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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Sacrificing Our Children to the 'Corn God'

I think John Stossel is Great! In this article (along with a video piece on 20/20 and a interview on ABC news), Stossel shows us how ethanol is not the save all to our energy problems. Stossel splits the article into 2 major parts: the subsidy and the science.

But if ethanol made so much sense, we wouldn't have to subsidize it or mandate its consumption. Jerry Taylor of the Cato Institute said, "If you can make a profit in this economy by putting something on the market, the government doesn't need to put a gun to your head." The "gun to your head" is the reference to governments coercive power in regards to collecting taxes and then giving those revenues to the subsidy. So, actually we wind up paying a higher price for ethanol- once in taxes for the subsidy, and then once at the pump.

Stossel then talks to the politician:

When I interviewed Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana, he griped that "we have allowed our dependency on imported petroleum to grow and grow and grow -- that's not healthy for our country."
I asked Bayh, "But isn't the ethanol program robbing Peter to pay Paul -- with all of us being the Peters and the corn producers being the Pauls?"

"You're currently being robbed to pay sheiks in the Middle East," said Bayh. "Doesn't it make more sense to have Middle Western farms producing America's fuel?"

I'm pretty sure we do not pay a subsidy to sheiks in the middle east. I have the option now of choosing which country (through various filling stations) I get my gas- it is a choice I make. I could, if I choose, to not even buy gas (say if I biked and used public transportation). But with the subsidy, I am forced to pay taxes which in turn are used for the subsidy.

The politician does not see the market here, he just sees votes and staying in power. It should be obvious to all who the bootleggers and the Baptists are.

Even if we do not use ethanol in our cars, we still pay the subsidy. I want to note, along with this thought, that we are going to see a higher price in food as well, due to the high price of corn- and the subsidy still continues.

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