To my avid readers (all two of you, now), my sincerest apologies. It’s been too long since my last update and I didn’t mean to leave you all hanging like that. Now that the fireworks have all been fired, the drinks drank, and the hangovers handled let’s get back to our (ir)regularly scheduled programing.
Last post, I promised to dish some dirt on the part that regional influences play on ethanol supports and jobless benefits. The idea for this originally struck me whenever I viewed two polls made available by the iCitizen app that show a strong correlation between support and region. Let’s get on with it see what pans out.
So, long ago there were claims that ethanol was a necessary fuel meant to make our skies bluer and our cars greener. For a minute, (some time before the Tesla Model S and a short time after the word ‘biofuel‘ was introduced to mankind), the public was fascinated with the idea of being able to fill-up on fuel AND food all in one stop.
But, after a time, we woke up to the realization that cutting gasoline with ethanol wasn’t leaving the planet, much less our bank account, much better off than where it had been before. However, still to this day we continue to maintain programs aimed at providing subsidies and incentives for ethanol producers as well as ‘flex’ fueled automobile buyers. Why?
This misappropriation of funds is perpetuated at the behest of a small, but incredibly powerful lobby organization out of the Midwest; American Coalition for Ethanol. As far as I can tell, the majority of their lobbying prowess comes not from the money they redistribute from industry to insider, but from the voting process (notice Iowa sits at the center) and voting numbers (be it electoral college  or popular vote [65,377,684 present/potential voting population]) of the electorate they stand to represent.
Now, jobless benefits. No doubt a touchy subject in this economy, but one that must undoubtedly be broached. I characterize the crux many of the ‘benefits’ arguments (be they jobless or otherwise) as this; damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Are there situations that exist in which ALL people, (good, bad, ugly, indifferent…no matter), could use a hand? Absolutely! Is it possible that a system built to respond to such a need might be taken advantage of or even over-extended? Again, yes. What does each situation mean for the benefit? Well, that’s where the political fireworks, to put it one way, ‘get lit’. However, in terms of regional influences, unemployment is a problem that runs from coast to coast and, in turn, draws from both sides and all regions to support the protection of jobless benefits.
So, is the lesson learned for today simply that ethanol is bad and jobless benefits are good? I mean, yeah that’s the face value of this essentially. But, I think a better take-away would be that you can’t just glean everything you need to know about an issue from it’s polling. Remember that any ‘dirt’ worth having on anything is the kind you’ve got to dig down deep to get.
Thanks for reading!