Contrasting World Views
Glenn compared worldview of traditional Americans on the one hand with progressives on the other.
- Both feel that the current situation is unsustainable.
- They differ in the belief that the free market is the solution to the problem.
- Another difference is the belief in the individual as a solution – traditional Americans do and progressives believe in government, global governance and redistribution of wealth globally.
He feels that Americans are confused by what Obama and the administration is doing because they assume Obama (and advisors) share their worldview and thus have trouble understanding why the administration is taking certain actions. A case in point was the Gulf oil situation.
Gulf Oil Situation
The administration has stopped deep water drilling to help “save the planet”. Additionally, they are requiring that oil firms permanently cap 3,500 existing wells that are not being actively used.
At the same time, the administration has loaned the Mexican government $2 billion to drill in the very same area in the Gulf of Mexico. Also, $2 billion has been loaned to Brazil to exploit their newfound oil fields in depths exceeding the BP well causing this year’s oil spill problem. How is the planet being saved if Brazil and Mexico are encouraged to drill when Americans are prohibited?
The byproduct of the drilling ban is that rigs will leave and jobs will be lost. Capping the standby wells may cost oil companies up to $3 billion and will deprive them future revenues of up to $18 billion. Currently, the jobs lost estimate is 23,000. (Elsewhere, 80,000 jobs in total will be lost is estimated if the ban is made permanent.)
Ordinary Americans don’t understand why, if jobs are so critical, should the government deliberately destroy them. Progressives have other goals as described below.
Video clips were shown of several advisors declaring that to save the environment, America must be deindustralized and reconfigured to produce jobs that are environmentally friendly. This also plays into the objective of the global redistribution of wealth by transferring jobs to poorer countries. In the oil situation noted above, America loses oil jobs and poorer countries gain them. Going forward, Americans will be forced to buy oil from these poorer countries thus transferring more wealth from America to the developing world.
Glenn noted that the last plant manufacturing incandescent light bulbs has closed (putting those people out of work). In 2012, incandescent light bulbs will no longer be sold. Jobs manufacturing replacement CFLs are not located in America but in China, another transfer of jobs to the developing world. Similarly with solar panels and wind generators.
Cass Sunsteen, Regulatory Czar vs Homer Simpson Americans
Part of the progressive worldview is that ordinary Americans are pretty much Homer Simpson like. Thus, they need to be guided by the government to make correct decisions. His definitive book, Nudge, lays out strategies for guiding people to make those correct decisions. This is done by making inappropriate decisions illegal, more expensive or administratively cumbersome to accomplish, or politically incorrect. Shown was a clip of a homeowner in Georgia that was fined for growing too many vegetables and giving some of them away. Another clip was of a man not being permitted to dig at the beach in Florida. Restricting salt in New York, transfats in food, smoking restrictions, are other examples. (Elsewhere Arizona politicians have decreed that their electric utilities reduce their output by 5% by a certain date. Significantly, California gets some of it’s electricity from Arizona.)
Union Members vs Union Leaders
Glenn spoke to union members and asked them to review the positions of the union leadership. Several clips were shown of union leaders discussing global unionization. He asked that if union leadership is focused on global membership, how they would deal with the American union members. If American members average $75,000 per year, and overseas union members average $300 per year, how will the union leadership level that playing field? Also, given the difference in numbers, the American membership will have to receive much less if jobs are to be given to those members overseas to raise their wages substantially. Another transfer of wealth globally.