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Godot's Page: Emotional Candidates and Unsuspecting Sheep

Godot's Page

Gatekeeper to the Theater of the Absurd

Monday, 5 May 2008

Emotional Candidates and Unsuspecting Sheep

As the race to the White House intensifies, I can't but notice the added emotional fervour. Exhibit A shows Senator Clinton's opening remarks regarding energy policy, a key economic issue:

"I'm not going to put my lot in with economists," Clinton said in an exclusive appearance on a special edition of "This Week...

Interesting way to start a pitch on economic policy. We'll let that one slide. Resounding statements made to unify an angry voice of frustration is somewhat the norm here in the Middle East, I'm kind of used to that 'fuck you' cowboy attitude. What really did it for me was Senator Clinton's solution to the rising oil price problem facing American producers and consumers alike. Exhibit B:

"My proposal is very different from Sen. McCain," she said. "Sen. McCain has said take off the gas tax, don't pay for it, throw us further into deficit and debt. That is not what I've proposed. What I've proposed is that the oil companies pay the gas tax instead of consumers and drivers this summer."

In plain English Clinton is proposing that oil companies pay more tax. The rationale is that since they are making super normal profits because of high global oil prices, they get to pay more tax to relieve consumers of some of that burden. Apparently, the revenue generated will be used for green energy technologies, or so the plan goes. What Senator Clinton does not realize is that she is indirectly promising higher oil prices through her policy of penalizing oil companies. Disincentivized by the windfall tax, oil companies will find it more attractive to abandon exploration and investment in new oil fields due to the higher burden put on them, therefore inhibiting their oil production process and hence overall supply. What happens when the supply of a commodity is curtailing with constant demand? Fuckin moron.

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