Thursday, May 01, 2008

Gas prices

Last night it cost me over $70 to fill up. This was the first fill-up since Saturday and my travel schedule this week is light, so it's not likely to need a refill until sometime next week. Part of the high cost is the tank size, I was almost on empty and it took a little over 20 gallons to fill up. Gas prices are up all over, fortunately, SC is one of the lowest priced areas in the US.

So what is there to do about the price? Well, one option being thrown out is to eliminate the gas tax. That's around 20cents/gallon. So I would have saved a little under $4 last night. Hmm. I could have purchased a happy meal, but not much else.

Another idea is to establish a "windfall profits tax" on the oil companues. This basically would cap the profit Exxon makes. Hmm. When I studied economics, this was caused a ceiling. Ceilings on price, reduce supply. Reduction in supply means I would have walked the last 10 miles home last night as the gas station would have been out of gas.

Another idea is to reduce consumption. I like this idea. Tell all my customers I won't visit anymore. Of course, that means they won't buy any more and I'll be out of a job. If I'm out of a job, I lose my house and won't be able to eat. Of course, I'd lose weight, but the rest of that is bad. So, after a second thought, I don't like this idea.

So, let's see, if the government wants to do any one thing, it makes matters worse. What if the government takes over all of it? What if the government takes over the oil companies, eliminates profits all together and sells the gas? Anything a private company can do, the government can do better?

In fact, let's not stop with oil companies. Groceries are getting expensive too. Let's have Uncle Sam run the local stores. Then they need to own the farms and food companies where the groceries come from.

I have a vague memory that this has happened before, but can't recall where?


4simpsons said...

Good points. I get nervous when people have a problem and immediately toss it to the gov't to fix it all. Then they are surprised when things get worse.

Randy said...

Right. I was hoping someone would pick up my my comment about turning oil companies and farms and food companies over the the government.

Didn't one of the Marx brothers do that?