Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Gas prices and absentee landlords (or blog lords)

So I haven't been posting much lately, I just noticed. My last post was about Bill Frist being a douche, which I still stick to, in spite of a number of illustrious types saying that at least something not 100% idiotic could be accomplished via his douche-ness. I won't argue that point, but he's still a douche and he looks like a goddamned space alien.

Anyways...

Well, I've been busy. A massive shoulder injury, or at least painful as hell, sidelined me for a little bit. What caused it? I dunno. Solution? Vicodin and sitting on my ass. So that was pretty sweet. I missed a fair amount of kung fu class, but the rest did me well. I recovered nicely with a sailing trip out to Two Harbors on Catalina Island with my buddy Dan this past weekend. I'll throw up some pictures from that later.

Hey, check this out! You can take the boy outta Florida, but Florida can always come visit the boy, I guess.

So, on national news, apparently high gas prices are having some good effects. I'm basically in favor of high gas prices, cf. prices in Europe. The main problems I see with the current high gas prices here in the U.S. are:

  • I wish we'd done it earlier through taxes, allowing a gradual adjustment to the economic burdens. Taxes could then be adjusted downwards to absorb the unavoidable price shocks and bumps. No one would have to worry about changes in the cost of fuel, since the cost of fuel would be relatively standardized. The shock absorber would be the tax pad, so changes in oil prices would affect government revenues, but in general that's going to be a much better and more remote shock absorber than, say, Delta Airlines, which is on life support and will not withstand fuel prices at the current levels for much longer.
  • Regardless of whether or not people deserve what they get, lots of people are going to be spending (hell, going to be, nothing, are spending) lots of their income on gas that they had allocated to other needs. In a debt-ridden society (like I said, I'm not talking about whether they deserve it or not), that can lead to catastrophic effects, including massive defaults on mortgages, consumer debt service, and so on. That would affect the overall economy and the share of responsible people who did nothing to deserve the problems besides being members of the economy. Look at the Latin American and Asian debt crises over the last couple of decades. Of course, those suffering the most will be the poorest.
  • I highly doubt that, as a society, we'll learn a goddamned thing from this besides this: do everything possible to ensure low gas prices. Did the Big Three learn from the lessons of the early '70s? Clearly not, and now all three are having massive problems because all of their vehicles are enormous gas-guzzling monstrosities. And just like in the '70s, the Japanese automakers are having the Big Three's collective ass for lunch again. If I was head of one of the Big Three, I would have been on the phone screaming at the engineers to increase the mileage of our entire fleet exponentially at about 8:55 AM 9/11/2001. But it never occurred to any of the dumb shits that a on-going clash between Islamic terrorism and the batch of fucktards in the White House would lead to higher oil prices, which might, just might, make a suburban mom in a 10 gallon-to-the-mile Ford Behemoth pause when she had to pay $457 to drive down to the corner store. Idiots. So there's no good reason to think that the U.S. will do anything besides claw and slash to get oil prices back down, instead of wisely learning to live with them (and keeping them artificially high if and when they do go back down).
OK, that's all I have for now. I meant to add a bunch of links for various points, but it's late and I have a cooling pizza waiting for me. Ciao, kiddies.

1 comment:

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