Friday, July 30, 2004

I Want More

We're all greedy and we all know it if we're honest. We all want more than we can ever have. Even Bill Gates I suppose. That's why we have energy problems in this country. It's really very simple at heart: cheap energy = better life. Saudi Arabia has the cheapest energy around. That's why we're pulled into Middle Eastern quagmires. That's why we have an endless series of presidents and presidential candidates telling us they have a plan for energy independence, a plan which never quite seems to materialize. Dennis the Peasant, a poster on Roger Simon's blog, has captured the mentality better than I could ever express it. I can do no better but to quote him.

"If you are a C.P.A. in public practice long enough, you eventually end up with someone at your door complaining that "they always seem to be broke" (or some sort of variation on that theme) and they want you to go over their finances and find out what is "wrong". Invariably, and I do mean invariably, what you discover is that you have a new client who is not living within their means.

Now, the first time or two you get this type of client, you put in all sorts of effort detailing out where all the money goes, preparing a household budget, and listing out recommendations as to what needs to be done to bring spending in line with earning. Then you sit the client down in a formal meeting and show them all this wonderful stuff and go over everything in is all professional, by-the-book, high quality work.

What happens next is either (a) the client thanks you and you never see him again, or (b) the client tells you you are full of shit and fires you. This happens because people do not react well, ever, when you start talking to them about adopting a lifestyle that involves fewer goodies than the one they have now. They do not want you to give them analysis and budgets and advice. They want you to make it go away; "You're the accountant. Do something."

After the first couple of experiences with this type of client, what you do is collect your fee and show them the door. Permanently.

It really isn't up to the "government" to rationize our nation's energy policy...and none will because each and every choice available involves both unpleasantness and sacrifice. Period. Any U.S. administration that seriously proposed unpleasantness and sacrifice for energy self-sufficiency would soon be an ex-administration. People don't want energy self-sufficiency...they want "government" to make it all go away. You know, do something.

Ergo, I drive my two and half ton, 4.3 liter V-8 sport utility vehicle without a tinge of guilt...and I get irritable when I get the "SUVs are bad for the environment" thingee (ask Eric Deamer, he will verify that). It ain't about SUVs versus farty little Honda is about $5 a gallon gas, serious vehicle taxes, mandatory urban planning, mass transit, etc., etc., etc....and it is all, most assuredly, about oil.

John Kerry doesn't drive a tofu-powered SUV, and none of the Heinz estates are heated by mung beans. And windmills are not generating the light in the Fleet Center tonight."


Blogger Truffles said...

I take a break from real estate every now and then and click the “next url” link to see what’s up (or down) in the world of blogging. Brought me to your site, which I enjoyed reading. But now I have to get back to my Boca Raton real estate site. Busy market, but also a troubled one with all the hurricane devastation down here in Florida. Stay safe :o)

3:23 PM  

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