ERIC Number: ED258856
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: N/A
Are We Running Out of Everything? Series on Public Issues No. 1.
Maurice, S. Charles; Smithson, Charles W.
In the introduction to this booklet, one of a series intended to apply economic principles to major social and political issues of the day, it is pointed out that despite the predictions of "doom merchants," the world did not run out of oil in the 1970's, and in fact, is experiencing an oil glut in the 1980's. It is then argued that freely functioning markets with people acting in their own self-interest have eliminated shortages of oil. By looking at the oil crisis of the 1970's and earlier shortages in resources such as timber, whale oil, and flint, it is possible to see the operation of a free market system acting to use abundant resources and conserve scarce ones. Thus, this system will continue to act by encouraging individuals to conserve resources or seek new solutions whenever new shortages appear. In conclusion, it is argued that where difficulties have arisen, whether it be the oil crisis of the 1970's or the fall of the Roman Empire, the causes may be found in attempts by government to stifle the free enterprise system. It is then emphasized that the best that government can do is not to become involved in attempts to regulate the use of natural resources. (LH)
Descriptors: Capitalism, Conservation (Environment), Controversial Issues (Course Content), Decision Making, Depleted Resources, Economics, Economics Education, Federal Regulation, Government Role, History, Instructional Materials, Natural Resources, Public Policy, Secondary Education
Public Issues, Center for Free Enterprise, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843 ($2.00).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A