Minus The Nemesis
A Collaboration of Some of the Finest Thought on Today's World


Friday, February 03, 2006
Read. The day before the President's State of the Union address, I was in an argument about the role of government in oil. Two usually conservative co-workers argued that oil is so important to the country, that the government had to intervene in our nation's "over-dependence". How would you like the government to intervene, I asked. "Why, by providing, ummm, incentives."

Never mind the already existing incentive of a potential trillion dollar market to the person who invents a rapidly marketable oil alternative, what in the world makes anybody think the government is competent enough to invent anything? And even if it was, why in the hell should the government be in the invention industry? The government's purpose, according to this neat little document, is to protect property rights, respect citizens' individual liberties, impeach Presidents and whatnot. Not invent and market, however useful, consumer products. Yes, oil is important to our nation. But, so are shampoo/conditioner combos. Not once have I heard of a proposal for the government to come up with an effective 2 in 1 that will keep those flakes from falling off of Minus' head.

To be fair, my two co-workers weren't arguing that the government, per se, create this oil alternative. But that they encourage it's creation.

Again, what can the government possibly due to top the already existing encouragement of the generational wealth opportunity that the private market provides? And, with government's "encouragement" also comes government regulation. Anybody who's read Hayek should understand why this is not helpful, and certainly overshadows any possible benefits the government could bring to the table.

I would agree that government should become involved in finding oil alternatives if the government wasn't a sclerotic, corrupt entity. Sadly, however, it is. An oil alternative is going to come from the private market. The more the government meddles with that market-- despite it's good intentions-- the longer it will take.


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