I was flipping channels a couple of days ago and heard someone blathering about ending our dependence on foreign oil. I don't remember who it was, but it might as well have been John McCain....
Or Jimmy Carter....
Or anyone else who is trying to scare voters into supporting oil company subsidies or throwing money to Green Energy scams. (Yes, oil company subsidies and Green Energy scams. The players all wear different uniforms, but they're playing in the same game.)
These guys always speak of our "addiction to foreign oil", but never say a word about our addiction to foreign computers, wine, cheese, electrical components, iPhones, televisions, fabrics, jeans, suits, or that inexpensive mouse you're using to make my words move up and down on that foreign screen in front of you. They try to give the impression that the lines of latitude and longitude of factories and warehouses should be your most important shopping criteria.
They never acknowledge that those of us living in Fort Worth, Texas, have a higher quality of life because we trade our goods and services (the things we're best at doing) with people who live in Waco, Texas (for the things that they're best at doing).
Texans often trade with people from Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Some of the people in Arkansas have funny accents. Some of the Oklahomans look like Indians. And despite Texas being an overwhelmingly Protestant state, we can hold our noses and swap our stuff with the Catholic natives of south Lousiana.
I'm considering trading with Memphis Tennessee for BarBQue, since Texas BarBQue sucks. The Texas stuff is made from cows, not pigs.
Should that be anyone's decision other than mine?
We trade with Canada. We swap lots of our stuff for their timber.
We trade with Mexico. We swap lots of our stuff for their clothing and auto parts.
Yes, we rely on people from those other strange cities, states and nations. But guess what? They rely on us for our goods and services, and they also rely on us as.....customers.
If Fort Worthians and Texans and Americans were to stop purchasing things made by those other cities, states, and nations, it would harm us and it would harm them.
The only groups to profit from the shutdown would be the government enforcers and guards at the arbitrary borders of our cages. (And, of course, the businesses that would then have a monopoly in the goods and services that were prohibited from crossing our city, state, or national borders.)
If other countries ever stop swapping their stuff for our stuff, they're in a world of hurt. Imagine what it does to a retailer to lose 20% of its customers. The retailer has to lay off employees.
Does anyone believe that any of the oil producing nations of the world can now afford to withhold oil from the United States? They are all addicted to foreign dollars.
They have to sell the stuff to somebody. They can no more stop selling oil to us than Target, Wal-Mart, and Kroger can arbitrarily stop selling groceries to people whose names begin with a vowel. It would kill them.
I repeat....We aren't addicted to foreign oil. The oil producing nations are addicted to foreign dollars. Think of it that way for fifteen minutes, and you'll start laughing the next time a politician tries to play the race card (or the geography card).
The Dilbert cartoon came from here. The videos came from YouTube. The source of the gasoline that got me to Starbucks this morning doesn't really matter.