After the American people make their political choices in November, whoever is elected must make political decisions. This series on United States politics will look at the major decisions facing the newly elected politicians and how they must weigh what to do. Often if not always the choice is balanced between the popular choice, the right choice, and political survival.
It does not matter much who warms the chair in the Oval office in January after the inaugural ball, bottom line is that person will simply face the reality of what looks good on paper, does not work well in reality.
Looking first at the cost of energy that is a global issue and not just a problem in the USA. As with every problem there is a cause and effect. Political decisions often deal with the effect first and look at the cause later. In some cases dealing with the cause is political suicide and as a result it is never addressed.
Energy costs are simply tied to supply and demand. As the global population grows so does the hunger for oil. At the same time the supply of oil dwindles as we have already passed the tipping point of consuming more than can be produced. If there was enough oil the price of oil would be nowhere near where it is now. Admitting or not admitting this fact is a political decision that shows past political decisions were the popular choice and not the right choice.
If the right choice was made way back then, alternative energy sources would be more abundant today and the drain on the supply of oil would be less. Today we see news stories about places that are energy efficient by using alternate forms of energy. Simply this should not be news but common every place we look. It is not news to see cars that consume gas in a driveway, but it is news to see an electric car in a driveway. If the right political choices were made in the past, the news about what type of car in the driveway should be opposite and talking about a relic of the past still being used. Ironically the same right choice that was not made about that is the same not right choice for global warming.
So what is the right political choice today to right this? Well it is very simple, start off with being honest to the people that the wrong choices were made however they were also the popular choices. This will allow people to see that the popular choice is not always the right choice. It also should be explained that often people don’t have the wisdom to see long term and are often only looking short term. As a direct result of that there is often a difference between the popular choice and the right choice. As people look around them it will be difficult to deny this fact.
Next as change seems to be the theme, government grants and low interest loans for startup companies who manufacture alternative energy options. Make use of solar, wind and thermal energy. Instead of seeing a satellite dish only at a house, a windmill too. This way people can generate enough energy to power their new mode of transportation as well as power their house, sell power back to the energy grid and reduce the desire for oil. This will also have the effect of producing jobs that are desperately needed. To encourage the change, significant tax breaks should be given in the right places. Once again ironically this is also the right choice for global warming.
Part 2 will be looking at the war in Iraq.