Michael Karesh is Insane: Raise the Federal Gas Tax!
Fortune Magazine’s Allan Sloan writes that “ It’s Time to Raise the Gas Tax.” And he’s right. Many people blame Detroit for not putting more money and effort into developing more fuel-efficient cars. Some have suggested that Detroit should promise to develop high-efficiency cars as a condition for getting any bailout money. But it has never made sense to force Detroit, through Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) or other legislation, to develop more fuel-efficient vehicles. Why not? Because it never makes financial sense to put money into developing products that consumers aren’t demanding. Maybe they’ll demand them in the future, if and when fuel prices spike? Businesses prefer products for which there is a more certain demand. There’s only one proven way to get manufacturers to develop fuel-efficient vehicles: raise fuel prices to the point that consumers naturally demand these vehicles, and then keep them there. This is what worked for Europe and Japan. And it’s what would work here, in the U.S.
Michael Karesh lives in West Bloomfield, Michigan, with his wife and three children. In 2003 he received a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. While in Chicago he worked at the National Opinion Research Center, a leader in the field of survey research. For his doctoral thesis, he spent a year-and-a-half inside an automaker studying how and how well it understood consumers when developing new products. While pursuing the degree he taught consumer behavior and product development at Oakland University. Since 1999, he has contributed auto reviews to Epinions, where he is currently one of two people in charge of the autos section. Since earning the degree he has continued to care for his children (school, gymnastics, tae-kwan-do...) and write reviews for Epinions and, more recently, The Truth About Cars while developing TrueDelta, a vehicle reliability and price comparison site.
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