Thursday, June 29, 2006

In Thrall of the Yo-Yo

It is possible that oil prices are coming down soon. This does not surprise me. The markets function marvelously to get us more of what we want. And we seem to want oil. It does, however, distress me. People who are trying to develop and promote alternative technologies are being jerked around by this jolly jumper price game.

Since the price is going inevitably up in the long run, and since as rational people we don't really want to depend on oil, the government should take measures to stabilize prices. Don't you think?

Personally, I'm willing to go even further and say that the government should take steps to raise prices. For the sake of the environment, I don't really care too much how they do it. A carbon tax seems to me to be the most reasonable approach, but I consider the climate problem serious enough that I would be delighted if we decided to blockade the Straits of Hormuz. Better yet, we should find some way to annoy the Iranians to such a degree that they cut off our oil in retaliation. That way they would have less money to make trouble with.

High oil prices right now are also essential to keep India and China from committing themselves to a carbon future.

6/29/2006 8:38 PM

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At Friday, June 30, 2006 9:17:00 PM, Blogger mal said...

a carbon tax of some sort would be a good idea. Something along the lines of Tobacco taxes. Europe is already there and it forced them to make decisions for efficency decades ago.

Some days I wonder what our problem is?

At Friday, June 30, 2006 9:55:00 PM, Blogger jj mollo said...

[rant alert] The problem is that our government doesn't represent us very well. It tries to hide from us what the real power issues are, avoids decisions that are controversial and mumbles a lot. Many decisions are absolutely controlled by interest groups. The NRA decides that cities will not be able to control guns. A clique of extremely wealthy people decide that the Republican Party will campaign against estate taxes. Insurance companies decide that we will have no single payer medical system. Oil companies decide that California cannot have its own CO2 control laws. Car companies decide that CAFE standards will not be enforced on SUVs and that we can't have electric cars. Religious groups decide the content of textbooks and the deemphasis of condoms for preventing AIDS in Africa. No one has the power to stand against them because the People don't understand or don't have time to pay attention. Everything that happens in the US is the result of competing interest groups (and their propaganda). When the people do understand, then they can make a difference. One example is the legislative salary rebellion in Pennsylvania, which is actually still going on. Most of the time, however, there is no one to explain it to us except demagogic bozos on the daily talk shows.


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