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Show ALL Forums  > Current Events  > There is a GAS STRIKE ON MAY 15      Home login  
 AUTHOR
 call me J
Joined: 12/13/2005
Msg: 101
There is a GAS STRIKE ON MAY 15Page 5 of 20    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20)
Do you guys deliberately AVOID the facts ?
 call me J
Joined: 12/13/2005
Msg: 102
There is a GAS STRIKE ON MAY 15
Posted: 5/2/2007 8:55:08 AM

The day Canada feeds as much of the world as the U S does with not only our own crops, but our technology, and the day Canada is able to not rely on the U S to protect them is the day we care what they pay for Petro. How about the first nation in to provide relief and aid whenver a natural catastrophe occurs? The U S is the most envied and ironically the most insulted by our so-called friends.


Do you even know where so much of the oil you waste comes from ?

Look North...

And you don't think Canada isn't one of the first to provide relief in natural catastrophes ? Are you blind ?
 phine_likker
Joined: 10/25/2006
Msg: 103
There is a GAS STRIKE ON MAY 15
Posted: 5/2/2007 9:11:06 AM
why are y'all opposed to "profit" ?

Isn't that Capitalism, the American Way ?

the oil companies take huge risks in exploration and development..and should be rewarded when they are right, and it works out..

$33 billion sounds like a lot, but not so much when you look at the billions of gallons produced..

you seem to think they should be "forced" to sell for less (Yes, Joe Stalin & Adolf Hitler!)

Years ago when they were drilling a lot of dry holes and losing $ billions on exploration, did y'all volunteer to pay MORE at the pump to make up for the shortfalls??

IF you like the idea of forcing them to sell for less, I think I should be able to buy a new full-sized car for $10,oo0..and the auto-workers should be forced to work for $10/hr. rather than the $35 or so now (with benefits & OT, etc.) they get now..

Ya see? once you invite the big hand of government tin to intervene, it MIGHT lead to all kinds of "other" intervention y'all might not be so keen on..

For great examples of government intervention in the economy see:

North Korea, East Germany & USSR, Eastern Europe (esp. pre-1989), Vietnam, China, etc..

Y'all got it so freakin' GOOD you can spend time whining about paying a bit for gas (per gallon about what a mocha-lite frappacine/cappocino BS drink costs at Starbucks ? )

do all you Luddite/Stalinists realise all the WORK that goes into finding, exploring, drilling, pumping, transporting, refining, transporting finished products, storing, pumping at local gas station, etc..the is required?

No doubt you think it is great for the drillers and refinery workers to make unionized wages of $50/hour or so, but somehow the oil co's are to sell fuel at (forced) dirt-cheap prices ?

and North Americans drive almost everywhere..are the fattest most obese population on Earth, in general..all kinds of health problems due to underactivity..diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc..

Was it the medical professions that got people hooked on cars, to ensure future business ?

Now you don't even have to haul yer fat azz out of the car to gorge on fast food, you can eat 3 + meals a day (& Snacks, donuts, etc.) in the car (drive-thrus)..wait sitting in the car for 15-20 mins, tying up traffic..anything to avoid actually GETTING OUT OF THE CAR..and "walking" a few feet.. LOL :)
 phine_likker
Joined: 10/25/2006
Msg: 104
There is a GAS STRIKE ON MAY 15
Posted: 5/2/2007 9:29:14 AM
I'm a-shaking.
 call me J
Joined: 12/13/2005
Msg: 105
There is a GAS STRIKE ON MAY 15
Posted: 5/2/2007 9:58:38 AM

The current system we have is like what happened in California in 2000 :the power companies were buying electricity on the spot market and the producers(eg Enron) took advantage of that by raising the prices....there was no shortage...just greed.


*sigh*

1. You're paying less than most places that CAN'T produce enough of their own oil.

US Oil production peaked and began decline 40 years ago, why do people think other fields are limitless. It's absurd.

2. Read the bloody reports I posted above. Shortage of cheap/easy to extract oil is reality.

Get your heads out of the sand.
 NotaClone
Joined: 11/24/2005
Msg: 106
There is a GAS STRIKE ON MAY 15
Posted: 5/2/2007 10:04:29 AM
^^^^

First it will start with oil, then other groups will "explain" that the commodity THEY use is 'special' so gov't intervention is required.
e.g. copper, gold, uranium, whatever.

IF it is a "strategic" resource. doesn't it make sense that higher prices will force conservation..thus being in a 'better' position strategically?

Pocketbook costs will affest people's actual conservaation behavior 1000 X more than cute ads asking ppl. to 'conserve'.

Gov't almost always F*****'s things up.

Back in the 50's/early 60's when you could buy Saudi oil for 50 cents- $1/ barrel, the US gov't
"subsidized" Texas oil producers to pump oil at several $/bbl. because they said they couldn't compete at the low Saudi prices..and it was "Strategic" material that should be from US sources.

So..the gov't spent $ billions of tax $$ to subsidize production and deplete much of the TX reserves..

Left Saudi & Middle East with most of their oil..

Wouldn't the "market" solution have been better ? Burn up lots of cheap Saudi oil & still have all those TX reserves on tap ?

anyway..If you believe gov't will save you; lets hope the oil industry doesn't end up being run like the Post Office..

now have to spend many $$ billions more "policing" the middle east b/c most of the oil left is there..
 gentlepatrick
Joined: 3/26/2006
Msg: 107
view profile
History
There is a GAS STRIKE ON MAY 15
Posted: 5/2/2007 10:15:00 AM
I agree with a lot of what phine liiker said. where do those insane profits go? uh, to stockholders - that is capitalism. and oil is expensive find and process and transport. do the math on the bottle of designer water you are drinking. gasoline is cheap.
 dumberthanowlshit
Joined: 2/16/2007
Msg: 108
There is a GAS STRIKE ON MAY 15
Posted: 5/2/2007 10:38:23 AM
Yeah yeah yeah...we all know the lame ass reasoning why we should be getting hosed at the pump, and how reasonable 33 billion in profit, and its our fault. And the excecs from the oil companies refused to be under oath when asked about price gouging in front of the senate to avoid looking like the tabacoo companies saying smoking isn't addictive. Just quit blowing smoke up everyones ass about the oil running dry and world devastation while you fill your pockets.

It is no differant thanthe reason phone service was broken up, and utilities are regulated. And they have what they call anti trust laws. When you provide a product that people have no choice to buy, you should be held accountable as to how much you can screw them. If they hadn't broke up the AT&T monopoly, you would be paying 3 bucks a call on your phone bill. Why?? Before cell phones, what were you gonna do?? Use a tin can and a string? Oil companies should be able to make money, its what they are in business for, but there needs to be some sort of stop gap to ensure it doesn't get to the point of downright screwing people...you know...like right now.No competition, they all charge the same, consumer demand...ya. So nothing will change until people do something. A boycott of one particular company would work. When they see their profits crumble, they would undercut to get back the volume. But do nothing, and nothing will happen.
 call me J
Joined: 12/13/2005
Msg: 109
There is a GAS STRIKE ON MAY 15
Posted: 5/2/2007 11:06:37 AM
RK, read the Army engineers report, read the Hirsch report, read the Government accountability Report on the subject, read Australia's study for their congress, Sweden's...

You're talking a lot but you're not paying attention to the facts that are becoming more and more clear, if you read some of the reports...
 dumberthanowlshit
Joined: 2/16/2007
Msg: 110
There is a GAS STRIKE ON MAY 15
Posted: 5/2/2007 12:04:43 PM
Ok, for all of us that are dumb and don't know what we are talking about. Here is a link on the Hirsch report. And a sample of the conclusion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hirsch_report


Hirsch report
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Hirsch report, the commonly referred to name for the report Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation, and Risk Management, was created by request for the US Department of Energy and published in February 2005. It examined the likelihood of the occurrence of peak oil, the necessary mitigating actions, and the likely impacts based on the timeliness of those actions.

The Lead Author, Robert Hirsch, published a brief summary of this report in October 2005 for the Atlantic Council.

Contents [hide]
1 Intro
2 Projections
3 Conclusions
4 Three scenarios
5 See also
6 External links



[edit] Intro
"The peaking of world oil production presents the U.S. and the world with an unprecedented risk management problem. As peaking is approached, liquid fuel prices and price volatility will increase dramatically, and, without timely mitigation, the economic, social, and political costs will be unprecedented. Viable mitigation options exist on both the supply and demand sides, but to have substantial impact, they must be initiated more than a decade in advance of peaking."


[edit] Projections
A number of industry petroleum geologists, scientists, and economists were listed with their global peak production projection.

Projected Date Source
2006-2007 Bakhtiari
2007-2009 Simmons
After 2007 Skrebowski
Before 2009 Deffeyes
Before 2010 Goodstein
Around 2010 Campbell
After 2010 World Energy Council
2010-2020 Laherrere
2016 EIA (Nominal)
After 2020 CERA
2025 or later Shell
No visible Peak Lynch


[edit] Conclusions
World oil peaking is going to happen, and will likely be abrupt.
Oil peaking will adversely affect global economies, particularly those most dependent on oil.
Oil peaking presents a unique challenge (“it will be abrupt and revolutionary”).
The problem is liquid fuels (growth in demand mainly from transportation sector).
Mitigation efforts will require substantial time.
20 years is required to transition without substantial impacts
A 10 year rush transition with moderate impacts is possible with extraordinary efforts from governments, industry, and consumers
Late initiation of mitigation may result in severe consequences.
Both supply and demand will require attention.
It is a matter of risk management (mitigating action must come before the peak).
Government intervention will be required.
Economic upheaval is not inevitable (“given enough lead-time, the problems are soluble with existing technologies.”)
More information is needed to more precisely determine the peak timeframe.

[edit] Three scenarios
Waiting until world oil production peaks before taking crash program action leaves the world with a significant liquid fuel deficit for more than two decades.
Initiating a mitigation crash program 10 years before world oil peaking helps considerably but still leaves a liquid fuels shortfall roughly a decade after the time that oil would have peaked.
Initiating a mitigation crash program 20 years before peaking appears to offer the possibility of avoiding a world liquid fuels shortfall for the forecast period


A sample of who says its peaked

Simmons is the author of the book Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy. Ya...he sells books.

Royal Dutch Shell PLC is a multinational oil company ("oil major") of British and Dutch origins. It is one of the largest private sector energy corporations in the world, and one of the six "supermajors" (vertically integrated private sector oil exploration, natural gas, and petroleum product marketing companies). The company's head offices (also known as the "central offices") are in The Hague [1] and London (Shell Centre)[2].

The company's main business is the exploration for and the production, processing, transportation and marketing of hydrocarbons (oil and gas). Shell also has a significant petrochemicals business (Shell Chemicals), and an embryonic renewable energy sector developing wind, hydrogen and solar power opportunities. Shell is incorporated in the UK with its corporate headquarters in The Hague, its tax residence is in the Netherlands, and its primary listings on the London Stock Exchange and Euronext Amsterdam (only "A" shares are part of the AEX index).

Shell's revenues of $318.8 billion in 2006 made it the second-largest corporation in the world by revenues behind only ExxonMobil. Its 2006 gross profits of $26 billion made it the world's second most profitable company, after ExxonMobil and before BP. Forbes Global 2000 in 2006 ranked Shell the seventh largest company in the world. It operates in over 140 countries. In the United States, its subsidiary is Shell Oil Company, with headquarters in Houston, Texas, and is one of Shell's largest businesses.

The peak 2025 or later comes from...uh..an Oil Company?? And one with quite tidy profits.


Cambridge Energy Research Associates, also known as CERA, is a think tank that explores issues relating to all aspects of energy, including electric power, natural gas, and oil. The company was founded in 1983 by Pulitzer Prize winning author Daniel Yergin, Joseph Stanislaw and James Rosenfield. Composed of experts from many fields within the energy industry, CERA was acquired by IHS Energy in 2004.

Contents [hide]
1 CERAWeek
2 Peak oil
3 Leadership
4 External links



[edit] CERAWeek
Some of the company's largest clients include international energy companies, governments, utilities, and financial institutions. Many of them attend CERAWeek, the company's annual conference held in Houston, Texas. Daily programs usually revolve around the topics of oil, natural gas and power.

Past keynote speeches have been given by the energy secretaries and ministers of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Mexico, Norway, and the United States. Other notable speakers have included former US Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin, Senator Gary Hart; US Secretary of Commerce Donald L. Evans; and Rilwanu Lukman, Secretary General of OPEC.


[edit] Peak oil
As the controversy over Peak Oil intensified in 2006, CERA found itself on the optimistic side of predictions, forecasting that a peak would not occur before 2020, and this would not be a "peak" but rather an undulating plateau. [1] This opinion has been met with criticism by those[citation needed] who believe a peak has already occurred or is imminent.

So if you want doom and gloom...believe the book sellers, if you don't ...believe the other guys.
 cupidstrikes
Joined: 2/17/2007
Msg: 111
There is a GAS STRIKE ON MAY 15
Posted: 5/2/2007 12:13:10 PM

The only problem with a gas strike for one day is that everyone participating will fill up sometime before or after, so they won't lose any money at all. They just won't get money on that day. The strike would have to last for a week to see some real damage.


That's what I was thinking too and I completely agree.
Although I'm in for any kind of gas protest and would make sure my family follows suit as well I think it should be for that week or at least a few days instead.
 woobytoodsday
Joined: 12/13/2006
Msg: 112
There is a GAS STRIKE ON MAY 15
Posted: 5/2/2007 12:42:52 PM

How about the first nation in to provide relief and aid whenver a natural catastrophe occurs? The U S is the most envied and ironically the most insulted by our so-called friends.




After first offering $4 million in assistance, the administration raised its pledge to $15 million and then $35 million.

But critics had noted that the United States' $35 million donation was smaller than those of several European nations and was not much bigger than contributions offered by some major corporations and relief organizations. For example, Baltimore-based Catholic Relief Services had pledged $25 million for emergency relief.


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/01/01/MNG3GAJUUV1.DTL&type=printable
 call me J
Joined: 12/13/2005
Msg: 113
There is a GAS STRIKE ON MAY 15
Posted: 5/2/2007 1:00:21 PM
RK, Simmons has made his money on OIL, and he's telling everyone that it's going away. He would far prefer oil production to continue to grow and never run out...

How about the Army engineers report ? Let me guess, conspiracy or something ?

No alternative energy source comes close to providing as much energy with as little expenditure, as Oil. The only reason to replace it is because there's a problem.

Do you think that oil companies would like the general public's widespread acceptance that oil has a poor future, that every facet of our society which relates to it is in jeopardy to one degree or another ? No, they want everything is fine, we have lots and lots, to be the words you hear, and believe.

The GAO report was buried for months when it should have been released.

Every country that has done a study has come to the conclusion that oil will peak, the only issue is when. Nobody believed that the USA production would peak when Hubbert said it would years before. But turned out he was exactly right and all those that laughed at his conclusion were the fools...
 dumberthanowlshit
Joined: 2/16/2007
Msg: 114
There is a GAS STRIKE ON MAY 15
Posted: 5/2/2007 1:14:30 PM
There is no conspiracy. I never said that. But doom and Gloom keeps the profits up. And the Army corps of engineers screwed up the Missouri river, and are just that...the Army. After you finish reading their oil report, check out what they said about the 500 year flood plan before we had the flood in 93....OOPS!!!
 pokey
Joined: 3/17/2004
Msg: 115
There is a GAS STRIKE ON MAY 15
Posted: 5/2/2007 2:12:49 PM
damn! i guess i'll just have to cook up a batch of biodiesel on the 14th.
made from the same stuff your french fries are and costs me 86 cents a gallon.
diesel smoke that smell like fries,,,mmmmmmmmm!!! i don't depend on nonrenewable sources and big oil makes nothing from it.
 call me J
Joined: 12/13/2005
Msg: 116
There is a GAS STRIKE ON MAY 15
Posted: 5/2/2007 2:16:01 PM
RK, Oil production is in DECLINE in 33 out of the 48 largest oil producing countries.

Most of the giant fields are in decline, despite more advanced recovery techniques being applied. These new techniques are reducing the rates of decline in production due to being more efficient, but nothing can reverse the decline.

1. Demand is rising steadily.

2. Production is declining in many places, and globally has plateaued.

3. New discoveries have not been even close to keeping pace with replacing what is used.


Peaking means just that, the peak of production. Demand continues to rise, but the output doesn't...
 spacemonkeymafia
Joined: 5/14/2006
Msg: 117
There is a GAS STRIKE ON MAY 15
Posted: 5/2/2007 2:31:59 PM
There is no gas strike!!!
 dumberthanowlshit
Joined: 2/16/2007
Msg: 118
There is a GAS STRIKE ON MAY 15
Posted: 5/2/2007 3:46:42 PM

RK, Oil production is in DECLINE in 33 out of the 48 largest oil producing countries


I have no doubt that the existing fields have to be declining, or whatever some people say. It can't last forever.

But unless those same people have an oil sniffer in their ass, they don't know what is yet to be tapped, or whats left or yet to be discovered in the world. If they knew where all the oil is, and how much there is, they wouldn't be writing books on the doom and gloom, they would be making millions in drilling.
 wvwaterfall
Joined: 1/17/2007
Msg: 119
view profile
History
There is a GAS STRIKE ON MAY 15
Posted: 5/2/2007 7:09:23 PM
Just a quick data point to add to the discussion.

Just got home from a conference that included presentations by a number of energy experts, one of whom was Charles Bayless, past CEO of Illinova Corporation and current board member of Patina Oil and Gas, among many others. Google him to learn about his energy expertise if you want.

Anyway, one of the many powerpoint slides he showed fits right in to this discussion. For the past thirty years global oil consumption has been greater than global oil discoveries. We've been living on the oil discovered before then all that time, which fortunately was enough to meet demand, but if you look at the demand and discovery lines on the graph they're headed in opposite directions.

So assuming that somehow we'll find vast oil reserves that have eluded us for the past thirty years is more than a stretch....

Dave
 dumberthanowlshit
Joined: 2/16/2007
Msg: 120
There is a GAS STRIKE ON MAY 15
Posted: 5/2/2007 7:33:09 PM
OK OK...WHATEVER...Be an ass and buy gas even when there is a boycott...and for christ sake everyone sell your cars and buy a damn bycycle, the worlds coming to an end!!! An energy retard told me so. What a bunch of sheep.
 pokey
Joined: 3/17/2004
Msg: 121
There is a GAS STRIKE ON MAY 15
Posted: 5/2/2007 8:48:26 PM
how about some simple math? if crude oil was costing more to produce,
then the oil companies would be paying more for the raw product, thus
costing them more, but the big companies are making record proffits!
oh oh, something doesn't add up
the problem is with refinery production. how did this happen?
oil companies have shut down over 200 refineries right here in the united states.
oops! damn the luck! there is a production shortage.
the price of fuel went up without raising production costs.
that's why the biggies are making record profits.

by the way, no new refineries have been built for 30 years.
class dismissed.
 pokey
Joined: 3/17/2004
Msg: 122
There is a GAS STRIKE ON MAY 15
Posted: 5/2/2007 8:53:01 PM
i don't fill up at KFC.

but by doing a little work, i expect to save over $5,000 on fuel this year.
besides, bio runs smoother, less poluting than petroleum based..
no modifications are needed to run a diesel engine on bio.
educate yourselves, kiddies.
 dumberthanowlshit
Joined: 2/16/2007
Msg: 123
There is a GAS STRIKE ON MAY 15
Posted: 5/2/2007 10:03:51 PM
Read the interesting alternative. and in my best Gieco Caveman voice.....UUUHHHH.....WHAT??????




Going back to the boycott idea, every boycotter should agree to rip up, say, $3 for every $10 worth of gas she buys. If there is no coordination, this is a mere transfer and there is no loss. If there is coordination, the U.S. gains from exercising monopsony (major buyer) power and forcing the price down. Tearing up the money is like a self-imposed tax. Even better, we don't have to worry about the government wasting the tax revenue. As people destroy their money, the money of others is worth more, thereby ensuring that no real resources are wasted.



Ok..lessee We say screw the boycott, tear up 3 bucks for every 10 we buy, wipe our ass with cheap toilet paper, jump up and down on one leg, try to stack BBs in the wind, and do the Hokey Pokey on days that end in y???. ...sorry...got kinda lost after the tear up the 3 bucks,..but makes about as much sense.
 call me J
Joined: 12/13/2005
Msg: 124
There is a GAS STRIKE ON MAY 15
Posted: 5/2/2007 11:03:33 PM

I have no doubt that the existing fields have to be declining, or whatever some people say. It can't last forever.

But unless those same people have an oil sniffer in their ass, they don't know what is yet to be tapped, or whats left or yet to be discovered in the world.


Considering that with better technology, to a spectacular degree actually, they still have failed to find any significant oil fields to replace what is declining, do you not think it's just a little bit likely it's because there isn't much of that great oil left to find ?

Yes, there is oil around, that costs more to extract and refine, and all to produce lower EROI than the oil we were previously thriving on. If there was tons of the good/cheap oil, the alberta tar sands wouldn't be an investment worth approaching right now, nor would Venezuela have come into prominence with their own previously too expensive to want, oil.
 slysterling
Joined: 1/9/2007
Msg: 125
There is a GAS STRIKE ON MAY 15
Posted: 5/2/2007 11:12:12 PM
sorry folks. I haven't had a chance to read this thread much since the early stages...so I'll have to go back and read large parts of it. So if this stuff was already posted i apologize in advance. But you guys hooked me when you started arguing economic theories since i did that a long time ago for a stretch. I'm pretty sure mum's still got the degrees packed away somewhere, but that's a story for another dayperhaps.

I do remember this much. Economics and economists and, for that matter, nearly every undergrad textbook's opening chapters, were ever only in agreement about two things for sure. And that was that you could put 100 economists in a room and
1)each started their premise with let's assume (since the entire art/pseudoscience)as is ,necessarily often predicated on some underlying assumptions in order to construct economic models
2) and of the 100 economists, you could be almost sure to get 100 different answers to any problem. Maybe that's why Malthus called it "The Dismal Science"

So here's some economics stuff for you's. ..don't fall asleep out there
Have a good night

==============================
"With or without government"

In 1931 Harold Hotelling published a paper, “The Economics of Exhaustible Resources,” that showed that the market process efficiently allocates the exploitation of a non-renewable resource over time. His basic point is that as the supply of a resource shrinks, the price begins to rise.

That leads to an effect on the demand side. As the price of oil rises, people will use less oil. Automakers will make cars that get better gas mileage, as these will be cheaper to operate and attract more customers. People will further insulate their homes, as the energy cost savings will now exceed the cost of the insulation. Some people will move closer to their jobs; others will purchase fewer airline tickets, and so on. The demand for oil is, like any other product or service, downward sloping, so people buy less at higher prices and more at lower prices.

It is no wonder that the amount of known reserves remains relatively constant in the face of increased usage of oil. This is because it is costly to seek out reserves. Only when the price of oil is rising is it worthwhile to spend money finding new reserves. There is also a greater incentive to innovate in energy substitutes. Synthetic oil for cars, the use of ethanol, solar power cells, and other inventions will occur more rapidly as the return for discovering and producing them increases with rising oil prices.

All of those things would happen naturally as the market reacted to costlier oil. But when government begins to interfere in the system, inefficiencies occur.

? Taxing “windfall profits” of oil companies reduces the incentive to find and refine more oil. It also reduces the incentives of oil companies to innovate and find alternative sources of energy.

? Price controls merely cause shortages. Government actions, or the potential for them, create uncertainty in the market. When uncertainty is injected into the system, there is more risk for the innovator and producer, so fewer projects will be undertaken. Firms begin to spend resources trying to affect the political outcome, rather than making new discoveries and producing additional product.

? Taxes & subsidies: Once the government is going to impose huge taxes on some behavior and provide tax breaks or subsidies for other behavior, an incentive is created to lobby the Congress to get a break for your particular company or to subsidize the method you employ. Businesses will attempt to find alternative energy sources that are politically favorable rather than economically efficient.

‘Energy security’

One might make the argument that we are "too dependent on foreign oil" for our security needs. This argument presumes that 218 members of the House and 51 Senators know what the proper level of dependence on foreign oil is for our national security. This is a rather tall order.

The reality is that the political process will decide such a thing, meaning that lobbyists for the windmill industry, the solar power industry, the coal gasification industry, the agricultural industry, and assorted other industries will attempt to convince the Congress to provide benefits for them and restrict the output of their competitors, all under the guise of national security.

Markets are very dynamic. They respond quickly to changes in consumer demand and input changes. That is one reason the Soviet Union is gone and Ireland is one of the fastest-growing countries in the world. It is difficult to believe that a security threat to the oil fields would not be met with all sorts of inventions and changes in behavior that would lead to a market solution to the problem.

It is also unlikely that foreigners who own the oil would attempt to disrupt the economic activity of their largest customers. Foreign governments that hold large oil reserves realize that any economic and political power they have is tied to demand for oil. Suddenly withholding oil would result in their oil being seen as uncertain and the long-term demand for their product dissolving, along with their tax revenue and their political clout.

An obvious solution to the lack of certainty in Iraqi oil is to take the oil out of the hands of the government, give it to newly formed oil companies and give each Iraqi citizen shares in these oil companies. Once the average Iraqi has 100 shares in the oil company, he will take a dim view of his neighbor blowing up the oil pipeline.

The interconnection of commerce makes good neighbors. Iraqis will see that their fortune depends upon economic growth in the United States and Western Europe. The incentives of the system will have drastically changed. The solution to our oil security problem is less government intervention, not more.

Dr. Gary L. Wolfram is the George Munson Professor of political economy at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Mich. He also serves as an adviser to the Business & Media Institute.

http://www.businessandmedia.org/commentary/2007/20070124153418.aspx
====================================
ON THE FREE MARKET

The Power of Choice,” a documentary on the life and ideas of Milton Friedman, is an excellent film, but it should have been titled "The Power of Ideas." It is the inspiring story of how a son of poor immigrants by the power of his ideas changed the lives of millions of people for the better.

Milton Friedman was a true champion of freedom, as the film makes clear, because he not only had ideas but advanced them in the face of unrelenting hostility. Gary Becker, another Nobel Laureate, explains that Friedman was able to persevere and have such great influence because he was an optimist, his analysis was clear and straightforward, and he felt he was right.

The film is fascinating and well done. It begins by showing the modern Estonia and Chile, reflecting on how the average citizen in these countries has prospered due to the movement to a market economy. It then interviews political and business leaders in the two countries who make it clear that the success of their economies is the result of the ideas of one economics professor from the University of Chicago. China and India are being transformed by these same ideas, creating wealth in these countries unimagined a few years ago.

Prominent in the film are comments by Gary Becker, Alan Greenspan, Thomas Sowell and Martin Anderson, all of whom give interesting insights into Friedman and his ideas. One gets a quick economic and political history of the United States as the film follows Friedman through the various stages of his life, from high school through college, the Depression, World War II, Vietnam, the Nobel Prize and the Reagan revolution.

The best parts of the film, still, are when you get to hear Friedman himself. As Becker noted, his analysis is clear and persuasive at all times, but it was his quickness of thought and repartee that allowed him to dominate his opponents in debate. The clips of John Kenneth Galbraith give the sense of the disdain the profession generally had for Friedman prior to his Nobel Prize. At one point Galbraith calls him a "one-cause man," referring to Friedman's theory of monetarism.

One reason Friedman's ideas moved from what was considered quirky and at the fringe of the academic community to what is now mainstream – whether it is the natural rate of unemployment, monetary theory, the permanent income hypothesis, or choice in schools – is that he was able to explain the benefits of individual liberty and choice in a manner that anyone could grasp.

Greenspan explains that Friedman would talk the same way to high school students as he did to presidents. We find that another Nobel Laureate, Paul Samuelson, talked Friedman into doing a weekly column for Newsweek. Friedman comments that he was afraid he wouldn't have something to say every week, but that it turned out to be one of the most effective ways he had of getting his ideas popularized.

The section on filming “Free to Choose” is especially interesting. We learn that Friedman had three requirements to do the series: no gimmicks, no talking down to the audience, and most amazing, no script. This series, as well as the book that Milton and Rose wrote from the soundtrack, were certainly a factor in the election of Ronald Reagan and the eventual liberation of the countries behind what Churchill called the Iron Curtain.
The film does a fine job of showing that Milton Friedman was more than a champion of liberty, a Nobel prizewinner and an advisor to presidents. He was a genuinely nice person, unassuming and interested in others. “The Power of Choice” is a fitting legacy to a Midwestern university professor who changed millions of lives for the better – millions who may never know his name but have him to thank for their liberty and prosperity.

http://www.businessandmedia.org/commentary/2007/20070129121336.aspx
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