Skip to main content

The Price of Gas is Going up: A Rant...

Frankly, I don't understand why there's any debate or argument over the price of gasoline, ever. Why do people get all up-in-arms about the price of a gallon of gas? Yes, of course I understand why...because we need it to get to work, get to school, drive to see our neighbors that live three blocks away. I get it. But why do people feel like they have some Constitutional right to low gas prices?

Here's an idea: Oil is a finite resource. It costs a lot to get it out of the ground. It costs a lot to refine it. It costs a lot to ship it. The more of it we use, the harder it becomes to get it out of the ground and the less of it remains in the ground. My point is: when there's an abundance of something, it's generally cheap. The less there is the more it's gonna cost. That's Economics that even a child can understand.

So why all the fuss over gas prices? This is the Free Market. Those that hold the strings--in this case, the commodity--have the right to raise the price if they have something people want. Right? Or am I off base here?

People, and especially Conservatives, like to wax loud and long about the "free market" and "small government," and other things about which they don't really understand. But then they want to promise people they're going to deliver low gas prices? Bullshit.

Libertarians also love to toot the "small government" horn. According to them, if people don't like high gas prices they can just stop buying gas, bicycle to work, or--and this is the best one--just organize other Libertarians together and create THEIR OWN public transportation system! Again...bullshit.

What we need to do is recognize that oil is a diminishing resource and either A.) Get serious about developing and using other power sources for our cars, B.) Get serious about developing alternate sources of public transportation, or C.) Change our methods of city-planning so that people can (gasp) walk to the places they need to go.

I don't expect any of this is going to happen until it absolutely has to, that is, until gas prices approach, say, $10 per gallon. Not until then do I think we'll really get serious about changing our habits so that we can live a more sustainable and less gasoline-dependent life. But...expect to hear a lot of undue bellyaching between now and then. If there's one thing most people hate it's Discomfort. Right behind that is Sacrifice.


Popular posts from this blog

New Yorker Fiction Review: "The Apologizer" by Milan Kundera

Issue: May 4, 2015

Rating: $$

Review: It took me five years and three separate attempts to finish Milan Kundera's famous novel, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, but in spite of that, quotes and insights from that book still rattle round my head on a weekly basis. What I mean to say is: my feelings on Kundera are very similar to my feelings on Haruki Murakami. I enjoy reading his work, but in small doses, like this short story.

Like Murakami, Kundera uses elements of magical realism, but where in a Murakami story you might encounter a flying dolphin or a disappearing hotel or a person who has lived his whole life in the same room, refusing to leave, Kundera's magical realism offers more direct insights and perspective on real life.

In Kundera's worlds, time and space are malleable and everything that ever happened in history is happening at the same time, and the narrator is a completely omniscient, caring, witty, and hands-on god-like being.

And so it is with "The Apo…

New Yorker Fiction Reviews: "Meet the President!" by Zadie Smith

Each week I review the short fiction from a recent issue of The New Yorker. If you told me when I was 12 that I'd be doing this I'd have been like, "Dork. There's no such thing as blogs," and I'd have been right...

Issue: Aug. 12 & 19, 2013

Story: "Meet the President!"

Author:Zadie Smith

(Please note: I've developed a highly sophisticated grading system, which I'll be using from now on.  Each story will now receive a Final Grade of either READ IT or DON'T READ it. See the bottom of the review for this story's grade...after you've read the review, natch.)

Plot: Set in England, far into the future (lets say 2113) a privileged youth of 15, named Bill Peek, encounters a few poor villagers from a small, abandoned coastal town on the southeast shore. He meets a little girl named Aggie, who is going to her sister's funeral. Peek is cut-off from real life by a sophisticated video game system that is implanted in his head, therefore th…

A Piece of Advice I Learned From My Grandfather

My grandfather was one of the most learned men I know. He read widely and voraciously, and not just in the sciences (he was a doctor); he loved politics, philosophy, and great literature as well. Whenever he finished a book he would write his thoughts about the book in the front cover and then sign and date it. To this day every once in a while I will open a book from my bookshelf or my mother's bookshelf, or at one of my family members' homes, and there will be my grandfather's handwriting. He was also a great giver of his books; if you remarked that you liked a particular one or wanted to read it, you were almost sure to take it home with you.

Reading is a very solitary pursuit but my grandfather was not a solitary person. He relished having family and friends around him which is convenient because he was blessed with a lot of both. And he carried out his intellectual life in a very "public" way as well. He was, in some ways, an intellectual evangelist. If he r…