I’ve been thinking about this over the weekend and it’s puzzled me. On the one hand, yeah. But really, what exactly is novel about what’s being done these days?
I first thought about highways (Eisenhower’s Interstate System). Is that novel? No, not really. Overall, the government has always been good at building stuff- particularly if it crosses a lot of boundaries with no corresponding all encompassing private sector mandate. So the current infrastructure bill, other than bankrupting the country, is a reasonable and fair idea.
Then I turned to delivering the mail. Again, other than the ridiculous political funding shit going on, who else is equipped to deliver the mail to every obscure address along the length and breadth of this massive country? No one.
And then I thought about clearing snow. Living a quarter mile away from where the snow ain’t cleared, that fell by the wayside.
And, although I haven’t really mentioned it anywhere for contractual reasons, I lost another job in July. For me, this is the cost of living the life I’ve chosen to live so I remain steadfast in that this will likely be only temporary. So don’t cry for me Argentina. John’s battle with unemployment still infuriates me because he didn’t sign up for this shit and it’s absolutely heart rending that he’s been screwed this way.
But anyway, I’m now facing the very real possibility of having to explain possibly the coolest and most relevant to new opportunity job I’ve ever had that I’ve been effectively fired from. Thoughts then turn to crafting the narrative. Yeah, I was brought into DOT to reconcile a Congressionally mandated expansion of CAFE rules into heavy duty vehicle classes with EPA’s Supreme Court mandate to bring CO2 regulation into virtually everything made.
The sticking point ended up being that light duty vehicles are measuring fuel economy. Fuel economy is easy, just lighten and cheapen everything and encourage alternative fuels and electric giving them ridiculous advantages that offset the impossibility of making an internal combustion engine without producing CO2. All other classes of vehicles have a standards based solely on the engine- grams per horsepower. The simple fact here is that the correlation between CO2 output is exactly tied to how much power you get out of the engine. A gallon of gasoline, for instance produces 19.6 pounds of CO2. All day, every day, for eternity. And there is simply no better fuel than fossil fuels (other than nuclear which carries with it it’s own inherent scare tactics). Until (and if) something new seems to climb out of the pits somewhere, you’re stuck.
So, in the long run, EPA had in place the broader regulatory scheme and regardless of whether it can be done or not, that’s the only hope for ever making it happen. So we were forced to accept that EPA would make the rules and we’d copy them and invert the standards. That effectively rendered the DOT organization null and void except for one poor sole who can cut and paste and invert numbers. Since I technically hadn’t been there a full year (half a day short) they forced me to bid adieu.
But getting back to the original question it suddenly dawned on me- it’s not a “novelty axis”, it’s a “create novelty axis”. The goal of the government in pursuit of ever expanding authority and budgets is to create new definitions of everything to allow them to proceed apace.
Just read this morning about the ATF classifying a Florida company’s product, the Rare Breed Trigger, as a machine gun to try to shut them down. The classic play. Triggers aren’t regulated, machine guns are. So the trigger itself becomes the machine gun in a nifty bit of language silliness.
January 6 becomes an “insurrection” despite being a bit of a glorified bar fight that had no intention ever of overthrowing the government, merely trying to get votes counted properly.
And the withdrawal from Afghanistan becomes the only option available despite the fact that a 5 year old knows you pull the badass guys with guns out last, not first.
And, of course, CO2 is declared a pollutant contrary to science and everything rational.
That’s the problem I see.