In the fall of 2007, when the U.S. economy first seemed in peril, I began answering reader queries here on the Business Desk. I still do so occasionally, but this page has expanded to include posts from eminent economists, "far-flung correspondents," and a variety of voices that have intriguing and/or useful things to say about economics, broadly defined. Please feel encouraged to respond to any and all of them.
Question: What, if anything, is be done on the rise of oil? For me, I ride a bicycle for six months and go to Guatemala for three which leaves three months for gasoline use.
Larry Bessler purchases gasoline at a Shell station February 7, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.
Paul Solman: Carpool? Is there public transportation in your town? The only way to restrain the price of oil is to decrease demand. The quickest way to do that is some sort of carbon tax. But of course, that will increase the price. Which is the whole point: discourage consumption.