Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
The only way you can prevent energy prices from rising is by making energy a non-scarce resource

I see you believe that supply and demand make the world go 'round. Viva free market economics!

No, I just believe that the laws of physics are not negotiable, and that economic rent follows the constraining factor of production.

Of course, another way to make energy a non-scarce resource is to artificially constrain the availability of another resource - typically money - in order to induce a general industrial depression. But somehow, I don't think that's what you were getting at.

Are you denying that governments can have an impact on market prices of goods and services?

Of course they can. But only within the limits set by physical reality - and physical reality imposes a lower limit on the real cost of the constraining factor of production.

I did not say that it was dumb policy, only that it was dumb policy if the objective is to industrialise North Africa.

Are you suggesting that International Development Banks have had no impact on the economies of underdeveloped countries?

No, I'm saying that punitive tariffs on the imports of underdeveloped countries do more harm to their industrial production than comparable development credits can compensate for. An economic policy proposal must be evaluated in full, and the net impact of the full policy you proposed is negative.

we would probably be having another major European shooting war right about now

Talk about a strawman... here it is.

At the moment, the US Navy controls Suez and Gibraltar. At some point in the not so far future, the US Navy will cease to be a reliable guarantor of European interests in the Mediterranean region, either because the US Navy ceases to be reliable due to a generalised economic collapse of the US, or because American and European interests diverge too greatly for the transatlantic alliance to remain viable.

The EU can secure Gibraltar, and there's not much anybody can do about it. But Suez can easily spark a shooting war.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Sep 2nd, 2010 at 03:32:41 AM EST
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But Suez can easily spark a shooting war.
Nah. Most ships are too big for Suez nowadays, and instead go by way of Cape Town.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sat Sep 4th, 2010 at 12:18:23 PM EST
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