Monday, October 13, 2008

optimal price

What’s the most optimal price of fuel that the government should impose?

You would think that with the fuel price going up, you save less. So, the cheaper the fuel, the better. Well for me, that’s not exactly the case. Lately the fuel price comes down to less than 100 dollars a barrel (god know what it means), and this has effectively increased the traffic, so much so that I spend 45 minutes more every day on the road. So I lost tremendous amount of time, not to mention extra fuel to inch along the highway jammed with cars.

One easy solution is to increase the fuel price to a ridiculous level, so that all poor bastards are forced to take the subway. But this solution has a drawback : 90% of the people are poor bastards. And I'm one of them. I certainly cannot afford very high fuel price.

The solution is to increase the fuel price a little more, but not too more, so that it eliminates the weakest 10%, those who could barefly clear the credit card charges of last month. Is it ethical to eliminate these people from the road? It is not a question of ethics. It's a question of necessity. Intead of complete gridlock on the road, somebody has to be sacrificed. If you were born into a poor family making less than two dollars a day, you are not worthy of driving a car. Study hard, get a good degree, cars and women can wait.

So the question that I want to put forward to PHDs: Can simulation software simulate the traffic and find out what’s the least price the government could charge that results in tolerable traffic (Slow but no need to hit the brake excessively).

I wouldn’t mind paying a little more for being able to drive at 50km/hour and spend another 15 minutes more on the road. Traffic is slow but everyone is driving at a steady speed without hitting brakes. We have a piece of mind. We could actually sort out some tough problems on our mind while driving in this steady mode, which facilitates an efficient day. This is the optimal fuel price the government should charge.


Blogger 舞者 said...

I'm just conjecturing. The problem is NP-hard.

10/13/2008 3:57 PM  

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