A President’s political appointees are chosen because their views support the President’s political leanings. This is to be expected.
One might expect the Science Advisor position to be more politics-free, but not these days. The President’s choice of John Holdren, previously a professor at Berkley, to be his science advisor tells us something about his policies.
Holdren wrote this 1975 newspaper article, entitled Too Much Energy, Too Soon, a Hazard, about the dangers of having too much energy available for human use.
Among some of the gems of wisdom there, we find this:
Finally, less energy can mean more employment. The energy producing industries comprise the most capital intensive and least labour intensive major sector of the economy. Accordingly, each dollar of investment capital taken out of energy production and invested in something else, and each personal consumption dollar saved by reduced energy use and spent elsewhere in the economy will create more jobs than are lost.
Now, one doesn’t need to be an economist to see the problem with this position. Holdren thinks that because the energy sector generates so much energy so efficiently with so few people and with so much capital investment, that must be a bad thing. He is either unaware (he can’t be that stupid) or he chooses to hide the fact that all of that energy is demanded by the rest of the country for everything we do. Energy enables people to make things and provide services.
As I’ve said before (and I’ve asked some of the nation’s top economists about the validity of my views), if you really want full employment, just put everyone to work digging holes in the ground and filling them up again. Just having “jobs” is not the desired goal; what we do in those jobs makes all the difference. Jobs must efficiently provide goods or services desired by the rest of society in order for everyone, poor and rich alike, to prosper.
And abundant, affordable energy is required for all of those productive jobs.
It literally scares me that people like this have so much influence in our country.
This article appeared on Dr. Spencer’s weblog at http://www.drroyspencer.com/2015/03/this-is-your-presidents-science-advisor/