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PetroChina Buys Oil-Sands Project
Wall Street Journal ^ | EDWARD WELSCH

Posted on 01/06/2012 8:12:42 PM PST by Olog-hai

CALGARY—Athabasca Oil Sands Corp. said it was selling a 40% stake in one of its oil-sands prospects to PetroChina Co., a move that for the first time will give full ownership of such a project to a Chinese company.

Athabasca is selling its remaining interest in the MacKay River project in northern Alberta to PetroChina for C$680 million, or US$666 million. In 2010, Athabasca sold 60% stakes in MacKay and a separate development, Dover, to PetroChina for C$1.9 billion. …

Canada holds the world's third-largest reserves of oil. Most of those are oil-sands—essentially a mix of bitumen and quartz sand—located in the western Canadian province of Alberta. Oil-sands output has grown quickly, and Alberta and Canadian officials have sought out new markets.

That has particularly been the case after the U.S. State Department late last year delayed a decision on a pipeline proposed to carry oil from Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said it would actively market its oil to Asian buyers, including China. The Canadian government has said it backs the construction of another pipeline running from Alberta to the Pacific, where oil could be loaded onto tankers bound for Asia. …

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Canada; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: canada; china; oilsands
I guess this is Harper's abandonment of conservatism. Even in spite of the spat between his government and Obama, this should never have happened.
1 posted on 01/06/2012 8:12:52 PM PST by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai

If the U.S. doesn’t want the oil from the oil sands (you did have first refusal), why shouldn’t Canada sell it to a willing buyer? In what way is this even remotely an abandonment of conservatism?


2 posted on 01/06/2012 8:18:07 PM PST by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA

Selling to one’s enemy is an abandonment of conservatism. China regards all non-communists as enemy territory to be taken over by any means. They’re certainly happy about a wedge being between Canada and the USA, which makes such things easier for them; now Canada is being exploited by China just like the Congo is.


3 posted on 01/06/2012 8:25:06 PM PST by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai

Are you proposing we close down the international stock market??? How dumb, we owe china trillions and you think a stock transaction for a little bitty company for a 40% share is something.


4 posted on 01/06/2012 8:29:15 PM PST by org.whodat (Just another heartless American, hated by "AMNESTY" Newt, Willard, Perry and nervous supporters.)
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To: Olog-hai

I HOPE they CHANGE their mind. FUBHO!


5 posted on 01/06/2012 8:34:21 PM PST by REDWOOD99 ("Everyone should pay taxes. Everyone should pay the same rate.)
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To: REDWOOD99
Change their minds, you mean take the company private. Ok. That would be expensive, but the Chinese investors would make a ton.
6 posted on 01/06/2012 8:42:05 PM PST by org.whodat (Just another heartless American, hated by "AMNESTY" Newt, Willard, Perry and nervous supporters.)
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To: Olog-hai

Yet one more success for the Comrade In Chief!


7 posted on 01/06/2012 8:44:42 PM PST by Rembrandt (.. AND the donkey you rode in on.)
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To: Olog-hai
My ass. This is Obama 's abandonment of the West including the United States.

this should never have happened.

Sorry Swee'Pea. "should" ain't "is."

8 posted on 01/06/2012 8:47:19 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: hinckley buzzard

So you’re saying that China is part of “the West”?


9 posted on 01/06/2012 8:50:20 PM PST by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai

Someone is deeply confused here, the first sell to china was in 2010. What does that have to do with the current pipe line. And what percentage of the oil fields does this company control.


10 posted on 01/06/2012 8:56:15 PM PST by org.whodat (Just another heartless American, hated by "AMNESTY" Newt, Willard, Perry and nervous supporters.)
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To: Olog-hai
The Canadian government has said it backs the construction of another pipeline running from Alberta to the Pacific, where oil could be loaded onto tankers bound for Asia. …

I wonder if BC will have a say in this pipeline? If Gasoline is over $4 by election day and we aren't going to have our pipeline this will defeat Obama.

11 posted on 01/06/2012 9:19:31 PM PST by Mike Darancette (11/06/2012: Starts "Occupy the White House")
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA
You don't sell stategic assets to enemy countries. And Obama isn't America.
Some of us stand up for Canada, despite the lunacy of your leftists and purported conservative administrations. Nice to see the favor repaid by you.
12 posted on 01/06/2012 9:21:49 PM PST by rmlew ("Mosques are our barracks, minarets our bayonets, domes our helmets, the believers our soldiers.")
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To: Olog-hai

Money talks, BS walks. No abandonment of conservatism, it’s embracing it. The Chinese want to pay money for a pipeline we won’t build, then fine, take the money.


13 posted on 01/06/2012 9:43:33 PM PST by henkster (Obama regime mission statement: "Find the people working, and stop them!")
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To: henkster
WADR, whoredom is not conservative, nor is Mammon-worship. You do have to draw the line somewhere, and that line should include not selling out to enemies.
14 posted on 01/06/2012 9:48:02 PM PST by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai

The Canadians would have been perfectly happy to sell it to us. We refused. They’ve spent money to get a product ready to bring to market. So you expect their businessmen to take a loss out of...what? Dislike of the Chinese? Some sort of “higher moral purpose?”

I don’t know what planet you live on but that doesn’t happen on mine. That’s why our industry left for China. We taxed, regulated, sued and unionized it out of the country. Either the company moves or sells to the Chinese, or goes out of business to the company that does. You may not like it, but that’s the way the world has always worked and always will.


15 posted on 01/06/2012 10:08:55 PM PST by henkster (Obama regime mission statement: "Find the people working, and stop them!")
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To: Olog-hai

How does it feel to live in a destroyed country fellow American’s?


16 posted on 01/06/2012 10:09:28 PM PST by Captain7seas (FIRE JANE LUBCHENCO FROM NOAA)
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To: henkster

Dang oil is a world wide commodity, the chinese will buy it where they can get it the cheapest including transpportation. Currently they are getting deep discounts from iran. Buying the canadian company stock is just another business investment, and has nothing to do with the pipe line since the first purchase was in 2010.


17 posted on 01/06/2012 10:22:14 PM PST by org.whodat (Just another heartless American, hated by "AMNESTY" Newt, Willard, Perry and nervous supporters.)
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To: henkster

Well stated.

I can’t help but wonder if this backfired on the Big O. Maybe he thought by putting off a decision, he could retain the union AND green vote.

Sadly, we will all suffer for his incompetence.


18 posted on 01/06/2012 10:50:07 PM PST by berdie
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To: All

To quote a Star Trek character I once read in a book:

“Klingons are ruthless, vindictive and savage bastards but on the other hand, they pay their bills on time and in full. By Ferengi standards, we can accept such idiosyncrasies so long as there’s profit to be made.”

Rule of acquisition 21: “Never place friendship before profit”


19 posted on 01/06/2012 11:35:51 PM PST by ak267
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA

That’s fine. When Russia starts flexing their muscles in the Arctic (Hello Losmonov Ridge), and Canada is looking for someone to support their claim, maybe they can call China?


20 posted on 01/06/2012 11:38:49 PM PST by steel_resolve (Ships With Holes Will Sink And I Will Swim)
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To: Olog-hai

The canadians need to realize if they are ever war with china these “areas” will be shut down. Just a heads up, from your friends to the south, or at least we though you were. We still control the artic and NORAD(IE Air Dominance over North America). Dont side with potential enemies, yes Obama suck but give us time to get rid of him in 2012.


21 posted on 01/07/2012 1:55:27 AM PST by MARKUSPRIME
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To: MARKUSPRIME

artic=arctic, bleh wtb edit function


22 posted on 01/07/2012 1:57:27 AM PST by MARKUSPRIME
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To: Olog-hai
Not sure what the big deal is. Heck, the US will soon be exporting alot of coal to China if the ports in the Pacific Northwest gets built (pending the outcome of the protest against having them built).

And a pipeline to the Pacific, from Alberta, doesn't mean oil from there still won't be piped to the US, in the future, once environmental studies are completed. Canada simply wants to diverse its customer base.

Between the tar sands, coal, and the potential gas from fracking, North America could be a large source of energy for China. North America would simply join the long list of countries or parts of the world that supply energy to China, i.e., Africa, Australia, the Middle East, Russia, Latin America, etc. None of these parts of the world have qualms about supplying energy to China. North America shouldn't either.

23 posted on 01/07/2012 1:57:48 AM PST by ponder life
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To: ponder life

You are a long term chicom troll as shown in your past posts. FK the chicoms.


24 posted on 01/07/2012 3:01:02 AM PST by MARKUSPRIME
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To: henkster

‘zackly.
Take the money. If we come to blows, that’s another issue.


25 posted on 01/07/2012 4:40:59 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (Gimme that old time fossil fuel.)
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To: MARKUSPRIME
The canadians need to realize if they are ever war with china these “areas” will be shut down.

Huh? While I have some difficulty imagining a war between Canada and China, I kinda, sorta think if such a thing were to happen, it would be China, not Canada, that would lose from the loss of Canadian oil production.

26 posted on 01/07/2012 5:29:05 AM PST by sphinx
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To: Olog-hai
The canadians need to realize if they are ever war with china these “areas” will be shut down.

There is no "spat" between the Canadian and U.S. governments. The environmentalists don't like fossil fuels and are opposing fossil fuel development at every turn. Obama has caved to them. So he flipped Canada the bird and made it clear that, so long as he is in the White House, the U.S. government would block utilization of this resource.

This is not a spat. It is a straightforward policy call by a President whose conception of the national interest does not include affordable energy.

27 posted on 01/07/2012 5:32:46 AM PST by sphinx
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To: ponder life

I guess the massive military buildup over in China is nothing to worry about either . . . ? Alas, this generation is naïve.


28 posted on 01/07/2012 6:22:55 AM PST by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai

We don’t need oil. We got Solyndra.


29 posted on 01/07/2012 7:10:32 AM PST by Oldeconomybuyer (The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.)
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To: sphinx
The environmentalists don't like fossil fuels and are opposing fossil fuel development at every turn.

Not true. The folks who OWN the environmental move-mint love "fossil fuels" (but for coal, ain't no such thing; petrochemicals are geological in origin), but they LOVE higher prices for existing sources even more, especially without having to risk investment in new sources.

30 posted on 01/07/2012 7:20:44 AM PST by Carry_Okie (The RNC would prefer Obama to a conservative nominee.)
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To: Olog-hai

not to mention now Obama will share our Nuclear secrets with Russia...I still say he is a Russian mole.....


31 posted on 01/07/2012 7:54:21 AM PST by Engedi (Hec)
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To: Olog-hai

not to mention now Obama will share our Nuclear secrets with Russia...I still say he is a Russian mole.....


32 posted on 01/07/2012 7:54:21 AM PST by Engedi (Hec)
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To: Olog-hai

Wow!

There are a lot of really ignorant, vicious replies to this thread you started. Great job troll! Allow me to add mine.

The U.S. has been selling or outright giving dual purpose technology and your grandchildren’s liberty to the Chicoms for decades, but Harper and the damn Canadians selling a lease to mine a tiny chunk of the oilsands is the problem.

America gives more money and sells more debt to the Chicoms than practically all other nations combined, but the Canadians (not numerous successive U.S. administrations) are traitors to your cause!?

Despite your blatant attempt to spin it, this is not a “spat between” Obama and the Harper Government (as an aside, this single statement clarifies for me the fact that you are against Harper, an Obama supporter and afraid this will affect Obama’s re-election prospects).

Your crypto-communist leftists, greenies, marxists, warmists and abortion-loving one worlders don’t want Canadian oil and do want to destroy America from within, but it’s the damn Canadian’s fault!?

Your Obama regime was offered an oil pipeline by your biggest ally, supporter and trading partner. They said “F.U. Canada, we don’t want your dirty oil or the jobs that come with it”, but Harper betrayed your trust?

You make me sick, you propogandist troll. I hope your beloved Muslim and commie-loving Obama administration gets CRUSHED in November, though he is sure to get re-elected with wide-spread cheating and helpful worshippers such as yourself.

Since you are likely being paid to disseminate your filth here, I hope you choke on it.

Kindest regards, FUBO.


33 posted on 01/07/2012 9:24:00 AM PST by Melinator (my 2 cents)
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To: Melinator

Way to miss the point, genius, never mind put words in people’s mouths that were never said. Congrats on being an enabler for the left.


34 posted on 01/07/2012 9:41:19 AM PST by Olog-hai
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To: MARKUSPRIME
You are a long term chicom troll as shown in your past posts.

I'm not a troll. I simply have a different perspective about China and like to share it.

FK the chicoms.

I'm convinced China will become a democracy within the next decade or two. But even then, there will be those that will resent her growing presence in the world. That's something the Chinese will need to learn to get accustomed to, just as Americans have had to get accustomed to resentment about her global presence. Its just that its ironic that some of the resentment towards China's rise comes from the US who should understand how it feels.

35 posted on 01/07/2012 12:20:25 PM PST by ponder life
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To: Olog-hai
I guess the massive military buildup over in China is nothing to worry about either . . . ? Alas, this generation is naïve.

China's military expenditures, as a percentage of GDP, is no higher than many other countries with their peace time budgets.

In fact Russia, has about one million active duty personnel vs China's 2.5 million. But China is 9 times larger. So, the proportion of China is actually much smaller. And I could make this comparison to most of the countries including the US. Even the Pentagon's estimate of China's military budget, which is much higher than China's claim, would still put China's military budget at a lower percentage of her GDP than the US military budget as a percentage of GDP. And even with the coming budget cuts in the coming decade in the US military, the US may still have a higher budget in terms of the percentage of GDP than China. And higher, of course, overall, in absolute dollars.

36 posted on 01/07/2012 12:26:48 PM PST by ponder life
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To: Olog-hai
This is great news. It'll free up capital for and encourage others to do even more oil sands exploration (knowing that there's a healthy market for even marginal properties, i.e. the kind that this company is presumably selling). This here is a fine example of free markets at work.

The contrast with the Chinese approach couldn't be greater - they encourage foreign investment in domestic oil exploration only to welsh on the profit-sharing agreement (typically cutting the foreign company out) once oil is found. The result is zero foreign investment and increasing Chinese dependence on imported oil. Encouraging Chinese dependence on imported oil is a good thing. That way, we can stop them in their tracks (after B-2's take care of the Chinese strategic oil reserve) when they finally pull a WW2 Japanese-style invasion of their neighbors.

37 posted on 01/07/2012 12:35:13 PM PST by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: rmlew
You don't sell stategic assets to enemy countries.

I don't know about other parts of the country, but here in Texas we let the Chinese ship a lot of things all over the place, and I'm willing to bet important resources are a part of that.

Those trucks and trains with "China Shipping" on the side are getting more and more commonplace. I need to start paying attention to who is driving the trucks.
38 posted on 01/07/2012 3:51:01 PM PST by af_vet_rr
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To: Zhang Fei
Chinese dependence on foreign oil has been around since the 1990's, when China went from being a net exporter of oil to a net importer of oil. And the gap will only grow, of course.

But that's no different, than Europe, Japan, and the US in terms of dependence on foreign oil. Many of the world's developed countries are dependent upon foreign oil.

That way, we can stop them in their tracks (after B-2's take care of the Chinese strategic oil reserve) when they finally pull a WW2 Japanese-style invasion of their neighbors.

Actually, a Japanese style invasion of their neighbors won't happen. You can bank on that. China's growing economic size, her growing dependence on world wide trade, the internationalization of her currency, will put China in a position where she will slowly become a sort of a hub of trade activity. China can do commercially, what the Japanese tried to do militarily, and that is create a co-spherical prosperity world. Which is already happening as the economic gravity is shifting Eastward with China at the center.

And the US, ironically, set in motion, what the Japanese failed to do. And, of course, China is merely taking the helm from the US, via commercial ties.

By 2050, those B-2's you are talking about will have been outdated. And China's military expenditures of about 2% of GDP will have surpassed the US military expenditures of 4% of GDP in absolutely terms.

A shot will not have been fired :) By 2050, many of today's ultra conservative Americans who are extremely hawkish of China, would have either grown old or passed away. And a new generation of Americans will know only of a China that is influential in global affairs and fully accept it without viewing China in a hawkish way. Much like 20th century British have long accepted an America as the global power without ill will towards America, unlike 19th century British towards the US where there were some animosity.

39 posted on 01/07/2012 5:33:15 PM PST by ponder life
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To: steel_resolve

The U.S. is amongst the countries flexing their muscles in the Arctic. Canada realizes that its only hope is that the disputes will be settled by rule of international law, rather than diplomacy by other means.


40 posted on 01/07/2012 6:25:40 PM PST by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: rmlew

Really? You might add that you don’t subcontract major shares of your manufacturing to enemy countries. You don’t also make yourself vulnerable, by racking up ruinous debt to said enemies.


41 posted on 01/07/2012 6:28:45 PM PST by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: steel_resolve; rmlew; Olog-hai
Please give your collective heads a big shake.

Canada offered the oil to the U.S. — the U.S. refused to take it. What are we supposed to do? Sit on it, in case some day the U.S. might decide that it wants the oil sands oil after all?

Over the past several years, I've posted several lamentations about the U.S. leftist-sponsored international environmentalist organizations, which are bent on shutting down all oil-sands production. I've also posted about the collection of big-city mayors, and state governors, who were taking or considering ways to boycott the oil-sands oil.

If the U.S. wants the oil — you have only to ask. If you don't want it; why would you even care what we do with it?

42 posted on 01/07/2012 6:36:20 PM PST by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA
Really? You might add that you don’t subcontract major shares of your manufacturing to enemy countries. You don’t also make yourself vulnerable, by racking up ruinous debt to said enemies.

I agree 100%. I don't call people ignoring China's trade war on us "Free Traitors" for nothing.
43 posted on 01/07/2012 11:29:54 PM PST by rmlew ("Mosques are our barracks, minarets our bayonets, domes our helmets, the believers our soldiers.")
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA

Obama is not America. He is not king. Arguably, he is not a legitimate president. So find a better argument.


44 posted on 01/07/2012 11:31:13 PM PST by rmlew ("Mosques are our barracks, minarets our bayonets, domes our helmets, the believers our soldiers.")
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To: rmlew
This isn't just about Obama. Please reread what I wrote. Envriofascists, their billionaire commie backers, Democrat politicians at all levels — all of them have been doing everything they can to vilify, and ultimately ban oil-sands production. Well, it seems they got their way with Enbridge. A large segment of the U.S. (about half, if you count all Democrats) doesn't want our oil — and a large portion of that group doesn't want us to sell it anywhere (not even to ourselves).

The U.S. refuses to buy our product. That finally wakes us (Canadians) up to the dangers of dealing with a monopsony buyer. We look for other willing buyers, and discover there are plenty of them. We have the choice of selling to those willing buyers, or having our entire economy collapse. We do what any rational person would do (and that includes Americans, if put in the same situation) — and we make a sale.

I've gotten inured to leftist envirofascists trying to shut down oil-sands production — I'm more than a little astonished to see the same sort of arguments coming from longstanding members of this forum.

45 posted on 01/08/2012 1:15:55 AM PST by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA
I've gotten inured to leftist envirofascists trying to shut down oil-sands production — I'm more than a little astonished to see the same sort of arguments coming from longstanding members of this forum.

There are a lot of mercantilists here, at least with respect to countries with much lower wages.

46 posted on 01/08/2012 6:30:31 AM PST by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: ak267
Rule of acquisition 21: “Never place friendship before profit”

Never place profit before survival. You have to survive, to profit. Don't be one of Lenin's capitalists and go around selling rope to Bolsheviks.

The day Japan raided Pearl Harbor, a tanker owned by Texaco (whose board chairman at the time was a Norwegian former tanker captain) was offloading at a pier in Malmo, Sweden, to a Nazi German oiler lying on the other side of the pier.

With the Chinese ordering us out of the Western Pacific, it's time to stop talking about who's selling to whom, and who owes what to whom.

47 posted on 01/09/2012 3:23:01 AM PST by lentulusgracchus
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To: Zhang Fei
There are a lot of mercantilists here, at least with respect to countries with much lower wages.

Slave labor: Making life better for 7000 years.

48 posted on 01/09/2012 3:25:02 AM PST by lentulusgracchus
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To: lentulusgracchus

We would benefit even more if the Chinese worked for free (i.e. the definition of slave labor). Frederic Bastiat explained why, roughly 200 years ago, via this reductio ad absurdum:


A PETITION From the Manufacturers of Candles, Tapers, Lanterns, sticks, Street Lamps, Snuffers, and Extinguishers, and from Producers of Tallow, Oil, Resin, Alcohol, and Generally of Everything Connected with Lighting.
To the Honourable Members of the Chamber of Deputies.

Open letter to the French Parliament, originally published in 1845 (Note of the Web Publisher)
Gentlemen:
You are on the right track. You reject abstract theories and have little regard for abundance and low prices. You concern yourselves mainly with the fate of the producer. You wish to free him from foreign competition, that is, to reserve the domestic market for domestic industry.

We come to offer you a wonderful opportunity for your — what shall we call it? Your theory? No, nothing is more deceptive than theory. Your doctrine? Your system? Your principle? But you dislike doctrines, you have a horror of systems, as for principles, you deny that there are any in political economy; therefore we shall call it your practice — your practice without theory and without principle.

We are suffering from the ruinous competition of a rival who apparently works under conditions so far superior to our own for the production of light that he is flooding the domestic market with it at an incredibly low price; for the moment he appears, our sales cease, all the consumers turn to him, and a branch of French industry whose ramifications are innumerable is all at once reduced to complete stagnation. This rival, which is none other than the sun, is waging war on us so mercilessly we suspect he is being stirred up against us by perfidious Albion (excellent diplomacy nowadays!), particularly because he has for that haughty island a respect that he does not show for us [1].

We ask you to be so good as to pass a law requiring the closing of all windows, dormers, skylights, inside and outside shutters, curtains, casements, bull’s-eyes, deadlights, and blinds — in short, all openings, holes, chinks, and fissures through which the light of the sun is wont to enter houses, to the detriment of the fair industries with which, we are proud to say, we have endowed the country, a country that cannot, without betraying ingratitude, abandon us today to so unequal a combat.

Be good enough, honourable deputies, to take our request seriously, and do not reject it without at least hearing the reasons that we have to advance in its support.

First, if you shut off as much as possible all access to natural light, and thereby create a need for artificial light, what industry in France will not ultimately be encouraged?

If France consumes more tallow, there will have to be more cattle and sheep, and, consequently, we shall see an increase in cleared fields, meat, wool, leather, and especially manure, the basis of all agricultural wealth.

If France consumes more oil, we shall see an expansion in the cultivation of the poppy, the olive, and rapeseed. These rich yet soil-exhausting plants will come at just the right time to enable us to put to profitable use the increased fertility that the breeding of cattle will impart to the land.

Our moors will be covered with resinous trees. Numerous swarms of bees will gather from our mountains the perfumed treasures that today waste their fragrance, like the flowers from which they emanate. Thus, there is not one branch of agriculture that would not undergo a great expansion.

The same holds true of shipping. Thousands of vessels will engage in whaling, and in a short time we shall have a fleet capable of upholding the honour of France and of gratifying the patriotic aspirations of the undersigned petitioners, chandlers, etc.

But what shall we say of the specialities of Parisian manufacture? Henceforth you will behold gilding, bronze, and crystal in candlesticks, in lamps, in chandeliers, in candelabra sparkling in spacious emporia compared with which those of today are but stalls.

There is no needy resin-collector on the heights of his sand dunes, no poor miner in the depths of his black pit, who will not receive higher wages and enjoy increased prosperity.

It needs but a little reflection, gentlemen, to be convinced that there is perhaps not one Frenchman, from the wealthy stockholder of the Anzin Company to the humblest vendor of matches, whose condition would not be improved by the success of our petition.

We anticipate your objections, gentlemen; but there is not a single one of them that you have not picked up from the musty old books of the advocates of free trade. We defy you to utter a word against us that will not instantly rebound against yourselves and the principle behind all your policy.

Will you tell us that, though we may gain by this protection, France will not gain at all, because the consumer will bear the expense?

We have our answer ready:

You no longer have the right to invoke the interests of the consumer. You have sacrificed him whenever you have found his interests opposed to those of the producer. You have done so in order to encourage industry and to increase employment. For the same reason you ought to do so this time too.

Indeed, you yourselves have anticipated this objection. When told that the consumer has a stake in the free entry of iron, coal, sesame, wheat, and textiles, ``Yes,’’ you reply, ``but the producer has a stake in their exclusion.’’ Very well, surely if consumers have a stake in the admission of natural light, producers have a stake in its interdiction.

``But,’’ you may still say, ``the producer and the consumer are one and the same person. If the manufacturer profits by protection, he will make the farmer prosperous. Contrariwise, if agriculture is prosperous, it will open markets for manufactured goods.’’ Very well, If you grant us a monopoly over the production of lighting during the day, first of all we shall buy large amounts of tallow, charcoal, oil, resin, wax, alcohol, silver, iron, bronze, and crystal, to supply our industry; and, moreover, we and our numerous suppliers, having become rich, will consume a great deal and spread prosperity into all areas of domestic industry.

Will you say that the light of the sun is a gratuitous gift of Nature, and that to reject such gifts would be to reject wealth itself under the pretext of encouraging the means of acquiring it?

But if you take this position, you strike a mortal blow at your own policy; remember that up to now you have always excluded foreign goods because and in proportion as they approximate gratuitous gifts. You have only half as good a reason for complying with the demands of other monopolists as you have for granting our petition, which is in complete accord with your established policy; and to reject our demands precisely because they are better founded than anyone else’s would be tantamount to accepting the equation: + x + = -; in other words, it would be to heap absurdity upon absurdity.

Labour and Nature collaborate in varying proportions, depending upon the country and the climate, in the production of a commodity. The part that Nature contributes is always free of charge; it is the part contributed by human labour that constitutes value and is paid for.

If an orange from Lisbon sells for half the price of an orange from Paris, it is because the natural heat of the sun, which is, of course, free of charge, does for the former what the latter owes to artificial heating, which necessarily has to be paid for in the market.

Thus, when an orange reaches us from Portugal, one can say that it is given to us half free of charge, or, in other words, at half price as compared with those from Paris.

Now, it is precisely on the basis of its being semigratuitous (pardon the word) that you maintain it should be barred. You ask: ``How can French labour withstand the competition of foreign labour when the former has to do all the work, whereas the latter has to do only half, the sun taking care of the rest?’’ But if the fact that a product is half free of charge leads you to exclude it from competition, how can its being totally free of charge induce you to admit it into competition? Either you are not consistent, or you should, after excluding what is half free of charge as harmful to our domestic industry, exclude what is totally gratuitous with all the more reason and with twice the zeal.

To take another example: When a product — coal, iron, wheat, or textiles — comes to us from abroad, and when we can acquire it for less labour than if we produced it ourselves, the difference is a gratuitous gift that is conferred up on us. The size of this gift is proportionate to the extent of this difference. It is a quarter, a half, or three-quarters of the value of the product if the foreigner asks of us only three-quarters, one-half, or one-quarter as high a price. It is as complete as it can be when the donor, like the sun in providing us with light, asks nothing from us. The question, and we pose it formally, is whether what you desire for France is the benefit of consumption free of charge or the alleged advantages of onerous production. Make your choice, but be logical; for as long as you ban, as you do, foreign coal, iron, wheat, and textiles, in proportion as their price approaches zero, how inconsistent it would be to admit the light of the sun, whose price is zero all day long!



49 posted on 01/09/2012 4:55:14 AM PST by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: Zhang Fei
That's a nice quote from Bastiat; but his argument rests on a fallacy, which is that he is comparing apples and oranges. God, and the Sun, do not have children to feed, do not require nutrition or a roof over their heads, and are completely free of the constant needs which attend the human condition of anyone who offers a product, or labor, for sale or rent.

It would be a nice concession to international competition if, in the United States, we could require workers as a condition of employment to give up eating.

50 posted on 01/09/2012 5:11:05 AM PST by lentulusgracchus
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