Social Icons

twitterfacebookgoogle pluslinkedinrss feedemail

14 August 2008

Pain at the pump

Well, it should be apparent to everyone by now that gas prices have been falling over the past couple of weeks.  Believe it or not, I was able to fill my tank for less than $50 just the other day.  I never thought that day would come again.

I usually keep my political views to myself (for a variety of reasons – both personal and professional.) However, something has been bothering me a lot lately, and it has to do with business and the economy.  It is the topic of offshore drilling.  I have seen the stories about the pros and cons of offshore drilling and can understand the arguments for both sides of this debate.  That being the case, there is one specific argument that is driving me crazy.  Namely – the effects of offshore drilling would not be felt “for a few years” by American consumers.  Put another way – the American consumer would not benefit from this type of exploration “for a little while.”

If that’s the best that drilling opponents can come up with, then we’re in big trouble!  To help illustrate my point, I want to offer some “what-if” scenarios.  That is, some situations where opponents to an idea might have suggested that we not take action because the effects of such actions might “take some time” to benefit people.  So here goes:

1. What if the opponents to the American Revolution offered an argument that citizens of the colonies might not benefit “for a while” if they fought against the British?

2. What if Abe Lincoln never issued the Emancipation Proclamation because he listened to people who told him that “it might take years” for slaves to actually be freed?

3. What if organizers from cities hoping to host the Olympic Games never put in their bid because people told them that the process itself “takes years” and, once awarded, preparations to actually host the games also “take a long time and a lot of money and effort?”

4. What if entrepreneurs got scared off by the reality that it can “take years of hard work and possible setbacks” to build a successful business?

5. What if Thomas Edison had given up after failing almost 2,000 times before he was able to create the lightbulb?

The list of these “what ifs” could go on and on forever.  My point is that people are hurting right now.  In record numbers, people are losing their jobs and their homes, people aren’t able to afford retirement and people can’t pay their medical bills.  All of this is happening right now.  If our elected legislators don’t take some kind of action right now – those of us who do have to worry about things happening “in a few years” will find that things have not improved.  They will probably have gotten worse – much worse.

I hear that Gov. Jon Corzine came out against offshore drilling because he is worried that it might affect tourism at the Jersey Shore.  I have news for the governor – if he doesn’t stop worrying about the boardwalks surviving, gas might be so high that no one can afford to drive to the shore anymore.

Our history (both in this country and throughout the world) is full of accomplishments and goals that are achieved because people had the foresight to take action years before. So what if it might “take time” for the positive effects of offshore drilling to be realized.  The point is – we’ll never know at all unless we try.

The economy is struggling right now.  More importantly – real people are feeling the pain.  Let’s encourage our lawmakers to take whatever action is available to them to try to make things better.  The alternative is far scarier than not being able to go on the roller coasters at the boardwalk.


Post a Comment