Monday, June 21, 2010

More on The Jones Act

Wall Street Journal -- President Obama has repeatedly said his Administration is doing everything in its power to expedite the oil clean-up and mitigate the damage. But in the two weeks immediately after the spill, 13 foreign governments reached out and offered their assistance. The U.S. response? Thanks, but no thanks.  Blame it on the protectionist Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also called the Jones Act, that requires ships working in U.S. waters to be built, operated and owned by Americans.


Michael Barone -- And what about the decision not to waive the Jones Act, which bars foreign-flag vessels from coming to the aid of the gulf cleanup? The Bush administration promptly waived it after Katrina in 2005. The Obama administration hasn't and claims unconvincingly that, gee, there aren't really any foreign vessels that could help. The more plausible explanation is that this is a sop to the maritime unions, part of the union movement that gave Obama and other Democrats $400 million in the 2008 campaign cycle. It's the Chicago way: dance with the girl that brung ya.

32 Comments:

At 6/21/2010 9:01 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Well now I think the WSJ and Mr. Barone are trying to harsh Obama's mellow...

I mean the man's busy with his pals trying to spend this country into socialist oblivion while at the sametime trying to get in some much needed relaxation...

 
At 6/21/2010 10:15 AM, Anonymous spencer said...

Neither one of your sources cite a single example of the Jones Act preventing foreign ships from helping in the clean up.

The Jones act bans foreign ships from moving US goods from one port to another. It does not ban foreign ships from operating in
US waters.

According to Rebecca Mowbray,of the Times-Picayune Coast Guard Admiral Allen said. "Nobody has come to me for a Jones Act waiver yet, but I am prepared to consider that."


According to Ken Wells, president of the Offshore Marine Services Association, says the "Jones Act does not apply to the situation. Foreign vessels are already working at the accident site, and foreign skimming vessels are allowed to work, even close to shore".

Can you show a specific example of the Jones Act preventing a foreign ship from helping in the clean up?

 
At 6/21/2010 10:29 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Apparently the angry keynesian and Obama apologist can't seem to use google or yahoo to help himself out here: "Neither one of your sources cite a single example of the Jones Act preventing foreign ships from helping in the clean up"...

Well first & foremost neither the WSJ or Mr. Barone expect people to be totally ignorant of the terms being used in their respective commentaries...

So let Cornell Law help you out: MERCHANT MARINE ACT, 1920...

Mind the links now, they're quite informative...

 
At 6/21/2010 11:05 AM, Anonymous gettingrational said...

Five days after the spillage into the Gulf the Dutch Oil Response Team offered their expertise. The U.S. has finally offered a waiver of EPA rules to allow the Dutch Sweeping Arm System to help. The system includes pumping seawater with some oil remaining back into the Gulf, which violates EPA rules. The residual left on the ships is huge amounts of oil captured. The biggest tankers in the world, regardless of registry, should be the recipients of the Sweeping Arm System oil.

 
At 6/21/2010 11:29 AM, Blogger QT said...

There have been numerous offers of international help and some accepted. Interetingly, booms from Canada were accepted June 4. One would think such an offer would be accepted PDQ given that the oil spill happened in the end of April.

Just as an onlooker, it appears that the Obama administration has been quick to play the politics of blame and not very impressive at getting the job done.

 
At 6/21/2010 3:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Friday report by reporters Matthew Lee and Eileen Sullivan indicates that there is a serious shortage of critical thinking skills over at the Associated Press, or a serious desire to run interference for the Obama administration no matter how ignorant doing so makes the wire service's reporters appear.

Lee and Sullivan try to excuse the State Department's inaction on the vast majority of roughly 60 specific offers of assistance from over twenty nations, many of which go back to late April and early May (detailed in a 4-page State Dept. PDF here), because almost all of the offers are being made with an expectation that the costs of such assistance will be reimbursed.

NewsBusters

 
At 6/21/2010 3:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't expect me to believe EPA is preventing the use of any clean up system, just because it isn;t 100% efficient, do you?

I once knew Thad Allen and I expect that if he thought something needed done, he would get it done. That said, his quote seems equivocal: it doesn't say much. Maybe he got quieter and more political as an Admiral.

Leaving Obama bashing aside, what is the truth here: are foreign vessels now helping out or not?

If not is it REALLY because of the Jones act, EPA and general government malfeasance, or is it just time distance and money?

 
At 6/21/2010 4:53 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

juandos said: - "I mean the man's busy with his pals trying to spend this country into socialist oblivion [link] while at the sametime trying to get in some much needed relaxation..."

Abandon Keynesian economics! What a great idea. Not likely to happen, though, as it calls for lots of government intervention in the economy. A Very popular idea with elitists and rent seekers everywhere.

In this excellent book Henry Hazlitt takes apart Keynes General Theory pretty much line by line, exposing the fallacies and frequent contradictions it contains.

 
At 6/21/2010 5:06 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

QT said: - "Just as an onlooker, it appears that the Obama administration has been quick to play the politics of blame and not very impressive at getting the job done.

This observation could be applied to every action the Obama administration has taken since inauguration. That, and the constant paybacks to the unions who so generously supported his campaign.

 
At 6/21/2010 5:41 PM, Anonymous grant said...

RON H:
Maynard Keynes was the world renowned economist of his time.

Henry Hazlitt never reached any where his level of reputation.Because he wasn't on his level.

Keynes and Friedman should be linked where they belong together as "GREATS"in any time.

 
At 6/21/2010 6:28 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

grant the Keynes worshiper said: - "Maynard Keynes was the world renowned economist of his time.

Henry Hazlitt never reached any where his level of reputation.Because he wasn't on his level.


grant, all I can say is read the book I linked to, then tell me you still believe as you do now.

Being popular doesn't equate to being correct.

One of the main sources of Keynes' popularity is his idea that a free market can't possibly operate on it's own without a firm guiding hand from wise government.

You can imagine how popular this idea is with the political class and those who think they know what is best for all of us, and know better than each of us how our money should be spent.

Ask yourself why, historically, recessions in the US were relatively mild when the economy was pretty much allowed to correct itself with little or no government interference. Then came the 1930s, when government, following Keynes teachings, massively intervened, causing the worst economic conditions ever seen in this country. Conditions that persisted until after the end of WWII.

 
At 6/21/2010 7:07 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Maynard Keynes was the world renowned economist of his time"...

O.K. grant what clique of clowns handed down this alledged renown on this socialist and morally repulsive individual?

 
At 6/21/2010 11:39 PM, Anonymous grant said...

Juandos:
Yes you are right he was a homosexual he had a permanent male partner for years and he was morally repulsive.
But if you disregard that and look at history and his recommendations of how problems should be solved had his course been followed history would have turned out differently.
For example when discussions were underway just after the first world war Keynes came up with a reparations payment by the Germans to the British which was no where near the 300 billion pounds sought and successfully be-quested to the British government at the armistice negotiations.Keynes withdrew from the negotiations before settlement was reached saying the British government was demanding a settlement sum that was impossible for the Germans to pay.
He turned out to be right when hyper inflation set in in Germany in the 1930's which led to hitler and the nazis and the second world war.
There are many other examples of his wisdom.
There is a Keynesian pump prime going on now in the American economy. Lets hope that the brakes are slapped on before hyperinflation is reached the fed revives Friedman to do his work manageing the money supply when/if that happens we can then relax somewhat with the brakes partly on.
I still think Keynes was a brilliant man especially for his time.

 
At 6/21/2010 11:53 PM, Anonymous grant said...

RON H:
I am not knocking Henry Hazlitt. I read a lot of books I will put that down on my list.
I didn't say I was a Keynes worshiper .I said he was a brilliant economist.
That is my opinion.

 
At 6/22/2010 1:22 AM, Anonymous grant said...

List of American recessions:-
panic 1837 1836-1838 -33%
depression 1839to1843 -34%
recession 1845to1846 -6%
recession 1853to1854 -18%
panic 1857to1858 -23%
recession 1860to1861 -14%
recession 1865to1867 -24%
recession 1869to1670 -10%
panic1873 1873to1879 -27%
recession 1882to1885 -25%
recession 1887to1888 -08%
recession 1890to1891 -22%
panic1893 1893to1894 -37%
panic1896 1896to1894 -25%
recession 1899to1900 -15%
recession 1902to1904 -16%
panic1907 1907to1908 -29%
panic 1910to1911 -15%
recession 1913to1914 -26%
recession 1918to1919 -25%
depression 1920to1921 -38%
recession 1923to1924 -25%
recession 1926to1927 -12%
change in measure GDP emplymnt
depression 1929to1933 -26% -35%
recession 1937to1938 - -26%
recession 1945to1945 -12% -05%
recession 1948to1949 -02% -08%
recession 1953to1954 -03% -06%
recession 1957to1958 -03% -07%
recession 1960to1961 -02% -07%
recession 1969to1970 -.05% -06%
recession 1973to1975 -03% -09%
recession 1980to1980 -02% -08%
recession 1981to1982 -03% -11%
recession 1990to1991 -01.5%-08%
recession 2001to2001 -0.3% -06%
recession 2007to2009 -04% -10%

 
At 6/22/2010 1:57 AM, Anonymous grant said...

RON H:
you are wrong! Keynes view was that an un-restrained business cycle ultimately collapsed so the government needed to step into the economy with deficit spending to raise liquidity to a level that would facilitate the rapid rebuilding of the private sector of the economy
````````````````````````````````````` RON
What is happening in AMERICA right now is KEYNESIAN ECONOMICS!

 
At 6/22/2010 2:15 AM, Anonymous grant said...

RON H
Before the 1930's the US economy was much simpler. Agrarian and Industry.

Technology gained during the 1939-1945 war structurally changed and complicated post war economies everywhere but particularly in the US.
The introduction of new industries[family cars,air travel,power tools,lawn mowers,washing machines,refrigerators,etc]combined to the unspent pent up earnings saved during the war when wage inflation was rampant ushered in the new era of spending on consumption goods made in America with resultant full employment.

 
At 6/22/2010 4:32 AM, Anonymous grant said...

RON H:
If you look at the list of recessions I have posted here you can see in the old list that recessions were frequent and of short duration as you say but there were also two severe depressions.
As you can also see in the list in the great depression where new measures were used GDP fell-26% and unemployment reached-35%.
In the current great recession GDP fell to -4% and unemployment fell to -10%. This was after stimulus was applied but what level would the economy have the economy have fallen to without any stimulus and how long would the recession have gone on for.
In my opinion the problem is not the stimulus but that it is not being managed diligently enough.
Going off these figures how much stimulus would have been needed to lift the great depression out off the bottom of the trough.
I am not going to work it out because it would be a hundred times more than anyone in the era would spend anyway.

 
At 6/22/2010 5:05 AM, Anonymous grant said...

Ron h:
The US federal government did not follow "Keynes teachings"[sic].
Keynes traveled to America and actually met F.D.R. where he did explain his theories to him.
After the meeting FDR was heard to say that Keynes was more like a mathematician than an economist.
Americans went on to devise a stimulus plan of their own.
If you read Keynes actual writings leading up to the general theory you will change your mind.
Amazingly his origional writings are still in existance in england.

 
At 6/22/2010 5:12 AM, Anonymous grant said...

RON H:
What caused the great depression was an uncontrolled inflationary boom. And what caused the great recession was an uncontrolled inflationary boom.
The former was presided over by president idiot Coolidge and the latter by idiot president Bush.
NEITHER KNEW WHAT THEY WERE DOING.

 
At 6/22/2010 9:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How did we get from the Jones act to a discussion of economic philosophy?

Nice thing about economics is you can claimanything you like, sice there is very seldom a chance for a double blind experiment to test a theory.

 
At 6/22/2010 10:15 AM, Blogger juandos said...

grant Keynes was hardly the only one to warn of hyperinflation after WWI...

"But if you disregard that and look at history and his recommendations of how problems should be solved had his course been followed history would have turned out differently"...

There is absolutely zero proof of that and there's many indications that Keynes suggestions exacerbated already bad conditions...

Consider the following: New Deal Policies and the Persistence of the Great Depression: A General Equilibrium Analysis

Harold L. Cole and Lee E. Ohanian

Here's the news release on the above paper: FDR's policies prolonged Depression by 7 years, UCLA economists calculate

 
At 6/22/2010 1:04 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

grant, wow! You've been busy in my absence.

I see that juandos has beaten me to the punch with a response, but mine would have been substantially the same, so if you like, pretend his comment is from me. And, please DO follow the links.

His 2nd link is wrong, so see the intended info here: New Deal Policies and the Persistence of the Great Depression: A General Equilibrium Analysis You can view the entire 76 page analysis by pressing the button provided.

Other than the list of US recessions, what can you point to or preferably link to as support for your opinions?

By the way, there are several inaccuracies, historical and otherwise, in your many comments. I will point them out if you ask.

As to deficit spending during a recession, one of my favorite summaries is a comment by our very own W. E. Heasley at this blog:

 
At 6/22/2010 1:38 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Anon @ 9:16 said:

How did we get from the Jones act to a discussion of economic philosophy?

You're right, we are a long way OT here. Sometimes when a thread appears to be running out of steam, we take advantage of Professor Perry's good nature.

 
At 6/22/2010 3:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd still like to know if foreign vessels are working th espill or if the jones act is actually an impediment.

 
At 6/22/2010 4:26 PM, Anonymous grant said...

RON H:
Support is in reading recorded British history of the time Keynes was alive and his presence in it.
As I have said previously here there is a huge documentation kept in England of almost everything he wrote.

I am also disgusted that Milton Friedman could be called discredited by people that presided over the current mess.

 
At 6/22/2010 5:15 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

grant said:

"Support is in reading recorded British history of the time Keynes was alive and his presence in it.
As I have said previously here there is a huge documentation kept in England of almost everything he wrote."


I don't want to slog through everything Keynes ever wrote. His writing style is cryptic, dense, and often confusing, not to mention contradictory.

I was hoping that you, as an expert on Keynes, could point to something relevant to your contention that his bizarre notion of "pump priming", has actually worked anywhere it's been tried.

By the way, if we were discussing Friedman, we would likely be agreeing on a number of things.

You should be aware, if you are not, that during his long career, Friedman moved further and further from Keynes theories, and by the 1980s had pretty much rejected him entirely. He also lost faith in government intervention in the economy, and was in favor of eliminating the Federal Reserve.

 
At 6/23/2010 3:33 AM, Anonymous grant said...

RON H:
Pump prime/stimulus is working in the USA now.Get on for the ride Ron.

 
At 6/23/2010 8:26 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"I don't want to slog through everything Keynes ever wrote. His writing style is cryptic, dense, and often confusing, not to mention contradictory"...

Hmmm, sounds a lot like Krugman Syndrome Ron H....:-)

grant says: "Pump prime/stimulus is working in the USA now"...

It is?!?!

Well some folks see it different...

From the Heritage blog site dated June 7 2010: In total the U.S. economy has now lost a net of 2.2 million jobs since President Barack Obama signed his stimulus bill, and his administration is now 7.2 million jobs short of what he promised his $862 billion stimulus would help create by 2010...

Hmmm, maybe I need a better explanation of that supposed pump priming...

 
At 6/23/2010 1:17 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Hmmm, sounds a lot like Krugman Syndrome Ron"

Thanks, juandos, Krugman's value as an economist, if there ever was any, is long gone. He is now nothing more than a political hack.

Wasn't it he who pointed out the bright side of the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11 because it created a lot of work for building contractors?

Krugman is Keynesian economics followed to it's logical conclusions. Had Keynes lived longer, he would have become Krugman

For some reason your second link doesn't work. Here's the correct one:

In total the U.S. economy has now lost a net of 2.2 million jobs since President Barack Obama signed his stimulus bill, and his administration is now 7.2 million jobs short of what he promised his $862 billion stimulus would help create by 2010...

grant, what planet are you on? What evidence do you have that stimulus is working? Please don't point to the cheery little charts Prof Perry blogs about here. He may not post them for the reason you think.

Your absurd opinion is not supported by the reality. See this interesting contrast of the promise versus the reality.

Also check here, and here.

There is much more, but my clicker finger is tired. You can easily find more for yourself. Don't just say "Yay, it's working" because Obama told you it is. Few thinking people outside the Beltway believe it.

 
At 6/24/2010 8:42 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Ahhh dang! That's what I get for talking on the phone and commenting at the sametime...

Heck! I have trouble walking and chewing gum at the sametime...:-(

Hey Ron H. let me try that second link again: In total the U.S. economy has now lost a net of 2.2 million jobs since President Barack Obama signed his stimulus bill, and his administration is now 7.2 million jobs short of what he promised his $862 billion stimulus would help create by 2010...

Yet Ron H, Obama has created jobs after a fashion...

Bank of America Corp., the second- largest U.S. home lender, added 2,000 employees since April to work with borrowers having trouble paying their mortgages, a senior executive said...

 
At 6/24/2010 5:31 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

juandos said:

Bank of America Corp., the second- largest U.S. home lender, added 2,000 employees since April to work with borrowers having trouble paying their mortgages, a senior executive said...

I wonder if Sethstorm knows about this?

Then again, he wouldn't be interested as these are likely temporary jobs.

Wouldn't it be cheaper to just pay people's mortgages for them, rather than go to all the trouble and expense of hiring then laying off 2000 people?

 

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