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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Looniness on Domestic Oil Production, Will the Post Print Anything?

Looniness on Domestic Oil Production, Will the Post Print Anything?

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Friday, 22 April 2011 05:55

The Washington Post printed an oped column from Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski arguing for increased domestic oil production. The column directly confuses short-term economic weakness with the impact of long-term oil prices.

It cites Harvard professor and former AIG director Martin Feldstein as supporting the claim that "that if prices remain high, economic growth will languish." In fact, the quote from Feldstein explicitly refers to economic growth this year. There is nothing that the government can do that will in any significant way affect the amount of oil that the U.S. produces this year. Therefore, Feldstein's statement is irrelevant to the issue at hand.

As far as the longer term question, higher oil prices would have a modest impact in slowing growth in most economic forecasting models. However even large increases in domestic production would have little impact on world oil prices (the relevant variable) and therefore have little effect on economic growth. A serious newspaper would not have allowed a columnist to make such misleading assertions.

Comments (9)Add Comment
...
written by John Q, April 22, 2011 8:03
A serious newspaper would not have allowed a columnist to make such misleading assertions.


We all know that the Post (aka Fox on 15th) gave up any pretense of being a serious newspaper long ago.
...
written by cemmcs, April 22, 2011 8:39
It depends on what they are seriously trying to do. If they have an agenda to push...
Murkowski Understands Palin Oil
written by izzatzo, April 22, 2011 9:19
The column directly confuses short-term economic weakness with the impact of long-term oil prices.


Murkowski was simply trying to make the obvious Keynesian point that since we're all dead in the long run it pays to drill now for domestic oil - especially in ANWAR.

Alaskans could receive even more Palin socialist subsidies with more oil to be taxed for those still alive, so real oil prices would actually fall in terms of total income gained.
Ricardian Equivalence of Ideas
written by paul, April 22, 2011 9:39
The WaPo will definitely print anything that a Beltway insider wants to say because it believes in the Randian Free Marketplace of Ideas where everything is equally true on the principle of Ricardian Equivalence.

Thus, Ryan's budget plan is as valid as Obama's and Murkowski's plan to drill ANWR is as valid as BP's plan to drill the Gulf of Mexico.

The WaPo understands that in our existential world, truth has no meaning.
Gee, I thought ...
written by OJC, April 22, 2011 8:02
... that Senator M was laying the groundwork for public seizure of the American petroleum industry, from production to refining and maybe distribution. We can't have a foreign free market determining prices, can we?
...
written by bakho, April 23, 2011 9:20
WIll the Post Print anything?

No. Only dreck that supports the corporate agenda.
John Q.
written by Union Member, April 23, 2011 11:47
If we all know that the Post gave up any pretense of being a serious newspaper long ago, why is it on every ones front step in Washington DC every morning? And, do we all know that Washington is our Nations capitol? How many of those who work at the Pentagon read the Post? The lobbying firms?

Many if not most of those who know the real Fox News should not be taken seriously probably think it's funny, that it's amusing that all those fools believe that stuff but:" isn't that their right to tune-in if they choose." Yet why do we have so many "serious"complex problems- which only continue to worsen- Whose origen is in policy choices in our Nation's capitol.
Spelling and Punctuation
written by Union Member, April 23, 2011 12:20
Capital/Capitol: that's funny! The sleazy bond market is too influential too.
Oil prices
written by kaj, April 24, 2011 8:49
The oil prices are manipulated by drug-addled criminals on the NYMEX which is a front for the oil companies. The oil companies thusly imply that a "free" market with which they have nothing to do is determining the oil prices, when in fact, nothing can be farther from the truth. Lisa M won in Alaska, because, big oil does not trust Sarah Palin.

Destroying some of the most beautiful landscape and the species on this planet is not going to lower oil prices. What is gong to do it is escalating margin requirements from today's 5-10% to 30% in one week, 40% in another two weeks and 50% in another couple weeks without exemption for the big investment banks like Goldman, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, etc. But Obama's FTC chief is from Goldman and has no stomach for that as does this god-awful President who gets his money from the big banks and health insurance companies. Obama is the most awful Democrat-President since 1980. Also, let us not forget Reagan's role in opening up oil to commodities trading.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.

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