Friday, August 27, 2010

Example 597 of why big corporations are not advocates of smaller government

Matt Purple has written an article for the American Spectator that provides a classic illustration of the dangers presented by the concentration of power in the hands of those who build their careers at the crossroads of business and politics. The context? Government-supported ethanol production.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute's Tim Carney dug up a study by scientist Marcelo Dias de Oliveira. Oliveira looked at ethanol's broader environmental picture -- its ecological footprint, if you will. Between the land destroyed by crop planting, the water consumed, and the resultant air pollution, Oliveira found that ethanol does more damage than good to the environment.

This is the sort of cockamamie policy that crony capitalism produces. Currently the government spends $6 billion per year on subsidies for a fuel that isn't environmentally friendly and caused a global spasm of starvation.
Amusing sidebar: When my father, Old Paco, was a revenooer, chasing bootleggers in the mountains of North Carolina, he captured one noted moonshinist, who was subsequently convicted and sent to jail. Old Paco ran into him many years later, and, to his unending amusement, found out that the fellow had been granted a permit by the yankee government to produce ethanol. Whether any of it actually made its way into a fuel tank somewhere was something about which the “retired” whiskey maker was smilingly reticent.

7 comments:

SwampWoman said...

My relatives were all moonshiners. If there WERE a revenuer in the family, it would be spoken about in whispers behind closed doors. Sort of like havin' a Yankee in the family.

TimT said...

One of the things Bob Katter wants for his electorate from whichever Labor/Liberal government he goes into power with. Looking forward to it, not.

Paco said...

Swampie: Old Paco was born in a dry county, in the foothills of the Uwharrie mountains; the stuff was not made in any significant quantities until you got up into the Appalachians. Now, if he had been born in, say, North Wilkesboro and become a guv'mint man, that would, indeed, have made him a black sheep. Uncle Jesse, on the other hand, had a small still which, just like Snuffy Smith, he kept in a hen house. He got caught and did some time.

JeffS said...

Yeah, the ethanol "business" is a scam. Not including the damage "gasahol" does to older and 2 stroke engines.

Heh -- I've sometimes wondered how many of the basement "gasahol" producers were legit. Not many, I'm sure.

RebeccaH said...

But... but... but... GLOBAL WARMING!!!

Sometimes I think I'll throw up if I hear those words one more time.

My great-uncle Zeke used to make his own "hooch" from the fruit trees in his back yard. He also buried his money in mason jars back there.

prairiecat55kc said...

Got moonshiners & rum-runners in my ancestry, too. I once heard someone talking about a family member who used the back-roads ways (if you've ever been to my part of the country, it's MOSTLY back-roads), avoiding the border crossing, to run liquor over the Canadian border. This was after they'd moved West from the hills of Tennessee, West Virginia, and Ohio.

I know a few folks who make shine to this day, though if any relatives do so, I'm not aware of that.

Anonymous said...

Which brings us all back to Popcorn Sutton. Everything always does....

http://reason.com/blog/2009/03/19/a-likker-legends-last-fu