I am amused by the Exxon/Mobil commercial where we are told that the company uses new technology to drill efficiently and lowers costs to consumers. The commercial also goes on to state that we need energy from all sources. I am also amused by the coal commercial touting clean coal. I then tell the TV "It doesn't matter!" Whatever the oil companies and coal companies are doing does not matter to this administration. It doesn't matter that we have incredible stores of coal, natural gas, and oil that can give us plenty of cheap, clean energy. What is important to this administration is costly energy that is touted as being green (they conveniently forget about the biofuel mess). This administration hates fossil fuels. The excuse they use is that fossil fuels generate CO2 which contributes to greenhouse gases which in turn create global warming. They conveniently ignore all of the mounting evidence that shows no relationship between greenhouse gases and global temperatures. Indeed, I read elsewhere where the author stated that there is a "growing consensus" among scientists that humans do not cause global warming (see http://mises.org/story/3421). This does not matter. For many, global warming is a religion and so no amount of evidence can change their minds (the true definition of faith). That global warming is now a religion is apparent when all the evidence starting mounting that we were actually going through a period of global cooling. Then the "greenie weenies" converted global warming to global climate change. Give me a break. Since Obama now runs GM, he will demonstrate that he is not interested in the company returning to profitability since GMs profitable cars are its SUVs and pickups - vehicles that the greenie weenies hate. Rather Obama will have GM produce teenie little hybrids and electric cars that look like prey to my F-350 pickup. Obama will then tax heavily fossil fuels, put a luxury tax on SUVs and nonfarm pickups and subsidize cars using alternative energy sources. It won't be pretty my friends when we see the travel trailer and boat industries tanking because they can no longer be towed. Itsn't it ironic that Obama touted his stimulus package in Elkhart, Indiana, the home of the RV industry when his cap and trade proposal will kill that industry? Speaking of cap and trade, would someone kindly explain to me why policies that have always failed are still being proposed. Cape and trade has been a disaster in Europe, raising unemployment, decreasing production while generating emissions above the levels in the United States! I cannot see any politician voting for it given its impact on energy prices, inflation, interest rates, unemployment, and industry dislocation. So I was stunned to see Henry Waxman and Ed Markey actually have written a cap and trade (648 page) bill. I bet it gets no co-authors from Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio or Pennsylvania! Since it has no chance of passage, the EPA has taken up the mantle by declaring CO2 emissions hazardous. Pretty sneaky. That means we will get cap and trade and the politicians are given cover since they did not vote for it. For the rest of us, though and all Americans, it will mean a permanent lower standard of living. Lastly, the reasons the politicians love cap and trade is obvious. It is a huge tax increase (projected to be $650 b over 8 years). It also increases the politicians power because they can pick winners and losers. They tax the unfavored industries and subsidize the favored ones. Who cares what the market wants? Who cares what the people want? Its all about power.
This morning looking at the news and then driving in listening to the radio I realized that I was completely ignorant of much that had been discussed. I did not recognize any of the the winners of the Country Music Awards. To be perfectly honest I never realize that any country music "artist" deserved any awards in the first place. I had never heard of any of the top 10 videos, the top ten best selling downloads, seen any of the top ten movies or heard any of the top ten cds or heard of any of their artists either. I didn't know what was a "twitter" or a "facebook". Yet later that morning I downloaded modern 5 cds from itunes and Amazon. Music is a passion of mine as is reading novels - mostly science fiction, military history and military fiction. Although I don't go to movies, I do purchase dvds to watch on long trips. When I take my annual bear hunting trip to Canada next month I will start to watch "Hill Street blues". I am also fond of film noire (The Grifters, Jackie Brown, Pulp Fiction, The Moderns, Choose Me and assorted Humphrey Bogart). So I like old stuff. But I do like new stuff too, its just the new stuff that is in the tradition of the old stuff like Branford Marsalis, the Clayton Brothers, Eliane Elias and Sean Jones. No hip hop. No rap. But no country either. Just music I understand and love. Does this mean I am old. Yes and no. When I was a teenager I listened to Monk, Miles, Mingus and Coltrane. My father thought it was just noise. Yet one of my fondest memories is that the year before he died he picked me up at the Atlanta airport and had Atlanta's only classical jazz station on the radio. They were playing Coltrane's Ballads when we pulled into the garage and we sat in the car listening until it finished. I also recalled playing John Lewis' Wonderful World of Jazz when my son was in middle school. He said "what is that"? I told him it was the first LP I had ever purchased and I bought it when I was his age. I said "do you think you will be listening to the same music when you are my age that you are listening to now"? His answer was "I hope not."
Harold A. Black is professor emeritus in the Department of Finance, University of Tennessee, Knoxville having retired after 24 years of service. He has served on the faculties of American University, Howard University, the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and the University of Florida. His government service includes the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and as a Board Member of the National Credit Union Administration. He also has served on the boards of directors Home Savings of America and its parent company, H. F. Ahmanson & Co., Irwindale, California prior to its merger with Washington Mutual Savings Bank, on the board of New Century Financial Corporation, Irvine, California, then the nation’s largest real estate investment trust and as director and later chairman of the Nashville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He writes an occasional article for the Knoxville News-Sentinel at http://www.knoxnews.com/staff/dr-harold-black/. His web page is haroldablackphd.com