Ethanol: An Excellent Case of How the Rich Get Richer

The rich in the United States are getting richer. We're not Rome yet, but we're heading in that direction in a lot of ways, and particularly with regard to the growing divide between rich and poor. The ethanol scam is a perfect example of how that divide most often gets wider--with the help of government.

When the richer get richer by theft, they should be punished, even if government helped them in their highway robbery. And those government shysters should at least be voted out of town on a rail.

The ethanol people never really did have as their primary goal to save the planet. Their primary intended consequence was to get filthy rich--which they have now done. Congress wasn't out to save the planet either. They may have been out to look good, but their primary goal was to buy votes.

It goes like this--dream up a scary scenario, then provide a "solution" for the concocted problem. Then, before too many people find out about the scam, make millions of dollars perpetuating it. Finally, after all those people do find out about it, claim that the consequences were unintended. Ummm......

Those consequences (causing food shortages while "saving the planet") may have indeed been unintended. Because as far as those consequences are concerned, there were no intentions at all. They never thought--or cared--that deeply. The only sure intentions of congress, Archer Daniels Midland, and the ethanol good-ole-boy network was to make the government complicit in fleecing you.

Robert Tracinski of The Intellectual Activist (subscription required) is now calling out Congress and their ethanol partners in crime:
This recognition of the so-called Law of Unintended Consequences [is] coming from the mouths of everyone [involved in the scam]...The problem is that "unintended consequences" are being invoked in this case by people who have never before expressed such skepticism about the power of government—and who are not likely to do so again.

Congress is not shocked to discover that an idealistic program has gone awry. Instead, they're eager to avoid the blame for something that they already knew they were up to.

By mandating that oil companies include ethanol in their gasoline, and by spending tens of billons to subsidize its production, Congress certainly knew that it was creating a vast new demand for corn and supplying vast sums of money to pay for it. And they knew and hoped that this would drive up the price of corn and the profits of Midwestern farmers.

It's not convincing for Congress to claim that its purpose was to replace oil with a cheaper alternative, because a cheaper alternative would be able to compete on its own merits and would not require government support. Cheaper goods don't need to be subsidized.
That's it. It's as simple as that. Call it whatever you will--man made global warming, climate change, radical Islam, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, or whatever.

One thing is becoming more clear. The scam continues. For ethanol subsidies, these people knew all about it--inside and outside of congress. These rich people should be investigated and punished.


  1. Kevin at y-intercept claims that the Left's love of ethanol would have continued had not their Bush hatred gotten in the way. When GWB also got on the ethanol bandwagon, he says, the Left felt compelled to oppose it.

    Kevin is a conservationalist. He writes, "If hating Bush gets people to conserve or invest in alternative fuels, then I must concede that the hatred has had a positive effect."

  2. I'm sorry, I just can't afford to "Save the Planet". I'm just glad I clicked on the e85 Learn more link on Dodge's website and learned what a scam it was. After all, this Flexfuel is more expensive and has a lower energy content than real gas. Thus spending more money to fuel up and getting lower gas mileage. With solutions like this, who needs problems.

  3. Reach,

    Y intercept is probably correct. I hope you agree with me that his idea that hatred of Bush can have a positive effect is a strange idea.

    R & J,

    When I came back from Iraq I was so stoked to buy an e85 vehicle. I'm glad I didn't.

    The issue that is compelling to me right now is natural-gas-powered vehicles. I'm hearing that not only is it cheaper, but that natural gas has more torque for a vehicle than gasoline.

  4. While I can appreciate the concept that Bush Derangement Syndrome might have led folks on the Left to turn against ethanol, I don't agree that this means that rabid Bush hatred is a good thing.

  5. The green movement is not new. It is full of very naive and idealistic people that are easily manipulated by governments and corporations. Vladimir Lenin called them "useful idiots". All a politician or corporation has to do is create a media scare. release a bogus study and the greenies clime on it like flies on poop. Protests are organized and politicians are given the excuse to push through laws to fix the "problem". If the problem goes awry the politicians can claim they were only acting in the countries best interest. Meanwhile the real people pulling the strings behind the scenes become filthy rich. The greenies think they have saved the world but they have only made life harder for the rest of us.

    The Ethonol scam should be a warning and a clarion call against an even greater scam of "global warming" or "climate change". The ironic part is the greenies claim the oil companies are behind what they call the "deniers" but don't you think for one minute that the oil companies are not in fact pushing the global warming scam behind the scenes. They are making out like bandits and we are all paying for it big time.

    This time next year I would say a gallon of gas will be well over $5 per gallon. Once it goes up to $10 our way of life is basically over and the greenies that pushed for it will be just as much in the poor house as the rest of us while the rich will laugh all the way to the bank.


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