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Economic recovery will fail with gas over $3 a gallon: investigate

Retailers just reported a bounce in holiday sales that were actually over what they were pre-meltdown. The very same day- the price of gasoline shoots up to $3.20 a gallon.

If the oil companies had any sense, they’d realize that by gouging now, we’ll end up with more people declaring bankruptcy again, prices on everything else will go up, employment will drop and we’ll be back in trouble.

The Feds need to closely investigate what is causing the run-up in gas prices- and start enforcing price fixing laws. The way that prices jump- and where they jump, reeks of collusion and discrimination (I almost always notice higher prices in urban HUBzone areas- compared to other communities).

With record profits the last time we saw gas go to $4 a gallon, it was clear what was really going on. We can’t afford a “double dip recession” handed to us by a single industry.

Even though it’s 20 degrees out, I’m considering firing up the motorcycle and getting out the heated gloves and jacket for a morning meeting in Brookville. You may think I’m crazy- but the reality is there is only one way to win against our fuelishness- and that’s to use less of it.

Once again- I will remind you of a tax break that I proposed that would help this country break its dependence on foreign oil- the walk-to-work tax credit [1]. This kind of focused economic development, along with support for environmentally positive programs like BCycle bike sharing [2] could help turn this country from a petro-drunk into a gas-teetotaler.

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Yes, unfortunately, it’s another Fed and Federal Government problem; but, if city-by-city, state-by-state boycotts on gas would begin, person-by-person, it just might start a change!
But we live in a world of convenience don’t we, and lazy people!  I’m not saying most people are lazy, we do work hard, but we could work a little harder, or we will really have to (work harder) eventually, to save ourselves!
It’s now or never I’m afraid!


Prices are dictated by supply and demand. If they happen to be able to reap high profits from their product, then good for them. Oil industry makes a convenient scape goat, but it’s not them. You probably had to click to read this…


Do any big employers around here subsidize bus passes? I was pretty shocked to learn that UD apparently does not, as every other University I’ve ever attended or worked for has. (Even at $160 or so a year for a parking pass, the land use and maintainence of parking lots represents a substantial benefit for those who drive). And there’s a tax benefit to employer-provided and subsidized bus pass programs, so by not developing a payroll deduction/subsidy bus pass system employers end up denying their bus commuters an easy and substantial savings, while at the same time continuing to subsidize driving. (Up to $120 per month toward public transit, if I recall correctly).

In large part because parking and commuting is so much worse, every major employer that I’m aware of did this in Seattle–microserfs get a comprehensive regional bus/ferry/train pass for free every month, as well as a private, Microsoft-only set of busses that run from Seattle’s trendier neighborhoods to the campus and back every weekday. I haven’t heard about any employers providing this benefit in Dayton, though.

Ice Bandit

The Feds need to closely investigate what is causing the run-up in gas prices- (David Esrati)
….sorry David, but the Fed is the big reason you and all motorists are experiencing gas-pains. In a move that received very little media attention, the Fed last week did a de-facto de-evaluation of the dollar. Back in the LBJ era, the Fed actually had to go to the treasury printing press to expand the money supply, but in the true definition of “fiat” currency, the Obama bunch merely had to press a couple of computer keys to manufacture bogus bucks. Hence, the dollars in your pocket are worth less, guys like cab and delivery drivers who must pay their own gas prices got an immediate pay-cut, and the door is flung wide open for the hyper inflation that guys like Ron and Rand Paul have been sounding the siren. Of course, the government could declare a tax holiday from gas taxes to ease the pain of strapped consumers, but that will happen when crack-heads declare a voluntary cessation of their favorite pass-time. Or, they could ease restrictions on “boutique” gas blends that add to petro costs, or encourage domestic drilling and exploration in the Gulf and Sarah Palin land. Do look for endless media articles and endless politico pontifications about America’s “addiction” to gas, trying to shift the blame from a tax and regulation prone government to it’s citizens. Just don’t, dear David, look to Uncle Sam to mop up the mess that is his creation. And stay off your scoot in this weather. The drive to Brookville, down black-ice prone country roads, is hazardous enough with four wheels……


Subsidizing bus passes vs. charging out the yin-yang for parking spaces in poorly designed lots that are widely flung across campuses AND tacking on exorbitant fees to those who illegally park? Gee, wonder which ones the schools are going to pick.


David: have at it! At some point I’m going to start trying to stir up interest and support for such a program at UD–not a first year project, but down the road.

Subsidizing bus passes vs. charging out the yin-yang for parking spaces in poorly designed lots that are widely flung across campuses

Melissa, you’re very very mistaken about the actual costs of parking. The $165 per year UD charges for parking does not come close to covering the actual costs of the parking space, which include building and maintaining the lots as well as the opportunity cost of the land. We labor under the illusion that “free parking” is a natural, relatively cheap thing because the costs are almost always well-hidden, but it’s not true. By providing parking at 165 a year, UD is giving drivers a sizeable hidden subsidy for driving to work. That’s not near enough to cover the actual cost.

(I never miss an opportunity to recommend Donald Shroup’s magnificent piece of public policy research on this subject–The High Cost of Free Parking. It’s a very thorough piece of public policy research and a huge eye opener. Highly recommended.)



Shoup has tons of good stuff on his website. His main target is the folly of cities providing street parking for free or well below market rate for congested urban areas, which is understood as a benefit to those areas but often hurts those businesses and creates a bunch of other negative externalities as well.

Ice Bandit

…yessir dear David, there is conspiracy afoot that would make Jesse Ventura do a double-take. It’s as if the Illuminati, the Tri-Lateral Commission, the Bildenbergers, the IMF and Skull and Bones got together for a kegger to plot international monetary intrigue and hi-jinks. For gas prices take a Christmas time spike, and David Esrati is convinced that the chairmen of BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon and Hugo Chavez have each others numbers on speed dial so they can immediately get in touch to boost gas prices. Of course, one of the constant and recurring themes of Esrati.com is the search for the corporate boogyman, but in order to rearrange the financial landscape, with it’s worldwide mechanations, these ebony hearted villains must have super powers that make Lex Luthor, Dr. Doom and Doc Ock look like Pee Wee Hermann. Fact is, dear David, these guys aren’t gouging, nor have they raised their prices; they are charging the same amount for a currency that has been devalued. You are correct insofar as some black-hats conspired to raise your petro prices, but the unholy alliance responsible are Barack Obama and Ben Bernanke, who have the power to make money appear out of thin air with the snap of a finger……