The Cartel that Kills Freedom

As Arizonans and Americans start to tense over the most prolonged elevation of gas prices in recent memory, few pundits have analyzed the effect of OPEC upon this formula. In an election year each political circle looks to find blame in the other without addressing the primary cause – the blind engagement of OPEC by the West. In most circles it is a forgone conclusion, regardless of party, that the stability of OPEC is somehow in American interests. Yet, the cooperation of American and western governments in facilitating a power structure of OPEC which allows them to artificially and externally set oil prices rather than have prices be a natural by-product of a global economy is counterintuitive to every principle of free markets. Jeff Taylor from Cato made this very point exceedingly clear in his column here. Our international economic policy needs to catch up with our forward military foreign policy in Iraq. Some, excluding myself, understandably believed that support of OPEC may have been necessary during the Cold War as we fought a greater global enemy in the Soviets. However, now in the 21st century, as we move to dismantle terror networks and the nations that create them, the deconstruction of the international facilitation of cartels like OPEC will be a major factor in the destabilization of despotic Arab autocracies and monarchies. The disappearance of OPEC will remove the artificial setting of prices upon a free market for oil. With an unfettered free market for oil the cartel becomes impotent. Their oil prices and thus our gas prices drop. Our economy flourishes while their regimes go bankrupt, disappear and are replaced by republics modeled after a free Iraq – but this time without a single occupation. Many have repeatedly stated that the way to lasting freedom in the Middle East will be only through the infusion of freer markets. How about starting with their oil sales? This column originally appeared online at the Arizona Republic at this link.

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