Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Taking Issue With Mankiw

Just a small complaint about Greg Mankiw’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.

A higher tax on gasoline, for example, is better than CAFE standards as a policy to improve the fuel efficiency of the American car fleet. It would also encourage people to drive less by, for instance, living closer to where they work

While it would encourage people to want to live closer to where they work, it simply isn’t possible in many areas.  I have chosen to live 30+ miles from work because I couldn’t afford to buy a home closer to my office.

Increasing the cost of fuel would only exacerbate housing prices in commercial areas as even more people would want to live there.  It is certainly possible that curbing emissions from automobiles is more important than affordable housing, but I have a feeling it was never even considered.

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