Carpe Diem

If Barack Obama and Dow Chemical want a cleaner world and a richer America, they should support natural-gas exports

That sage advice for the president and Dow Chemical comes from an editorial in the current edition of The Economist (emphasis added)

On America’s Gulf coast, massive industrial facilities stand idle. Miles of twisting stainless-steel pipes and huge storage tanks gleam uselessly in the sun. They are a reminder of the hundreds of billions of dollars that America has invested in terminals for handling imports of liquefied natural gas. Thanks to the boom in domestic shale gas, those imports are no longer needed. America produces nearly as much gas as it consumes, and will soon produce far more.

So the obvious thing to do with those idle terminals is to re-engineer them to handle exports. Instead of receiving shiploads of liquefied gas and re-gasifying it, they should be taking American gas, liquefying it and loading it onto tankers.

In America gas sells for around $3.40 per million British thermal units (mBTU). In Europe it costs around $12 and in gas-poor Asia it goes for as much as $20 per mBTU. Since it costs roughly $5 per mBTU to liquefy the stuff, ship it and turn it back into gas, America could be making a fortune from gas exports. To the extent that such exports displaced dirty coal, they would also help curb global warming.

The vocal lobby against gas exports unites environmentalists who object to fracking and many energy-hungry American corporations. They fret that allowing exports will raise gas prices for domestic consumers - like themselves, for instance.

Both groups’ objections are unconvincing. Greens claim that fracking pollutes the air and groundwater, but the evidence suggests that any such pollution is limited. Energy-hungry firms, such as those that operate gas-fired power stations or smelt aluminum, fear that higher domestic gas prices would hobble the revival of American manufacturing. Firms that both guzzle energy and use gas as a feedstock, such as Dow Chemical, are especially worried. But Mr. Obama should rebuff them, for two reasons.

The first is moral. Gas-guzzling corporations want to prevent the owners of the gas from selling it to the highest bidder. That is like lobbying the government to force your neighbor to sell you his house at a discount, rather than sell it to somebody else. It is pure rent-seeking, and should be resisted.

The second reason is economic. Gas prices in America are unsustainably low, and will eventually rise a bit whether exports are allowed or not. However, they will remain much lower than elsewhere, because other countries have failed to frack as deftly as America. If Mr. Obama prevents companies from exporting American gas, it will be left in the ground. The world will be a dirtier place, and America a poorer one.

MP: Kudos to The Economist for exposing Dow Chemical and its partners in the anti-export lobbying organization “America’s Energy Advantage for Some Big Chemical and Steel Companies Using Other Companies’ Natural Gas,” for their self-interested rent-seeking activities that would benefit Big Chemical and Big Steel, but would make America poorer and the world dirtier.

76 thoughts on “If Barack Obama and Dow Chemical want a cleaner world and a richer America, they should support natural-gas exports

  1. nice try but no cigar.

    that cheap nat gas gives us a leg up on manufacturing costs when competing against other countries.

    it makes up for the labor price differential.

    if we want American jobs – we better keep that gas.

    • That gas doesn’t belong to you, it belongs to the companies that invested billions of dollars to find it and produce it. You have no right to tell them where to sell it, any more than I have a right to tell you where to travel (e.g. Europe or Japan or Canada).

      • natural resources in sense though belong to the country. Resources that are perceived to be of a strategic nature are treated differently.

        and natural resources cannot be developed and marketed without the use of public infrastructure and public rights-of-ways.

        in other words, the gas does not belong to me – correct – but the lands over which the gas must travel – does not belong to the owners of the gas – either.

        they rely on things they don’t own themselves – to market what they do own. Government is what they depend on to provide them with the ability to conduct commerce beyond the borders of their own property.

        Government is what? It’s the entire group of property owners – necessary for commerce to occur on more than one property.

        • oh, you mean like the people who will not get jobs producing gas because the price is artificially low?

          larry, you could be helping too. what if we prevented you from selling your labor to anyone but your current employer so that they could pay you much less and not have to worry about your leaving?

          surely that would benefit them and make them more competitive just as you seem to want our chemical industries to be.

          they could expand and compete better against other countries.

          somehow i doubt that you are going to support this, but not to do so is pure hypocrisy.

          further, a trade ban is a net deadweight loss for the US.

          every gain we make in manufacturing is more than offset by losses in production.

          you are not creating anyhting, just taking money way from one industry and giving it to another with the net result that the industry that you steal from will not be able to invest and grow and will ultimately wind up making the economy worse off.

          if we want american jobs, what we need is free trade, not restrictions.

        • “countries pay unemployment and entitlements though…”

          Still wrong. Like Ron said, individuals and companies pay for unemployment and entitlements. To be fair, I know this is a very difficult concept for Obama voters to grasp.

          • well, let’s see:

            ” Economists at IHS Global Insight project that for every extra $10 per barrel that Americans spend on gasoline, annual gross domestic product growth slows by 0.2 percent. Employment falls by 120,000 jobs. So a $20 per barrel increase over what Americans historically have paid for gasoline, compared to crude oil, would cost the economy 0.4 percent growth and 240,000 jobs.”

            so when the price of energy increases – it hurts the economy right?

            so if you start exporting gas – it will likely reduce available domestic supply, and drive up the price domestically, right?

            so who would benefit by exporting natural gas if not consumers of it?

          • Economists at IHS Global Insight project that for every extra $10 per barrel that Americans spend on gasoline, annual gross domestic product growth slows by 0.2 percent. Employment falls by 120,000 jobs. So a $20 per barrel increase over what Americans historically have paid for gasoline, compared to crude oil, would cost the economy 0.4 percent growth and 240,000 jobs.

            People don’t usually buy gasoline by the barrel.

            so when the price of energy increases – it hurts the economy right?

            When the price of anything increases there will be less of it used.

            so if you start exporting gas – it will likely reduce available domestic supply, and drive up the price domestically, right?

            No.

            so who would benefit by exporting natural gas if not consumers of it?

            Everyone, but first of all the owners of the gas, who should be able to sell it to whoever they please. Remember Prof Perry scolded you for that yesterday?

          • re: the gas does not belong to me

            but the fact is is the domestic supply of gas shrinks then it will increase prices and cost jobs.

            correct?

            I just see conflicts in the two dynamics and am asking if the idea that a shrinking supply of something will 1. increase it’s price 2. cost jobs 3. result in entitlements being paid to the displaced workers 4. unemployed who will not be paying taxes?

            so I’ll revise my statement about keeping the gas instead to the above questions and request forgiveness from Dr. Perry!

            are not these questions the ones that would end up being in the regulatory discussion about allowing export?

          • Everyone, but first of all the owners of the gas, who should be able to sell it to whoever they please. Remember Prof Perry scolded you for that yesterday?“…

            Hey ron h, isn’t floating that question to spam boy akin to asking a parrot to think rationally?

            Just curious…

          • re: the gas does not belong to me

            This is the most important point, by far. Everything else is just an academic discussion. Neither you nor I nor anyone else, not even millions of others including Dear Leader himself has any right to tell someone what to do with their property.

            but the fact is is the domestic supply of gas shrinks then it will increase prices and cost jobs.

            #1 Yes. #2 Unknown

            This question causes a glimmer of hope that you actually DO understand a little about the immutable law of supply and demand even if you are unable to express it correctly in words.

            correct?

            yes no

            I just see conflicts in the two dynamics and am asking if the idea that a shrinking supply of something will 1. increase it’s price 2. cost jobs 3. result in entitlements being paid to the displaced workers 4. unemployed who will not be paying taxes?

            1. yes 2. unknown 3. no 4. that’s not a question

            You are engaging in zero-sum thinking again.

            are not these questions the ones that would end up being in the regulatory discussion about allowing export?

            No they are not.

            Your first question about rising prices due to decreased supply is promising, although you are looking at the wrong side of the equation.

            Exporting nat gas would be a huge increase in DEMAND, not a decrease in SUPPLY, although both act to increase price, as you seem to sense.

            However, the “dynamic”, as you call it, doesn’t stop there, as that increase in price is a signal to producers to produce more gas, as there is more profit to be made at the higher price. Supply will increase toward equilibrium with the higher demand, which serves to lower the price again.

            Currently, supply is too high, and prices too low. Marginal producers will go out of business and production will decrease as prices rise toward equilibrium.

            So the discussion, over all, is about whether gas production will be X trillion cubic feet/year for domestic demand only, or X + export trillion cubic feet/year at roughly the same price in the long term.

          • “re: the gas does not belong to me”

            This is the most important point, by far. Everything else is just an academic discussion. Neither you nor I nor anyone else, not even millions of others including Dear Leader himself has any right to tell someone what to do with their property.”

            TRUE -as long as his activities do not affect other property owners.

            but you also have no guarantee that you can leave your property to engage in commerce on others properties.

            ““but the fact is is the domestic supply of gas shrinks then it will increase prices and cost jobs.”

            #1 Yes. #2 Unknown

            This question causes a glimmer of hope that you actually DO understand a little about the immutable law of supply and demand even if you are unable to express it correctly in words.

            “correct?”

            yes no ”

            oh, I’m totally on board with supply/demand but I also hear the discussions about industry and people being adversely affected when the price of energy goes up.

            ““I just see conflicts in the two dynamics and am asking if the idea that a shrinking supply of something will 1. increase it’s price 2. cost jobs 3. result in entitlements being paid to the displaced workers 4. unemployed who will not be paying taxes?”

            1. yes 2. unknown 3. no 4. that’s not a question

            You are engaging in zero-sum thinking again.”

            nope.. there are real economic impacts that cannot be denied and as long as we do pay entitlements – that’s real also.

            ““are not these questions the ones that would end up being in the regulatory discussion about allowing export?”

            No they are not. ”

            oh but they are…. sugar imports?

            “Your first question about rising prices due to decreased supply is promising, although you are looking at the wrong side of the equation.

            Exporting nat gas would be a huge increase in DEMAND, not a decrease in SUPPLY, although both act to increase price, as you seem to sense.

            However, the “dynamic”, as you call it, doesn’t stop there, as that increase in price is a signal to producers to produce more gas, as there is more profit to be made at the higher price. Supply will increase toward equilibrium with the higher demand, which serves to lower the price again. ”

            it’s a finite resource. we cannot “produce more” on demand.

            “Currently, supply is too high, and prices too low. Marginal producers will go out of business and production will decrease as prices rise toward equilibrium.”

            that’s a matter of opinion. The industries that benefit from low gas prices won’t agree with you.

            “So the discussion, over all, is about whether gas production will be X trillion cubic feet/year for domestic demand only, or X + export trillion cubic feet/year at roughly the same price in the long term.”

            no it’s not. you cannot necessarily increase supply of a finite resources just because the price beckons it.

            if you could actually do that.. oil/gas would ultimately be cheap as dirt.

          • ron h regarding your critique of spam boy’s comment, “Your first question about rising prices due to decreased supply is promising, although you are looking at the wrong side of the equation“…

            The dude is lost somewhere between Malthus and Keynes I think…

          • Hey ron h, isn’t floating that question to spam boy akin to asking a parrot to think rationally?

            Apparently so, but jeez – I’m only asking him if he remembers yesterday.

          • I’m only asking him if he remembers yesterday“…

            Hmmm, good point ron h, I think parrots can do at least that much…

          • TRUE -as long as his activities do not affect other property owners.

            but you also have no guarantee that you can leave your property to engage in commerce on others properties.

            And that’s why he might contract with other private property owners to facilitate moving his product to it’s new home. A pipeline company, perhaps, a LNG company, shippers?

            Have you missed the entire discussion about royalty payments to private property owners for access to natural gas?

            In any case, you are trying to veer off topic again to save your sorry ass. The question is about private companies asking government for advantage over competitive bidders for a resource owned by another private company, not about how the product is physically moved.

            .oh, I’m totally on board with supply/demand but I also hear the discussions about industry and people being adversely affected when the price of energy goes up.

            LOL!! Oh no, Larry, you are DEFINITELY not on board with supply and demand. You prove that over and over.

            nope.. there are real economic impacts that cannot be denied and as long as we do pay entitlements – that’s real also.

            But that isn’t any part of this discussion about cronyism and property rights.

            oh but they are…. sugar imports?

            LOL!! Larry, you are a hoot! tariffs on sugar imports cause *higher prices* for a product. Your simplistic gas argument is that *higher prices* are a BAD thing and cost jobs, and that *lower prices* are a GOOD thing and add jobs. Why would you pick an example that defeats to your own argument in favor of restricting gas exports?

            it’s a finite resource. we cannot “produce more” on demand.

            OMG, Larry! Have you somehow missed every single discussion about fracking, peak oil, drilling, gas, oil, North Dakota and the prices necessary to support production in various locations – as WELL as not understanding supply and demand? You just provided proof that you don’t understand it, by the way.

            that’s a matter of opinion. The industries that benefit from low gas prices won’t agree with you.

            It’s not just an opinion, but in any case, opinion and self interest are not the same thing. ALMOST everyone (except you) – including those who work for chemical companies – understands that restricting demand will hold down prices for a while. That’s in their self interest.

            In my *opinion* gasoline prices are about what I would expect. In my *self interest* I want them to be lower. If I could get a government thug to go with me each time I bought gas and hold a gun to the station owners head demanding that he sell me gas at 50 cents/gal I would benefit. To hell with the rest of you.

            Of COURSE those, like Dow, who CAN buy a government thug wouldn’t agree with me.

            no it’s not. you cannot necessarily increase supply of a finite resources just because the price beckons it.

            Let’s look at the other side then: even you should understand that if demand is kept artificially low – perhaps by forbidding exports – prices will be low, and supply will DECREASE until prices rise to support those remaining producers.

            if you could actually do that.. oil/gas would ultimately be cheap as dirt

            Only if it could be produced as cheaply as dirt. Why must we pay for compressed air when there’s a virtually infinite supply of it all around us? Why do we pay for bottled water when water is so abundant?

            Try thinking once in a while. You are truly amazing.

          • “TRUE -as long as his activities do not affect other property owners.

            but you also have no guarantee that you can leave your property to engage in commerce on others properties.”

            And that’s why he might contract with other private property owners to facilitate moving his product to it’s new home. A pipeline company, perhaps, a LNG company, shippers?

            how far will he move his product across how many other properties? would he have to contract with hundreds of other property owners to gain permission?

            “Have you missed the entire discussion about royalty payments to private property owners for access to natural gas?”

            what does that have to do with moving the product to sell it?

            “In any case, you are trying to veer off topic again to save your sorry ass. The question is about private companies asking government for advantage over competitive bidders for a resource owned by another private company, not about how the product is physically moved.”

            really? your ownership of the gas means nothing if you cannot get it delivered to customers.. it means everything.

            “.oh, I’m totally on board with supply/demand but I also hear the discussions about industry and people being adversely affected when the price of energy goes up.”

            LOL!! Oh no, Larry, you are DEFINITELY not on board with supply and demand. You prove that over and over.

            nope. you are not onboard with how privately owned gas gets from your property to customers without having to go across property you do not own.

            ““nope.. there are real economic impacts that cannot be denied and as long as we do pay entitlements – that’s real also.”

            But that isn’t any part of this discussion about cronyism and property rights. ”

            really?

            “oh but they are…. sugar imports?”

            LOL!! Larry, you are a hoot! tariffs on sugar imports cause *higher prices* for a product. Your simplistic gas argument is that *higher prices* are a BAD thing and cost jobs, and that *lower prices* are a GOOD thing and add jobs. Why would you pick an example that defeats to your own argument in favor of restricting gas exports?

            sure they do.. my point is can govt affect commerce? Can they restrict it going or coming for whatever purposes?

            “it’s a finite resource. we cannot “produce more” on demand.”

            OMG, Larry! Have you somehow missed every single discussion about fracking, peak oil, drilling, gas, oil, North Dakota and the prices necessary to support production in various locations – as WELL as not understanding supply and demand? You just provided proof that you don’t understand it, by the way. ”

            huh? are you saying that resources are not finite?

            ” “that’s a matter of opinion. The industries that benefit from low gas prices won’t agree with you.”

            It’s not just an opinion, but in any case, opinion and self interest are not the same thing. ALMOST everyone (except you) – including those who work for chemical companies – understands that restricting demand will hold down prices for a while. That’s in their self interest.”

            almost everyone understands that higher prices primarily benefits those that are selling the product – at the expense of those who consume the product, including those that are in business and sell stuff that provides jobs. Prof Perry himself has blogged extensively about how the available of cheaper gas has created jobs, improved people’s lives, etc.

            “In my *opinion* gasoline prices are about what I would expect. In my *self interest* I want them to be lower. If I could get a government thug to go with me each time I bought gas and hold a gun to the station owners head demanding that he sell me gas at 50 cents/gal I would benefit. To hell with the rest of you. ”

            blah blah blah thug… coerce … how does that gas station owner get his fuel to sell? does he have to contract with a bunch of other property owners to get them to let it across their private property or does he also rely on the thug govt to provide him with the means to transport it to his station so he can sell it?

            “Of COURSE those, like Dow, who CAN buy a government thug wouldn’t agree with me.”

            oh.. I think govt thuggery is pretty rampant when people want the govt to save them the trouble of having to deal with a bunch of private land owners to get them to allow you to transport stuff over their property.

            ““no it’s not. you cannot necessarily increase supply of a finite resources just because the price beckons it.”

            Let’s look at the other side then: even you should understand that if demand is kept artificially low – perhaps by forbidding exports – prices will be low, and supply will DECREASE until prices rise to support those remaining producers. ”

            so how is it that fracking has exploded the supply and the price continues to drop/

            ““if you could actually do that.. oil/gas would ultimately be cheap as dirt”

            Only if it could be produced as cheaply as dirt. Why must we pay for compressed air when there’s a virtually infinite supply of it all around us? Why do we pay for bottled water when water is so abundant?

            Try thinking once in a while. You are truly amazing. ”

            if gas/oil were unlimited in supply – why pay someone for it much less a high price for it to start with?

            you could just buy a property and have your own, right?

            natural gas or oil on your own property does what good for you if you can’t go off of your own property without permission from other property owners.

            you libertarian types play both sides of the street on this.

            you take the govt “thuggery” that provides you with public roads and pipeline rights-of-ways – for granted.

            you just assume that a private property owner has the right to move products and/or engage in commerce across other property that you do not own.

            what’s the role of govt here, nimrod?

          • “<i.The dude is lost somewhere between Malthus and Keynes I think…”

            Hmm. Your opinion of Larry’s cognitive abilities is apparently higher than mine.

          • Re: opinions .. here .. on this blog from folks like Ron and JuanDoze? ah yes.. like zits on the forehead…

            ;-)

          • no problem Juandoze… no problem…guy

            just a couple of ignorant yahoos running amok as usual…

            did you boys ever say how you get “your” gas over properties you don’t own?

            coercive thug govt did you say? doesn’t sound very libertarian to me….

            you boys talk a big libertarian line but at the end of the day.. if you need to get your gas to market – you’re in favor of thug govt also, eh?

          • did you boys ever say how you get “your” gas over properties you don’t own?

            coercive thug govt did you say? doesn’t sound very libertarian to me“…

            Making it up as you go along now, eh larry g?

            You of course can’t find anything remotely like that in my comments or I’m guessing in ron h‘s comments…

            Give it a rest…

            Here you go larry g, some education for you so you can try to get your head right: Liberalism: A Basic Primer—Or, Why Leftism is Failure Incarnate

          • Juandoze fella… how would you get “your” natural gas to the export market? Did you bother to read the title of this thread?

            so do you support the govt using coercive thuggery to help those who produce natural gas to transport it over property they don’t own so they can export it?

            or are you one of those “liberals” who do support thug govt also?

          • so do you support the govt using coercive thuggery to help those who produce natural gas to transport it over property they don’t own so they can export it?“…

            Gosh larry g, “coercive thuggery“?!?!

            Revisionist history or just you pulling something out of your private library and coming up with this inane nonsense?

            How many times has the government used physical force or at least the threat of physical force to acquire an easement?

            Got any credible numbers for that?

            Have you been abused by the use of eminent domain larry g or is this just another one of your fairy tales heading for the stratospheric heights of hyperbole?

            Most of the news stories over the years that I’ve heard regarding the government’s abuse of the eminent domain laws is usually on a local level and is actually a reflection of the local voters making stupid choices of who they put into elective office…

            Its what happens when the electorate doesn’t do its collective homework regarding their choices for elective offices…

            Do some homework larry g

          • no.. it was/is a simple question Jundoze;

            do YOU SUPPORT the govt forcing property owners to allow other property owners to use their land to transport their stuff to market?

            do you support that action from the govt ?

            for instance, if someone has a gas well and need to get their product to market to export – as advocated in this thread by Prof Perry – do you support the govt forcing other landowners to allow the owner of the gas to transport that gas over their properties?

            simple question guy.

          • no.. it was/is a simple question Jundoze“…

            No spam boy, it was a truly stupid question and still is…

            for instance, if someone has a gas well and need to get their product to market to export – as advocated in this thread by Prof Perry – do you support the govt forcing other landowners to allow the owner of the gas to transport that gas over their properties?“…

            Stupid question asked by you before and already answered…

            Hence the reason I gave you a link to the Harvard Law Journal which you either didn’t bother with or couldn’t read…

          • Juandoze I don’t generally read your links because they are …usually .. irrelevant if not dumb.

            but you can answer this simple question without using links.

            do you support the govt forcing landowners to allow other landowners to use their property to move their product to market?

            yes or no. simple.

            bonus question: do you support the govt giving the right of eminent domain to pipeline companies?

            yes or no?

          • Juandoze I don’t generally read your links because they are …usually .. irrelevant if not dumb“…

            No doubt about it, you’re not merely dumb but a lying fool too…

            but you can answer this simple question without using links“…

            It was the answer, its not my fault you’re not smart enough to understand it…

            do you support the govt forcing landowners to allow other landowners to use their property to move their product to market?“…

            It depends on the situation, hence the links that you obviously either didn’t read or if read didn’t understand…

            Every situation is different…

            bonus question: do you support the govt giving the right of eminent domain to pipeline companies?“…

            Yet another idiot question that could’ve been solved if you had read the links…

            Local government (you know the government voted in by the local populace) for decades now has been granting right away easements for all sorts of utility companies, usually as far as I know private property owners are compensated at prevailing property values for such easements…

            I have no problem with it…

            Got anymore dumb questions, ask paul or ron h

          • Hmm. Your opinion of Larry’s cognitive abilities is apparently higher than mine“…

            Well ron h, I’m trying really hard to have a more christian attitude but sometime its just not working

          • Ahh, and here we have Larry pulling out all the stops and applying moronic drivel in a constant stream.

            how far will he move his product across how many other properties? would he have to contract with hundreds of other property owners to gain permission?

            We’ve already covered that. If you were to pull your head out of your ass you might realize that natural gas already travels from everywhere it comes out of the ground, to everywhere it’s needed in the US right now, so that’s not even an issue. You are becoming repetitive.

            what does that [royalty payments] have to do with moving the product to sell it?

            Didn’t you just ask how a gas producer gets his product from underneath and across private property he doesn’t own? Don’t you understand your own question, Larry? Holy shit!

            really? your ownership of the gas means nothing if you cannot get it delivered to customers.. it means everything.

            Yes – really. That’s the topic being discussed.

            nope. you are not onboard with how privately owned gas gets from your property to customers without having to go across property you do not own.

            How many times do you plan to mention this non-issue?

            really?

            Yes, really.

            Asking “really?” won’t sustain a discussion for long.

            .sure they do.. my point is can govt affect commerce? Can they restrict it going or coming for whatever purposes?

            No, that’s not your point at all. That just now came from your ass, and it’s pointless. What a gem! Obviously government can and does interfere with markets. No one has been discussing that. the question is whether government SHOULD interfere to favor one industry over another.

            huh? are you saying that resources are not finite?

            No, Larry, don’t go off topic here. I’m saying that despite your exposure to literally hundreds if not thousands of posts and comments on the subject at this blog, you don’t appear to have learned a thing about it. Truly astounding!

            almost everyone understands that higher prices primarily benefits those that are selling the product – at the expense of those who consume the product…

            Umm…No, Larry, it isn’t a zero sum game. Learn some economics.

            …including those that are in business and sell stuff that provides jobs. Prof Perry himself has blogged extensively about how the available of cheaper gas has created jobs, improved people’s lives, etc.

            Everyone benefits from lower prices that results from improvements in technology and lower costs to the producers. This is the whole point of Capitalism.

            “<i.blah blah blah thug… coerce … how does that gas station owner get his fuel to sell?

            As is expected, those minor distinctions are beyond your grasp, and you just go completely off the rails. Poor Larry. Nevermind, – I won't bother you further with such a difficult concept.

            "oh.. I think govt thuggery is pretty rampant when people want the govt to save them the trouble of having to deal with a bunch of private land owners to get them to allow you to transport stuff over their property.

            I agree. Government is force. Those who can buy it have an advantage over others. That’s why it’s in everyone’s best interest that government be restricted to a very few powers.

            so how is it that fracking has exploded the supply and the price continues to drop/

            The price doesn’t continue to drop, and some producers will drop out unless it rises, which it will do. Supply and demand, remember? Try to remember the words, even if you don’t understand the concept.

            if gas/oil were unlimited in supply – why pay someone for it much less a high price for it to start with?

            I asked you to try thinking, but as expected, you refused to do so.

            you could just buy a property and have your own, right?

            Of course. Gas and oil, as well as every other natural resource are free. The cost comes from having to get it from its natural state and location to a state and location that is useful to you, like in your gas tank.

            natural gas or oil on your own property does what good for you if you can’t go off of your own property without permission from other property owners.

            We’ve covered that at least three times, Larry, including in this very comment. Pay attention or quit wasting my time talking about it.

            you libertarian types play both sides of the street on this.

            Only to someone as easily confused and hard of thinking as you.

            you take the govt “thuggery” that provides you with public roads and pipeline rights-of-ways – for granted.

            Not at all. I’m completely opposed to government thuggery.

            you just assume that a private property owner has the right to move products and/or engage in commerce across other property that you do not own.

            Not at all, Larry. Libertarians are big-time defenders of private property rights and individual liberty. Are you unaware of that after all this time? There’s no hope for you.

            what’s the role of govt here, nimrod?

            The role of government, if there is a role, is to provide for national defense, protect property rights, and enforce contracts.

            Whack! Got that one. Oops, there he is over there! Whack! Wow. That Larry just keeps popping up off topic everywhere.

          • “how far will he move his product across how many other properties? would he have to contract with hundreds of other property owners to gain permission?”

            We’ve already covered that. If you were to pull your head out of your ass you might realize that natural gas already travels from everywhere it comes out of the ground, to everywhere it’s needed in the US right now, so that’s not even an issue. You are becoming repetitive.

            how did it get to that point? did that nasty coercive, thug govt have a hand in it?

            ““what does that [royalty payments] have to do with moving the product to sell it?”

            Didn’t you just ask how a gas producer gets his product from underneath and across private property he doesn’t own? Don’t you understand your own question, Larry? Holy shit! ”

            no.. no. royalities are what the producer pays to get to the product on a property. how does the producer then move that product to the markets?

            ““really? your ownership of the gas means nothing if you cannot get it delivered to customers.. it means everything.”

            Yes – really. That’s the topic being discussed.

            “nope. you are not onboard with how privately owned gas gets from your property to customers without having to go across property you do not own.”

            How many times do you plan to mention this non-issue? ”

            as many times as it takes for you to recognize that no product moves off of private property unless the govt is involved in acquiring or enabling acquiring the rights-of-ways …

            “No, that’s not your point at all. That just now came from your ass, and it’s pointless. What a gem! Obviously government can and does interfere with markets. No one has been discussing that. the question is whether government SHOULD interfere to favor one industry over another.”

            you can’t move your product across other properties without the help of govt. try that in countries where there is no rule of law and no govt to protect property rights.

            ““huh? are you saying that resources are not finite?”

            No, Larry, don’t go off topic here. I’m saying that despite your exposure to literally hundreds if not thousands of posts and comments on the subject at this blog, you don’t appear to have learned a thing about it. Truly astounding!”

            really? are you really much an idiot? yes!

            ““almost everyone understands that higher prices primarily benefits those that are selling the product – at the expense of those who consume the product…”

            Umm…No, Larry, it isn’t a zero sum game. Learn some economics. ”

            you’ll have to talk to WSJ and others who cry a river when energy prices kill business and jobs…

            ““…including those that are in business and sell stuff that provides jobs. Prof Perry himself has blogged extensively about how the available of cheaper gas has created jobs, improved people’s lives, etc.”

            Everyone benefits from lower prices that results from improvements in technology and lower costs to the producers. This is the whole point of Capitalism. ”

            but capitalism can also take jobs when energy prices go to top dollar..

            ““<i.blah blah blah thug… coerce … how does that gas station owner get his fuel to sell?

            As is expected, those minor distinctions are beyond your grasp, and you just go completely off the rails. Poor Larry. Nevermind, – I won't bother you further with such a difficult concept. "

            not minor distinctions – they are central to the idea of commerce. no govt = very difficult commerce.

            no public roads = no fuel stations.

            "oh.. I think govt thuggery is pretty rampant when people want the govt to save them the trouble of having to deal with a bunch of private land owners to get them to allow you to transport stuff over their property.”

            I agree. Government is force. Those who can buy it have an advantage over others. That’s why it’s in everyone’s best interest that government be restricted to a very few powers.

            govt force is how you can engage in commerce…moving your product from your property to where it can be sold.

            “so how is it that fracking has exploded the supply and the price continues to drop/”

            The price doesn’t continue to drop, and some producers will drop out unless it rises, which it will do. Supply and demand, remember? Try to remember the words, even if you don’t understand the concept.

            “if gas/oil were unlimited in supply – why pay someone for it much less a high price for it to start with?”

            I asked you to try thinking, but as expected, you refused to do so.

            oh STFU idiot.

            “you could just buy a property and have your own, right?”

            Of course. Gas and oil, as well as every other natural resource are free. The cost comes from having to get it from its natural state and location to a state and location that is useful to you, like in your gas tank."

            eureka! so HOW DO YOU DO THAT if you don't own the land beyond your own, fool?

            “natural gas or oil on your own property does what good for you if you can’t go off of your own property without permission from other property owners.”

            We’ve covered that at least three times, Larry, including in this very comment. Pay attention or quit wasting my time talking about it."

            you have not covered it – you have evaded it.

            “you libertarian types play both sides of the street on this.”

            Only to someone as easily confused and hard of thinking as you.

            really? answer the question … how do you get your product to the market if you don't own the land it needs to go over?

            “you take the govt “thuggery” that provides you with public roads and pipeline rights-of-ways – for granted.”

            Not at all. I’m completely opposed to government thuggery.

            no you're not.. you take it for granted when it provides you the things you need to sell your gas.

            “you just assume that a private property owner has the right to move products and/or engage in commerce across other property that you do not own.”

            Not at all, Larry. Libertarians are big-time defenders of private property rights and individual liberty. Are you unaware of that after all this time? There’s no hope for you.

            how do you move product over land you do not own?

            “what’s the role of govt here, nimrod?”

            The role of government, if there is a role, is to provide for national defense, protect property rights, and enforce contracts.

            how do you move product over land you do not own?

            Whack! Got that one. Oops, there he is over there! Whack! Wow. That Larry just keeps popping up off topic everywhere.

            how do you move product over land you do not own?

          • That Larry just keeps popping up off topic everywhere“…

            Yeah ron h life has got to suck when its a series of blind stumblings and staggerings from pointless point to pointless point…

          • Don’t you understand your own question, Larry?

            no.. no.

            Well thank you for at least being honest in this case.

            you can’t move your product across other properties without the help of govt. try that in countries where there is no rule of law and no govt to protect property rights.

            ““huh? are you saying that resources are not finite?”

            No, Larry, don’t go off topic here. I’m saying that despite your exposure to literally hundreds if not thousands of posts and comments on the subject at this blog, you don’t appear to have learned a thing about it. Truly astounding!”

            really? are you really much an idiot? yes!

            ““almost everyone understands that higher prices primarily benefits those that are selling the product – at the expense of those who consume the product…”

            Umm…No, Larry, it isn’t a zero sum game. Learn some economics. ”

            you’ll have to talk to WSJ and others who cry a river when energy prices kill business and jobs…

            ““…including those that are in business and sell stuff that provides jobs. Prof Perry himself has blogged extensively about how the available of cheaper gas has created jobs, improved people’s lives, etc.”

            Everyone benefits from lower prices that results from improvements in technology and lower costs to the producers. This is the whole point of Capitalism. ”

            but capitalism can also take jobs when energy prices go to top dollar..

            ““<i.blah blah blah thug… coerce … how does that gas station owner get his fuel to sell?

            As is expected, those minor distinctions are beyond your grasp, and you just go completely off the rails. Poor Larry. Nevermind, – I won't bother you further with such a difficult concept. "

            not minor distinctions – they are central to the idea of commerce. no govt = very difficult commerce.

            no public roads = no fuel stations.

            "oh.. I think govt thuggery is pretty rampant when people want the govt to save them the trouble of having to deal with a bunch of private land owners to get them to allow you to transport stuff over their property.”

            I agree. Government is force. Those who can buy it have an advantage over others. That’s why it’s in everyone’s best interest that government be restricted to a very few powers.

            "govt force is how you can engage in commerce…moving your product from your property to where it can be sold.

            Do you really not believe in property rights? Are you really OK with stealing property from others for your own use? If so then you really are the fascist little prick I’ve suspected you are.

            how do you get your product to the market if you don’t own the land it needs to go over?

            Larry, are you really this stupid? Do I have to do everything for you? Ask some one to google “gas pipeline right of way” for you, and then explain to you what they find.

          • how do you get your product to the market if you don’t own the land it needs to go over?”

            do you know what common carrier and certificate of public need are and why they exist and what they do and most importantly where they terms come from and what they actually represent in physical terms?

            answer the questions fool.

            how does a pipeline go over land not owned by the pipeline operator?

            maybe you might answer that question in between your little boy talk about “property rights”.

            this seems to be a big problem with some of you – even grandfathers… who ought to know better both in terms of the real world and how they conduct themselves in a discussion about same.

          • Larry, are you really this stupid? Do I have to do everything for you? Ask some one to google “gas pipeline right of way” for you, and then explain to you what they find“…

            Well ron h that’s today’s modern liberal apparently, constantly needing their reality spoon fed to them in small, predigested portions and then they still choke on them..

          • do you know what common carrier and certificate of public need are…

            LMAO!!

            Oh, Larry, please stop. My sides are hurting.

            Even after repeated suggestions that you get help with references, you still insist on trying to handle this big-boy job all by yourself, with the same, predictable, hilarious results.

            In order to help you along just a little bit, I’ll give you this part.

            Certificate of Public Need:

            A COPN is a certificate granted by the State of Virginia – State Health Commissioner to a healthcare facility when it has been determined by said commissioner that a plan to build a new facility, expand an existing facility, or combine existing facilities, meets a public need for the project.

            Of course this program provides major interference and distortions in the market for healthcare in Virginia, so It’s easy to understand why it would interest you, and meet with your approval.

            Is this what you wish to discuss now instead of government interference in the market for natural gas?

            Poor silly Larry.

          • do you support the govt forcing landowners to allow other landowners to use their property to move their product to market?

            bonus question: do you support the govt giving the right of eminent domain to pipeline companies?

            I see that you are still struggling with this same very basic concept after all this time, so I take it you don’t plan to get anyone to explain it to you.

            Very well, I’ve got a little time right now, so let me help you out.

            First of all, let’s make sure you understand the basics: There is probably no individual right more important than self-ownership, and therefore private property. All other rights derive from that simple concept.

            If there is ANY legitimate role for government, it is to protect the property rights of individuals.

            Are we clear so far?

            Therefore, it is antithetical to the role of government as a protector, to consider using force to TAKE private property from an individual for ANY REASON.

            Notice that covers many subjects, including eminent domain, taxation, and conscription into the armed forces, so, you can see that the answers to your questions above must unequivocally be no and no.

            Does that help?

            Now, as to your specific question about moving my product to market, you must understand that the scenario you painted is wildly unrealistic, as it couldn’t possible just spring into existence without any background .

            You wonder why people call you stupid, but consider the problems with what you’ve written. Only a stupid person wouldn’t see them immediately.

            First, consider that nobody owns private property completely surrounded by other private property so they have no access to it, so you need to consider how it is I got gas out of the ground on my property if there was no access.

            If I was able to to move equipment onto my property to extract gas, don’t you think I could move gas out the same way?

            Now, I expect at this point you will barf up some nonsense about “public roads”, but ownership of the roads is irrelevant. They will exist no matter who built them, or who owns them, as everyone wants access to their property.

            Public roads are paid for mostly by users, and available to everyone – even those of us with gas to transport. I don’t need to thank government for their presence, as I’ve paid for them, and continue to pay for their use.

            Do you want to take a break here to allow your little statist brain to cool down? I know that was a lot to consider in a short time, so just take a rest if you need to.

            Now, if you’re rested, we can go on. Just read slowly so you don’t get more confused than is normal for you.

            The other part of this – the pipeline question – has been pretty well dealt with in other comments, but we can review it briefly.

            If you take the trouble you can see that pipeline companies negotiate with hundreds of property owners around gas extraction sites for the right to run pipelines through their property. This is as it should be, and the property owners are mostly thrilled to get the extra money.

            While there exist some major pipelines that have been constructed by private companies using the force of government to steal the private property of others, we certainly can’t condone such criminal behavior.

            I can’t imagine what possible ethical argument could be made for allowing me to transport my gas across your property without your consent. Mutually beneficial voluntary agreements are to be preferred.

            Hopefully you have been able to absorb some small amount of that.

          • you did everything bug answer the question moron.

            you are a hypocrite and you know it.

            pipeline owners DO negotiate and then if they cannot reach a deal what happens next?

            as far as getting gas out of the ground moron. you can own the land or lease the land or pay royalties on a willing seller/willing buyer transaction. the govt cannot force you to sell your gas.

            but the govt can and does force people to allow others who want to transport gas – use or take their land and that’s basically the only way commerce can occur for virtually all commerce.

            In order for commerce to occur – there has to be rights of way – and those rights of ways are provided by the same govt you say is coercive and thuggish except in this case – it takes people’s property for other property owners.

            and you defend it.. here along with your usual name calling… for effect.

            you are pathetic. ideology is what you are about – not honesty.

          • but the govt can and does force people to allow others who want to transport gas – use or take their land and that’s basically the only way commerce can occur for virtually all commerce.

            In order for commerce to occur – there has to be rights of way – and those rights of ways are provided by the same govt you say is coercive and thuggish except in this case – it takes people’s property for other property owners.

            OMG, Larry, it was too much for your poor little fascist brain to handle. One might think you had posted your comment on the wrong thread. It seems you didn’t understand that at all. Please ask someone to read it to you and explain it.

            Are you really so ill-informed or ideologically twisted as to believe that government must steal from private individuals for the benefit of other private individuals? That’s pure fascism. Ask someone to explain fascism to you.

            There’s no hope for you Larry.

          • well Ron Moron – I think you failed boy. a big fail.

            you take for granted all the land that the govt took from people for roads and you refuse to acknowledge that right now pipelines take land from people and all you can blather about is that there “has to be some way to access your land”?

            not in your dumb Libertarian world, Ron… remember.. you’re supposed to respect other people’s property rights… except of course when you need to get to your land or transport the product on your land to the market.

            In your world the govt is fascist coercive thugs but you yourself rely on them to give you the things you want.

            it’s just total hypocrisy on your part.

            you’re anti-govt.. until you need them…then you pretend you don’t.

            remember – “it’s not YOUR gas”.

            that’s right… but what are you going to do with YOUR gas if you cannot get it to market without having to go over land you do not own?

            no answer from you.. just hand waving… that “that’s already been taken care of”.

            you’re a loser Ron… a libertarian one, but still a loser.

          • Whack!

            that’s right… but what are you going to do with YOUR gas if you cannot get it to market without having to go over land you do not own?

            Jesus Christ on a crutch, Larry! As much experience as I’ve had of you, it’s still hard to believe that you don’t get it and wish to keep be-clowning yourself in this disgraceful way. Get a clue!

            What will it take to make you understand that you’re asking a question about something that can’t exist.

            You’re not talking about expedience, or least expensive, or even common good. You are describing a situation that is impossible, and suggesting that the correct answer is for one person to steal another person’s property for their own benefit. don’t you realize how morally repulsive that is, and what a disgusting little fascist prick that makes you?

          • Ron -I’m not advocating – I’m pointing out realities.

            You drive on roads that are on land that was taken away from the original property owners. you benefit from that and so does all commerce.

            The vast majority of existing – and new pipelines rights-of-way were obtained by having land taken from the original property owner and give to the guy who had gas to sell or move to market.

            these are realities – and you benefit directly from them.

            I’m not sure how it’s practical to have roads and pipeline and power rights-of-way obtained ONLY through willing selling-willing buyer transactions.

            trans-canada has made it clear to property owner it is negotiating with that if they cannot reach agreement that trans-canada has the right to use eminent domain.

            where do you think they got that right from?

            so my original point was to agree that yes the gas does belong to you but the means to get it to market do not.

            and that directly affects the value of that gas.

            and there are others that have a role in determining the value of “your” gas – not just you.

            For instance, a property owner might demand a share of the profits – not just providing a fee-simple land transaction.

            now the justification for the big bad govt taking someone’s land and giving it to the gas owner is that the greater public interest is served.

            So I do think that the govt does have a say in whether the public interest is served by exporting that gas.

          • As much experience as I’ve had of you, it’s still hard to believe that you don’t get it and wish to keep be-clowning yourself in this disgraceful way. Get a clue!“…

            Well ron h I’ll offer up a W.A.G. that may play a part in larry g‘s inability to get a grip…

            I think larry g has some stumbling blocks in front him and these might be it: The Ten Pillars of Economic Wisdom

      • “Countries don’t compete, Larry, individuals and companies do – both domestically and globally.”

        Dow should be investing in natural gas/petroleum sources in the U.S. But…

        countries, through their enterprises, do compete.

        Sinopec has gotten a “sweetheart deal” from Chesapeake Energy for investing in Oklahoma Mississippi Shale.

        What’s Sinopec?

        Sinpopec is:

        ” … a state-owned company solely invested by the State, functioning as a state-authorized investment organization in which the state holds the controlling share.” Further, “The Group operates, manages and supervises state assets according to related laws, and shoulders the corresponding responsibility of maintaining and increasing the value of state assets.”

        Sinopec is positioning to become the world’s #1 “company”.

        • Cit B

          countries, through their enterprises, do compete.

          Sinopec has gotten a “sweetheart deal” from Chesapeake Energy for investing in Oklahoma Mississippi Shale.

          Yes, that’s correct if you define government=country. This is a common model for Chinese companies. It still involves a group of people acting together in common for the benefit of the owners, which, in this case supposedly includes 1.2 billion people.

          I would still prefer to say “Sinopec has gotten a sweetheart deal…” rather than “China has gotten a sweetheart deal…”

          If the Obama administration blocks nat gas exports we can say “The US has gained a competitive advantage over the US.”

        • Cit B: “Dow should be investing in natural gas/petroleum sources in the U.S. But…

          Why should they do that if they can force the people who are experts in that business to sell them gas at below market price? :)

        • really? seriously? somebody better tell our DOD folks in the Middle east… eh??”

          Well, there you go – as usual – off to another subject.

          Were you having difficulty following this discussion of markets and natural gas?

          • Larry! Slap! Slap! The topic is cronyism and exporting natural gas. Please try to focus. You’re babbling and drooling.

  2. Obama does not want a cleaner world or a richer America – Obama wants an America that struggles like the poorer countries of the world because America is evil and he wants America to suffer – as much pain as he can dish out in the time he has.

  3. I expect Dow Chemical to do whatever it takes (within the law) to increase its profits–it has real fiduciary obligations to shareholders to do so. It has no obligations to clean air, patriotism, or the putative advantages and great good of free trade.

    If Dow Chemical makes more money by selling America down the river, then that is what Dow Chemical will do. As a multi-national, I am sure Dow records profits in whatever country has the lowest tax rates. So be it; that is what they are supposed to do. They are amoral. Without ethics. They must only comply with law. We have the right to impose that.

    Why Dr. Perry expects Dow to follow anything but profits is mysterious to me.

    As for President Obama, he does have an obligation to follow a course in the national interest, in what results in greatest national prosperity.

    If exporting natural gas freely results in higher US living standards, then he should arrange that.

    • Politicians are for sale. Dow has lots of money. They would be stupid not to buy Obama when he offers himself.

      They would be doubly stupid not to buy Obama if, as you assert, Obama is uniquely blessed with the ability to know where goods should and shouldn’t be sold.

      • brotio: “They would be doubly stupid not to buy Obama if, as you assert, Obama is uniquely blessed with the ability to know where goods should and shouldn’t be sold.

        Obama doesn’t need to know. Dow will provide him with that information.

    • i think you are completely missing the argument here benji.

      no one is arguing that dow is not pursuing its own interests.

      the argument is that they are doing so by attempting to use the coercive power of government to do so and that americans as a whole will wind up worse off as a result.

      thus, we, the people, ought to oppose such a proposal and make sure that even if dow wants to do this, that they are not permitted to do so.

      by pointing out what they are tryign to do to us, mark is performing a service invaluable to a democracy – laying out the facts to allow for informed choice.

      i’m baffled that you do not see that for what it is.

      further, legal is not the same as ethical. if i try to pass a law that you are required to only buy your groceries from morgancorp, you could say “well, that’s just morgan seeking his own self interest” but you would be more correct in saying “hey, that guy is attempting to take away my liberty and self determination” which violates the basic tenets of a free society and the ethics that underpin it.

      you do not need to break the law to be a bad person and, contrary to your bizarre views about corporations being purely amoral and evil, that is not how the world works on either a personal or professional level. if you think it does, remind me not to do any business with you.

      • by pointing out what they are tryign to do to us, mark is performing a service invaluable to a democracy – laying out the facts to allow for informed choice.

        Hardly, he is only laying out the economic benefits, not the economic nor environmental costs.

        • marmico-

          no, you are just ignoring reality and the basic ethical argument about demanding that others surrender their liberty and property.

          • Ya, all the libertarian innumerate responses. The 2012 data is not available, but both the oil and gas extractive industries contributed 1.2% to 2011 value-added. Let`s say gas was half. Big deal. Chemicals and plastics contributed 2.2% of value added, almost 4 times.

            What a great job Mark did on the economic benefit-cost analysis. All he has done is back himself into the wedge between the rock and the hard place. On the one hand he regales about the shale gale and U.S. energy independence and on the other hand he fertilizes the on-shoring of domestic manufacturing. Personally, I don’t think the economics are a big deal. Dry natural gas dollar production is $85 billion annually at today`s well head price in a $16 trillion dollar economy.

            Now what about the environmental costs (externalities for the non-libertarian luddites), since there are no benefits.

          • morganovich: “marmico-

            no, you are just ignoring reality and the basic ethical argument about demanding that others surrender their liberty and property.

            And just in case there was any doubt, marmico responds, right on cue, with a supporting comment.

          • And just in case there was any doubt, marmico responds, right on cue, with a supporting comment.

            And just in case if there is any doubt Ron H. responds with stereotypical libertarian innumeracy and is counting the environmental costs of the toxicity of his liberty and property Love Canal. What a moron.

          • marmico-

            you are clearly one of these guys who is personally innumerate and tries to hide it by accusing others of being so.

            so, your contribution to us gdp and value added is tiny compared to that of your employer or the entire industry in which you work.

            so how about we require you to work for half as much and ban you from selling your labor to another employer or industry?

            hey, they are bigger than you are, so let’s benefit them! as one who makes such arguments about others, surely you will not complain and just earn less for the good of the big.

            and your comments about the size of value added are just absurd. so what? you are just proving your own innumeracy and economic illiteracy.

            if we take $1 out of one guy’s pocket and give it to anther, that’s not growth. you do realize that, right?

            for every $1 dow saves, the gas producer loses $1. it’s zero sum, and then, only in the short run. in the medium term, it’s negative sum as exploration will drop, production of gas will be lower, and price of gas will rise. you wind up destroying wealth and economic activity overall as the price for picking pockets.

            the numbers you are trotting out do not even relate to each other in a manner that has any bearing here. if chemicals have X in value add, so what? how much would price drop if gas dropped? how much of the cost is nat gas as a raw material?

            ron is correct. you are making the case against yourself with remarkable forcefulness.

          • translation:

            marmico has no argument.

            i mean, wow, what a towering display of insight, data, and and learning that was.

            what next? will you simply say “nuh uh?”

            that you for further supporting our point that you are not even capable of framing, much less understanding this issue.

          • marmico: “Love Canal

            While your poorly written comment doesn’t make sense, I will just guess that you’re calling up that typical statist bogie man “Love Canal” as an example of capitalism’s callousness and ignored externalities.

            If that’s really your intent, I’m glad you picked that particular item, as it’s a classic example of unwarranted hysteria and much to-do about nothing.

            Since that particular hysteria has cooled, actual study of the facts show that the only wrongdoing was on the part of the city of Niagara Falls, and that the entire fiasco was entirely overblown. A followup study by the New York Dept. of Health found no significant differences in death rates, cancer rates, or rates of birth defects between those living in the Love Canal zone and other, similar populations.

            There is now a great deal of factual information available on that subject, and you might want to educate yourself on the matter before you embarrass yourself again in the future.

            If your comment was about something else, please rewrite it for clarity.

      • Actually businesses ask government for protection all the time, consider the various posts on food trucks on this site, and how various rules tend to restrict them, a lot of which real restaurant owners asked for, such as spacing parking etc rules. Actually if you take the position against this then any use of the courts to enforce any agreement is asking for government interference in business, in that the courts will tell some business what to do. All be it in many cases the contract says so, but still you have brought the governments power into the situation. So where do you draw the line on business asking for government protection? The civil suit case above would have one business loosing to another over an interpretation of a contract, so one business looses property over it.

        • Actually if you take the position against this then any use of the courts to enforce any agreement is asking for government interference in business…

          No, Lyle, this is not at all the same as asking a government court to enforce an existing agreement. This is one company asking government to hold a gun to the head of another company to prevent them from selling their product to whoever they wish.

          • So some government intervention is fine and some is not. I was taking the argument against government interference to its extreme position, since that seems the be the current way to argue. (slippery slope and all the rest). Now of course in that case you might find a reversion to what business folks who can not use the courts do the gun (drug dealers can’t use the courts since what they do is illegal, so they shoot at each other, if they have a dispute or set up a private court system as la cosa nostra dis).

          • So some government intervention is fine and some is not.

            No, Lyle, NO government interference is warranted.

            In the case of a contract, all parties have already agreed to settle disputes by bringing them before an impartial provider of justice trusted by all parties. That could be a private arbitrator, a government court, the village shaman, or any other 3rd party dispenser of justice whose decisions the parties have agreed to abide by.

            Enforcement of that decision would then be up to an enforcement agency that all parties have also agreed to. That might be an extension of the government court.

            As far as I know, Dow has no exclusive contract with any gas provider to limit their gas sales to domestic users only, so this is nothing like a contract.

            Enforcement of contracts may be one of the very few legitimate roles for government. Providing favorable conditions for one party at the expense of another is not. Limiting who private companies may do business with is not.

            As to enforcement by gun, you are correct. Those who don’t follow government rules can’t expect government enforcement agencies to help them when they need it. They provide their own security and enforcement.

  4. Barack Obama does not want a richer America, he’s working overtime to prevent that from happening.

    Take a gander at the dismal January income numbers–the worst decline in 20 years.

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