I don’t comment at TPW anymore.
However, occasionally I still read the conversations there. On one thread someone claimed that energy independence has to, in every case, be government mandated.
Naturally, I disagree. In fact, I believe big government is currently responsible for a lack of energy independence.
How so? Here are just a few of the ways.
- Corporate personhood and non-concensual limited liability. By shielding polluting petrochemical corporations from legal responsibility, the regime gives them an unnatural advantage over cleaner alternatives.
- Corporate welfare. Large, established corporations line up at the trough to receive billions of dollars of stolen tax loot; petrocorps are no exception.
- Military-industrial complex. Sure, plundering the Middle East’s oil is not the only reason why the Bush gang has plunked half a trillion dollars of your money into a sand hole. But do you really think it wasn’t one of the reasons?
- Interstate highway system. A big government incentive to sprawl, along with others such as subsidized utility extensions, clearing of inner city neighborhoods in the name of urban renewal, occupational licensing and taxes and regulations making mass transportation and taxis less affordable, and many others.
- Speaking of taxes and regulations there are insufferable multitudes of them, and they keep innovative new startups – such as those which might develop alternative forms of energy in a free market – from ever getting off the ground and competing with the established big players on an even field.
Big corporations have lobbyists who help tailor the regulations, lawyers and accountants to keep them in compliance and fill out the paperwork, money to make regulators look the other way or pay fines if and when absolutely necessary, and more. Small new companies are at a distinct disadvantage in this arena.
- Marijuana prohibition has been used as a rationale to keep industrial hemp from being cultivated, even though it can’t get you high (unlike gasoline, which can fuck you up if you huff it) and has many promising uses, including as fuel.
- Other government disincentives to venture capital and entrepreneurship include the social security pyramid scheme
and linkage of employment to health insurance. The latter parlays with regime intervention in the health care market, which has caused a price spiral.
Not a complete list by any means, but there you are.