Random ramblings of a mind damaged by years of disuse and abuse. Also a place to go to be bored to tears.
The Random Comic Strip
Words to live by...
"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."
(The right to looseness has been officially given)
"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."
Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Don't think about it, just get mad
There's a lot of talk about oil industry profits of late. This, of course, happens every time the price of gas goes up rapidly. And, every time, I have images of angry citizens with torches and pitchforks marching toward the castle perched on the hill overlooking the town. Angry shouts, a mixture of fear and loathing, fill the air. The community leaders accuse each other of ignoring the realities of the monster in the castle. the mob doesn't care who's at fault, they demand the goodies from the castle and the death of the monster.
That's right, Big Oil is the monster. He's just fine to have around when he doesn't charge too much to fill the SUV, when he provides inexpensive gasoline. In fact, he's wonderful to have around. He's all cute talking cartoon cars and tigers in our tank (which always reminded me of Frosted Flakes). And then the price goes up. So far up that it costs more to fill up the 4x4 truck than what the owner nets in a week. Does he, that owner, rue the day he bought that truck? No. Does he start thinking maybe I should have bought that smaller, more fuel efficient, small one that would have done the job but wouldn't have impressed his pals at the job site? No. He blames the people who sell him the fuel.
And then the community leaders reveal just what large subsidies, hidden and overt, the monster gets.... carefully avoiding telling the angry citizenry just who gave the monster those subsidies in the first place. Instead, fingers are cleverly pointed at the political opposition along with mumbled rumors of corruption.
And what did those subsidies do? I mean, beside keeping the price of a gallon of gas down to half what most industrial nations pay. All that matters is that now, today, in this Great Recession which is over and from which we are making such progress toward whatever it is we are progressing toward we finally see the true evil nature of the monster we call Big Oil.
So, should we end the subsidies? Would we be better off if we had demanded no subsidies to Big Oil? Would there have ever been cheap gas if we never had those subsidies? No, the price of gas would have been just as volatile. as would the price of food, which depends on the price of gas and diesel to run the machinery which allows the farmer to produce a crop and raise the animals which end up on our plates at meal time. Well, those subsidies and the ones the farmers get from our government which also hold those prices down (and also up... but then we call them "price supports").
So maybe we should end all the subsidies to all the industries that get them. These are tough times and anyone making a profit is suspect. But what would ending subsidies do? Would gas get cheaper or more expensive? Would food prices drop or rise?
I think we are chasing after the wrong monster. I think, like that birth certificate, this is just a distraction.