Friday, July 27, 2007
With George W. Bush in office, Europeans (including the British) generally use the word "Texan" (along with "cowboy") as a slur. Few of those people know that it was Texans who first rescued the British economy in the last forty years.
There was no fanfare, no speeches and no cheering crowd. But a Westland Whirlwind helicopter flight carrying seven Texan oilmen which left Scotland 40 years ago yesterday was to completely transform Britain's economy and herald a new dawn of prosperity fuelled by "black gold".
The Bristow's aircraft, which was based at the Dyce airfield, then a quiet aerodrome on the outskirts of Aberdeen, picked up the men at RAF Kinloss in Moray before flying out to a drilling rig in the Moray Firth.
The short flight marked the beginning of the search for oil in the northern North Sea and the eventual discovery, two years later, of the first oil field in British waters. That oil strike paved for the way for the dramatic growth of an industry which has ploughed £232 billion in tax revenues into the Treasury over the last four decades and now employs 480,000 people across the UK.
Goddamn Texans. When are they going to stop making people rich?
I didn't think you would get many northeastern responses on this topic. Such is the life of the Lone Star state. One doesn't drive to Colorado with Texas tags, or risk being run off the road. A sleepy, cold state until Texans developed and occupied Vail, Aspen and Steamboat. In spite of the MSM, we do know what the score is.
The President doesn't get much credit for the state of the booming economy either for similar reasons. But thanks for pointing the perception out.
Hey SEW, I figured you'd show up for a victory lap on this one. :)
I would just add that Texans took huge business risks on North Sea oil. If my memory from a relatively tender age is correct, there was a lot of concern at the beginning of exploration activities in the North Sea that it would be very difficult to overcome the technological challenges involving in building drilling platforms that could withstand the roughness of the North Sea's waves and wind. But with the can-do spirit that has made Texas rich, the oilmen charged ahead. The UK has profited a great deal from their willingness to make these gambles.
I read recently that Bush has a low approval rating (23% maybe) for his handling of the economy. This shouldn't surprise me, but it still does. What are people thinking?!
Agreed. This economy has been spectacular. Hopefully it will remain for 9 1/2 more years, but maybe only 18 months. I don't think raising taxes will produce additional revenue in 08, and with increases in social programs, socialized medicine and earmarks, can you say huge recession?
For a weekend treat, go study the structure at 3500 Beverly.
A friend from Aberdeen once told me 40 years ago it was common to see men in cowboy boots and 10 gallon hats sitting around Aberdeen's tiny airport.
He and his brother are grateful to Texans for providing them with successful careers in the oil bidness.
A friend from Aberdeen once told me that 40 years ago it was quite common to see guys in cowboy boots and 10-gallon hats sitting around Aberdeen's tiny airport.
So the Texans's efforts aren't completely forgotten.
Plenty of countries get oil revenues and piss them away, or steal them. It took Maggie Thatcher to restore a framwork in which that revenue was able to do some good. When you see a prosperous country (as opposed to a prosperous political class) it's because the people got to work and earned it themselves.
There should be no surprise at the connection between Texas and Great Britain.
More than a handful of Englishmen, Irishmen, and Scots were at the Alamo with Houston and Travis. And, a little later, England was one of the few nations to recognize the infant Republic of Texas (in 1841).
Texas remembers friends. And, yes, Colorado, rudeness too.
If Teddy Kennedy is correct, and the Iraq war was "cooked up in Texas," then you could say Texas saved the Brit's bacon again in Iraq in 2003.
Without America and George Bush playing front-man in Iraq, Britain'd be stuck hoping for a UN settlement to Saddam's machinations or she'd have to foot the entire bill of reforming that nation.
Eitherway, she'd have lost big without us Yanks. I hope she appreciates it!
Over the last several decades, if there was a smell of oil or a place that would let them, anywhere in the world, you would find Texans, Okies and even some Lousinia engineers, wildcatters and developers.
From Saudia Arabia to China, from Russia to the cold waters of the world, without American Oilmen, the development and recovery of the world's oil would have been almost impossible and for sure not where it is today.
Who do you think taught the Oilmen from the Northern European oceans to the deserts of South Africa?
Those world nations learned from those that knew how, even in impossible conditions to bring up the gold. They even went to our universities in Texas and other states.
Now those countries prosper.
Teach a man how to fish, but make money with him.
Over the years, I've known dozens of men who have traveled the world, worked in the most godawful conditions and lived to come back and tell of it.
What tales they tell, some are unbelievable, but true.
Just sit a bottle down and pull up a chair...Most are now dead or in retirment homes or stuck in their huge estates. Some of course went broke and died that way.
But I never heard one bitch or moan about a damn thing except maybe getting old like me.
Getting old is always a pain in the ass.
The President doesn't get much credit for the state of the booming economy either for similar reasons.
Is the economy pretty good? Yep. And he deserves credit for choosing a competent replacement for Greenspan.
Other than that? I give Bush low marks for runnin' up the charge card. In this part of Texas, we ain't so proud of a man for goin' into debt (yeah, OK, when we were in recession, good, what about the other 6 years?).
And it warn't JUST the deficit, either. His SSI proposal would've made the SSI debt even worse. His drugs program ain't exactly payin' fer itself either. Bein' a young'un who'll hafta pay for HIS debt for a long time don't make me happy.
I can't think of a single policy decision that Bush has made, with the exception of the National Marine Santuary in the Midway Island chain, that make any sense whatsoever. There may be other decisions he has made that has made that I might agree with but I'm not aware of any. As far as the economy is concerned, I thought it was Texas oilmen who are responsible for booming economies. I would agree that politicians have little if anything to do with economic conditions while they are in office. Clinton wasn't responsible for the so-called dot com boom anymore than W is responsible for current economic conditions which could continue as they are or turn around drastically at any time. His policies might affect future economic conditions especially for working class citizens (to their detriment in all likelihood) but current conditions? ...bah humbug. As far as good deeds are concerned I can't think of any good deeds we have done in Iraq. We've torn that country apart and are likely to leave it that way for a long long time. But if the South Texan here believes we are doing good deeds there why not up and volunteer? And as far as seven Texans turning the British economy around that is a ridiculous assertion. Seven men couldn't turn around a country's economy anymore than I could balance an elephant on my nose. You oilmen heroes could have helped in some way perhaps by offering advice or finacial backing for something but undoubtably they did it and were well compensated for it. But turning an economy around is done by the hard work of millions of people not just a few Texas oilmen
"Seven men couldn't turn around a country's economy anymore than I could balance an elephant on my nose. You oilmen heroes could have helped in some way perhaps by offering advice or finacial backing for something but undoubtably they did it and were well compensated for it. But turning an economy around is done by the hard work of millions of people not just a few Texas oilmen"
By Anonymous, at Sun Jul 29, 12:13:00 PM
Your lack of knowledge of economics is truly amazing, especially for someone living in a capitalist country... truly amazing.
I suggest studying Ludwig Von Mises.
Interesting view on things, but changed very quickly as the Texan oil men were found to have difficulty acclimatising to the North Sea. There are very few Texans in the North Sea now as the US oil industry has followed the way of it's car industry and has fallen behind in comparison to the rest of the worlds technology. Norweigan and UK oil tools and technology is now the cutting edge and found all over the world. The US has some catching up to do, but only if it recognises the problems in looking inwards all of the time. I've met some good US oilmen, but really, their practices and tech are falling behind. Pity.