Monday, June 28, 2010


It is baseball season. EO always liked keeping score. Who wouldn't while watching Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Tom Seaver, Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax and other mythic figures?

Bob Gibson inspired awe in one young fan in 1968.
22W-9L, 34 starts, 28 complete games, 13 shutouts, 1.12 ERA.
Photo credit.

So I thought I would do a scorecard on our many crises. "Crises" is an inelegant and unfortunate plural. It's hard to see or hear the difference between the words "crisis" and "crises." Which makes it hard to figure out if we are having just one crisis or many crises.

See what I mean?

But a scorecard promises pristine order where there was only chaos. So here goes.

TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) (2008) - $100 billion. Purpose: Bail out bankers, fix results of stupid government sub-prime mortgage programs. Seems to have staved off total planetary chaos for now. Lots of toxic assets and upside down homeowners still running around. We'll see how that goes.

All hail the aliens who designed the bank bailout!

Job Stimulus (2009) - $800 billion. More expensive than Iraq and Afghanistan combined. Goal: keep unemployment to 7-8%. Hasn't worked so much. Unemployment stuck at 9.8-10%.

Stimulus: not so much.

Health care (2009-2010) - about a trillion (not sure). Extend broken health care system to cover 40 million more people. Doesn't fix runaway costs in Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security (MMSS) system. Accounting gimmicks run out 2020. Not promising.

"Cap and Trade" (summer 2010) - many trillions (not sure). This is the Global Warming fix. If successful it will reduce the expected 1' to 2' rise in seas (ca. 2100 AD) by a centimeter. At a cost of $3,000 to $4,000 per household. Per year. Forever. That's $450 billion a year - in addition to taxes we already pay - redistributed by government fiat.

If you think the government is better than you at making productive use of your money, you rate this a huge plus. If not, this is a painful mistake.

Cap and Trade: Naked and Unafraid.

The reason for "Cap and Trade" is that government doesn't know how to make cheaper, cleaner fuel, but it does know how to regulate. So we will fire up regulations to make oil and coal more expensive, which will force us to use less fossil fuel.

Simply put, we will cut back substantially on fossil fuels, trading present economic well-being and growth for (possible) reductions in carbon dioxide emissions.

Now this may be what you want, but understand that it is fuel rationing. Remember Prohibition? Alcohol rationing. How did that work out?

Al Capone. Loved Prohibition. Everyone else?
Photo credit.

The War on Drugs? Dope rationing.

You see my point. Dope and alcohol rationing do not have histories of solid endorsement by the American public. Neither does sex rationing, in the form of keeping it within the bounds of marriage. At least not since my generation came on the scene.

I've heard the lectures about the evils of Demon Oil, many of which I agree with. But the three deadly amigos - sex outside marriage, drugs and alcohol - have killed tens of millions of people, while giving us nothing much in return, except some classic rock songs.

Allman Brothers Band at Fillmore East.
Photo credit.

We still can't get people to quit smoking dope, fornicating and boozing, despite millions of hours of lecturing and the obvious and horrendous social consequences of the prohibited behavior.

Meanwhile oil and coal - by giving us cheap heat, power and food - have saved millions of lives and lifted millions more out of brutal poverty.

If we can't stop people coking, boozing and sexing themselves to death, never mind the clear cost/benefit rationale, why do we think fuel rationing will work?


Illusionist David Copperfield.

Beats me.

Next Post: "EO's Top Ten Predictions for 'Cap and Trade.'"


  1. Brilliant, funny, great pictures! Thanks.

  2. WHAT????? No Roberto Clemente?????

  3. Roberto Clemente. What a man. What a ballplayer.