Today on The Cycle: Gas Guzzlers Beware

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Rubin9780230342187
Rubin9780230342187

Gas prices are on the decline. Over the course of the past 2 weeks gas prices have gone down 8.5 cents showing that the price of a gallon has dropped to nearly $3, but still remains a quarter more expensive than it was last year. Forecasters are expecting the price of gas to continue dropping through election day. So will this news help or hurt President Obama come November 6th? On today’s show, Jeff Rubin, Author of The Big Flatline: Oil and the No-Growth Economy joins the conversation to discuss how the decline in gas prices may not be all good news. Jeff Rubin argues that our massive oil consumption, which is about 1.5 of the world’s oil, could put a stunt on our future economic growth.

Will this conversation play out in tonight’s debate? Be sure to tune in for the full conversation with Jeff Rubin at 3:40pm today and check out an excerpt from his book below.

From The Big Flatline by Jeff Rubin. Copyright © 2012 by the author and reprinted by permission of Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

THE LAST MAJOR BARE-KNUCKLE prizefight in America happened in 1889. Shortly after midnight on July 8, John L. Sullivan knocked out Jake Kilrain in the seventy-fifth round, and with that an era was over.

And rightly so. Illegal in thirty-eight states at the time, bareknuckle matches were barbaric. Gloves became mandatory when boxing adopted the Marquess of Queensberry rules, a civilized turn that set the stage for the advent of great heavyweights like Jack Dempsey and Joe Louis. Although gloves helped usher in boxing’s golden age, tossing out the London Prize Ring Rules that had governed bareknuckle matches came at a cost. In the bare-knuckle days, fighters were so worried about breaking a hand that most of their punches were body shots. Today’s fight crowds may love seeing heavyweights land knock-out punches to the head, but what’s less thrilling is the number of brain-related injuries suffered by boxers. Repeated blows to the head can lead to something doctors call Dementia Pugilistica, a condition every bit as bad as it sounds.

Even changes made with the best intentions can have unintended consequences. More than a century ago, the powers that be intervened to do what they thought was best. They never dreamed that gloves could create any problems beyond putting a few bare-knuckle fighters out of work. And today, the folks pulling the levers of the global economy are making choices that are already costing us much more than you might think. When it comes to setting economic policy, trying to cushion the blow can sometimes be a whole lot worse than taking a few punches with the gloves off.

Today on The Cycle: Gas Guzzlers Beware

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