I went to the 7-Eleven to get some gas for my car on the way to work this morning. The pump ran slow as ever, as if it was scraping the sludge off the bottom of the underground tanks to recover a few more gallons to sell. It must have known I was in a hurry. I stood around waiting, leaning against the car, as I nervously watched a yuppie teenager light a Marlboro Ultra Ultra Light ("tastes like paper!") before he started the pump in his Hummer H3. At the time mine finally finished it's business, I hung up the nozzle and looked at the receipt to see the damage.
$30 ! Thirty dollars !! For a tank of regular unleaded !
Why is gasoline still so inexpensive ?!
Yes, you read that right. Gas is too cheap. We have some of the cheapest gasoline in the world. The cost hasn't even kept up with inflation. And gasoline should be expensive--it's not an infinite resource (like immigrant labor), yet we treat it like one. If it helps, you can think of gasoline like it's fine jewelry--the more it costs, the more you'll enjoy having it and showing it off to your friends. But the cost isn't directly why I want to rant today.
My rant is one of annoyance. Ever since I moved to Dallas and began fighting traffic, I've been wishing regular unleaded gasoline would get to the magic $5.00 per gallon mark. I think at that price, people will start seriously considering whether it's worth it to leave the house and go to the mega store, to visit their dying grandmother, or even to go to work on a daily basis.
Now before you get all huffy with me, there are cost saving alternatives for people who would find $5/gal gasoline unbearable and still need to go places. And these solutions I'm about to suggest would all be beneficial to me as well, so everyone wins.
- When driving to work, people could carpool. For every additional person crammed in an old Cutlass Supreme without air conditioning, that's one less uninspected Ford F150 I have to deal with on the way to work in the morning.
- These people could buy a bicycle, or perhaps even a moped. I don't normally drive on the sidewalks, so they would no longer be in my way.
- They could take public transportation. Lots of companies are even subsidizing the metro passes these days. And here they have the bonus entertainment of the insane homeless people who somehow ride the rail continuously.
- They could also learn to meditate and move their spirits to where they need to be (granted, this method isn't very effective for the body).
I think a higher gas price would have a very positive effect on my mental health and well-being. It's been taking me 30 minutes to get to work in the morning lately because of all the other cars driving on my roads. In my old age, I don't have a lot of time left on this Earth, so I really can't afford to waste an hour every day on a commute. Therefore if you live in the Dallas metro, and absolutely must be out driving, please at least pretend I'm an emergency vehicle if you see me behind you and kindly pull off to the right. Thanks .