Wednesday, August 17, 2005

William Buckley Wakes Up

I was bouncing around recently -- and I wish I could remember where I saw it, because it sounds like something Reason would have written about -- and noticed this William F. Buckley column about the prospect of oil rising to $100/barrel. Looking at Raymond Learsy's Over a Barrel: Breaking the Middle East Oil Cartel, he notes all the bad things likely to happen when (and I do mean, when) that threshold gets hit, includinging skyrocketing mortgage rates, economic malaise, and a whole host of other things he doesn't even get to, like the possibility of a military squelching of the Bolivarian Bozo, Hugo Chavez.

In response, like his once-upon-a-time libertarian-leaning magazine, the National Review (which he no longer has any influence upon), he goes all hard-government-nutcase on the situation, recommending ration cards and using the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to drop prices. This are, of course, the two dumbest things the government could do; the Reserve is for actual supply problems, not just to temporarily squeak the price of oil down a couple dollars a barrel for a week or so. Buckley in his dotage has gone as nutty as the neocons, who fancy themselves Wilsonian world-reconstructors. Like all such, he omits the fact that they have also failed in their quest, an armed version of the Underpants Gnomes:

  1. Take over Iraq.
  2. ??
  3. Peace in the Middle East!