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Citizen Voices

At several recent town hall meetings, as well as the Urban League's Annual Conferences, both presidential nominees addressed relieving taxpayers' financial woes, taking time to highlight their solutions to the high cost of energy and gasoline. Just in time, coincidentally, those same high gas prices have started nudging downward in San Diego as they have been doing incrementally for several weeks. 

So, as battered consumer wallets across the country finally receive respite at the pump (San Diego's highest local average was, according to the Union-Tribune , an unholy $4.63/gallon), which of the two presidential nominees' energy plans are voters more likely to follow -- a candidate whose message embraces funding alternative fuel sources, and expanding nuclear energy and offshore oil drilling to wean the country's dependence on foreign oil, like Senator McCain's plan? Or, will voters respond to a candidate espousing tapping the nation's strategic oil reserves , offshore drilling, wiser consumer use, and imposing " windfall profits taxes " on the big oil producers, as does Senator Obama?

Serving as a backdrop to the ongoing conversation, companies like Exxon Mobile and Shell, last week posted historic, all-time high profit margins . Even for oil companies, this news sent ambivalent waves of pleasure and discord across financial circles, both because of the incongruity of the news in an otherwise weak economy, and because consumer confidence flagged , despite the huge profit margin.

michael valentine from spring Valley
August 05, 2008 at 12:45 AM
John McCain, recipient of over one million dollars since his off shore flip-flop by the oil lobby of all people. Selling out the American people again, the Republicans are lining their own pockets and the pockets of the richest corporations in the world.



Nick from Carlsbad
August 15, 2008 at 04:45 PM
As tragic as people's spending habits may be, they are just a reflection of human nature. To bemoan human nature is useless, but I do like your writting style. A good economic policy takes into account human nature and balances incentives with penalties. Essentailly, you get more of what you reward and less of what you punish. This works because the rationale of human nature is predictable. Almost every liberal policy in history has failed to meet its goal because it is put into practice without the consideration of human nature, or even worse: it assumes human nature will change, i.e., "each man will appeal to his better nature." The windfall profit tax is a text book example of this. And when it does fail, the policy makers will site unforseen circumstances that offset the potential gains of the policy....and this happens every time. This is why both Clinton and Obama marginalize the advice of economists--the predicted result of their policies does not align with their vision. Now that is troubling.

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