But Obama’s that Socialist!

I was over at MacRumours discussing everything Mac, and noticed the old cliché that Obama is a Socialist. It provoked the following response.

*******

Hey, what’s wrong with socialism?

Isn’t that a bit rich that McCain uses this word given McCain also voted for the government injection of the 700 big ones into your banking system?

Speaking as an outside observer of US politics and living in “Socialist Australia” where our Medicare rocks, costs less tax dollars per capita and achieves a better health outcome, I’m not that fussed about a teeny weeny tax increase on the uber-wealthy. You guys are so right wing there’s a LONG way to go in the USA before Obama even enters the Australian “centralist” political dialogue, and I hardly classify us as socialists. Gosh, I wish we had some “bigger government” programs right now… and that’s not because I’m a raving lefty. In fact, over the last decade I’ve voted conservative more than lefty.

There are simply times of national and international crisis when we need bigger government intervention, and times when government can be stripped back to the bare basics. Given the scientific consensus of the onset of human caused mass-ecocide, species extinction, biodiversity loss, global warming, peak oil (the geology hasn’t changed even though the prices have), and the MASSIVE infrastructure programs all these emergencies require, I’m absolutely sure —*through and through —*that we need an emergency “War time economy”. This time it is a war with our collective addiction to oil and suburbia and the religion of GROWTH.

If I ran the world, I’d nationalise public transport, build intercity rail, freeze all highway upgrades, pour billions into trains, trams, and trolley buses —*in effect the “electrification” of our transport systems (especially here in Australia where we have so much land to cover), freeze any airport upgrades until we knew how much jet fuel we had, and above all adopt the Oil Depletion Protocol to get a REAL energy audit out of the OPEC countries that don’t open up their books and fields to our inspection. It’s time we knew just how much of their oil was “Paper barrels”.

Let’s face it: with the Federal governments of the world picking up the tab for highways and roads, isn’t oil the most government subsidised commodity ever pushed on the taxpayer? Isn’t it time we looked ahead and realised that there is no hydrogen economy that can be ramped up in time and maybe never will be? Isn’t it time we questioned the car-dependent suburban plan?

IN short: isn’t it time we ALL admitted that government town planners are the ones responsible for the shape of our cities, stopped rabbiting on about the MARKET dictating our town plans, and realised that it is a government responsibility to plan for a lower energy, lower resource, but far more rewarding and just downright TRENDY town plan called New Urbanism? America won’t “drill” it’s way to energy independence, NPR news covered that recently. If you opened up all offshore and Alaskan oil you’d have an extra 1% on the world market for oil which will do diddly squat for the price of oil when the decline actually sets in.

It’s time to build New Urbanism —*walking distance town plans —*supported by rail. (Trains, trams, and trolley buses.) It’s time to admit that a car’s fuel is only half the energy it will burn, that 50% of it is already used in the CONSTRUCTION of the car, mining of its metals, etc. It’s time to get serious, and I just don’t think Obama is socialist ENOUGH for the scope of this crisis.

We need the government to just DO this, and they are too busy chasing the wind of popular opinion to lead. It’s a dangerous, dangerous world out there people, and certain realities are coming to a civilisation right near you. Time to wake up.

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