Monday, April 23, 2007

The Newspaper as Socialist Advocate

The Minneapolis Star Tribune editorializes today that the Minnesota gas tax ought to be ten cents more than it currently is. The editorial states in very clear terms that the newspaper does not believe that gasoline should be part of the free market, but ought to be regulated.

The Trib argues that gasoline prices are, "way too low considering the grave geopolitical and environmental challenges facing this country and this planet. Note that this is not an economic study concerning whether or not the free market has over or under valued the price of gasoline, but is placing the debate within the realm of "geopolitical and environmental challenges." Clearly the StarTrib is arguing that the free market is not only not working, but should be disregarded when setting the price of gas.

Go on and read the editorial. It is amazing that a "mainline" newspaper can spout such socialist tripe and maintain any kind of credibility. Of course, many of us give the Star Tribune no credibility, but somehow the paper still holds sway in Minnesota.

The environmentalists warning us of global warming want us to change our lifestyles and way of life. They are committed to the belief that they, and the government are better suited to make decisions for us. The Trib puts it plainly when they write that raising the gas tax would, "deter excessive driving."

Evidently we Americans are driving too much. But what is too much? On what basis is this claim made? They believe it is the responsibility of the government to place an added burden upon Minnesotans to, "reduce harmful carbon emissions, encourage and hasten the market for alternative fuel technologies and remove oil as a favorite weapon of our enemies around the world."

I'm not going to attempt to tackle the politics of carbon emissions (I believe this is more of a political issue than a scientific one) but they are willing to rely upon the market for alternative fuel technologies--but only when they are the ones encouraging it--not a free market.

I also find it interesting that the Trib is making an anti-terrorist stance regarding gasoline. I believe this demonstrates their appeal to conservatives, but they also hope to demonstrate that their method of fighting terrorism is superior to that of the Bush administration. The article goes on to argue that, "raising taxes on gasoline and other carbon-based fuels may be the most effective way to fight terrorism."

Excuse me for my skepticism, but this argument is hypocritical, naive, and simplistic. I certainly don't like the fact that so much of the world's oil reserves are in the middle east, but this is no argument for raising the tax on gasoline. Let's deal with terrorists seriously and not in token gestures.

Again, the Star Tribune is pompously and self-righteously calling for the legislature to put interest of the state's socialists before the citizens of the state.

1 comment:

Psyclist said...

John,

I consider myself left of center and and environmentalist. I believe that the free market is the best able to dictate the price of oil and gasoline. At a certain cost, people will change their habits out of financial necessity. At present, the best way to reduce the cost of fuel is to consume less. That can be achieved by making any number of energy choices. I couldn't care less what other people do with their hard earned dollars with respect to energy. I ultimately don't want to hear people gripe that fuel is too expensive.

My greatest worry about transitioning away from a typical fuel is that fuel tax typically funds road improvement. If the gas tax is a amount per gallon, a decrease in consumption (due to the switch to an alternative) may not adequately fund road improvement.