Holmes Report Blog

The Holmes Report blog focuses on news and issues of interest to public relations professionals. Our main site can be found at www.holmesreport.com.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Gas Bags: Jacob Weisberg at Slate makes the point that politicians who discuss gas prices Politicians “can generally be assumed to be partisan, cynical, demagogic, and dishonest” but adds that “one must not discount the possibility that something about the subject actually makes them stupid.”

It’s not just politicians, of course. I receive e-mails on a regular basis (badly targeted, since I don’t drive a car) from people suggesting I boycott a specific oil company or perhaps all oil companies for a single day or participate in some other scheme designed to repeal the laws of supply and demand.

I suspect this speaks to a more general lack of understanding about economics. But Weisberg has a different agenda:

“What none can acknowledge is that higher gas prices in the United States are a good thing. To be sure, oil at $70 a barrel causes hardships for working people and delights some of the world's worst dictators. But cheap gasoline imposes its own costs on society: greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution and its attendant health risks, traffic congestion, and accidents. The ideal way to cope with these externalities would be with higher gas taxes or a carbon tax.”

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