You Tell ‘Em, Kevin

Lynne Kiesling

I’ve been so busy that I’m late to the game, but Kevin Brancato’s reponse to President Bush’s inveighing us to drive less is bang on.

Furthermore, Mr. President, I will not pretend that you have legal or moral authority to tell me how much gasoline I may purchase. I will not pretend that your feeble call to use less has any impact whatsoever on my psyche. I will not pretend that the Federal Government knows better than me how much gasoline I should purchase.


10 thoughts on “You Tell ‘Em, Kevin

  1. Huh? All President Bush did was make a simple statement of economic fact along the lines of “If you want gas prices to go down, use less.” Nothing more, nothing less. I’d call that leadership.

  2. I found this quote elsewhere and found it both alarming and repeatable:

    Our country needs more oil refineries because the people who work for a living need gasoline to get to work. These are the people who earn paychecks and buy groceries and pay their bills, including their taxes. That means they use gasoline every day. They need it, and they need it at a price they can afford to pay.– Rep. Joe Barton

    Does anyone else see the prospect of rationing in that mindset?  If that happens, Mr. Brancato may not be able to get his fuel legally.

    I’d hate to see a rationing system, with all its hassles and inefficiencies.  But corporate America isn’t going to sit still while their workers run their credit cards to the limit to get the gas to get to work; maxing out means job, mortgage and everything else comes down in a heap.  And enough credit card and mortgage defaults….

    What disgusts me about Bush is that he should have been calling for austerity 4 years ago, as a political weapon against OPEC.  But he was and is too buddy-buddy with the Saudis to say what needs to be said, let alone do what needs to be done.

    Some leader.

  3. AN INQUIRY INTO THE NATURE AND CAUSES OF THE WEALTH OF NATIONS;
    BY ADAM SMITH, LL.D. AND F.R.S. OF LONDON AND EDINBURGH:
    FORMERLY PROFESSOR OF MORAL PHILOSOPHY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW
    EDINBURGH: 1776

    BOOK II. OF THE NATURE, ACCUMULATION, AND EMPLOYMENT OF STOCK.

    CHAPTER III. OF THE ACCUMULATION OF CAPITAL, OR OF PRODUCTIVE AND UNPRODUCTIVE LABOUR.

    But though the profusion of government must, undoubtedly, have retarded the natural progress of England towards wealth and improvement, it has not been able to stop it. The annual produce of its land and labour is, undoubtedly, much greater at present than it was either at the Restoration or at the Revolution. The capital, therefore, annually employed in cultivating this land, and in maintaining this labour, must likewise be much greater. In the midst of all the exactions of government, this capital has been silently and gradually accumulated by the private frugality and good conduct of individuals, by their universal, continual, and uninterrupted effort to better their own condition. It is this effort, protected by law and allowed by liberty to exert itself in the manner that is most advantageous, which has maintained the progress of England towards opulence and improvement in almost all former times, and which, it is to be hoped, will do so in all future times. England, however, as it has never been blessed with a very parsimonious government, so parsimony has at no time been the characteristical virtue of its inhabitants. It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore, in kings and ministers, to pretend to watch over the economy of private people, and to restrain their expense, either by sumptuary laws, or by prohibiting the importation of foreign luxuries. They are themselves always, and without any exception, the greatest spendthrifts in the society. Let them look well after their own expense, and they may safely trust private people with theirs. If their own extravagance does not ruin the state, that of their subjects never will.

    http://www.adamsmith.org/smith/won-index.htm

  4. AN INQUIRY INTO THE NATURE AND CAUSES OF THE WEALTH OF NATIONS;
    BY ADAM SMITH, LL.D. AND F.R.S. OF LONDON AND EDINBURGH:
    FORMERLY PROFESSOR OF MORAL PHILOSOPHY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW
    EDINBURGH: 1776

    BOOK II. OF THE NATURE, ACCUMULATION, AND EMPLOYMENT OF STOCK.

    CHAPTER III. OF THE ACCUMULATION OF CAPITAL, OR OF PRODUCTIVE AND UNPRODUCTIVE LABOUR.

    But though the profusion of government must, undoubtedly, have retarded the natural progress of England towards wealth and improvement, it has not been able to stop it. The annual produce of its land and labour is, undoubtedly, much greater at present than it was either at the Restoration or at the Revolution. The capital, therefore, annually employed in cultivating this land, and in maintaining this labour, must likewise be much greater. In the midst of all the exactions of government, this capital has been silently and gradually accumulated by the private frugality and good conduct of individuals, by their universal, continual, and uninterrupted effort to better their own condition. It is this effort, protected by law and allowed by liberty to exert itself in the manner that is most advantageous, which has maintained the progress of England towards opulence and improvement in almost all former times, and which, it is to be hoped, will do so in all future times. England, however, as it has never been blessed with a very parsimonious government, so parsimony has at no time been the characteristical virtue of its inhabitants. It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore, in kings and ministers, to pretend to watch over the economy of private people, and to restrain their expense, either by sumptuary laws, or by prohibiting the importation of foreign luxuries. They are themselves always, and without any exception, the greatest spendthrifts in the society. Let them look well after their own expense, and they may safely trust private people with theirs. If their own extravagance does not ruin the state, that of their subjects never will.

    http://www.adamsmith.org/smith/won-index.htm

  5. Precisely who is in charge of determining what constitutes “overconsumption”? And, precisely who is in charge of creating explicit and implicit subsidies?

    My recollection is that we had a taste of austerity beginning in 2000; and, that it was not very popular; and, that the President was laughably charged with responsibility for the austerity.

  6. Precisely who is in charge of determining what constitutes “overconsumption”? And, precisely who is in charge of creating explicit and implicit subsidies?

    My recollection is that we had a taste of austerity beginning in 2000; and, that it was not very popular; and, that the President was laughably charged with responsibility for the austerity.

  7. Precisely who is in charge of determining what constitutes “overconsumption”? And, precisely who is in charge of creating explicit and implicit subsidies?

    My recollection is that we had a taste of austerity beginning in 2000; and, that it was not very popular; and, that the President was laughably charged with responsibility for the austerity.

  8. Precisely who is in charge of determining what constitutes “overconsumption”?

    Well, nobody.  Doing it empirically would be rather difficult, to say the least.  On the other hand, you can look at the difference between consumption at various price points and calculate how much would not have been consumed absent the subsidies; that amount is the overconsumption.

    precisely who is in charge of creating explicit and implicit subsidies?

    Congress and various state governments have taken that role upon themselves in the US.  You can see more blatant examples in China and Indonesia.

  9. Precisely who is in charge of determining what constitutes “overconsumption”?

    Well, nobody.  Doing it empirically would be rather difficult, to say the least.  On the other hand, you can look at the difference between consumption at various price points and calculate how much would not have been consumed absent the subsidies; that amount is the overconsumption.

    precisely who is in charge of creating explicit and implicit subsidies?

    Congress and various state governments have taken that role upon themselves in the US.  You can see more blatant examples in China and Indonesia.

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