The good news is that this rationale no longer applies: the U.S. energy market, if left to its own devices, without distortions or subsidies, will continue to provide plentiful and affordable power while gradually evolving away from oil and coal as the primary energy sources. This changeover to what will be cleaner energy solutions will accelerate considerably in coming years...
So we find ourselves in a new political moment when for the first time it is possible to imagine an alliance of GOP libertarians, disaffected environmentalists, and budget hawks coming together for a grand deal that would sweep away sixty years of bad energy policy.
Jeffrey Leonard is CEO of the Global Environment Fund, a growth-capital-oriented investment firm, and chairman of the Washington Monthly board of directors.
...that the best way to make politicians care about long-term problems is to collapse the long-term into the short-term. That is, have a crisis, in which that far-off fiscal doomsday is pushed forward to today.
And indeed, if you look at countries that have overhauled their political systems to promote long-term fiscal thinking, you'll see that they seem to have done so either because a crisis was imminent, or one was fresh in their minds.
Over the coming decade, political leaders must convince Americans that the current fiscal [and environmental] course is unsustainable and that only unpleasant changes can rectify things. Trust is never more important than when citizens are asked to make sacrifices for a brighter future. Mistrust of the government making this request could be the harbinger – even the cause – of national decline.
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