Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Writing in the Washington Times, Stephen Moore argues
that the demise of "green energy" -- which seems an inescapable
conclusion given the statistics he cites -- teaches us that central
planning doesn't work. I agree that this is A lesson, but not that this is THE lesson. Furthermore, it is A lesson in two
senses pro-capitalists should take to heart. First, this is A lesson,
in the sense that it is one of many, like the Berlin Wall or that
infamous satellite photo of the two Koreas at night. There is no shortage of evidence that central planning does not deliver prosperity. Second, as the
continued existence of communist regimes, the American Democratic
Party, and our own President's unabated animus against oil and coal
demonstrate, there is another kind of lesson:
Harold Hamm, chairman and CEO of Continental Resources and one of the discoverers of the Bakken Shale in North Dakota, tells the story of meeting with Mr. Obama at the White House in 2010 to tell him about the fracking revolution. Mr. Obama arrogantly responded that electric cars would soon replace fossil fuels. Was he ever wrong.If anyone can be said to have had his nose rubbed in the economic impracticality of green energy, it would have to be Barack Obama. Nevertheless, I have as yet heard no news of any impending announcement on his part that his administration will be reassessing its energy policy. That central planning doesn't work is A lesson; another lesson is that considerations quite apart from our national self-interest doubtless make such a charge ring hollow to certain advocates of central planning.
We have mountains of evidence that central planning does not lead to economic prosperity, and yet we keep ratcheting up on central planning. Perhaps it's time to start asking the central planners and those who keep voting for them more pointed questions, such as, "Why do you support policies well-known to cause impoverishment?" or "By what right does the government tell a non-criminal what to do?" Not to accuse Moore of this, but to crow about facts being on one's side sounds, at a certain point, too much like trying to avoid an overdue showdown. And those who fear raising such questions of someone else would do well, if they value prosperity, to ask themselves why.
Today: Corrected a typo.