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How Washington Could Push Gas Prices Higher

Neomalthusian

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Misleading title and intro for that article. The piece begins: "No politician would run for office by calling for higher gasoline prices. Yet policymakers in Washington may be on the verge of causing some pain at the pump for consumers."

They wouldn't be "causing pain," they'd be correcting an idiotic policy mistake they made almost 10 years ago.

A failure to anticipate

What they failed to anticipate was a grueling recession that cut into gas purchases, along with more efficient cars that simply require less gas. If the ethanol targets were defined as a percentage of the fuel supply — say, 10% — there wouldn’t be a problem. But since the targets are set in gallons, adding more ethanol to a shrinking pool of gasoline can push the ethanol content beyond a level that automakers say is safe in cars.

Not to mention how idiotic it was to mandate ethanol in gas in the first place.
 

radcen

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Misleading title and intro for that article. The piece begins: "No politician would run for office by calling for higher gasoline prices. Yet policymakers in Washington may be on the verge of causing some pain at the pump for consumers."

They wouldn't be "causing pain," they'd be correcting an idiotic policy mistake they made almost 10 years ago.

Not to mention how idiotic it was to mandate ethanol in gas in the first place.
I think they were trying to play up "unintended consequences", but didn't do it very well.
 

specklebang

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Ethanol is proof positive that we are ruled by idiots and that corruption abounds. It was something I expected Obama to deal with when I voted for him in 2007/8 but apparently he's on the same payroll as his predecessors.
 

Diogenes

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Ethanol is proof positive that we are ruled by idiots and that corruption abounds. It was something I expected Obama to deal with when I voted for him in 2007/8 but apparently he's on the same payroll as his predecessors.

The ethanol mandates are indeed ridiculous. Congress has mandated that so many billion gallons of ethanol be used this year, the refiners can't use that much without going over the 10% limit above which the auto manufacturers have said their warranties are void (which would open the refiners to lawsuits for ruined engines), so they have to buy credits and pass the cost on at the pump. By some calculations, this cost is already in the neighborhood of $1/gal.
 

Neomalthusian

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I think they were trying to play up "unintended consequences", but didn't do it very well.

Yeah, there was good/interesting information in the article, but the way it was titled and introduced emphasized attention-grabbing over accuracy. "What?! Government might make my gasoline more expensive?!"
 

Dittohead not!

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Are the corn growers getting a good return on their investment of purchasing a few congressmen?
 

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Are the corn growers getting a good return on their investment of purchasing a few congressmen?

They are getting an excellent return (as long as the subsidies continue).
 

specklebang

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Are the corn growers getting a good return on their investment of purchasing a few congressmen?

They are getting an excellent return (as long as the subsidies continue).

Absolutely. There is no rational reason to continue this failed idea that disturbs the food market and burdens the consumer.
 

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Absolutely. There is no rational reason to continue this failed idea that disturbs the food market and burdens the consumer.
Are you talking about ethanol or food stamps?
 

specklebang

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Are you talking about ethanol or food stamps?

Ethanol. I actually view food stamps as a valid program but as are so many things, poorly managed. Ethanol is millions for a few, food stamps are millions for millions. Just because there are egregious food stamp manipulators doesn't mean that the majority are receiving real help that isn't cash.

Ethanol is a scam.
 

YoungConserv

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Ethanol. I actually view food stamps as a valid program but as are so many things, poorly managed. Ethanol is millions for a few, food stamps are millions for millions. Just because there are egregious food stamp manipulators doesn't mean that the majority are receiving real help that isn't cash.

Ethanol is a scam.
Doesn't the food stamp program do a lot of what you complained about with ethanol though?
 

specklebang

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Doesn't the food stamp program do a lot of what you complained about with ethanol though?

I want to give you an honest answer but I'm not sure what your question is.

Most people who get food stamps are very low income. So most people buy real food with those stamps. Some people receive the stamps deceptively and actually have enough income. But the majority of food stamps do some good.

Ethanol OTOH is all negative. It serves no purpose except for the very few that make money from it.

So, IMHO, they are 2 completely different things.
 

YoungConserv

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I want to give you an honest answer but I'm not sure what your question is.

Most people who get food stamps are very low income. So most people buy real food with those stamps. Some people receive the stamps deceptively and actually have enough income. But the majority of food stamps do some good.

Ethanol OTOH is all negative. It serves no purpose except for the very few that make money from it.

So, IMHO, they are 2 completely different things.
I would point out that foodstamos raise the price of food just like ethanol in gasoline and create food scarcity as well by decreasing motivation for super markets to move in to low income areas.
 

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Increases taxation to cover the cost which is then passed on to the paying customers.

Yeah... No...

It doesn't work like that.

Ethanol represents the government picking winners and losers.

Food stamps exists as a program to help the needy, different kettle of fish. We can ,easier the disturbance to the corn and food markets relatively easily. Food stamps is much harder because it is indirect and also a much lesser impact.
 

specklebang

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I would point out that foodstamos raise the price of food just like ethanol in gasoline and create food scarcity as well by decreasing motivation for super markets to move in to low income areas.

Other than natural market forces, I can't envision how food stamps would affect food prices. Regardless of how it's paid for, the exact same number of meals will be eaten. As for the neighborhood thing, I'm totally not understanding your point. I'm not being snarky, just don't follow the reasoning. But I do read anything you write in response with an open mind.

Ethanol OTOH consumes a bunch of corn which is used to feed livestock and very directly drives up the price of meat. It has zero redeeming social or economic value.
 

YoungConserv

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Other than natural market forces, I can't envision how food stamps would affect food prices. Regardless of how it's paid for, the exact same number of meals will be eaten. As for the neighborhood thing, I'm totally not understanding your point. I'm not being snarky, just don't follow the reasoning. But I do read anything you write in response with an open mind.

Ethanol OTOH consumes a bunch of corn which is used to feed livestock and very directly drives up the price of meat. It has zero redeeming social or economic value.

But don't food stamps create a market distortion in poor neighborhoods ousting the food sources to what the recipient likes rather than the coustomer?
 

specklebang

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But don't food stamps create a market distortion in poor neighborhoods ousting the food sources to what the recipient likes rather than the coustomer?

Not as far as I personally can tell. I live in a poor neighborhood by choice and my nearby grocery chain stores seem to have the same offerings as any of their other stores.

I'm pretty sure that 3 people I know personally get a few dollars in food stamps. One is my ex-wife who gets $930 a month in SS, about $100-$150 more than her norm because she gets some kind f claim on my SS account because we were married for 10 years. But even at $930, she gets $16 a month in the food stamps. Another tenant gets food stamps - her SS is in the $800 range and while I try to be a good guy and charge her $550 rent instead of the $750 the market price, she struggles. She has no car. At age 74/75, she collects soda cans and other crap she then takes to a nearby charity. The other one, a tenant, gets food stamps I think, but I'm not sure if thats correct. The rest of the area, surrounded by apartments (my units are town houses) are definitely no place you would live unless its all you can afford.

So, my assumption is that it has no negative impact on either price or selection.

I'd much rather food stamps than welfare. And yes, I've been offered food stamps or cash (I decline). Not a perfect system.
 

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Ethanol is proof positive that we are ruled by idiots and that corruption abounds. It was something I expected Obama to deal with when I voted for him in 2007/8 but apparently he's on the same payroll as his predecessors.

It's what what you get when you let one tiny state go first in pres primaries every time. Some one early in this thread said it started 10 years ago, but try 20
 

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i'm against upping the ethanol content. my car doesn't like even ten percent very well.
 

CalGun

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Instated of food stamps we should send people food. A 42lb bucket of rice is less than $60 and 3.5lbs of rice a month is a solid addition to many diets. The same bucket of lentils is $90 or $7.50 a month and those include delivery costs. These and other staples could be shipped quite easily and sent to shelters for the homeless.


Not as far as I personally can tell. I live in a poor neighborhood by choice and my nearby grocery chain stores seem to have the same offerings as any of their other stores.

I'm pretty sure that 3 people I know personally get a few dollars in food stamps. One is my ex-wife who gets $930 a month in SS, about $100-$150 more than her norm because she gets some kind f claim on my SS account because we were married for 10 years. But even at $930, she gets $16 a month in the food stamps. Another tenant gets food stamps - her SS is in the $800 range and while I try to be a good guy and charge her $550 rent instead of the $750 the market price, she struggles. She has no car. At age 74/75, she collects soda cans and other crap she then takes to a nearby charity. The other one, a tenant, gets food stamps I think, but I'm not sure if thats correct. The rest of the area, surrounded by apartments (my units are town houses) are definitely no place you would live unless its all you can afford.

So, my assumption is that it has no negative impact on either price or selection.

I'd much rather food stamps than welfare. And yes, I've been offered food stamps or cash (I decline). Not a perfect system.
 
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