Employment: Why “government spending” should be shelved in favor of encouraging private investment
In macro terms its really fairly simple. We have always come out of busts with booms. Wondering what the next boom is going to be and how to help it launch itself is where government should be looking and trying to act – not at deficit funding government make work projects and future energy schemes still some decades from reality.
For instance – a little look into the not to distant future and a scenario that would help us in both the balance of trade and employment, arenas (the latter almost immediately).
But also, we will help to satisfy burgeoning demand for petroleum in Asia, South America and Africa. Yes, the US is an oil importer. But if we import less, that will help to satisfy world demand just as much as if a new exporter appeared on the market. If we import a billion barrels a year (2.74 million barrels a day) less, at current prices that works out to $100 billion off of our huge trade deficit. This could also be a huge engine of job growth. We now have about 2,000 rigs drilling, and more are being added all the time. For each rig there are the roughnecks, the service companies, the drilling pipe and casing producers, the local service providers, etc. It is big business, and growing fast.
Fortunately, we have lots of places to drill, in various shale formations around the country. (It’s not “shale oil” in the classic sense, better to call it, “shale associated oil”). For those who think that Yankee ingenuity is a thing of the past, just look at our oil and gas industry. It serves as a powerful testament to the power of the free enterprise system that a great many people chipping away at the same problem can come up with creative new ways of extracting oil from the earth that a centralized government program of oil production would never (and has never) originated. You don’t see these new drilling techniques coming from Russia, which is still sadly statist in its efforts to exploit natural resources.
We have the resources, we could be exploiting them now (relatively speaking) and have them benefit our economy while we do the pie-in-the-sky energy research the Democrats think is the panacea to all our problems. I’ve never understood their insistence on ‘either/or’ in that regard. Why can’t we do both simultaneously – which seems both logical and would help do exactly what they claim they want – employ Americans.
Timothy Siegel’s point about innovation is well taken as well. One of the reasons we’re moving past the peak oil predictions of the past is because of innovation from private oil companies that is allowing them to extract harder to reach and exploit oil and gas at a reasonable price. We, as a nation, should be encouraging that instead of doing everything in our power to cripple such innovation.
Instead we get solutions like those below from the left. Government should spend money when one of the greatest engines for economic revival is left sitting at idle while the administration figures out how to get more sugar in its gas tank.
It’s freakin’ nuts.