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Sky F
  • Sky F
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • United States

Westminster College

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Gas Should Be Raised to Flat $5 Dollars A Gallon

Gas is thought to be an inelastic good, an increase in price would not cause people to change their habits and they would simply pay more of their money rather than using less gas.

In 2008, I believe, when gas prices were very high, at around the $4.50 mark, that is when gas became elastic and people would lower their spending.

On top of that, there was a serious need for fuel efficient cars. Once the prices lowered again during the recession, the demand for fuel efficient cars wasn't so prevalent.

I propose to increase the gas price to $5 dollars a gallon, with the difference between the $5 price and the actual price ($3.59 ish where I live) going to pay taxes. These taxes would pay for alternative transportation.

The result would be a demand for fuel efficient cars and a rise in alternative transportation. The end result of this would be less reliance on foreign oil by simply using far less of it. It also would drive prices up on inefficiently transported goods and would increase local economies by giving local producers an edge in price. The benefits are huge.

This requires a lot of cooperative effort from... everyone.

Sure, it would be a nuisance for many and there is a lot of cons. But this drives our demand for innovation in entirely the correct direction.

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  • Apr 23 2011: No.

    One of my primary reasons for opposition to this is the idea of higher taxes. The tax code is beyond screwed up as it is, and the government needs to make cuts rather than increase revenues. An example of just how bad the tax code gets: my step dad sold some land he bought years ago at very close to cost (and put it straight into the mortgage so we won't be homeless should he lose his job). Even though we live in a single story house and I work to pay for school- that would have offset our "income" so much that my mom getting a second job would have resulted in her getting 20 cents on the dollar after taxes.

    That said- massive economic decisions like this end BADLY. Take President Jackson for example- when he killed the Federal Bank on constitutional grounds, and issued the Specie Circular that ended wild land speculation- he inadvertently caused this little thing called "The Panic of 1837"- the biggest economic collapse in our nations history up to that time.

    A massive economic and transportation paradigm shift needs to be prepared in advance- years in advance. If we passed a bill that froze gas at $4.00 now, and increased the price of gas to $5.00 (in 2011 dollars) permanently in 2014- then you might avoid a total economic collapse.

    But then again- these things are cultural shifts. Start small, in your community, then the country will be more receptive.
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      Sky F

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      Apr 23 2011: So are you agreeing that doing it over time and if done well it would be effective?

      I'm not disagreeing with anything you're saying...

      I don't know too much about the panic of 1837, but I'm sure your argument from analogy has way more differences between this proposition and 1837 that it doesn't make a completely solid argument. I'm not saying it's necessarily wrong, it just doesn't have a lot of strength.

      And yeah, new taxes over the head could really just screw things up.

      So, I agree, implement over time.

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