Monday, November 9, 2009

"Happiness is Elusive, but Pleasure can be Created"

Quote found as a closing comment in a letter to the magazine "Road and Track" which is not my usual reading fare, but an article on the cost of gasoline was recommended by the resident Engineer. Actually even a business/econ major found it interesting reading.

The author went to great lengths acquiring statistics to explain where the oil is found and in what quantities, who buys it and in what quantities, etc., etc. The end result was Mr. Simanaitis' premise that any place that gas is cheaper than in the good old USA is not a place he or anyone else would want to live. And I totally agree. The best part, however, was the updated barrel of crude showing the refined percentages of the contents of the barrel, from gasoline to diesel to heavy fuel oil, having changed since I last saw it.

However, although much appreciated, he certainly earned his fee doing the necessary research with interesting tidbits along the way which I won't include here because I did the same thing a few years ago with just some pretty accurate guesstimates as follows:

When I learned to drive in 1945 and Dad returned from the War, gas was $.20 per gallon. A new Mercury in 1946 was less than $1000 so I figured I'd use that as the average cost of a car. Moving forward 55 years I figured the average cost of a car
would be about $20,000 and if gas kept up the inflation price it would be $4 per gallon without taxes. Kept the math simple.

The variables would have included the fact that in the 40s a car might get 15 mpg, but didn't have A/C and a lot of electronic gizmos plus safety features. Newer cars have all of those features plus more and still get more mpg than half a century ago. So guess what! We are getting a bargain when we stop at the pump and fill up our cars with cleaner fuel and catalytic converters and all that stuff including a good 50 cents or so for taxes depending on where you live.

If you can afford a car priced at $20,000 and upward, consider yourselves very, very lucky to not be charged over $6 per gallon as is the case in the Netherlands and Norway.

I know, I know--there's a lot more to the transportation story than the price of gas, but it is one of the major griping issues day in and day out. It's all a matter of perspective. There are still laws of supply and demand even with OPEC in the mix--we should be cognizant of the story behind the story if we are going to do any complaining, right?

Sleep well--
God bless...............

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