Obama: Candidate of the 1 Percent
General Carl von Clausewitz warned that artillery is the one weapon that an enterprising adversary could turn against its former owners. Barack Obama's support for cap and trade allows us to similarly turn his class warfare rhetoric against him.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), a strong supporter of Obama's cap-and-trade agenda, has provided us more than ample means to do so. Gillibrand argues in favor of the 21st-century counterpart of indulgence-peddling as follows:
According to financial experts, carbon permits could quickly become the world's largest commodities market, growing to as much as $3 trillion by 2020 from just over $100 billion today. With thousands of firms and energy producers buying and selling permits to emit carbon, transaction fees for exchanges and clearing alone could top nearly half a billion dollars.
... An infrastructure is already beginning to form, as entities like the New York Stock Exchange, J.P. Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and the new Green Exchange are developing carbon trading platforms or expanding their environmental trading desks. There are nearly 100 funds already focused on green investments.
This agenda is very nice for the well-paid executives of J.P. "We just lost two billion dollars of our investors' money" Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, which can line their pockets even more with commissions on the exchange of carbon indulgences, but it has no identifiable benefits for ordinary Americans. We can therefore argue credibly that Gillibrand and Obama are enablers of would-be economic parasites who seek to leech off ordinary Americans, and we will now show why this language of class warfare is accurate.
Obama and His Economic Parasites
An economic parasite is easily identifiable from the answer to the following question: "What would our society lose if this entity liquidated, aside from the loss of the investors' money?" If a coal mine goes out of business, we lose the cheap energy from the coal, along with the miners' high-wage jobs. A farmer who goes out of business no longer produces food for our society. If a good newspaper, magazine, or website goes out of business, its subscribers or visitors can no longer enjoy it, while advertisers lose this means to reach potential customers.
Nothing particularly bad, on the other hand, happened when would-be climate parasite Lehman Brothers went belly-up. If the entities that Senator Gillibrand named were to liquidate tomorrow, we cannot identify any real loss to our national well-being other than the temporary financial turmoil. It would not be as if, for example, the factories of the Ford Motor Company had suddenly closed or some other value-producer had gone under.
Another characteristic of a parasite is that, unlike a symbiont, it returns nothing of value to the host on which it feeds. The host in this case is predominantly the 99 percent about whom the Obama camp likes to talk. The cap-and-trade agenda will force Americans to pay more for all forms of fossil fuel energy, which translates into higher prices for gasoline, heating, air conditioning, and electricity. These costs will hit the working poor and people on fixed incomes the hardest, and these afflicted will get nothing of identifiable value in return.
The effects of cap and trade, however, go even farther. Neither carbon indulgences nor the commissions "earned" by Senator Gillibrand's constituents create any value for our society, so businesses must pass these costs on in the form of (1) higher prices for customers, (2) lower wages for employees, and/or (3) lower returns for investors, most of whom are part of the 99 percent. (Any worker who puts money into a retirement plan is an investor.) This is contrary to Henry Ford's proven socially responsible business model of simultaneously lower prices and higher wages, which he achieved through his invention of what we now call the Toyota production system.
The same goes incidentally for corn ethanol mandates, which have little to do with energy independence or environmental protection and everything to do with the enrichment of elements of the 1 percent at the expense of the 99 percent. Subsidies for corn ethanol hit working Americans hard and working Mexicans, for whom the tortilla is a basic food, even harder. There is nothing socially responsible about mandating or subsidizing the use of hungry people's food as a biofuel to enrich deep-pocketed special interests.
Cap and Trade Moves the Carbon Dioxide (and Workers' Jobs) to China
Cap and trade advocates, along with their accomplices in the United Nations, will nonetheless continue to argue for their agenda under color of environmental protection. This smokescreen breaks down very quickly in the face of economic reality. If carbon taxes or cap-and-trade mandates make American power sufficiently expensive, energy-intensive businesses can deal with the problem by moving their smokestacks, all their carbon emissions, and the jobs underneath the smokestacks to China. Cap and trade will therefore not even make the carbon dioxide go away, and it will make genuine world air pollution even worse. The U.S. regulates sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, and similar real pollutants, but China does not, and China's infamous "brown cloud" often wafts over to our West Coast. The contents of that brown cloud, Californian cap and trade supporters, are your chickens coming home to roost.
Why, then, is Mr. Obama willing to impose hundreds of billions of dollars a year in economic costs to mitigate emissions of a gas that has no effect on human health? The answer is, as is often the case, to follow the money -- namely, from Mr. Obama's campaign contributors at General Electric, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, and elsewhere. These companies' 1 percent, the kind of people who can easily afford to contribute $2,000 to a presidential campaign or attend a $25,000-a-plate dinner, bundled more than $1.5 million to elect the best president their money could buy.
Turn Obama's Class Warfare against Him
Our mission, and Mitt Romney's, is therefore to protect the jobs, wages, and cost of living of the 99 percent against the climate parasites and their enabler in the White House. We can and should foment anti-cap-and-trade resentment by citing J.P. Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and the now-defunct Enron and Lehman Brothers as frequently as possible. The working American cannot afford to host these entities, has no duty to host them, and will not tolerate a president who tries to force him or her to host them.
The bottom line is, therefore, that the 2012 election is not about a Republican versus a Democrat. Real Democrats do not destroy working people's jobs or raise their costs of living to enrich Wall Street speculators. This election is about a Republican versus a phony Democrat who exemplifies the absolute worst stereotype of Republicans: a president for the 1 percent, the guests at his $25,000-per-person dinner or reception, and fat-cat climate parasites.
William A. Levinson, P.E. is the author of several books on business management including content on organizational psychology, as well as manufacturing productivity and quality.