Charter Member of the Sub-Media

May 01, 2005

Wasted Cash « Social Issues »

Gas prices are high. Boo-freakin'-hoo.

I understand that high gas prices are a tax on economic activity, because it raises the costs inherent to shipping goods and moving people. I have always tried to get the most fuel-efficient car I could*.

However, Mr. Carter's point that "Money spent on gasoline could otherwise be spent on more productive durable goods, or, better yet, saved for a rainy day," seems rather inane to me.

Before the rise of Starbucks, you could get a decent cup of coffee for $.49 if you looked hard enough, and not that much more if you didn't. Nowadays, well, isn't the average cup of Starbuck's coffee something like $32 per gallon? Isn't that also money that could/should be spent on more productive durable goods or saved for a rainy day? Many people drink 2 cups of starbucks a day, five days a week, which probably comes close to the weekly gas bill of some people (Even at $2.50 a gallon for gas, that would double my gasoline bill...I should end up filling my tank about once every two weeks once I get settled in to my home and work).
Has anyone talked about government intervention to stop the financial hemorrhaging on this issue? I haven't seen any.

Or what about the colassal waste of capital that gets spent on going to the movies? I haven't been in about 2 years, so I'm not sure what the going rate is now...$8 for an adult? Higher? And then you have the price-gouging on popcorn ($7 for a large that costs them literally $.07 to make?!??!!), soft drinks, and candy...isn't this worse than the gasoline/fuel issue where the market actually determines what the price is?

This isn't really a big deal, but making such a big deal about gas prices seems infantile to me. There are things that far more money is wasted on, like, say: the current Social Security Ponzi Scheme.

*until this most recent car, because I made the deliberate choice for a comfortable, larger vehicle. I knew that gas prices were going to soar, but I judged my financial situation able to handle any realistic surge in fuel prices. My car is only less fuel-effecient than most economy cars, and is still more fuel efficient than all SUVs except the Sport-Cutes, and more fuel efficient than most other V-6s.

Posted by Nathan at 06:24 PM | Comments (5)

Well, I can only speak for myself, but I'm personally irritated about it because the price is, as far as I can tell, artificially high because the supply has been artificially restricted due to government regulation. So calling on the government to do something about it doesn't sound all that insane, considering that they've had quite a hand in creating the problem in the first place.


Of course, I don't have to worry about it much at the moment since I have no car. But I'm dreaming of getting the van fixed someday, lol.

Posted by: Deb at May 1, 2005 08:33 PM

Sure, and that's why I posted that article complimenting Pres. Bush's energy policy that you linked. It should do quite a bit to increase supply.

But even though this is one of the most comprehensive and best policies to come out of the federal govt since the 70s, Democrats are using it as a hammer to say he's not doing enough, that the price of gas is so ridiculously out of control. Well, I think some of their arguments are born more of hysteria than fact.

I like cheaper gas, too. Who doesn't? More refineries, more nuclear plants, and drilling in Alaska are all things that will help. I fully support it, and your ire.

Posted by: Nathan at May 1, 2005 09:42 PM

Ah, gotcha. See what happens when I comment too late at night? :-)

Posted by: Deb at May 2, 2005 07:43 AM

Not at all. I wasn't clear, you had a reaction that was worth sharing, and I got an opportunity to clarify.
That's what blogging is all about.

Posted by: Nathan at May 2, 2005 09:08 AM

You're far too kind, sir. ;)

Posted by: Deb at May 2, 2005 09:29 AM
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