About $333 billion exited the United States in 2007 due to the purchase of oil, according to Scahill, illustrating the high cost of importing foreign energy. Biofuel is produced and sold in the United States -- which keeps money from those transactions circulating inside the U.S. economy.Yes, old fashioned mercantilist thinking. And the unavoidable logical implication is that every country will be better off if it produced everything it needed for itself.
Surely, if every country would be better off if it was wholly self-sufficient, so would each state in the U.S. And if each state is, surely each county would be. And if each county would be, surely each municipality would be. And if each municipality would be, surely each family would be. In other words, I should start growing my own biodiesel--after all roughly $2,000 per year exits my household economy.
It may be objected that I'm making false analogies, that a family is not like a country. But both Adam Smith and Frederic Bastiat thought that, in economic matters, they were alike. And more to the point, I'd challenge anyone to make a compelling argument explaining at which of those political boundaries the economic logic changes from trade to self-sufficiency.