Good morning readers. Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.
The neighbor up the hill drove down to sit awhile yesterday evening. We discovered once again, as we have before, there are areas where we’re rigid enough in our certainties so’s there’s no room for civil discourse. We found two of those more quickly than it takes to tell it. One involved multi-national corporations.
Neighbor: Sure. They’re shipping jobs and industry overseas because labor, costs of production are cheaper.
Me: That’s what I’m saying. They’re indifferent to the well being of US workers, the US economy.
Neighbor: It’s still jobs. Still people working, making a living. Africa, South America. They’re all people.
Me: Yeah, they’re people. But why should a guy in Minnesota trying to scratch out a living favor losing it so’s someone in Asia can have a job?
Neighbor: He can buy products cheaper.
Me: He can’t buy products at any price if he doesn’t have a job. Part of the job of his government is to make sure his job stays inside the country.
Neighbor, clamping jaw: We aren’t going to talk about this. You and I see it differently.
Then, a few minutes later:
Neighbor: They want to build a pipeline to bring oil from Canada to the Texas coast. Damned environmentalists are protesting, keeping them from it.
Me: So why don’t they refine it up there. Canada, northern US?
Neighbor: No shipping ports.
Me: What they need shipping ports for? Nobody in Canada, Minnesota needs gasoline? Cities don’t need hydrocarbons to produce electricity?
Neighbor: They need to sell it overseas. It’s all about money. They can get better prices selling it to China or somewhere.
Me: Who needs to sell it overseas? The people living on the land they’d take by government mandate to put in a pipeline? The people in the US who’d be heating their houses and running their cars on the gasoline if it’s refined close to where it comes out of the ground? Who?
Neighbor, getting up: Sorry I brought it up.
Luckily, neither the neighbor, nor I, depend on any sort of agreement between ourselves. Neither has anything invested in the opinion of the other. And whatever we might think about it, that oil’s going to arrive where the people who burn it pay the highest price. The Canadian sands producing oil belong to people who might be anywhere, but who own stock in a company who bought the mineral rights. They want the most dividends so they can buy more stock and get more dividends.