket from the Container Store, you're helping the Chinese government build another steel plant. They are outproducing the U.S. in steel already. They have over three times the population that we have. They are buying advanced military technologies from around the world to add to their arsenal. The time will come soon when the U.S. is not capable of challenging the Chinese military.

Our addiction to shiny, noisy Chinese-made crap brings us to our third addiction: credit. I'm not as concerned about consumer credit, though that's a concern as well. The credit I'm primarily concerned about is our national debt. If you're a slave to a credit card company, that's probably your own fault. Our elected representatives are enslaving us all to foreign nations with their freewheeling spending sprees. Although this may not be a huge problem if the foreign nation is the UK, it is a potentially huge problem if the foreign nation is a totalitarian dictatorship. In addition to the fact that we send large portions of our paychecks to China for new consumer goods (see above), we're also sending large portions of our tax dollars to China in the form of interest payments on our massive federal debt. What will we do if we find the need to challenge China on a foreign policy issue? Are our federal officials really free to act in the best interests of our nation when they know that China can call in their notes? I think our national debt is a problem no matter who holds the notes, but the fact that a totalitarian dictatorship holds so many of them should concern every American.


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8:45 AM  

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