I'm baffled to some degree about the reporting on gas prices recently. These are the messages:
"Gas prices are too high."
"If gas prices were higher, more alternative energy sources would be developed."
"We need to conserve - people should drive less."
"The government should increase gas taxes to reduce demand."
I can't figure out what the real concern is. For example, why develop alternative forms of energy? They won't be cheaper than gas, at least not right now and not for a long time - so what is the push? Trying to save money? You won't save money.
Are people worried about running out of fuel? I don't think so, I think they actually want us to run out of fuel so we'll quit ruining the environment with our stinky cars. Global warming is supposedly caused by burning fuel, so we're all gonna die because of gas anyway - sheesh, we should be banning fuel, not trying to conserve or reduce prices - isn't that the message?
Should we be trying to conserve? Why? If people can afford the gas, let them buy it and drive as much as they want. The price is the incentive to conserve, what other incentive do you want to create - ration stamps? Why conserve anyway? The more we use, the sooner we start to run out, the sooner the price drives us towards alternative energy sources. As we run out, other methods of transportation will be developed, so why freak out about it?
So I ask all these questions because the questions I hear being asked all have certain assumptions built in such as:
"The fuel companies are ripping us off."
"Burning fuel is destroying the world."
"America is evil for being modern and using so much fuel."
"I don't want to spend so much on fuel, the government should do something."
So these "concerns" or better yet, these "whining complaints" are creating another opportunity for politicians to take action due to the public mood. It makes me sad. Because so few people understand the beauty of the free market system, they respond to a desire to get something for nothing, and have no clue that they give up something precious to get something useless. This is what I'm saying: as the government acts in response of the envy, hatred, laziness, and blame of the uninformed public, they take actions that reduce the quality and quantity of energy, thus raising prices, growing government beauracracy and making life more challenging in the end.
People should be celebrating the success of the oil companies because as they succeed, they are pouring that money into development of the technologies and infrastructure that will actually provide inexpensive, clean, reliable energy sources for years to come. Oil companies succeed because they provide the product you want and their success will improve the environment you want.
My general message is this: nothing is wrong here, nothing needs to be fixed. Prices will drive the exact right amount of conservation. Leave the system alone. If you want to bring prices down, then allow the energy companies to increase supply by removing road blocks (regulations). Please, don't let the government get involved in trying to develop alternative energy or alternative transportation - that is such a huge waste of our tax dollars. Beauracracies don't innovate! They regulate! They get in the way of innovation, they slow down the wheels of progress.
But people want something for nothing and the politicians will give it to them to buy votes. So maybe the message between the lines of all the recent reporting on oil is this: "Bush is a jerk, oil companies are evil, America is destroying the world, the government should give us oil for free."
Technorati Tags: Gas Prices, Oil Companies, Alternative Energy