One of America's leading authorities on technology and telecom policy, Motley is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, activist, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
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It’s how this country became the economic light of the world. Talented people – free to do amazing things. They become fabulously wealthy – and make all our lives better and richer.
Your computer, your phone, your car, your home’s television, heater and air conditioner and millions of other life-bettering things – created by talented people availing themselves of the free market opportunities this nation gave them.
Of course, some people are more talented than others. Not everyone is Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. Once upon a time, the less-extraordinarily-brilliant appreciated and admired the best of the best.
But we have spent the last half-century-plus training Americans not to appreciate accomplishment and pursue it themselves – but to envy others’ success, and want society to punish them for having the audacity to excel.
And that’s where government comes in. Populated in far, far too many instances by people steeped not in the pursuit of excellence – but in its persecution.
If these people were actually good at productive work – they would be doing productive work. But they’re not. So they’re professional scolds and busybodies – government bureaucrats lording over those doing productive work.
Those who can – do. Those who can’t – regulate those who can.
Meet New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. If there were a dictionary entry for “Anti-capitalist, anti-capitalism government stooge” – posing next to the entry would be Schneiderman. A particular hobby horse of his is the Greatest Scam on Earth – global warming, oops, I mean climate change. Thus he has great disdain for fuels that actually work to fuel our economy – oil and gasoline in particular.
Schneiderman years ago launched an omni-directional witch hunt against ExxonMobil – and brought a lot of his fellow Democrats along with him. And despite failure piled upon failure – Schneiderman continues to be chief persecutor of this private sector success story.
Which means rather than Exxon spending its time, effort and money working to deliver us more and cheaper petroleum – they have to waste a whole lot of all of it dealing with this bureaucrat nightmare. (Remember all of this the next time you don’t like the price at the pump.)
Schneiderman and his ill ilk began by attempting – for more than a year – to prohibit Exxon from engaging in its First Amendment free speech rights. That failed.
So Schneiderman moved on to attempting to punish Exxon for making predictions about what the weather will be. (Yet climate change alarmists and weather persons everywhere continue un-government-addled.) But that too seems to be collapsing under the weight of its own absurdity.
Which brings us to Schneiderman’s latest inanity. And he’s brought President Barack Obama’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) along with him.
Exxon Mobil Says It May Write Down Assets After SEC Probe Into Its Reserves: “During the third quarter, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office launched probes to determine if Exxon should have written down the value of its reserves based on drop in global oil prices that began about two years ago. Unlike peers such as BP and Chevron, Exxon has resisted reducing its assessment of how much its reserves may be worth.”
Schneiderman and the SEC are now disingenuously pretending that a very legal business practice in which Exxon is engaging – is illegal.
Exxon, being a hugely successful oil company, knows what it’s doing in the oil business. So too, by the way, do BP and Chevron. But shared excellence in a shared field does not mean everyone will agree on everything all the time.
To wit: BP and Chevron reduced their third quarter reserve assessments. Exxon chose not to do so – then. They are choosing to do so now.
One of those two decisions will – determined by unfolding market events – turn out to be a better one. However, none of these decisions is illegal.
Yet a bunch of anti-free-market, clueless, feckless government bureaucrats are pretending it is. So Schneiderman can continue his years-long effort to make Exxon’s life miserable.
Here’s a thought: How about we rein in the know-nothing, ideological-tyrant bureaucrats?
And let those skilled in the art of productive work – get back to engaging in productive work.
Unhindered and un-harassed by the know-nothing, ideological-tyrant bureaucrats.
Our economy, our nation – and the world – would be so much the better for it.
[Originally Published at Red State]