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Obama's #1 priority: a new energy economy. Do you agree?

 
 
nimh
 
Reply Thu 23 Oct, 2008 08:48 pm
From a Joe Klein story in Time:

Quote:
But Obama seems a more certain policymaker now, if not exactly a wonk in the Clintonian sense. He has a clearer handle on the big picture, on how various policy components fit together, and a strong sense of what his top priority would be. He wants to launch an "Apollo project" to build a new alternative-energy economy. His rationale for doing so includes some hard truths about the current economic mess: "The engine of economic growth for the past 20 years is not going to be there for the next 20. That was consumer spending. Basically, we turbocharged this economy based on cheap credit." But the days of easy credit are over, Obama said, "because there is too much deleveraging taking place, too much debt." A new economic turbocharger is going to have to be found, and "there is no better potential driver that pervades all aspects of our economy than a new energy economy ... That's going to be my No. 1 priority when I get into office."

Now this is all pretty vague - what do you expect from an aside in a broader interview portrait of the man. You can find more detail about Obama's energy policy proposals on the Obama site. But what do you think: should this subject indeed be his #1 priority? What should be his #1 priority? Can you see a "new energy economy" working? Is that the way to go?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 8 • Views: 3,153 • Replies: 33
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rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Thu 23 Oct, 2008 09:20 pm
@nimh,
Yes, an "Apollo Project" to alter the energy component of our economy should definitely be the number 1 priority of whoever becomes president. All the other projects will produce a net drain on the economy for at least a generation before we start to see a return, but an alteration in the energy equation will produce a net gain almost immediately by creating an alternative to oil (competition will be introduced to the system which will begin to throttle price increases).

Ultimately, an alteration in the energy equation changes everything and will have long term enduring effects. It's the key to a new age, just as the industrial revolution was a hundred years ago.

The next biggest thing we should do to save ourselves billions and to help stabilize economies and governments is to legalize drugs and stop wasting billions in control measures. The stupid drug laws are turning our inner cities into teen crime syndicates, giving drug lords and rogue countries billions worth of drug crops and ultimately arming them to the teeth using our money. Legalizing drugs is the biggest no-brainer in the history of Earth. With the mere stoke of a pen we could win that war instantly by undermining the core value of the product. Cartels would collapse within months. And even a tiny fraction of the money currently spent on enforcement could then be turned to rehab and our inner cities would begin to heal themselves simply be eliminating a black-market business opportunity.

But the US isn't ready for real personal freedom yet, so the drug laws are likely to remain in place despite the tremendous damage the do to our economy and our society.

Energy policy is another matter. The US is finally ready to clear the economic hurdle that separates the price of oil from the price of renewable energy production. And once that hurdle has been cleared, the economics of renewable energy will be self-reinforcing; unstoppable. The geopolitical forces that currently drive our massive military budgets will shift. And the World will change.




0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Oct, 2008 11:09 pm
Energy should be in the top three , but our aging infrastructure is in dire need of repair /replacement.

Weve got water lines and sewage systems that are barelyworking and bays and were in danger of polluting oour subsurface waters and bays by all sorts of leaking pipes.
Our bridges and roads need major care. Hell, there is another WPA on the horizon . That can be tied to energy research with the only difference from a "MAnhattan Project" model, I see energy research being a more grassroots effort because there are so many potential components and so many possibilities.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Oct, 2008 11:12 pm
I don't, for a minute, think that this is the #1 priority for President Obama.

Time will tell that I am right.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Oct, 2008 04:21 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
I think everyone is sensitive to the fact that the economy will direct all efforts and that all priorities will be directed to assert remedial effects to the overall economy.

Obviously all superflous spending will need to be re analyzed for its drag on the economy, including "the" war.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Oct, 2008 05:51 am
@farmerman,
Quote:
Energy should be in the top three , but our aging infrastructure is in dire need of repair /replacement.

I believe that infrastructure is part of Obama's "energy" plan, even though it seems somewhat unrelated. In any case, infrastructure is part of what I picture as an energy plan because you need a functional infrastructure to deliver energy and to build new power generation systems. (sorry if I wasn't clear in my previous post, but I was speaking very broadly).

0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Oct, 2008 06:13 am
@nimh,
I don't know if it should be the #1 priority but I agree with farmerman that it should be in the top 3. I do think that it will take an Apollo type project to make it happen though.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Fri 24 Oct, 2008 12:19 pm
Harnessing new energy sources drove the industrial revolution.

The cheaper energy gets, the cheaper products can be produced and transported. Quality of life goes up.

Not to mention water for people who have none.

Cheap energy good.
0 Replies
 
DontTreadOnMe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Oct, 2008 01:01 pm
@nimh,
nimh wrote:
...Obama's energy policy proposals ...: should this subject indeed be his #1 priority? What should be his #1 priority? Can you see a "new energy economy" working? Is that the way to go?


kill two (or more) birds with one stone. sounds like a smart idea to me.

i think that having something like this could also do wonders for the country's case of national depression. people in america have been in a bad headspace for years over all of the crap that's been going on. the level of general cynicism is higher than i've ever seen it.

one of the biggest things i have against bush is that he not only hasn't done much to keep the national tenor up, he's pretty much ignored that anything could possibly be wrong with the big picture. until money became an issue. then he's on the tube every day to "address the nation". yeah, at a time when people are either asleep, getting off to work or at work. a real leader, i tell ya.

so i think it would be a really good thing for people to get excited about actually doing something on a big scale that is not only positive for environmental types, but also should be interesting to entrepreneurs and the people who want to quit funding our adversaries in the middle east. it should be exciting to actually have a national goal of energy independence. industrial, military and pro technologies always filter down to the consumer level.

although i'm tempted to list the early space program as the most significant "changer" of our lifetime, digital technology is probably more important since without computerization space exploration would not have been possible. alternative energy development could be a similar technology. i don't think it's far-fetched to envision a day when "the grid" will be greatly reduced as individual dwellings take on compartmentalized responsibility for their energy via a combination of smaller, and more affordable ways of generating their own. where's the downside to getting in your car and driving away knowing that you're not only keeping things cleaner, but sticking it to the oil producing countries that are sticking it to us now; and the ones that will have the capability to do so in the near future?

look, one of the biggest reasons that i've grown to appreciate obama is that he has nothing at all to do with the sixties. i'm so freakin' tired of refighting the revolution, refighting vietnam and all of the other stuff. borrrr-ingggg...

hippies and rednecks. that was then. this now. and i don't see how we are ever going to make in progress if everyone's spending all of their time looking over their shoulder. just doesn't seem like any way to live to me.

if nothing else, it would be great to develop a new homegrown industry that would be a huge job creator, as was the space program.

0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Fri 24 Oct, 2008 01:14 pm
Cheap energy will give us the Solar System, as well.

Lot's of raw material up there, just waiting for us to be able to use it.....

0 Replies
 
talk72000
 
  0  
Reply Sun 26 Oct, 2008 02:07 am
Another should be to beef up the military as there will be testing of a new president. Have the miltary at the ready for the next 9 months. Have the draft reinstated for miltary training of youths but only volunteers for military service. I am sure there might be a higher rate of volunteers of such a service than the sly way used by LBJ of forced draftees and W of getting the reserves and weekend warriors into the warzones.
0 Replies
 
mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Oct, 2008 06:48 am
I have a question about Obama's view of the economy.

Obama has said, and several on here have parroted, that the best way to grow the economy is from the "bottom up".
Now, if that were truly the case, then wouldnt countries like Mexico or Cuba or even some of the African countries be the most powerful economies in the world?
After all, they have mostly "bottom dwellers" concerning their economies, meaning that they have many times more poor then they do rich.

So, if the economy grows from the "bottom up", those countries should be leading the world ecomonically, shouldnt they?
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Oct, 2008 07:01 am
well "top down" economies , like China, do seem to work.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Oct, 2008 01:11 pm
@mysteryman,
H2O MAN
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 26 Oct, 2008 01:16 pm
@nimh,
nimh wrote:
Obama's #1 priority:


Obama's #1 priority is not energy economy.

His #1 priority is to become the 1st black American president.
Priority #2 is to punish success bt raising taxes
Priority #3 is to increase spending and completely ruin our fragile economy.
0 Replies
 
mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2008 04:05 pm
@Butrflynet,
Interesting, but it doesnt answer the question.

If economies are built from the "bottom up" as Obama suggests, then countries that have a large percentage of poor, should be the most powerful economies on the planet.
After all, they have more at the bottom then they do at the top.
H2O MAN
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2008 04:15 pm
@mysteryman,
mysteryman wrote:



If economies are built from the "bottom up" as Obama suggests, then countries that
have a large percentage of poor, should be the most powerful economies on the planet.




Good point!

Just how many jobs have the poor around the world created for others?
How many companies have the poor started?


Bottoms up!
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2008 04:18 pm
@mysteryman,
mysteryman wrote:

Interesting, but it doesnt answer the question.

If economies are built from the "bottom up" as Obama suggests, then countries that have a large percentage of poor, should be the most powerful economies on the planet.
After all, they have more at the bottom then they do at the top.


You raise an interesting point. Let me ask you: do you think China's large base of population is a benefit or a drawback for their 4000 year old civilization?

Cycloptichorn
mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2008 04:30 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
I think its both.
China has what is arguably the oldest civilization on the planet, with an extremely diverse culture and population.
Because of the, they have a dynamic workforce, able to do with muscle power alone what other countries cant do with machinery.

On the other hand, they have serious problems feed ing their population at times, they have some of the, if not the, worst air pollution on the planet, and they suffer from severe overcrowding in the cities.
H2O MAN
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2008 05:30 pm
@mysteryman,
mysteryman wrote:


Because of the, they have a dynamic workforce, able to do with muscle power alone what other countries cant do with machinery.


I understand they are encouraged by armed supervisors in uniform.

There is a real possibility that US labor union members will enjoy this kind of
motivation to work extra hard when Obama brings his new police force online.
0 Replies
 
 

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