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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • First of all the ethanol thing is not because it makes economic sense. It is because the US government subsidizes ethanol. And then demonstrates its true priorities by putting a tax on ethanol imports. (It is much cheaper for Brazil to make ethanol from sugar than for us to make it from corn.)

    Secondly I'm not convinced that prices past $100/barrel are sustainable indefinitely. The issue is that when prices pass $60/barrel, it becomes economic to mine oil sands. We have bigger reserves of oil sands than
    • > First of all the ethanol thing is not because it makes economic sense. It is because the US government subsidizes ethanol.

      Subsidies like this are normally (and legitimately) meant to bootstrap industries or counteract temporary imbalances.

      You might subsidise ethanol to boot up an ethanol industry quickly, and you can gradually remove the subsidies later, once industry has improved their methods and can support itself.

      Other examples in a number of countries are subsidies for solar panels or wind generat
      • Subsidies like this are normally (and legitimately) meant to bootstrap industries or counteract temporary imbalances.

        Thank god that some people still realize this. All those people out there beating free trade drums and getting erections every time they hear "Adam Smith" like to ignore history. The US still has plenty of industries which have become the size they are due to protectionism (witness the rise and fall of the US steel industry). And anyone who naively thinks that tiny and immature African economies can blithely adopt "free trade" on a level footing with major Western powers needs to pay a little more attention to the real world than to ideologies. David Ricardo's "comparative advantage" is only worth the paper it's printed on.