To the editor: In the Land of Ice and Snow there was a hamlet called Pieville where the people love their pies so much they would pay twice as much as in the Land of Sunshine and Flowers. They thought, “If only we could bake our own pies.”
After years of searching, Pieville found a huge warehouse full of all the ingredients for pies in the Land of Ice and Snow. Unfortunately, they did not have any baking equipment, so they made a deal that for two-thirds of the pies some big baking companies would supply the equipment. Soon production was twice as much as originally suspected, and there were pies for everyone — so many that Pieville gave all of the residents free pies.
However, after a few years the pie bakers told Pieville that baking was more difficult and that they could only give them one-quarter of the pies. Pieville agreed, not considering that the bakers had developed more-efficient baking equipment.
After a few more years the bakers said that if Pieville would subsidize the bakers that they would be able to double production, and though Pieville would get a smaller percentage, there would be more pie for everyone. However, this did not come to pass and Pieville was paying the bakers a lot of money for nothing.
Was Pieville unsatisfied? No, because a number of nice people of Pieville were doing just fine supplying the pie makers with equipment to help make the pies. And the pie makers were keeping their employees busy depleting the warehouse as there was competition on the horizon. Other companies were baking cakes and cookies, which were cheaper to make and friendlier to the environment than baking pies. Perhaps the pies would have little market and therefore be of little value. It is better get while the getting is good and maximize profits while there is a product to sell.
What does this story have to do with Alaska’s oil production? I am not too sure, but I think perhaps something.