Monday, April 25, 2011

How Does This Work Again?

Liberals are at times pretty open about actually wanting higher gas prices. They want to force things on the public that the public doesn't really want, like little impractical gas-saving cars, preferably hybrid. I have a post simmering in my mind that I may put up when I am not too tired, concerning this desire. However, right now I want to make a quick observation about the unintended consequences.

The main reason liberals want us to drive smaller cars and use less gas, is to "save the environment." Product manufacturers are responding to a market for "green" products. However, green products come at a higher price. Part of this is because recycling is not always cost-efficient, and so products using recycled materials tack on the extra cost. I honestly don't know enough about the manufacture of dishwashing or laundry detergent to know why the green stuff costs more, but generally it does.

However, the sandwich bags I saw at the grocery store today really made me laugh at the craziness of it all. There were two types of bags, made by the same brand name company. One was the regular bag moms have been using in brown bags for years now. The second bag is the new and improved "green" bag. It uses less plastic (better for the environment) and real wind-powered energy to produce the bags! (When the wind is actually blowing, that is. Otherwise, they have to use plain ol' electricity off the grid just like everyone else.) Even the cardboard used to make the box is recycled.

Anyway, after checking to see that they were truthful about the windmill issue, since wind technology is nowhere near being able to steadily power a manufacturing plant, I took a look at the price. What I forgot to do is check how many bags came in each box. I do know that the prices for each box were... equal. A quick trip around the internet seems to suggest that you actually receive fewer green bags for your buck than non-green bags. You get less plastic, reused cardboard, no skyrocketing electricity costs, for a higher or equal price.

So here's the kicker. With gas prices, and necessarily food prices, being as high as they are, how many people are going to shell out the extra dollars for a recycled sponge or flimsier sandwich bags? How many people are looking to cut things out of the budget as much as possible, and will just reach for the cheapest item on the shelf? For that matter, how many people will even take the time and spend the money to drive to a specialty store, where a lot of these special detergents and so forth seem to only be located? Can greenies have it both ways, with higher prices for everything? Human nature being what it is, I doubt it. Lower gasoline costs, and a large percentage of the population will go right back to their minivans and SUVs. The only way I can see it working is if they force non-green products out of the market too. But that, well, that would have consequences too intricate to deal with at the tail end of this post!

1 comment:

Karen said...

Well written and thoughtful post! Too often people want to force other people to change their behaviors without looking at the consequences.