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Sunday, September 7, 2008

China for a day


I just watched Tom Friedman discussing his new book "Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution--and How It Can Renew America" on today's Meet the Press. One of the things he mentioned when discussing the book was his chapter titled "China for a day." In this chapter Friedman says he talks about how the US could push through solutions for our energy crisis if the government could just decide to go forward and do it, rather than Congress having to deal with the lobbyists and the red tape within the Washington bureaucracy. If there is one positive about China's communist government it is that when China decides to commit itself to doing things to advance good causes, they get it done.

Here in a democratic republic like the US, we can't afford to wait for the government to do its dance with the lobbyists and special interest groups and then hope that they make the right decisions on big issues like energy policy. That is why Friedman told Tom Brokaw that instead of a government sponsored Manhattan project for energy, he would rather see the "next economic revolution", what he called the ET or energy tech revolution, follow the model created by the Information Technology revolution - supporting and encouraging the start up of 100,000 companies that will attempt to solve one piece of the renewable energy problem.

I have pre-ordered the book, which is officially on the shelves tomorrow (Monday). The book sounds like it will be a hit like Friedman's other efforts. It also sounds like something the eventual President-elect needs to read between election day and their inauguration in January.

8 comments:

Frank said...

I think this is exactly what I said in my comment to your previous post. The change has to come from individuals. It does not matter who win's in November they will not make the necessary changes regarding energy/environment because of the political system that surrounds them. We need the change to come from individuals...everything from 'green entrepreneurs' to people that choose Seventh Generation over P&G products. Just my opinion...

Schultz said...

Frank - I too believe that individuals will make the difference, Tesla Motors is a great example of this. However, I think that our government needs to support legislation that helps the new technologies and entrepreneurs, which is why I favor Obama's energy plan since it is more supportive of new ventures in things like renewable fuels and plug in electric vehicles. By supporting the oil companies and by letting legislation like solar incentives expire the government is not doing what they need to support the start ups and new clean and green tech industries that will be behind the economic revolution that Friedman was talking about.

Anonymous said...

not related to this post, but you asked for an easy-to-read chart from the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center...

here it is... source is TPC
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2008/06/09/ST2008060900950.html

here's where i saw your question:
http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2008/06/comparison-of-t.html

Schultz said...

That was the commenter below me on the Tax Policy blog...but thanks anyways!

rearden215 said...

In a democratic republic, no one wants to wait for any government, or it's lamprey lobbyists, to do anything.

And, anyone who appeals to the information technology sector as a model for success never dealt with the sector which sucked capital and money down it's own rabbit hole and coughed up little in return.

Capitalistic 'greed' is the force which lowered the price of lamp oil in the 1860's from $4.00/gallon to $0.50/gallon; reduced the price of an automobile from $5,000 to $500 and allowed most of us to enjoy an affordable fire feature on our patios and decks.

Schultz said...

"Capitalistic 'greed'" also brought us the mess we are in now known as the subprime fiasco!

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