Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Use The Three Ts to Beat Back the Lobbyists

Initially, I was dismayed by the full-page ad in today’s (Boulder Daily Camera, 3/09/10) newspaper, paid for by the Oil-and-Gas Lobby, throwing around tired ultra-conservative conclusions like 'don't raise taxes during a recession' and sneakily signed with a tag-line that includes the hot-button buzz-words like “America” and “People” instead of “Profits,” “Greed,” “International,” and “Thugs” which would be a lot closer to their truth. But now I see how we can fight for ourselves. I call my plan “The Three T’s”. Now I’m going to tell you why we should care and what we can do.

This ad is part of an expensive advance campaign funded by the Oil and Gas Industry to fend off a tax that they believe is going to be proposed (I haven't heard about it yet, but they obviously are in the know on this) that would diminish the already exorbitant profits of an industry that knows no bounds. We don’t know much about the tax, but we’ve already seen 'ordinary citizens' (i.e., actors who look like ordinary people on TV telling us how reducing oil industry profits ‘during a recession’ is the ultimate bad idea.

Hm. Join me in rethinking this notion. Critical thinking and an informed society is what makes our democracy thrive. What to do? I urge you to apply the Three Ts -- TiVo, Turn the Page, and Talk it Up.

1) TiVo through these misleading spin-mongering ads as soon as you see them as you watch TV. These ads are not designed to help you in any way. Your interests do NOT align with those of the Oil Industry. They should pay their own taxes. Encourage your legislators to impose taxes that cannot be passed on to us. We don’t ask the Oil Industry to pay OUR taxes. Why should we pay THEIRS?

2) Turn the Page when you see a full-page ad from the Oil and Gas Industry (even it is signed, dishonestly, using a phrase that includes touchy-feely words like “People” or “America”) don’t be fooled again. Can YOU afford a full-page ad in the Camera? Do you think ours is the only newspaper in which a full-page ad was placed by these weasels? What's more, do you think the industry’s grunts are paying for those expensive ads? Wake up. The massive profits from YOUR fuel bills and gas pump expenditures are paying for these misleading ads.

3) Talk it Up. Talk to your friends and family and urge them not to fall for these ploys. If we can enrich the Marketplace of Ideas, we still have a chance against Big Business, which includes the oil-and-gas magnates like those who paid for this ad in our (and countless other) local newspapers.

Together, we can prevent this kind of corruption and compromise of our democracy: just implement the Three T’s: TiVo, Turn the Page, and Talk it Up.