Trade Among The States

We support free trade.  Everyone should but some folks think it is a problem to buy stuff from other countries.  It is not.  It makes us all richer.  People who oppose free trade, like The Donald, are pretty silly.  We had not, until today, found anyone who thought that trade among the states of the US was a problem.  That person is Dave Skoloda writing in the La Crosse Tribune.  Dave says and we are not making this up:

By one estimate, because we have to ship in almost all our fossil fuels, our energy deficit amounts to some $14.4 billion per year in the cost of importing coal and petroleum products.

That’s money that could benefit the state economy if power could come from in-state sources, according to a report by the Center on Wisconsin Strategy, a UW-Madison-based think tank. Wisconsin has one of the worst energy deficits of all the states, according to the COWS report.

Eeekkk!  People in Wisconsin buy stuff from other states?  Of course it will not help the Wisconsin economy to pay extra for Wisconsin based energy.  An no, we should not care about our energy deficit or our avocado deficit or our cheese surplus.  We might have a frat sand surplus but that has controversy surrounding it. [Check the picture.  The chairperson doesn’t look like a Tiffany.]  Of course, you know what Dave wants to do.  He wants money and regulations from the state for his friends  It is crony capitalism although we are hard pressed to understand why folks use capitalism in the phrase to describe such behavior.  Dave says:

The growing evidence that renewable energy production makes economic and environmental sense begs the question why the Legislature doesn’t wake up and devote some energy to spurring the transition with such things as higher goals for renewables and incentives for electric cars.

If it made economic sense it wouldn’t require an act of the legislature to create it.  Dave wants to charge the citizens of Wisconsin more for less reliable energy and spend their tax dollars to benefit his friends.  We have a much better idea. Let’s sell sand (and milk etc.) to other states and buy their gas (and avocados etc).

Sidebar: Eeekk!  The avocados might come from Mexico rather than New Mexico.  We have no problem with Wisconsin prospering along with Mexico.  You may but surely you have no problem with Wisconsin and North Dakota prospering together.  Do you? We have rewritten many parts of this to make it way less sarcastic.  This is the best we can do on this topic.  End Sidebar.

Both states will be better off.  Dave has a really bad idea but to be fair it is even a worse rationale.  We need to think up a name for an award for ideas like Dave’s.


Jones Act And Trade-offs

Recently we recommended elimination of the Jones Act.  Now George Will has made the same recommendation at NRO in more detail.  It seems that great minds often roll together.  You need to be convinced about George Will?  Kyle Smith at the NRO Corner says George has pellucid prose.  He also has a book you might be interested in.  Oh, it is MWG’s classification that you are worried about.  You have a point.

You should read all of George’s article to understand the problems with the Jones Act.  We are not convinced that Mike Lee’s frontal attack on the Jones Act will be successful.  We support Mike hope he is successful  but we think that some politics might be necessary.  We still like a modest carbon tax, elimination of the gas tax, elimination of the Jones Act, and a player (or two) to be named later.

There are two questions: First can the two sides negotiate in good faith or is the political atmosphere too polluted for a deal.  Second, what is a trade that both sides would accept?  We think even a modest carbon tax is a high priority for the left.  We think a modest carbon tax would be acceptable to the right if some enticements were offered.  We could be wrong twice.