Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Some really good stuff in the roundup this morning.

Jacob Sullum on the unbelievable case of forgetsies the press seems to suffer from. The daily headlines that manage to combine falling oil prices with economic ruin ("Oil falls to 22-month low as fears of recession sharpen") would be merely puzzling if the press hadn't hooted and hollered mere months ago over the prospects of $200 barrels of oil. It begs the question, which can only be asked with incredulity by anyone with the ability to recall events and facts that occurred more than 30 days prior in time: "Where the hell have you been?"

I see gas under $2.00 in Winston and think to myself, "Wow--this is great. The amount I'll save from all our Christmas driving alone will pretty much pay for gifts this year." That doesn't even begin to address the benefits our battered and imperiled middle class will be reaping when they get this year's energy bill. The question remains: if increasing oil prices are unequivocally bad, which the press has claimed ad nauseum for the better part of a year, then the decline in oil prices has to be good simply by the law of non-contradiction. The less child-like observer--even those with little experience in the field of economics--knows that the press simply doesn't understand things like supply and demand--and therefore doesn't understand that rising oil prices are not simply a natural disaster, like earthquakes.  Rising oil prices are exactly what they are--an increase in the price of a good--and they will be offset by future developments or decreases in demand.

But this childishness is not the exclusive domain of the press, as Louis CK points out here on Conan.

Count your blessings, says Mankiw.

In other news, anyone interested in the future of libertarianism, particularly in the age of corporatism, owes it to themselves to follow the debate at Cato Unbound, initiated by Roderick Long. His piece and the several replies to it are all required reading. I've got my own response to this brewing, but it'll have to wait for some quiet time.

Finally, George Will on the auto bailout. Will seems to be suffering from a bit of Rip Van Winkle syndrome; he writes as if he just woke up from a 20-year slumber and doesn't quite recognize the people around him. Yes, George, this is your party--I'd get moving if I were you.

1 comment:

Mike Griswold said...

The lament I'm hearing from all these commentators about how the low price of oil is so unfortunate because it will retard the growth of alternatives seems like a special kind of insanity. Our current wealth seems to blind some to the differences between wants and needs. If energy production and consumption are causing unacceptable external effects, those costs need to be legislatively internalized. Beyond that, get out of the way.