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Fuel for Thought: Financial Page: The New Yorker | Jason E. Shao

Fuel for Thought: Financial Page: The New Yorker

Fuel for Thought: Financial Page: The New Yorker:

In calling for a law requiring better gas mileage in our cars, then, voters are really saying that they’re unhappy with the collective result of the choices they make as buyers.

This is a neat quote, summing up how competitive pressures can cause every individual to become pressured into pursuing a course of action which we all agree adds up to undesirable conditions — in this case higher gas consumption. Instead of a “rising tide lifting all boats” our main motivation seems to be making sure that any changes in the tide don’t push our neighbors up higher than ourselves.

Much a non-governmental intervention thinker as I am, it does seem like modern political/economic bodies already make enough wide-ranging, stage-setting policy that this is a good candidate for more of the same.