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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Oil Addiction?

In his SOTU speech on January 31, the POTUS claimed that we are addicted to foreign oil. Lew Rockwell has a very apt comment on this at http://blog.lewrockwell.com/lewrw/archives/009866.html:

So now The Leader tells us we are "addicted" to foreign oil, and must go, if not cold turkey, into an expensive, tax-funded recovery program that will further enrich the feds.

Why is foreign oil supposed to be a problem? We are also addicted to Chinese clothes, Japanese electronics, German cars, and a host of other imports. All non-coerced trade is beneficial to both parties, and in the case of international trade, also promotes peace among nations. This is consonant with the commercial society this was supposed to be, rather than a vicious empire.

Oil is no different from other goods. Leaving aside the Bush crazies, buying Arabian oil should make us less likely to want to bomb them. This process has been shortcircuited by more than sixty years of US killing and looting in the Middle East, however.

Pull the troops out, abolish the CIA, and trade, trade, trade. But that would mean we want peace and prosperity rather than dominion and blood. The Leader has other plans.

I am reminded of this quotation by the great Frederic Bastiat: “If goods can't cross borders armies will.”

If we stop buying oil from the oil rich-countries--even though it would be more expensive for us to replace the oil with home-"grown" energy--what message does that send to the citizens of the oil-rich countries? What else do these countries have to sell into the world market? How much poorer are these oil-rich countries likely to become once we stop buying oil from them? How many more terrorists will be created by this U. S. government-caused increase in poverty?

The bad economist sees only what immediately strikes the eye; the good economist also looks beyond. The bad economist sees only the direct consequences of a proposed course; the good economist looks also at the longer and indirect consequences.

-- Henry Hazlitt, "Economics in One Lesson" [1946]

Sounds to me that George Bush is one bad economist!

BTW, I'm a lot more concerned about our addiction to Columbian and Brazilian coffee than I am about our addition to Middle East oil!


Blogger aanimo said...

As I mentioned to you elsewhere, there's a field of linguistics called Cognitive Linguistics, and one of the theories there is that human cognition as related to language utilizes "frames". In other words, we don't think of a word as literally that word, but we also have other connections with the frame. Some linguists have mentioned this in relation to the Republican's "Tax Relief" message, in that continued repetition of that phrase places "relief" within the frame of the tax cut. A similar tactic may be at hand here, utilizing the word "addiction", placing it within the frame of foreign oil -- making it a sort of "bad habit" that we have to break.

3/2/06 09:19  
Blogger Tad Pole said...

I, personally, feel more "addicted" to foreign coffee than I do to foreign oil!!!

Imagine what would happen to the economy of the U. S. if foreign producers of coffee were to suddenly cut us off!

We must immediately start government research projects (the more the merrier!) on ways to grow our own coffee right here in the good ol' U. S. of A!!!

6/2/06 15:45  

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