Oh No! Gas Prices Are Falling!

 

Every time the price of oil drops, the demand for that same product increases and the  demand for alternate fuels, decreases. Why are gas prices falling?

China Daily reported that “oil dropped more than 6 percent to below $88.00 a barrel on Monday as a global market rout churned concerns that faltering fuel demand could slow further.”

In other words, we aren’t buying enough, so it’s time to lower the price.  But can anyone other than the people vested in that market honestly say that we don’t use enough oil?





In his new book “Hot, Flat, and Crowded”, Thomas L. Friedman writes “When I asked Rick Wagoner, the chairman and CEO of General Motors, why his company didn’t make more fuel-efficient cars, he gave me the standard answer: that GM has never succeeded in telling Americans what cars they should buy.”  Thomas goes on to say , “But what the Detroit executives never tell you is that one big reason the public wanted SUVs and Hummers all those years was that Detroit and the oil industry constantly lobbied Congress against raising gasoline taxes, which would have shaped public demand for something different.”

European countries have been imposing high gasoline taxes for years, and when I was serving in Germany in the early 90’s, a gallon of gas was $6.84 a gallon, and that was 20 years ago!  The result is that European countries have demanded smaller and smaller cars.

As of this writing, Gasoline in Denmark is about $9.00 a gallon, compared to $3.65 in the United States. (Up from $2.50 a year ago and down from $4.50 two months ago.)  It seems like $9.00 a gallon gas in Denmark would decimate it’s economy right?  Since 1981, there economy has grown 70 percent while energy consumption has been flat.  In 1973, Denmark got 99 percent of it’s energy from the Middle East.  Today, it gets zero.

We’ve become spoiled in the United States.  We have grown up thinking that the oil that runs everything from our cars to our industrial complex, is cheap, inexhaustible and politically neutral.  But we have come to an age where we realize that oil is in short supply, expensive, environmentally damaging and a political nightmare.

So with these realizations, instead of following the success of countries like Denmark, Brazil and Germany, we continue to lower the price, to fuel the demand, to use more of what we are running out of.

The Republican saying “Drill more, use less” doesn’t work. If we want more of the same Environmental devastation, financial crisis, repeated bailouts, and political situations like wars, terrorism and starvation,  then all we have to do is…nothing.

I say it’s time to raise the price of Gasoline in this country.  It’s time to drive this economy toward a sustainable energy program that will benefit our economy, our lives and our environment.

Photo courtesy of WiseOwl via Creative Commons License





About the Author

Adam Shake works in Washington D.C. and spends most of his recreational time hiking and kayaking in Virginia and West Virginia with his wife Laura and their 6 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback, Katahdin. Adam is dedicated to the Environment and maintains a website at www.twilightearth.com

  • Nick

    I agree with you that oil is a nightmare and we must reduce our dependence on it. However, we differ on how we should get there. The problem isn’t that the government is failing to impose high enough taxes and intervene, as the European countries have done. They still use oil. It hasn’t worked.

    The answer lies in the technology. We won’t drive small cars with $6 gas because we’re on the road with 18-wheelers. Americans commute on big, dangerous freeways. We need large cars and trucks for hauling, pulling and safety. Let’s be honest here: the technology hasn’t been there for years because the government is subsidizing oil by fighting its battles, keeping technological breakthroughs pointless. Things are changing, and plugin hybrids are about to change the political landscape (and the financial landscape, as well).

    We need the government to get out and stop stifling innovation, not continuing to meddle as they’ve done to very little benefit in Europe whilst harming the consumer and costing families millions of dollars.

  • Nick

    I agree with you that oil is a nightmare and we must reduce our dependence on it. However, we differ on how we should get there. The problem isn’t that the government is failing to impose high enough taxes and intervene, as the European countries have done. They still use oil. It hasn’t worked.

    The answer lies in the technology. We won’t drive small cars with $6 gas because we’re on the road with 18-wheelers. Americans commute on big, dangerous freeways. We need large cars and trucks for hauling, pulling and safety. Let’s be honest here: the technology hasn’t been there for years because the government is subsidizing oil by fighting its battles, keeping technological breakthroughs pointless. Things are changing, and plugin hybrids are about to change the political landscape (and the financial landscape, as well).

    We need the government to get out and stop stifling innovation, not continuing to meddle as they’ve done to very little benefit in Europe whilst harming the consumer and costing families millions of dollars.

  • Even with gas prices going down they are still relatively high compared with the average over the past five years. I’m sure many consumers are feeling the pinch, and will more so with winter heating costs.

    Does anyone know what the legislation passed by the house for solar tax credits amounts to? What the scope of the tax credit is and any limitations or exclusions?

    Thanks,

    Will Johnston

    http://www.growandmake.com

  • Even with gas prices going down they are still relatively high compared with the average over the past five years. I’m sure many consumers are feeling the pinch, and will more so with winter heating costs.

    Does anyone know what the legislation passed by the house for solar tax credits amounts to? What the scope of the tax credit is and any limitations or exclusions?

    Thanks,

    Will Johnston

    http://www.growandmake.com

  • Nick,

    I agree with you in that Government needs to get out of the equation and stop stifling innovation. But part of that stifling comes from keeping gas prices at a false low level. As long as gas prices are held below world averages, “The People” will not demand alternatives.

  • Nick,

    I agree with you in that Government needs to get out of the equation and stop stifling innovation. But part of that stifling comes from keeping gas prices at a false low level. As long as gas prices are held below world averages, “The People” will not demand alternatives.

  • Nick:

    “We won’t drive small cars with $6 gas because we’re on the road with 18-wheelers. Americans commute on big, dangerous freeways. We need large cars and trucks for hauling, pulling and safety.”

    WHAT are you talking about!?!?

    Have you even been to Europe1?!?!?

  • Nick:

    “We won’t drive small cars with $6 gas because we’re on the road with 18-wheelers. Americans commute on big, dangerous freeways. We need large cars and trucks for hauling, pulling and safety.”

    WHAT are you talking about!?!?

    Have you even been to Europe1?!?!?

  • Ookii Mamoru

    As a WalMart associate. I can tell you my customers are feeling the pinch. The good news is I already notice a lot fewer SUV’s in the parking lot. Also fewer are left idling in the smeltering heat of Georgia.

    $3 dollars a gallon seems to be the magic number for my customer base.

    Aug 2007 vs 2008 = 75 million fewer gallons of fuel consumed.

  • Ookii Mamoru

    As a WalMart associate. I can tell you my customers are feeling the pinch. The good news is I already notice a lot fewer SUV’s in the parking lot. Also fewer are left idling in the smeltering heat of Georgia.

    $3 dollars a gallon seems to be the magic number for my customer base.

    Aug 2007 vs 2008 = 75 million fewer gallons of fuel consumed.

  • Ookii,

    Thanks for the comment. I understand you’re customer base. The reason they shop there is to save money. I have my own opinions on what WalMart is doing to society, but that’s another story.

    What you’re saying is the $3.00 is the magic number. But a year ago $2.00 was the magic number. Right now in most of Europe, $8.00 is the magic number. Sure, WalMart customers are hurting so much that they are leaving their SUV’s in the driveways, but I bet they are still wasting money by filling their carts with Soda, Captain Crunch, 9.00 dvd’s, and 5 gallon, buy one get one free, jars of pickles.

    We are not hurting as much as people say we are.

  • Ookii,

    Thanks for the comment. I understand you’re customer base. The reason they shop there is to save money. I have my own opinions on what WalMart is doing to society, but that’s another story.

    What you’re saying is the $3.00 is the magic number. But a year ago $2.00 was the magic number. Right now in most of Europe, $8.00 is the magic number. Sure, WalMart customers are hurting so much that they are leaving their SUV’s in the driveways, but I bet they are still wasting money by filling their carts with Soda, Captain Crunch, 9.00 dvd’s, and 5 gallon, buy one get one free, jars of pickles.

    We are not hurting as much as people say we are.

  • Colin

    Just a note on terminology.

    A drop in the price of oil does not increase the demand for it. Demand is a curve, with different quantities desired at different prices. People buy more gas at lower prices, less at higher. The demand remains the same.

    Availability of substitutes is what decreases demand. When a suitable substitute for petroleum is available at a lower price, then consumers will buy less at all prices.

  • Colin

    Just a note on terminology.

    A drop in the price of oil does not increase the demand for it. Demand is a curve, with different quantities desired at different prices. People buy more gas at lower prices, less at higher. The demand remains the same.

    Availability of substitutes is what decreases demand. When a suitable substitute for petroleum is available at a lower price, then consumers will buy less at all prices.

  • jim

    Go to hell. I hate rich bastards who want to screw the rest of us for your dumbass enviro religion.

  • jim

    Go to hell. I hate rich bastards who want to screw the rest of us for your dumbass enviro religion.

  • Jeff

    So today Denmark buys it’s oil from the North Sea producers. That is a difference without a point.

  • Robert Speirs

    What environmental devastation? The availability of cheap energy is one big reason why civilized countries are cleaner, more heavily forested and more convenient and liveable than they have ever been before. Want to go back to horse-drawn conveyances? Talk about an environmental disaster!

  • Jeff

    So today Denmark buys it’s oil from the North Sea producers. That is a difference without a point.

  • Robert Speirs

    What environmental devastation? The availability of cheap energy is one big reason why civilized countries are cleaner, more heavily forested and more convenient and liveable than they have ever been before. Want to go back to horse-drawn conveyances? Talk about an environmental disaster!

  • JD

    “But part of that stifling comes from keeping gas prices at a false low level.”

    So by NOT imposing arbitrary taxes on THE PEOPLE, the government THE PEOPLE elected is keeping gas at a FALSE low level? That’s dumb.

  • JD

    “But part of that stifling comes from keeping gas prices at a false low level.”

    So by NOT imposing arbitrary taxes on THE PEOPLE, the government THE PEOPLE elected is keeping gas at a FALSE low level? That’s dumb.

  • Doug C

    –> “Thomas goes on to say , “But what the Detroit executives never tell you is that one big reason the public wanted SUVs and Hummers all those years was that Detroit and the oil industry constantly lobbied Congress against raising gasoline taxes, which would have shaped public demand for something different.” <–

    Excuse me for pointing this out, but when did it become the government’s place to dictate via taxation or any other means, what “the people” would or should demand in a free market? What Thomas suggests is nothing more than a government dictated marketplace.

    Why on earth would I want a pool of self-absorbed, deeply corrupt politicians dictating what “the people” want. Might as well invite the Kremlin to have a say.

  • Doug C

    –> “Thomas goes on to say , “But what the Detroit executives never tell you is that one big reason the public wanted SUVs and Hummers all those years was that Detroit and the oil industry constantly lobbied Congress against raising gasoline taxes, which would have shaped public demand for something different.” <–

    Excuse me for pointing this out, but when did it become the government’s place to dictate via taxation or any other means, what “the people” would or should demand in a free market? What Thomas suggests is nothing more than a government dictated marketplace.

    Why on earth would I want a pool of self-absorbed, deeply corrupt politicians dictating what “the people” want. Might as well invite the Kremlin to have a say.

  • jim

    Being a normal person, I happen to *like* lower gas prices.

  • jim

    Being a normal person, I happen to *like* lower gas prices.

  • dualdiagnosis

    Thanks, but no thanks.

    Key graf- “In other words, we aren’t buying enough, so it’s time to lower the price. But can anyone other than the people vested in that market honestly say that we don’t use enough oil?

    This shows your complete ignorance of the market for any product.

  • Some Seppo

    LOL Denmark! A huge country full of open spaces and a population which has family and business connections thousands of miles away from home. Or not.

  • dualdiagnosis

    Thanks, but no thanks.

    Key graf- “In other words, we aren’t buying enough, so it’s time to lower the price. But can anyone other than the people vested in that market honestly say that we don’t use enough oil?

    This shows your complete ignorance of the market for any product.

  • Some Seppo

    LOL Denmark! A huge country full of open spaces and a population which has family and business connections thousands of miles away from home. Or not.

  • Just Me

    “which would have shaped public demand for something different.”

    Excuse me, but what business does the government have shaping the public? Under the US Constitution, the government is instituted to protect our rights, not tell us how to live. Who are you to tell us what we should do, how we should live, what we are and are not allowed to enjoy?

    Do you think you know better than us? Do you think government knows better than us? Consider the incompetence of our elected politicians, and the even worse incompetence of the bureaucracy that runs the government’s day-to-day operations? Why should these people run our lives? Government has been assigned certain limited responsibilities: national defense, crime prevention, enabling trade, etc. The moment that government tries to move beyond these limited purposes, it inevitably causes more problems than it solves.

    It’s frightening that so many people believe that government’s purpose is to make everything “right”. It’s even more frightening that people believe, given government’s track record, that it actually can.

    By the way, if you want to pay more for gasoline, feel free to do so. If you want to make other people live the life you want them to, mind your own damn business.

  • Just Me

    “which would have shaped public demand for something different.”

    Excuse me, but what business does the government have shaping the public? Under the US Constitution, the government is instituted to protect our rights, not tell us how to live. Who are you to tell us what we should do, how we should live, what we are and are not allowed to enjoy?

    Do you think you know better than us? Do you think government knows better than us? Consider the incompetence of our elected politicians, and the even worse incompetence of the bureaucracy that runs the government’s day-to-day operations? Why should these people run our lives? Government has been assigned certain limited responsibilities: national defense, crime prevention, enabling trade, etc. The moment that government tries to move beyond these limited purposes, it inevitably causes more problems than it solves.

    It’s frightening that so many people believe that government’s purpose is to make everything “right”. It’s even more frightening that people believe, given government’s track record, that it actually can.

    By the way, if you want to pay more for gasoline, feel free to do so. If you want to make other people live the life you want them to, mind your own damn business.

  • Fugate

    “So with these realizations, instead of following the success of countries like Denmark, Brazil and Germany, we continue to lower the price, to fuel the demand, to use more of what we are running out of.”

    Who’s “we”, Kimo Sabe? Something like 88% of all oil production is controlled by governments other than the US, many of which are openly hostile to the US, so I don’t see how the US or US-based oil companies would have the power to lower the price of oil.

    Supply and demand, eh?

  • Fugate

    “So with these realizations, instead of following the success of countries like Denmark, Brazil and Germany, we continue to lower the price, to fuel the demand, to use more of what we are running out of.”

    Who’s “we”, Kimo Sabe? Something like 88% of all oil production is controlled by governments other than the US, many of which are openly hostile to the US, so I don’t see how the US or US-based oil companies would have the power to lower the price of oil.

    Supply and demand, eh?

  • buzz

    “but I bet they are still wasting money by filling their carts with Soda, Captain Crunch, 9.00 dvd’s, and 5 gallon, buy one get one free, jars of pickles.”

    If it wouldnt be much trouble, can you compile a list of things you feel is ok for us to buy with our own money, so that you don’t feel we are wasting it?

  • buzz

    “but I bet they are still wasting money by filling their carts with Soda, Captain Crunch, 9.00 dvd’s, and 5 gallon, buy one get one free, jars of pickles.”

    If it wouldnt be much trouble, can you compile a list of things you feel is ok for us to buy with our own money, so that you don’t feel we are wasting it?

  • Pink Pig

    SUVs became popular because they were classified as trucks, and therefore were exempt from the regulations that had made small cars more unsafe. Small cars have always been relatively unsafe (even in Europe) and will continue to be, because we can’t change the laws of physics.

  • Laaz

    Rising oil prices has a disproportionate affect on the poor. And they affect the poor first and hardest. Not really a very progressive idea you’ve got there, Adam.

  • Pink Pig

    SUVs became popular because they were classified as trucks, and therefore were exempt from the regulations that had made small cars more unsafe. Small cars have always been relatively unsafe (even in Europe) and will continue to be, because we can’t change the laws of physics.

  • Laaz

    Rising oil prices has a disproportionate affect on the poor. And they affect the poor first and hardest. Not really a very progressive idea you’ve got there, Adam.

  • rkb

    Thank you, Colin. Just the thought I had when reading this article.

    One other factor: an article that compares continental European driving habits with those in the US that does not also discuss the substantially different geographies of those places is less than convincing.

  • rkb

    Thank you, Colin. Just the thought I had when reading this article.

    One other factor: an article that compares continental European driving habits with those in the US that does not also discuss the substantially different geographies of those places is less than convincing.

  • Fred

    “shaped public demand” Just who are these all enlightened masters of the universe who are so wise and knowing they can infallibly “shape public demand” and run my life?

  • Mark

    Oil is a commodity with a finite supply. The price of oil reflects the relative supply of that product. Therefore, if the supply of oil “is in short supply” then the market price would reflect this fact.

    The truth of the matter, even at $145/barrel the price of oil is still low compared to the artificial prices charges in Europe. THis is because even at this historically high price, the supply of oil is not even close to being short.

    What is revealed is that authors like this, and their political fellow travelers, have made social decisions about other people’s lifestyles. Because these lifestyles do not conform to the their own personal choices they seek to restrict those choices. The author further confirms this attitude by discussing other people’s Wal-Mart choices, “wasting money by filling their carts with Soda, Captain Crunch, 9.00 dvd’s, and 5 gallon, buy one get one free, jars of pickles.”

    The personal preferences of other people should be none of our business as long as those preferences are freely made. One person’s $9.00 DVD may be another person’s “film”.

    Of course, not everyone can match the prestigious life choices of one Adam Shake, and the real question should be why should people like him pass judgement on other’s choices.

  • Fred

    “shaped public demand” Just who are these all enlightened masters of the universe who are so wise and knowing they can infallibly “shape public demand” and run my life?

  • Mark

    Oil is a commodity with a finite supply. The price of oil reflects the relative supply of that product. Therefore, if the supply of oil “is in short supply” then the market price would reflect this fact.

    The truth of the matter, even at $145/barrel the price of oil is still low compared to the artificial prices charges in Europe. THis is because even at this historically high price, the supply of oil is not even close to being short.

    What is revealed is that authors like this, and their political fellow travelers, have made social decisions about other people’s lifestyles. Because these lifestyles do not conform to the their own personal choices they seek to restrict those choices. The author further confirms this attitude by discussing other people’s Wal-Mart choices, “wasting money by filling their carts with Soda, Captain Crunch, 9.00 dvd’s, and 5 gallon, buy one get one free, jars of pickles.”

    The personal preferences of other people should be none of our business as long as those preferences are freely made. One person’s $9.00 DVD may be another person’s “film”.

    Of course, not everyone can match the prestigious life choices of one Adam Shake, and the real question should be why should people like him pass judgement on other’s choices.

  • Bill

    Gasoline is not at an artificially low price in the US. It is at an artificially high price in Europe & elsewhere. The lifting cost for Middle Eastern oil is about $2/barrel. It’s about $5/barrel in the US. The break-even point for coal liquification is $35/barrel, and the US has enough domestic coal to meet it’s motor fuel needs for an estimated 200 years. At $35/barrel oil, gasoline would be under $2/gallon.

    Most oil in foriegn lands is government controlled. Our own government suppresses domestic oil production offshore and on land, suppresses expansion of refining capacity, suppresses coal liquification. In other words, the price of gasoline everyplace is artificially high. Without government interference, oil prices would be pretty much capped at $35/barrel. In a truly free market, we’d be running $1.85/gallon or so gas pretty much forever.

    The last thing in the world we need is more government intervention in the name of social engineering, trying to force us into cars (or public transit) that we don’t want.

  • Bill

    Gasoline is not at an artificially low price in the US. It is at an artificially high price in Europe & elsewhere. The lifting cost for Middle Eastern oil is about $2/barrel. It’s about $5/barrel in the US. The break-even point for coal liquification is $35/barrel, and the US has enough domestic coal to meet it’s motor fuel needs for an estimated 200 years. At $35/barrel oil, gasoline would be under $2/gallon.

    Most oil in foriegn lands is government controlled. Our own government suppresses domestic oil production offshore and on land, suppresses expansion of refining capacity, suppresses coal liquification. In other words, the price of gasoline everyplace is artificially high. Without government interference, oil prices would be pretty much capped at $35/barrel. In a truly free market, we’d be running $1.85/gallon or so gas pretty much forever.

    The last thing in the world we need is more government intervention in the name of social engineering, trying to force us into cars (or public transit) that we don’t want.

  • seguin

    Considering GM has a higher corporate fuel economy than Toyota, I’d say Tom Friedman, like most pundits when they talk about cars, doesn’t know squat.

  • seguin

    Considering GM has a higher corporate fuel economy than Toyota, I’d say Tom Friedman, like most pundits when they talk about cars, doesn’t know squat.

  • Bozoer Rebbe

    “In 1973, Denmark got 99 percent of it’s energy from the Middle East. Today, it gets zero.”

    Denmark gets much of it’s oil from offshore drilling in Danish waters in the North Sea, which was developed after 1973. Because they now have their own domestic supplies, they don’t have to import.

    As for Brazil, with its huge sugar industry, Brazil is one of the few places where ethanol actually makes sense and it’s the shift to ethanol that has reduced Brazil’s oil imports.

    Also, at a time of economic crisis, when people’s assets are shrinking by fractions, is taking more money out of people’s pockets via taxes prudent?

    BTW, elitists have been negatively comparing the US to Europe since colonial days.

  • Bozoer Rebbe

    “In 1973, Denmark got 99 percent of it’s energy from the Middle East. Today, it gets zero.”

    Denmark gets much of it’s oil from offshore drilling in Danish waters in the North Sea, which was developed after 1973. Because they now have their own domestic supplies, they don’t have to import.

    As for Brazil, with its huge sugar industry, Brazil is one of the few places where ethanol actually makes sense and it’s the shift to ethanol that has reduced Brazil’s oil imports.

    Also, at a time of economic crisis, when people’s assets are shrinking by fractions, is taking more money out of people’s pockets via taxes prudent?

    BTW, elitists have been negatively comparing the US to Europe since colonial days.

  • Bozoer Rebbe

    “In 1973, Denmark got 99 percent of it’s energy from the Middle East. Today, it gets zero.”

    Denmark gets much of it’s oil from offshore drilling in Danish waters in the North Sea, which was developed after 1973. Because they now have their own domestic supplies, they don’t have to import.

    As for Brazil, with its huge sugar industry, Brazil is one of the few places where ethanol actually makes sense and it’s the shift to ethanol that has reduced Brazil’s oil imports.

    Also, at a time of economic crisis, when people’s assets are shrinking by fractions, is taking more money out of people’s pockets via taxes prudent?

    BTW, elitists have been negatively comparing the US to Europe since colonial days.

  • Bozoer Rebbe

    “In 1973, Denmark got 99 percent of it’s energy from the Middle East. Today, it gets zero.”

    Denmark gets much of it’s oil from offshore drilling in Danish waters in the North Sea, which was developed after 1973. Because they now have their own domestic supplies, they don’t have to import.

    As for Brazil, with its huge sugar industry, Brazil is one of the few places where ethanol actually makes sense and it’s the shift to ethanol that has reduced Brazil’s oil imports.

    Also, at a time of economic crisis, when people’s assets are shrinking by fractions, is taking more money out of people’s pockets via taxes prudent?

    BTW, elitists have been negatively comparing the US to Europe since colonial days.

  • KenB

    “Gasoline in Denmark is about $9.00 a gallon, compared to $3.65 in the United States”

    OK, but you can drive across Denmark on probably not much more than a gallon of gas. Try driving across Texas where I live. We have more territory to cover than the Danes–or than other Europeans.

  • KenB

    “Gasoline in Denmark is about $9.00 a gallon, compared to $3.65 in the United States”

    OK, but you can drive across Denmark on probably not much more than a gallon of gas. Try driving across Texas where I live. We have more territory to cover than the Danes–or than other Europeans.

  • KenB

    “Gasoline in Denmark is about $9.00 a gallon, compared to $3.65 in the United States”

    OK, but you can drive across Denmark on probably not much more than a gallon of gas. Try driving across Texas where I live. We have more territory to cover than the Danes–or than other Europeans.

  • Steve L.

    Hi Adam,

    You sound like you’re discussing this in good faith so I will ask a question. How can you describe a lack of further taxes on gasoline, as artificially low? We already pay a significant tax on gasoline. As I see it, the high prices in Europe are artificially high due to the taxes, not the other way around. Personally I’d like to see us move away from gas/oil ASAP, and I appreciate the way high gas prices are driving that move. However, I don’t need any extra burden on my wallet right now (I have oil heat and live in the Northeast – ‘nuff said). Again, as I see it, if gas/oil prices are left to follow the natural market curve the transition should follow actual production rates. That’s not to say it will be perfect, or easy, but I don’t think someone in Washington setting gas prices at five, or six, or 9 dollars per gallon, arbitrarily, is the way to go. How do they know what the tipping point is?

    Kind regards,

    Steve

  • Steve L.

    Hi Adam,

    You sound like you’re discussing this in good faith so I will ask a question. How can you describe a lack of further taxes on gasoline, as artificially low? We already pay a significant tax on gasoline. As I see it, the high prices in Europe are artificially high due to the taxes, not the other way around. Personally I’d like to see us move away from gas/oil ASAP, and I appreciate the way high gas prices are driving that move. However, I don’t need any extra burden on my wallet right now (I have oil heat and live in the Northeast – ‘nuff said). Again, as I see it, if gas/oil prices are left to follow the natural market curve the transition should follow actual production rates. That’s not to say it will be perfect, or easy, but I don’t think someone in Washington setting gas prices at five, or six, or 9 dollars per gallon, arbitrarily, is the way to go. How do they know what the tipping point is?

    Kind regards,

    Steve

  • Ken

    Tax law is also at fault. Depreciation is structured so that companies get an enormous depreciation bonus if vehicles are over 6000 lbs. This means there is a significant discount to companies for buying large not so fuel efficient vehicles.

  • Ken

    Tax law is also at fault. Depreciation is structured so that companies get an enormous depreciation bonus if vehicles are over 6000 lbs. This means there is a significant discount to companies for buying large not so fuel efficient vehicles.

  • hagar

    That wasn’t just a simple “note on terminology”

    ,that was a much needed correction as to how you change people’s habits.Not with “higher taxes’but innovation and a free market.

  • hagar

    That wasn’t just a simple “note on terminology”

    ,that was a much needed correction as to how you change people’s habits.Not with “higher taxes’but innovation and a free market.

  • hagar

    That wasn’t just a simple “note on terminology”

    ,that was a much needed correction as to how you change people’s habits.Not with “higher taxes’but innovation and a free market.

  • BDelsol

    “We’ve become spoiled in the United States. We have grown up thinking that the oil that runs everything from our cars to our industrial complex, is cheap, inexhaustible and politically neutral.”

    Actually, Europe has made oil artificially expensive — by adding on taxes. Nothing is inexhaustible — and when we run out in about 30 years, we’ll stop using it. As to its political neutrality — other natural resources are politically neutral, it is only statists and environmentalists who make using oil a political issue.

  • BDelsol

    “We’ve become spoiled in the United States. We have grown up thinking that the oil that runs everything from our cars to our industrial complex, is cheap, inexhaustible and politically neutral.”

    Actually, Europe has made oil artificially expensive — by adding on taxes. Nothing is inexhaustible — and when we run out in about 30 years, we’ll stop using it. As to its political neutrality — other natural resources are politically neutral, it is only statists and environmentalists who make using oil a political issue.

  • I too lived in Europe and to compare them to us is not useful. We live in a large expansive country that has built an infrastructure with homes built nowhere near jobs or groceries. Suburbs my friends. Europe doesn’t have many subs and what they do have isn’t like ours. I’d love to see a major infrastructure change here but it’s not going to happen.

    I do agree we need many sources of fuel but at this time there isn’t one, except perhaps nuclear that will work on a large scale. So we are for the time being stuck with oil.

    The current financial crisis has nothing to do with oil, it has to do with Democrats and some Republicans in congress that fought to give loans to those that did not qualify through regulations and laws. The free market was bypassed for political correctness and votes while the regulations there were in place were not enforced. Both political sides failed us there.

    The question is do we rely on other countries to supply us and create a greater dependency or do we produced it ourselves at least until we can generate some other form of fuel?

  • I too lived in Europe and to compare them to us is not useful. We live in a large expansive country that has built an infrastructure with homes built nowhere near jobs or groceries. Suburbs my friends. Europe doesn’t have many subs and what they do have isn’t like ours. I’d love to see a major infrastructure change here but it’s not going to happen.

    I do agree we need many sources of fuel but at this time there isn’t one, except perhaps nuclear that will work on a large scale. So we are for the time being stuck with oil.

    The current financial crisis has nothing to do with oil, it has to do with Democrats and some Republicans in congress that fought to give loans to those that did not qualify through regulations and laws. The free market was bypassed for political correctness and votes while the regulations there were in place were not enforced. Both political sides failed us there.

    The question is do we rely on other countries to supply us and create a greater dependency or do we produced it ourselves at least until we can generate some other form of fuel?

  • I too lived in Europe and to compare them to us is not useful. We live in a large expansive country that has built an infrastructure with homes built nowhere near jobs or groceries. Suburbs my friends. Europe doesn’t have many subs and what they do have isn’t like ours. I’d love to see a major infrastructure change here but it’s not going to happen.

    I do agree we need many sources of fuel but at this time there isn’t one, except perhaps nuclear that will work on a large scale. So we are for the time being stuck with oil.

    The current financial crisis has nothing to do with oil, it has to do with Democrats and some Republicans in congress that fought to give loans to those that did not qualify through regulations and laws. The free market was bypassed for political correctness and votes while the regulations there were in place were not enforced. Both political sides failed us there.

    The question is do we rely on other countries to supply us and create a greater dependency or do we produced it ourselves at least until we can generate some other form of fuel?

  • Rick C

    “But part of that stifling comes from keeping gas prices at a false low level.”

    I question this premise. I would argue that it is actually European governments who are keeping gas prices at a falsely inflated level by imposing such high taxes.

  • Rick C

    “But part of that stifling comes from keeping gas prices at a false low level.”

    I question this premise. I would argue that it is actually European governments who are keeping gas prices at a falsely inflated level by imposing such high taxes.

  • Rick C

    “But part of that stifling comes from keeping gas prices at a false low level.”

    I question this premise. I would argue that it is actually European governments who are keeping gas prices at a falsely inflated level by imposing such high taxes.

  • Rick C

    “But part of that stifling comes from keeping gas prices at a false low level.”

    I question this premise. I would argue that it is actually European governments who are keeping gas prices at a falsely inflated level by imposing such high taxes.

  • Matthew Clement

    “since 1981 there (sic) economy has grown 70%”

    …and ours (USA) has grown 120% over the same period, so maybe you shouldn’t dismiss the cost of those taxes so easily. That’s 2.6 TRILLION dollars just in 2007.

  • Matthew Clement

    “since 1981 there (sic) economy has grown 70%”

    …and ours (USA) has grown 120% over the same period, so maybe you shouldn’t dismiss the cost of those taxes so easily. That’s 2.6 TRILLION dollars just in 2007.

  • Tom

    I understand you’re customer base. The reason they shop there is to save money. I have my own opinions on what WalMart is doing to society, but that’s another story.

    This is exactly like the gas situation… as long as people can do more with less on an individual level, they are less likely to worry about the “bigger picture”.

  • Robert

    We’re spoiled because the amount we pay for something is what it’s worth? Well, we don’t really – gas is taxed at a higher rate than most products in this country – but it’s a lot closer than what you’re proposing if you want to emulate Europe.

    I guess you’re right. Taxes are a great way to make people buy less of something! We should have food taxes that double the price of food – that will get rid of a lot of fat people. There should be a large tax for car stereos that are too loud. There should be a nuisance tax for people who ride bicycles on busy roads when other paths exist – double if they’re wearing spandex. Hot tubs should be taxed because they waste water – heck, regular tubs and showers should be taxed because they also waste water. You did say you want to emulate Europe, right? Fewer showers would be a huge leap towards that goal.

    Finally, we should have blog taxes. That will get rid of all the silly blog postings, which, I think we can all agree, take up far too much of this nation’s precious time.

  • Buford Gooch

    Well, that’s about the dumbest thing I’ve read so far this month. Let’s have our government shape our economy like the Europeans do. That’s worked so well for them (even given the small amount of GDP they have to spend for defense, because we spend it for them). RAise prices on gasoline and give the difference to the government, because they have been so effective so far in how they spend our money. To misquote P.J. O’Rourke, “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teen age boys.”

  • Buford Gooch

    Well, that’s about the dumbest thing I’ve read so far this month. Let’s have our government shape our economy like the Europeans do. That’s worked so well for them (even given the small amount of GDP they have to spend for defense, because we spend it for them). RAise prices on gasoline and give the difference to the government, because they have been so effective so far in how they spend our money. To misquote P.J. O’Rourke, “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teen age boys.”

  • Tom

    I understand you’re customer base. The reason they shop there is to save money. I have my own opinions on what WalMart is doing to society, but that’s another story.

    This is exactly like the gas situation… as long as people can do more with less on an individual level, they are less likely to worry about the “bigger picture”.

  • Robert

    We’re spoiled because the amount we pay for something is what it’s worth? Well, we don’t really – gas is taxed at a higher rate than most products in this country – but it’s a lot closer than what you’re proposing if you want to emulate Europe.

    I guess you’re right. Taxes are a great way to make people buy less of something! We should have food taxes that double the price of food – that will get rid of a lot of fat people. There should be a large tax for car stereos that are too loud. There should be a nuisance tax for people who ride bicycles on busy roads when other paths exist – double if they’re wearing spandex. Hot tubs should be taxed because they waste water – heck, regular tubs and showers should be taxed because they also waste water. You did say you want to emulate Europe, right? Fewer showers would be a huge leap towards that goal.

    Finally, we should have blog taxes. That will get rid of all the silly blog postings, which, I think we can all agree, take up far too much of this nation’s precious time.

  • Buford Gooch

    Well, that’s about the dumbest thing I’ve read so far this month. Let’s have our government shape our economy like the Europeans do. That’s worked so well for them (even given the small amount of GDP they have to spend for defense, because we spend it for them). RAise prices on gasoline and give the difference to the government, because they have been so effective so far in how they spend our money. To misquote P.J. O’Rourke, “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teen age boys.”

  • Ross

    Adam,

    I am with Nick in agreeing with a lot of what you say in your article but disagreeing about how to get there. I have to wonder about your intent when you state in the comments that:

    “…, but I bet they are still wasting money by filling their carts with Soda, Captain Crunch, 9.00 dvd’s, and 5 gallon, buy one get one free, jars of pickles.

    We are not hurting as much as people say we are.”

    Please forgive me if I am incorrect in thinking this but it seems like you have a perception that we have too much and we need to suffer. Thus burning less gas by adopting better technology is not attractive because it does not hurt enough.

    Many of us believe that there is a better way. We should fund science aimed at developing new or improved energy sources. We should come up with effective ways to save energy today. It is the right thing to do.

    I welcome you as an ally in the attempt to end our dependence on oil. I am not opposed to the discussion of raising the taxes on the price of gasoline, specially if any increase in tax revenue is then invested into research on alternative energy.

    Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts. They are well formed and make for great discussion.

  • Ross

    Adam,

    I am with Nick in agreeing with a lot of what you say in your article but disagreeing about how to get there. I have to wonder about your intent when you state in the comments that:

    “…, but I bet they are still wasting money by filling their carts with Soda, Captain Crunch, 9.00 dvd’s, and 5 gallon, buy one get one free, jars of pickles.

    We are not hurting as much as people say we are.”

    Please forgive me if I am incorrect in thinking this but it seems like you have a perception that we have too much and we need to suffer. Thus burning less gas by adopting better technology is not attractive because it does not hurt enough.

    Many of us believe that there is a better way. We should fund science aimed at developing new or improved energy sources. We should come up with effective ways to save energy today. It is the right thing to do.

    I welcome you as an ally in the attempt to end our dependence on oil. I am not opposed to the discussion of raising the taxes on the price of gasoline, specially if any increase in tax revenue is then invested into research on alternative energy.

    Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts. They are well formed and make for great discussion.

  • Ross

    Adam,

    I am with Nick in agreeing with a lot of what you say in your article but disagreeing about how to get there. I have to wonder about your intent when you state in the comments that:

    “…, but I bet they are still wasting money by filling their carts with Soda, Captain Crunch, 9.00 dvd’s, and 5 gallon, buy one get one free, jars of pickles.

    We are not hurting as much as people say we are.”

    Please forgive me if I am incorrect in thinking this but it seems like you have a perception that we have too much and we need to suffer. Thus burning less gas by adopting better technology is not attractive because it does not hurt enough.

    Many of us believe that there is a better way. We should fund science aimed at developing new or improved energy sources. We should come up with effective ways to save energy today. It is the right thing to do.

    I welcome you as an ally in the attempt to end our dependence on oil. I am not opposed to the discussion of raising the taxes on the price of gasoline, specially if any increase in tax revenue is then invested into research on alternative energy.

    Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts. They are well formed and make for great discussion.

  • Ross

    Adam,

    I am with Nick in agreeing with a lot of what you say in your article but disagreeing about how to get there. I have to wonder about your intent when you state in the comments that:

    “…, but I bet they are still wasting money by filling their carts with Soda, Captain Crunch, 9.00 dvd’s, and 5 gallon, buy one get one free, jars of pickles.

    We are not hurting as much as people say we are.”

    Please forgive me if I am incorrect in thinking this but it seems like you have a perception that we have too much and we need to suffer. Thus burning less gas by adopting better technology is not attractive because it does not hurt enough.

    Many of us believe that there is a better way. We should fund science aimed at developing new or improved energy sources. We should come up with effective ways to save energy today. It is the right thing to do.

    I welcome you as an ally in the attempt to end our dependence on oil. I am not opposed to the discussion of raising the taxes on the price of gasoline, specially if any increase in tax revenue is then invested into research on alternative energy.

    Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts. They are well formed and make for great discussion.

  • b

    “We have grown up thinking that the oil that runs everything from our cars to our industrial complex, is cheap, inexhaustible and politically neutral. ”

    Speak for yourself. Were you alive during or have you ever read about the OPEC oil embargo? And hey, people think oil is cheap… because it is. Adding a government tax to make it expensive is certainly a way to distort a market and alter behavior, but it doesn’t change the fact that the underlying resource is very cheap–the reason you want the tax in the first place.

    “The Republican saying “Drill more, use less” doesn’t work. If we want more of the same Environmental devastation, financial crisis, repeated bailouts, and political situations like wars, terrorism and starvation, then all we have to do is…nothing.”

    Oh please. This is so mixed up and confused it’s hard to know where to start. If you are interested in working to achieve a better energy situation, put away your incoherent partisan nonsense. And anyway Republicans are saying ‘all of the above’, not just drill more use less.

    My opinion is that we want to try to transition to an electricity-based economy, with nuclear providing base coverage. Solar and wind are great when we can get them but let’s not pretend they are efficient, inexpensive, or environmentally neutral. Remember, Russia’s BN-600 FBR has generated more power since 1980 than all the solar power in the world combined–ever.

    Hopefully we will have some neat nano-bio solutions in the future, too. All of this will take time, although the nuclear piece can be rapidly deployed with the right political will. But look, it will be good to drill domestically for jobs, for the current account deficit, and to add downward pressure to the price of oil, indirectly weakening nasties like Russia, Venezuela, and Iran.

    Two simple first steps:

    1) Flex fuel mandates.

    2) Facilitation (legal, insurance, zoning, litigation reform) of domestic nuclear power expansion.

  • b

    “We have grown up thinking that the oil that runs everything from our cars to our industrial complex, is cheap, inexhaustible and politically neutral. ”

    Speak for yourself. Were you alive during or have you ever read about the OPEC oil embargo? And hey, people think oil is cheap… because it is. Adding a government tax to make it expensive is certainly a way to distort a market and alter behavior, but it doesn’t change the fact that the underlying resource is very cheap–the reason you want the tax in the first place.

    “The Republican saying “Drill more, use less” doesn’t work. If we want more of the same Environmental devastation, financial crisis, repeated bailouts, and political situations like wars, terrorism and starvation, then all we have to do is…nothing.”

    Oh please. This is so mixed up and confused it’s hard to know where to start. If you are interested in working to achieve a better energy situation, put away your incoherent partisan nonsense. And anyway Republicans are saying ‘all of the above’, not just drill more use less.

    My opinion is that we want to try to transition to an electricity-based economy, with nuclear providing base coverage. Solar and wind are great when we can get them but let’s not pretend they are efficient, inexpensive, or environmentally neutral. Remember, Russia’s BN-600 FBR has generated more power since 1980 than all the solar power in the world combined–ever.

    Hopefully we will have some neat nano-bio solutions in the future, too. All of this will take time, although the nuclear piece can be rapidly deployed with the right political will. But look, it will be good to drill domestically for jobs, for the current account deficit, and to add downward pressure to the price of oil, indirectly weakening nasties like Russia, Venezuela, and Iran.

    Two simple first steps:

    1) Flex fuel mandates.

    2) Facilitation (legal, insurance, zoning, litigation reform) of domestic nuclear power expansion.

  • A Clay

    Oil is more expensive in Europe because of taxes not an intrinsic property of oil itself. Oil is, relatively speaking, a cheap and efficient energy source. Doesn’t it make sense to use it? Why buy more expensive energy when we don’t have to? We don’t do that for anything else. Usually higher prices are justified by higher utility. You can make the externality argument, but most of those fall pretty flat if you don’t buy into the global warming hype, and even if you do, paying for mitigation proves to be cheaper than the alternative sources of energy. Enjoy cheap energy – it heats and cools our homes, refrigerates our food, allows us to manufacture great things like pharmaceuticals and iPods, it gets us to work & play… Lighten up!

  • A Clay

    Oil is more expensive in Europe because of taxes not an intrinsic property of oil itself. Oil is, relatively speaking, a cheap and efficient energy source. Doesn’t it make sense to use it? Why buy more expensive energy when we don’t have to? We don’t do that for anything else. Usually higher prices are justified by higher utility. You can make the externality argument, but most of those fall pretty flat if you don’t buy into the global warming hype, and even if you do, paying for mitigation proves to be cheaper than the alternative sources of energy. Enjoy cheap energy – it heats and cools our homes, refrigerates our food, allows us to manufacture great things like pharmaceuticals and iPods, it gets us to work & play… Lighten up!

  • Jim

    So I’m supposed to be impressed at an article comparing US energy policy to that of Denmark.

    Umm, Denmark could almost fit in my trunk….

  • Jim

    So I’m supposed to be impressed at an article comparing US energy policy to that of Denmark.

    Umm, Denmark could almost fit in my trunk….

  • BDelsol

    Using Denmark as an example for the US to follow isn’t very helpful. They have almost nothing in common with us. Denmark is a small, homogenious, urbanized, and declining population packed into a small area that has vast amounts of crude oil and natural gas — and is in fact a net exporter of crude. We’re a large, diverse, growing population that’s spread across a large distance that is a net importer of crude. Maybe one lesson we can learn from Danes — apparently they have no problem with off shore drilling or exploiting any natural resources they need.

  • BDelsol

    Using Denmark as an example for the US to follow isn’t very helpful. They have almost nothing in common with us. Denmark is a small, homogenious, urbanized, and declining population packed into a small area that has vast amounts of crude oil and natural gas — and is in fact a net exporter of crude. We’re a large, diverse, growing population that’s spread across a large distance that is a net importer of crude. Maybe one lesson we can learn from Danes — apparently they have no problem with off shore drilling or exploiting any natural resources they need.

  • Tristan Phillips

    Let me get this straight: the price of gas is low because the government doesn’t tax it enough. Is that what you’re saying?

    If you think you’re not paying enough taxes, why not send that extra amount in on your own? There’s even a spot on the 1040 form to do so. And if you’re not, who do you think you are telling me I’m not paying enough taxes? Do you honestly think it’ll be spent better if the taxes come from the price of a gallon of gas than from any other source?

    I don’t see how gas prices are artificially low because we’re not paying enough to Washington DC. Please, explain it to us.

  • Tristan Phillips

    Let me get this straight: the price of gas is low because the government doesn’t tax it enough. Is that what you’re saying?

    If you think you’re not paying enough taxes, why not send that extra amount in on your own? There’s even a spot on the 1040 form to do so. And if you’re not, who do you think you are telling me I’m not paying enough taxes? Do you honestly think it’ll be spent better if the taxes come from the price of a gallon of gas than from any other source?

    I don’t see how gas prices are artificially low because we’re not paying enough to Washington DC. Please, explain it to us.

  • Toad

    Let’s see, the size of Denmark compared to size of Texas. Looks like goods trucks have to go a lot farther and thus use more fuel.

    City layout in the US is a lot different than what it is in England or Denmark. You’ve got streets in Europe that only pedestrians, bicycles, and Vespas can get through.

    Train travel from Calais to Paris doesn’t take too long. Most of your in Europe airline travel in Europe is take off, then land.

    Put high taxes on fuel in the US and you can say goodbye to UPS, Fed-EX, and Amazon.

    A good many of us drive about 30 minutes to get to work and I’m sorry but the lag between getting out some tinker toy car with half the life span of a subcompact and half the safety, would put a lot of people out of work and dead.

    You can always ID a Leftists on economics, they are all stick and no carrot.

  • KSM

    Here’s a deal for you –

    Next time you feel that you are paying too little for gas, simply pick what (higher) price you think it should be and write out a check to Uncle Sam for the difference.

    That should make you feel better.

    Meanwhile those (like myself) who have zero disposable income and are barely scrapping by can continue to allocate our monies the way that seems best to us, without further government interference.

    Deal?

  • Toad

    Let’s see, the size of Denmark compared to size of Texas. Looks like goods trucks have to go a lot farther and thus use more fuel.

    City layout in the US is a lot different than what it is in England or Denmark. You’ve got streets in Europe that only pedestrians, bicycles, and Vespas can get through.

    Train travel from Calais to Paris doesn’t take too long. Most of your in Europe airline travel in Europe is take off, then land.

    Put high taxes on fuel in the US and you can say goodbye to UPS, Fed-EX, and Amazon.

    A good many of us drive about 30 minutes to get to work and I’m sorry but the lag between getting out some tinker toy car with half the life span of a subcompact and half the safety, would put a lot of people out of work and dead.

    You can always ID a Leftists on economics, they are all stick and no carrot.

  • KSM

    Here’s a deal for you –

    Next time you feel that you are paying too little for gas, simply pick what (higher) price you think it should be and write out a check to Uncle Sam for the difference.

    That should make you feel better.

    Meanwhile those (like myself) who have zero disposable income and are barely scrapping by can continue to allocate our monies the way that seems best to us, without further government interference.

    Deal?

  • sam

    Ummm, Denmark != USA

    How far does the average Denmark person drive to work? To school? To the store?

    How many children do they have?

    I live in Vienna, Austria. I have the best public transportation system in the world at my feet. I sold my car back in the States when I moved here. But having 2 kids, and relying on public transportation is very difficult. However it can be done, with inconveniences. Especially when the grocery store, bakery, etc are within a 1km walk.

    But this would have been impossible where I moved from in the US. Literally. My family would have starved to death if we tried it without a car.

    So in Denmark, people have the luxury to drive less. Unless you live in one of 10 cities in the USA this is impossible.

    How someone could look at Denmark and then draw conclusions to what can and should work in the US is beyond me.

  • sam

    Ummm, Denmark != USA

    How far does the average Denmark person drive to work? To school? To the store?

    How many children do they have?

    I live in Vienna, Austria. I have the best public transportation system in the world at my feet. I sold my car back in the States when I moved here. But having 2 kids, and relying on public transportation is very difficult. However it can be done, with inconveniences. Especially when the grocery store, bakery, etc are within a 1km walk.

    But this would have been impossible where I moved from in the US. Literally. My family would have starved to death if we tried it without a car.

    So in Denmark, people have the luxury to drive less. Unless you live in one of 10 cities in the USA this is impossible.

    How someone could look at Denmark and then draw conclusions to what can and should work in the US is beyond me.

  • Denmark is a very small country that doesn’t have anything like our Mountain West region. I’m all for alternative energy, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not going to be enough here in the Mountain West to push the standard East Coast solutions like mass transit. If you think the Mountain West is provincial now, think what it would be like with $9/gallon gas. Plenty of people out here have to drive 45 minutes to see a doctor or get to the nearest grocery store. Shall we go back to the days when the stagecoach’s delivery from Sears Roebuck was the highlight of the month, so that New Yorkers can be more encouraged to ride the subway?

  • Denmark is a very small country that doesn’t have anything like our Mountain West region. I’m all for alternative energy, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not going to be enough here in the Mountain West to push the standard East Coast solutions like mass transit. If you think the Mountain West is provincial now, think what it would be like with $9/gallon gas. Plenty of people out here have to drive 45 minutes to see a doctor or get to the nearest grocery store. Shall we go back to the days when the stagecoach’s delivery from Sears Roebuck was the highlight of the month, so that New Yorkers can be more encouraged to ride the subway?

  • Bill Johnson

    I do not want to give moe money to the government. NO to higher gas taxes. we will pay the cost of gasoline, not politicians. when the cost goes up, we will use less.

    Have the gas taxes ever gone DOWN in Europe? How are those taxes used to assist in using less gas, other than to rob the people so they can’t buy as much? Yeah, thought so – goes right into the old general fund.

    So Europe is really financing their government on the backs of a necessary transportation fluid. On demand they thought was inelastic, therefore a great source of revenue.

    Why is the government the answer? It can only distort the market, and do you really want to give them more of your money? Fine, write them a check. Don’t advocate them taking more of mine for your stupid idea. After all, you are responsible fo you, I’m responsible for me.

  • Bill Johnson

    I do not want to give moe money to the government. NO to higher gas taxes. we will pay the cost of gasoline, not politicians. when the cost goes up, we will use less.

    Have the gas taxes ever gone DOWN in Europe? How are those taxes used to assist in using less gas, other than to rob the people so they can’t buy as much? Yeah, thought so – goes right into the old general fund.

    So Europe is really financing their government on the backs of a necessary transportation fluid. On demand they thought was inelastic, therefore a great source of revenue.

    Why is the government the answer? It can only distort the market, and do you really want to give them more of your money? Fine, write them a check. Don’t advocate them taking more of mine for your stupid idea. After all, you are responsible fo you, I’m responsible for me.

  • Bill Johnson

    I do not want to give moe money to the government. NO to higher gas taxes. we will pay the cost of gasoline, not politicians. when the cost goes up, we will use less.

    Have the gas taxes ever gone DOWN in Europe? How are those taxes used to assist in using less gas, other than to rob the people so they can’t buy as much? Yeah, thought so – goes right into the old general fund.

    So Europe is really financing their government on the backs of a necessary transportation fluid. On demand they thought was inelastic, therefore a great source of revenue.

    Why is the government the answer? It can only distort the market, and do you really want to give them more of your money? Fine, write them a check. Don’t advocate them taking more of mine for your stupid idea. After all, you are responsible fo you, I’m responsible for me.

  • Bill Johnson

    I do not want to give moe money to the government. NO to higher gas taxes. we will pay the cost of gasoline, not politicians. when the cost goes up, we will use less.

    Have the gas taxes ever gone DOWN in Europe? How are those taxes used to assist in using less gas, other than to rob the people so they can’t buy as much? Yeah, thought so – goes right into the old general fund.

    So Europe is really financing their government on the backs of a necessary transportation fluid. On demand they thought was inelastic, therefore a great source of revenue.

    Why is the government the answer? It can only distort the market, and do you really want to give them more of your money? Fine, write them a check. Don’t advocate them taking more of mine for your stupid idea. After all, you are responsible fo you, I’m responsible for me.

  • Steve

    “If we want more of the same Environmental devastation, financial crisis, repeated bailouts, and political situations like wars, terrorism and starvation, then all we have to do is … nothing.”

    Last time I read my European history book (which was yesterday) I noticed the 100 Years War, the 30 Years War, and a bunch of smaller related wars all over the Continent. None of them were about oil. All of them wrought environmental devastation, terrorism and starvation.

    Yes, we should use alternative fuels. Go ahead and push whatever agenda you want.

    But please … stop repeating the canards that “less oil” or “more education” or “no religion” will prevent all war. Take away all the reasons for fighting and humans will just invent another one.

  • Steve

    “If we want more of the same Environmental devastation, financial crisis, repeated bailouts, and political situations like wars, terrorism and starvation, then all we have to do is … nothing.”

    Last time I read my European history book (which was yesterday) I noticed the 100 Years War, the 30 Years War, and a bunch of smaller related wars all over the Continent. None of them were about oil. All of them wrought environmental devastation, terrorism and starvation.

    Yes, we should use alternative fuels. Go ahead and push whatever agenda you want.

    But please … stop repeating the canards that “less oil” or “more education” or “no religion” will prevent all war. Take away all the reasons for fighting and humans will just invent another one.

  • inmypajamas

    The price of gas does not rise in a vacuum. The price of gas is incorporated into the pricing of almost everything we eat, wear or use. The cost to our society of high gas prices doesn’t just affect gas consumption; it slows the entire economy as the price of everything else rises accordingly. Artificial price pressures by the government, down or up, end up having long-term negative consequences. TANSTAAFL.

  • inmypajamas

    The price of gas does not rise in a vacuum. The price of gas is incorporated into the pricing of almost everything we eat, wear or use. The cost to our society of high gas prices doesn’t just affect gas consumption; it slows the entire economy as the price of everything else rises accordingly. Artificial price pressures by the government, down or up, end up having long-term negative consequences. TANSTAAFL.

  • inmypajamas

    The price of gas does not rise in a vacuum. The price of gas is incorporated into the pricing of almost everything we eat, wear or use. The cost to our society of high gas prices doesn’t just affect gas consumption; it slows the entire economy as the price of everything else rises accordingly. Artificial price pressures by the government, down or up, end up having long-term negative consequences. TANSTAAFL.

  • Sean

    If there is a bright side, outside of the obviously horrible results, our faltering economy will do more for conservation than any additional ‘morality’ or ‘lesson’ taxes could ever achieve. You are basically asking for the government to intrude in the process of innovation. Wide-scale implementation of solar before the disasterous environmental side effects of its manufacturing are adressed through technology? Please God, no.

  • Sean

    If there is a bright side, outside of the obviously horrible results, our faltering economy will do more for conservation than any additional ‘morality’ or ‘lesson’ taxes could ever achieve. You are basically asking for the government to intrude in the process of innovation. Wide-scale implementation of solar before the disasterous environmental side effects of its manufacturing are adressed through technology? Please God, no.

  • Jacob

    “Every time the price of oil drops, the demand for that same product increases…” Wrong. The price for oil dropped because demand dropped (or is expected to drop). If people actively find ways to use less gas, the price drops – that is the nature of supply and demand, and nothing to whine about.

  • Jacob

    “Every time the price of oil drops, the demand for that same product increases…” Wrong. The price for oil dropped because demand dropped (or is expected to drop). If people actively find ways to use less gas, the price drops – that is the nature of supply and demand, and nothing to whine about.

  • SGT Ted

    After what the Government did to the financial markets, why would anyone ever advocate sending them more cash?

    Since a bunch of rich people in both the private sector and in Government have completely screwed the pooch, why is it considered a good thing to take more non-rich peoples money and give it to the rich people who have caused this crisis in the first place?

    They have completely failed to Govern wisely and you want to send them more cash and keep poor people from living an easier life, which is what artificially raising gas prices via taxation will do.

    With a higher gas tax, oil producers won’t get less money. Nor will fat cats in Government. Poorer people or those with less disposable incomes? Screw them! They need to pay up so you can tell them how to live their lives! They need them to be poorer so they’ll be forced to do what you want them to do, without your fingerprints on it. Where do you get off?

    I consider anyone who would take more money directly out of my pocket for no other reason than to fund their pet enviro experiment no better than a common thief. Or a Communist. But I repeat myself.

    Beware the lifestyle moralists who want to make poor peoples lives harder just so they can drive a flexfuel car.

  • SGT Ted

    After what the Government did to the financial markets, why would anyone ever advocate sending them more cash?

    Since a bunch of rich people in both the private sector and in Government have completely screwed the pooch, why is it considered a good thing to take more non-rich peoples money and give it to the rich people who have caused this crisis in the first place?

    They have completely failed to Govern wisely and you want to send them more cash and keep poor people from living an easier life, which is what artificially raising gas prices via taxation will do.

    With a higher gas tax, oil producers won’t get less money. Nor will fat cats in Government. Poorer people or those with less disposable incomes? Screw them! They need to pay up so you can tell them how to live their lives! They need them to be poorer so they’ll be forced to do what you want them to do, without your fingerprints on it. Where do you get off?

    I consider anyone who would take more money directly out of my pocket for no other reason than to fund their pet enviro experiment no better than a common thief. Or a Communist. But I repeat myself.

    Beware the lifestyle moralists who want to make poor peoples lives harder just so they can drive a flexfuel car.

  • SGT Ted

    After what the Government did to the financial markets, why would anyone ever advocate sending them more cash?

    Since a bunch of rich people in both the private sector and in Government have completely screwed the pooch, why is it considered a good thing to take more non-rich peoples money and give it to the rich people who have caused this crisis in the first place?

    They have completely failed to Govern wisely and you want to send them more cash and keep poor people from living an easier life, which is what artificially raising gas prices via taxation will do.

    With a higher gas tax, oil producers won’t get less money. Nor will fat cats in Government. Poorer people or those with less disposable incomes? Screw them! They need to pay up so you can tell them how to live their lives! They need them to be poorer so they’ll be forced to do what you want them to do, without your fingerprints on it. Where do you get off?

    I consider anyone who would take more money directly out of my pocket for no other reason than to fund their pet enviro experiment no better than a common thief. Or a Communist. But I repeat myself.

    Beware the lifestyle moralists who want to make poor peoples lives harder just so they can drive a flexfuel car.

  • SGT Ted

    After what the Government did to the financial markets, why would anyone ever advocate sending them more cash?

    Since a bunch of rich people in both the private sector and in Government have completely screwed the pooch, why is it considered a good thing to take more non-rich peoples money and give it to the rich people who have caused this crisis in the first place?

    They have completely failed to Govern wisely and you want to send them more cash and keep poor people from living an easier life, which is what artificially raising gas prices via taxation will do.

    With a higher gas tax, oil producers won’t get less money. Nor will fat cats in Government. Poorer people or those with less disposable incomes? Screw them! They need to pay up so you can tell them how to live their lives! They need them to be poorer so they’ll be forced to do what you want them to do, without your fingerprints on it. Where do you get off?

    I consider anyone who would take more money directly out of my pocket for no other reason than to fund their pet enviro experiment no better than a common thief. Or a Communist. But I repeat myself.

    Beware the lifestyle moralists who want to make poor peoples lives harder just so they can drive a flexfuel car.

  • Nick

    Unfortunately, what determines a “true” price are market forces. Government meddling in the markets is what produced the real-estate bubble. Simply picking a price that gas should be at is absolute nonsense.

    As far as the current price not effecting things, ridership on public transportation has risen with the price of gas. Apparently people aren’t willing to pay as much to go driving.

    I suppose we should also only tax certain usages of fossil fuels so we can manipulate results. Thusly, home heating oil wouldn’t be taxed, but gasoline would. Well, I would rather not have somebody telling me what to buy and how to use it.

  • Nick

    Unfortunately, what determines a “true” price are market forces. Government meddling in the markets is what produced the real-estate bubble. Simply picking a price that gas should be at is absolute nonsense.

    As far as the current price not effecting things, ridership on public transportation has risen with the price of gas. Apparently people aren’t willing to pay as much to go driving.

    I suppose we should also only tax certain usages of fossil fuels so we can manipulate results. Thusly, home heating oil wouldn’t be taxed, but gasoline would. Well, I would rather not have somebody telling me what to buy and how to use it.

  • Nick

    Unfortunately, what determines a “true” price are market forces. Government meddling in the markets is what produced the real-estate bubble. Simply picking a price that gas should be at is absolute nonsense.

    As far as the current price not effecting things, ridership on public transportation has risen with the price of gas. Apparently people aren’t willing to pay as much to go driving.

    I suppose we should also only tax certain usages of fossil fuels so we can manipulate results. Thusly, home heating oil wouldn’t be taxed, but gasoline would. Well, I would rather not have somebody telling me what to buy and how to use it.

  • Nick

    Unfortunately, what determines a “true” price are market forces. Government meddling in the markets is what produced the real-estate bubble. Simply picking a price that gas should be at is absolute nonsense.

    As far as the current price not effecting things, ridership on public transportation has risen with the price of gas. Apparently people aren’t willing to pay as much to go driving.

    I suppose we should also only tax certain usages of fossil fuels so we can manipulate results. Thusly, home heating oil wouldn’t be taxed, but gasoline would. Well, I would rather not have somebody telling me what to buy and how to use it.

  • Douglas Fletcher

    Why don’t you just pay more, if you feel so bad about it? While you’re at it, you can pay more income taxes too to your favorite politician. I’m sure he/she/it will accept the check.

  • Douglas Fletcher

    Why don’t you just pay more, if you feel so bad about it? While you’re at it, you can pay more income taxes too to your favorite politician. I’m sure he/she/it will accept the check.

  • Douglas Fletcher

    Why don’t you just pay more, if you feel so bad about it? While you’re at it, you can pay more income taxes too to your favorite politician. I’m sure he/she/it will accept the check.

  • Director

    Denmark is about the size of my back yard. $6 or $9 doesn’t make much of an impact. Try living outside of the metro echo chambers where it takes half a day of driving to leave the state.

    East-coast city-dwellers have no idea how big their own country is.

  • Director

    Denmark is about the size of my back yard. $6 or $9 doesn’t make much of an impact. Try living outside of the metro echo chambers where it takes half a day of driving to leave the state.

    East-coast city-dwellers have no idea how big their own country is.

  • Mike J

    Oil is a fine fuel and the US government has distorted the markets by imposing ridiculous restrictions based on phony environmental concerns.

    It is the same US government that distorted the housing markets by imposing ridiculous affirmative action subprime mortgages on us and you see how that worked.

    Perhaps the government should just leave us the hell alone?

    Markets and consumer choice should determine what we drive and what we consume.

    Only a top-down, socialism-loving, bureaucracy-loving, burdensome regulation-loving Democrat could possible support higher taxes on anything.

  • Mike J

    Oil is a fine fuel and the US government has distorted the markets by imposing ridiculous restrictions based on phony environmental concerns.

    It is the same US government that distorted the housing markets by imposing ridiculous affirmative action subprime mortgages on us and you see how that worked.

    Perhaps the government should just leave us the hell alone?

    Markets and consumer choice should determine what we drive and what we consume.

    Only a top-down, socialism-loving, bureaucracy-loving, burdensome regulation-loving Democrat could possible support higher taxes on anything.

  • Mike J

    Oil is a fine fuel and the US government has distorted the markets by imposing ridiculous restrictions based on phony environmental concerns.

    It is the same US government that distorted the housing markets by imposing ridiculous affirmative action subprime mortgages on us and you see how that worked.

    Perhaps the government should just leave us the hell alone?

    Markets and consumer choice should determine what we drive and what we consume.

    Only a top-down, socialism-loving, bureaucracy-loving, burdensome regulation-loving Democrat could possible support higher taxes on anything.

  • Dan Peterson

    So Denmark has seen it’s economy grow by 70% since 1981. Sounds great. The US economy has grown by almost 300% since 1981, in 2000 year dollars. So it would seem that artificially high tax based costs of energy does have a deleterius effect on economic growth.

    Drill baby drill! 🙂

  • Dan Peterson

    So Denmark has seen it’s economy grow by 70% since 1981. Sounds great. The US economy has grown by almost 300% since 1981, in 2000 year dollars. So it would seem that artificially high tax based costs of energy does have a deleterius effect on economic growth.

    Drill baby drill! 🙂

  • The reason Denmark doesn’t import crude oil from the Middle East isn’t because they aren’t using very much, it is because starting in about 1980 they drilled for oil. So apparently Gas 2.0’s answer for us is to follow Denmark’s example and drill offshore. http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/country/country_energy_data.cfm?fips=DA

  • The reason Denmark doesn’t import crude oil from the Middle East isn’t because they aren’t using very much, it is because starting in about 1980 they drilled for oil. So apparently Gas 2.0’s answer for us is to follow Denmark’s example and drill offshore. http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/country/country_energy_data.cfm?fips=DA

  • The reason Denmark doesn’t import crude oil from the Middle East isn’t because they aren’t using very much, it is because starting in about 1980 they drilled for oil. So apparently Gas 2.0’s answer for us is to follow Denmark’s example and drill offshore. http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/country/country_energy_data.cfm?fips=DA

  • The reason Denmark doesn’t import crude oil from the Middle East isn’t because they aren’t using very much, it is because starting in about 1980 they drilled for oil. So apparently Gas 2.0’s answer for us is to follow Denmark’s example and drill offshore. http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/country/country_energy_data.cfm?fips=DA

  • Dennis

    I wonder if the great Friedman thinks the government should increase the taxes on newsprint? After all it is killing the forest. Smart people read the blogs because it is real news and great for the planet!

  • Dennis

    I wonder if the great Friedman thinks the government should increase the taxes on newsprint? After all it is killing the forest. Smart people read the blogs because it is real news and great for the planet!

  • Dennis

    I wonder if the great Friedman thinks the government should increase the taxes on newsprint? After all it is killing the forest. Smart people read the blogs because it is real news and great for the planet!

  • Dennis

    I wonder if the great Friedman thinks the government should increase the taxes on newsprint? After all it is killing the forest. Smart people read the blogs because it is real news and great for the planet!

  • TRO

    Oh cool, can we have even MORE corn used for biofuels and drive up food shortages? Please?

    Someone I think has stock in the biofuel industry.

  • TRO

    Oh cool, can we have even MORE corn used for biofuels and drive up food shortages? Please?

    Someone I think has stock in the biofuel industry.

  • TRO

    Oh cool, can we have even MORE corn used for biofuels and drive up food shortages? Please?

    Someone I think has stock in the biofuel industry.

  • TRO

    Oh cool, can we have even MORE corn used for biofuels and drive up food shortages? Please?

    Someone I think has stock in the biofuel industry.

  • LakerG

    What Wal Mart is doing to society is…allowing a lot of people below or near the poverty line to live much better lives by significantly increasing the purchasing power they have with their limited dollars.

    I understand antipathy to Wal Mart, it is a company that pits the interests of the poor against the interests of unions, and in that conflict many will choose unions for political reasons (they contribute a lot more money than the poor do). But the simple fact is that Wal Mart does more for the poor than any government program ever has or ever could.

  • LakerG

    What Wal Mart is doing to society is…allowing a lot of people below or near the poverty line to live much better lives by significantly increasing the purchasing power they have with their limited dollars.

    I understand antipathy to Wal Mart, it is a company that pits the interests of the poor against the interests of unions, and in that conflict many will choose unions for political reasons (they contribute a lot more money than the poor do). But the simple fact is that Wal Mart does more for the poor than any government program ever has or ever could.

  • LakerG

    What Wal Mart is doing to society is…allowing a lot of people below or near the poverty line to live much better lives by significantly increasing the purchasing power they have with their limited dollars.

    I understand antipathy to Wal Mart, it is a company that pits the interests of the poor against the interests of unions, and in that conflict many will choose unions for political reasons (they contribute a lot more money than the poor do). But the simple fact is that Wal Mart does more for the poor than any government program ever has or ever could.

  • njoriole

    Excuse me, but what a crock! Our petroleum-based economy has led to the great prosperity that we (in the industrialized world) have enjoyed fo some time now. The rest of the world would like to partake of the same prosperity. But, the Malthusians and and “Progressives” would condemn them to remaining in their Third-World poverty (to “Save the Planet!”) Really, it amazes me when leftists constantly tell us we need to emulate Europe, when their economies lag way behind ours; their unemployment is consistently higher; and the ethnic powder keg they smugly call America is their own reality. Sorry, I’m having none of it!

  • njoriole

    Excuse me, but what a crock! Our petroleum-based economy has led to the great prosperity that we (in the industrialized world) have enjoyed fo some time now. The rest of the world would like to partake of the same prosperity. But, the Malthusians and and “Progressives” would condemn them to remaining in their Third-World poverty (to “Save the Planet!”) Really, it amazes me when leftists constantly tell us we need to emulate Europe, when their economies lag way behind ours; their unemployment is consistently higher; and the ethnic powder keg they smugly call America is their own reality. Sorry, I’m having none of it!

  • njoriole

    Excuse me, but what a crock! Our petroleum-based economy has led to the great prosperity that we (in the industrialized world) have enjoyed fo some time now. The rest of the world would like to partake of the same prosperity. But, the Malthusians and and “Progressives” would condemn them to remaining in their Third-World poverty (to “Save the Planet!”) Really, it amazes me when leftists constantly tell us we need to emulate Europe, when their economies lag way behind ours; their unemployment is consistently higher; and the ethnic powder keg they smugly call America is their own reality. Sorry, I’m having none of it!

  • njoriole

    Excuse me, but what a crock! Our petroleum-based economy has led to the great prosperity that we (in the industrialized world) have enjoyed fo some time now. The rest of the world would like to partake of the same prosperity. But, the Malthusians and and “Progressives” would condemn them to remaining in their Third-World poverty (to “Save the Planet!”) Really, it amazes me when leftists constantly tell us we need to emulate Europe, when their economies lag way behind ours; their unemployment is consistently higher; and the ethnic powder keg they smugly call America is their own reality. Sorry, I’m having none of it!

  • JimK

    A very good case has been made that “fossil fuels” are not in fact a result of the organic breakdown of living organisms but are the result of thermodynamic chemical reactions formed under intense heat and pressure deep within the earth’s crust and escape via the centrifugal forces of the earth’s rotation. When you look at some of the deep well drilling at depths up to 30,000 feet this starts to make sense. Thus they are constantly being produced and are virtually inexhaustable. The “devastation of the environment” only occurs in third world countries where there is no oversight, it hasn’t happened in the US since the blowout off Santa Barbara and the Exxon Valdez. We drill in the Gulf of Mexico and you don’t see the coasts of LA, TX or Mississippi all covered in oil. Drill here, Drill Now!

  • JimK

    A very good case has been made that “fossil fuels” are not in fact a result of the organic breakdown of living organisms but are the result of thermodynamic chemical reactions formed under intense heat and pressure deep within the earth’s crust and escape via the centrifugal forces of the earth’s rotation. When you look at some of the deep well drilling at depths up to 30,000 feet this starts to make sense. Thus they are constantly being produced and are virtually inexhaustable. The “devastation of the environment” only occurs in third world countries where there is no oversight, it hasn’t happened in the US since the blowout off Santa Barbara and the Exxon Valdez. We drill in the Gulf of Mexico and you don’t see the coasts of LA, TX or Mississippi all covered in oil. Drill here, Drill Now!

  • High gas prices lower home prices out in the suburbs.

    Why would we want home prices to drop?

  • High gas prices lower home prices out in the suburbs.

    Why would we want home prices to drop?

  • Roger Godby

    I like to pass gas.

    It’s about $8/gallon here in Japan. In provincial Japan, bus and train schedules are so crappy everyone drives; in Tokyo, it depends. Head out into the suburbs and many people have cars, and not all the 660cc “keijidousha” either. Japan is dense, so people can afford $8 gas, because they don’t have to drive 30+ minutes to reach a grocery store, visit the library, or buy gas, like some North Americans I know.

    In Tokyo I commute by crowded train–elbows in my ear, struggle to get in the train car, blessed to be taller than the average Japanese–for an hour, one-way. It sucks, but my employer pays my commuting fee, which makes it suck less, because I’d otherwise pay about $8-9 every day to go to and from work.

    I’ve read one reason rail in the US hasn’t largely replaced semis for freight (or, why semis replaced rail) is that (union-forced, government-forced?) railroad pension costs have jacked up the cost of sending stuff by rail to the point where semis are cheaper (depending on final destination, etc.). Rant all you like against “dumb Americans and their semis,” but economics is at work.

  • Roger Godby

    I like to pass gas.

    It’s about $8/gallon here in Japan. In provincial Japan, bus and train schedules are so crappy everyone drives; in Tokyo, it depends. Head out into the suburbs and many people have cars, and not all the 660cc “keijidousha” either. Japan is dense, so people can afford $8 gas, because they don’t have to drive 30+ minutes to reach a grocery store, visit the library, or buy gas, like some North Americans I know.

    In Tokyo I commute by crowded train–elbows in my ear, struggle to get in the train car, blessed to be taller than the average Japanese–for an hour, one-way. It sucks, but my employer pays my commuting fee, which makes it suck less, because I’d otherwise pay about $8-9 every day to go to and from work.

    I’ve read one reason rail in the US hasn’t largely replaced semis for freight (or, why semis replaced rail) is that (union-forced, government-forced?) railroad pension costs have jacked up the cost of sending stuff by rail to the point where semis are cheaper (depending on final destination, etc.). Rant all you like against “dumb Americans and their semis,” but economics is at work.

  • Roger Godby

    I like to pass gas.

    It’s about $8/gallon here in Japan. In provincial Japan, bus and train schedules are so crappy everyone drives; in Tokyo, it depends. Head out into the suburbs and many people have cars, and not all the 660cc “keijidousha” either. Japan is dense, so people can afford $8 gas, because they don’t have to drive 30+ minutes to reach a grocery store, visit the library, or buy gas, like some North Americans I know.

    In Tokyo I commute by crowded train–elbows in my ear, struggle to get in the train car, blessed to be taller than the average Japanese–for an hour, one-way. It sucks, but my employer pays my commuting fee, which makes it suck less, because I’d otherwise pay about $8-9 every day to go to and from work.

    I’ve read one reason rail in the US hasn’t largely replaced semis for freight (or, why semis replaced rail) is that (union-forced, government-forced?) railroad pension costs have jacked up the cost of sending stuff by rail to the point where semis are cheaper (depending on final destination, etc.). Rant all you like against “dumb Americans and their semis,” but economics is at work.

  • Roger Godby

    I like to pass gas.

    It’s about $8/gallon here in Japan. In provincial Japan, bus and train schedules are so crappy everyone drives; in Tokyo, it depends. Head out into the suburbs and many people have cars, and not all the 660cc “keijidousha” either. Japan is dense, so people can afford $8 gas, because they don’t have to drive 30+ minutes to reach a grocery store, visit the library, or buy gas, like some North Americans I know.

    In Tokyo I commute by crowded train–elbows in my ear, struggle to get in the train car, blessed to be taller than the average Japanese–for an hour, one-way. It sucks, but my employer pays my commuting fee, which makes it suck less, because I’d otherwise pay about $8-9 every day to go to and from work.

    I’ve read one reason rail in the US hasn’t largely replaced semis for freight (or, why semis replaced rail) is that (union-forced, government-forced?) railroad pension costs have jacked up the cost of sending stuff by rail to the point where semis are cheaper (depending on final destination, etc.). Rant all you like against “dumb Americans and their semis,” but economics is at work.

  • Good Grief

    I say it’s time to call anyone who wants to raise taxes in the middle of a financial panic a Marxist.

  • Good Grief

    I say it’s time to call anyone who wants to raise taxes in the middle of a financial panic a Marxist.

  • Tyrone Slothrop

    So let me get this straight– Denmark gets zero oil from the Middle East because gas is nine dollars a gallon there? Of course! How could we be so dumb!

  • Tyrone Slothrop

    So let me get this straight– Denmark gets zero oil from the Middle East because gas is nine dollars a gallon there? Of course! How could we be so dumb!

  • Tyrone Slothrop

    So let me get this straight– Denmark gets zero oil from the Middle East because gas is nine dollars a gallon there? Of course! How could we be so dumb!

  • Tyrone Slothrop

    So let me get this straight– Denmark gets zero oil from the Middle East because gas is nine dollars a gallon there? Of course! How could we be so dumb!

  • Ron

    Thomas Friedman is married to a millionaire, lives in a huge mansion, and gets all of his travel expenses paid for by his employer. And he wants to tell others to live frugally. Let him find a job in Des Moines for 35,000/year and his opinion might mean something.

  • Ron

    Thomas Friedman is married to a millionaire, lives in a huge mansion, and gets all of his travel expenses paid for by his employer. And he wants to tell others to live frugally. Let him find a job in Des Moines for 35,000/year and his opinion might mean something.

  • dr hot tits

    anyone who agrees with this asshole should be neutered. the united states can not afford to raises gas up to $9.00 a gallon. there are too many poor people that this would destroy there lives. what we need to do is come up with a viable cheap energy source. you can tell this guy is a yuppy pinko facist with his walmart comment. oh adam guess what i drive a 1990 cadillac with a nice 4.5L V8. next time i go out im gonna give her a WOT just for you. burn up a couple gallons just going just a few blocks.

  • dr hot tits

    anyone who agrees with this asshole should be neutered. the united states can not afford to raises gas up to $9.00 a gallon. there are too many poor people that this would destroy there lives. what we need to do is come up with a viable cheap energy source. you can tell this guy is a yuppy pinko facist with his walmart comment. oh adam guess what i drive a 1990 cadillac with a nice 4.5L V8. next time i go out im gonna give her a WOT just for you. burn up a couple gallons just going just a few blocks.

  • dr hot tits

    anyone who agrees with this asshole should be neutered. the united states can not afford to raises gas up to $9.00 a gallon. there are too many poor people that this would destroy there lives. what we need to do is come up with a viable cheap energy source. you can tell this guy is a yuppy pinko facist with his walmart comment. oh adam guess what i drive a 1990 cadillac with a nice 4.5L V8. next time i go out im gonna give her a WOT just for you. burn up a couple gallons just going just a few blocks.

  • dr hot tits

    anyone who agrees with this asshole should be neutered. the united states can not afford to raises gas up to $9.00 a gallon. there are too many poor people that this would destroy there lives. what we need to do is come up with a viable cheap energy source. you can tell this guy is a yuppy pinko facist with his walmart comment. oh adam guess what i drive a 1990 cadillac with a nice 4.5L V8. next time i go out im gonna give her a WOT just for you. burn up a couple gallons just going just a few blocks.