Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mr. Smith, please....

I love it when CEO’s write op-ed pieces urging our government to do this or that.  It’s as if the only thing standing in the way of (insert CEO’s special interest) is legislation from Washington.  I also love it, after suggesting government intervention, the same CEO swears that “I am not someone who tends to advocate increased government involvement in the private sector. But…”  Really?! 
Mr. Smith, CEO of FedEx, is advocating for a transition from petroleum-based vehicles to electric vehicles.  Why, you ask?  Mr. Smith reported that FedEx has experimented with electric delivery vehicles and found them to decrease (operating) costs 70 to 80%.  What Mr. Smith really wants is for government to subsidize and put in place the electric vehicle-charging infrastructure so FedEx can benefit from it.  In fact, the only thing standing in our way according to Mr. Smith is “a bill to promote electric vehicles”.  Sounds benign enough.
My suggestion to Mr. Smith is simple and straightforward: if you find electric vehicles to be more economical than their gas counterparts, let FedEx fund the necessary infrastructure.  Please don’t enlist the help of Uncle Sam.  Convincing Washington to pass a bill to solve your problem will only deprive me of a choice. 
Mr. Smith (and all other CEOs) – Please don’t advance your firm’s interest in Washington at the expense of my liberty.

1 comment:

  1. Markets will tell us when it's time to switch from gas to electric, natural gas, or whatever. As prices for oil increase, substitutes become economically feasible. Consumers, being completely rational decision makers (ha), will begin to switch to cheaper alternatives.

    One significant problem is the OPEC cartel. They stymie traditional demand & supply signals by manipulating prices through supply restrictions. Get rid of them (and the EPA) and the transition to the fuel of the future will occur without great concern.