Write a 5 pages paper on bioethanol and farmland investment and the neoclassical paradigm of economic. This was supposed to help the energy independence of the United States and lessen reliance on countries in the Middle East. Because of that law, it has now become economically efficient to devote farms to biofuel production.
The logic of economic efficiency is perhaps central to neo-classical discourse: the main objective being the allocation of resources (in this case, land) to its most efficient use, and by most efficient use, we mean that which will generate the highest profit margin. Milton Friedman was one of the most famous advocates of free markets – keeping the market free and unencumbered by regulation from the government is the best way to achieve economic efficiency and development.
That appears to be the underlying logic in the article by The Economist. Because it has now become economically-rewarding to engage in biofuel production, then the most rational option would be to turn investments in that direction. This in fact is the logic of outsourcing farming — of leasing or buying landholdings in developing countries for the express purpose of agricultural cultivation, whether for biofuels, food production, feedstock production, and the like – gained traction.
Another example of how economic efficiency is the barometer used to determine the viability of a proposition is in this particular excerpt of the article which refers to Brazil: “the country’s success shows that international trade in biofuels is a possibility.” If we unpack this statement, we see that success is only defined as the profits made by Brazil from exporting bioethanol production, completely blind to the actual outcomes on the ground and the impact on the lives of the farmers. The production of sugarcane (for ethanol) in Brazil has in fact been “shown to have caused an increase in the number of enslaved workers, water and air pollution, and a decrease in the land available for agrarian reform.” (Fernandes, et. Al., 2010: 793.) However, the article did not delve into these incongruities.