This is a great post on the economy...
He also has another post where he addresses income equality. He discovers we DO have it relative to Europe, but that overall we are better off, EXCEPT at the bottom end. In essence, equalizing income drags EVERYONE down. His research caused him to change his mind on the subject. One of my favorite bloggers.
I made the "unfortunate decision" in January to participate in a chat forum on www.peakoil.com. It was terrifying. At the very top of the page was a poll that showed 51% of the people on the forum wanted us to run out of oil soon. The forum was dominated by posters that "Are Concerned With The Environment" and "Fighting Global Warming" that have found in hydrocarbons all that is wrong with mankind.
I was immediately and roundly decried as a greedy moneyhound. Ideological debates are not really winnable, as I once again discovered. I wonder when I will ever learn?
I went back and reread the thread today, hoping that time and distance would provide a better perspective and clarity. It did, indeed.
First, the majority of the posters (those that want an immediate end to the hydrocarbon age, and which account for a predominance of posters on this site) attacked anyone who posted anything about large scale reserves being found today, and discounted heavily those reserve numbers as fallacious. One comment read "<The Big Number> came from an Exxon engineer and the <Very Low Number> from a scientist not in the industry. Which do you believe?"
Uhhhh. Trick question? Probably the industry expert opinion. My bankers would certainly agree. He knows what he is talking about and he actually has something to lose being wrong. Of course, in socialist in environmentalist clothing land, where NO ONE has anything to lose being wrong, where the "preventative principal" holds form control, only dilettentes with social engineering agendas are held to be "non-corrupt" purveyors of wisdom. Too bad my banker won't accept this level of expertise to loan money on. Being rational, they only do it when the dilettente social engineers actually talk the government into guaranteeing the bank's loan portfolio on stupid invetsments.
In essence, this is a world where ignorance is deemed supreme to expertise... IF ignorance agrees with my opinion. Hmmm. In other words, these folks are terrified that there might be MORE recoverable hydrocarbon than less.
Second, several, the majority really, did not really believe in human ingenuity. A couple stated it outright. They apparently believe that human progress is the product of governmental and inter-governmental mandates. I was roundly attacked for making a statement that human ingenuity was at work in all aspects of energy efficiency, including oil and gas, and that we should keep an open mind with regards to where those breakthroughs may occur. One fellow discounted out of hand that human progress could recover more hydrocarbons, despite much evidence to the contrary.
Eventually, the truth emerged. Several of the posters claimed Hydrocarbons evil because they have allowed human population, greedy capitalism, and industrialized society to grow and prosper. One woman, who admitted to being a "human doombat" looked forward with glee to the destruction of society and and "couldn't wait to hear the wails of human despair as they faced the pits of hell while <she> crunched her apple, ate wild lettuce, and read her latest fantasy book". Unlike ol' Open Choke, who tried to provide reserves facts and an open mind to where energy could or should be derived, and was attacked on a very personal level, nary a peep of criticism came the way of our misanthropic apple cruncher. The argument that environmentalism has devolved into a cover for a human death cult couldn't have been more starkly made.
Clearly, there were plenty of idealistic folks that are not human-haters on this forum... they are seeking how renewable and low carbon load energies could be adopted for the benefit of mankind, and are not anti-human per se. Nearly all are convinced that hydrocarbons are keeping us from living in Tomorrow World. Revolutionaries, really. Willing to destroy in order to build. Not concerned with the human sacrifice necessary to transition RIGHT NOW.
These concerned me the most. They don't seem to be great students of history, they certainly don't believe in free market solutions to anything, and don't believe in a human ingenuity focused solution. They are mightily attracted to the dark side of heavy handed, single point, "damn the consequence" intervention. They despise business and businessmen. They find it easy to condemn business men as carrion feeding of the body of society, and society a stupid bunch of cows willingly subjugated to the needs of bug business. They think of themselves as enlightened and the only ones not sullied enough to do the hard work of keeping the stupid people from getting what they want, and making sure they get only what they need... defined by the enlightened. I think "elititist" is a term appropriately applied.
Why do you think that is? What has convinced them that good solutions come exclusively through the power of a central authority? It was amazing how many of the comments mimic'ed Lenin's "a few eggs get broken to make an omelette" quote. Damn what the majority... the stupid people... want. They will be happy with what we give them. Let them eat Wind and Solar Cake.
Beware the "perfect" society. History shows that individual liberty, life, and property are the first casualties when we chase after that chimera.