Thursday, May 17, 2007

Perspective on gas prices

From Neal Boortz:
My goodness, people! Don't you realize that there are things in your life that you really need to be worrying about? What's all this weeping and moaning over gas prices?

With every single paycheck the Imperial Federal Government seizes about 14% of the money you have earned. This money is put into an income redistribution fund from which you may or may not draw a check when and if you reach a certain age. Die too soon and that money goes to someone else .. not to your heirs. Live long enough and you may .. just may ... get most of your money back, though there is no legal guarantee that you'll get a cent.

Yet here you sit pissing and moaning about gas prices.

We did the math here last week, but let's pull out the calculator again for those of you who don't come here every day.

First, the figures:

According to the AAA, one year ago the price of regular was $2.929. Today that price is $3.114. That's an 18.5 cents per gallon increase over the past year.

Now we go for the average gas mileage for cars in the U.S. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that as of 2004 the average mpg for new cars sold in the U.S. was 24.7. In 1980 it was 23.1. So, to make a point here, we're going to go even below the average price for 1980. We're going to use 20 mpg.

Now ... for those of you who went to government schools, I'll do the math for you. You're driving your family of four 1400 miles to get to Disney World and back. That means you'll be burning 70 gallons of gas at 20 mpg. The gas is now 18.5 cents more expensive than it was last year. Let's go ahead and round that UP to 20 cents. So, we burn 70 gallons and each gallon costs 20 cents more than it cost last year. That's going to cost you an amazing $14.00.

Oh My God! What an incredible tragedy! What a devastating blow to your finances! You're going to have to spend $14.00 more to drive your family to Florida this year than you did last year! That's $3.50 for each family member! How in the hell are you ever going to be able to afford this? Alert your local radio station news department! Call the newspaper! Sound the alarm! Americans are being crippled by these rising gas prices! Call your politician. Something has to be done about the evil oil companies! Get the government involved! We need more regulation!

Oh .. and you people driving to and from work need to be outraged too! Are you doing your share of the whining?

The average commute to and from work in this country is 16 miles. Now of course we know that cars don't get the mileage on a stop-and-go commute as they do on the road, so we're going to lower the gas mileage figure from 20 to 15. So, you're driving 32 miles (on the average) to get to work and back every day. That is gobbling up about 2.13 gallons of gas. Go back to that 18.5 cents per gallon increase over last year and you'll see that you're spending about 40 cents more for gas for your commute this year than you were last year. That would be about $2.00 a week. Less than the price of a decaf skinny latte at Starbucks. A lot less.

Oh, the humanity! You're spending less than the cost of three text messages on your cell phone every day to cover the increasing cost of gas! Tell your boss you're going to have to quit! You just can handle this any more! Get fired! Go on unemployment! Forty cents a day! That's it! Your back is broken!

Come on people, wake up! Your governments -- local, state and federal -- are stealing money from you every single day to fund vote-buying programs. Your local elected officials are ripping you off to support welfare artists and to study the mating habits of Polish zlotnika pigs. How do you think they feel when they see you griping about gas prices? They LOVE it! They steal you blind and there you sit complaining because you're going to have to spend $14.00 more to drive your family to Disney World and back. They take 14% of the money you earn every day -- money you may or may get back with virtually no interest -- and you're spinning around on your eyebrows because you're spending 40 cents a day more to get to that job and back home again!

Now I don't like the gas prices any more than anybody else does. It seems like yesterday (though it was actually nine years ago) that I stopped and fueled up my van in Brunswick, GA, for $0.78/gallon. But those days are gone, and as Neal shows, the price difference between this year and last year doesn't affect the average Joe/Jane nearly as much as the left and the MSM (pardon the redundancy) would have us believe.

Three words: supply and demand. Deal with it.