peak oil, gov't action and the economy

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ack012's picture
ack012
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Joined: Feb 7 2009
Posts: 10
peak oil, gov't action and the economy

the more and more i read and understand the economy, the less and less i wan't government getting involved in it. But at the same time, if we had a government that wanted to act on peak oil, in what ways could it act that would impact the free market system the least?

Farmer Brown's picture
Farmer Brown
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Joined: Nov 23 2008
Posts: 1503
Re: peak oil, gov't action and the economy

I'll take a stab at this:

First of all, if our government got out of the money-price-fixing business, our interest rates would never fall below the level of inflation, as they did between 2001-2003, and feed the huge asset/commodity/and growth bubble we now see popping.  As the CC shows, debt-based money requires infinite growth, but energy is not infinite.  The first thing government should do is get out of the money-supply business and allow production instead of debt to dictate growth and the cost of money.  Then we would at least be living within the natural limits of natural resources and that of our own production, extending the life of our oil supplies.

Obviously, that wouldn't be enough, since we would still be dependent on oil, but perhaps it would last a bit longer while we search for alternatives.  The downhill slope of the Peak Oil bell curve would be less steep, and just maybe the surge in oil prices that will accompany the trip down the slope will a) lower consumption and b) make it worthwhile for the private sector to increase research into alternative energy. 

Other than that, I am afraid there is not much else the government can do.  Some argue they should fund a Manhattan-style project on alternative energy.  Well, we already did that - literally - it's called nuclear energy and nobody seems to want that.  They could fund Mahattan Project II I suppose and maybe something would come out of it, but it's obviously no sure-fire thing.

In the end though, government didn't invent oil, and I wouldn't put too much hope on them inventing a replacement for oil.  The only replacement may just be a completely different life style for all of us. 

 

 

rowmat's picture
rowmat
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Posts: 358
Re: peak oil, gov't action and the economy
ack012 wrote:

the more and more i read and understand the economy, the less and less i wan't government getting involved in it. But at the same time, if we had a government that wanted to act on peak oil, in what ways could it act that would impact the free market system the least?

If you want to know how the government has acted on peak oil, and how it impacted the market I suggest you read 'Crossing the Rubicon' by Michael C. Ruppert.

Here's a current thread... http://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/crossing-rubicon/19320

agitating prop's picture
agitating prop
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Posts: 854
Re: peak oil, gov't action and the economy
ack012 wrote:

the more and more i read and understand the economy, the less and less i wan't government getting involved in it. But at the same time, if we had a government that wanted to act on peak oil, in what ways could it act that would impact the free market system the least?

I want govt involvement in terms of regulation of the financial sector. There should be a repeal of the Gram-Rudman act,  which was itself,  a repeal of the Glass Steagal act,  put in place after the depression. Glass Steagal keep investment banking separate from other forms of banking.

  The anti-combines and anti-competetion laws are largely ignored, in the U.S., which is pretty antagonistic to the spirit of capitalism, and horrible for small business. This kind of laissaiz faire free market approach encourages oligarchy and the formation of cartels. Marx may have gotten some things wrong, but he certainly understood how govts can become undermined by big money, to the point where they become mere shadows cast by corporate forces. I have to laugh at the charge of "socialism' levelled at Obama and Geithner. In fact, it is the polar opposite. Rather than govt taking over business, the financial sector has subsumed govt.

ckessel's picture
ckessel
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Joined: Nov 12 2008
Posts: 465
Re: peak oil, gov't action and the economy
ack012 wrote:

the more and more i read and understand the economy, the less and less i wan't government getting involved in it. But at the same time, if we had a government that wanted to act on peak oil, in what ways could it act that would impact the free market system the least?

I would add to Agitating Prop that we could abolish the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, put our Treasury in charge of the monetary system and make it illegal to charge interest on our money. Next,  create a National Sales Tax on fossil fuels and route 90% back to local communities to use to develop food and energy resources. The other 10% would be used to do the same for national programs. Farming will soon enough be our primary activity and likely source of any real domestic product. We won't have much use for all of the STUFF that consumes power and is simply nice to have around. Only my $.02 worth!

Coop

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