Putting a Value on Flatulenceby Erik Rush Posted: July 02, 2009 1:00 am Eastern
The 1,200-page cap and trade bill (H.R.2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, the Waxman-Markey bill for short) passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday, June 26 with a 219-212 vote. The pernicious bit of legislation is now being considered by the Senate. It's anyone's guess as to how many Americans are familiar enough with the bill to relate a cogent description of it, politically slanted or otherwise. I would wager that this number is horrifyingly small.
The Waxman-Markey bill's opening salvo is as follows: "A Bill to create clean energy jobs, achieve energy independence, reduce global warming pollution and transition to a clean energy economy." While common sense might advise that America has far greater concerns right now than everything listed save for achieving energy independence, the ideological bent of the current Congress and administration dictates that these goals be pursued with alacrity.
In short, cap and trade is a cleverly crafted system (note that I did not say "intelligently crafted") in which our government will issue pollution vouchers in order to place a ceiling (cap) on the amount of pollutants a company can release into the environment (predetermined via the vouchers); these companies will be required to pay for permits to allow them to do this. These permits (credits) will essentially be auctioned off by the government, and those businesses that need to pollute more will have to buy credits from those that pollute less (trade). It's sort of like issuing tradable hunting licenses on a bidding system, except that what's being licensed is not tangible; in this case, as a concocted intangible, it's actually less than intangible, if that makes sense.
Are we witnessing the return of Karl Marx, or at least his anti-capitalist ideology? Compare today's developments with Marx's classic, "Das Kapital"
The ripple effect of this measure on the economy is not beyond the cognitive ability of the average American, but it is definitely beyond their current level of capability to understand. This has worked, and will continue to work to the advantage of the federal government.
Americans will come to understand, however: Cap and trade will drive up the cost of heating and cooling homes, because energy will become more expensive to provide to the consumer. The price of automobiles and fuel will rise. There will be mandates on what kind of energy sources may be utilized in manufacturing and in products that use energy. "Refitting" for low-income individuals and families will, of course, have to be subsidized, and this will create a brand new entitlement system.
Essentially, it will drive up the price of everything imaginable â€“ practically overnight.
That is of no moment to the environmental lobbyists who pushed for cap and trade, however, nor to those who stand to make billions trading in carbon credits. All of this, mind you, is being put in place in order to control an uncontrollable, naturally occurring event; it is the creation of a "virtual" market, by the government, that will value something as inherently worthless as flatulence.
It is indisputable that government regulation invariably costs jobs in the private sector, raises consumer costs, or both. For every precious green job that is "created," America is almost certain to lose at least two real jobs. Like so many other socialistic measures Congress and the Obama administration want to make, cap and trade has already failed in Europe.
That doesn't matter, though â€“ they'll do it better, and in any case, none of this has anything to do with creating jobs, energy independence, global warming or transitioning to clean energy anyway â€“ it's all about ideology.
It wasn't bad enough that the Obama administration and Congress passed a stimulus package Americans didn't want, then ensured that we'll be buying our cars from Bacciagalupe Motors (that would be the former Chrysler) and Mombasa Motors (that would be the former General Motors). Nor was saddling that foundering auto industry with more crippling regulations.
Now, they are stitching together a Frankensteinian patchwork of symbiotic, sinister government and private sector protocols; these will give rise to a parasite genetically engineered to suck even more life out of the American economy. In many ways, cap and trade will function in a manner akin to the nefarious cooperation that existed between government and mortgage companies over the last 18 years, except that this time the energy industry will be involved.
And once again, like the Community Reinvestment Act, the stimulus package, and the corporate and auto bailouts, cap and trade promises to divest middle-class Americans of yet more of our resources, and ultimately, our spirit.
At that point, we'll be like a comatose rape victim. Our Marxist overlords will be free to have their way with us â€“ and we won't even care.