UPDATED: “Are We Running Out of Resources?” Hell, No!

Barack Obama,Economy,Energy,Environmentalism & Animal Rights,Free Markets


Most “resources” in nature are useless lumps of nothing. If not for man’s ingenuity, iron, aluminum, coal and oil would lie purposeless and pristine in the wildernesses; the matter and energy abundant on earth would come to naught. The ability to discover and transform natural resources into usable goods, and continue to develop “resource-enhancing and sustaining technologies,” is, after all, unique to man. At least to some men.

Watch this wonderful YouTube clip courtesy of economist Steve Horwitz, who demonstrates that, provided we allow profits and prices to serve as the street signs of the economy, we will not run out of resources. If only the “brilliant” Barack Obama, who keeps looking for ways to curtail production, would watch with you (or, at least, read Henry Hazllit’s Economics In One Lesson, which even BHO could grasp):

And this from “THE GOODS ON GAS”:

Purchasing patterns drive prices up or down. Through their “competitive bidding” people raise the price of a commodity. In an unhampered market, rising prices would have signaled to established oil companies and other entrepreneurs and investors that there are profits to be made in the industry.
Absent legislative barriers to exploration, enterprising capitalists would have defied central planners and turned from tinkering with ethanol to drilling for—and refining—oil. Forecasted profits would guarantee accelerated production. Had Exxon and the others been allowed to satisfy their only overlords, consumers, they’d have long since increased the production of oil. Increased supply would have brought down prices—and profits, eventually.
The much–maligned price system works not only to secure supply but to conserve. The price system—rising prices in this case—signals to consumers to adjust their consumption. …

UPDATE: Hybrid hypocrites. Yes, “State-sponsored ‘sexy’ technologies in the West have decidedly ugly outcomes for worker bees in the East. The Copenhagen Crowd’s cravings must be sated, but not by despoiling California, if you know what I mean. Enter the Chinese worker. Read “NIMBYs: Not-In-My-Backyard Environmentalists” for what’s involved in the screwy, skewed Prius production line.

As for the gaseous Bill O’s Theory of Oil, which Bob below alludes to by way of the reference to the cartel: Purchasing patterns drive prices up or down. The particular price of fuel, concomitantly, is determined by supply and demand. The general trend of price increases is a consequence of government-generated inflation. I understand that Bill O’Reilly believes otherwise, but the natural laws of economics cannot be suspended, not even by “Bill O.”

8 thoughts on “UPDATED: “Are We Running Out of Resources?” Hell, No!

  1. Steve Hogan

    Free markets are never used but always blamed. Until enough people are willing to educate themselves about the market and its price system, the robber class will get away with its schemes.

  2. Nick

    I take issue with the refrain that consumers are the “overlords” (bosses, more commonly) of a business. Basic economics tells us that no one is the boss in capitalism because every person pursues their own desires.

    Thus, no transaction may take place- whether it be punching a time card or buying gas- unless both parties prefer it to the perceived opportunity cost.

  3. Robert Glisson

    Economist Steve Horwitz explains something that most of us already understand. However, there is one point that we also need to look at. He stated that as the price of oil goes up, the oil companies find more oil. True, but in actuality, we have inflation. A barrel of oil that cost 10 dollars a barrel in 1925, costs 100 dollars today, but with inflation and deflation of the money supply over one hundred years; ten dollars in 1925 has the same value of 100 dollars today. Therefore the more things change, the more they stay the same but reserves improve. Economics is fun.

  4. irongalt

    There is one resource we are running out of…rare earth elements (Neodymium, Samarium, Praseodymium, Cerium, Lanthanum) because of the green cult (and green legislation)…the Prius using over seven pounds in its motor’s magnets and metal hydride batteries, and the stupid windmills using tons each as well.

    Without these elements we wouldn’t have hard drives, MRI machines, oil refinery catalysts, fluorescent lights, X-ray machines, and televisions.

    This would not be happening in the free market because the free market naturally shuns unprofitable technologies like these.

    Government will be the final fall of mankind.

  5. Bob Harrison

    Are we running out of resources? No. Are we running out of the willingness to utilize them? Possibly.
    High quality, easily refined oil is unfortunately increasingly concentrated in the hands of OPEC petro-thugs but the high oil price has spurred development of alternate technologies (pioneered by the South Africans during economic sanctions) that can turn coal or natural gas into diesel fuel. Of course, these technologies do not reduce our “carbon footprint” and require violating dear mother Gaia so we will probably outlaw them to the extreme pleasure of the Saudis.

  6. Roy Bleckert

    There is probably enough oil under Ca for the next 500 years

    But the Gov. & the ecofreaks have made darn sure you can not get it outta the ground & even if you did you could not refine it into a usable product

    Start with Pat Brown continue thru Jerry edition 1 & 2

    The Brown’s ain’t po folk & their fortune might be in Oil ? from overseas ?

    Most don’t know history … so they are doomed to repeat it

    Follow the money & political Trail


  7. james huggins

    What is there to say? America has plenty of oil, plenty of natural gas, plenty of coal etc. Our corrupt political leaders are more than willing to sell the country down the river for a big donation. Some of those jugheads even seem to believe this “green” claptrap about “mother earth”. What a bad joke. This is the 21st century. I believe that industry can exploit available resources right here in the US and still leave the area able to grow flowers. We can all make money, go back to a decent standard of living, strip the Arabs and South American communists of the dagger they hold at our throats while allowing science to actually develop alternative sources of energy that actually work. Big windmills? What a monument to stupidity. I thought I would advance the idea of building millions of little treadmills and letting hamsters and guinea pigs supply our power, but decided not to because this is just the kind of lunacy that the “intellectual” community would buy.

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