Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Biofuels: a political boondoggle

Everyone outside of the beltway and the farm belt could see that subsidizing biofuels to 1) reduce oil imports, and 2) reduce greenhouse gas emissions was value-destructive. Some astute analysts were also vocal in stating the the law of unintended consequences would further tip the calculations against this policy.

There's since been plenty of anecdotal evidence about biofuels leading to food price increases (demand for corn to make ethanol has pushed up the prices of corn tortillas in Mexico, for example.)

It seems that politicians have begun to figure this out, though it would appear that they won't be correcting their mistake anytime soon, if this Congressman is any indication.

from the New York Times, via the Paul Ibrahim blog:

"Representative Jim McGovern, Democrat of Massachusetts, said he had come to realize that Congress made a mistake in backing biofuels, not anticipating the impact on food costs. He said Congress needed to reconsider its policy, though he acknowledged that would be difficult.

“If there was a secret vote, there is a pretty large number of people who would like to reassess what we are doing,” he said."

Basically, the political class has whipped up such a panic and frenzy about global warming and alt fuels that reflexive policies born from the frenzy won't be corrected because no politician is willing to take well-meaning public action that might appear contrary to the frenzy. Great. Tell me again why anyone believes that solutions come from politicians!?!

(btw: among the '08 presidential candidates, only McCain has taken an intelligent position on this issue. I may not like McCain's position on Iraq, and I'm scared of his combination of populism and economic ignorance, but I like a guy who campaigns in Iowa and argues AGAINST corn subsidies.)

Hat tip: Club for Growth blog.

With my new friends on the Great Wall of China

With my new friends on the Great Wall of China
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World sun clock

Uncommon Man's Creed

"I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon -- if I can. I seek opportunity -- not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me. I wish to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed. I refuse to barter incentive for a dole, I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia. I will not trade freedom for beneficence, nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master, nor bend to any threat. It is my heritage to stand erect, proud, and unafraid, to think and act for myself, to enjoy the benefit of my creations, and to face the world boldly and say, "this I have done." All this is what it means to be an American." -- Anonymous