Kern County, which faces a significant challenge in the reduction of petroleum, its primary source of property tax revenue, is facing an additional problem.
Since the revenue reduction results from reduced use of petroleum by motorists — from more fuel-efficient motor vehicles and the advent of electric-powered cars — each time the price of fuel rises, the county earns additional tax revenue.
Unfortunately for Kern, as the petroleum industry and the county earn more money, more people buy electric vehicles.
The county’s response is to criticize “environmentalists” and politicians, ignoring the inevitability of technological change.
Those of us who have been around for a while have been through this all our lives, watching as the world progresses and new and innovative technology becomes more affordable.
Which is already happening with electric cars.
The first time I noticed this was in the late 1940s when my father, brother and I went for a ride in a new Oldsmobile which was one of the first automobiles equipped with an automatic transmission and air conditioning.
The Olds we rode in belonged to a wealthy friend, one of the few who could afford to own the car at that time.
As a teenager a few years later, I was driving a second hand Ford equipped with A/C and an automatic transmission.
My current internal combustion engine car gets 32 mpg around town, 40 on the road.
Railroads began to switch from steam to diesel locomotives during World War II.
Within a decade the switch was mostly complete.
Two friends, middle-age men who were railroaders and lost their jobs in their prime earning years because diesels were much more efficient and environmentally cleaner than steamers, had to change their careers.
One became a respected teacher in Mojave and the other an award-winning journalist in Bakersfield.
Both men made a good living in jobs that were much cleaner and more pleasant than their previous occupations.
As the old saying goes, if you don’t adapt you get left behind.
By the way, one of the benefits of electric cars may be that their manufacture, which is much simpler than gas-powered vehicles, may move back to the US.
Mercedes Benz already employs 4,000 people at its Alabama plant, which builds four models of its luxury cars.
A Fox News personality who, like many “experts” on the US military managed to avoid actually serving in the military himself, stuck his foot in his rear last week on the subject of women in the military.
This nimrod got his knickers in a twist about what he perceived as the Air Force allowing pregnant women to fly airplanes. (The horror!)
He got in this jam after seeing a photo of a pregnant USAF member wearing a maternity flight suit.
As a certified expert on the military, which he avoided serving, he apparently assumed that only pilots wear flight suits.
So many Air Force personnel wear flight suits that every few years the USAF has to try to limit who can wear them.
Apparently our “expert” also got upset because President Joe Biden promoted two veteran female officers to four-stars, a practice that long preceded our current president, who did not serve himself but had a son who did.
Beau Biden was a US Army National Guard major who spent a year deployed to Iraq, where he was awarded the Bronze Star. He later died of cancer.
I have long wondered why so many men seem to have problems with equal rights for women. (I have a theory.)
While women are finally being allowed to serve in positions in all walks of life once reserved for men, it’s still a long, slow and unfair evolution.
When allowed to serve, they are as capable as men.
By the way, last week was Women’s Military History Week in California.
While writing this column, I watched a PBS documentary about a woman called Elisebeth Smith Feinstein.
Back in the 1920s, Feinstein wanted to attend college. Her father said no.
He finally relented and loaned her the money — at six percent interest.
She went on to invent code breaking, which was used during Prohibition to catch gangsters and world wars I and II to break enemy codes.
While raising two kids and a husband.
Working for the US government, she was paid half what her husband received even though he reported to her, and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover took full credit for her heroic efforts during WWII.
Her role was kept secret until decades later after she died penniless in a rest home.
I managed to stay married to the same woman for 61 years, a great lady who could do anything she put her mind to, including serving as my deputy when I was Mojave’s constable.
When people ask how we managed to stay together so long, at a time in which many people don’t even bother to get married, I always explain that we did everything together.
We both worked outside the home and shared household chores, which my mother prepared my sister and brother and I for when we were growing up.
We also went shopping together (even for shoes), something many men shun.
Throughout my professional life, I managed women and was managed by them (including my current editor). without any major problems. My management philosophy has always been the same as that of the Army in which I served: “Be all you can be.”
You’d think a TV news “star” who grew up in a gilded cage could figure this out.