I’m watching this video that was released on Earth Day, the birthday of the Parva Project, by a cause called Free Market America, and I’m overwhelmed with emotion and instantly agree with them! Well, not really. First of all, I don’t trust any organization whose webpage does nothing but ask for your name to receive more information, and make a donation to pay for their cheesy and misleading YouTube video.
So, there in front of me on the screen is a suit with buck teeth and a set of very, very expressive eyebrows. I think he was hired because of those eyebrows and because he sounds like he’s on the verge of tears. When he speaks, with almost teenaged angst, of those who want America to fail, whatever that means, the sheer dramatic performance of his eyebrows and teary voice make you want to walk right up to him and join his cause.
Give me a break. Here are his comments and the Parva Project’s fisk*
If I wanted America to fail, to follow not lead, to suffer not prosper, to despair not dream – I’d start with energy.
Sounds patriotic, but what is he really saying? If your leader is marching you toward a cliff, I’d look for someone to follow who knew where he was going. And when speaking of prosperity, when is enough enough? Rampant consumerism is a condition that speaks to an illness in modern Western society. If we are prospering at others expense, don’t we owe it to them and to ourselves to stop? It is irresponsible to pit prosperity against suffering, despair against dreaming. This really is volatile stuff, because it flies in the face of my central premise: A free market will adapt.
I’d cutoff America’s supply of cheap abundant energy,I couldn’t take it by force.So I’d make Americans feel guilty about using the energy that heats their homes, fuels their cars, runs their businesses and powers their economy. I’d make cheap energy expensive so that expensive energy would seem cheap.
America is home to 5 percent of the earth’s inhabitants. We consume 25 percent of the fossil fuel resources. This is what happens when greedy interests decide to treat limited natural resources as if they were an unlimited supply of capital. There is only so much oil. There is only so much coal. What will happen when these are gone? The market will adapt. Innovators and inventors aren’t going to disappear from the face of the earth just because there’s no more oil and coal. The makers of this video aren’t much for researching new and renewable energy sources, choosing instead to ridicule it. Do I smell an agenda?
I would empower un-elected bureaucrats to all but outlaw America’s most abundant sources of energy. After banning its use in America I’d make it illegal for American companies to ship it overseas. If I wanted America to fail, I’d use the schools to teach one generation of Americans that their factories and their cars will cause a new ice age and I’d muster a straight face so I could teach the next generation that they’re causing global warming. When it’s cold out I’d call it climate change instead.
The not-so-hidden premise here is that the makers of the video are ticked at any attempt to put the brakes on their greed and hyper-consumption of limited natural resources. They want you to assume that our actions have no effect on the environment. That, or that nature will heal all of the wounds we create, but nature can only absorb so much abuse. We should assume that there is a tipping point. The whole climate change debate aside, conservatism whether in the political sense or not should err on the side of caution. Greed, however, will supplant common sense for dollar signs.
I’d imply that America’s cities and factories could run on wind power and wishes. I’d teach children how to ignore the hypocrisy of condemning logging, mining and farming while having roofs over their heads, heat in their homes and food on their tables. I would never teach children that the free market is the only force in human history to uplift the poor, establish the middle class and create lasting prosperity. Instead I’d demonize prosperity itself so that they will not miss what they will never have.
We start out with a bit of alternative energy ridiculing, then plow full steam ahead into grandiose obfuscation. I guess that as long as it is American children who have roofs over their heads, heat in their homes and food on their tables, everything is peachy. But why did the video makers choose logging, mining, and farming as the innocent activities under attack? Trees are pretty, but they grow back, right? Sure. Then why would anyone have a problem with logging? Because an unregulated free market will go wherever it wants, take whatever it wants, and destroy whatever it wants in the name of the dollar. If you happened to be born into an Amazonian family, would you think this was all innocuous if corporate bulldozers showed up at the edge of your village, shot the people who refused to move, ran over your roof, your heat and your food? I can’t really get into mining too much, only assuming that the suit in the video has never stepped foot in one, and recalling that my grandfather died of black lung after working in the Pennsylvania coal mines for nickels. He would have died uncompensated for his sacrifice had a group of miners not filed a class action lawsuit. As it was, he didn’t get very much and the suits who employed him didn’t give up much. And as for farms, I assume he’s speaking of the modern factories-in-the-fields that are dumping poison into our streams and drinking water.
If I wanted America to fail, I would create countless new regulations and seldom cancel old ones that would be so complicated that only bureaucrats, lawyers and lobbyists could understand them, that way small businesses with big ideas wouldn’t stand a chance, and I would never have to worry about another Thomas Edison, Henry Ford or Steve Jobs. I would ridicule those flat-earthers, those who urge them to lower energy costs by increasing supply and when the evangelists of common sense try to remind people about the laws of supply and demand, I would enlist a sympathetic media to drown them out.
To say that only bureaucrats, lawyers and lobbyists can understand regulations is another way of saying you think the average American is stupid. I love it when our self anointed benefactors think we’re morons. Here again, the video’s authors want us to believe that our limited natural resources are their unlimited capital. Putting barriers up to protect our limited natural resources is not going to rid the world of innovative thinkers. Edison and Ford lived in a world lit by oil lamps, when you still had to go to the outhouse to take a dump, but they didn’t have WalMart enticing them to spend their weekly paychecks on cheap plastic junk, either. The fact is, we are stealing resources out from under the already poor in other countries, and stealing from our great grand children.
If I wanted America to fail, I would empower unaccountable bureaucracies seated in a distant capitol to bully Americans out of their dreams and property rights. I’d send federal agents to raid guitar factories for using the wrong kind of wood. I’d force home owners to tear down their own homes built on their own land. I’d make it almost impossible for farmers to farm, miners to mine, loggers to log, and builders to build.
The unaccountable bureaucracies seated in a distant capitol only get high five when they’re lining their pockets with corporate Benjamins to look the other way while the earth is raped of its limited natural resources. What was left unsaid is that lately, the vast majority of eminent domain cases are pushed through so the land can be given to corporations, not for any purely civic reason.
Because I don’t believe in free markets I’d invent false ones. I’d devise fictitious products like carbon credits and trade them in imaginary markets. I’d convince people that this would create jobs and be good for the economy.
This is where it really starts to get thick, probably because they think the eyebrows are working and we’re a bunch of schmucks convinced by fallacious arguments spoken with feigned emotion. In a free market, there are no fictitious products. Unless those products are cutting into your profits. Do I sense a corporate takeover here?
If I wanted America to fail, for every concern I’d invent a crises and for every crises I’d invent the cause. Like shutting down entire industries and killing tens of thousands of jobs in the name of saving spotted owls not that you’d care and when everyone learned the stunning irony that the owls were victims of their larger cousins and not people, it would already be decades too late
Do they mean an “invented crisis” like the one they created in their video? I guess the unnamed shill in the video is an ornithologist now, too. And no, I didn’t have to look that up. Maybe he doesn’t care if he ever sees a Spotted Owl, but his great grand daughter might.
If I wanted America to fail, I would make it easier to stop commerce than to start it, easier to kill jobs than create them, more fashionable to resent success than seek it. When industries seek to create jobs I’d file lawsuits to stop them and then I’d make tax payers pay… for my lawyers. If I wanted America to fail, I would transform the environmental agenda from a document of conservation to an economic suicide pact. I would concede entire industries to our economic rivals by imposing regulations that cost trillions. I would celebrate those who preach environmental austerity in public while indulging a lavish lifestyle in private. I would convince Americans that Europe has it right and that America has it wrong.
Other than an attempt to incite class warfare, this is an argument for license. ”More fashionable to resent success”? Seriously? Give me a break. I guess our ideas of success are different. Success to this video’s creators means unregulated license to destroy whatever their fevered brains can conceive, without a care in the world about others who have to live with the consequences of their greed. Oh, and this was refreshing because it had been awhile since I saw someone try to win an argument with an appeal to the absurd. Indulging in a lavish lifestyle in private? Now lavish is bad, I suppose.
If I wanted America to fail, I would prey on the goodness and the decency of ordinary Americans. I would only need to convince them that all of this is for the greater good. If I wanted America to fail… I suppose I wouldn’t change a thing.
I would rather you preyed on my goodness and decency than to poison my air and water unregulated, and steal my grandchildren blind. One thing the video’s creators know absolutely nothing about is the greater good. If America’s failure means their type goes by the wayside, then please, don’t change a thing.