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Sleepless in Fulham: Rambling and gambling by David Young
Sunday, 8 October 2006
Oil is fungible!
Topic: Politics

A few weeks ago, I used the word 'fungible' to describe money. In case some of you don't know what it means, I quote a definition -

(esp. of goods) being of such nature or kind as to be freely exchangeable or replaceable, in whole or in part, for another of like nature or kind.

When I used it before, I was making the point that money received from one source has the same value as money received from another source, even though people often treat them differently.Today I'm reminded of it because I've stumbled on what I consider to be some well-meaning idiocy - a campaign designed to persuade Americans to purchase oil from countries that don't finance terror. I realise how seductive this notion is (though Canada is actually America's largest foreign supplier) because it's painful to think that you're funding jihad when you fill your tank.

But the idea is utterly flawed. Oil is fungible. If the US were to somehow buy all its foreign oil from sources like Nigeria and Brunei, that would merely remove from the market oil that other nations, like China for instance, could buy from them. And since the US would not be buying from terror-sponsors, China and others would switch to buying oil from terror sponsoring states. And everything's back to square one.

_ DY at 3:57 AM BST
Updated: Sunday, 8 October 2006 4:03 AM BST
Post Comment | View Comments (3) | Permalink

Monday, 9 October 2006 - 1:36 PM BST

Name: "TRS"

Whatever about the merits or practicalities of such an idea, your deconstruction of it is childish and fallacious.

You are basically paraphrasing the lazy voter argument, ie what is the point in voting, one vote isn't going to change the outcome.

This idea of boycotting "terror-oil" is quite easy to dismiss on practicalities. In theory however, it makes perfect sense.

Tuesday, 10 October 2006 - 1:29 AM BST

Name: "David Young"

I'm going to stand by what I wrote. It's not the same as the lazy voter argument.

Friday, 20 October 2006 - 1:19 PM BST

Name: "anonymous"

agree it is certainly not the same as the lazy voter argument; however, many countries do have the capacity to increase production - so in that instance they could potentially still satisfy new and existing customers.


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