When corporate and government greed take over America
“State of emergency!” declared Governor Mark Dayton, January 27, 2014. Minnesota is cancelled due to the cold, said Star Tribune meteorologist Paul Douglas, tongue in cheek. But it’s no joke.
Governor Dayton activated Minnesota’s National Guard to help with safety and rescue situations, opened Minnesota National Guard armories as shelter for people without heat, and called for a meeting with propane sellers and distributors to discuss price gouging. The Governor pushed to the sidelines issues not of life and death, lesser issues like the Vikings stadium and the Minnesota bid for Super Bowl 2018, as he spoke to the hardship suffered by Minnesotans and others in the upper Midwest due to the dangerous shortage of propane gas to combat the cold in a nation of abundant energy.
Why a shortage? Because of two dangerous ideas: (1) place profit over compassion, denying propane to those without heat who can’t afford the price gouging, and (2) a shortage of propane due to the change from 1968’s discussion of the need for fuel for warmth in a new ice age to claiming there will be no more polar ice caps and no more extreme cold due to global warming. We see the protection of profit, price gouging, and fees (whether both “green/sustainable” and “regular”), as seen in the Minnesota State Supreme Court’s ruling on Viking Stadium law suits, in the extra fees for delivery charged by propane distributors, and in the governor’s statement that additional costs have to be passed on to the consumer, even though the shortage and higher costs were created by planners ignoring (due to “warming”) the Farmer’s Almanac warning of this cold.
Over abundance of potential energy for heat has been crippled by over abundance of regulations and “warming planners” ignoring the over use of propane last fall to dry out water-soaked corn crops, making our beloved Minnesota sound like an underdeveloped nation. Some Minnesotans are being asked to pay five dollars per gallon for propane gas that last year was going for $1.59. Some are told they must pay $1,000 for 150 gallons of propane. To regulators, sellers and propane distributors alike: Shame! Shame! Shame!
I shudder thinking of families with babies, children and elderly without propane, facing plunging temperatures and wind-chill readings of minus-55 degrees below zero, as wind-driven blizzards sweep across the state, freezing solid everything in its path, with their primal fear and survival anxiety made worse by federal planning interfering with where such planning should occur (denying state and local levels: Minnesota knows cold).
We have been locked in a block of ice for over a month. I commend Governor Dayton for recognizing the desperate situation facing Minnesotans. Although we hope that by July 4th we’ll be laughing when we speak of The Great Winter of 2013-14, this is not the time for levity when facing the uncompassionate greed of big corporate or the lack of cold planning by global warming bureaucrats. We need to be more sensitive to the importance and safety of all of our citizens, not just the top five percent.
Those seeking excuses for not being compassionate ignore the moral framework of Adam Smith, who wrote of the need for “compassion” in the marketplace of the “invisible hand” in pursuit of economic benefit: “All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind.” For Smith, society survives when there are rules for not harming each other.
This senselessness must be explained. Those responsible must be held accountable.
For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solution papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. To order his books go to Beacon on the Hill Press.