5 comments on “Should We Try To Lower Gas Prices?

  1. Yikes Mark… I hope those two asterisks stood for the letters a and r.

    As far as rising gas prices, we personally just bite the bullet and pay them.

    For those who can’t afford to bite the bullet and pay them, yes, there are other options to cut back on gas costs (like carpooling, riding a bike, walking, taking a bus, etc…). If gas costs can’t be cut… then other areas of spending should be cut (entertainment, for example).

    We don’t HAVE to pay the high gas prices… but we choose to, because we like having the convenience of a car. Perhaps it’s like feeding a shark? Maybe, but that’s okay with me.

  2. Good rebuttal Mark (censored curse words even!!). I think you are right that the market will correct itself. And I find the concept of futures trading (esp. in oil) absolutely terrifying in and of itself. I didn’t even consider it until you posted that NPR article.

    HOWEVER. You make a mistake attributing the worst possible motive to the Democrats’ actions (why just the democrats Mark? I’m a republican and I like the idea of the government helping people who are down and out.). I don’t think anyone on either side of the party line wants to KEEP prices high JUST to force a fuel switch. When i said that, I meant that a) it would force INDUSTRY to switch first and b) that it was a positive side effect of a negative trend. I never implied a cause-effect relationship there.

    My second point is that you are worried that gas going up a few cents/gallon will put poor workers out of the job market?? First off, prices in Europe have been much higher for much longer and yet most of them still manage to have jobs (and better public transportation, which we need). Secondly, even the “poor” in America have 2 TVs and a car and DISH network. People pay for what is important to them. My neighbor makes 96,000$ a year and because they have five kids qualifies as “officially poor”. They get medicaid, WIC, food stamps, the whole shebang. Poor my arse. Now, I do know that there are some in this country that are truly living in poverty. But often those people don’t have jobs anyway and they are such a small percentage that they are not who you are referring to.

    I don’t like paying more money for gas. (70$ to fill up? Really??) But I do think it is important to close the loopholes that make the oil companies tax exempt.

  3. @Ailene: Yup, ar, not am. Good point, it’s always a choice. For me it’s worth it because I get to spend more time with the family instead of on a bike when I commute to and from work. However, I am searching for carpools.

    @Charlotte: “I don’t think anyone on either side of the party line wants to KEEP prices high JUST to force a fuel switch.” Wow, you and I are quite a distance apart on that. I think politicians manipulate data and markets to force people to sign up for their pet projects (global warming being my primary example).

    Regarding industry switching first, consumers will pay the switching costs because demand for fuel is quite inelastic. So, firms can pass on the bulk of the costs.

    Finally, since I have a real problem with taxes in general, I’m never going to agree that “it is important to close the loopholes that make the oil companies tax exempt.”

  4. I can name a few groups of people who want to keep gas prices high JUST to force a fule switch…
    Corn farmers, ethanol producers, governors and other politicians of corn-growing states, all the businesses who provides goods and services to corn farmers, owners and employees of companies selling hydro-electric, solar, wind, and all the other inefficient, expensive, and ridiculous forms of energy.
    Oh, and the Hollywood elites and trust-fund brats who assuage their conscience by driving a Prius.

    M – you’re a smart guy! I’m so glad Charlotte introduced me to your blog.

  5. @Rachel: Good point! It’s funny you mention the Prius. Studies have shown that the energy cost per mile from “dust to dust” (building the car to demolishing it) of a Prius (or any hybrid) is more than that of a hummer. Part of the reason is because the engine for the hybrids is built in numerous plants in disparate locations.

    And thanks for your kind words. I hope you continue to enjoy the blog!

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