And that is as it should be. Issues such as “energy security”, the extent of availability, nature and feasibility of various energy sources cannot properly be the concern of “common people”, i.e, those who are not involved with the energy industry. All that common people need to do is to vote with their money for the best producer of energy and these complex issues will be taken care of by those who are best equipped to deal with them – the energy producers in a free market – who have the necessary information, the ability to understand and interpret it and most importantly the motivation to do so.
That these issues are going to be decided by the political circus that is going on is not as it should be. No matter what decision the government takes, the right of some people (companies) to act on their economic judgements will be violated. This fact has gone unnoticed in all the commentary and debate that the nuclear deal issue has raised, mainly because energy is usually considered far too important to the nation’s economy to be left to the free market. But as Ayn Rand eloquently noted in this speech in Atlas Shrugged
“When money ceases to be the tool by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of men.”
An industrial economy cannot survive without trade. The only choice that a society has is whether the trade is in money, goods and services in a free market or in favors, cabinet seats and MP’s. And once the latter is chosen, the original issues lose significance. The issues shift from “What is to be done?” to “Who gets to decide?”. That is the irony of this debate – the debaters who want a voice they have not earned in the running of an industry they know very little about have made the result of the debate inconsequential.