Saturday, February 28, 2009

Four Outstanding Opinion Pieces

By Joseph Kellard

I want to pass along four outstanding opinion pieces that I read this week. I’ve provided a brief description of each piece, along with their links and an excerpt from each one.

Keith Lockitch of the Ayn Rand Institute tackles and challenges the growing push for “environmentally-friendly” energies in his op-ed “The Green Energy Fantasy.”

“There is a reason why less than 2 percent of the world’s energy currently comes from ‘renewable’ sources such as wind and solar--the very sources that are supposedly going to power the new green economy: despite billions of dollars in government subsidies, funding decades of research, they have not proven themselves to be practical sources of energy. Indeed, without government mandates forcing their adoption in most Western countries, their high cost would make them even less prevalent.”

Gina Gorlin challenges those who laud Obama as an intellectual to take a second look at this belief in her piece “Obama the Intellectual?,” published in the latest edition of the Objectivist student newspaper The Undercurrent.

“In action, Obama is clearly not an intellectual. He, like Bush and other politicians, is a pragmatist—the exact opposite of an intellectual. Issue after issue, including taxes, the Iraq war, and the environment, reveals that Obama has made decisions, not with reference to firm principles derived from a careful and scholarly investigation of the facts, but by trying to find some middle ground in a landscape of competing opinions.”

Over at Real Clear Politics, Robert Tracinski takes on the task of deciding whether President Obama will turn out to be more like FDR or Jimmy Carter in his column “The ‘Can-Do’ Economy Killer.”

“I have been wondering whether Barack Obama will turn out to be another Jimmy Carter or another Franklin Roosevelt. The least bad option is Carter: a leader whose policies are disastrous for the economy and for US foreign policy, but who ends up being rejected by the American people and voted out of office after only one term -- as opposed to a leader like FDR, whose policies are also disastrous, but who ends up being loved by the American people nonetheless and voted back into office.”

Elsewhere, Tracinski writes about the influence Ayn Rand’ ideas are having on some in the media who are challenging and speaking out against Obama’s “stimulus” plan, and others calling for greater government intervention in the economy, in his column “The Ayn Rand Factor in the Santelli Revolt.”

“It is no coincidence that the strongest resistance to a government takeover of the economy is coming from people influenced by Ayn Rand. She has long functioned as a stiffener of resolve and as the fountainhead of pro-free-market ideas.”

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