Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Thank you West Virginia Legislature for the high gas prices!

Many people like to complain that gas prices are too high and that they would like to see the price go down. I usually respond by asking for them to name a few goods which they wouldn't like to see the price go down. There seems to be a general feel that particular necessities (read: inelastic goods) shouldn't change in price by too much. Mind you, I speak (mostly) with West Virginia folk, and while gas prices across the country have certainly risen, there still remains a moderate amount of variance between states in average gas prices. I heard a radio spot recently that pinned West Virginia up near the top of average gas prices nationwide, so the question becomes: Why does West Virginia have relatively high gas prices? Greedy oil companies?

Nope-- greedy legislators. (More details.) West Virginia hovers around the top quartile when it comes to state gas taxes, and that translates directly into higher prices than our neighbors (none of which have higher gas taxes than West Virginia). So instead of bemoaning the capitalist system, fuel-guzzling SUV drivers or profit-driven oil companies, turn to your local representatives in Charleston and give them a big thumbs-up on your next trip to fill up.

Or you could try this.

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