Originally Posted by dfiler
My head is left spinning after reading a few of those articles, especially after checking up on some of the authors' previous articles.
It seems like Hanson is using the carpet bombing approach. I can't really tell what he's trying to get at other than everything sucks and it is all getting worse by the second. While I agree with some of what he's saying, every other sentence seems to stem from a world view that I don't share. Sometimes it even happens in one sentence. For instance:
Sure, I'm all for fiscal responsibility and less litigation, but what's this about drilling rather than whining? That sentence alone would require a bunch of discussion. The merit of drilling for oil in various locations is quite a complicated subject, and one that seems fairly separate from whether or not america is "not post anything".
When whole articles are made up of such sentences, replying is difficult if not impossible. Even the title of the article demonstrates the shotgun approach to debating, "America Is Not a Post-Anything". What does that mean? That the economy, society, the world in general, hasn't changed one bit? It kinda comes across as everyone is wrong about everything. Which I suppose is a valid assertion, but one that is rather difficult to debate. Perhaps debate wasn't the intended outcome. Maybe he just wants everyone to reanalyze their world view. There's nothing wrong with that, but I'm already doing that without throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
So what does it mean when the author declares America is not post-anything? I would suggest that simply put, it means we are not above the considerations of reality and the trade-offs of what we can accomplish now versus in the future.
He starts off with this sentence...In the last 20 years, we were lectured constantly about "post-industrial" America.
The most recent rendition of this is noted in the second article. When we ask about what might happen to blue collar jobs and we are told they will be replaced with green collar jobs with no real proof that this can happen. When asked what we need to do to take care of our growing energy needs we are told check our tire inflation and conserve. The answer is almost never, create more energy.
I say this as someone who has watched wind projects get stopped off Cape Cod and solar projects held up in the Mojave Desert. Nuclear gets stopped as well. We decry fossil fuels as dirty but feel better about it when we "export" the problem by buying from the world instead of creating solutions here. We want the perfect solution and won't tolerate anything that is transitional.
So to counter this I note that Canada and Denmark can exploit their natural resources AND use them to provide universal health care. Wouldn't that be a worthy trade-off as an example? However in the post-world.. there are no trade offs because there are no rules save for one, we are above the rules and consequences. We will quickly learn that isn't so. We can't wish energy into existence. Many other countries make the trade-offs we declare ourselves to somehow be above. France uses nuclear on a scale unprecedented compared to us as another example. Why is it that we are above all solutions save those that, by politically correct standards, have basically a zero footprint? Why are no other countries so badly tied up? Why can the UK put up massive wind installations, France get 70% of it's energy from nuclear, etc and why can we appear to do none of those things?
In the meantime many of these tie ups are costing us wealth and money. We will buy from others what we cannot bare to believe we should handle here. Oil from others, products and food from others because here we cannot accomplish something until it can be done perfectly.
The last couple bubbles and crashes have (in my view) been attempts to leverage our way out of our problems using what little growth and productivity we have left and attempting to multiply the result with other people's money. It didn't work. No one is above the rules.