Multiple Enthusiasms

Infinite jest. Excellent fancy. Flashes of merriment.

How offshore drilling is like the economic crisis

Found this terrific video at The Daily Show‘s website (and discovered how to embed video, I think, so I’m thrilled. I love The Daily Show):

[vodpod id=Groupvideo.1574908&w=425&h=350&fv=videoId%3D185172]

Both McCain and Palin are proponents of drilling, and not just offshore. The desire/idea to drill seems related to being a Republican; I distinctly remember not long ago when Bush was making the case that we needed to open Alaskan reserves to drilling to, you know, relieve our dependence, or whatever. (which strikes me as further odd, because isn’t the GOP mindset toward less government intervention? I guess it’s just no intervention for those who need it, just for more old white dudes)

Which strikes me as a logically unsound argument. I’ve been teaching my students logical fallacies this past week, and the idea strikes me as one though I’m not sure what sort I’d classify it as. To make an analogy, it seems to me the equivalent of attempting to solve someone’s dependence on heroin by increasing their access to heroin.

It also strikes me as the sort of thing the party who thought ‘economic stimulus checks’ were a good idea would agree is another good idea.

Because, seriously, did that $600 really help all that much? I know I’m still just a broke-ass grad student, but then it ain’t like being a grad student has any relation to being broke at the moment; Lehman Brothers and AIG are both now broke-ass, too.

Which makes me wonder: where’s my $85 billion to bail me out? If the government is going to nationalize the big insurance company and relieve the debts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, why can’t they nationalize healthcare and relieve student loans? I think, for every dollar the federal government uses to either forgive or bolster giant conglomerate companies, they should also pledge one either to a national healthcare policy or to relieving broke-ass grad students of their student loans. Or maybe just lower the interest rate of Federal Stafford loans by, say, 1% or something.

It strikes me that this mad scrambling is the equivalent of cutting off our nose to save our face, rather than spite it. Those stimulus checks were pretty much entirely worthless, just like offshore/reserve drilling is inherently worthless. Just like those stimulus checks have done absolutely nothing to bolster the economy and prevent financial crisis, neither will increased drilling help resolve the energy crisis.


  1. Democrats blocked Bush’s Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Reforms.
    ”These two entities -Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – are not facing any kind of financial crisis,” said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the
    Financial Services Committee.

  2. @Charles: okay, but right, yes, that’s my point. The major perspective is often that government shouldn’t try to reform any businesses except in the cases of anti-trust issues and monopolies. Regardless of whether FM & FM were in crisis back then, shouldn’t the government take a hands-off approach? Let them go under? How many businesses fail every year, and the government doesn’t bail them out, right?

    Unless, of course, I’m missing something. Which has certainly been known to happen. I may well have committed here a false analogy, which is exactly of the sort of fallacy I’ve been teaching my students to avoid.

  3. So much has been going on with politics these days, one minute I’m watching the American conventions, the next I’m hearing Stephen Harper”no longer has the confidence of Parliament,” now there’s a Canadian election on October 14th, which could mean a new Prime Minister. Which could also mean, there’s an opportunity to vote out the conservatives (who are buddies with the republicans.)

    I just think the timing is bizarre.

    So now I’m flipping back and for from CBC to CNN.

    The economic crisis in the U.S. is mind blowing – yesterday, gold went up $80 in one day, the fastest hike in over a decade.

    What we need to do to solve the energy crisis is not be so damned dependant on the oil. We need to put money into other energy sources like wind, and solar, and whatnot. Doing so would not only benefit our dependence, but it would also create many, many jobs.

    The Europeans have been doing so for years, why the hell can’t we?

  4. It’s not important but I was wondering why Charlise theron’s lips are like the econmy or oil drilling? Um, we need be indpendent of her lips? Are her lips part of the econmy?

    “To make an analogy, it seems to me the equivalent of attempting to solve someone’s dependence on heroin by increasing their access to heroin.”

    I like analogies and this is excellent.

    Do you know where they specifically want to drill in Alaska? One place they like is an area we already had reserved as preservation for nature. The other place is fucking Indian reserve. Like us pale faces haven’t caused enough damged to this planet with out destroying a nature reserve and another indian reservation.

  5. @Lisa: yeah, weird world, ain’t it? And the Europeans have been doing a lot of things for years. Europeans are smart that way.

    @Gotham: ah! Vodpod put in the wrong video. I don’t know how to fix it. Dammit. Thanks for pointing it out, though.

    And no, I hadn’t known that. That’s even more infuriating.

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