Monday, June 29, 2009

Mr. President - What If You're Wrong?

Reading some of the summaries of the Cap and Trade bill that are now coming out, I'm not only sickened by what the bill is supposed to DO, but get even more queasy at the possible unintended consequences if you are wrong, Mr. President.

The premise of the bill is the issue of global warming. There is still enough debate in the scientific community, that someone who is sure that global warming caused by man-made CO2 emissions is not making a rational, informed decision. Looking back a couple of decades, we had a period of cooling. Maybe cooling is the trend and the last couple of decades of warming are just anomolies? So what if the warming crowd is wrong?

Cooler climates will have one big effect on the planet - shorter growing seasons and the complete destruction of food growing areas in the higher lattitude areas of the planet. Hmmmm. Shorter growing seasons lead to less food? Less food leads to poorer nutrition at best and famine at worst? The Law of Unintended Consequences striking again?

In addition to all the provisions of the bill that have been discussed recently, now it comes out that there are provisions for trade tariffs against countries who do not also reduce their emissions, chiefly aimed China and India. The good intentionists are trying to keep a level playing field between American industries that must comply with Cap and Trade and the industries in the countries that don't comply with OUR view how to prevent global warming. Hmmm. Sounds good. Fair play is the American way, right?

Those that know a bit of history, know that virtually all serious economists acknowledge that the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 was the chief cause of the Great Depression. Most economists believe that tariffs are bad in any form. Starting with the Market Crash in 1929, the economic health of America started on a rapid decline, with Smoot-Hawley being the major nail in the coffin.

Tariffs have never been in the best interest of our, or any other country. So why have we used this mechanism now? My belief is it's just another action designed to destroy the economy of this country, so our politicians can save us again, but this time by a complete remaking of the social and political fabric of this country.

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