Look closer. Think harder. Choose the sound argument over the clever one.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

War for Oil

Instapundit ponders OPEC's super-majority of dictatorships...

Of the top 14 oil exporters, only one is a well-established liberal democracy — Norway. Two others have recently made a transition to democracy — Mexico and Nigeria. Iraq is trying to follow in their footsteps. That's it. Every other major oil exporter is a dictatorship — and the run-up in oil prices has been a tremendous boon to them. ...

Of course, if we seized the Saudi and Iranian oil fields and ran the pumps full speed, oil prices would plummet, dictators would be broke, and poor nations would benefit from cheap energy. But we'd be called imperialist oppressors, then.

UPDATE: Various people (with various degrees of enthusiasm) see the above as a call for invasion. It was, rather, a comment on the vacuity of the "imperialist oppressors" language. Though I was probably wrong there anyway: If we really were imperialist oppressors, the critics would be sucking up.

But just to troll a bit more, I do think that seizing Saudi and Iranian oil would be entirely morally justifiable on terms usually approved of by the left: They didn't earn it, they inherited it (it's like the Estate Tax writ large!). They're extracting huge profits for fatcats at the expense of the poor. They're racist, sexist, homophobic theocrats! (Literally!) Surely if it's ever permissible to redistibute wealth by force, this is the case. Right?

Zing! Read it all.

The lynch mob hounds oil companies, which get a relatively small cut, and actually work for it. OPEC, a monopoly, is blatantly illegal by US anti-trust laws, but gets a free pass.

He mentions Dilbert's Scott Adams' similar thought-experiment. Also a must-read.

Ken Cohen, VP of Public Affairs for ExxonMobil: "we need to do a better job about explaining to people just how we go about making out money and that we earned it." He must have read this post!


(Please keep in mind that each commenter's opinions are only his/her own.)

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