Wednesday, June 9, 2010


I haven't hidden my thoughts about the oil spill and its ultimate impact on the Gulf Coast.  I believe it will be devastating and we can lay the blame right at the feet of BP.  I have heard that they did not have proper safety equipment or redundant systems in place to stop this blow out - I can't confirm or deny that, but rather than linger on who is to blame, we unfortunately have the results that continue to billow up in the form of barrels and barrels of crude. 

I feel so badly for those that are fishermen, hotel owners, and anything that has to do with the vacation industry.   I think the image below says everything.  So far, many have received a small bit of compensation, but let's face it, many will be put out of business and no amount of "compensation" can replace a person's way of life.

ORIGINAL CAPTION: River Shay, 13, stands in the front yard of his camp with his dog "Smash", while his father Patrick Shay, a seafood business owner from River Ridge, Louisiana, digs grave sites "In Memory of all that is lost courtesy of BP and our Federal Government," at their fish camp in Grand Isle, La, on Memorial Day, Monday, May 31. (Sean Gardner / Reuters)

So there you have it, the accident in the Gulf will destroy many industries and put much of the Gulf into a recession, but I've been pondering what other things the spill is going to do.  As with any big "black swan" event, many first looked for our government and President to step forward and resolve the issue (cause that is what we do when you are in a Nanny State).  I guess it is that so many people think that because the government has access to an unlimited checkbook (not unlimited really - we'll soon find out), that it can swoop in and save us from anything.  Perhaps it is because our politicians and the government tell us that it can do anything and has the answer to all the things in life that are wrong or unfair.  Perhaps it is because we are looking for a savior, or we as a nation are just soft and think that someone should bail us out when ever we get in a mess.  Heck, if you remember back to the election with the woman that flat out stated that Barrack Obama would pay for her gas and her mortgage when he became President (wonder how she's doing now?).  Since I'm writing this, I'm guessing that you might know that I have a different opinion.  I believe that government's actions are often the very cause of many of our problems.

In fact, I think recent history shows us that actually government is not able to perform well as a savior in any respect and in fact is just a huge consumer of time and energy.  Let's think for a moment when we've drawn on the resources of the US government to save us.

2007-2008 (Financial Crisis) - Despite the fact that the Fed helped cause it  / NOPE - Current cost is greater than $2 Trillion and we are still discussing how we may be in a double dip recession and how the world's credit markets are worse than they have ever been.

2005 - Hurricane Katrina - This for me is the big one.  This event was George Bush's Waterloo.  The entire country looked at the government to save New Orleans from the hurricane only to find that the government could not manage anything.  The scope of the problem was so large and the complete collapse of local government destroyed the ability of the federal government to manage this situation.  Clearly lack of planning and total corruption of local Louisiana government complicated matters.  No matter the reasons, the federal government received an F for its handling of the crisis.

Finally, we have this terrible environmental destruction.  Obviously the government doesn't have the equipment or the expertise to take over and plug the leak, I don't expect them to.  The point of my discussion here is to highlight that what we are hearing is the government should "DO SOMETHING" and our President tells us he needs to know "who's ass to kick".  No amount of regulators or moratoriums will help "fix" this situation in the gulf.  The reality is that I'm shocked that big leaks like this haven't happened before.  I am not looking for the administration to do anything, but ensure that the Coast Guard has the ability to coordinate the cleanup.  Seeing the President in Florida and Alabama for the third, fourth, or fifth time does nothing to impress me.  Cries for him to show his outrage are a waste as well.

Ultimately, when we do not have expectations, we are not disappointed.  I think this is the issue that we are seeing come to a head....again.  The BP catastrophe is destroying the Gulf and the false idea that government is the answer to anything.