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American policy making. September 15, 2006

Posted by J.P. in Monkey thought.

Recently, those proposition 87 ads had caught my eyes. I am not particularly sensitive to political or economic matters. But in the eyes of a foreigner, the progression of the campaigns is quite interesting.

I first noticed this proposition when on night I came across a TV ad, a yes-to-87 ad, saying how big oil companies pay billions of drilling fees to Texas, but not to California. And it also stated how 87 will benefit the search for alternative energe. It reminds me that when I was in China, I have never seen a TV ad, an ad on any media for that matter, that promotes a goverment policy.

Of course this is not the end of the story. Those no-to-87 folks don’t just sit around. Soon, they brought out an ad showing a mid-age woman, kind of regular house wife image, pumping gas at a gas station. And she says “So now they want to increase oil taxes, really a four billion dollar state tax increase on oil, ouch”.

I have to say, compared to the narrative yes-to-87 ad, this on is much better. I guest the housewife image is more persuasive to regular people. I almost concluded that 87 is bad before I did my own reading and research.

The yes-to-87 camp must felt the threat, because today they released a new ad, in which, they are calling everyone’s attention to the fine print on the no-to-87 ad. The fine print shows that the no-to-87 ad is sponsored by Chevron.

The whole thing makes me laugh. It looks like two kids telling on each other in front of the teacher. What’s more, it makes me wonder if we have this kind of transparency on policy making in China. I am not sure that the american way is the correct way, but it seems reasonable. And at least I know what is going on. Althougth what I know is limited and might not be the truth.



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