People, how hard is it? While candidates spew and describe the problem, people are going broke and the economy can potentially grind to a halt over gas prices! Here we are in an election and when almost every American knows what to do, our government cannot even get it together to pass initiatives and emergency legislation!
Here are some ideas to do something and do something right now!
Give tax incentives, request all corporations to allow more employees to work from home. If President Bush and others encouraged corporations to enable telecommuting, this would immediately reduce demand on oil, it would put money right into the pockets of workers. With today's communications systems, working at home can be actually more efficient and certainly reduce stress on employees. Many employees already have corporate laptops and there are now many products enabling web conferencing for meetings. Demanding people sit in a drab cube simply for some sort of antiquated management reason that doesn't add up, in pure productivity terms alone, is just stuck on stupid.
- Make Box Cars!
Remember all of those cheap gas efficient autos from the 1970's? How about the Geo Metro, a 50 mpg subcompact, which was discontinued? GM just closed up 4 factories which made gas guzzlers and fired the workers. Why not give tax incentives for US domestic auto manufacturing companies to retool these very facilities, keep the factories open, generate US domestic jobs and make box cars! To encourage consumers to buy the box cars, give further subsidies to consumers in the form of rebates and tax breaks to those who buy a box car and turn in their gas guzzler in trade. Give people a break, enable them to buy these and magically those little economy scooters will be very cool, very wise and very, very American.
- Close the Enron Loophole
Virtually all parties now agree the Enron Loophole must be repealed. The simplest way to repeal would be to add two words to the Act‘s definition of ―exempt commodity so it reads: an exempt commodity does ―not include an agriculture or energy commodity; and two words to 7 U.S.C. § 7 (e) to make clear that ―agricultural and energy commodities must trade on regulated markets
- Biodiesel Converters/Availability
Biodiesel is simply not readily available. While there are many diesel engines that can run on biodiesel with no modifications, in some cases, a converter is needed. State and local governments should be given federal subsidies in order to make biodiesel available across the nation. Taxpayers should get a rebate for converting their diesel trucks to accept biodiesel.
- Increase Public Transport
Often buses are simply not available or do not run often enough. Train routes do not go far enough or have absurd restrictions on beverages, bicycles and pets. Riding bicycles is plain dangerous along highways with no bike lanes. Governments should be given federal funds to increase more public transportation around the clock and to farther bus and train routes as fast as possible. No, one cannot build a light rail in a month, but certainly more buses, trains along existing public transport lines could be done immediately.
If I can write up these simple things in a 10 minutes blog post, why is it our government simply gives platitudes and cannot pass legislation, issue executive order to immediately act? Our economy is an oil based economy. These simple things will probably pay for themselves in stopping the incredible devastation that dramatically increasing oil prices will have on our economy. Oh yeah, it's good for the environment too.