Sunday, June 10, 2007

Prices Have Jobs?

A frothy bit of market romanticism from Andrew Coyne, Canada's premier metaphor mangler:

Prices are the remorseless regulators of a market economy, incorruptible and inescapable, with a reach that the most totalitarian-minded gauleiter could only envy. And they work: where prices are left to do their job, shortages are unknown. We have enlisted them to good effect against scarcity, so much so that we are hardly even aware of it. Why will we not do the same for global warming?

Good Lord, how wonderful! If my wife found out about prices, she'd dump me and marry them! She'd be particularly impressed by the fact that prices work, whereas I like to sit around the house all day in my underwear and watch television. But can they make her laugh and sing? That's the question. They seem like a pretty grim bunch.

(PS. Weird that Conservatives lean so heavily on economic theory in their discussions of climate science, constantly appealing to ghostly invisible hands and invoking reified abstractions that, though they cannot be percieved by our mortal senses, apparently walk among us, watch over us, and guide our every decision)


Ti-Guy said...

Andrew Coyne inhabits a world where consumers are as sensible as he is.

Not making a judgment about the man one way or the other, just pointing out one of the conditions of laissez faire that has to be established for it to work.

The other major one is of course the quality of information available to the consumer. Free marketers never address that. With good reason; it makes sense that the bulk of consumers should remain in a state of ignorance or confusion as to how most products and services, priced within the range of the average consumer are deficient in responding to the need they've been conceived to meet, even when it's a real need, and not one that has been simply fabricated.

BlastFurnace said...

Prices are the remorseless regulators of a market economy, incorruptible and inescapable, with a reach that the most totalitarian-minded gauleiter could only envy.

"Gauleiter" was the title given to the Governor of a state or district during the Nazi era. Surely Coyne could have used a more appropriate analogy than that.

Ding-Dong Kyoto's dead said...

"The other major one is of course the quality of information available to the consumer. Free marketers never address that"

oh yes we do . . . its the explanation for Kyoto, global warming hysteria, the sky is falling, we are all going to die et al.

Good public relations & propaganda usually trumps science, at least in the short term.

JimBobby said...

"Good public relations & propaganda usually trumps science, at least in the short term."

The short term's over, now. GWB an' King Steve were able to use their propaganda machines for several years but the public finally saw through their obfuscation and they were forced to admit the science. The US even had an official policy to strip any mention of global warming and/or climate change from any reports funded by government.

The propaganda machine can only operate for so long before an educated public realizes that the emperor has no clothes.


Ding-Dong Kyoto's dead said...

wooo hoooo

Kyoto exits (stage Left)
James Lewis
Kyoto is dead. You didn't read about it in the paper, but like the famous Dead Parrot sketch in Monty Python, it's a goner.

The G-8 leaders of the biggest economies in the world just proclaimed a "compromise": George W. Bush would accept that climate change is a possible problem, and all the Europeans would change the Kyoto target from 2012 to 2050! The National Post of Canada writes:

"The Kyoto accord will survive as a rallying point for environmentalists. But as a relevant policy instrument, it effectively died this week at a seaside German resort.

If nothing else, the G8 agreement on climate change put an end to the aggressive push by one-note environmentalists --- such as Al Gore and Stephane Dion --- to impoverish Western economies by insisting they meet arbitrary emission targets by 2012. From now on, international leaders will be looking for bigger cuts than those mandated under Kyoto, but within more workable deadlines -- 50% by 2050 being one benchmark under discussion."

Well, a lot is bound to change between now and 2050. For one thing, we'll have much better science. And a lot better technology. And China and India will be major economic powers. Europe's "screw America" attitude will certainly change, because Europe changes all its attitudes every couple of decades.

So Kyoto is a goner. Aussgepufft, you might call it. And good riddance, because it was a terrible idea, based on insecure science and speculative models, leading to a vast and self-destructive allocation of enormous economic resources to a ghostly globalist fantasies of doom. It was a terrible idea that would have wreaked permanent damage, just to empower the transnational elites.

In fact, the whole dialogue is beginning to sound like Monty Python.

Reality: "Look, matey, I know a dead parrot when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now."

Green elites: "No no he's not dead, he's, he's restin'! Remarkable bird, the Norwegian Blue, idn'it, ay? Beautiful plumage!"

Reality: "The plumage don't enter into it. It's stone dead."

Greens: "Nononono, no, no! 'E's resting!"

Reality: "All right then, if he's restin', I'll wake him up! (shouting at the cage) 'Ello, Mister Polly Parrot! I've got a lovely fresh cuttle fish for you if you show..."


The mainstream media will be late with the real news, as usual. But give them a couple of months to change their story line, and they'll have to talk up the G-8 "compromise" as real progress for the world.

And then they'll have to find another eco-scare. What'll it be? Bird flu? Flesh-eating bacteria? Attack of the Killer Tomatoes?

Nope, those have been done. Check your local theaters for the next eco attack.

bigcitylib said...

Kyoto 2 is coming right up, ding-dong.

Mark Francis said...

Ironically, ignoring global warming is to ignore true costs, which deflates prices. It's like arguing that the price of something is separate from the interest rate of the credit card you used to buy the thing. And, oh yes, you never bother to pay the interest off...

Ti-Guy said...

Boy, the ding-a-ling never gives up, does he? Too bad the righties didn't realise sooner that the ding-a-lings were more a liability than an asset.

Too bad. Too late now to for a purge.

Oldschool said...

Everything we see today is a result of "Free Market Economy" . . . can you imagine if "the government" had invented the computer . . . . Microsoft would resemble Cdn Healthcare . . .

Kyoto will never repeat itself . . . based on faulty "Computer Models", psydo-science and outright false data. Remember Hanson's 3 or 4 debgree temp increase by today . . . like where is it???

Why are there no debates???
Why do you all continue to buy and drive cars if you are so concerned about the future?
Why do we move many thousands of people from temperate climates to northern countries?
Why do we build thousands of homes and business in this country if the problem is real???

Explain how the 4% of total CO2 contibuted by human activity is a problem??? Volcanoes, oceans, decay and animals contribute 95% of total CO2 . . . . why don't we stop volcanoes, or eliminate all the animals???

Why don't believers present the facts, have an intelectual debate with real climate scientists??
But the preachers of GW . . . Gore, Suzuki run like London bombers when they are challenged to a debate. You are all supposed to just believe!!!!

Anyone remember 1933 . . . when the NY Times was telling us it was GW that was causing the drought???
Then in 1975 . . . . Newsweek, Time and other told us we only had 10 years left . . . we were having an Ice Age . . . this nonsense goes round and round . . . its all about the money . . . the science is not settled . . . science is never settled . . .

JimBobby said...

Oldschool, the answer to all them "why" questions is money. Houses are built to make money. Cars are manufactured to make money. In 1933, demand for cheap beef caused over grazing which created the man-made Dust Bowl.

Money's a big motivator. Here in my neck o' the woods we got a buncha tobacco farmers. Back around 1965, teh US Surgeon General released a definitive report that cigarette smoking causes cancer. Like AGW deniers, tobacco companies and tobacco farmers continued to deny the science.

Since the 1960's, hundreds of thousands of people died and continue to die from smoking-related illnesses. Billions have been drained from the economyin lost productivity and the medical fight against tobacco-induced cancer. Yet, as recently as 7 or 8 years ago, a tobacco farmer told me to my face that "the jury's still out on tobacco." This wasn't just the uninformed opinion of a single farmer. It was the position of the Tobacco Growers Marketing Board and tobacco industry lobbyists.

Vested interests manipulate public opinion. Big oil, like big tobacco, uses the very same tactics to shape opinion.

Wise up. Don't let big oil fool you like big tobacco did.


Anonymous said...

ding dong... a journalist, referring to Deceivin Stephen as a blue eyed parrot (parroting Bush)

...a parrot is only a good as the person he mimics.... How true.