Friday, July 07, 2006

Free Market Republicans?

Republicans have managed to craft an image for themselves as supporters of the free market - willing to trust the Adam Smith's invisible hand to solve the problems of the day.

When there are special interests to be served, though, Republicans are just as willing as their cohorts across the aisle to interfere with the free market. In that vein, Matt Blunt on Wednesday made a splashy event around signing a bill requiring that every gallon of gasoline sold in Missouri include 10% ethanol. Traditional free-marketers would have faith that, if 10% ethanol made economic sense, companies would bring it to their pumps on their own.

Oh, by the way, Andy Blunt is looking to make a small fortune off of ethanol.

Are consumers well-served by special-interest legislation like this? I sincerely do not know - I've read that the production of ethanol consumes more fuel that it produces, but I certainly support the development of alternative fuels.

I do know, however, that Republicans can no longer claim to be "free-market". And I do know that Andy Blunt is one lucky Missourian . . .

8 Comments:

Anonymous Left in Missouri said...

The Blunts have turned lobbying/politician conflicts of interest into an art form.

I don't know who is worse - Andy Blunt or Roy Blunt's replacement wife the lobbyist.

It stinks to high heaven and I hope the federales look into the fee license office extends to the blatant conflict of interest in having the governor's brother serve as one of the most powerful lobbyists in the state.

Democrats should propose a bill banning family members from serving as lobbyists during their relative's tenure. And Democrats should abide by that policy as well.

7/07/2006 8:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous Me said...

I agree with all of the above re: conflict of interests and lobbying.

As to the ethenol. Certainly, at some point, ethenol will have to stand or fall on its own economically. I've heard the same, that production of the ethenol takes more oil than it saves. It is hoped, I think, that ultimately as the technology/production etc. gets more advanced, that will not always be the same.

Sometimes the free market needs a kick in the pants, and there are larger (alternative fuels, etc.) concerns here that the market does not adequately address.

This does not mean, however, that Republicans generally do not believe that the free market is preferable to gov't manipulation of it (as do, I'd guess, most Democrats). It speaks to one issue, and one politician.

That's an awfully broad brush you're painting with (again!).

7/07/2006 12:33 PM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

Yet another case of Right Wing Republican Hypocrisy.

The fact that they are so blatant in their hypocrisy and the electorate continues to support them is what makes me fear for the future of America.

If the masses are that freaking stupid, and can be manipulated that easily, then what hope is there?

7/07/2006 7:14 PM  
Anonymous JW said...

According to the USDA, those claims about ethanol are untrue. It does take energy to make corn and ethanol, but it is actually more efficient than gasoline in energy used to energy generated.
Truthfully though, ethanol is not the answer to our problems. We just can't grow enough. It is a good first step, and that's why I support the new mandate of 10% ethanol. It's cleaner, better than MTBE which it replaces, and will lengthen our supply of oil. Unfortunately, Amerians believe that something is going to come along and replace oil so we can keep on living our lifestyle, and I don't think that's healthy. We can not continue to comsume resources at the rate which we are. It means wholesale changes in how we live our lives, or a brand new, renewable energy to replace what we use now. Check out Kunstler for more info.

7/09/2006 11:02 AM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

JW - Ethanol schmethanol. I am a liberal. But not to the extent that I'm going to ride my bike to work.

Technology can solve this.

Microbes can be genetically altered to convert virtually all of our waste products into viable fuels.

We don't have to drive Smart Cars, we don't have to be Vegans, and we don't have to pee in the dark when we wake up at 4am just to save 4 cents on our utility bills.

Invest in basic research, let smart people do their jobs, keep stupid people out of political office and the world will be a better place.

Not only can we keep living our lifestyle, but the lifestyle of everyone in the world can be elevated to damn-near utopian heights if we just quit inhibiting the basic research that will make it possible, and quit electing imbeciles that supress the research for "moral" and political reasons.

7/09/2006 6:30 PM  
Blogger emawkc said...

"...to pee in the dark when we wake up at 4am ..."

Dude, you really should have your prostate checked out.

7/10/2006 9:33 AM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

emaw - it's on my "To Do List". Just searching for a hot looking female MD.

Know any?

7/10/2006 7:13 PM  
Blogger emawkc said...

XO,
I'm sure Tony can hook you up. He posts pics of them all the time.

7/11/2006 5:25 PM  

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