Basic economics people – trade is a win/win – now if only somebody would tell the two major party Presidential candidates:
McCain and Obama talk constantly about how much they will “invest” — with money taken from the taxpayers, of course — to achieve energy independence. “[W]e can provide loan guarantees and venture capital to those with the best plans to develop and sell biofuels on a commercial market,” Obama said.
What makes Obama think he’s qualified to pick the “best plans”? It’s the robust competition of the free market that reveals what’s best. Obama’s program would preempt the only good method we have for learning which form of energy is best.
And John McCain seems to be no better:
McCain promises a $300-million prize to whoever develops a battery for an electric car. But the free market already provides plenty of incentive to invent a better battery. As George Mason University economist Donald Boudreaux writes, “Anyone who develops such a device will earn profits dwarfing $300 million simply by selling it on the market. There’s absolutely no need for any such taxpayer-funded prize“.
Central energy planning and government-funded prizes are economic idiocy.