Thank God George Bush Supports Ethanol...

... because that may make it easier for the Democrats to summon the political will to kill ethanol subsidies, though don't hold your breath.  Certainly, though, the NYT, after years of cheerleading ethanol, may finally be coming around:

Congress must take a hard look at the effect of corn ethanol on food
supplies in the same way the new energy bill requires it to review the
environmental effects. It must move toward ending subsidies that will
become even more difficult to justify as oil prices rise and the costs
of producing corn ethanol decline. And it must press other wealthy
countries to do the same before hunger turns to mass starvation.

Via Tom Nelson

By the way, these problems with ethanol we are experiencing today were are inevitable as night follows day, yet we still had to blunder into it before we started questioning the economics.  The power of political correctness to trump science and logic is amazing.

  • The Dirty Mac

    Ethanol seems to be the topic of conversation these days. I would say that its about time that someone becasem critical of the ethanol miracle. Be that as it may, I have heard no criticism of the basic tenet of central planning - which of course what drives the subsidy machine.

  • The Dirty Mac

    Ethanol seems to be the topic of conversation these days. I would say that its about time that someone becasem critical of the ethanol miracle. Be that as it may, I have heard no criticism of the basic tenet of central planning - which of course what drives the subsidy machine.

  • http://www.hodakvalue.com/blog M. Hodak

    Economics, like other kinds of knowledge, is a funny thing--if you weren't taught it, you don't know it.

    As far as I can tell, economics is not a core course in any high school in the country, public or private. Trigonometry is. Chemistry is. English literature is. Like we use those every day. Like trig problems appear in the newspaper every day. Like chemistry solutions are routinely proposed in presidential debates. Like English lit has a daily impact on the choices we make.

    Don't get me wrong, I think those are all terrific subjects. I'm glad I had the opportunity to study each of them. But compared to the value of knowing economics, it isn't even close. But we don't teach econ to high school students. We are taught that unfettered capitalism was the cause of the Great Depression, and that FDR pulled us out of it with his New Deal. Crap like that.

  • Craig

    Just another problem with liberal government schools. That's why Hillary Clinton can make a commercial claiming she can fix the economy, and anyone actually takes it seriously.

  • Jody

    M. Hodak, economics was a core course at my highschool (Farragut, TN 94). Your larger point that people are economically illiterate stands, however.

  • Reformed Republican

    Even if economics was a core class for high school, it would probably promote Keynesian economics as the answer to everything. The end result would not be much better.

  • Dan

    Good thought - I never had economics in high school, and only took it as an elective in college. I think it should be mandatory. As far as I know, the trigonometry class I took had no practical effect on my life. And although I enjoy literature and think kids should be exposed to it, they also need to be exposed to a subject (economics) at the heart of most questions in society.

    As for Hillary Clinton (or George W. Bush) saying they can fix the economy, it's a lot of hokum. It's also hokum to say that Reagan fixed the economy in the 1980s. A huge glut of cheap oil (the same glut that helped finish off the Soviet Union) came to our economy's rescue back then.

  • foxmarks

    If we're going to teach econ, we'll need econ teachers who understand economics. If teachers understood economics they would get better-paying jobs rather than whining about how valuable and yet under-appreciated they are. It might be similar to churches hiring pastors to preach heresy.

    Keynesian teachers are not really teachers, they're just indoctrinators. Kind of like the stereotype of creationists. Sure, there's something called Keynesian economics, but it doesn't have the weight of science behind it. And worse, Keynes offered no insight into individual choice-making, which is probably the most practical and beneficial aspect of high school econ.

  • TripAZ

    I must have been lucky. Our HS had mandatory ECON class, and the number one principle that was taught was "TANSTAAFL".

  • Mark

    Did you not know that Hillary is "going to stand up to those DAMN OPEC nations!!!!" What type of idiot shouts such statements out loud in public and gets away without being completely heckeled out of the room.

  • Steve

    Now that the subsidies are flowing....ethanol will never go away. Agribusiness makes donations to congress-critters, and congress-critters in turn ensure that agribusiness gets a dump truck load of taxpayer cash on a regular basis. And thus, the great circle of life continues.

  • Barrett

    Honestly, I'm not sure which is more to blame, Pragmatism or economic ignorance. Probably both.

  • HTRN

    Ethanol has always had obscene subsidies, it's just that until recently, there wasn't a whole helluva lot of demand for the stuff. Sky high oil prices, combined with the elimination of MTBE from gasoline and replaced with Ethanol, and finally, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 brought it all to the front burner.

    As for why all the politicians at the federal level love heaping money on it I would like to point out three things:
    1)Ethanol is almost Exclusively made from Corn in the US.
    2)Iowa is a huge corn growing state.
    3)The Iowa Caucus is before every primary in the US, and has a HUGE influence on Federal elections.

    Do the Math.