Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press released a report today titled "Economic Pessimism Grows, Gas Prices Pinch". Usually I look forward to reports from the center, because they (somehow) generally confirm my own sentiments of what's important in America as seen by citizens. I had a few problems with one particular result in this one, though.

The report says that 86 percent of Americans want the government to require better auto fuel efficiency. That's all well and good, but if government were to take such steps we'd be back in the quagmire we've been in since the Environmental Protection Agency tried to do this very thing with the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) rules. The automakers would have dozens of lobbyists in the halls of Congress begging, cajoling, and threatening to have the "unreasonable" restrictions lifted for the sake of American workers and the economy. Been there, done that, and never made all the progress that was intended.

If 86 percent of Americans really want cars with better fuel efficiency, we don't need government intervening to do this. We could go buy the fuel efficient cars. According to the survey, 27 percent of Americans have done just that recently. Of course, there still are a lot of vans, SUVs, and pick-up trucks on the road these days. Consumer demand could force even GM, Ford, and DaimlerChrysler to give us nice fuel-efficient cars. How fast is THAT happening?

OK, it's still early in the day of three-dollar gallons of gasoline. And it's still a debatable point whether it's that much of a burden on us, since a gallon of gas still seems to cost less as a proportion of income here than it does in most of Europe or in Canada. Still, are people going to put their money where their gas-pedal feet are? There's a lot more that can be done besides buying small, efficient cars.

There's some good news for non-Republicans in that report: The Democratic party is gaining supporters, if the Pew numbers are accurate. If the 2006 Congressional elections were held today, the Democrats would hold a 52 percent to 40 percent lead over the Republicans. But in somewhat of a paradox, most Democrats in the survey were unhappy with the Democratic leaders. Just under half (49%) of Democratic voters approve of the job congressional Democratic leaders are doing, and their approval rating among all voters is only 36 percent.

Latest Month

December 2017


Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Lilia Ahner