Open Letter on Congressional Intercession

Until now, I have avoided engaging the topic of the economy, which includes the currently-hot-topic of rising fuel prices.  However, I wish to say a piece on this very important issue.

Dear Reader,

Many are petitioning the United States government, especially Congress, to “do something (immediately) about gas prices.” [1] However, before we legislate against hurling frozen fowl, let’s take a minute to re-evaluate the situation.

Should we ask the government to bail us out of our problems?  Please forgive my bluntness; I feel that we should first do everything we can do to provide for ourselves.  As I consider the situation and resources of my close relations, I feel that we can all reduce our spending on some areas so as to increase spending on fuel.  And, if that is not an option, I feel strongly that we should turn first to our family, not the government.

What can Congress do?  Impose or reduce tariffs?  Subsidize gas at the pump?  Perhaps the better question is, What should they do?  or, What is the proper role of government.  These are issues that I ask myself frequently.  However, as I am young and rather ignorant of the doctrine as well as national and international current events, I feel that I am not in a position to answer these questions.

I am anxious to find solutions to our problems; often, such solutions require hard decisions, determination, and discipline.  For me, the solution is to ride my bicycle to work, saving me $4.50 every day on the gas I would spend simply commuting the 10 miles to and from work.  For others, the solution may be reducing their spending on unnecessary entertainment in order to afford fuel.  For others, the best solution may be financial help from family.  I cannot prescribe a solution for all.

So, in all sincerity, I ask you, What can we do to solve this problem?

Respectfully yours,

James

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4 comments on “Open Letter on Congressional Intercession

  1. Josh Maxwell says:

    Well said Great information, keep up the great work!

  2. David says:

    You have two questions in this blog.
    1. What is the proper role of government, specifically in relation to the fuel crisis
    2. What can we do as individuals.

    The reason I see this as a tricky situation is that the government has made some very bad decisions that have led us to this point. Those decisions include limiting domestic oil production by preventing offshore drilling and banning drilling in places like Anwar province in Alaska. The government needs to take action in the long term on this issue, but cannot and should not eliminate the crisis tomorrow. To do so would only create another crisis later on.
    There have also been some predatory practices by those who profit from our dependence on cars that burn oil. This is best documented in Los Angeles where a group of companies including tire manufacturers and oil companies that bought up the fledgling mass transit system and drove it into the ground.
    There is also definitely a push by these companies to bury technologies that would offer an alternative. In India they have a car that is powered by Air. Yes, air. Not water or orange juice or any form of combustion. Just pressurized air. Why don’t we have that here?
    http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/new_cars/4217016.html
    Due to the power of these companies which have taken us to this crisis point, it would be appropriate for the government to take action only to reverse the effects of these conspiracies. Al Gore had promised to eliminate our dependence on gas burning cars, but people didn’t see his vision at the time and Bush got the presidency. I am NOT saying he would have made a good president, I’m saying that he wanted to address this issue.

    Well, that’s more than enough about the government. On to personal responsibility. The nation as a whole has reduced their use of gasoline. There were reports that people were carpooling more causing a noticeable reduction in the number of auto accidents across the country and a reduction of rush hour traffic. So, those who can implement these solutions are doing so, and should do so. We are in a recession, which means that we have to cut back not just to pay for the high price of oil but also the higher prices of food such as flour, rice, eggs, etc. If you compare the nation’s situation to the game Life is Ruff, we are moving up the inflation chart. What’s worse, the government is not acknowledging this because they have changed how they calculate the cost of living index and it is no longer a useful measure of inflation. Back to personal responsibility, we should all learn to live within our means. I have not done this very well in the last couple of years, and I have created a five year plan to get us out of debt. It requires living on a budget and part of that budget is how much gasoline we expect to use. If gas continues to go up, we will have to find a way to reduce travel, or reduce some area of discretionary spending. We don’t have a lot of that right now anyway.
    Those are my thoughts on the subject.

    David

  3. Connor says:

    A good question. We definitely should look inward before seeking external solutions.

    That, and, proposing that government solve the problem when government created most of the problem (through debasement of the dollar) is a silly notion if ever there was one. It reminds me of this quote:

    Government is a disease that masquerades as its own cure. (Robert Lefevre, via Quoty)

    My personal solution has been working from home so as not to have to commute anymore. That isn’t an option for everybody, but I do think that an increasing number of people are looking for ways to reduce their commute, carpool, or not drive altogether.

  4. […] agree with Mr. Walker: this bill is financially unwise.  Do we really expect the Government to save us from our own foolish mistakes?  We are the government. We, the […]

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