Al Gore just stepped onstage at Netroots Nation, meaning that I am compelled by my contractual liberalism to post on the environment.
The Wall Street Journal surprisingly opines against carbon-based environmental regulations yesterday. I am also surprisingly wearing shorts and sandals in Austin. And Al Gore is also surprisingly handsome and manly.
The thrust of the argument is that the EPA wants to become some Big Brother regulatory agency that would drastically change how our buildings and vehicles are built and operated, regulating much more of the construction and assembly processes in order to ensure a greener and less damaging economy. Am I the only one who doesn’t see much of a problem with this?
Our economy is, in many critical ways, failing to innovate. And not the we-made-Crystal-Pepsi failing to innovate, but the we-brought-back-old-Coke-as-Coke-classic failing to innovate. It’s affecting every sector of our economy, from automobiles to housing to technology, and our main response to it seems to be to promote tax breaks and incentives that keep said industries from failing rather than encouraging them to succeed and new industries to innovate. If the heavy hand of government needs to come in and shake things up and get us out of this stupor, then so be it – but the fundamental problem with competitiveness in our economy today is that government isn’t doing enough of the right things to shape and focus our economic direction, which has the perverse effect of overloading and even crippling the “free market” with the mandate of government non-intervention.