All across America, motorists are rejoicing as gasoline prices plummet. Low gasoline prices are a bright spot in an otherwise dismal economic picture. But amazingly, the out-of-touch editors of the Washington Post think that the masses should not have access to affordable gasoline or inexpensive go-anywhere transportation options.
- [Higher gas taxes] would stimulate the market for new fuel-efficient cars; defund mischief-making petro-states; and cut carbon emissions. Not only that, it would reduce traffic, curb urban sprawl and, by giving drivers an incentive to drive more slowly, improve highway safety.
At the most basic level, the editors of the Washington Post want to drive up the costs of automobility and limit Americans’ transportation options. The Post’s editors are apparently not happy that we have the freedom to go where they want, when we want, using the mode of transportation we find most convenient. Inexpensive personal transportation allows us to do more with our lives-it gives us greater employment options, greater schooling options for our children, greater shopping options, and greater options for recreation. In short, the editors of the Washington Post want to limit Americans’ options.
High Gasoline Prices Limit Transportation Options
The Post‘s editors note that high gasoline price stimulate the demand for fuel-efficient cars. This is true. But the editors fail to note that higher gasoline price limit Americans’ automobile options. Smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles are not always the best. For example, a moped gets better fuel economy than a Honda Accord, but it’s easier to take the family to Grandma’s house in an Accord than a moped.
The Post‘s editors note that high gasoline prices reduce traffic. This is true because fewer people can afford to drive. The Post‘s editors apparently think that pricing poor people out of the market is a good thing. In reality, reducing people’s transportation options is harmful because it limits employment opportunities.
The Post‘s editors also claim that high gasoline prices will “defund mischief-making petro-states” and “improve highway safety.” Unsurprisingly they provide no evidence that either of these statements is true. If high taxes on gasoline could defund petro-states, we should have already seen that occur as a result of Europe’s exorbitantly high gasoline taxes. But even in Europe, more and more people continue to drive and dictators are still in control in Iran and Venezuela.
Transportation is a Good Thing, Not Something to be Discouraged
The editors of the Washington Post do not understand that affordable and efficient transportation is a good thing. Improved transportation is a wonderful part of modern life, allowing us to do more with less time.
The reality of modern life is that the majority of people and jobs are located in the suburbs. People have voluntarily chosen to live in the suburbs, not clustered near subway stations. For most people, automobility is necessary to more easily take care of their families. In most cases, automobility is the quickest and most affordable mode of transportation available.
High Gasoline Prices Harm Our Quality of Life
High gasoline prices and high gasoline taxes harm the quality-of-life of Americans. Contrary to the desires of the Washington Post‘s editorial board, the Federal government should facilitate transportation options, not limit them. Gas taxes should pay for road improvements, not increased in an attempt to manipulate American society.