« Blogosphere Politics | Main | Weblog Awards Update »


I think old Tom sipped one to many iced teas and it is starting to affect his ability to reason.

He wrote an article this week with his solution to the Iran problem. In his worldview, the solution is to place a 1 dollar per gallon tax on gasoline. With no mention of course to the effect that would have on our economy. But then he gets really weird:

We need a grass-roots movement. Where are college kids these days? I would like to see every campus in America demand that its board of trustees disinvest from every U.S. auto company until they improve their mileage standards. Every college town needs to declare itself a "Hummer-free zone." You want to drive a gas-guzzling Humvee? Go to Iraq, not our campus. And an idea from my wife, Ann: free parking anywhere in America for anyone driving a hybrid car.
Huh? Declaring college campuses "Hummer free zones" will solve the problem of Iran?

He starts with a shred of a logical argument, that the increased price of oil is helping the Mullah's, but from there he goes completely off the deep-end. Somehow, I'm not so sure free parking for hybrids will be the deathblow to theocratic oppression in Iran.

But maybe it's just me.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference THOMAS FRIEDMAN HAS BEEN STIFFING GLUE:

» The LLama Butchers linked with Ideas that are non-starters

» The Cassandra Page linked with Economics

Comments (26)

I'm sure the Chinese would ... (Below threshold)
Mark Flacy:

I'm sure the Chinese would take up the oil-buying slack even if we were to do such a thing.

Maybe he knows the US has n... (Below threshold)

Maybe he knows the US has no viable military option and he's beside himself.

At a 9% growth clip, I'd th... (Below threshold)

At a 9% growth clip, I'd think so, Mark. They already have.

Does he have any grasp of marco-economics at all?

Lowering the GNP of Iran wi... (Below threshold)

Lowering the GNP of Iran will not make them hate us any less, it would more likely make them hate us more. I seriously doubt that they'd ever notice any difference anyway, but if it was to bring about any economic hardships they would only put the blame on us, causing the extremists there to want to kill us more than ever. The problem there is just like the problem was in Iraq, and it's not that the mullahs have too much money, it's that the people have too little. Just like with Saddam, the people are doing without to fund a terrorist regime while being told that it's America's fault they are suffering. And just like in pre-war Iraq, tightening the pursestrings won't result in less weapons spending, only in less food for the people. I just wonder what he thinks we should tax to stop the weapons program in North Korea.

Bill Clinton would never st... (Below threshold)

Bill Clinton would never stand for college campuses being a "hummer" free zone.

I agree. Old Tom has a smal... (Below threshold)

I agree. Old Tom has a small point, but it's not presented very well. When writing editorial copy sometimes it is a good idea to go get a cup of coffee then come back and reread it before hitting the Enter key. -- D.H.

Did Tom Friedman advocate c... (Below threshold)

Did Tom Friedman advocate colleges to be "hummer free zones"? Where am I going to get my... oh wait. The H2? Never mind.

Arianna got to him.... (Below threshold)

Arianna got to him.

This pisses me off. Do you ... (Below threshold)

This pisses me off. Do you think Friedman will be hurt by a $1 a gallon increase? Nope. Good job,; he can afford it. In fact, he may not even own a car, assuming he lives in Manhattan. For once I would like to hear one of them make a suggestion which involves them making a sacrifice.

damn liberalstastlikechicke... (Below threshold)

damn liberalstastlikechicken took my joke. I was going to say that very few college guys are going to enjoy having to go off campus to enjoy a 'hummer'.

All I can say is that once ... (Below threshold)

All I can say is that once the SUV craze passed, Irvine, CA became the Land of the Buzzing, Whining and Nasty Sounding Four Cylinder Vehicles, and, oh, yeah, include "24/7" in that title.

Perhaps they should just "make" college campuses and the neighborhoods that suffer their noise, congestion, trash and high traffic as NON VEHICLE NEIGHBORHOODS. The world would be a far nicer place if every "college campus" and the towns that support them were required to be bicycle-only environments.

I'm serious: the four cylinder cars of the world cannot accelerate and motivate like larger engine cars and yet, defying any sense of reason, people enrolled in colleges cannot comprehend that fact and drive four cylinder cars as if they could go from one stop sign to the next like a high performance vehicle, while any high performance vehicles haplessly trying to escape those environs motivate down the road quietly and conservatively inorder to avoid "Road Rage" four cylinder drivers.

Better yet, require college... (Below threshold)

Better yet, require college campuses and their locations to use HORSES AND MULES. That'd give them a whole 'nother appreciation for what it means to get where you need to be on time, safely and with enough oats.

"where are the college kids... (Below threshold)
Tim in PA:

"where are the college kids these days"?

Laughing at collectivist dumbasses like this guy in ever-increasing numbers, thats where. If I didn't see it with my own two eyes every week I wouldn't believe it myself.

Tom has obviously had some ... (Below threshold)
Rod Stanton:

Tom has obviously had some meetings with Nancy P, Babs B + S.., Teddy, Reid, Ariana H. and Mike Moore. They have come up with another "down to earth" solution. If they ever wake up and find the 60's are long gone W will be in trouble. Keep living in the past people.

I am trying to figure out w... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

I am trying to figure out why he thinks a gas tax increase is better in regards to oil dependance than say-looking for alternative sources of oil, and alternative sources for energy.

Oil dependance is a problem, but killing our own economy in an attempt to lower it, isn't going to make Iran love us.

Mass movements led by the i... (Below threshold)

Mass movements led by the intelligencia against capitalism is the camelot of the elite intelligencia.
To this date no credible movement among the young college types has emerged. The emergence of the "Blogosphere Truth Machine" make it unlikely such movements can be sustained under the cold eye of reason.
Friedman's knee jerk reaction to "self evident truths" is a mass movement. He knows what his eyes see and what his head tells him but his heart yearns for the romance of "the long march".

Two years ago, when low dem... (Below threshold)

Two years ago, when low demand drove the spot price down to about $ 15.00, and when the trend was toward larger vehicles and a far less fuel efficient US fleet, one could have made an argument for a tax that acted like a price floor. (A variable tax).

At today's price of about $ 50.00, it seems a strange time to ask for any type of tax. Further, a straight tax, as opposed to a floor - aimed at price stability - would be a significant economic brake, albeit also a shift downward in US demand.

Was it nuts, in retrospect, to shift our US fleet to larger, less fuel efficient vehicles? Probably, but those same forces will now work to the opposite.

Is it nuts to expect our transportation industries, like airlines, to operate with such a wide price fluctuation? Probably the answer is also yes, if one considers the exacting calculations needed in purchasing, say, new aircraft. It is hard for business to decide what to produce with wide price variations. This is true for cars and trucks also. Should we continue to build public transportation, subsidize AMTRAK, etc? The answers might rest more on projected fuel costs than anything else.

In the past, the Saudies have acted as a force for price stability, but recent events have shown that they can no longer control the price within their target range.

All of this, I think, argues for a mechanism to provide better price stability, rather than a tax.

"Where are the college kids... (Below threshold)
Eneils Bailey:

"Where are the college kids these days?" The little shits are sleeping late every day, taking five to six years to earn a four year degree. Talking on thier cell phones for hours, playing computer games out the ass, drinking beer and frigging the night away, then hopping in thier cars and SUV's to go three blocks.
And you, Tom Friedman, old idealistic liberal turd from the sixties wants to motivate and mobilize these little lazy ne'er do wells into validating your past. Yeah, right, you and a group of spoiled ninteen and twenty year olds setting the course of our economic future.
Just kidding about the students to make a point, I have one at UNC, he is a good kid. But people like Friedman, can not break thier mold, get out of the past, and realize that the ideas they think they owe thier success to, are gone.

"Was it nuts, in retrospect... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

"Was it nuts, in retrospect, to shift our US fleet to larger, less fuel efficient vehicles? Probably, but those same forces will now work to the opposite."

From what I understand, this shift is already underway, and people are starting to opt for more fuel efficient cars.

The economy is always going to flucuate, but I am not sure the best way to deal with forieng policy issues is a domestic tax.

We're the richest country i... (Below threshold)

We're the richest country in the world, so taxing us must be the solution to everything!


If...IF...taxes are the ans... (Below threshold)

If...IF...taxes are the answer, then they should be placed on cars in a sort of sliding scale with those that have the worst mpg rating taxed the heaviest.

Funnily, enough the most affordable of cars tend to get better mileage than the many more expensive SUVs. Taxing gas sales will only hurt all the newly minted home owners that commute to work. It will also raise the cost of shipping goods which will hurt those that are the poorest to pay more to get to work, more to cash their check, more to get to the store, and more for the things they buy at the store.

If mileage is the problem tax the car, not the gas. If the problem is power generation, push for nuclear, solar, and wind generation, and tell the environmentalists that (a) are afraid of nuclear energy or (b) afraid to ruin their view with wind turbines to start setting priorities and lead by example.

It would be nice if people like Robert Kennedy didn't fly in private jets to their environmental events and bought a ticket on one of our many struggling airlines instead.

Perhaps a synthesis of what... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Perhaps a synthesis of what robert and Rick said above would help:
If the price of oil gets too low (Heh. I can just imagine the arguments over what is 'too low'), have a sliding scale tax kick in; with the gas-guzzler passenger cars taxed the heaviest. Exclude the semi trucks from the 'heaviest' taxes.

...Suzy I drive a 4-... (Below threshold)

Suzy I drive a 4-cyl Ford Escort Stationwagon. Do you know why I drive it? I got it free from my older sister as a birthday present because my previous car got totalled in a car wreck. Do you want to know what my previous car was? a 1985 Mercury Grand Marquis. Yep, I definitely drive 4-cylinder cars to rival "performance" cars.

If you couldn't get the sarcasm, then phooey on you.

He apparently believes free... (Below threshold)
Jack Tanner:

He apparently believes freedom is good in the Middle East but you will NOT have the freedom to drive what you want in the US. That fuel tax will have a great effect on consumer prices but what the hey, as long as no one can afford to drive a SUV. The free parking for hybrids is a pisser idea too. I wonder how the various municipalities that use the revenue would like it? Is he planning on imposing it on private lots? I wonder if anyone would ever get pissed like people who have work vehicles? What a pinhead.

I got the sarcasm, Henry.</... (Below threshold)

I got the sarcasm, Henry.

You know, it's not like I feel anything critical toward any one individual driving those four-cylinder vehicles (I've driven a few, too, just not now), it's just that, why, oh, WHY, do college age kids (thereabouts) all drive them like there was no separation between the floor and their foot?

I mean, you don't save a.n.y.t.i.m.e by punching the gas pedal at one stop sign only to have to come screeching to a halt one hundred yards away at the next stop sign, of which there are dozens all over the neighborhoods where colleges are situated? I mean, what's with all that intensity?

Four cylinder engines make that awful "puuummoooooooooooooooooo" whine when they're driven like that, driving everyone else within earshot nuts over hours after hours after hours of daily driver angst outside.

With larger vehicles, they can't punch and jerk them quite so intensely, so I actually now miss the SUV popularlity, which I never thought I'd ever write or consider.

Sorry to read about your wr... (Below threshold)

Sorry to read about your wreck, however, glad that you are alright.






Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile


Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links


Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login

Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy