Dumb as We Wanna Be

Thomas Friedman wrote a good “op-ed article”:http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/30/opinion/30friedman.html?_r=1&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&oref=slogin about the lack of an energy policy and points out the stupidity of McCain and Hillary focusing on a gas tax moratorium, Obama seems to be the only smart one on this topic:

bq. The McCain-Clinton gas holiday proposal is a perfect example of what energy expert Peter Schwartz of Global Business Network describes as the true American energy policy today: “Maximize demand, minimize supply and buy the rest from the people who hate us the most.”

It goes on to point out the lack of focus on alternative sources of energy like wind and solar:

bq. While all the presidential candidates were railing about lost manufacturing jobs in Ohio, no one noticed that America’s premier solar company, First Solar, from Toledo, Ohio, was opening its newest factory in the former East Germany — 540 high-paying engineering jobs — because Germany has created a booming solar market and America has not.

The attention the rising gas prices has received attention from all three candidates, which is just sympathy pandering, but why not pander to people in ways that create jobs?

**Update:** “Economists are pointing out”:http://uk.reuters.com/article/wtMostRead/idUKN3038243520080430?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0 how stupid the idea is:

bq. “I think it is a very bad idea,” said Gilbert Metclaf, a economics professor at Tufts University currently working with the National Bureau of Economic Research. “If we want people to invest in energy-saving cars, we need some assurance that the higher price paid for these cars is going to pay off through fuel savings,” he said. “It is a very short-sighted, counterproductive proposal.”

bq. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman was similarly underwhelmed: “It’s Econ 101: the tax cut really goes to the oil companies,” he wrote on his blog on Tuesday.

And Obama had the most pithy line:

bq. “This isn’t an idea designed to get you through the summer, it’s an idea designed to get them through an election.

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