Government: blame it for acting or for not acting?

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Grist raises an interesting point about voters’ reactions to the sharp increase in gas prices:

The most ironic idea, to me anyway, was Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) suggesting that voters blame “the government.” I thought people didn’t want the government to intervene in the economy — since 1980 we’ve supposedly been getting government “off our backs.” Thirty years later, since “government” didn’t do anything, there’s a crisis. Now, “government” is supposed to fix it immediately?

Can we finally get to a point where we all agree that there are some things that government should step in and do and some things that it shouldn’t?  The “government is bad at everything” from the right and the “government can fix everything” from some elements of the left has increasingly put us in situations where government steps in to do things that it probably shouldn’t while leaving other things on their own that it could do better than the private sector.

It looks like the price of energy is going to be another one of those cases.  Politicians will step in to encourage the exploration and use of more fossil fuels while punting on the quest to bring down emissions and find clean, renewable sources of energy.

John Rynn in his contribution to Grist makes a prescription for activists on what they should be pushing on policymakers:

That’s why I think that it’s imperative that activists argue that the reason oil is going sky high is because of peak oil. That way, not only is the discussion more reality-based, we can more cogently offer real alternatives like transit, plug-in hybrids, denser urban areas, and high-speed rail, instead of continuing to bury our head in the (tar) sands.

Now, any bets on if we’ll ever hear the phrase “peak oil” come out of the mouth of one of the candidates for president?

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One Response to “Government: blame it for acting or for not acting?”

  1. thenonconformer Says:

    http://postedat.wordpress.com/2008/07/16/a-36-per-cent-increase/

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