Skip to comments.Energy Independence II ( John Stossel still doesn't "get it!" )
Posted on 08/27/2008 6:32:39 AM PDT by kellynla
John Stossel sounds like a real defeatist. ... We have our backs to the wall, and he's raising the white flag."
"Stossel has lost his mind."
My column last week mocking "energy independence" angered people.
I argued that "independence," a favorite slogan of vote-hungry politicians, would require the government to interfere with the global division of labor, which, as economists have understood since Adam Smith's day, make us richer and therefore better able to deal with the future uncertainties. "It is the maxim of every prudent master of a family, never to attempt to make at home what it will cost him more to make than to buy. ... If a foreign country can supply us with a commodity cheaper than we ourselves can make it, better buy it of them," wrote Smith.
Of course, as many readers noted, the federal government, by doing things like prohibiting drilling in on- and off-shore areas that may have oil reserves, makes it more expensive or even impossible to produce energy in this country. Those policies should go, but that would still not bring self-sufficiency. Our demand for oil is too great.
And anyway, if the economics of oil production favor foreign over domestic producers, it still makes sense to buy the cheaper product. It wouldn't matter how much shale oil we have in the United States.
Readers correctly point out that because governments control much oil production, there is no global free market. But it does not follow that market forces don't work. There are many sources of oil in the world and many buyers. Supply and demand still set the price globally. It is foolish not to buy at the lowest price.
But one that stands out is "When we trade dollars to foreigners for oil, they have to do something with those dollars." Yes, John, many of those countries that we purchase oil from use the proceeds to purchase arms to kill American Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen & Marines!
Sheesh...Stossel get a grip!
We're paying for the WOT on BOTH ENDS!
He’s absolutely right on all counts.
THIS I gotta hear!
A bit of economic distortion calculated to (in the short run) reduce the revenue to hostile regimes and (in the long run) replace oil-based fuels altogether so that these regimes would have their air supply choked off is definitely the lesser of the two available evils.
Maybe you can clue us in on how we can extract ourselves from the world economy without plunging us back into a pre-industrial revolution life style.
You grossly underestimate the distortion we are talking about.
try answering my question first...
Most of the money goes to Canada and Mexico. What about the huge trade deficit with China, which in turn, invests much of it into US T-bills? Stossel gets it.
“Stossel gets it?”
Okay, Marine, you wanna address the issue in my first post.
It is the cost of living our lifestyle. Try living a subsistence lifestyle for a year then tell me if it’s worth the cost.
America already buys only a smaller percentage of oil from the Middle East. In order to de-fund Islamic states, you must also convince the rest of the world to stop buying from them.
If you add the military budget to protect ourselves from states with oil (Russia, Iraq, Iran, Vennie and so on) to the price of oil, suddenly solar power starts looking a little more attractive.
Mideast oil will be sold... to someone. If the U.S. refuses to purchase it, some other country (China?) will. The funds will still go into the Mideast whether we buy the oil or someone else buys it.
Its not the distribution pattern, its the global price of oil that causes the problem. To lower the price, ultimately global demand needs to drop. We can do part of that by funding alternatives, especially nuclear power for electric transportation (trains, battery hybrids) but also other alternatives too.
but the price might drop if we produced more here, and used less
True, but Stossel does not argue against drilling here. His argument is that it is in our best interest to buy at the cheapest price, whether the oil comes from here, Canada or the Mideast.
Oil is a global commodity. All oil is fungible. Whether we buy it or not doesn't matter since oil is a commodity in high demand. These "proceeds" will be available to the producers regardless of where we spend our money.
Canada is our biggest trading partner. 23% of our exports go there and 17.4% of our imports come from Canada, followed by China 13.3%, Mexico 10.6%, Japan 8.8%, and Germany 5.2%.
What specific countries are you referring to in terms of oil purchases that help fund terrorists? Here is a list of countries we import oil from and the amounts
“It is the cost of living our lifestyle?”
Yea, well I tell ya what, the next Marine’s funeral I attend, you can come along and tell that line of BS to the widow & orphans...
“Try living a subsistence lifestyle for a year then tell me if its worth the cost?”
If it means dead & maimed Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen & Marines, it is definitely NOT “worth the cost!”
And if you had served and/or lost a loved one in combat;
you would know better than to make such an outrageous comment!
Finally, FYI, there is absolutely no reason on earth why we can not only “subsist” but PROSPER without trading with countries who are our enemies...let us all know when you “get it!”
He is absolutely correct.
I didn’t know anyone in the media actually understood this fact. It seems there’s at least one.