Editors' note: this piece is co-authored by Niger Innis and Rev. Samuel Rodriguez.Business and capitalism are dirty words in many White House and progressive circles, except in two ways.
Business is good when it can be co-opted and manipulated by government to advance “progressive” energy, social or economic agendas. And capitalism is a virtue in the sense of capitalizing on every crisis to promote those agendas – through the guiding principle enshrined by leftists like Saul Alinsky and Rahm Emanuel: “Never let a crisis go to waste.”
Thus the tragic Gulf of Mexico oil spill has been incompetently handled by a White House, EPA and Corps of Engineers unable even to make timely decisions about constructing sand berms to keep oil out of fragile estuaries. But the crisis is being exploited brilliantly to justify policy initiatives like cap-tax-and-trade, EPA’s “endangerment” decree, more bans on drilling, and mandatory fuel switching to higher priced options, most notably wind and solar power.
The economic facts of life simply don’t support this agenda.
Senator John Kerry asserts that China and India are spending billions to take our “clean energy” discoveries and technologies, make the wind turbines and solar panels in Asia, and sell them back to us. He is right about what’s happening, but completely wrong about why. The fault, dear Senator, is not in our stars (or in Asia), but in ourselves.
China and India pay their workers less than we do, especially in union shops so beloved by progressives. They use coal to generate cheap electricity to power their factories, while the White House, EPA and Congress strive to tax and regulate American coal-fired power plants into oblivion. China mines its abundant rare earth minerals (essential for wind turbine magnets and Prius batteries), whereas we have made hundreds of millions of acres of superb mineral prospects off limits.
China and India are creating tens of thousands of jobs, financed by American taxpayers and consumers, while we tax and over-regulate productive industries to pay for subsidies, tax breaks and payrolls for wind and solar companies that then must buy turbines and panels from China and India, because we cannot afford to make them here in the United States.
Bishop Harry Jackson is chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, MD, and co-authored, Personal Faith, Public Policy [FrontLine; March 2008] with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.