Monday, October 26, 2009
Putting to rest a too vigorous bird
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
The call for “energy security” emanating from the United States is dripping with unseemly protectionism. Never mind the predictable union soothers in the left - there is an extremely troubling fissure between supposed “market economy” politicians and their energy policy rhetoric. Wrapped in the hysteria of global terrorism and environmentalism, calls for energy security are a bold rebuke of free trade. Worse, they are a call for the most dangerous form of taxation – high energy costs. Economic growth, in the context of the energy policies being paraded in America, will be handicapped severely.
Americans intuitively understand the importance of cheap energy. They are the first to wave a flag of protest when the price of gasoline rises enough to impinge on their driving habits. However, they are not fully aware of the way in which cheap energy lubricates the wealth creation wheel. Just as under-developed economies are crippled by high energy costs, industrial and service economies depend and thrive on access to cheap energy. Many American jobs will disappear long before any alternative “eco-friendly” energy sources reach the necessary economy of scale. Current cap-and-trade proposals will undoubtedly prove this if they are enacted.
Even more damaging for energy consumers is the inflationary consequences of the profligate monetary policy debasing the U.S. dollar. If we look at the Gold/Oil Ratio since 1971 the average is 15. Currently, the ratio is 19, rising considerably from a low of 7 last summer. This tells us clearly that something is rotten in the state of the dollar.
So what about energy security? Americans should consider where they actually get most – almost all - of their energy imports. Look no further than next door – in Canada, Mexico, and Venezuela. Leaving the Marxist state of Venezuela aside for now, the resources in North America are considerable, and fuel billions of dollars of trade in energy products for Canada and Mexico.
The governments of North America should strive for an integrated energy policy that maximizes the plentiful reserves in situ. Yes, the price of crude oil is determined by global demand, but the North American energy market can be self sufficient with coordinated action. Look to energy states and provinces like Alaska, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland to lead the way. It is in everyone's interest to bring reliable and secure supplies to America. And these supplies are in North America. Let’s work together!
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
President Calderon may not be politically open to US intervention in the border regions, but an argument is there to permit it.
Monday, February 23, 2009
While the coalition forces gear up for an overdue offensive against the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Mexican drug cartel should be another human rights initiative that demands a swift and decisive military action. U.S. and Mexican authorities should co-ordinate a return to lawfulness in districts where peace and security are lost to criminals. We need a war on drugs military surge.
Of course, there should be a real debate about the alternative approaches put forward by the former presidents of Mexico, Columbia, and Brazil, among others; but until there is security in Latin America there can be no substantial political progress toward tapping the economic potential of North America. The forces of globalization could have our hemisphere relying increasingly on each other - especially if relations with China falter. It's best we take care of our own family here on this continent. An answer to the drug problem is needed in Mexico. And it is needed in America.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
The more politicians own up to these facts with their constituents, the more policy will move toward greater integration. Canadians should take the first step forward to be sure that they don't, in trade retaliation, bite the hand that feeds them. It is important that the Canadian government take the high road and work toward unilateral removal of trade barriers should the U.S. regress toward an unfortunate period of protectionism. Self-interest and common sense will prevail.
Friday, January 30, 2009
This is an opportunity for the new U.S. administration to show its commitment to free trade. It is also an opportunity to recognize the inextricable trade relationships Canada and Mexico have with America. Of course, its failure to do so will only make the economic lesson that much more difficult. This could turn into a trade war if proper leadership does not direct these issues. Let's see what kind of vision President Obama has. Regrettably, he has given free-traders and free-marketers little reason to be optimistic.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Industry needs stability of exchange rates. The North American economy - if it is to achieve higher levels of integration - needs currency stability. Working on currency issues in the current economic climate may not seem politically feasible, but it may be more palatable now than at the top of a business cycle. There are solutions to the current economic challenges facing the United States and Canada (and Mexico) that are institutional. These are solutions that are "outside the box", and have immense potential to reshape the economies of the nations of North America. The challenge from the global economy will force us to turn to our neighbours. Now would be a good time to sound a bell. Let's hear more about currency union.