Think of this as Volume 12, Number 29 of A-Clue.com, the online newsletter I've written since 1997. Enjoy.
The kind that passed is a capital injection. The collapse of the housing bubble, and the Confederate Money associated with it, took an enormous amount of money, supply, and demand out of the market. Think of it as an emergency saline drip, given to a patient found in the desert. It will keep you alive, but that's all it is designed to do.
The other kind, the one contained H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act, is the more important kind. It's designed to transform the incentives of the market, equalizing the price of carbon and non-carbon energy, reducing subsidies that have existed in the law for generations.
Conservatives are kicking and screaming. Their most dangerous argument is that global warming is a "myth," when in fact its impacts are already with us, and as our glaciers melt those impacts will accelerate. It takes 80 calories to melt ice, to raise its temperature by one degree. That's an enormous global shock absorber. But once the glaciers are gone, and they're going fast, it will take only 80 calories to bring the temperature of that water up to 112 degrees Fahrenheit.
As long as the glaciers are with us, in other words, the effects of global warming are somewhat muted. Once they're gone you're cooked. Think about that next time some asshat right-winger tries to tell you that the evidence of your eyes isn't real.
Their second argument is that the closing the carbon loophole is a "tax" that will drag the economy down. Like the global warming nonsense, this is also a lie.
Throughout American history, our government has driven our economy forward by creating market incentives for growth. Railroads were given free land. Oil companies were given depletion allowances. Car companies were given roads. These were government actions, meant to further economic growth in specific directions. And it worked. The railroads connected the markets of the continent, oil provided cheap energy for a century, and cars created the suburbs.
This has the exact same intent. We aren't going to get growth from new oil. We're not going to get it from financial manipulation. If we're going to get it, it will be from creating new forms of new energy, and new ways of delivering that energy to market.
So it's time for some market incentives. Subsidies, if you will. Yes, I said subsidies. Green energy needs subsidies just as oil companies needed them 100 years ago. We need them to gain the benefits of mass production. We need them to spur innovation and new technology.
With those subsidies, with the price of carbon energy made equal to that of solar -- its externalities paid for -- then we can get real economic growth. The higher price of carbon energy will spur the technologies of efficiency, many of which are already in place. Railroads, for instance, which are 10 times more efficient at moving goods and people than cars and trucks. Insulation for buildings of all sizes. More efficient appliances, starting with gigantic water healers and boilers.
Even where foreign companies lead these markets, these incentives will bring Americans into the game, starting at the bottom as installers, and rising in time to creators. That's what the economy needs, creators.
Scientists around the U.S. are working feverishly on making hydrogen portable, and in making solar cells more efficient. Market incentives will spur them on to create the start-ups of the next decade.
The arguments against this bill are lies. There is no other way to actually grow the economy, save to take it in a new direction, toward markets where demand is virtually unlimited, and where we have the capacity to lead. As we did in the 19th century with the railroads, and in the 20th century with oil and cars.
Ask opponents of this bill. On what will you base the next boom? Housing? Financial manipulation? PCs? They may answer, but the government should not be choosing winners and losers.
The government always has. That's what made America great, market incentives placed before a large market, with hungry entrepreneurs ready to use them and make money.