Watching the price of gas skyrocket once again, and seeing the economy falter, I am reminded of the early 1970s.

In October 1973, OPEC nations placed an oil embargo on us in response to our government’s decision to re-supply Israel during the Yom Kippur War. At that time, it was already well known that the technology was available to develop highly efficient gasoline-powered vehicles.

As a nation, we ignored a red flag. Now as we are faced with rapidly growing oil prices, the cry of corporate America is once again, “Drill for more oil in the U.S.,” even if it is ecologically dangerous and irresponsible.

Also in the early 1970s, protest was evolving against new legislation, such as the National Environmental Policy Act, the Environmental Protection Act, and the Clean Air Act. Such organizations as the American Legislation Council, the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute fought against political equality and shared prosperity.

Now we are ignoring another “red flag.” The power of corporate lobbyists gained further strength by the 2010 U.S Supreme Court ruling in its Citizens United decision allowing organizations, from huge corporations to labor unions, the same rights as individuals to spend as much money as they want for political campaigns.

As a result, Super PAC coffers of the Romney and Gingrich campaigns accumulate enormous sums from huge corporations and wealthy tycoons eager to reduce legislation that infringes upon their profitability, including President Barack Obama’s limited health care reform legislation and environmental protection laws.

It is obvious that we are reluctant to see and react to red flags, we are unwilling to reduce our dependence as consumers of fossil fuels, and the greed of multinational corporations in cahoots with our legislators are leading our country in spiraling decay.

David O. Solmitz


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