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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Return of DOW 36,000

James Glassman's wrong-way sign for economic opportunity points in this direction:
Similarly, the best way to reduce demand for gasoline is for government to require that cars and trucks get lower miles per gallon, become less efficient. That should be Mineta's new slogan, "10 MPG Equals Energy Independence!"
As always, one should take the opposite stance to any advice Glassman gives out. The DOW could still hit 36,000, figuratively speaking of course.
CAFE standards don't lower energy use. They merely satisfy the need of politicians to convince an unsuspecting public that they're doing something. It's time for the public to wake up to this scam.

I cringe as Glassman gropes around trying to describe Jevon's paradox, without having the background to name it or understand it's true implications. And Glassman does not have the intellectual honesty to point out the other alternative to CAFE standards -- the gas tax. But Matt Yglesias does.


Professor Blogger monkeygrinder said...

In the article, James Glassman favorably referenced "The Bottomless Well", from which the following quote was extracted on the Amazon Review:

"[f]uels recede, demand grows... but logic ascends, and with the rise of logic we attain the impossible—infinite energy, perpetual motion and the triumph of power."

11:45 PM  
Professor Blogger WHT said...

That book sounds like a dry-run for someone defining the precepts for ... Intelligent Design.

10:49 AM  
Professor Anonymous Jussi Hämäläinen said...

Jeebus Christ,what an idiot.

Glassman references a chart which demonstrates how,while the energy cost of transportation in the US improved from 9 to 6 gallons per 100 vehicle miles in the 1973-2003,the total fuel use for transportation went from 120 to over 180 billion gallons in the same period, an increase of over 50%.

Then he says:"When something works better or more efficiently, it is, by definition, cheaper, so we want more of it. Demand for computers rose sharply, for example, as faster microchips and better software increased the machines' ability to do more."

Glassman conveniently leaves out the rise,in the same period,of the total US population:from 210 to 290 million people,compounded with the fact that the per capita GDP increased from 20 000 $ to 35 000 $ (1973-2003).

That's a rise of roughly 75% in itself.

If there's a new razor on the market that lets me shave in half the time,does that mean I'm going to buy twice as many?
Obviously,the growing US fuel demand has other sources than the CAFE standards.

11:20 AM  
Professor Anonymous Jussi Hämäläinen said...

To be precise:the US per capita rise I mentioned is in real,not nominal terms,and calculated in year 2000 dollars.

Source:Economic History Services,


11:26 AM  
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