ATHENS, Ga. — David R. Henderson, an economics professor at the Naval Postgraduate School and a research fellow with the Hoover Institution, will present a guest lecture at the University of Georgia on the topic of "Do We Need to Go to War for Oil?"
The lecture, which is set for Wednesday, March 22, at 3:30 pm in room 213 of Sanford Hall, is sponsored by the Terry College of Business Economics Department and the Ramsey Center for Private Enterprise.
Henderson's topic deals with the fear of many U.S. policymakers, elected officials and political commentators who believe that if the United States did not intervene at times in the affairs of Middle Eastern countries such as Iraq that our country would risk losing access to the region's vast oil supply. But Henderson, a former senior adviser to President Reagan, argues that advocating this position in U.S. foreign policy actually does more to impede the supply of Middle Eastern oil to America. The blame, according to Henderson, lies with the United States' own price controls.
A frequent contributor to Fortune and The Wall Street Journal, Henderson has said that fear of the "oil weapon" is unwarranted because Middle Eastern countries want and need to sell oil to Western nations. Whatever reasons there might be for going to war in the Middle East, access to oil, he said, is not one of them.
Henderson is the editor of The Fortune Encyclopedia, published in 1993, and his book,The Joy of Freedom: An Economist's Odyssey, was praised by Nobel laureate Milton Friedman as "passionate and eloquent, yet, at the same time, thoughtful, informed, and profound."
Founded in 1985, the mission of the Ramsey Center for Private Enterprise is to foster a better understanding and appreciation of the principles and performance of private enterprise. Under the direction of Dwight R. Lee, who holds the Bernard B. and Eugenia A. Ramsey Chair of Private Enterprise, the center engages in teaching, research and writing that demonstrates the widely dispersed benefits from decentralized decisions coordinated through competitive markets.
The Ramsey Center has brought a number of distinguished speakers to campus, including James Buchanan and Vernon Smith, who are both recipients of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Other speakers have included James Miller, former director of the Federal Trade Commission; Robert D. McTeer Jr., former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; and former U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas.