"Meet the New Boss. Same as the Old Boss"
, by Sheldon Richman
, The Goal Is Freedom
, 11 Jan 2008
Examines politics, including slogans such as "hope", "change" (Barack Obama) and "straight talk" (John McCain) in the 2008 United States presidential campaigns, and explains why politicians cannot be expected to lead the way to liberty
Today all candidates proposing "energy independence" are aspiring central planners. ... Don't expect candidates ... to point out that whatever problems exist in energy are created by government. A variety of subsidies (which include U.S. foreign policy), taxes, and regulations shield energy firms and consumers from the full costs of their actions. The result is market distortion and perhaps ... an overuse of oil. The only way we'll find out is ... through depoliticization of the marketplace. No privileges, no protection, no rigging of the game, whether for gasoline or ethanol, coal or nuclear, natural gas or solar.
Profiting from Misfortune
, by Sheldon Richman
, 5 Oct 2005
Reflects on the fairness of those who profit from the "misfortune of others", such as medical doctors and farmers, in view of gas price hikes due to the hurricanes of the 2005 Atlantic season
Another problem people have with, say, gas stations that raise prices during disasters is that they sell old, cheaper gas at the new, more-expensive price. Let's say that ... a station fills its tanks at $2.20 a gallon and sells the gas for $2.30. [Then] a hurricane hits the Gulf, and refineries cease operation. The gas station operator is then informed that his next shipment of gas will cost $2.50. Should he be able to sell his remaining gas, which he bought at $2.20, for a retail price based on his new cost of $2.50? Lots of people would say no. But why not? "It's not fair," might be the answer. But what is unfair?
Reports of Peak Oil's Death Are Somewhat Premature
, by Kevin Carson, 22 Jul 2013
Examines shale oil and tar sand oil vis-à-vis the state policies that allow extraction to be profitable
Shale oil extraction simply isn't sustainable or self-financing. It requires enormous investor financing to get the wells producing. Returns per well quickly decline, so there's no way to recoup that investment from production. The average one-year production drop-off from existing wells is 38%. Wells more than a few years old have very little output, and most current output is from the most recently drilled wells. The so-called "shale boom" requires not only large-scale financing up-front, but continued drilling just to keep the operation going.
The Sanctity of Private Property, Part 2
, by Jacob Hornberger
, Jan 1991
Contrasts the attitudes of 20th century American citizens towards international trade and the oil business to citizens in communist countries, the former believing they live under a "private property" system which is not socialistic in nature
One of the ironies is that during depressed economic conditions, when some oil companies go broke or bankrupt, the American people take the attitude of, "That's their problem. They chose to go into the oil business, and they can't cry when it fails to pan out." But when conditions change, and demand for the product suddenly increases, Americans take the same attitude as [communists] ...: "It's not fair for others to have more when I have less. I need the oil and gas. He's gouging me. I am 'forced' to pay these high prices. Take his product and his income away from him and give it to me."