Sunday, August 03, 2008

Demonstrating against the high cost of gasoline:

As the price of gas rose, there were protests against the new high prices, especially by truckers and those whose livelihood is directly affected. Unless you believe that there's some sort of conspiracy to raise gas prices, you're liable to feel, as I do, that such protests are useless. For example, imagine that a day comes whmn there are a thousand gas gallons left in the entire world; what would be the point of protesting their price?

Nonetheless, there is a situation where protests against high gas prices make sense, and I believe that such demonstrations have already occurred in Europe. We have to mix one more ingredient into the stew: a high tax on gas. Many people believe that high gas taxes force people to conserve, and are thus beneficial. But in a country with high gas taxes, why not protest to lower them, when the price of gas arcs up? I think it's ironic that a well-intended effort to force gas conservation can foster well-intended gas price protests.

1 comment:

JG said...

This is one of today's great political ironies. The same folks who feel that the government is insufficiently responsive on the subject of global warming feel that it should be doing more to lower the price of gas.

Look out for the following: Gas prices always drop in the late summer and early autumn (you can find historical trends at http://www.gasbuddy.com/gb_retail_price_chart.aspx). In 2004 and 2006, Dems charged Reps with playing with gas prices. While I'd like to find Bush guilty of everything from torture (true) to debilitating the New Jersey Nets (unlikely) I'm pretty sure he's powerless on this one.

Cheers!