Monday, June 15, 2009

I had to rub my eyes

after reading this:
But, rather than leave so much of our fate to chance, we’d be better off doing what politicians always say they want to do: lessen the U.S. economy’s dependence on oil. One step toward that would be to phase in a gas tax designed to smooth out oil’s spikes and plunges by keeping the price of gasoline fixed (the tax would rise when the price of gas fell, and vice versa). Raising gas taxes is, of course, a solution that politicians—and voters—hate. But perhaps another oil shock or two will change that.
What is Surowiecki thinking/smoking? Would hiding the truth (i.e. the price of oil) help the situation more than revealing it to all? Would the government handle the hedging of oil volatility any better than its Ponzi schemes otherwise known as Social Security and Medicare (i.e. actually escrow surpluses, rather than spending them)?

UPDATE: Felix questions him, too:
Either you want to effect consumer behavior and reduce gasoline consumption — in which case you actually welcome price spikes. Or else you want to smooth out price spikes, in which case you slowly boil the frog (to use one of the stupidest metaphors ever) and keep consumption high. But you can’t have it both ways. Which is it to be, Jim?

Here are two things any one is free to do (that is, not coerced by the goverment):

1) Save for oil shocks, in an FDIC-insured account even
2) Trade oil futures, say with Lind-Waldock, or gasoline ETFs like UGA

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