Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Oh great. Just what we want to hear.

Economic Slump

I've been thinking how this economic morass could be solved with new investment in alternative energy and mass transit, although the time frame to 'flip the switch' from fossil fuels to other alternatives is likely decades, not years, and especially not fiscal quarters or months.

If you read the article, everyone is saying that with low fossil fuel prices, we can't "afford" to invest in alternative energy (and mass transit, which is inextricably tied).

So let me get this straight. We can't "afford" to invest, to focus, to expand our views and thinking (and our hearts), to think outside our capitalist box, to change directions in technologies (and lifestyles) which will ensure the future of humanity for at least another couple of hundred years. We should actually be looking at a five hundred year window, when the capitalists typically look at a five year payback. There's a huge disconnect for ya. Electrical pun intended.

But we CAN afford to invest, to blindly follow, to bury our collective cabezas in the sand, to keep paying our utility bills like good little citizens, to keep enriching the wealthy, and the stockholders of energy/utility companies and automobile manufacturers, to be "safe and sound" with more of the same, worsening our environment each day, raping our Mother Earth and its future generations in our indifference, ensuring the demise of humanity on this earth. I see, YES WE CAN!

Maybe this means Circuit City doesn't have to go bankrupt. If we're not going to invest in ALT Energy Inc., then maybe we can go ahead and buy that 175 foot yacht I've been wanting.

"Hey Steve, hey good morning, it's Alex. I hope I'm not calling you too early. Hey do me a favor. Will you start working on consolidating some liquid assets for me. I need $100 million for this yacht I've been looking at. Actually just 25 for now. I'm pretty sure the salesman said that was the amount of the deposit. I can take possession with 25. I want to take the little lady for a cruise around the Med as a Christmas gift. Can you pull it together in three weeks? Pirates? There are pirates in the Med? I thought they were only around the bend in the Gulf. Oh. Better make it 30. I'll need some operating funds anyway. You know anyone over at Blackwater? No? I'll call Cheney, he'll know someone. Alright. Thanks. Talk later. [click] Hey Dick! Good morning to ya...this is Alex..."

No, I'm not that naive. I know that's not how it works. I know people can't consider investment in things that don't return that investment, plus a little something we call return on investment. ROI. Perhaps that is the ultimate question...okay, not the ultimate, but pretty high up there. Would you give money away, knowing you would never see it again, to ensure the future of humanity on the earth? Would you give money away to ensure the starving of the world could eat and be nourished? Would you give money away to develop alternate energies and mass transit? Would you give money away to ensure clean water, clean air, a safe food supply, healthy topsoil, a clean and sober society, healthy people through preventative medicine, smart(er) people through better education, more justice in the justice system, and on and on and on.

That's essentially what taxes are. We give our money away never to see it again. But for me, I see that as an investment. I want to see a return on that investment. We should all want to see a return on that investment. Huge funding, HUGE return. I don't want to see it go into the black hole of government, only to be pulled out of someone's pocket next month to pay their utility bill.

I'm headin' off to work. Got bills to pay.

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