At our current rate do Americans really expect to be “in-charge” of the world for much longer? At its heart, the U.S. is a place for all those who seek freedom. A place where through capitalism, one can achieve a great financial wealth through enormous opportunities. Yet because of politics, and maybe even because of the system we so dearly strive to maintain, we are coming apart at the seams.
Countries all over the world who are so less fortunate than us all clamor to come to America for the chance at the benefits our systems provides them. And for them, in most cases they find what they’re seeking. However, for those of us that are the country, we who fully understand the system, who know of no other, we are becoming more and more disadvantaged.
We as Americans have been increasingly faced with various facets of disadvantages in our own country, ie; business creation, financial opportunities, higher education, and even employment in many cases but, the biggest disadvantage we face as individuals and collectively as a country when compared to other developed countries is our energy policy or lack thereof, efficiency standards and the waste derived from our energy production methods.
How is it that a country so rich in technology cannot seem to do the one thing that would save everyone substantial amounts of money overall while also, paving the way for a cleaner living environment for our future existence. How is it that we cannot be energy independent, manufacture and produce all of our energy needs, and do so in a relatively efficient manner? The answer is simply, although however complicated, Capitalism and Politics, and the relationships existing between the two. That’s right, our most prized system and treasure Capitalism, is tearing the United States of America apart. And Politics, or at least Politicians are turning this country into “The Divided States of America.” When you combine the two, you come out with “I The Person” instead of what should be ‘We The People’.
This is not to say that capitalism is somehow a bad, evil, or wrong societal system but, one thing that is for certain, within capitalism lurks greed. And stemming from greed comes an almost total disregard for others individually and even humanity as a whole. Money is all that matters to a “greedy” person in a system based on capitalism. And this is where our energy policy, or lack thereof is being bludgeoned into a submissive non-existence.
It is absurd that our members of congress cannot come to the understanding and agreement that a 21st century national energy policy is needed for our country to lead the way going forward. For what possible reason could they not be able to agree that combining solar, wind, natural gas, hydropower, biomass/biofuel, geothermal, and oil, thus making up the President’s “all-of-the-above” strategy is the logical and right method to power our country and economy going forward. Even Nuclear Energy has a place in an “all-of-the-above” strategy, albeit should be treated with extreme sensitivity and caution, as we have all seen how disastrous it would be to make it a primary source. My suggestion however, would be to leave the nuclear power for the methods of destruction should anyone be so ridiculous enough to go down that path.
Nuclear withstanding, an “all-of-the-above” strategy is so wholly obvious to all non-ideologues and those who are not blind “party-followers”. But it’s all about money, and greed, which unfortunately is a byproduct of capitalism. It’s about big-oil companies with their “behind the curtain” and controlling stockholders not wanting to lose control over the massive amounts of money generated from a country which consumes by far the most amount of its product – oil.
But haven’t the oil companies and their stockholders made enough money over the years? To what end could they possibly need to make more? Where is their loyalty to humanity, if there even is any? They certainly haven’t created any mentionable amount of jobs over the past 7-years. So what is it that they do with all of their money. And yet, they still claim to need more. Even more ridiculous, they say that in order to continue they still need the tax-payer subsides. That is the most ludicrous and absurd position for anyone to defend. Yet there are those that do.
We can all agree that oil is not going away any time soon, so their money would still be pouring in even if they abdicated to the newer renewable and clean energy resources. In fact, one would assume that they would also be the early investors in the new solar and wind farms, bio-energies, and other renewable and clean sources of energy thus, still able to satisfy their much needed greed factor.
So what seems to be the hold-up – why can’t anything of substance get done for the American people? Republicans would like to have you believe it’s all President Obama’s fault, but the truth is this dialogue has been going on since the Nixon Administration, including every other president since, Republican and Democrat alike. So the issue is not with the top, it’s with the true controllers of this country, Congress. Deep down inside everyone knows that the country’s demise is the fault of Congress.
Examples of the recalcitrant nature of congress is; on the “far left” you have Democrats who believe that oil in its totality should cease to exist immediately. We all know however, this is an impossibility and could not be furthest from the truth. Therefore, they have an untenable position. On the other side of the spectrum you have the “far right”, where Republicans believe that the earth is to be stripped bare simply for our benefit because God has said so, and yet there are no pending consequences for polluting the world with deadly toxins. But while there are many varying statements in the bible, one that stands out to me is: “that you may possess this good land and leave it for an inheritance to your children after you forever.” 1 Chronicles 28:8. This seems in direct contradiction to those who say ‘we are to use the resources of the earth with full impunity and no concern for after effects. But again, as is the case with the “far left”, I think we all know we’re not going to change these minds either.
This leaves us with the 60-80 percent of the congressional middle. It is here where all the problems exists. These are the true politicians. The ones who on both sides of the aisle speak to those they supposedly represent and tell them whatever they need to hear to get elected and re-elected, but then go and do what their greedy hearts and pockets command them to do. They basically become influenced by a very small minority of people who have deep deep pockets and are willing to pay handsomely to have their agendas upheld under law. In other words, these politicians have turned their jobs of “serving the people” they represent into serving the people who fund their campaigns and ultimately their personal lifestyle, which is predominantly against what they were voted into office to do. If they’re good and their financial backers approve, their sole priority becomes simply to get re-elected and continue the agenda at any cost in most cases relating to public push-back. This is the truest form of greed in America, and it comes from a much higher level in our society than any President can control. This form of power rests in the hands of the real capitalists in our country, these are the true “1-percenter’s.” And Congress does their bidding.
So what is the “average” American Citizen to do. How are we to ‘take back our country’ as some on the “right” like to say – which is a bit insane from the point of view they speak. The point of view they’re “dog-whistling” is one with a racial overture. It means going back to a time when equality was meant only for one group of people predominately based on color. This was a time when a “wink and nod” was good only for white anglo-saxons. This type of “buddy-system” still exists today albeit to a much lesser degree. Although, the “wink and nod” is in full effect, however, it doesn’t standardize itself to the white male color group anymore. It’s overcome color and race, and now applies only to those that “have” and not to the “have-not’s.”
A change certainly needs to occur, and since our society is not about to change from capitalism, we must focus our attention and energy (pun intended) towards our members of Congress and our nations energy production including, renewable and clean energy, natural gas, and oil, for our enormous electricity and fuel consumption. In addition, we must make every effort to improve our efficiency standards which are amongst the lowest in the world. In 2009, the U.S. had 58% waste to total energy due to inefficiencies. Meaning of all the energy we produced, only 42% of it was put to use.
Another way to look at it might be to say that an energy company paid to produce through tax-payer subsides was paid 58% more than what they actually delivered to consumers and its production subsidizers. I guess you could also say that 58% of their billions earned are ill-gotten gains. Either way, it is clear that as a country we must become more efficient with our energy production methods, as we’re already far behind the rest of the industrialized world when it comes to energy efficiency.
To make the point further and to point out where these inefficiencies are coming from; approximately 1.5% of all energy produced comes from solar, wind, and geothermal. While 37%, 25%, and 21% comes from petroleum, natural gas, and coal respectively. So obviously, there is plenty of wasted tax-payer money used as production subsides going to oil and gas production companies – 58% to be exact.
Congress must be held accountable. Both Democrats and Republicans alike. They are the ones covering for the big-oil companies and the industry as a whole. If you ever wonder why the Obama Administration can’t get anything done when it comes to an “energy overhaul”, just take a look at the ‘oil-rich’ states’ members of congress on the Democrat side of the aisle. Democrat Senators; Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Begich of Alaska, and Ben Nelson of Nebraska (who is on his way out of office through retirement) are a main reason why there is not a comprehensive renewable energy policy in America. They give cover to the republicans who will not support a renewable/clean energy bill. Everyone knows that enough Republican support would be had if, and only if Democrats could ever get all of their party in-line.
Congress has become all about gamesmanship, and it’s all at the expense of the people whom it hurts the most – that being at least 90-percent of America.
Pressure needs to be put on all members of Congress to pass a new comprehensive energy policy that includes renewable energy and the likes in the mix. If not, the fat or 1% will only continue to get fatter and stay in charge while we gradually fall from the number-one slot in the world to behind the likes of China and India, and any other nation who is aggressively pursuing renewable and clean energy for their economic benefit.
If not, for those of us who can least afford it, we will continue to pay 58% more than we should be paying for our fuel and electricity needs. And in doing so, have very little chance for any financial benefit or success for our family’s futures.