In the back and forth below, Casey posted as follows, and I thought it deserved to be brought up and be given the light of day:
John, I’m referring to your February 1 post. “So back to my question. Who is supposed to pay for the charging stations? When we began driving gasoline powered vehicles, the gasoline companies paid for the stations. Why is it the responsibility of my company, or my university, or my garage owner to pay for the charging stations? Certainly why is it the responsibility of the government to pay for the stations.”
You have missed the fact that you are paying for your neighborhood gas station – and then some.
My point is that through perverse subsidization the petroleum industry has reaped huge profits while tethering us all to their unsustainable resource. If for even short period of time the tables where turned and alternatives received what petroleum has received we’d all be driving electric vehicles.
Casey and I can discuss free market economics until the cows come home and I’m certain we won’t agree. Suffice it to say that Exxon, the evil petrogiant Casey so abhors, employees close to 85,000 people. It is true that its gross revenue is huge, by mere fact of its size. However its ‘net’ is less than 10% of its gross revenue.
And yes, Casey, I know that i paid for the gas station on the corner, but I also know that I paid for it through my purchases of gasoline. Getting gasoline to market is an expensive business and I expect that I should pay what it costs to get it there.
I might also note in passing that the ‘subsidies’ to which Casey refers are tax deductions that all businesses routinely take. Expenses, write offs of old equipment, payrolls, etc. Should we treat oil companies differently than we treat the local dry cleaner or the guy who cuts our hair?
Those of us who routinely make payrolls and create things out of whole cloth, understand that profits are necessary to keep our companies alive. Without it we are out of business, and our employees are on the dole.
But, in the end, the 40,000 page tax code, government bail outs, subsidies to farmers and universities and utilities, and yes banks and auto companies are all the result of a government run amok. I’m opposed to them all.
These tax breaks and outright grants skew the market and the forces that keep quality up and prices down.
Government involvement in virtually every part of our lives makes for bad choices. An example: The Transportation Security Administration has an annual budget of about $7.6 billion and processes over 650,000,000 people. That’s $11 and change per person. Why shouldn’t those people pay the total bill? Why should the government subsidize it at all? We now pay about a fifth of that (around $2.50 per person). You want to fly safely, pay an extra $12 per ticket and get on with it.
But, then what do I know?