Go to links

Thursday, May 25, 2006

How To Turn The U. S. Into Just Another Banana Republic

There's a move afoot in some countries in Latin America to steal ("nationalize") the private property of companies that explore for, and produce, oil and natural gas. For example, Venezuela and Bolivia.

Jacob Hornberger comments on this situation today (May 25, 2006) at http://www.fff.org/blog/jghindex.asp.

Excerpt:

U.S. officials love to look down their noses at these Latin American attacks, especially under the standard conservative rubric of “free enterprise, private property, limited government, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.”

Yet, the fact is that the mindset of U.S. officials is no different in principle from their socialist counterparts in Latin America, including Venezuela’s Hugh Chavez and Bolivia’s Evo Morales.

After all, what are U.S. officials trying to do to American oil companies? Amidst cries of “price-gouging” and “excess profits,” they are trying to seize the oil companies’ money with some kind of tax to be sent to Washington.
.
.
.
Thus, what U.S. officials do to American oil companies is no different in principle from what their Latin American socialist counterparts do to foreign oil companies. The Latin Americans are simply more consistent — they steal all the oil companies’ property with nationalization. U.S. officials steal just a part of it with price controls and excess profits taxes.


If it is right for government to control the prices of oil, natural gas, gasoline, etc., why is it not right for government to control the prices of, say, houses? If it is right for government to apply an "excess profits tax" on the profits of oil companies, why is it not right for the government to apply an "excess profits tax" on the profits of home sellers?

A person's home belongs to that person, not the government. It is that person's natural right to sell his home at the price set in the market by supply and demand. It would be a violation of that person's property rights for the U. S. government to impose price controls and excess profits taxes.

The oil belongs to the oil companies. It is their natural right to sell it at the price set in the market by supply and demand. Just as it is a violation of the companies' property rights for Venezuela, Bolivia, etc. to "nationalize"--steal--the companies' oil and gas, it is a violation of the companies' property rights for the U. S. government to impose price controls and excess profits taxes.

What part of "free people, free markets, free trade, and peace" do governments not understand?

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home