If I believed polls that undermine my own worldview, I’d become pretty cynical about the future of this nation, and democracy in general, when I read things like this:
Voters are a little less supportive, however, of forcing oil companies to fund this kind of research. Fifty-one percent (51%) say the federal government should pass laws requiring oil companies to use a significant portion of their profits to search for alternative sources of energy. Thirty-one percent (31%) oppose laws of this kind, while another 19% are not sure which is the best course.
So 51 percent of Americans believe it's ok for government to force an industry to reinvest its legally earned profits to develop an “alternative energy” sector that will likely offer little for consumers and investors (well, there won't be voluntary investors for long). Of course, if the alternative energy sector in its present form were as sensible as we’re told, companies would eagerly invest in projects (and often do) themselves.
But you’d have to be a pitiful Hayek-reading numbskull to have that kind of ridiculous faith in the free market.
I realize we’re not supposed to use ugly rhetoric as it might lead to imperious lectures from the guardians of civility, but isn't it a bit authoritarian to have government dictate how private profit is invested? We already tax the crap out of oil companies to subsidize alternative energy. I guess the relative morality of the enterprise dictates when force is acceptable for some, but it is, in the end, pretty difficult for me to believe that a majority of the American people believe this kind of Hugo Chavez/Center for American Progress-inspired policy is good for the country.