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Bankrupting the Coal Industry – A Keynesian Conspiracy

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by Brent Dickerson

In 2008 President Obama made the following remarks to the San Francisco Chronicle:

He affirmed that “if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.” I am sure that we all heard this at some point over the past four years.

We know that Obama is driven by a far left ideology that will justify, for him, any actions taken that harm Americans or the American economy. Within this leftist belief is that of the environmental extremist. So we could stop here and say that Obama is an environmental extremist who wants to place Gaia (mother earth) over the needs of earth’s inhabitants. But I think it goes further than that. Obama adheres to the ideals of John Maynard Keynes – an economist whose theories are highly controversial ever since their introduction in the early 1900s; which, by the way, has been put into practice in American public policy since the Great Depression.

The problem with these theories is that they often times don’t work. Such is the case with, among others, the Keynesian belief that inflation is not of concern, but unemployment is. Couple that notion with the idea that unemployment is always too high. We can argue over a level of unemployment that is too high, but one thing is certain, and most economists (minus Keynesians) agree, there is always a certain level of unemployment because some people just refuse to work. That level, over my lifetime, has been set anywhere from 3% to 5%.  At these levels our economy would be considered to be at full employment. So unemployment is important to the economy there is no doubt, but to a Keynesian it is the most important even over inflation.

Additionally, a low rate of inflation is important to a thriving economy – just study the Germany in the period between WWI and WWII and then you will understand why. So, if Obama believes Keynes, and he wants to bankrupt the coal electric generating industry I have to wonder if there can be a connection made here. Perhaps, he is looking to create a “crisis” that he can benefit from – just as Rahm Emanuel instructed with his famous line, “never let a crisis go to waste.”

My thought about all of this is this – Obama would like to bankrupt coal for the reasons I expressed above.

Coal is the greatest producer of energy in the USA. If coal plants go out of business, they will not be out of business for long. There are too many people that depend on electricity from these plants. Tens of millions of American’s without electricity will not fly, so what will be done? The same as was done with the bank bailouts and GM. He will nationalize them. He will make the electric energy industry his enemy, and declare that the only way to save the country is to take them over, bail them out, and let them retrofit their operations to meet his clean air standards.

The government will constrain them on raising rates too much in order to protect the customers, so the companies will not be able to make profits and within a matter of time, coal production will either go the way of the rotary dial telephone or will be under the control of the Department of Energy or some new Consumer Electricity Secretary.  If this is fulfilled, then Obama, or whoever is in office at that time, will be able to use the coal industry to meet political needs like full “Keynesian” employment, and guess who will be on the hook for all the money being lost due to the new regulations? Guess who else will be losing more of their freedoms and liberties due to an expanding socialist movement? You know the answer to that and it isn’t the elected and unelected officials in DC.

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