Monday, May 19, 2008

About this whole gas price

I find it amusing that every day on the news or online there are tips for saving money on gas. One of them is always to slow down. Yesterday I tried a little experiment. I actually drove the speed limit on the freeway to see if it had any material impact on the old MPG. From point A to point B of my journey I drove 55 on cruise. It did seem like I was barely moving compared to the normal 75-80, but I did save gas. Compared to the 17/18 MPG I would normally get, I was getting 23. A 27% increase in mileage for slowing down. Pretty good. The round trip was 60 miles. At 55 I used 2.6 gallons. At 75 I would have used 3.33 gallons. Last I filled up cost $3.85 so I saved $2.80.

But is it really worth it? Not really. By slowing down to 55 it took me 1.09 hours of time to drive the 60 miles. At 75 it would have taken me 0.8 hours. So I spent an extra 0.29 hours on the road to save $2.80. That works out to the equivalent of earning $9.65 an hour.

In economic terms one could say that anyone earning over $9.65 an hour doesn't have the incentive to slow down since his time is more valuable. Conversely anyone making less than $9.65 should slow down. And as everything involved in the study of economics, this assumes a perfect world in which everyone drives the same car and only has two options of driving 55 or 75.

While I was driving 55, I was going slower than 99.9% of other vehicles. I was being passed by trucks - you know the ones driven by drivers who swear they will be bankrupt if the price of diesel goes any higher. I was being passed by shitboxes with 7 illegals inside. I was expecting a 90 year old woman on a walker to fly by me. Which led me to think that this gas price crisis I keep hearing about isn't such a crisis after all. If people really were having to decide between eating and driving as the MSM claims, they'd slow down and save that $2.80 per trip and then go buy a couple of items off the $0.99 menu and not starve to death.

Actions of course always speak louder than words. And my mini-experiment proves that people just like to complain. $4 gas is a bitch. It isn't however the end of the world as we know it. So to the guy at Starbucks guzzling down a $30 a gallon cup of lactose free, non-fat, 1/2 caf decaf, soy mocha with a hint of fat free cinnamon complaining about $4 gas....STFU please. To the soccer mom in the 11 MPG monster SUV with the supercharged V8 option complaining about $4 gas as you drive Brittney and Parker to soccer practice at 90MPH so you can make you $250 hair cut appointment....STFU please.

And so on and so forth.

1 comment:

christine said...