Ya, know what I don't like? $4.00 a gallon. Ya, know what I like even less? People who bitch about $4.00 a gallon. The weather in the old saying about complaining about the weather but no one does anything about it, could easily be replaced with gas prices. The only difference is everyone could do something about gas prices but most people choose not to. The following commentary is mine. I have done no research. The commentary, I believe to be common sense. I am not going to give it a slant, spin or any other political motive; just plain ol' Shane's Brain common sense.
For those of you who don't know, I have degree in Economics. The first day in Econ 101 or 1001 , as in my case, the Professor will tell you that in Economics, 75% of the answers will be supply and demand. I could stop there because that is the answer to Why are we paying $4.00 a gallon? However, there is more to the American story. And I am going to answer the question Why we are where we are? when it comes to gas prices.
It all started after World War II. During President Eisenhower terms, a interstate highway system was created. All of a sudden people could go further quicker than ever. This allowed more people to move out of the cities and into the 'burbs and beyond. People driving farther equates to more demand. More drivers means higher demand. Now take those two issues into today add major traffic jams with extremely long waits, you get even more demand for gas. More demand means higher prices.
So how can you and I curtail these problems? Live where you work. I'm not talking about the at office. I'm talking about within the general vicinity. People want to live way out for reasons that I will cover in either Part Two or Three, and drive in. 120 years ago that would have been impossible but today we just accept it but we don't have to. Look at the urban decay, rows and rows of abandoned houses but once again I cover that later. Living where you work will cure the problem of driving in and maybe even more drivers, as bikes and mass transit come into play.
Next, comes the choice of vehicles. We choose our cars on how they look, feel, sound and how they make you feel about yourself. Living in Baton Rouge, I have come to the conclusion that there must be a lot of men with small penises and they must be trying to make up for it with the size of their trucks. Seriously, you live in the 'burbs, you don't haul anything and you drive a monster truck. Getting what? 10 -15 miles to the gallon and driving up demand of the precious fuel. But God forbid, anybody say anything about that. Why? Because we are spoiled Americans who feel entitled to anything we want any damn time that we want. So we continue to drive our gas guzzlers and blame oil companies. Take a good look in the mirror. When is the last time you have done anything that wasn't for you, about you, or got something in return for you. Yes, I know that we are working on alternative fuels but until they are in everyday use how about demanding 30 miles to the gallon in town. Is that to much to ask for? Buy more fuel efficient vehicles and stop trying to be so macho. I think I can speak for most people when I say we really don't care how big your penis is.
Thirdly, let's talk about the way you drive. I believe 55mph is the most efficient speed in which to drive a vehicle. Why is it that you're driving 85, 95, 105 down the highway? You weave in and out of traffic like a freaking idiot. All for what? To arrive at work or home 5 or 10 minutes sooner. Why don't you try leaving a little earlier or how about doing the aforementioned and live where you work. The way you drive wastes gas and causes accidents. Raising both gas prices and car insurance. You are greedy, arrogant and most of all an asshole.
Lastly, some minor issues that effects demand are our hobbies. Motorcycles, motorboats, RVs, ATVs or any activity that you are driving over 50 miles to attend. All of these require gas, which does what class? That's right. It drives up demand and thus increases the price of gas.
These are all just common sense but yet no one wants to hear them. The American way is just to blame someone else rather than look in the mirror. Americans were pretty lucky for the first century of gas powered automobiles but now with over populated countries like China and India continually increasing their demand for gas, the next century doesn't look so good.
To summarize: increase in demand and the price goes up, decrease demand and the price goes down. Of course, you can always change your supply. Increase the supply and the price goes down, decrease supply and the price goes up. So, can we increase supply? Sure. We have a huge reserve called Alaska. But I have other plans for Alaska. you can hear those on the bottom right of this page. Just click on In Shane's Brain Live: National Debt 101.
This is the first of three Social Commentaries.