Tuesday, May 31, 2011

HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE HIGH GAS PRICES

"Soon, hardly anyone will be able to afford to fly willy-nilly around the country or globe. You will breeze through the maze of airport checkpoints."

For most people, watching gas prices raggedly rise over the past year has not been a welcome sight. Higher gas prices means not just greater personal expense refilling the car, but everything delivered by gas powered vehicles gets more expensive. Yet there are some who are trying to spin higher gas prices as positive.

The attempt to spin bad news in the Obama economy as not so bad, or even good, isn't new. When the official level of unemployment pushed over 10% in America, Stories about "funemployment" started to show up in 2009:
Buoyed by severance, savings, unemployment checks or their parents, the funemployed do not spend their days poring over job listings. They travel on the cheap for weeks. They head back to school or volunteer at the neighborhood soup kitchen.
Unemployed college graduates were portrayed as having more time to travel and relax! Losing your job meant that you had more time to volunteer and do those things you kept putting off! Natalie Portman thought the recession was exciting:
“I think it’s kind of an exciting time. I mean, everyone is cutting back. It’s happening in every industry - including our own. All of a sudden, people are doing jobs that they hate and they’re not making as much money as they thought they would or they’ve lost their jobs entirely. I’ve started to see people looking more toward their own passions and what really excites them.”
Now, with gas prices pushing up toward $5 a gallon, the spin has already begun. MSNBC ran a piece entitled Why you should love $5 gas recently, with bullet points about why high gas prices are great, ranging from how fewer people will die on the road if we drive less to how airline prices will go up, shortening security lines at the air port, to how wars will get too expensive to wage and tyrants will topple when we stop buying their gas.

The writer "doubleace" is particularly optimistic about this, to the point of absurdity. The idea that a critical commodity becoming too expensive will somehow result in less conflict is difficult to believe. And if this person truly wanted tyrants to stop being propped up by gas dollars, wouldn't they be first in line calling for domestic oil production?

This kind of writing is not surprising from MSNBC, a news organization that has made its enthusiastic support of Democrats in general and President Obama in specific abundantly clear over the years. It is sad to see such a transparent and weak attempt to make the miserable seem positive.

To be certain, the left tends to view cheap gasoline as an evil, particularly academic leftists such as President Obama, who has made it clear he prefers higher prices to reduce driving and push people to buy electric cars or ride public transportation.

Its just hard to imagine this sort of reporting by anyone under a Republican presidency. It isn't hard to find the stories of woe and condemnation of President Bush when gas prices were this high in 2007. But then, inconsistent economic coverage of Democrat and Republican presidents isn't exactly new.

*This originally ran on the Washington Examiner Opinion Zone.

1 comment:

eric said...

I'm always torn on high oil prices. I live in an area that absolutely, objectively, and visibly benefits from $100+ barrels of oil. But I'm not personally connected to the oil industry, so the benefit to me is limited to the fact that a spike in oil always means our small town will get a new restaraunt or a new shop of some sort, that my friends who were too broke to go to the lake with us two summers ago may get to go this year, or that maybe the increased tax revenues means our city will finally be able to build that new public swimming pool they've been talking about for years to replace the ancient one built in the 40's by the CCC.

But for me it mostly just means more expense.