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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/5291/dreaming-of-a-world-without-oil/

Dreaming of a world without oil

July 7, 2006 by

Sane, market-oriented, empirically sound policy:

Here is the idea: Propose an international treaty whose signatories would agree to eliminate gasoline from their transportation systems by a date certain — say, in 30 years. Seek initial support from Europe and Japan, but open the treaty to any country that cares to join. Specify only that the treaty should allow signatories to reach the goal in any fashion they please and that it should allow for tradable credits against whatever interim targets it sets. That way, countries can act at different speeds and in different styles. Then let the negotiations begin.

Dr. Reisman has already explained the problem with gasoline rationing–aka “tradeable credits”–and I have nothing to add to that analysis. But the idea suggested above Jonathan Rauch (and embraced by conservative outcast Andrew Sullivan) takes the fallacy to the next level. He proposes rationing as an interim step towards the forceable elimination of gasoline by an arbitrary deadline. I’m curious to know what happens when we hit 30 years. Will there be gasoline prohibition? Or is Rauch just ignoring the lessons of history and assuming that for once, a central planning scheme will actually work as intended?

I can’t wait for Rauch and Sullivan’s 30-year plans to eliminate poverty and provide all Americans with health insurance. Because apparently it’s just that easy.

{ 7 comments }

freerider July 7, 2006 at 8:39 pm

Money for nothing and my chicks for free!

Jim Fedako July 7, 2006 at 9:44 pm

If we eliminate oil as a resource by forbidding its consumption, then it simply becomes, once again, a bio-hazard and a general nuisance.

TGGP July 8, 2006 at 7:09 am

Good piece on oil and the plausibility of solutions here: http://www.windsofchange.net/archives/008761.php

xteve July 8, 2006 at 6:46 pm

This is way too complicated. They should just pass a law saying All Problems Are Hereby Solved. Then it’s just a matter of funding.

cynical July 8, 2006 at 9:48 pm

I second the motion — All Problems Shall Shall Be Solved. I would like to add an amendment to the Honorable Xteve’s motion, if the Gentleman would be so gratious.

(Amended to read, “All Problems are Hereby Solved, provided funding for social security, SSI, medicare, medicaid, food stamps, energy assistance, the EPA, farm aid, etc. are never reduced (indexed for inflation)”.)

Reason for the Amendment: It would be irresponsible for us to just funding these vital programs just because all problems are solved!

cynical July 8, 2006 at 9:49 pm

*irresponsible to just quit funding these…*

xteve July 9, 2006 at 5:50 pm

Obviously all funding for all measures ought to be perpetually increased. No one but an extremist would disagree with that, & having labelled him as an extremist we can safely identify him without having to think about any of his arguments.

The trouble is that not everybody thinks they ought to be increased by as great a rate as others think it ought to be. This is what’s called a “cut” or “reduction” in funding. We have to find a way to automatically implement any & all proposed increases. This problem will magically be eliminated once All Problems Become Solved. Further increased funding will ensure this vital program is not “gutted”.

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