by Jon Sanders
Director of the Center for Food, Power, and Life, Research Editor | John Locke Foundation
What’s happening in Great Britain is the harsh reality of when sheltered, effete leaders playing to sheltered, effete ideologues, media, and lobbyists think that they can “transition” the market from people-favored — but politician-unfavored — market choices. This reality is harsher the more vital the choice is to people’s daily lives.
Energy is one of the most vital goods. In this case, it’s gasoline (called “petrol” in the British press). As discussed here frequently, energy poverty is a deadly problem. Wealthier people can weather price spikes in energy by shifting resources away from luxury purchases or less important spending items. (Producers of those things, however, will suffer a double hit — losing business while facing higher energy prices — and what will happen to their workers?)
But what about the poor? Their budgets are far less flexible. They are forced to make sacrifices among vital spending areas: food, medicine, shelter, clothing, heating, air conditioning, and the like.
The Daily Mail (U.K.) reports (emphasis added):
Britons on low incomes are being forced to sell their cars due to soaring petrol prices, the president of motoring group AA has warned.
The company surveyed 15,000 drivers and found many had made the decision to part ways with their vehicles due to the cost of living crisis.
It comes as the average cost of filling a typical family car with petrol has exceeded £100 for the first time. …
AA President Edmund King told BBC Radio 4’s World At One programme: ‘We did a survey of 15,000 drivers and 2 per cent of those on low incomes are actually having to give up their cars.
‘And 27 per cent on low incomes are actually having to cut back on their food bills, because they live in rural areas, they need their car to get to work and there is no public transport.
‘So, it’s having a much broader effect across the whole economy, and the whole economy and businesses are suffering as a result.’
So now poor people are being forced to choose between driving to work and feeding their families. That wasn’t a conundrum for them a few months ago. But they are the kinds of people completely ignored by the likes of Pres. Joe “incredible transition” Biden, Gov. Roy “50% of new car sales must be electric vehicles” Cooper, and Transportation Sec. Pete “just buy electric vehicles and never have to worry about gas prices again” Buttigieg. By all indications, this fate is exactly what they want to see happen here on a wider scale. So far, they’ve taken all the right steps to bring about such grievous privation.