May 11, 2008, 4:26 pm
Filed under: Current Events | Tags: , , , ,

While I bemoan and begrudge the ever-rising price of oil for my own purse and the fact that it’s causing food prices to rise for people who only earn enough to feed themselves, I am more irritated by other folks in this situation. The ones who want us to subsidize the cost of fuel, because it’s just getting to expensive for folks to handle.

The more expensive an item is, the less likely it is to be wasted. You are more careful with your fine fancy china that cost $150 a plate than you are with your cheap Corelle plates, right? It helps that Corelle dishes bounce when you drop them (but if you DO manage to break them, they literay distintegrate. Tiny slivers of hard plastic everywhere!), but in the grand scheme of things, when something is precious, you treat it as such. You do not waste what you want the most. Therefore, should the government pay the difference to subsidize the cost of your Spode bone china? If that happens, then everyone will want Spode bone china AND be able to get it. Only so much Spode bone china is made, however, so Spode increases the actual price in response to the increased demand. Who pays more? The government that is subsidizing the cost of the Spode.

The same goes for other staples. Oil might not be as pretty as your Spode bone china, but it is precious, and getting more precious by the second. Further, contrary to popular opinion, but like Spode bone china, oil is a fixed quantity. It might be a very LARGE fixed quantity, but there is only so much oil available on this earth. If the government pays the difference to subsidize the cost of oil to more “manageable” levels, then the consumer consumes as much as he wants, because it is financially feasible for him to do so. The rate of consumption of oil goes up, because there is no pressure on the consumers to acknowledge the preciousness of the oil, and the fact that there is a limited quantity, and alter their consumption accordingly. The demand goes up, and so does the price. The government continues to pay more and more, while consumers consume more and more. They pay for this in the form of taxes, but they don’t see the direct correlation because they are paying it once a year, not everytime they fuel up the Ole Gas Guzzler.

And then, the Spode china factory closes. The oil dries up. There is no more. This is a disaster because the consumers were not putting pressure on companies to find alternative forms of energy. If prices had been allowed to reflect the true market situation, the consumers would have pressured for other energy sources, and they would have rationed their consumption. They would have done this to ease the pain on their wallets only, and for no other reason. But the market forces have the curative effect of finding new energy sources AND extending the period of time that we have to find those sources by slowing the rate that we use oil. Everybody wins.

That’s why fuel prices aren’t a disaster, and more importantly, why they shouldn’t be falsely altered by governments. Spode bone china is expensive because it is precious. It is then treated very carefully (like a China Doll, even!) because it is precious. It is not discarded haphazardly, or misused. It lasts a long time, generations. Its use is extended because it is treated as though it were precious.

Oil ought to be treated the same way. Don’t subsidize. Hell, increase the taxes on it! (I know what you’re thinking, OMG THE CRAZY CONSERVATIVE JUST SAID INCREASE TAXES!) We discourage the use of cigarettes ought of safety and health concerns with heavy handed taxation. If we want to discourage the use of oil out of concern for the limited supply, for the dependence on the crazies in the Middle East, and for the risk of global warming, we need to tax the crap out of it. Make it even more precious than it really is.

But for the love of God, don’t subsidize it.

This is all part of my theory as to why the oil companies are actually concerned with global warming. They are rationing the amount of oil that is drilled in an effort to force us to use less. Out of concern for the earth, you see. And the polar bears.

(I’m being very facetious when I say that. But in reality, that is a side effect of them trying to drive prices sky high by not producing as much oil. The liberals who want to limit energy production and use in order to save the polar bears ought to take note.)

Oh yea, and Obama is the only one who knows what he’s talking about when he says we shouldn’t suspend the gas tax for the summer. I hate to say it, but I AGREE WITH OBAMA (cough cough cough hack). If we take away the tax, the oil companies will raise the price by whatever the tax was per gallon. Our cost won’t change, but instead of that 30 cents a gallon going to our government, it will go to the fun folk over in the Middle East. As much as I hate giving money to the government, GUESS WHO I WOULD PREFER TO PAY. That’s right. The politicians in Washington (cough cough cough HACK).

I hate it when I agree with Obama. It makes me feel green on the inside, and a little shaky. Maybe I should go take a nap.


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