Gas Should Be Free

By David Reckner, President

In 1991 or 92, I had the privilege to participate in a panel discussion at the South by Southwest Conference in Austin, TX.  On the panel was a promoter from Washington, DC Seth Hurwitz.  While I would not call him a friend, I always found him to be smart, tough, and sarcastic and he knew how to put on a concert.  After the moderator had finished with his prepared questions to the panel, a queue of audience members assembled to ask questions.  The first or second person in line was a band manager from the DC area who had prepared a ten-minute diatribe about how Seth was perpetually letting the local DC music scene down by not booking her band.  Seth patiently sat and waited for the manager to finish then calmly responded, “I think that gas should be free.  Everybody needs it.  Why doesn’t the government force the gas companies to give it away?” 

After I stopped laughing, I realized that Seth had distilled one of the pillars of economics into a question that anyone could understand quickly and simply: Why isn’t gas free? 

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