Monday, November 26, 2007

At Least You Can Afford To Drive Home

This is just an extension if not a restatement of my soapbox issue - Minimum percentage wage reform. Gas prices hits the lower middle class and the upper poor harder. The more poor you are the more detrimental gas price increases are. That is true until you reach the very impoverished sector. They generally don't own vehicles and are not required to drive to get to work.

First of all poorer people generally do not drive new and well kept vehicles. So their gas efficiency tends to suffer as the cars they drive are not at their peak. They are spending more per mile driven. Secondly, poorer people make less money, I know it is a shock. When a tank of gas that used to cost $1.50 is now $3.00, a tank of fuel that used to cost $25 now cost $50. If you make $25 an hour, or somewhere in the $50,000 a year range, that sucks. You now have to donate an extra hours worth of work per tank of gas. You fill up your tank twice a week, so you used to spend two hours a week just paying for the gas to drive to work and back. Now that gas prices have doubled, you spend the first 4 hours paying for gas costs. However, If you work at Wal-Mart making $10 per hour or somewhere around $20,000 per year if you can get full time, that $30 a tank got doubled to $60. It was an increase that took you from working your first 6 hours per week for fuel cost to working your first day and a half just to pay for the trip to work.

All of this is pre tax, and doesn't include some of the other costs that are increased by higher gas prices. So just Imagine you are sitting there after lunch on Friday, slacking, reading blogs. All that is going through your head is man 4 more hours before I can get out of the place. Just imagine if all the sudden somebody said, “Well not really, that is 6 more hours and you have to come back tomorrow so you can pay for the privilege of showing up here.” Actually the drive in tomorrow is going to cost you another 15 min. Damm

The worst part is that in Wage Reform part 3 – “It’s stupid, the economy” we learned that the poor are immediate contributors to the economic system. As they stop buying stuff, other people are bound to get poor also. Gas is just the cost of doing business. Most families are in the business of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness.” Fuel costs are a cost that raises the price of that business that can not be passed on. It is alright to try to use the free markets to keep gas prices as low as possible. By that I mean using web sites like Bu what really needs to happen is a complete independence from oil and fossil fuel.

"The American Dream has run out of gas. The car has stopped. It no longer
supplies the world with its images, its dreams, its fantasies. No more. It's
over. It supplies the world with its nightmares now: the Kennedy assassination,
Watergate, Vietnam." - J. G. Ballard

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