Monday, October 15, 2012

Economic Liberty

Peter Grossman asks, Is Energy Independence Undesirable? Being independent in anything sounds good, and often it its, but at what cost? What is Adam Smith’s unseen?

For example, should the US be completely food independent? We’re not. We ship a lot of it overseas, and then we import more. Exploiting our abundant resources is a good thing, and it does provide us more freedom of movement, but energy independence should not be the goal, economic freedom should be.

Just ask Europe, dependent on Gazprom, with the specter ever looming of Putin pinching off the pipe. It’s a worry, but not a great one. Russia can’t eat their natural gas, just as the Arabs can’t eat their oil. Even the richest of countries hurt themselves by forgoing an opportunity to sell their resources. As Grossman points out…
…the Arab embargo was a fiasco for the Arab exporters who imposed it; the embargo became a crisis in the U.S. because of our own policies, especially price controls that prevented prices from rising to market levels. But that’s clearly not how it is remembered here. Most Americans, like Obama, see the oil “weapon” dangling over our heads, wielded no doubt in the popular imagination by the robed sheikhs of 1970’s lore, or maybe these days by masked jihadists. (Grossman)
Another example: How are we punishing Iran? By refusing to buy their oil, and convincing others to boycott as well. So it goes both ways, and having our own energy development allows us to take such actions without damaging out own economy.

Free trade in a global open marketplace with a diversity of buyers and sellers is the most desirable scenario, guaranteeing open price discovery and avoiding shocks and gluts.

Rather than speaking of independence in anything, we should be talking about economic liberty, a wise use of our resources, and free and fair trade between free nations and peoples.

38 comments:

conservativesonfire said...

Energy independence is a good thing, in my opinion, for any country that can do it. In a free marjet, energy independence does not mean we would export energy and import energy. I does mean in a crisis, we could supply all of our own energy needs. It is not unusaul for countroes to use their resources as tools in economic war to some extent. Don't be surprised if some day food isn't used in the same way.

-FJ said...

You overlook one crucial factor...

from an essay on the life and work of Lazare Carnot:

At about the same time, Carnot helped his friends the Montgolfier brothers, in their experiments on the first aerostatic balloons, the development of which inflicted a terrible defeat on those who claimed that man would never achieve mastery over nature and vanquish its laws, notably that of gravity. Carnot went even further, and, the following year, after the launching and ascent of a montgolfière, in 1784, he presented to the Academy of Sciences a memorandum on the ways in which balloons could be directed with engines, and perhaps even a steam engine:


"It is heat which, producing systolic and diastolic expansion in the balloon, must give the impulsion to the wheels.... You must note, in passing, gentlemen, how many arms will be spared in manufacturing, when the mechanics of fire are better known.... Within ten years, this will produce astonishing revolutions in the [mechanical] arts."
Carnot later collaborated with inventor Robert Fulton on naval propulsion with steam engines, and on the use of submarines to beat the British fleet. ``It is a newborn child!'' Franklin exclaimed, when he saw the experiments.(fn11) It is from these beginnings, that hydrodynamics and aerodynamics were developed, proceeding from a conception of man fundamentally opposed to that of Voltaire and Rousseau.

In 1806, Carnot wrote in a report to the Academy of Sciences on the work of the physicist Nicéphore Niepce on a combustion engine:

"The discovery of a new motor force in nature is always a precious thing, when we can succeed in regularizing its effects, and use it to spare man's efforts.... "Antiquity knew little of those motor forces; they only employed living human beings, weights, waterfalls, or wind. Those forces all being developed by nature itself, it was necessary, in order to apply them, to know only the effect of the lever.... But those assemblies of levers are only inert masses, merely able to transmit the action of moving forces without ever increasing them: It is the motor force which is everything. Modern man has discovered several motor forces, or rather has created them: because, though their elements be necessarily pre-existing, in nature, their dissemination nullifies them in this respect; they only acquire the quality of moving forces through artificial means, such as the expansive force of water reduced to steam, as the upward force which launches the aerostatic balloon."

This notion fundamentally refutes the mechanical interpretation of the laws of thermodynamics, as well as the simplistic interpretation of the principle of conservation of energy attributed to Carnot. It also destroys the stupid arguments of today's ecology movement for solar energy, for new "diffuse" sources of energy.

If man wants to progress, he must create new forms of energy of greater and greater densities. This implies precise social and political considerations which Carnot was to elaborate in his first writings, "Eloge de Vauban" ("In Praise of Vauban") (1784) and "Memoire sur les Places Fortes" ("Memorandum on Fortifications") (1788).

-FJ said...

The development and perfection of nuclear energy is a categorical imperative if man is to ever free himself of the necessities of "hard labour". Further "Progress" will not be possible w/o it.

Radical Redneck said...

So lets talk about Benghazi, I’d love to. I for one have had it with these sick, twisted, brain dead leftist/progressive radicals who are so blinded by their ideology that they don’t even care about the security of this nation, and will do everything say anything including backing up the lies of their beloved leader and then support his re-election. . It is absolutely outrageous how far they will go. Just listen to them here on these blogs and just read the CRAP on their own blogs You would think that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan was running this country and having their Secretary of State and their UN Ambassador parading out in frunt of the TV cameras LYING this ass’s off for the sake of their Messiah. They are extremely dangerous to this country, and must be voted out. Obama told us that he wants to bring the perpetrators to justice. How about bringing his own Administration to Justice?
This is worse than Watergate, no one at Watergate was murdered, and Watergate was not an Act of War! I hope that Romney and Ryan calls these liars out in front of the nation and the world, and lets the world hear the facts in no uncertain terms.
And that Smirking Monkey Biden saying that it was the fault of the Republicans for cutting the funds for security at the embassy. Another lie by that Smirking Jerk.
This bunch of people are so incompetent it’s a wonder that more people haven’t died. If Obama, Hillary and Rice had the love for their country that Nixon did and if they had any class the three of them would step down, and the news media should be harping about this nonstop. It’s time for a statesman like Romney to be put in office and not the Liberal/Progressive gang of hoodlums.
And another thing: They blamed a stupid video for this attack, instead of calling it what it was, a terrorist attack. And by saying that it was the “Video” that cause the other riots all over the Mid-East on our Embassy’s. If you recall, there were about 25 other riots following the ones in Libya and Egypt, because of Obama telling them about the “Film” prior to that these scum-bags didn’t even know that a “Film” even existed. .

Thersites said...

lol! Budge/funding was the "problem"...

Meanwhile, Valerie Jarrett and David Axelrod get FULL Secret Service details... (evidently there is a "credible intelligence threat" that Republican Terrorists are going to assassinate the Obama Campaign advisory team) and the Embassy Green Energy Initiative contributes to the wasts TENS OF BILLIONS on solar panels, alternative fuels projects and windmills...

Silverfiddle said...

A barking dog took a dump that smelled like accusing republicans of cutting State Department Funding, which is a lie.

There have been no budget cuts. Indeed, thanks to Hairy Reed, there have been no budgets, just continuing resolutions.

To see what a blatant red propaganda lie this is, I refer interested voters to the White House Budget site, Table 4.1

State Department spending has increased every year.

The murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens by terrorists is Obama's fault. It happened on his watch.

If he gets credit for killing bin Laden, he also gets the blame for murderous terrorist attacks. Learn it. Eat it. Own it.

Thersites said...

While you are on the subject of "energy independence"... perhaps you should investigate whether America's State Department should continue to push its' green embassy initiatives in competition with "security" concerns. one wonders "which" has the "higher" priority.

Radical Redneck said...


Nothing can get in the way for my hatred for this Administration.

The Budget for Embassy Security was NOT Responsible for the lack of the security that day, the Republicans didn't cut any money for embassy security. and the State Department had adequate security to protect the ambassador, but it seemed to be missing that day.
IN FACT funding for those programs has increased sharply over the past decade.
http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/181061.pdf
It’s on the shoulders of Obama, Clinton, and Harry Reid who is responsible these Americans sent to their graves without sufficient funds to protect themselves and the American installations where they were murdered.
Humm wonder why?

Thersites said...

How many hundreds of millions, if not billions, have gone towards this?

Does the diplomatic corpse really need electric cars and embassy residences powered by solar panels and windmills?

Thersites said...

Talk about green corporate welfare....

Al Gore and Ted Turner are just "printing" new green carbon credit cards...

Thersites said...

Over $10b wasted by the Obama Admin on failed "Green Energy" initiatives, 80% of which when to "DNC Donors"... and the Democrats claim that we couldn't keep a Security detachment in Libya for a few months due to "budget cuts"...

wtf, over?

Always On Watch said...

The "budget cuts" that deprived our consulate in Libya of adequate security also apparently didn't impact installing Chevy Volt charging stations at our embassies elsewhere.

WTH?

Always On Watch said...

Food interdependence is quite different from energy interdependence.

Food interdependence offers me, the consumer, more choices. And I can fork over the bucks or not.

But energy? That's different.

If another nation -- or a group such as OPEC -- controls the price of heating my home during the winter, I have to fork over bucks that could have been used to purchase something else. I do heat with oil here at this old house. A very efficient system for the small house of about 1200 square feet: hot water radiators with some kind of pump. Those cast iron radiators stay hot for a long time once they're heated up.

During the cold months, in spite of new thermal windows (I have few and small windows, BTW), the cost of my heating oil is about $650/month. I keep the thermostat between 60-66 and shut off the radiators in the guest bedroom.

I supplement with electric space heaters to the tune of about $100/month during the coldest months. Mr. AOW uses a large heating pad with his flannel sheets, and I sometimes use an electric blanket.

It feels like extortion. I've thought about converting to natural gas. The cost of such a conversion is at least $10,000. I checked recently.

Before Obama took office, my heating oil bill was about 350/month and my electric bill about $75/month. I don't blame BHO entirely, but I do fault him for contributing to the destabilization of the Middle East. Such unrest does have its impact on the price of oil.

The Debonair Dudes World said...

And by the way while we are on the subject, I’m a little confused, why did Obama Fly off to Vegas for a "Fund-raiser" the night of the Benghazi attack?
Shouldn’t he (Obama) have been meeting with his National Security Staff before flying off to his Las Vegas fund-raiser? How soon after the attack did he meet with the people from State Department, or the Director of National Intelligence, or anyone else to try to sort out what happened in Benghazi? Or was he too busy talking to Hillary making up stories like blaming it all on a little bitty “Film” maker to cover this thing up and then they threw him in Jail. !
And while I’m on the subject of Madam Hillary, where the hell is she and where the hell has she been all this time? And why did she send in that Twerp Charlene Lamb to take the heat and to testify instead of herself? Like sending a Lamb to Slaughter! It doesn’t take a genius to figure that Hillary would “Get out of twon when the heat was on. And to figure that Obama would rush off to Vegas for a fund-raiser and then to appear on the Letterman show. And to leave the American people angry and outraged. And then to top it off, he sends in the!' 'Weird little nitwit, that Smirking Jerk” to spread his BS on that debacle they called a debate. He looked and sounded ridiculous, he didn't disappoint, he was the same entertaining Buffoon that we figured he’s be.
And where is Hillary these days, I heard that she’s in Peru somewhere ducking the heat. Maybe she’s attending a conference on Global Warming

Joe Conservative said...

Gee, now we're hearing that the State Dept is currently sitting on $2.2 billion in funds intended to beef up security....

so much for the " budget cuts" meme/excuse....

Jersey McJones said...

I am 1,000,000% with you, Silver on the need for "free and fair trade between free nations and peoples."

If only we had anything like that today - or ever.

JMJ

Joe Conservative said...

€2.2 billion in uspent funds makes the "budget cut" argument FAIL miserably, Stevie. You're in need of some new talking points. Best return to base for further instructions.

ozzie679 said...
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Ducky's here said...

The beer thread was much better.

ozzie679 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ducky's here said...

ozzie679 why don't you and Steve get a room.

ozzie679 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
viburnum said...

Ducky and Jersey are regular and valued contributors to these discussions, unlike a certain annoying and obnoxious troll.

Finntann said...

Begone troll

viburnum said...

TY Finn. That's the kind of troll you'd like to meet in Wintersgrasp

Finntann said...

I think a key question is what do we mean by energy independent?

Does energy independent mean entirely self-sufficient or having sufficient market diversity that we are not obligated to buy from any one, or group of sellers?

I think in the long run the latter is the better option, as when our reserves will run out faster on a self-sufficiency model and in the end we will be more beholden to others than we are now.

Cheers!

Silverfiddle said...

@ Jersey: If only we had anything like that today - or ever.

Word. It's a fact of life that companies and government are going to look out for #1.

Ducky: Everything goes better with beer.

Silverfiddle said...

Whew! The dog crap really piled up today. I thank my fellow WH honchos for cleaning up while I was busy slaving away at Walmart.

Back to the State Department funding issue.

Rep Jason Chaffetz said that the GOP House voted to cut state department funding. The next thing he said was that those cuts never happened because Hairy Reed's senate has not passed a budget in the past four year.

Therefore, those cuts that never happened cannot be blamed for the terrorist attack in Libya.

To see what a blatant red propaganda lie this is, I refer interested voters to the White House Budget site, Table 4.1

State Department spending has increased every year.

The murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens by terrorists is Obama's fault. It happened on his watch.

If he gets credit for killing bin Laden, he also gets the blame for murderous terrorist attacks. Learn it. Eat it. Own it.

FreeThinke said...

Assuming complete self sufficiency possible, which I fear it is not, because we have become very spoiled and now "require" many exotic imports to keep us amused and to help ease the pain of everyday existence, but assuming self-sufficiency WAS possible, why would anyone imagine it would NOT be the best thing for US -- or anyone else who could achieve it?

I ever have and never will why OUT oil companies are permitted to sell OUR oil to foreigners when we have such a crying need for it ourselves.

Selling something WE need HERE to far off lands simply to enhance PROFITS seems almost TREASONOUS to me.

HELPING others in need when we live with SUPER-ABUNDANCE is one thing. GOUGING American citizens because of self-inflicted "scarcities" -- as in the 1972 Oil "Crisis", which I remember all too well, is quite another.

I am pro-business, but not when it becomes WICKED.

AMERICA with all its many blessings should have been kept for AMERICANS.

~ FreeThinke

viburnum said...

You shouldn't point me at budget figures Silver, it's not good for my blood pressure.


The estimate expenditures of the Department of State for 2012 is 29.937 billion dollars, up 12.444 billion over the last year of the Bush administration, and they're complaining about cuts?

If the budget was kept at the rate of inflation between then and now it would be 18.718

What the hell are we buying with the extra 11.22 billion? Hilliary's wardrobe?

Ducky's here said...

Sure, I don't think there's much argument there.

Some elements of the fringe right really do have their knickers in a knot over this one.

I just want to know the truth about security matters and whether the cause was the film, AL-Qaeda or Hillary's momma we aren't going to get the story for a while.

viburnum said...

Ducky: "...we aren't going to get the story for a while."

Certainly not until after the election.

Finntann said...

I thought they already admitted it wasn't a protest about the film:

The State Department has now made clear there were no protesters there. It was a pre-planned assault by heavily armed men.

http://www.npr.org/2012/10/11/162754053/transcript-biden-ryan-vice-presidential-debate

Liberalmann said...

U.S. budget deficit shrinks by over $200 billion, reaches 4-year low:

http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/10/12/14399005-us-budget-deficit-shrinks-by-over-200-billion-reaches-4-year-low?lite

Silverfiddle said...

Liberalmann: Even if true, reaching a 4-year low is like a prostitute saying she's reformed because she takes Sunday off.

It's a drop in the bucket.

Finntann said...

Yes, this whore only slept with 1.089 TRILLION JOHNS this year.

Quite the improvement.

beamish said...

There have been no budget cuts. Indeed, thanks to Hairy Reed, there have been no budgets, just continuing resolutions.

You failed to mention the far left Teapublican Party controlled House, the part of the legislative branch ordained by the Constitution to control the purse strings, and how they've allowed Obama to spend without a budget annually even more than he did when Democrats controlled the House.

Always On Watch said...

Duck,
My knickers in a knot are caused by the death of Ambassador and three other Americans in the Benghazi consulate.

Those deaths don't matter to you?

Where is your humanity?

Now, if those deaths were the deaths of tourists who took a risk, I wouldn't be nearly as upset.