The 1st paragraph says it all – from the Wall Street Journal Online (emphasis is mine):
President Barack Obama will use an Oval Office address Tuesday night to outline his plans for cleaning up the Gulf oil spill, compensating victims, getting tough on the offshore oil industry and enacting new policies to reduce U.S. oil dependence.
My problem, specifically, is with the last comment. Why stop at reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil? Why not expand that mandate to include industrial metals…palm oil…and cabbage patch kids?
This is Silly Economics 101. The free market should be allowed to determine who produces a good or service – not a presidential administration.
This type of central economic planning never works. Most of us have heard it so often, for so long, from our “capitalist” leadership that we don’t even blink an eye at it anymore – it’s astounding.
Unfortunately, this type of backwards thinking is likely to get worse before it gets better. That’s what happened in the last Depression – and sadly that’s what appears to be unfolding in this one.
When things turn bad, and markets turn down, politicians can’t seem to escape the basic human nature of erecting barriers and “us against them” thinking – which only exacerbates an already poor economic situation. Limiting free trade usually has disastrous consequences. It’s a lesson our political leaders have a hard time grasping.