Power Play Paranoia

David Woolsey

In response to the March 28, 2001 S.F. Gate article by Rob Morse titled Power Play Lurks in Bushes I have a few thoughts to add which fellow paranoids may appreciate. I don't think Morse and his friends have really thought things through to the true Paranoid Big Picture so let us assemble the big picture from a collection of smaller, more obvious, parts as follows:

Californians did not vote for President Bush and are unlikely to be his supporters and therefore are not his political friends.

Bush's political friends are the energy interests from his home state of Texas.

President Bush's hero is the former President Reagan. Reagan began his terms in office during a period when there were a great many social programs he disagreed with on ideological grounds. His tactic to get rid of those programs was to run up an huge debt that was to be paid for at the expense of those programs. Let us call this the "Slash and Burn" method of eliminating regulations and programs one does not like.

The Slash and Burn method works when there is a surplus of some resource that can be harvested in the short term and who'se absence will need to be compensated for by reduction of other expenses in the future. Those other Slashed expenses are usually the ones in disfavor with the ideologues perpetrating the Burn.

Bush began his term in office confronted with the spectre of additional restrictions and regulations on energy generation and use (the various pending CO2 emissions protocols). Needless to say these are against his pro big business, "free market" ideology. These regulations would hurt his political allies while the appearance of an "energy crises" will help them on at least two obvious fronts:

An energy crises gives an air of legitimacy to a wide verity of activities we might not otherwise consider good for the nation. We can drill for oil in the last wilderness areas. We can get rid of a few pesky regulations on the construction of new power sources (you know, get government off our backs). We can scale back our concern and commitments for a better global environment. We can act in the short term without thinking of the long term because we're in "crises mode".

Price gouging of Californians by out of state energy suppliers also contributes very directly to enriching Bush's allies while hurting his foes but there is also another way in which this profiteering helps them in the long term.

Into The World Of Paranoia

In addition to the short term political benefits of the "energy crises" there is an interesting long term possibility that it just may be that Bush seeks to shift the economic powerhouse of the country out of California and into his home state of Texas. Consider what would happen if this artificial crises is allowed to persist through the summer. We might have a rather large exodus of high technology companies from California and where would those companies go? I'll give you a clue (listen up all you would-be real estate tycoons): They will go to the next "up-and-coming" place — which (for a number of reasons I won't go into here) is Austin, Texas. Texas also has lots of energy available.

The bottom line here is that Californians should get used to the idea of an ongoing economic disaster as our energies are sapped away by Texas. But there are a few implications for Texans to consider if this is the case.

Texans Beware Because Californians Bite

The line beneath the bottom one, however, is that there are a couple of things that Texan's might want to consider if this is the real Big Picture. Are you folks sure you want to attract California style high technology business to your state? You need to remember what sort of people these high tech types are and consider whether you want the kind of high-pressure yuppies that followed Reagan's economy invading your state. You could be inviting a whole hoard of Californians to come live in your state and I'm not sure you want that. There is also one more thing to consider in this paranoid vision and that is something that simply can not be expropriated from California to Texas. California has a better climate than Texas.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong here, but isn't all this energy deregulation going to lead to more greenhouse emissions? Don't greenhouse gasses lead to higher temperatures? Isn't Texas already hot enough? It seems to me this Big Picture / Paranoid Master Plan is somewhat, um, "self-limiting" and should therefore be reconsidered if indeed it is the Plan.

If they leave, they'll be back.

Now, any demographic shift is undertaken first by the more motivated and able of the group under transition so it seems to me that the first to flee to Texas will be the more motivated and aggressive yuppies. While I commend Texans for seemingly volunteering to take some of the more aggressive California yuppies off our hands I'm a little concerned for the long term. Given the likelihood of a change for the worse in the weather from warming due to bad energy policies I predict our yuppies will return home after doing a Slash and Burn for a couple of decades on the kind folks of Austin.

Couldn't y'all arrange some way to keep them forever instead?

Page first created Wednesday, March 28, 2001
Page last modified Friday, April 13, 2001 2:46 PM
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