Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Will Any Candidate Tell The Truth About Gas Prices?

Of course not. They're all already in pander mode, talking about how gas prices need to go down. Which is, well, the opposite of true. Gas prices are, of course, artificially low. Somebody needs to stand up and have the guts to say it. If you are stupid and irresponsible enough to have purchased a gratuitous SUV, then, well, I'm sorry. (Er, no I'm not, really.) But we've got to stop subsidizing our own destruction. Right now other Americans are fighting and dying and being paralyzed and suffering brain damage so that we can pretend that gas is cheap. The Bush administration has subsidized big gas-guzzlers, showing that they're not just indifferent to conservation, but downright opposed to it. (It is, of course, merely a sign of personal virtue, and not an actual, ya, know, policy solution...)

I don't like the idea of expensive gas any more than anyone else does. Look, JQ and I live in cities over 200 miles apart most of the year. High gas prices would be a big hardship for us. But you can't put such personal considerations above what's good for the country and the world. If you irresponsibly bought a gas guzzler because it was fashionable, well, you're going to have to re-think that decision. The change could be brought about slowly so that those who have to drive long distances to work can figure out alternatives. And, of course, we need a better public transportation system. This will, in part at least, be a long-term project. But I don't see any alternative.

But what candidate will say this? It's political suicide. Any candidate who stands up and acknowledges what's going on and admits that gas should not be cheaper, but more expensive, is done for.

So how do we short-circuit this system by which our country is facilitating its own destructive addiction?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

In a democracy, sooner or later people get the government they deserve.

It's simple really. We'll get higher gas taxes when candidates who run on that platform start winning elections. If that's possible (which I doubt), it will take a lot of advocacy to get >50% of the voting public to support higher gas taxes.

1:04 PM  

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