What Education and Oil Drilling Have in Common

I am constantly amazed at how stupid American news reporters are. I know I shouldn’t be. But I have clearly not arrived at that state of grace yet. Consider the latest controversy in the U.S. regarding off-shore oil drilling. The mantra from our House Speaker is that drilling now won’t do anything for gas prices for ten years. Do the reporters ever question the rationality of that statement?

Of course not. That would violate their need not to think. Or to put it more charitably, it would require that they ask challenging questions which would make the politicians mad and therefore make it difficult for them to get information-lacking interviews in the future. Let me provide a counter argument that should have been asked. (This is not to say this was the only question that should have been raised).

If we take the speaker’s logic at face value, people should never go to college and get a Ph.D or an M.D. The reason, it won’t help them make money for up to 10 years. After all, why spend money now in the HOPE of making money later because you are broke now. Better to work in a job and make money now. Why would anyone want to plan that far in the future? If we accept Pelosi’s logic, it would be stupid. I certainly hope you don’t agree with her. You may disagree with the notion of off-shore oil drilling. But don’t accept that silly argument as a justifiable reason to oppose it.

Now if that argument doesn’t convince you, then consider another. Why is it that reporters didn’t ask “WHY?” it will take so long for oil to be found, drilled and pumped? Could it be that excessive regulation makes it difficult to do the job more quickly?

Regrettably, public discourse in the U.S. is hampered by lack of context. Someday, we might actually get newscasters who are willing to ask the questions necessary to give us the context.

Dr. Stephen M. Vantassel is tutor at King’s Evangelical Divinity School

Stephen Vantassel, 2008.

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