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Old 12-29-2008, 12:29 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Clev View Post
...and their government tolerates, if not encourages, terrorist training camps...
Not terrorist, jihadist. Think about the purpose, rather than the tactics - then maybe you start to wonder whether there's all that much difference between so-called "terrorists", and the official military of many oil-exporting countries.

Then you have to remember that oil is oil, and oil's bought and sold in a world market. The fact that much of the oil the US uses actually comes from Canada or Venezuela, while most of Europe's comes from the Arab world, is just because the shipping distances are shorter that way. US consumption still props up the world price,

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Old 12-29-2008, 03:29 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
Not terrorist, jihadist. Think about the purpose, rather than the tactics - then maybe you start to wonder whether there's all that much difference between so-called "terrorists", and the official military of many oil-exporting countries.

Then you have to remember that oil is oil, and oil's bought and sold in a world market. The fact that much of the oil the US uses actually comes from Canada or Venezuela, while most of Europe's comes from the Arab world, is just because the shipping distances are shorter that way. US consumption still props up the world price,
Good points. I believe the aphorism is "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter."

The guys on Car Talk a couple of weeks ago suggested a 50 cent per gallon federal gas tax. According to them, it would drive people back toward conservation (I've noticed that freeway speeds are back up to where they were before the spike), and would generate $100 billion per year that could be put into alternative energy development and research. I would go even further and say that you could peg gasoline at a minimum of, say, $2.50 per gallon without hurting people too badly (maybe below a certain income level, people could apply for an offsetting tax credit). At the current California price of about $1.75/gallon, that would generate about $150 billion per year.

Just a thought.
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Old 12-29-2008, 06:46 PM   #13 (permalink)
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The wise old head knows the price will go down, and come back up, and go down, and come back up, etc…that’s the boom-and-bust cycle in action.

Obviously it is still of value to minimize fuel usage, so that each oscillation affects one to a minimum,

It is tough when the EPA slaps high-MPG types in the face with Tier II.

Also, any increase in taxation, for any reason is unacceptable. If you want to raise the gas tax, you must reduce income taxation accordingly.
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Old 12-29-2008, 07:02 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
The wise old head knows the price will go down, and come back up, and go down, and come back up, etc…that’s the boom-and-bust cycle in action.

Obviously it is still of value to minimize fuel usage, so that each oscillation affects one to a minimum,

It is tough when the EPA slaps high-MPG types in the face with Tier II.

Also, any increase in taxation, for any reason is unacceptable. If you want to raise the gas tax, you must reduce income taxation accordingly.
Actually, we should raise gasoline taxes to subsidize solar, wind, nuclear and biofuels for transportation. Make the alternatives cheap enough, and people will use less fossil fuels.
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Old 12-29-2008, 08:47 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Subsidies are only good at wasting money better spent for other things, or lining the pockets of a clever few.
Raising the price of one option doesn't make the alternatives "cheaper". That's a very broken argument string. You have to keep in mind that the options are not interchangeable either. To switch from one to the other will always require an investment.

If you want alternatives to become cheaper, demand for those alternatives needs to be encouraged to increase at a consumer level. Income tax incentives, tax incentives for real estate developers and businesses to offer designated charging stations/parking spots, and so on.
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Regardless of their official "friendliness" status, Saudi Arabia has a large, growing and.. ahem.. active minority animosity towards us, and their government tolerates, if not encourages, terrorist training camps (unlike, say, Iraq.) The Nigerian government certainly is doing no good to its people with the money we send it, and I think we already send enough money and jobs to Mexico.
I don't really see the connection. You can't selectively deny which countries your purchases filter money to.
If you want to enact change in foreign affairs, then you should be writing letters to ambassadors.
Actively working to deny specific countries of an extra two dollars each year won't really affect those people you disagree with. In all likelihood they don't get any money from oil anyways.
I certainly don't get any dividends from the US steel industry.

Last edited by captainslug; 12-29-2008 at 09:09 PM..
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Old 12-29-2008, 11:22 PM   #16 (permalink)
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If you want alternatives to become cheaper, demand for those alternatives needs to be encouraged to increase at a consumer level. Income tax incentives, tax incentives for real estate developers and businesses to offer designated charging stations/parking spots, and so on.
Tax incentives sound like what I was suggesting. Money for those tax incentives has to come from somewhere. A good start would be to make oil pay for itself. Currently oil companies get various subsidies and bonuses, from Cheney's energy plan to our tax dollars going to military action to protect our oil interests abroad. An extra tax on gasoline is one way, but simply cutting the subsidies we already provide to oil is another way to do it.

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I don't really see the connection. You can't selectively deny which countries your purchases filter money to.
If you want to enact change in foreign affairs, then you should be writing letters to ambassadors.
Actively working to deny specific countries of an extra two dollars each year won't really affect those people you disagree with. In all likelihood they don't get any money from oil anyways.
I certainly don't get any dividends from the US steel industry.
Setting aside the fact that Alaskans do get dividends from oil, Saudi Arabia isn't like our country. They send money to local and foreign jihadist and rebel groups to further their interests, just as we occasionally meddle in the governing of third-world countries.

I'm happy to see less money leave this country, period. And as was mentioned before, reducing consumption reduces worldwide prices, sending fewer dollars to those countries.

However, today I sent $50 to a Canadian company for an MPGuino kit that will help me send LESS money to Canada in the future.
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:39 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I believe the aphorism is "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter."
What I meant was just the opposite. Groups of people may have different goals: freedom, world peace, economic hegemony, religious domination, whatever. Then there are various strategies & tactics which the groups may use, according to their resources and inclinations, to achieve their particular goals. In the present world, some jihadist groups have chosen to use the tactic called terrorism. Other groups, with the same basic goal - the spread of Islam and consequent subjugation of the infidels - have chosen to use other tactics: Iran tries to build a strong conventional army & develop nuclear weapons, the Saudis, Kuwaitis, &c invest their oil money so as to increase their economic power, etc.

The point I was trying to make is that I object to all of these. Sure, I don't like seeing my gas money going to fund the jihadists' terrorist training camps, but I also don't want to support the spread of Islam in any way, even if it's something ostensibly peaceful.

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