Friday, May 23, 2008

Breaking OPEC?

Robert Zubrin from the Washington Times proposes legislating flex-fuel to break OPEC's oligopoly over oil (h/t Instapundit). Cato's Jerry Taylor disagrees about 4 months ago but he makes a few interesting and broader points about policy making in general:

The conceit that government can create jobs by creating industries out of whole cloth glosses over the fact that the money needed to create those industries and those jobs starves other industries of cash that will, in turn, eliminate other jobs. While it’s not inconceivable that government could on balance create more jobs than it destroys in this manner (that is, that the industry created is more labor-intensive than the industries harmed), that’s still not a good reason to go forward. After all, one might on balance increase employment in the United States by banning modern farm machinery and food imports, which would put a lot of people into the fields. But no sane person would endorse such a thing on economic grounds.
That said, I think that most people would agree that this is a horrible idea by any standard (NYT, h/t Greg Mankiw, who oddly, isn't usually sarcastic). Others blame US Congress (IBD).

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