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Saturday, June 21, 2008

We are nearing the end

After Maxine Waters let the cat out of the bag on nationalizing the oil industry of this country, more on the left are rallying to the idea. If words mean things, then there is about 160 billion reasons to vote against the Democrats (the U.S. consumes approximatley 160 billion gallons of gasoline a year).

If the oil industry was nationalized, we would have considerably less gasoline to consume, it would be delivered according to political rather than economic need, and it is highly probable that batches of gasoline would be delivered that didn't work.

Considering that Cavuto's guest, and all 535 people in Congress, likely have no clue about how to refine the first gallon of crude oil into gasoline, it seems that any calls to do nationalize this particular industry is simply a statist move that would lead to a much more difficult life for all of us. It is true that gasoline is considerably cheaper in many countries that have large nationalized oil industries, but what is not mentioned is that the level of consumption in these countries is considerably smaller. This is usually not because of "soft elitism" but because of "hard elitism." In many countries one is not allowed to have a car, boat, or R.V. unless the government approves.

I would laugh, but I am afraid these people are serious.

For an exampe of what might happen after the government gets into the oil industry, one might turn to the novel Atlas Shrugged. In that story, a great oil industrialist quits and destroys his Colorado oil wells. The fictional "State Science Institute" undertakes the critical mission of rebuilding the oil wells, particularly because of the national-security issues surrounding the need for oil. The result is that the state science institute is unable to retrieve any oil after months of effort.

Instead of threatening to confiscate billions of dollars of private property, not to speak of the millions of people who directly or indirectly own stock in U.S. oil companies, the Congress and all of us should be thanking the oil companies for figuring out how to refine enough oil and distribute enough gasoline so that we can can consume 160 billion gallons. And here's the kicker: the gasoline works every time. I am sure there are examples of tainted gasoline, but the failure rate of gasoline must be miniscule compared to other consumer markets, not to speak of government services.

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Amen and amen. The thought of nationalizing oil is sickening. I never thought Atlas Shurgged would become a reality, but it is startling to see it trying to gain ground right before our very eyes.
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