A. Plebeian Solution to Detroit and Big Oil

I am Adlai Plebeian and I support two things: big oil money paying Detroit’s bailout and airlines weighing passengers. Both chafe me in ways only ostrich racers and camel jockeys appreciate. Why should I pay for years of horrible mismanagement and inferior product offerings? Am I more responsible to bail them out than oil companies who propped them up in the first place? And where do Airlines get off charging me an extra $30 to check a bag at the same time allowing some person twice my weight the same cabin baggage allowance at the same fare? End the madness!

ExxonMobil earned $40B in 2007 and continues to break quarterly profit records for U.S. companies ($14.83B for last quarter). Government loans of $17B to GM and Chrysler came from you and me, while oil companies continue enjoying their record profits and continue to do business as usual. What good is a $17B loan to GM going to do decrease energy usage and oil dependence when oil companies continue earning profits. Cheap gasoline and unheard of oil profits dragged Detriot into this mess. It’s only fair these profits, enjoyed on the wings of Detroit’s crash and burn, finance cleaning up the wreckage. Oil company profits were spent to maintain the supremacy of inefficient gasoline powered automobiles, now they should pay to save the industry they have helped bring close to destruction. Nobody whined when big tobacco had to fund efforts to prevent tobacco addiction; few will whine when big-oil funds programs to end oil addiction.

Throw a federal fuel tax on top and there is a plan that might just save U.S. auto makers. Fluctuations in the price of commodity so necessary to general commerce are absurd. A federal-tax to stablize the price of gas  near $3.00/gallon makes automakers rethink some basic elements of their offerings, and makes oil companies look to alternate revenue sources than hawking cheap gasoline to people with big cars. And if people want to drive, revenue from the tax supports road maintenance, infrastructure upgrades to support re-fueling stations to deliver electricty, hydrogen or whatever powers the cars of tomorrow. 

They’re quite sensible really, big oil paying for Detroit’s bailout and a gas tax, which is exactly why you’ll never see them in action.

A. Plebeian


…And while were at it, let airlines weigh passengers. Quite frankly I am furious that I have to pay to check a bag on the airline. A 250 pound individual to bring 2 carry-on bags and 100 pounds of superfluous body mass into a cabin. This is not fair. Why am I paying for the fuel costs to lug around your unhealthy lifestyle? An airline ticket should be good for 250 lbs. of carriage. Passengers and their bags will stand on a platform to weigh everything. If it’s more than 250 pounds, pay up. Airlines should charge more to passengers who cost more to transport. At FedEx/UPS/USPS when it weighs more you pay more to ship it—is this somehow different?


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