Why Won’t We Sacrifice?

Big things often demand big sacrifices. When I consider revamping our health care system to a universal or near universal health care system I am aware that it will involve sacrifices. These sacrifices will be well worth it if we redo our system in an intelligent manner. But the sacrifice is too much to ask of us – it would appear. We get scared and leave the status quo in place.

I’m going to deviate from health care for a bit here…

During this political season I have not seen such an avoidance of sacrifice than the latest debate over the gas tax holiday. McCain and Clinton propose that the federal gas tax be lifted this summer to help middle and lower class wallets. They don’t want us to sacrifice by paying higher prices in order to decrease our dependency on foreign oil or to better our environment.

And their proposal is full of pandering and complete bullshit.

I know Obama wants to use that word as well, but can’t give this proposal the descriptors it deserves. All three of them know that the proposal makes no sense, but Clinton and McCain pander so low.

Let me explain why it is bullshit before I go on. If you give a gas tax (especially a temporary one) gas prices will drop initially. Since gas refineries can’t increase output appreciably over the summer there will be no increase in supply. However, since the price will drop initially, the demand for gas will increase and prices will respond by rising. Rising to where it is now with the gas tax. So then who gets that demand driven increase in price? No, not the middle class wallet. They are paying no matter what. Our appetite for oil is too big. It is the oil companies that would reap the benefit. The tax would be shifted from going to the government to the oil companies. Meanwhile we will use more gas, pollute more, and increase our oil dependency. Sounds like a great policy.

I believe Clinton is a smart candidate. She has taken economics 101. Yale has taught her well. She knows her proposal is full of bullshit and she is pandering. She is stooping low and is being deceptive. But back to my point. Why can’t Americans be asked to sacrifice? Why are high gas prices bad? It’s the market speaking. It’s a wake-up call to move away from oil. It may hurt, but it should push us to run from oil, not snuggle up against it.

Why can’t we be asked to sacrifice when we are at war? Why can’t we be asked to sacrifice to save our planet? Why can’t we be asked to sacrifice so that all Americans can have access to health care? Are we too comfortable and lazy? Are our leaders too weak to make the demands? I’m not sure, but I do know that sacrifice is needed at times. Let’s keep an open mind and vote for the candidate that is not afraid to ask of us to do better, to make changes, and to even, if necessary, to make sacrifices.

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2 responses to “Why Won’t We Sacrifice?

  1. I agree; sacrifice is an honorable word and an honorable concept; it’s just not one that we are accustomed to since our culture tends to tell us to look out for ourselves, and even refers to the self as being #1. Perhaps if we looked out for someone who had less than #1, we would all be more peaceful/happier/contented people. The “Great Reversal” really works

  2. Shockingly, US citizens seem to have realized that Obama is the one talking sense here. I’m glad the candidate I’m behind doesn’t always bow to political pressure (ahem, denunciation of pastor), and I’m even more glad that he can be proven at least occasionally right (ahem, crazed fear of said pastor) to be so hopeful for the electorate. Given the NC and Indiana results, McCain will probably want to rethink his position on the gas tax relief (‘I voted for it before I voted against it…’).

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