Cheat-Seeking Missles

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Gaia Vs. Druidity

Gaia vs. Druidity? Hmmm. That was the subject line on an email my friend Neil sent me rather late Friday night. It started with an interesting interpretation of things and ended with a whacked-out bit of history that could come back all too soon if the Dems win in November, so here goes:

We'll start with some basic economics with a liberal lens:
"At the same time, soaring costs of energy and food are among the ways that a market-based society attempts to maintain equilibrium when supply fails to keep up with potential demand. Rationing by price is a profoundly inequitable way to sort out who gets food and energy in a time of shortages, and who does not, but unless the industrial world goes through drastic political changes in the very near future, it’s the way we’re stuck with, and it does have at least one pragmatic advantage: the ration coupons (we call them “money”) and the entire system of rationing are already in place, ready to use, without massive social engineering."
'Tis true and it can be a cruel system, but the last couple hundred years of human history has proved beyond the shadow of a Krugerrand that there is no better system. When times get tough for folks and they need more "ration coupons," the system provides two solutions: working harder (preferred) or stealing from others welfare (preferred by "progressives").

As it turns out, though, we apparently came pretty close to another kind of coupon in 1974 and 1975, when the wayward government ordered up millions of gas rationing coupons in anticipation of a crazy free-market run on the pumps.

Neil, who worked for the feds for a number of years and developed a healthy sense of humor about them as a result, wraps up the story:
The story gets worse. During Gasoline Crisis I, which brought out the worst in people when I was working at Seat of Government, billions of these coupons were indeed printed. To guard against, and verify, counterfeiting, the Powers that Be, in their Infinite Wisdom, decided to engrave the same George that is on the dollar bill. Anyone could compare the faces and detect a phony.

The story really gets worse. Some enterprising bureaucrat discovered that you could tape the coupon to a piece of paper the size of a dollar bill, run it through a change machine, and get four quarters. The government would be giving away money.

So the Powers that Be exercised more of their Infinite Wisdom and destroyed all the coupons, not realizing that gasoline would soon climb above $1 per gallon and only drooling idiots would trade their coupons for less than face value.
These are the fine people we entrust our freedom, sovereignty, health [NOT YET!], security and economic well being to.

Gaia vs. Druidity? Your guess is as good as mine.

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