How do you know when a politician is stupid? When he opens his mouth.
We hope you don’t mind that we’ve modified the old saying, “How do you know when a politician is lying?” “When his lips are moving,” is the answer. But no one is surprised with lying politicians anymore. Yet despite their worst efforts, politicians can still surprise us with astonishing levels of stupidity.
For example, Maurice Hinchey, a U.S. Congressman from the great state of New York has offered a solution to the oil crisis: nationalise the refineries! Hinchey told a press conference in Washington, DC, “We (the government) should own the refineries. Then we can control how much gets out into the market.”
Yes, yes Congressman. Simply press the “on” button and the oil flows. It’s magic. That’s the great secret the oil industry doesn’t want you to know…oil comes from belly of a giant metal machine.
How incompetent are Western policy makers on energy? The first step on the road to incompetence begins with economic illiteracy. Controlling the “means of production” (to borrow a phrase from Mr. Hinchey’s intellectual inspiration Karl Marx) does not guarantee that things actually get produced. It just guarantees lower investment over time and ultimately, a poorer country.
Real economic production requires labour, capital, capitalists, and resources. Capitalists invest in new projects because they expect a return. If there is no return, or the government threatens to nationalise the assets, you’ll see a lot less investment. America is fast become a land that Vladimir Lenin would be glad to call home.
How big of a moron do you have to be to realise that oil is not “made” at a refinery? Technically, crude oil is refined into different types of fuels at a refinery. But oil is “made” by nature. To find it, you drill for it. Maybe Congressman Hinchey should support lifting the restrictions on off-shore drilling in the U.S. But then, that would actually help solve the problem.
Unfortunately, stupid politicians are not a uniquely American phenomenon. You have them right here in Australia. Green’s Senator Christine Milne told the press, “Coal should be left in the 20th century while the rest of us move into a clean future.” Apparently, the Senator wants us all to return to the Stone Age, where no one uses coal or oil and we all live in huts, eat grass, and worship cloud formations.
If the Greens were being honest, they’d call themselves the Reds. Good marketing though. Everyone likes green. It’s not a colour you normally associate with Totalitarianism and the relentless meddling of the state in your private life.
What serious analyst of the modern world would suggest that we can run our economy without coal? Does the Senator know that Australia gets 80% of its electricity from coal? Her comments wouldn’t be broadcast on the airwaves without coal. Hey wait…maybe she’s on to something…Hmm.
The Daily Reckoning Australia