Gut Rumbles
 

August 26, 2005

this ain't right

My buddy catfish and I were discussing this very subject on the way back from Willy's house the other day. Cat needed to buy some gas and he was bitching about the prices.

But he DID NOT pull into a station and light into the operator of the place in a fit of rage. That's asinine, impolite and criminal.

Plus, as I pointed out in my wisdom, if you factor in the change in the worth of a dollar, we're really not paying outrageous prices for gasoline. When I was a teenager, gas cost 26 cents per gallon. I also had a GOOD job that paid $1.65 an hour. So--- I worked an hour to pay for six gallons of gas.

Today, six gallons of gas costs $15.30 where I live. Before we quit working at the chemical plant, Cat and I BOTH made a lot more money than that per hour.

These "record" gas prices are a pain in the ass, because I don't like spending $40 to top my tank when a couple of years ago I could do it for $20, but it's still not bad. Not if you put it in perspective. And ESPECIALLY NOT when you look at what gas prices are in other places. (Try looking at more than a dollar per LITER.)

I think this statement says a lot:

Hutton, who has done extensive research on consumer decision-making and energy usage information, said there's also a sense of entitlement among consumers today.

Yep. People seem to believe that they are "entitled" to a LOT today. Thank you, Federal Government. People expect to hold their hand out and have somebody give them something, whether they deserve it or not. Assholes.

If you can't pay for your gas, buy a bicycle. And shut the fuck up.


Comments

I agree. It does take a wad out of my pocket when I fill up a 35 gallon tank but its my decision to drive and burn the fuel. Don't want to pay?Ride a hay burner.

Posted by: GUYK on August 26, 2005 01:59 PM

That's more disgusting than the skull-f*cking thing.

What the hell is wrong with these people?

Posted by: dipnut on August 26, 2005 04:00 PM

They're having a lot of "pump 'n run" in my area but some local stations are fighting back by posting signs asking people to help by turning these people in and offering $10 in free gas to anyone who does

Posted by: Jane on August 26, 2005 04:02 PM

Yeah. I'm tired of all the pissing and moaning about gas prices.

Euro trash and Canucks have been paying more than this for thirty fucking years.

What really grates my ass is hearing all the moonbats bitch about it. They claimed this War was all just blood for oil, but now that it's been proven otherwise - they bitch about the rising costs and say prices were better with Clinton.

Posted by: gordon the magnificent on August 26, 2005 06:47 PM

Almost $3.00 per gallon for gas and over $30.00 per gallon for Haagen Dazs. The pissing and moaning is ridiculous.

Posted by: Dorothy on August 26, 2005 07:32 PM

A few years back I worked the midnight shift in a gas station. At that time, gas was still less than $2/gallon, but people were still pissing and moaning about the price. I had my fair share of customers come in and rip into me over the price I was 'forcing' them to pay for gas. At that time, the system allowed the clerk to stop and start pumps, even after the gas had started pumping. So after some jackass would come in and take his anger out on me, I'd ruin his night a little more by constantly stopping and restarting the pump he was on.

Sure, they'd come back in and bitch at me again about my pump not working, but at least it provided me with cheap entertainment on slow nights. Plus, this time around, I was actually getting bitched at for something I had control over.

Whether it's $3 or $30, quit yer bitchin'. If you need your car, you'll pay the price.

Posted by: dave on August 26, 2005 09:27 PM

Sorry folks. But you're blaming the gullible citizens for the sins of the nanny government that led them to believe they could make their major life decisions based on a false promise of cheap gas.

If it wasn't a racquet to make money for the oil companies, the government would have been passing legislation that encouraged alternative fuels instead of the production of the insanely gas inefficient SUVs.

The bottom line is it's only expensive here because the corporations are gouging us. We don't have the same import problems as Europe.

No snarking intended, I don't how you guys can defend it, unless you're oil barons yourselves.

Posted by: Libby on August 26, 2005 10:22 PM

Even if you're bitching at the price,just thnk of the clerk. They probably get paid not much more then minimum wage and don't get an employee discount most places. So if they're driving ,it's probably hitting their pocket book even harder then the bitcher's.

Posted by: big al on August 27, 2005 01:17 AM

Got-dam, Libby. Put down that glass of kool-ade and step away from the table.

You have no fucking clue what you're talking about.

Posted by: Acidman on August 27, 2005 10:30 AM

Gas prices are under 50 cents in Saudi Arabia, and look at the wonders its done for their economy!

Europe decided back in the 70's they didn't want the Arabs holding their economic lifeline, so they taxed the hell out of gas. Today they enjoy first world living while consuming less than half the amount of gas per-capita than we do. And while the price of oil's going to rise no matter what, our money's going to end up with the Arabs (& Russians, & Venezualans...), while their governments get to keep their "supply shock" money.

Posted by: William on August 27, 2005 05:43 PM

"No snarking intended, I don't how you guys can defend it, unless you're oil barons yourselves."

Because some of us have some perspective:
1) Despite the high gas prices, they are still lower than they were in the early 1980s when accounting for inflation.
2)High gas prices will force consumers to alter their driving habits and demand the market to start producing more fuel-efficient cars(demand which has been minimal up to now because of relatively low gas prices), as well as develop alternative fuels made from renewable materials such as cow shit(no kidding)
3)This "crisis" would be less of an issue had we been allowed to develop more nuclear and hydroelectric facilities, as well as build more refineries that would allow us to put more fuel on the market. However, the current environmental laws and the "green" lobby have prevented this, which has helped in its own way to limit the available supply.

In the end, people are going way to Cassandra about this issue and need to chill the hell out.

Posted by: Chris on August 27, 2005 05:47 PM

1) In the 1980's, we had a major oil producer (Iran) cut the line. Today they're all pumping full blast, and yet demand (and prices) is still on the rise. Then it was purely political. Now it's a matter of limited supply (although partly political: ie terrorism & Venezuala).
2) We could have done like Europe, realized that the high prices were coming, and raised them ourselves through taxes, funnelling the money to the government (possibly funding tax breaks?), & breaking the habit without letting the oil states cash out big. Cow's eat food which was made with pesticides and fertilizers & cultivated by tractors & transported by trucks. A good cow will "consume" five barrels worth of oil in its life (National G). Not to say we shouldn't recycle the shit, but the energy equation still comes up negative.
3) Rejecting nuclear power was a big mistake, hydroelectric power's developped to its max, and our energy policy has been moreso the victim of the coal & car industries (the CAFE "small trucks" fiasco) and a nation unwilling to make short term sacrifices for longterm gains than the green lobby.

In the end Chris, history will prove one of us wrong, but I'd rather err on the side of caution.

Posted by: William on August 27, 2005 10:29 PM

"Today they enjoy first world living while consuming less than half the amount of gas per-capita than we do."
"We could have done like Europe, realized that the high prices were coming, and raised them ourselves through taxes, funnelling the money to the government (possibly funding tax breaks?), & breaking the habit without letting the oil states cash out big. "

I don't think the comparisons to Europe are accurate or fully reflect the current socio-economic realities in this country or across the ocean. Many of the European powers are dealing with unemployment rates that have gotten past US Presidents out of a job, and unless something happens soon to fix that, the welfare states are going to be in trouble once revenues start drying out(The Scandinavian states would arguably be in the same predicament were it not for their own oil-producing industries). Their government welfare has come at the cost of a robust national defense, which the US has largely been the foundation of since the end of WW2. In addition, their transportation infrastructure is nowhere near the scale or complexity that ours is.
Taxing the hell out of gas will certainly change people's driving habits here, but what will happen when the initial tax revenue boost starts drying up? Not too mention the fact that people are wedded to their cars in this country and would suddenly have their options handcuffed by increased fuel rates. How many will be forced to take lower-paying jobs close to home? How will this affect places across the nation that rely almost exclusively on tourism, especially small towns that emphasize heritage tourism, to keep their local economies afloat? This is just a small sample of the potential negative impacts on our economy.
It's easy to say, "Well, let's tax gas to the moon like Europeans and we can use that revenue for other things!" but I don't think the proponents of this idea have fully thought through the long-term consequences because they view it as a panacea.

To end this loooong post (sorry, Rob, for wasting bandwidth), I will fully admit that the energy potential for converting bovine waste to energy is far lower than oil or coal(it's also only practical for regional development at this point due to transportation issues). My point is that the market is now driving people to look for different, renewable sources of energy, and I can't see how this is a negative thing.

Posted by: Chris on August 28, 2005 03:51 PM

I agree it's a good thing that the market's making people consider alternatives seriously. Unfortunately, we've known for a long time that there's only so much oil. We also know we can do much better things with it than burn it (plastics, tar, pesticides, fertilizers...), and that sooner or later it will run out. I think it's a sound idea to have the government bring about the price hike in a regulated, predictable manner than to leave it to the market, which, among other things, is going to leave the Middle East, not our government, with the piles of cash this price hike is producing. I also think that the primary motivator behind this hike isn't supplies so much as political tensions & low refinery capacity. This means the price is probably going to go down again, and we'll have one more chance before the real thing hits.

I do not suggest we use gas tax revenue for welfare. In an ideal world, the government would give it right back to the citizens in tax refunds for entirely non-related areas, like income tax, so the government does not become dependent upon our consumption of gasoline.

Europe is in trouble right now, but high gas prices are not the reason.

Yes, we have a helluvalot better highway system than they do, but when it comes to trains, even mass transit, we've got next to zilch. The TGV's breaking 150 mph while Amtrack's facing bankruptcy. Even poorer cities, like Budapest, have street-car systems that beat the heck out of anything you find in most American metropolises. Basically, they're developping a much more energy sustainable lifestyle.

Yes, a price hike will have drastic effects upon the American economy, but it's going to happen anyway. Unfortunately we've developped in such a way that we're dependent, but we can cut out alot of consumption just by making trains more convenient than highways, developping good mass transit, and discouraging sprawl.

Posted by: William on August 28, 2005 11:11 PM

William,

Thanks for the discussion...we obviously disagree on a number of things, but it's been fun hashing this out with you.

Posted by: Chris on August 29, 2005 03:24 PM

Anytime, sorry we couldn't come to some kind of consensus.

Posted by: William on August 29, 2005 08:17 PM
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