“Round like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel, ever spinning…”
So the song says, which is what I think of when the same central planning failures are repeated over and over again through the course of human history. Liberal fantasies refuse to be vanquished, no matter how many economic and cultural calamities they cause.
The latest statist buffoonery comes to us from Argentina, where the President is proposing to nationalize the largest oil company there as retribution for a spike in oil and gas imports.
BUENOS AIRES — Blaming a lack of investment in domestic energy production for a spike in oil and gas imports, Argentina President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner sent a proposal to congress Thursday to nationalize a majority interest in YPF, the country’s largest oil company. <source>
Once the government owns a majority interest in the company, it will presumably force it to perform the “right” kinds of behavior.
If you are a Liberal reading this, by now you are thinking “Right on! Own that shit and make it invest the way we want it to!“. The question for you is, can you connect the dots and consider what led to the current situation in the first place? Let’s see…
…industry analysts point to Fernandez’s populist fuel price controls and consumer subsidies as reasons for the production decline. By forcing producers to charge customers less than market prices for gasoline, diesel and gas, she makes them loath to spend millions of dollars in drilling for new reservoirs…
Ah ha, so she imposed price controls — meaning caps of course — on energy prices, forcing domestic producers to lose money and making new investments a guaranteed losing proposition.
So here we have the Liberal mind in all its glory:
- Step 1: Impose price caps on oil and has products to save the citizens from expensive energy
- Step 2: Feel righteous about making things right for the PEOPLE!
- Step 3: Watch supply and demand become massively distorted by the price controls: artificially low prices increase demand, while suppliers lose money on inventories and also lose their incentives to invest in future supply (because the price at which they are allowed to sell it domestically is being kept artificially low)
- Step 4: Complain about domestic oil companies — “They aren’t investing enough!”
- Step 5: Demonize domestic oil companies
- Step 6: Nationalize domestic oil companies and fix the “problem”
- Step 7: Fail to realize that you, the malevolent statist bureaucratic hack, directly caused the problem in the first place, and your destructive actions now will only cause further degradation and economic loss for your country and its citizens
- Step 8: Persist in your happy oblivion and run for re-election as your country is increasingly in ruins
Bravo, Liberals, you really know how to repeat a mistake. How many people will you make suffer? How many people will your naive and good intentions kill?
Has the Argentine President muzzled her opposition? Apparently not, thank god. Opposition senator Maria Eugenia Estenssoro is apparently calling the proposed action a “rape” of the oil company, and also is reminding everyone of the
…2008 sale of a large stake in the energy company to a close ally of the president “who didn’t put up any money.”
The echoes of Chairman Mao’s great leap forward continue to be heard, in Argentina, in Venezuela, and in the Obama administration. But why shouldn’t such people try to emulate the Great Man, who inadvertently starved 40 million people to death through the collectivization of agriculture?