Wednesday, June 27, 2007

It's good to be omnipotent...

...or at least think your are. It's all too clear that our elected "representatives" see themselves as all-powerful nabobs free to do as they wish while the peasants crawl into their presence to throw gold at their collective feet.

This has been made abundantly clear by the shameful, traitorous "comprehensive" immigration legislation which, it seems, is backed by enough bribes and promised perks to make its way through the Senate.

Never mind that four-fifths of the nation opposes handing the country -- and its treasury -- over to illegal aliens.

Then there's the revival of the odious "Fairness" Doctrine, championed by corrupt Dianne Feinstein, John Kerry and, apparently, those paragons of no-virtue, Hillary Clinton and Barbara Boxer. They don't think it's fair that their far-left, socialistic and arrogant views aren't forced on everyone who listens to the radio, so they want to pass a law insisting we listen to them.

Never mind that the marketplace has proven, over and over, that few people want to listen to wacko-lefties.

But, in the immortal words of Ron Popeil: wait, there's more!

Not only are these so-called "servants of the people" social engineers, they're also mechanical engineers!

Their idea of "comprehensive" energy legislation contains several interesting mandates. The first is a forced increase in the use of fuels made from edible grains to "end our dependence on foreign oil."

Think of it as a "fuel for food" program.

The distilled fuels are not only more expensive to produce -- thus taking more money directly from the consumer, as well as increasing the cost of everything that can't be delivered on foot. And the use of food for fuel (particularly corn at the moment) leads to shortages of everything from tortillas to cooking oil.

The government's message: you can drive, or you can eat.

And it gets worse.

Another demand -- this one loudly cheered by hypocritical tree-huggers like Al "globetrotter" Gore -- insists that car companies' products must average 35 miles per gallon within the next couple of decades.

That's good in some ways. I agree with the sentiment, in fact.

But what it ignores is one simple fact: car-makers produce gas-guzzlers (like SUVs, powerful sports cars and pickup trucks) because that's what the public wants. They are not forcing these products on consumers out of corporate greed; they are, rather, responding to what the market wants.

Those pushing this legislation ride around in Chevy Suburbans, Hummers and the like. For "security" reasons, of course. But they want to force you to buy a Toyota, Honda or Ford hybrid whether you want it or not.

PARENTHETICAL THOUGHT: I recently drove an E-Class Mercedes-Benz sedan with a diesel engine and, over a considerable mileage on freeways and city streets, averaged nearly 32 mpg. But the government regulators don't like diesel engines....

So if the car companies want to meet public/governmental demands and not end up with millions of unsold tiny cars, what can be done? In theory a large SUV can be built that gets 35 mpg; all one has to do is use exotic metals to make it ultra-light (more expensive) and add a hybrid powertrain or adopt fuel-cell technology (both also costly, and the latter not yet ready for prime time). Do you really want to pay $100K for your next Ford Explorer?

Yes, Toyota's profit margins are higher on a Tundra pickup than a Prius. That's good economic incentive to keep cranking out those big, thirsty trucks for as long as customer demand continues.

The surest way to get the public into smart cars and other little economy runabouts that make up the majority of sales in Europe and Asia -- though it must be said that those who Europeans and Japanese who can afford it are hot for big SUVs these days -- is to somehow convince them that the baby-rides are hip.

But the government can't control what people like. Not yet, anyway.

As always, the government chooses the ways that benefit it the most: pass laws, raise taxes.

Even if those laws violate basic laws of physics (which, though it seems hard to believe in Washington, carry more weight than any legislation Congress comes up with) they are laws, and we damn well better obey them. Even if it drives car companies out of business -- and hundreds of thousands of people out of work -- and takes even more money from the common people.

I have no doubt Congress will force General Motors to crank out a couple hundred Suburbans every year for government use....

The only "comprehensive" reform that makes sense is to reform our government.

1 comment:

sugarcane said...

I agree with everything you've said.... sometimes I just want to copy and paste your posts into my own journal.