22 novembro 2012

Petróleo e vantagem comparativa

Your Nov. 13 editorial "Saudi America" notes that the U.S. has the "opportunity" to "surpass Saudi Arabia as the world's largest oil producer as early as 2020."

By this comparative-advantage ignoring of logic, the U.S. similarly has the "opportunity" to surpass Guatemala in the growing of bananas, Japan in television-set manufacturing and Italy in the design of luxury leather shoes.

Of course, none of the previously mentioned scenarios will reveal themselves, and they won't because our import of all three gives us time to pursue other work that is far more profitable.

Oil is no different, so while investors should be free to fund any activity deemed worthy, including pursuit of "scarce" oil only made to appear that way by a weak dollar, plentiful oil reserves within these 50 states do not on their own recommend a headlong rush into energy exploration.

In truth, low profit margins in the energy sector probably recommend the opposite, whereby we import crude, not to mention that it's far easier for politicians to tax energy profits, as this editorial page has plainly told readers for years and years.

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