End our Dependence on Vital Foreign Resources!

Writing in the Chicago Tribune Allen Sanderson decries our dependence on foreign resources:

For too long, the United States of America has been at the mercy of foreign interests — and nations in faraway lands that are often at odds with our core values — when it comes to the production of perhaps the most vital resource that drives our economy. We remain far too dependent on this imported commodity that could, in the time of emergency or international political crisis, be denied to us and thus cripple our productivity and reduce us to quivering masses of migraines in a matter of hours. The time for change is now.

I speak, of course, of our complete dependence on coffee…

Sanderson goes on to suggest a (anti?) stimulus plan to bring coffee production to Detroit where the jobs are most needed.

Hat tip: Michael Ward at Managerial Econ.

Comments

I always like the oil commercials that imply that if we just subsidized them some more we would become energy independent.

The US has only 2.4 percent of the worlds proven oil reserves.

Which commercials are you talking about, Bill? The ones that come closest that I can remember seeing are those related to green energy projects, though they don't actually ask for a subsidy explicitly, but only use their involvement in such projects for PR purposes.

Natural gas commercials. Commercials for ANWAR. Commercials for offshore drilling.

Tell you what, give me a $1 for every commercial I spot, and I'll do it.

It's like when the environmental team at my company went around asking for environmental suggestions. Mine was to stop making our product. Then floated like a turd in the punch bowl.

Oh, now I get it, you have the amorphous definition of "subsidy". How is allowing exploration off-shore and in ANWR a subsidy, exactly?

Because it's OUR oil, and they're trying to get it. Kind of like how not taxing you as much lets you spend more of OUR money.

Yancey, You are obviously unaware of the energy bills in 2006 that gave enormous tax subsidies.

Bill, once again you prove your inability to read or write, or just blindingly stupid dishonesty. Here is the part of your initial comment I questioned you on:

I always like the oil commercials [emphasis added] that imply that if we just subsidized them some more we would become energy independent.

I asked you for cites to those commercials, not for cites to legislation they lobbied for. Instead, first, you reply about commercials about offshore drilling and ANWR (not that I saw any real cites from you, just your assertions that you saw commercials from oil companies that lobbied on the public airwaves to have those opened for exploration), but those aren't commercials lobbying publicly for subsidies by any widely accepted definition of the word. Then, when called on this, you backtracked below by trying this line:

My comment didn't say “allowing them to drill amounted to subsidizing them”.

I defy any other commenter to explain how your answer to my very first question about your original comment isn't implying that allowing such drilling is a subsidy in your opinion. Or did you just miswrite what you intended to answer? If so, just admit that- don't try to claim that I read too much into what you wrote since, in that case, the fault was always yours.

Bill, how does allowing them to drill amount to *subsidizing* them? Yeah, energy independence is never gonna happen, but on the other hand, drilling in America has a lot of economic value. Why not tap that vs. buying even more than we need to from elsewhere? And as far as that 2.4 % of known reserves goes -- 28 billion barrels may not sound like a lot to you or me, yet I suspect it makes a little difference on the margin. Why not eliminate every industry we only have a 2.4% market share in? Also, known reserves only means known reserves. What about all the unknown reserves off California or the East Coast or the deepwater Gulf of Mexico?

I agree we shouldn't subsidize them with special tax breaks -- but that is a different issue from saying they shouldn't be allowed to drill in ANWR or the eastern Gulf of Mexico or off the Atlantic or Pacific seaboard. Even from a strictly environmental point of view: is encouraging oil companies to drill more in Angola or Nigeria or Brazil somehow more eco-friendly than letting them drill in Alaska, California or Florida? If so, how?

Simple: the rich value their environment more than the grubby poor who can barely afford to eat.

We agree, as you said, :"I agree we shouldn’t subsidize them with special tax breaks"
My comment didn't say "allowing them to drill amounted to subsidizing them".

If you do not include environmental costs, by the way, that is a subsidy, isn't it. Or does the La. Gov. want federal money to clean up his shores. Is that a subsidy?

No, you implied it. Written just like a lawyer.

You read to much into it.
Just like a layman

Would love to see a post about regions/cities outside of the US that have gone through situations that are similar to the US Rust Belt/Detroit. I can imagine that the decision between revitalization v. abandonment happens relatively quickly in historical terms.

East Germany would be an interesting case study. The countryside is rapidly depopulating. A couple of cities (Dresden, Leipzig) are growing, have jobs and high rents, but otherwise there's a lot of abandonment going on. It's not entirely organized, it doesn't result in green belts.

What about all the mining ghost-towns? I hear lots of those in the mountains out west.

The "locavores" where I live have granted coffee, tea, and chocolate permanent exemptions the 300ish-mile rule. So much for discipline.

Three items that constitute what percentage of their consumption? You can only do what you can in the realm of reality.

I live in Seattle, so "a lot".

To tie it back into East Germany I mentioned above, one of my favorite economic stories is how increased world trade and the European discovery of porcelain combined forces to make Saxony fabulously wealthy through the adoption of hot drinks by the aristocracy.

I'm sure exports, however are fine...oh the irony (and stupidity).

in the time of emergency or international political crisis, be denied to us and thus cripple our productivity and reduce us to quivering masses of migraines in a matter of hours. The time for change is now.

Fortress America?

Comments for this post are closed