Comment 5898

By Ted Mitchell (registered) | Posted March 19, 2007 at 21:54:41

A much simpler answer is for gas to cost $3-4 / litre in today's dollars.

The rich wouldn't change, but most people would get the idea about car pooling, and improve on that little 25% seat occupancy problem. The poor would get rid of their cars, thus pulling away from car-induced poverty.

$3 gas would put my annual 2 car ownership costs up from about $8K to $10K assuming no change in mileage. Drop in the bucket really, unless your ego drives some insane guzzler.

I recall what the price was 20 years ago when I used to pump it: $0.40 Adjust that to $ 1 today and you have an equivalent annual interest rate of 4%, hardly above inflation. So those complaints about the current high price of gas are just illigitimate.

With $3/L gas, you can lower other forms of tax. Why should people pay tax based on the value of their house or even their income? That is much less "fair" than a big gas tax that places the burden on those who generate the massive costs, dollar and otherwise, of car culture on our society.

But I'm afraid this most fair scenario has no chance politically. We are too stupid to do anything but the status quo until hit by some really big problem. The most likely one is not climate change, war or terrorism. It's economic collapse.

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