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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/7623/stockpiles-and-speculators/

Stockpiles and Speculators

January 7, 2008 by

Although most commentators concede that the free market does a decent job providing regular goods and services day in and day out, for some reason they believe that when it comes to unlikely but catastrophic events, government intervention is necessary.

An excellent example of this misguided mindset is the recent argument over what to do with the federally administered Strategic Petroleum Reserve. We’ll see that government involvement only makes things worse, and that the free market — if only allowed to do its job — would solve the alleged problem.


Paul Marks January 7, 2008 at 9:46 am

A very good conclusion.

It is the threat of government action (of such things as price controls, windfall profit taxes, and even theft of the commodity itself by government) that leads to private indivudals and organizations not maintaining LARGE SCALE stock piles for emergency conditions.

The government would not allow them to PROFIT by so doing – so they tend not to.

Scott D January 7, 2008 at 10:59 am

The link for the article was missing, so I decided to go looking for it, since I always enjoy Robert Murphy articles:


billwald January 7, 2008 at 12:28 pm

I thought the purpose of the oil reserve was to insure the armed forces would have sufficient fuel to fight a war. Japan bombed Pearl Harbor because their oil supply had been cut off.

Feeling Secure January 7, 2008 at 8:23 pm

The point of the SPR is for politicians to give citizens a false sense of security at tax payer expense. The beauty of the SPR is that it costs TONS of money that is all hidden in appropriations while the citizenry sees the wild price changes in the petroleum markets.

Richard January 8, 2008 at 9:59 am

Speaking of stockpiles, is it not Orwellingly curious that nobody has asked and answered the question about why the U.S. has not been able to develop ENERGY INDEPENDENCE?

Isn’t it curious, Orwellingly so!, that underground and underwater (off-shore) oil reserves have been found and either left un-accessed or accessed but capped? And what of the decision in the Seventies to stop building refineries? Isn’t that very odd, even INSANELY SHORTSIGHTED?

Well, this scribbler knows the answer. It is the same answer to the question:

Why did the U.S. invade Iraq?:

To protect Israel from expanding and ever-threatening Islamic Arabism!

It has been pro-Israel lobbyists in Washington (to include environmentalists’ leadership) that has made certain that America never became energy independent, as such independence would leave Israel without a proxy combatant to protect it from Islamic Arabism.

In any case, the BIG PICTURE may offer more clues about what’s afoot, globally, which picture I paint in here, with the help of Lt. Col. Roberts’ 1968 booklet, “The Anatomy of a Revolution”: http://planneddesstructionofamerica.blogspot.com/

Richard January 8, 2008 at 10:05 am

My apologies! The correct URL:

Planned Destruction of America: Open Letter

Scott Stinson January 9, 2008 at 6:51 am

I always thought the Strategic Reserve existed in case of national emergencies like Wars. Isn’t that where the “strategic” part comes in?

The problem with the Strategic Reserve is that politicians think they can use it to artificially lower the price of oil. They have not learned that America is not an oil-producing country. If they really want to help get America off the oil, they can let the free market build the railroads and let the free market put businesses within walking distance of people’s residences.

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