Another word on gas and oil prices

Another word on gas and oil prices

The danger of blogs is that discussions can often go off the rails and end up wallowing in minutiae. I have a larger point regarding gas and oil prices that I’m trying to make.

I’m not saying that higher gas prices are not a burden on anyone or that I like seeing an extra five bucks fly out of my wallet when I fill up.

What I am saying is that when we discuss such topics we must be careful to make decisions based on logic and data, not emotion and supposition. Otherwise the solutions we come up with to fix the problem may be no help at all, at best, or actually exacerbate the situation, at worst. If we attack the oil companies when the problem is commodities brokers or OPEC or refining capacity or oil exploration or the like, we haven’t really done anything to fix the situation. The problem is that politicians rarely deal in logic and fact, but instead react to public emotion and supposition. Politicians are more concerned with approval ratings in the next election cycle, and not general economic health in the next year. After all, you can always blame someone else for the bad economy.

The most important key here isn’t just whether gas prices are higher now as a proportion of income or whether the price rise is justified. The important key is that we use our critical faculties to determine the truth and not just swallow whatever propaganda is thrust at us by partisans of any stripe.

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