MSNBC has become a strange cult. To join it, you just keep comparing everything to slavery.
Like oil, which is just like slavery. Every time Chris Hayes gets driven to MSNBC in a limo, it’s like he owns 400 slaves. And the only solution is to bring back slavery. Or something.
Let’s let him explain.
Hayes begins at Fort Sumter because if you’re pretending to be a progressive public intellectual, every policy critique begins there. Charter schools? Fort Sumter. Fat shaming? Fort Sumter. Common Core? FORT SUMTER.
Anyway in five pointless paragraphs, Hayes establishes that slaves were worth a lot of money. This is something no one else knew before, but it helps distract Nation readers from the utter stupidity of his argument with a wealth of details.
His premise, at the bottom of Page 1 is that slaves were worth a lot of money. Oil is worth a lot of money.
“Before the widespread use of fossil fuels, slaves were one of the main sources of energy (if not the main source) for societies stretching back millennia.”
The only solution is to “to convince or coerce the world’s most profitable corporations and the nations that partner with them to walk away from $20 trillion of wealth” by not producing any more oil.
And maybe bringing back slavery. As Hayes admits, oil helped make slavery and human labor irrelevant. What’s the alternative to cheap energy? Cheap labor.
But then having spent a whole page comparing slavery to oil, Hayes goes on to say. “It is almost always foolish to compare a modern political issue to slavery, because there’s nothing in American history that is slavery’s proper analogue. So before anyone misunderstands my point, let me be clear and state the obvious: there is absolutely no conceivable moral comparison between the enslavement of Africans and African-Americans and the burning of carbon to power our devices.”
And then in the very next paragraph he writes, “The connection between slavery and fossil fuels, however, is more than metaphorical.” And goes back to comparing slavery to oil.
This is your brain. This is your brain on MSNBC.
After spending another page comparing slavery and oil, he interrupts with another warning.
“Let me pause here once again to be clear about what the point of this extended historical comparison is and is not. Comparisons to slavery are generally considered rhetorically out of bounds, and for good reason. We are walking on treacherous terrain. The point here is not to associate modern fossil fuel companies with the moral bankruptcy of the slaveholders of yore, or the politicians who defended slavery with those who defend fossil fuels today.”
And then he goes back to comparing slavery and oil…
By the last page, Hayes gets to the point. Work within the system to stop oil. “What we need to save the earth is to forcibly pry trillions of dollars of wealth out of the hands of its owners.”
That 1 percenter rhetoric is cute, but really rich people can always find ways to get really rich. Green Energy is a case in point. All Socialist dictatorships have their 1 percent.
What the left’s war on energy really does is attack the working class and the middle class. Take away cheap fuel and driving to work becomes prohibitive and no, you can’t build light rail across rural America.
Take away cheap fuel and food becomes more expensive. So do services. A big chunk of the middle become the new poor. And Obama is already making that happen to some degree.
But Hayes is pushing divestment.
While admitting that “immensely, unfathomably profitable”, he praises a “divestment movement is pushing colleges, universities, municipalities, pension funds and others to remove their investment from fossil fuel companies.”
Is this awesome plan hurting the energy industry… or liberal institutions?
Colleges already have huge piles of debt. Many pension funds are already in bad shape. Lefty divestment movements just make them more unprofitable.
If fracking is profitable, divestment won’t stop it. It will hurt colleges and union pension funds. It will hurt liberal institutions.
Sustainable investing is helping bring CALPERS in California to its knees. That’s why actual lefty millionaires like Michael Moore and Medea Benjamin invest in the very companies they claim to oppose, like Haliburton and Caterpillar.
Finally Hayes gets mildly clever. Mildly.
“Investors, even those unmotivated by stewardship of the planet, have reason to be suspicious of the fossil fuel companies. Right now, they are seeing their investment dollars diverted from paying dividends to doing something downright insane: searching for new reserves. Globally, the industry spends $1.8 billion a day on exploration. As one longtime energy industry insider pointed out to me, fossil fuel companies are spending much more on exploring for new reserves than they are posting in profits.”
And Amazon spends more money developing its markets than paying dividends. That’s the difference between long term thinking and short term thinking.
Energy is very much boom and bust. Smart companies avoid the cycle through long term exploration investments. Hayes wants to sabotage them by having them act like progressive economists, blowing through the money with no thought for the future.
Every single day. If investors say, “Stop it—we want that money back as dividends rather than being spent on exploration,” then, according to this industry insider, “what that means is, literally, the oil and gas companies don’t have a viable business model. If all your investors say that, and all the analysts start saying that, they can no longer grow as businesses.
The problem is who are these retarded investors?
If liberals have divested from energy companies, all that’s left is for MSNBC to try and convince investors who don’t want to divest that they need to think of energy as a short term business.
And that just means they’ll be shouldered aside by investors looking at the big picture.
All investors won’t be idiots. That’s because finance doesn’t work like a college campus where mass conformity to ideology yields rewards. You don’t make money by doing the stupid thing everyone else is doing.
You make money by realizing it’s stupid and not doing it.
In fact, in certain climate and investment circles, people have begun to talk about “stranded assets”—that is, the risk that either national or global carbon-pricing regimes will make the extraction of some of the current reserves uneconomical.
That’s Obama’s promise to make coal too expense to mine or burn all over again. The people being hurt by that aren’t slaveowners. Mostly they’re the descendants of slaves.