False Choice

Consider the kerfuffle involving corm farmer subsidies in the form of ethanol mandates and the required use of ethanol by oil refiners as they produce vehicle fuels.  The argument is being presented as a choice forced on President Donald Trump in that he “must choose” between the corn farmers and the oil companies as the kerfuffle is solved.

Oil refineries want out of a costly requirement to blend ethanol into the gasoline they produce. Corn growers say the requirement diversifies the US fuel supply, and insist Mr Trump fulfill promises to at least hold the ethanol mandate.

This is wrong, because the choice is irrelevant.  What’s good for our economy is to get government to stop distorting the market and let producers and consumers decide for themselves what they want.  The situation as it stands elevates the cost of gasoline for wholly social engineering causes having nothing to do with free choices, it elevates the cost of automobile maintenance, and it elevates the cost of food—all for reasons having nothing to do with free choices and wholly for the sake of the social engineering demands of one group.

Trump needs to get rid of the ethanol mandate.  If there’s a market for ethanol in fuel, folks will buy it.  If the non-economic argument for ethanol additives truly is valid, let the social engineers make the case for it in the public square and show why folks should pay higher prices for the additives.

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