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Sunday, September 25, 2005

Georgia Schools Close to Save Gas;
Really Dumb Economic Policy

Most of Georgia's public schools will be closed Monday and Tuesday, taking two "early snow days," in an effort to conserve fuel in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Gov. Sonny Perdue asked for the closings on Friday, estimating that closing all of the state's schools would save about 250,000 gallons of diesel fuel by idling buses, plus an undetermined amount of gasoline by allowing teachers, staff members and some parents to stay home. Electricity also would be conserved by keeping the schools closed, he said.

... As he did in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Perdue also asked residents — and ordered government agencies — to limit nonessential travel and use commuting alternatives including telecommuting, car pooling and four-day work weeks.

This is a ridiculous response to expected reductions in gasoline supplies. If the state is concerned about line-ups and shortages, they should increase the state gasoline tax. Higher prices, even in the short-run, work wonders at reducing the quantity demanded, and a higher gasoline tax would have the desired effect.

Posted by EclectEcon on September 25, 2005 | Permalink


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Really Dumb Economic Policy


While your approach would also work, there's nothing ridiculous about the Georgia response. Kids could miss a whole lot of school and not be the worse for it, while helping save on gas. It's no different in Canada.

Posted by: Owen | 2005-09-25 6:12:05 PM

I agree that the schools can be closed without harm to the students. After all, schools exist largely as a babysitting service for parents. University classes don't extend as far into the spring as Kindergarten classes for that reason. It has nothing to do with education.

Posted by: kdl | 2005-09-25 6:17:41 PM

"...they should increase the state gasoline tax"

I assume you are joking.

Posted by: John | 2005-09-25 7:47:19 PM

I saw this from a completely different perspective - as Georgia offering to do "something" to help alleviate... whatever it could. Kids missing 2 days of school will, frankly, enjoy the break (although their parents might be bugged).

Increase gas taxes??? Hello? what blog am I on?

Posted by: Candace | 2005-09-26 2:19:18 AM

Free markets are perfectly capable of adjusting to changes in supply and demand. But Georgia (like everywhere else in North America) doesn't have a free market in education, so you can bet that they'll try every price-fixing, rationing, regulating and confiscating scheme in the Big Book of Socialism - and they'll keep on doing it until they eventually run their state's economy right into the ground.

Why not make everyone happy and implement all of the proposed solutions? Close government schools and government offices 5 days a week so that no one uses any gasoline or diesel fuel on government business, and impose stiff tax increases to minimize the amount of fuel that is consumed on private business. There's no end to the benefits to society that can flow from a really experienced and dedicated group of economic planners! And we all know that command economies always outperform demand economies. (heaaaavvvy sarcasm)

Posted by: Justzumgai | 2005-09-26 10:46:37 AM

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