Originally Posted by LiveJazz
... and it's certainly in the [oil] industry's best interest not to have this disaster push people further toward alternative energy than they've already been pushed.
Given how important energy is within a modern society, we should always
be looking for alternative sources and new ways to conserve. Ultimately, real progress along these lines may not be achieved without severely crimping the flow of oil money into Congressional coffers
. The Executive and Legislative branches of the Federal Government have masterfully portrayed wars in the Middle East as "wars for freedom," despite the fact that equally horrific dictatorial regimes have existed in Central Africa for decades. But America can buy its bananas from Ecuador, so there's no need to get in a huff about almost one million being killed in Rwanda, right? The oil industry has equally masterfully managed to convince Congress to hide the cost of war in the Middle East as a "defense" cost, when in reality the cost should mostly appear directly at the gas pump. How much faster do you think American voters would light a fire under the ass of Congress to move toward alternative energy sources, if people gassing up their Ford Expeditions could see how much wars in the Middle East were costing them per gallon
Do I think America should pull out of the Middle East? No, not as long as we need oil. But we should be taking steps to move away from it quickly
. Also, although it seems like a radical move, we should ultimately do away with representative government for most decisions not involving classified information, and leverage current communications and information technology to move toward a direct referendum voting system. It will be the only viable way to stop politicians from feeding at the political action committee trough --- take away their power to vote. Independent legislation evaluation committees can compete for the attention of voters, and provide detailed voting guides. But most voting would be required to be done directly
by registered voters and not
by elected members of a legislative branch who can be bought off. If necessary, we can restrict voting to a subset of voters who demonstrate required domain knowledge, and voters would always have the right to acquire such knowledge on their own. This couldn't possibly be worse than the current system, in which slick liars only interested in getting reelected allow themselves to get bought off.
... and if Exxon/Mobil has enough cash to directly pay off 150 million voters, let them start making deposits into peoples' Paypal accounts.