In examining the involvement of the state in national energy markets one can become easily overwhelmed and dismayed by the scope and complexity of the state’s reach into the energy industry. While the brute force power of the state influences much of the industry’s compliance (US Code) there is also the factor of the money, forcibly taken from tax payers, doled out to the energy sector — this is pure corporate welfare. At a minimum, this corporate welfare encourages corruption and market inefficiencies.
One could write in depth about energy, and state involvement within the energy sector but that would become pedantic. Instead, a section from a complex government report from the US Energy Information Administration (EAI) summarizes the labyrinth of programs and rules representing the state’s reach into the U.S. energy sector.
EIA identified over 70 federal domestic assistance programs, many of which have multiple subprograms, as part of direct or research and development expenditures displayed in this report. 1
It should be obvious this situation is unhealthy; over 70 government programs each being a fiefdom on to the selves is not a ideal way to deal with the intricacies of energy production and consumption. The complexity and waste of most government programs of this size is well understood – Medicaid, Medicare, Veterans Administration, Department of Defense, etc..There are news stories almost daily of the waste and fraud within these programs but few documenting the costs of subsidized energy.
However, there is a fundamental flaw beyond the administrative bloat these programs induce, there contradicting interests being simultaneously subsided – renewable vs. fossil vs. nuclear. While most libertarians are aghast at the state picking winners and losers in the market, it is completely lacking congruence of investing in competing sources of energy and expecting increased development and innovation within the industry.
A table in the aforementioned report, Table ES2 highlights taxpayers are subsidizing fossil, nuclear, and renewable sources of energy on a yearly basis to the tune of roughly $30B. The older energy industry sees these investments as an incentive for the status quo and the newer burgeoning energy businesses use their subsides as a crutch and do not innovate as they would if they were competing for their company’s lives in the free market.
It is time to remove the state from energy production and let the free markets deliver the most economical and sustainable energy possible.
“Direct Federal Financial Interventions and Subsidies in Energy in Fiscal Year 2013.” EIA, U.S. Energy Information Administration , Mar. 2015, https://www.eia.gov/analysis/requests/subsidy/pdf/subsidy.pdf.
Redistribution is a statist method of taking from one individual (under the threat of violence) and giving what was taken to another individual who is supposedly in poverty. The practice is antithesis to everything libertarian.
Poverty can be avoided in many cases by following these steps:
- Complete high school and if possible, obtain further career training
- Do not have a child out of wedlock
- After completing your education or career training, work full-time at your career
- Obey all statist laws even if you disagree with them to remain non-incarcerated
Following these simple tenets will help keep most individuals out of poverty thus lessen the need for the unjust practice of income redistribution.
There are several simple modifications to American policy and to our US Constitution that would quickly set America on a path to prosperity and happiness. They include:
- End America’s role as the world’s policeman – follow the current Constitution’s prescriptions on the use of our military
- Abolish the IRS and replace it with a fee based system of funding for only Constitutionally defined activities the federal government can participate in
- Abolish all non-Constitutionally defined government activities with an all encompassing amendment to the US Constitution i.e. disbands cabinet roles such as HHS and Department of Education and governmental agencies such as as the EPA. This action will force the end of federal programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, etc
- Rollback all federal laws for victimless crime
- Strengthen federal laws on property rights, citizen on citizen violence, and fraud and coercion
- Provide each student under the age of 18 in America with uniform financial stipend that can be used for education and training at the institution of their parents’ choice
- Add an amendment to the US Constitution forbidding an income tax or ending the fiscal year without a balanced budget
- Stop all federal surveillance unless sanctioned by the terms in the 4th amendment to the US Constitution
- Reform immigration to include work permits, simple path to permanent residence, and add an amendment to the US Constitution forbidding of federal aid to new arrivals
- Abolish the Federal Reserve and have legislative control over the current which would be backed by gold and other non-perishable assets
The results of these policies would be:
- Reduction in cost of national defense and a more popular America throughout the world
- Reduction in the cost of collecting funds for the federal government and elimination of corruption caused by the current tax code
- Reduction in the cost of government and the ability of citizenry to chose to localize services and the state and municipal level. There would now be a separation of government and business and government and healthcare, etc..
- Reduction in incarceration rates and the cost of administering justice with America
- Would offer American’s a more equitable and constitutionally sanctioned justice system
- Education is critical to a free society so a free parental choice based primary and secondary education would be provided to all students at a baseline level. The funding would come at the federal level from fees collected from selling, renting federal assets
- Keeps economic prosperity and assures continued economic justice
- Eliminates “Big Brother” for our lives
- Stops illegal immigration and assures America access to the world’s best and brightest
- Allows a sound money policy and uses market forces to guide interest rates and subsequent investments