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Author Topic: Let's talk about oil  (Read 6658 times)

<Patrick>

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Let's talk about oil
« on: March 05, 2004, 12:21:33 am »


Is the importation of oil into the US guided by Adam Smith's "invisible hand?" (in other words natural market forces) or is it the effect of geopolitical meddling? If it is not natural market forces, then this is the government messing with the economy big time.

Does anybody know anything about this?

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"I came here to say that I do not recognize anyone’s right to one minute of my life.  Nor to any part of my energy.  Nor to any achievement of mine… I wished to come here and say that I am a man who does not exist for others."
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BillG

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Re:Let's talk about oil
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2004, 07:06:01 am »


Is the importation of oil into the US guided by Adam Smith's "invisible hand?" (in other words natural market forces) or is it the effect of geopolitical meddling? If it is not natural market forces, then this is the government messing with the economy big time.

Does anybody know anything about this?



how can we have a free market in oil when the price of the enviromental and geopolitical costs (military) are not reflected at the pump?
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nonluddite

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Re:Let's talk about oil
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2004, 12:28:34 pm »


Is the importation of oil into the US guided by Adam Smith's "invisible hand?" (in other words natural market forces) or is it the effect of geopolitical meddling? If it is not natural market forces, then this is the government messing with the economy big time.

Does anybody know anything about this?



how can we have a free market in oil when the price of the enviromental and geopolitical costs (military) are not reflected at the pump?

How can there be a "free" market if not everyone in the market has the same information?

How can there be a "free" market if not everyone has the same means?

Because, um, that's not the DEFINITION of a free market, except in Humpty Dumpty's BillG's Head!

free market, NOUN: An economic market in which supply and demand are not regulated or are regulated with only minor restrictions

http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entries/98/f0309850.html
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MrVoluntarist

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Re:Let's talk about oil
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2004, 12:56:30 pm »

how can we have a free market in oil when the price of the enviromental and geopolitical costs (military) are not reflected at the pump?

Are you so sure that these costs would be greater in a freer market?

1)  Military:  A private military is, other things equal, going to be much more efficient than the government's military and carries none of the geopolitical baggage when negotiating with other countries for oil access.  (i.e., It could avoid charges of "supporting Israel")  If the US government didn't provide military protection, consumers would have more money, which would more than offset the increase in pump price due to the suppliers having to provide their own defense.  The only reason suppliers use the less efficient US military right now is because their costs for it are nearly nothing.  It's a very long shot to say that private defense would cost anywhere near the current federal tax on gasoline.

2) Environmental:  Regardless of what form free market environmental codes would take, one thing is certain: property rights in the air, water, etc. would be extremely well-defined.  After an initial relocation of capital, the certainty would eliminate the legal risk and probably reduce environmental compliance costs.  But then, that's assuming a genuinely free market.  What most environmentalists really want is the ability to arbitrarily define pollution standards to stave off big business and mold society to their liking.  And that relies on keeping this legal risk present.

So, I'd be glad to see the oil market freed up, but I don't think it would produce the results you want, Bill.
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BillG

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Re:Let's talk about oil
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2004, 01:00:36 pm »

I am simply asking for the pollution costs not to be socialized - is that too much to ask?
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MrVoluntarist

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Re:Let's talk about oil
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2004, 01:03:24 pm »

I am simply asking for the pollution costs not to be socialized - is that too much to ask?

No, but in the context of "it's only a free market if it hurts big business" the record needs to be set straight.
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BillG

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Re:Let's talk about oil
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2004, 01:07:12 pm »

Quote
What most environmentalists really want is the ability to arbitrarily define pollution standards to stave off big business and mold society to their liking.  And that relies on keeping this legal risk present.

do you believe there is a finite amount of pollution that we can put into the sky or is it limitless?
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MrVoluntarist

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Re:Let's talk about oil
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2004, 01:17:54 pm »

Quote
What most environmentalists really want is the ability to arbitrarily define pollution standards to stave off big business and mold society to their liking.  And that relies on keeping this legal risk present.

do you believe there is a finite amount of pollution that we can put into the sky or is it limitless?

I believe this:  let's say there was a law passed that said there will only be x pollution per year, and you can only produce a portion of that pollution if you have purchased, either from the government or another company, a tradeable permit.  Then companies know exactly how much they can pollute and where.  Then they take this knowledge, factor it into production costs, and continue to make huge profits.

Would environmentalists be happy then?  No, most of them would not.  Because big business is still making huge profits, so something must not be clicking.  So they'd press for "revisions" and "clarifications" to the rules, hoping to change them enough so that no one can profitably pollute, even if they clean it up to some standard, even if they pay for the right according to that law.

Environmentalism generally is just an excuse to attack capitalism.
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BillG

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Re:Let's talk about oil
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2004, 01:38:26 pm »

Quote
What most environmentalists really want is the ability to arbitrarily define pollution standards to stave off big business and mold society to their liking.  And that relies on keeping this legal risk present.

do you believe there is a finite amount of pollution that we can put into the sky or is it limitless?

I believe this:  let's say there was a law passed that said there will only be x pollution per year, and you can only produce a portion of that pollution if you have purchased, either from the government or another company, a tradeable permit.  Then companies know exactly how much they can pollute and where.  Then they take this knowledge, factor it into production costs, and continue to make huge profits.

Would environmentalists be happy then?  No, most of them would not.  Because big business is still making huge profits, so something must not be clicking.  So they'd press for "revisions" and "clarifications" to the rules, hoping to change them enough so that no one can profitably pollute, even if they clean it up to some standard, even if they pay for the right according to that law.

Environmentalism generally is just an excuse to attack capitalism.

well this environmentalist has been arguing for that type of system here for over a year at least...

http://skyowners.org/

This would potentially raise the price of their products significantly and allow a competitor to build something that doesn't pollute...

bye-bye huge profits!
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Tracy Saboe

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Re:Let's talk about oil
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2004, 03:39:34 pm »

Quote
do you believe there is a finite amount of pollution that we can put into the sky or is it limitless?

I believe, as the EPA has waisted my taxdollars to verify, that air polution and water polution are both going down on their own as companies figure out how to use their resources more efficiently. I also believe, that current EPA regulations encourage polution by not allowing a free market in polution reduction technologies. Read that "Tackling the tougher problems chapter" in FME, and you'll see what I mean.

I also believe, as the UN Data that Bjorn Lomborg uses for his reserach in "The Skeptical Environmentalist" that , air polution was much worst, and was getting better about 20 years prior to the Clean Air Act, and was getting better on it's own about 10 years prior to the clean water act.  Indeed. If governments hadn't claimed ownership of the waterways, this would have gone down much sooner as people would have been able to defend their water rights.

The fact is, Air Pollution is an old problem, (As old as the London Fog back in the 14th century), and is improving, and has been improving for hundreads of years.

So no. Polution is not limitless. What's the point of waisting resources to polute? Businesses polute because they half too, or because conserving or reusing things are cost prohibitive. But better, newer technologies, decrease the "need" for waist removal, while also decreasing the demand for their supplies (Because they can now use more of a given substance then they could before.)

I don't believe their will ever be a market need for air rights, simply because, it's so plentiful, and air polution is going away on it's own. Not because of the EPA, and regulations, but inspite of their waistful regulations that discourage updating technology etc.. (BTW, read that "Marketing Garbage" Chapter too. It's a really good read.) But regardless, chemical tracing technologies now can tract exactly where what air polution is comming from, so it's now possible to make the poluter pay restitution.  These sort of technologies would be much more evolved if the money the EPA steals could be put to that sort of developement, and the EPA didn't artificially deflate demand for such products with it's regulations.

Tracy
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BillG

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Re:Let's talk about oil
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2004, 03:45:38 pm »

Quote
Polution is not limitless

That wasn't the question...

The question is whether or not you believe there is a limit to the amount of pollution we can put in the sky without it affecting the regenerative capabilities of the sky?

yes or no?
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<Patrick>

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Re:Let's talk about oil
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2004, 05:55:36 pm »


Is the importation of oil into the US guided by Adam Smith's "invisible hand?" (in other words natural market forces) or is it the effect of geopolitical meddling? If it is not natural market forces, then this is the government messing with the economy big time.

Does anybody know anything about this?



how can we have a free market in oil when the price of the enviromental and geopolitical costs (military) are not reflected at the pump?

So then are the prices higher or lower than they would be in a free market?
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"I came here to say that I do not recognize anyone’s right to one minute of my life.  Nor to any part of my energy.  Nor to any achievement of mine… I wished to come here and say that I am a man who does not exist for others."
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http://capitalism.org

BillG

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Re:Let's talk about oil
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2004, 05:57:48 pm »

lower
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Tracy Saboe

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Re:Let's talk about oil
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2004, 06:04:07 pm »

Why?

I would think the current waistfull government demand for oil would artificially increase demand, thus increasing the cost.

On the other hand government regulation, artificially decreases supply as well (We have free flowing oil in Alaska and if not used it's simply going to decompose and not to anybody anygood, but the Fed won't let us extract it.) tarrifs against Canadian sources of oil (Shale, and Tar pits,) etc. This also increases the price.

So why do you think the price of oil is lower then it would be in the free market. I have two good reasons above for why government actually makes it more expensive.

Tracy
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We agree that "Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action." --George Washington

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MrVoluntarist

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Re:Let's talk about oil
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2004, 06:21:11 pm »

Bill, you're going to need to provide some support for that ridiculous assertion that Tracy and I have answered.  I've already explained above how military costs for the oil on a free market would be cheaper.  (Heck, even an LVT forces economic land into production, that would force all known oil onto the market, making the price plummet.)  

First, dock off the current ~50 cents (federal and state) taxes on it.  The private military cost would barely scratch that.  Then decrease the price due to the government not buying so much and the sanctions that have held oil off the market.  As for environmental costs, in a free market, rights would be well-defined and the costs MORE manageable, as the current cost is pushed up by lawsuit risk.  Refineries could just be moved to places where fewer people's pollution rights have to be bought out.  Car owners and factories may have to pitch in for scrubbers in large cities, but these would be mainly fixed rather than marginal costs.

All the evidence indicates oil would be much, much cheaper.
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