Friday, May 27, 2005

Yeah, I'm Gonna Drive My Car

Global warming is a fact (unless you are one of the non-intelligent Intelligent Design kinda folks, as disbelieving anything since God wrote the Bible isn't allowed for you), oil is a rapidly depleting resource that leads us to unnecessary wars and alliances with governments very much as ugly as the ones we then castigate and attack, but, dammit, this is America and you can take my car when you pry my steering wheel from my cold dead fingers.

At least that's the news according to the article "Why Americans are on the road again" in the Christian Science Monitor:

Despite the highest nominal gas prices ever recorded for a holiday, a record 37.2 million Americans are expected to travel this weekend - packed cheek-by-jowl inside their vans and sedans. Steeper gas prices - about 15 cents per gallon more than last year - will not be a significant deterrent, analysts say, because gasoline remains a small share of family vacation costs.

In fact, after adjusting for inflation and rises in average incomes, gasoline is taking less than half the bite from a household budget than in decades past, says Jerry Taylor, director of natural resource studies for the Cato Institute, a Washington think tank.

"The dollar price of gas looks way higher than it did in the 1950s, 1970s, and 1980s," says Taylor, "but the rise in American incomes has been so much greater that you are not going to see that much behavioral change in driving habits as a result."

It is too bad that the article doesn't point out that the Cato Institute is a right-leaning/libertarian think tank that is one of the prime movers trying to sic soc sec, because choice is always good, even when all your choices might be bad. So of course we all should be getting in our cars and hitting the road, for that's liberty. Just be sure to stop somewhere and buy things (that's the pursuit of happiness).

It's also telling that spokesperson Jerry Taylor leaves out the 1990s and early Aughts in his quote, for those who are paying attention, or merely getting paid, know that American incomes have stopped growing of late.

Of course, I'm a hypocrite and drive too much too. But at least I'm a self-aware hypocrite.

Have a good weekend, everybody!


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