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What's with all the horrible ideas to lower gas prices

Old 05-28-07, 01:03 AM
  #226  
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Originally Posted by Sdallnct
I recently read an article where the "best" thing that government could do for gas is raise taxes on. Raise taxes the same a Europe. Have $1.50-$2.00 tax on gas. The theory being gas will then sell in the $5.00 range and it will finally be enough to force people to make changes in their lifestyle and thought processes on saving fuel. In addition, that extra tax is used for things like mass transit, low energy fuel plants, tax credits for people who put more insulation/double pane windows in their home, buy an electric car, etc, etc.
Once again, a vast majority of this country is not set up for people to go without using their cars. This will not change anytime soon, and a tax isn't going to help. I cannot physically get my kids to daycare and get to work without a car. And I live near a big city. So $5.00 gas will not only affect my driving budget, it will push up a bunch of other expenses (groceries, clothes, etc.) and I still won't see a mass transit system I can use on a daily basis in my lifetime.

So consider my vote a "nay" on this stupid idea.
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Old 05-28-07, 12:09 PM
  #227  
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Originally Posted by sracer
I see more than that...
March 06 - May 06 shows gas prices rising faster than crude oil.
Feb 07 - May 07 shows gas prices rising faster again.
It's all a bit pointless without some good statistical analysis. It would be nice to see some real data crunching and see if any of the differences prove to be statistically significant.
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Old 05-28-07, 05:40 PM
  #228  
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I'd guess we would have to hear from someone in or use to live in Europe to see how they handle the $5.00 gas. Surely people live in "rural" areas of Europe that don't have a ton of mass transportation, and I'm guessing people in Europe have kids that need to be taken to day care and then go on to work. And I'm sure there are "poor" in Europe that the taxes effect.

Yes, I totally agree. It would be a total and complete mind shift and lifestyle. It would take that kind of gas prices for the majority to think that way.

I'm not arguing for the tax. I am arguing for people to have a mind shift. That rather then getting mad at oil companies, use less gas. For example, right now I can live anywhere I want. I don't consider distance and issue. However, if I knew I had to pay $5.00 per gallon for gas, I would be a lot more selective. I would live closer to work or where there was mass transportation. It would also be a factor in where I send my kids to school or where I shop.
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Old 05-28-07, 10:30 PM
  #229  
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Originally Posted by Sdallnct
I recently read an article where the "best" thing that government could do for gas is raise taxes on. Raise taxes the same a Europe. Have $1.50-$2.00 tax on gas. The theory being gas will then sell in the $5.00 range and it will finally be enough to force people to make changes in their lifestyle and thought processes on saving fuel.....
I think you are only looking at one minor aspect of that tax.

You would completely bankrupt GM and Ford who make their bread and butter on trucks (low MPG vehicles)

You would increase costs of EVERY good.

The combination of those and other ripple effects of such a tax would tank the economy.

Once the economy tanks, gas prices drop anyway
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Old 05-28-07, 10:41 PM
  #230  
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I think part of the idea would be to change GM and Ford to produce more fuel economic cars like the japanese do.


Prices are starting to fall here. They've gone down .05 since their peak
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Old 05-28-07, 10:53 PM
  #231  
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Originally Posted by Sdallnct
I'd guess we would have to hear from someone in or use to live in Europe to see how they handle the $5.00 gas.
How about from a rural part of Canada?

I have a very good friend that I have spent some peroods of time with here and there in a very rural part of Canada.

He had a beat up old diesel pickup truck and could not afford to drive it if he didn't cheat the system

Apparently in Canada only 'on road' diesel is taxed heavily. If you buy home heating or farm use or some bullshit like that (it was tinted red or some other color so the non-taxed fuel could be spotted) then you don't pay the 'road use' tax and price is far more reasonable.

My friend had a tank outside his garage that was filled with this non-tax fuel and he had a little manual pump he used to pump it from that tank into his truck.

He said you could get caught doing it and have to pay a fine. The police would put a stick in your gas tank and see if it came up the red color, if so, busted

I don't think he was every caught. You ask how they do it? Well the smarter ones find ways to cheat the system.

Let me just say it is total shock to me how some people live. My friend is from a fairly poor part of Canada (no I am not going to say exactly where) but people there either don't drive (don't own a car at all), car pool, walk, ride a bike (pedal and motor) and their way of life would never be realistic for the majority of people here in the US.

If one neighbor was going to the store, he would ask the next closest 5 neighbors if they 1. wanted to go or 2. if they wanted him to bring back anything. People there are EXTREMELY friendly and helpful.

I could never in a million years IMAGINE doing that with my neighbors.

The majority in the US are use to a much higher standard of living and level in independence and quite honestly, *I* would not want to have to siginificantly lower that and live more like these poor Canadians did.

I know people in the US cheat taxes here and there, but I never saw a group of more tax cheating people in my life than them. They had an angle on how to cheat every tax. Most had to hunt or fish to afford to eat everyday so I don't blame them.

I think they thought I was a king when I was willingly buying lots of $40 / case beer, buying them gas/diesel because I wanted to go places and have fun. I just kept saying I was on vacation and hadn't spent my limit yet, that they sort of understood.

I am still amazed at how many random people I met while fishing in the river that were willing to help me, talk to me, invite me over for dinner, etc, etc. Maybe it was because I was from US, no idea. I know many of these people could barely afford to feed themselves.

To anyone that thinks that lifestyle is supperior in any way, I challenge you to go live it for a month or so like I did. You will find the novelty wears off really fast and you will long for your car and the freedom to go and do as you please because the cost isn't limiting.

I want my cheap gas DAMNIT! I enjoy my lifestyle. The US has given a better quality of life to more people than any other country.
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Old 05-28-07, 11:07 PM
  #232  
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Originally Posted by Venusian
I think part of the idea would be to change GM and Ford to produce more fuel economic cars like the japanese do.
What?

A Toyota Tundra does not get better mileage than a Ford F150. If you compare apples to apples, your statement makes no sense.

Tundra

http://www.edmunds.com/new/2007/toyo...chlanding.html

Fuel Tank Capacity: 26.4 gal.; EPA Mileage Estimates: 14 mpg / 18 mpg; Range in Miles: 369.6 mi. / 475.2 mi.
F150

http://www.edmunds.com/new/2007/ford...chlanding.html

Fuel Tank Capacity: 26 gal.; EPA Mileage Estimates: 14 mpg / 18 mpg; Range in Miles: 364 mi. / 468 mi

and the Focus

http://www.edmunds.com/new/2007/ford...chlanding.html

Fuel Tank Capacity: 14 gal.; EPA Mileage Estimates: 27 mpg / 37 mpg; Range in Miles: 378 mi. / 518 mi
is not too far off the Corolla

http://www.edmunds.com/new/2007/toyo...chlanding.html

Fuel Tank Capacity: 13.2 gal.; EPA Mileage Estimates: 32 mpg / 41 mpg; Range in Miles: 422.4 mi. / 541.2 mi
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Old 05-29-07, 12:52 AM
  #233  
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Originally Posted by Sdallnct
I'm not arguing for the tax. I am arguing for people to have a mind shift. That rather then getting mad at oil companies, use less gas. For example, right now I can live anywhere I want. I don't consider distance and issue. However, if I knew I had to pay $5.00 per gallon for gas, I would be a lot more selective. I would live closer to work or where there was mass transportation. It would also be a factor in where I send my kids to school or where I shop.
You say "mind shift" - but we bought our house and added 15 minutes to our commute specifically so we could be in a nice neighborhood with a lot of green space - we had to go farther away from the city to afford it. So we'd have to sell the house we love and get a smaller and rundown place in a worse neighborhood closer to a bus line, sending my kids to the closest school rather than the best we can, shopping at the corner store with jacked up prices instead of the major supermarkets and I would have to get a job that would allow my wife to stay home with the kids.

That, my friend, is far more than a "mind shift". That's living a completely different life. If I'd wanted a shitty apartment in the city I could have done that a long time ago. But I'm not a college student anymore, and my tolerance for shitty living spaces has dropped considerably since that time.
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Old 05-29-07, 09:00 AM
  #234  
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Originally Posted by JasonF
As long as you're taking requests, can you plot the delta between crude prices and gas prices?
Yes.



But it occurred to me that a better way to look at the data would be to examine the difference in price between gasoline and crude as a percentage of total gasoline price, i.e., percentage markup. So, that's what this represents:



In both cases it looks like the current situation is unprecedented. It's not. Going back in time just one year, we get the following:





each of which shows that the situation we have now is roughly the same as what happened throughout much of 2005.
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Old 05-29-07, 09:21 AM
  #235  
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The 2005 spike towards the end was Katrina and Rita taking out a lot of refineries in the Gulf.



on the mpg, isn't is usually counted as the fleet avg and not individual cars. If the Japanese can make money on cars that aren't gas guzzlers, why can't detroit?
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Old 05-29-07, 09:29 AM
  #236  
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Originally Posted by Venusian
on the mpg, isn't is usually counted as the fleet avg and not individual cars.
That is my understanding as well.

Originally Posted by Venusian
If the Japanese can make money on cars that aren't gas guzzlers, why can't detroit?
cue up union bashing response in 3... 2... 1....

I just bought an '07 Jeep Patriot. A full 4x4 w/CVT auto that gets 24 city/28 highway. That's not a bad start.
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Old 05-29-07, 09:38 AM
  #237  
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American auto manufacturers have rigged the CAFE legislation in such a way that they can manufacture and sell a higher percentage of large and inefficient trucks and SUVs and still remain compliant. Japanese companies would rather just build fuel efficient vehicles. It has little or nothing to do with organized labor, and more to do with myopia amongst the US executives and high levels of testosterone-fueled jingoism in the American domestic vehicle buyer.
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Old 05-29-07, 09:47 AM
  #238  
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Originally Posted by Venusian
The 2005 spike towards the end was Katrina and Rita taking out a lot of refineries in the Gulf.
Yeah, and the 2007 spike was brought about by a power outage in a refinery in March, 2007; and, by a fire at a refinery in Wynnewood, OK - a fire that didn't affect the refinery at all but destroyed two tanks - neither storing unleaded gasoline, btw. The major oil companies and refiners have a plethora of excuses they will gladly trot out.
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Old 05-29-07, 11:41 AM
  #239  
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Originally Posted by Venusian
on the mpg, isn't is usually counted as the fleet avg and not individual cars. If the Japanese can make money on cars that aren't gas guzzlers, why can't detroit?
Yes, in general, a major manufacturer has to calculate four separate fleets, car and truck, both domestic and imported. A smaller manufacturer may not have vehicles in all these bins. CAFE is a sales weighted average of the individual vehicle models making up these fleets.

A vehicle with less than 75% domestic content goes in the import fleet (with a fair dose of shenanigans in how domestic content is calculated). Depending on how the fleets have pluses and minuses to the required average, resourcing may permit a car to be moved (in either direction) between import and domestic, according to where the biggest problems lie. However, the law does not facilitate building big cars in US and importing smaller cars from their European operations (an option which would probably improve the small car options from the Big Three).

In addition to CAFE, there is a gas-guzzler tax on individual car models (but not trucks) under 22.5 mpg. This can be avoided by the "magic fuel credit" for flex fuel vehicles. Essentially all domestic gas guzzlers are FFV to avoid the tax, even though they never really run on E85. Imports usually just pay the tax.

All these CAFE figures are based on the actual dyno results for the vehicle, not the "derated" mileage figures EPA requires for car window sticker (which I think are 90% of city result, 78% of highway). These deratings are supposed to get closer to how real people drive but issues still exist. It is pretty hard in the real world to make the EPA number unless you are a VERY conservative driver.
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Old 05-29-07, 01:44 PM
  #240  
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Originally Posted by Venusian
The 2005 spike towards the end was Katrina and Rita taking out a lot of refineries in the Gulf.



on the mpg, isn't is usually counted as the fleet avg and not individual cars. If the Japanese can make money on cars that aren't gas guzzlers, why can't detroit?
detroit is ruled by the UAW and they have old factories they can't upgrade

i forgot the details, but the labor cost for the Big Three and Toyota to make a car is a huge difference
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Old 06-01-07, 11:28 PM
  #241  
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Anybody see the end of 20/20 tonight where a certain co-host discussed gouging? I'm sure some of our regulars would have just loved it.
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Old 06-02-07, 08:55 AM
  #242  
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Originally Posted by al_bundy
detroit is ruled by the UAW and they have old factories they can't upgrade

i forgot the details, but the labor cost for the Big Three and Toyota to make a car is a huge difference
Toyota's also been cost-minded long before it became de rigueur for companies to hire procurement consultants. I remember reading a WSJ article about seven or eight years ago regarding a top executive touring one of the new US factories. At one point, something needed to be dried. The machine doing the drying was fully automated and a bit of an overkill. I think it cost something like $80,000 or $800,000. The executive asked if a hair dryer could do the same thing. It could. They used the hair dryer.
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