After a long day mostly away from the computer yesterday, I got a chance to read Sarah Palin’s speech in India, a success that some in the American media seemed oddly unable to capture in their reporting. Unfortunately, I missed the chance to watch it live, but Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit has a nice liveblog of his thoughts during the speech, and Palin’s Q&A that followed, that’s worth checking out for some of the high points. Before perusing Jim or the media coverage in detail, I read the speech myself first to get my own reaction to it. The entire speech was transcribed by India Today, perhaps a little too enthusiastically, as practically every other sentence gets an exclamation point towards the end. The common theme from my perspective was energy, and not just on energy policy, although Palin had plenty to say about that:
So, I’m in favour of “all-of-the-above” approach to energy security. But “all-of-the-above” means including “conventional” resources! That means, the kind we actually use to reliably fuel our economy. That means crude oil, for example. And our natural gas, our coal, nuclear power.
Unfortunately, some have stymied resource development – like responsible domestic oil drilling. As a result, hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs won’t be created in the U.S. until we change course; it means Americans get hit with huge gas prices at the pump unless we change course; it means we’re continuing to transfer hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars to foreign regimes to purchase energy from them – regimes that don’t have our best interests at heart.
And I’m not just talking about gasoline here. Remember that ‘petroleum products’ are all around you! Look at your everyday surroundings – the foodstuffs; the agriculture products grown with fertilizer; the plastics all around you; medical supplies; the transportation of all these products. It’s not just gas that increases as the price of crude increases: Everything is affected. Basic commodities.
So as government locks up land & we lose good jobs in the ‘Conventional Resource’ arena, you may hear that “green jobs” will be the saviour! But look around the world & try telling that to the thousands of English & Scottish workers who’ve lost jobs as a result of government investments in “green energy” projects. A recent UK study shows that for every “green job” created, nearly four jobs were lost elsewhere in the economy due to lack of affordable energy! Same story in Spain – investment in “green jobs” brought massive debt, skyrocketing energy costs & 20% unemployment.
This push for ‘green’ at the expense of ‘conventional, reliable’ sources is not a credible energy policy or economic policy. It’s “Social Engineering” by Central Government Planners. And it leads to nothing but more debt & more job loss. And taxpayers will be stuck subsidizing the failure and paying more for energy.
While Palin spent a considerable time on energy policy, she tied that more generally to a philosophy of government that unleashes the power of its citizens and incentivizes innovation and ingenuity. And again, Palin didn’t just mean in economics, although that’s certainly a big part of it:
On this: there are no “easy” solutions, but there are “simple” ones, if we just apply courage & political will to confront the problem squarely. Obviously, we need to stop digging the hole we’re in; cut spending; cut government back down to size; get rid of overly-burdensome regulations. And most of all, we need job growth! And that won’t come from ‘top-down government planning’! It’ll come from the ‘Free Market Ingenuity’ of ordinary American entrepreneurs!
To release creative energy, we need to do on a national level what President Ronald Reagan did in the 1980’s. It’s what I believed in as a ‘Reforming Mayor & Governor’ in my state, because I want the free economic choices of ordinary men & women to power the marketplace – rather than distant bureaucrats thinking they can plan & grow an economy by “government decree”. (That just doesn’t work!)
I know you understand this, because in the early 1990’s, due to clear, commonsense, pro free-market reforms, India’s economy took off!
You abolished import licenses; cut import duties; removed investment caps & broke the union’s grip on industry.
You unleashed the creativity & hard work of the Indian people; you turned away from a system where ‘Central Government’ sets targets for all sectors of the economy, to a system that lets the market set its own targets. That works.
People no longer speak of India as a “struggling economy” as they would have 30 years ago. Today we speak of India as a “dynamic & vibrant economy”. You empowered individuals & in doing so, you’ve reminded America of the free, entrepreneurial model that made our country great, prosperous & exceptional!
Unleashing individual energy becomes even more basic in Palin’s vision, and she explains how the Tea Party fits into that vision:
Our ties & bonds are deep! And they’re not driven so much by “political leadership summits” & bureaucrats – they’re driven by free people & free markets! That’s why there are no natural limits to the future of U.S.- India relations. And that is why the world’s largest democracies – NOT its largest autocracy – will lead the 21st century.
We will lead because we are on the side of empowering individuals to make choices for themselves. Not government /not some New World Order organization making decisions & decrees for us. …
The “Tea Party” is named after that famous event in American politics that was a precursor to our Independence! In 1773, when American patriots were upset about British taxes, they dumped tea into the Boston Harbor. (The British had forced a monopoly on the American people that prevented us from importing tea from anyone but the British East India Company. See, even back then we believed in free trade!) Today’s “Tea Party” is a strong & vibrant movement in the U.S. & it’s only going to grow & become more influential!
India Conclave: the theme of this conference is the “Changing Balance of Power”. Well, the present day Tea Party is a perfect example of that! It’s all about the empowerment of ordinary, everyday, independent patriots who are rising up & making their voices heard to positively change the “Balance of Power”! To protect our U.S. Constitution & live out our Declaration of Independence!
It reminds our ‘Central Govt’ that our Constitution gives great power to our 50 individual states – and to individual citizens – & that these powers (these God-given ‘RIGHTS’) aren’t to be trampled on.
The “Changing Balance of Power” throughout the world today is driven by the empowerment of the individual – & mankind’s desire for freedom!
The American people understand this. And India understands this, too.
This theme of energy based on individual freedom and smaller government seems to have eluded those assigned to cover Palin’s appearance in India, and it seems that most of the US media ignored it. Politico covered it but barely mentions the speech at all, instead focusing on the criticism Palin leveled at Barack Obama during the Q&A regarding his vacillation over Libya. The Washington Post report spends most of its time discussing Palin’s criticism of China’s military buildup, a key issue for India and the US, and the fact that reporters had to watch the speech on live television rather than in the room, as organizers barred the media at the last minute. The most complete coverage of Palin’s speech and appearance in India comes from — surprise! — the New York Times, where Heather Timmons at The Caucus blog pays the most attention to Palin’s actual speech and the Q&A afterward:
Ms. Palin’s speech at a conference organized by the media group India Today touched on many subjects, including her sympathy with the people of Japan and their “humble cooperative spirit,” the dangers of a green-energy policy and her children texting her news of a moose in the yard of her Alaska home. Ms. Palin made numerous references to America’s entrepreneurial and pioneering spirit, and India’s unlocking of the same to become a vibrant global giant.
Together, she said, the two countries will lead the world in the 21st century. “There is no natural limit for United States and India relations,” she said. India is the second-fastest growing major economy in the world after China, but is still hobbled by extreme poverty, inefficient infrastructure and political corruption. …
A “secure, stable supply of fuel is key to a prosperous America,” she said. “My vision of a free and prosperous America has much to do with energy.” But that won’t come from green energy, she said, which has destroyed thousands of jobs in Scotland and England and helped create a massive debt in Spain.
America should “capitalize on our own resources right there on our doorsteps,” she said, by tapping into billions of barrels of oil that are “warehoused” in Alaska.
There was plenty of energy in Palin’s speech. Too bad the media here suffered a bit of a brownout. Kudos to Timmins for paying attention, but for those who missed the live broadcast, read the speech for yourself.