Monday, April 21, 2008

Gas is cheaper than you think

Over the weekend, several of my car-drivin' friends were bitching about the soaring prices at the gas pumps. They whined about how they are forced to spend $100/week to keep their big SUV on the road, and how the government should really step in and do something to ease their fiscal pain.

I have never owned a car. Sometimes I rent one when I need to take a road trip, but I live and work in a large city with a decent transit system, where a monthly transit pass is about $110.00, and you can claim those passes in your tax return every year and get a good amount of it back. I don't rely on a vehicle to get around, and therefore I can't relate to my friends' anger and anxiety.

I understand that a lot of folks live and work in a place where there's no transit and they absolutely need a car in their life, but I also believe that driving and owning a car is a privilege, not a right, and that people really oughta shut the fuck up if they can't manage the financial costs associated with that privilege.

So I offered my friends some badly needed perspective on gasoline prices, and pointed out that gas is actually much cheaper than they think it is, when you compare it to the prices of other nations:

Current average gas price in Canada: $1.23 CDN/litre or $4.60 US/gallon
Current average gas price in the U.S.: $ 3.50 US/gallon
Current average gas price in Europe: 1.45€/Liter = $2.30 CDN/Liter = $8.70 US/gallon

Be thankful you don't live in Europe.

I went one step further, and calculated how much we willingly spend on other liquid goods, without feeling any sense of outrage. You might be a little surprised at what you've been shelling out for:

prices are in CDN dollars, which today is almost par with the US dollar
($1 CDN = $0.99 USD)

a can of Coke (12 oz = $1.25) .... $13.87 per gallon

Diet Snapple (16 oz = $1.29) .... $10.32 per gallon

Evian water (9 oz = $1.49) .... $21.19 per gallon

Molson Canadian beer (12 oz bottle = $1.65) .... $17.60 per gallon

Vick's Nyquil (6 oz = $8.35) .... $178.13 per gallon

Pepto Bismol (4 oz = $3.85) .... $123.20 per gallon

Whiteout/Liquid Paper (7 oz = $1.39) .... $25.42 per gallon

Scope mouthwash (1.5 oz = $0.99) .... $84.48 per gallon

and then there's THIS:

HP Inkjet Printer ink (17ml = $32.99) .... $7,343.69 per gallon


So the moral to this story is: suck it up, bitches. If you really need to drive your car everywhere, then you really need to keep the costs in perspective with the big picture, because when you think about all the soliders and civilians and vast acres of land that have died in order for you to drive your fucking SUV to the supermarket, then I say you're not paying nearly enough.


doorknob_dan said...

Considering all the whiteout I drink, no wonder I'm always fucking broke.

But here's the skinny - I think if you own a big gas guzzler that doesn't get at least 30 mpg you deserve what you get.

I drive everywhere, as I'm mentally incapable of managing the details it requires to take public transit, and those motherfuckers with the big vehicles drive up demand, resulting in my little fuel efficient car to cost more when I go on Sunday drives.

So go fuck yourselves SUV peeps. Trade it in for a Toyota or something if you're whining. (If you're NOT whining, go fug yourself anyways 'cause I can't see around your behemoths on the road and I hate you anyways.)

steakbellie said...

these high gas prices are the only way our dumb asses will ever pay attention our Oil Addiction.

Tough Love

BeckEye said...

I love that people will drive to the gas station to buy a $10 pack of cigarettes, but then bitch that gas is too expensive. Priorities, people.

Chris said...

I drive a Toyota Yaris - right at 40 mpg. My bike gets just a touch over 40 (oddly enough, the engine on my motorcycle is large than the engine in my car). Unless the weather is particularly crappy I walk or ride my bicycle to work (an adventure in my neighborhood).

What kills me is that the holes that persist in driving all by themselves in a monster SUV are creating the demand that's driving the price of MY gas upwards.

I just saw something crawl through the print shop with "The Democrats Hosed You at the Pump" in big bold letters. Yeah? Who's been in charge lately?

The whole thing makes me sick.

Blank Field said...

I'm old enough to remember paying 19.9 cents a gallon, and getting free drinking glasses with a purchase over 8 gallons.

Saturday I paid $3.67 a gallon. When I was paying 19.9 cents a gallon, each gallon was 1/200th of my weekly allowance. Now I'm paying roughly 1/326th of my weekly income for gas. Plus I get to write it off. So in point of fact, I'm better off now than I was when gas was 19.9 cents a gallon.

But it doesn't change the fact that I wish the price would drop.

Weird, huh?

rcubed said...

As long as I don't have to fight anyone for a fucking bag of rice, I am going to consider myself blessed and will refrain from bitching about anything except important issues. For instance, why is the vending machine out of Reeses peanut butter cups every fucking time I want one?

pistols at dawn said...

I'm just thankful that here in America, we voted in that Big Oil ticket in 2000.

Oil was $37 a barrel back then, if you can believe those exorbitant prices, and we were rewarded with an administration's brilliant oil policies - based on its experience and connections in the industry - that lowered the price to like 18 cents a barrel, right?

$115? Well, at least no one they know/used to work for/companies they own stock in profited tremendously from the...

What's that?


Snooze said...

"because when you think about all the soliders and civilians and vast acres of land that have died in order for you to drive your fucking SUV to the supermarket, then I say you're not paying nearly enough."

Right on! I've never quite thought of it that way but I love it.

Cap'n Ergo "XL+1" Jinglebollocks said...

a few thunks, many from having grown up in the Midwest:

Many large cities have TERRIBLE public transit systems-- if the busses actually run to where U need to go, you still need to walk 500 miles to get to the door of the place you're going to

**you can die of hypothermia standing in a snowbank waiting for a fucking bus

**buying a gigantic SUV in Florida where everything is flat, it doens't snow and you don't fish, hunt, off-road, go mudding or haul is S-T-U-P-I-D

**companies should encourage people to work from home when possible-- why pay even for electricity, let alone office space and A/C if someone can work @ home even 3 days a week or more?

**I once took a bus from the 'burbs of Pittsburgh to the heart of the city, then out to where I left my car parked 'cuz I rode out to a job site with someone else. It took me EIGHT FUCKING HOURS to get home because the transit system was so awful.

**I have no vehicle now, having left it down South, and like a fool I find myself picking up a copy of Auto Trader or Truck Trader and leafing through it, sighing heavily. What the hell is WRONG with me??

Bluzlover said...

These are some great points, $6 for smokey treats, $2 for bottled water and only $3.50 per gallon to haul our fat asses around. In perspective, it's cheap.

Falwless said...

I bathe nightly in premium-grade gasoline whilst I mock the indigent.

ginger b said...

This is an important subject that I personally take VERY seriously.

Which is exactly why I put that "Live Green" bumper sticker on the back of my HumV last week.

TWSB said...

Well, that is one way to put things into perspective.

I have a shitty SUV and want to trade it in but can't afford to since I am jobless. So I have started walking everywhere.

Great time to be unemployed with an economy like this one.

Leonesse said...

I envy you your transportation system. There is no such thing here and in Phoenix it is an embarrassment!