Lloyd Dobler’s Future: Don’t Sell Don’t Buy Don’t Process Don’t Repair Don’t Mine: The New American Mindset?

Remember the young John Cusack in the some-lauded summer romance film (1989), Say Anything? The idea behind the film, a high school grad – Lloyd Dobler, just wants to have fun, has been a rolling stone gathering moss for years now.  In Say Anything, when asked by his new girlfriend’s father what he plans to do with his life, Lloyd Dobler (Cusack) has the answer, and he has thought it through completely:

Lloyd Dobler

Lloyd Dobler: I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don’t want to do that.

Dobler just wanted to “hang” with his girlfriend…and perhaps be a kickboxer – without thinking that someone has to “make” the head protections, the mats, the gloves and someone has to “sell” the tickets to each event.

The American Dream is dying because none of the historical manufacturing, processing, buying and selling of the things that make our generous and hard-fought-and-died-for American world go-round can be done without a dishonest Union, and/or the job-killing “environmental review.” In the rare case when it can be made, bought and sold, government regulations make it impossible to make a living doing “the making” inside this country.

Today we have a fine example of how the Lloyd Dobler Effect has the full faith and support of the Government behind the effort to do nothing. Nowhere is this new American mindset more starkly seen than in environmental elitism and in the present, the Pebble Mine story.

From Rick Manning at The Hill:

In Alaska, one of the most significant finds of copper, gold and molybdenum (hardens steel) in U.S. history was discovered. Yet almost a decade later — and more than $125 million of environmental and cultural studies later — the Pebble Mine is still being subjected to Environmental Protection Agency review. A review that is at best likely to demand that tens of millions more dollars be spent for additional studies encompassing an area roughly equal to the states of Maryland and New Jersey combined. All to open one mine and put 2,000 miners to work.

To make matters worse, the ore won’t be processed in the U.S., because our domestic copper smelting capacity has been cut by about 60 percent in the past 20 years. More jobs lost largely on the altar of environmental regulation.

This is just one of myriad examples of how our nation’s obsession with litigation and environmental regulation has turned us into a place where employers cannot afford to create jobs. It is cheaper and more profitable to do it elsewhere.

Pebble Mine in the area of  Southwest Alaska, is a rich depository of gold, porphyry copper, and molybdenum – all shovel ready. Fifty-eight percent of the inhabitants are Alaskan natives. Almost all of the land is owned by the Feds. The region is also the richest source of salmon fishing in the world. The fear is that the mining will affect the salmon, the largest wild salmon runs in the world, which is mostly fished by those living outside of Alaska. I posit that we can live without fish, but not minerals, but…living without one or the other isn’t really necessary:

JuneauEmpire:

ANCHORAGE — The chief executive of a company pursuing the Pebble copper and gold mine prospect in southwest Alaska said Thursday that mining and fishing can co-exist.

Cynthia Carroll of London-based Anglo American PLC told the Resource Development Council that the Pebble Mine can be developed without polluting the watershed for the massive Bristol Bay salmon fishery. Similar developments have proven it elsewhere, she said, including a copper mine near British Columbia’s Fraser River, which last year saw record salmon runs.

Anglo American three years ago pledged to listen to concerns and to apply the world’s most advanced science to Pebble, Carroll said.

If developed, Pebble would be Alaska’s largest mine. Anglo American’s partner in the proposal, Northern Dynasty Minerals of Vancouver, British Columbia, told investors last month that Pebble would return billions of dollars in profits over 45 years of operation. The company said developers could recoup the estimated $4.7 billion cost of building the mine in roughly six years…

Carroll said Pebble representatives have consulted extensively with Alaska leaders and interest groups. The message they’ve taken is that a large part of state lacks basic transportation and communication services and affordable necessities such as diesel fuel and milk.

A Pebble mine, she said, could provide jobs and spur construction of infrastructure, helping to preserve villages that might otherwise disappear.

“Pebble can help spur the construction of modern transportation, communication and energy infrastructure that places like southwest Alaska desperately need to reduce their costs of living,” she said…

“I do not accept that campaigning environmental groups from outside of Alaska, with strong vested interests in raising funds for opposing our project, have any legitimacy in the debate,” she said.

From Beth Shaw at Blue Star Chronicles:

Its hard to understand the reasoning behind preventing the United States from taping into our resources. If it were about preserving the environment then one has to wonder why those same environmentalists don’t have a problem with other countries (with fewer, if any, regulations) tapping their resources and turning around and selling it to us.

If it were about redistributing wealth from ‘us’ to ‘them’, then its counter-productive because the environmental regulations and litigation are destroying our economy. Jobs aren’t being created and are being lost as mines, oil fields and other businesses are being shut down or prevented from expanding. The minerals we have a wealth of in this country go unused while we pay more and more to get them from other countries and literally billions of our tax-dollars are being spent to create and enforce the regulations that are keeping these industries from functioning. That is just making us poorer, meaning less money available to be redistributed.

From Kevin at Wizbang:

Our country can’t keep turning out Lloyd Dobler’s forever; we need people who buy, sell, build, drill, hammer, etc. And we need people to start companies that hire people to do those things.

From Ordered Liberty:

The key to a renewal of the American economy is to unleash the productivity of America’s business sector — primarily small- and medium-sized businesses.  In order for that to happen, those small- and medium-sized businesses have to be relieved from the regulatory burdens that serve to effectively shut them out of being profitable by raising the barriers of entry into the marketplace.

But Pebble Mine isn’t the first.

In Fall 2010 from Jim Hoft:

Today the Obama Administration continued their assault on the American coal industry.
The far left radicals at the Sierra Club announced that Obama EPA officials will not allow mining at the largest mountaintop removal coal mine [Spruce One].

Victory for Appalachians as a Determined EPA Recommends No More Mining at Biggest Proposed Mountaintop Removal Coal Mine

Arch Coal’s Spruce Mine No. 1 in Logan County, West Virginia lost their license after following each EPA regulation to the letter, and investing $250M. There was no “cause,” for jerking their license. In one of the poorest regions of the U.S. 215 miners lost their jobs, and 300 more in support positions lost their livelihood in what we know were “shovel-ready” jobs.

How long can our country survive by not making things, processing things and selling things? If we do nothing, the Government gets to do it all for you. You won’t like that result. Outside the Beltway has more. Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit is interested.


  • I know exactly what the Pebble mine is going through. I spent over 30 years in the mining industry as a Metallurgical engineer in all levels of management. Every year the environmentalist and the EPA got more and more difficult to deal with. Our country needs to be a producer of things. We need more coal fired power plants and coal mines and gas from shale and we need refineries and copper and lead and zinc smelters and much more. But who in their right mind would want to try to permit any of those kinds of projects in the United State today. It would be a nightmare just like the one the Pebble mine is experiencing.

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