« The Middle East Uprisings and the Economy—Posner | Main | Are Too Many Young People Going to College? Becker »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Jack, As for NG, I would rather it be completely removed as an Energy source for electrical generation and used exclusively as a Petrochem feedstock and perhaps home heating. Energy security is the most important issue confronting the Nation and has been for at least the last half century, but still we dither. As for those "trillion buck optional wars", we could now well use that money at home for helping too balance the Budget and implement an advanced Energy Program for the country.

If we did that, I could probably get my nephews back from Afghanistan. As one said on his last rotation out, "I thought we were over there to protect our interests and help a weak and downtrodden people. Not guarding and protecting the poppy(opium)crop for the International Drug Dealers". ;)


NEH -- similar thoughts. HAD we not been flown so helplessly far up the blind canyon, I too would favor using such a fine energy as NG for cooking and home heating. But! here we are and IF shale fracking is a viable means of production we're awash in NG at a price something like one third that of oil, AND the $$$$ for everything to do with NG (except (silly) LNG importation) goes into the pockets and treasuries of America.

I suppose the risk of Boone (and ha! my own!) use of NG as "transitional fuel" is that of getting as high centered on it as we know are on oil.......... but! we've well over half a century (and more) to deal with yet more rational means of conserving and fueling our needs.

Not sure HOW to educate the woman you saw tossing $150 into the tank of a 6000GVW (tax break) rig who is accelerating from stoplight to stoplight with the most common payload a single driver and perhaps a kid or two. I know a number of those and the rig and its costs of operation are often tax deductible and there is simply not the incentives regular folk would have to buy at least the 30 mpg rigs available that offer just as much "safety".

There's another thing we could do. Financial writer Andrew Tobias put on quite a push for a true no fault insurance plan (some years back) in which the cost of insurance would be "paid at the pump". Changing the fixed cost of insurance to a variable cost would be more incentives for all to conserve. And for those who require a plumbing van or other heavy rig for work, they could have a more efficient 2nd car for pleasure driving, or if two rigs are in the driveway, a stronger incentive to take the more efficient one on errands. And! more incentive to walk, bike or combine trips. It would be a win-win-win for all by insurance companies getting full premiums on 2nd and third cars that spend most of their time in the garage.

Aaah! WOULD that we HAD a democracy functioning in favor of the people and our nation that would welcome and honestly vet the many ideas we have!

Christopher Graves

NEH makes a critical point when he said, "[i]n the long run, I have absolutely no faith in any of these Revolutions ending in any type of Democratic view, Democratic Institutions, or a Democratic way of life."

The key is the way of life that gives rise to political, legal, and economic institutions in everyday practices and attitudes. Democratic procedures cannot be set down in a vacuum producing a free society.


Chris, yup! We're having a fairly hard time trying to maintain anything resembling rule by and FOR the people here.

The explanations for these graphs along with awarding those who've already taken most of the productivity gains for the last four decades, UNAFFORDABLE tax breaks lead all too often to lobbyists carving off bennies for their well-heeled, but often unethical, employers.


BTW the giveaways reported by the bipartisan deficit commission thru the tax code are huge, including, as we try to save pennies attacking PBS and other programs favoring working folk, allowing hedgefund managers to pay only 15% rather than the 35% income tax of the post-Bush deal, or the 38% before the unaffordable tax cuts were implemented.


Emily Jones


I am Emily Jones and I am a community member of some financial communities and websites. I just visited your site ( http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/ ) and trust me you are really doing a great work for your site. I read few articles from your site and found them really worth reading. The quality of your site is excellent.

After seeing your great work, I have decided that I will do something for your site and that is also for FREE!! :)

I love to write articles on finance and its related topics and would like to contribute something for your site if you'll grant me a permission. The article will be 100% original and I assure you that it will be published only in your site.

Below are the some samples of my recent work, please check them:

1.) http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/news/354093,debt-consolidation--how-it-can-help-you-to-get.html

2.) http://www.helium.com/items/1995922-an-introduction-to-debt-relief-consolidation

3.) http://www.economy-news.co.uk/debt-management-31201101.html

4.) http://www.advisorworld.com/2010/09/28/4-tips-smart-money-management

Please let me know what are your thoughts on this?

Waiting for your positive reply. You can Reach me at: emily.jones025@gmail.com (24x7)

Thanks and Regards

Emily Jones

( Facebook Profile URL:http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100001390090559 )


"...Saudi Arabia and Turkey have the highest index of overall economic freedom of any of the larger MENA countries. Their levels of economic freedom place them in the “moderately free” category."

Saudi Arabia "might" have a "degree" of economic freedom, but it is because of its vast oil reserves, however this economic freedom has brought no political or even social freedom to this country. It is in total contrast to what Friedman was saying, the very first step to have political (or even social) freedom would be to have economic freedom. "Governments never learn. Only people learn." Milton Friedman


M.A. Indeed. You have me reflecting on the "role" economic freedom in women's sufferage (connection to robber barons of the era?) or in the civil rights era of the 60's?

Perhaps a case for the opposite? The wealth ginned up by Saudi oil allows the inefficient ban on women driving themselves and having to have a driver to extend long past its time.

""Governments never learn. Only people learn." Milton Friedman"

......... Aah the old cliche smith! Another for whom the connection between the people and their representative government was lost in favor of our all being minions of "the market" and other scams resulting in the rising tide of productivity lifting primarily the gilded yachts as the dinghies and launches sink.


i think first thing to do is to take down OPEC cartel.

Jason M.

Reading the comments I get a sense that oil production is one of the biggest issues the West is concerned about. The glorious ideas of spreading democracy, freedom for the people and a better world order seem as usual just a bunch of nothing promoted to cover up the real motives. At least we have the internet to express our dissapointment.


Jason: Perhaps not. As predictions about "spreading democracy" to those not having such a tradition in an area with a LONG history of religious crusades, theocratic or militaristic dictatorships are beyond our reach, perhaps we then attempt to deal with symptoms.

It's obvious that we are reaching some limits in both the supply of fossil fuels and the "wisdom?" of burning yet higher amounts in an endangered atmosphere.

Despite ideals as great as those of today, world-wide unemployment, oil, and starvation all played a role in WWII. Few today recall our own GI's being much smaller than those of today with the most frequent reason for failing the physical ailments related to food and vitamin deficiencies in their developmental years.

Food for thought? As you endure the minor annoyance to most of us of tossing increased numbers of hard-earneds into the old gashog, just imagine what $4 gas and $100 bbl oil does to those whose monthly incomes would be less than the price of 42 gallons of oil......... and the related costs of food, both due to their oil based production costs and the silliness of trying to maintain our fleet of gashogs on corn based ethanol.

Joe Smith

In today's Wall Street Journal (3/12-13, 2011) there is a chart of US Petroleum consumption, production and imports from the 1950's thru the 2000's that accompanies an article entitled "Obama Confronts Oil-Policy Critics" by Stephen Power. In my edition it appears on page A4.

Joe Smith

oil mill

In surgent human society, can let oneself have a light interaction,

Gaston Cantens

The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal prepare annual indexes of overall economic freedom for many countries, including those from the MENA region, that can be roughly compared across countries.

Gaston Cantens

The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal prepare annual indexes of overall economic freedom for many countries, including those from the MENA region, that can be roughly compared across countries.

cheap designer clothes

I think you're really a different person who give such an unusual opinion.I wonder if you are also a ?Maybe you can consider about With on hand,Wow,really extraordinary .So cool!

cheap clothes online

You have a quite different idea,It sounds really amazing !I suppose you may like sports,I think jordan shoes is a good choice!Don't you think so?

Pepe Fenjul Jr.

Studies have shown that the degree of economic freedom in different countries in any year is positively related to their subsequent economic growth.


I think the conflict in middle east countries affect the economic crisis in their fields. Middle east countries are the main contributors of gas and they are the one who can initiate their products whatever will happen in their country.

Pepe Fenjul Jr.

The large volumes of foreign capital that became available during the 2000s would have been a perfect source but few investors were willing to take on the massive regulation and powerful interest groups. Long time energy investor.

air jordans

At some point it all becomes an embarrassment to the professional status of those economists who tell us that Krugman is a good economists .

Alfonso Fanjul

While Nukes on the other hand can be throttled up or down as demand requires. Nukes are expensive, but then so are Wind Turbines and the storage capacity required at the massive scale required.


I've higher hopes for solar. You've probably seen projects for large desert installations both P-V and boilers to turbines. Some utilities have already begun on one of the obvious solutions to the long payback of rooftop P-V of the utility installing it at their expense with benefits for the homeowner and the utility.

Spinal Stenosis

Hello, i think that i saw you visited my web site so i came to ??return the favor??.I am attempting to find things to improve my website!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!


I like the valuable information you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and check again here regularly. I am quite certain I will learn many new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!


This is really interesting, You're a very skilled blogger. I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your wonderful post. Also, I have shared your site in my social networks!

The comments to this entry are closed.

Become a Fan

May 2014

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31