Politicized implementation of U.S. oil import quotas, 1959-1973

The oil import quota system in place from 1959 to 1973 restricted imports to an amount equal to the difference between the federal government’s estimate of domestic oil demand and the estimate of domestic oil supply. But, of course, nothing in industry-protection policy can be easy, so the policy contained a number of adjustments and … More Politicized implementation of U.S. oil import quotas, 1959-1973

“In the spirit of Apollo, with the determination of the Manhattan Project”: Nixon’s Project Independence

When Arab oil exporters imposed their embargo on the U.S. and the Netherlands in October 1973, George Schultz noted that the United Kingdom and France faced hardly any problem accessing crude oil supplies.Schultz was Secretary of the Treasury at the time and had earlier been in charge of Nixon’s Cabinet Task Force on Oil Import … More “In the spirit of Apollo, with the determination of the Manhattan Project”: Nixon’s Project Independence

Energy imports and energy security: a view from 1970

A few weeks back George Schultz posted a few happy memories on a Hoover Institution website from his time heading Nixon’s Cabinet Task Force on Oil Import Control way back in 1969 and 1970. The task force was charged with reviewing the existing mandatory oil import quotas, first imposed under the Eisenhower administration, and recommending … More Energy imports and energy security: a view from 1970

Lysander Spooner on government surveillance

Put yourself in the 1830s-1840s United States. What was the most disruptive, anti-establishment, anti-authoritarian activity going on at the time? Abolitionist, anti-slavery advocacy, organized nationally through written correspondence. These rabble-rousers threatened to upset the social, cultural, and economic balance of a young nation. Who cares about pesky considerations like the morality of slavery? In that … More Lysander Spooner on government surveillance

Department stores as economically transformative

Lynne Kiesling Recently Virginia Postrel used the US (PBS) premiere of “Mr. Selfridge” to highlight the underappreciated social and economic role of the department store. As she notes, Yet like railroads and telegraphs, the department stores of the late 19th and early 20th century were socially and economically transformative institutions. They pioneered innovations ranging from … More Department stores as economically transformative