LIBERTY: Another bozo wants to raise gasoline prices to $10 a gallon! Are you out of your mind?
May 9th, 2006
Want to change the world? Make gas $10 a gallon.
- Mark Morford
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Mark Morford's column appears Wednesdays and Fridays in Datebook and on sfgate.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
No wait, not 6. To hell with that. Make it 10. Ten bucks a gallon, no matter what the going rate for a barrel of light, sweet crude. That would so completely, violently, brilliantly do it. Revolutionize the country. Firebomb our pungent stasis. Change everything. Don't you agree?
But, of course, such an idea is also, right now, absolutely impossible. It will never happen — not 10 bucks, not 6, not even a buck more per gallon — and not just because no politician on either side of the aisle has the nerve to come out and suggest that Americans might actually need to drive less, conserve and change their gluttonous habits. This is, of course, absolute death for a politician. Tell Americans what to do? Dare to suggest that they're doing something wrong or that their behaviors are destructive and irresponsible? Are you insane? This is America! We're flawless!
Another example: You know what would happen if guns — all guns, everywhere — were banned outright tomorrow? Well, right off, nothing much. Criminals would still commit crimes. Lawsuits would skyrocket. The NRA would shoot itself in the face in screaming protest. Crime rates would dance all over the map. It would be a little ugly.
So what? The rest of us can simply roll our eyes and laugh, evolve and sharpen and sigh, and wonder what great change we can embark upon next.
Dear Mr. Morford,
Your plan is a disaster for liberty, a windfall to the big government statist, and proves to me that Californians must get too much sun!
First rule of political discussions is that they always generate more heat than light. I've been arguing for more freedom for a long time but don't have the sensitivity of a Mary Ruwart or the polish of a Harry Browne, may he rest in peace. So I'll try and be as gentle as possible.
Are you out of your mind?
Let's start with the fact that you can no more legislate the price of gas, or any other commodity. If the legal price is set lower than the replacement cost then gas lines will ensue because no one will make it. President Carter demonstrated that. If the legal price is set higher than the value it represents, then the sellers will be unable to sell it. At any arbitrary number, you will have created a market discontinuity that will make the Great Depression look like a boom!
It just seems obvious that you can't make people behave the way you want. If you have to force your ideas on people, then they can't be very good ideas. If they were, then you could convince people to do things voluntarily. See that is the problem with doing things by "law", you have to back up the laws with guns and worse.
So in the spirit you asked, here are some ideas that perhaps might convince you that freedom could work better.
(1) Increase supply
(a) Let's repeal all government rules in ANWAR. As a matter of fact, let's sell ANWAR to the highest bidders and leave the problem to the new owners. Maybe the Greens could partner with the oil companies to figure it out. Give them each a fifty percent interest and let them fight it out.
(b) Let's repeal all government rules on new refinery construction. And, then walk away.
(2) Reduce consumption
(a) Instead of raising the gasoline prices to $4 a gallon, let's eliminate all taxes on gasoline.
(b) Instead of making the price increase permanent, let's agree to make the tax reduction permanent.
Seriously, the only way to work with government is to starve it of it's life blood … … money.
You have to realize some key things:
(A) By uncoupling the dollar from gold in 1913, we permitted the government to inflate the currency. That means that the government can spend money without bothering to tax us.
(B) By hoodwinking us into the Social Security Ponzi scheme, we permitted the government to have an inter generational slush fund. That means that the government can spend money without bothering to tax us.
(C) By allowing the government to "protect us" by regulations, we permitted the government to foul up the economy and distorting the economy. That means the government can "direct" what we can and can not do.
Centralized planning did NOT work for the Communists. What makes you think it will work here?
Freedom doesn't require the government to tell us anything. The free marketplace allows peaceful exchanges that every one benefits from to occur.
In short, let's unlock the creative power of the free marketplace and put the government back in pandora's box.
a casual web browser
P.S.: After you have taken away guns, then get ready for the death camps. Don't laugh it can happen here. Can you say Japanese Internment, Lynch Mobs, and Waco? The Second Amendment is about the ultimate check on unrestrained Government abuse.