Gas prices, honesty and tough decisions

I’ve mentioned previously that I enjoy reading Jim Horton’s blog, Online Public Relations Thoughts. For one thing he generally posts before 5 a.m. That’s good. Why wait until mid-morning at say 7 or 8 a.m.? For another, he provides some excellent insights briefly and very much to the point.

Here’s an example. Jim wrote today about oil executives testifying in Congress about high fuel prices. He calls it “Can’t-Win Theater.” He is right — and here’s the paragraph that really caught my attention:

“If Congressman were trying to be responsible, they would have asked the oil executives to explain the pricing mechanisms that go into the cost of gasoline and macro-economic demand for oil that is driving commodity speculation. But no, that would have been too difficult for “Joe Six-Pack” to understand and besides, “Joe Six-Pack” just wants cheap gas. Don’t bother him with the details. That, of course, is pandering to constituents and assuming they are too stupid to understand.”

I agree — and I wrote about this from a slightly different perspective last week in my post PR, truth and consequences.

At a minimum, we’ve had about 30 years to figure out what we needed to do in this country to reduce our consumption of gasoline and our dependence on foreign oil. We haven’t done it. And part of the reason is that our elected officials and industry executives refuse to tell the truth — and avoid any tough decisions.

As Jim says — pandering to constituents and assuming they are too stupid to understand. Unfortunately, that’s where we’re at on this and a host of other critical issues. It’s too bad. Americans make for the most part responsible decisions when they have the necessary information. And “Joe Six-Pack” and everyone else has a large measure of common sense. So tell us the truth and let’s have some real discussions about the tough decisions that we need to make. Those of us in public relations should be in the forefront of demanding this open and honest discussion. Gee, we kind of believe in that. Don’t we?

Oh, by the way. I just came back from getting gas: $3.93 a gallon.


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