Remember when Ronald Reagan did TV commercials for General Electric? If you’re not my age, and I’m 76 years old, you probably don’t remember those commercials that Reagan made for GE beginning in 1954, but every commercial ended with Reagan smiling and telling the viewers that “progress was the most important product” for GE.
And how could you argue with that idea? After all, the 1950’s was the first time that a majority of Americans owned their own homes, their own cars, their own TV sets, and their own washers and dryers. That’s not progress?
The only problem was that once GE developed an enormous consumer market for electric appliances, everyone else jumped in, and a company that had owned this market in the 1950’s, found that by the 1980’s, all they owned was a lot of debt.
Enter Jack Welch. He was CEO of GE from 1981 and 2001, and during this period the company’s stock went from $1.50 a share to almost $60 bucks. Welch built a new company by moving GE out of home appliances and into credit, leasing, and other financial pursuits. He also began to buy other companies so that GE’s bottom line no longer depended on washing and drying machines.
Right now the company’s stock is sitting at $6.22 and investors are waiting to hear any day now that Chapter 7 has been filed in some federal bankruptcy court. What was the veritable straw that broke the veritable camel’s back? The company’s decision to get into natural gas production and distribution right when the natural gas market began to contract.
And why has the natural gas industry fallen on hard times? Because of the falling cost of – ready – renewable energy, as in all those wind turbines and solar panels which increasingly dot the landscape all over the place.
Know what industry has suffered even more from renewables than natural gas? Try coal, which is shortly on its way to being completely put to bed. Coal first started being mined and used in large quantities beginning in 1885. By 1918 annual production was 500 million tons, went up and down over the next 80 years and by 2008 hit more than one billion tons each year. Know what the production was in 2016? Try 728 million tons, which is back down to where it was in the early 1980’s.
In other words, coal is basically finished as a primary energy source, and its use will continue to decline as renewable energy and green energy distribution continues to expand. And anyone who tries to deny this slow but sure shift away from coal is either lying, or dumb, or both.
Want the name of an individual who is making a pro-coal argument that is a complete lie? Try the 45th President of the United States who will say anything to drag a few more votes into his column to win a second term. Wyoming, West Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, and Pennsylvania account for 70% of all U.S. coal. Montana, Texas, Indiana, North Dakota, Colorado, Ohio, New Mexico, Utah, Alabama, and Virginia account for just about all the rest.
Note that of those 15 states where coal mining and production still means jobs, nine of those states are reliably red states, but three other states – Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Texas – are states which Trump better win or he’ll be out on his fat ass come January 2021.
So what is Trump doing? He goes around to these coal-rich states, presents himself as a great ‘friend’ of coal miners and simply lies about everything he’s doing to help them keep their jobs. The truth is, he’s not doing anything to revive the coal industry because it can’t be revived. It’s dead and dying, okay? Gone. Or fartig (finished) as my grandfather would say.
But this reality doesn’t stop Trump from going around and using a completely fake narrative to take swipes at the Green New Deal and/or the Communist Left and/or the ‘Democrat’ Party – it’s all one and the same.
The liberal media, from The (failing) New York Times on down, should be ashamed of themselves for giving this guy any space at all.