==> Some of you may have heard of the ethanol “blend wall.” In brief, the US government is literally requiring gasoline refiners to do contradictory things: One regulation insists they make the gas content higher than 10 percent ethanol, while another regulation forbids them from doing so. My colleague Mary Hutzler was the lead author in this blog post on the issue, which gives you all the background. Then in this shorter piece, I dug up a graph showing how much gasoline exports have risen in the last few years. (One of the consequences of the absurd regulations is that US refiners now have an incentive to ship gasoline out of the country, driving up prices domestically above what the world price of crude would warrant.)
==> The bookish von Pepe sends this Glasner post on Hayek vs. Hawtrey. I loved this quote from Hayek: “[W]hat Mr. Hawtrey, in common with many other English economists…lacks is an adequate basic theory of the factors which affect [the] capitalistic structure of production.” Although I must also appreciate the zinger Hawtrey delivered:
The result has been to make Dr. Hayek’s work so difficult and obscure that it is impossible to understand his little book of 112 pages except at the cost of many hours of hard work. And at the end we are left with the impression, not only that this is not a necessary consequence of the difficulty of the subject, but that he himself has been led by so ill-chosen a method of analysis to conclusions which he would hardly have accepted if given a more straightforward form of expression.
==> I loved this quote from Don Boudreaux, who was criticizing a Jonah Goldberg column:
In what universe is a human being, one called “president of the United States,” who cannot be trusted to spend other people’s money wisely – who is held to be rash and irresponsible when pushing legislation to extend health-insurance coverage – who is regarded as arrogant and ignorant for his support of greater government regulation of financial markets – who is accused of being a dangerous social engineer when he launches schemes to redistribute wealth – who is exposed as a typical, high-on-hubris, popularity-grabbing politician who never lets his incomprehension of matters soothe his itch to tax, spend, and issue diktats all in ways that conservatives correctly understand to be destructive – in what universe is such a person to be trusted and saluted as Our Protector and as a paragon of prudence whenever he turns his attention to deploying military force?
Like conservatives, I look with deep suspicion upon any politician who exercises authority to spend other people’s money, to regulate wages, or to plan a ‘green’ economy. Unlike too many conservatives, however, I look with even deeper suspicion upon any politician who exercises authority to kill.