Thursday, May 04, 2006

Many people look forward to $5/gallon

Be honest with yourself and everyone around you. If you own an SUV, large pick-up, or any model Hummer you're hoping gas prices soar. Thanks to the new minimum wage law, pimply-faced teenagers at McDonald's can afford $3/gallon gas. You're hoping it climbs upwards of $6/gallon to separate the men from the boys.

Nearly anyone can scrape-up enough money to drive around the real guzzlers when gas is less than $2/gallon. But only someone with your financial resources can truly afford to drive a suburban assault vehicle at 11 MPG when gas prices rise to where they ought to be. Auto dealers will sell anything to anyone--and with leases, discounts, rebates, friends and family plans, and other incentives any idiot can swing a loan to buy a vehicle that should be reserved for the truly wealthy.

What good is showing off your luxury over-sized vehicle if they can be seen just as frequently in Highland Park as they can Bloomfield Hills? How will they know you're not from Highland Park?

At $6/gallon everyone will know you've arrived because you're driving yours while they're riding the bus. As idled SUVs sit in driveways neighbors will think well-to-do distant relatives are visiting... but it won't be you.

Higher gas prices should also pay big dividends for people commuting from Brighton, Oakland Township, and other hard-to-reach communities. Their home values will certainly increase as those that can't afford the commute will be forced to sell their homes and move closer to work. Finally, those villages will become the exclusive retreats you hoped they'd be. High gas prices will purify those uber-suburban towns and leave behind only those who can afford the seclusion long commutes provide. In the morning, with each on-ramp you pass you will know the merging cars, and eventually the buses you catch up to belong to increasingly less accomplished professionals with more pedestrian financial means than yourself.

And finally, Michigan's inland lakes will be quieter without those obnoxious drunks racing Seadoos and Jet-Skis, leaving a more peaceful lake for your water-front home enjoyment. This must be what it was like before the white man came.

Face it, the sooner $6/gallon or higher gas prices come the better. You're ready.


  1. Great editorial in the Washington Post today, How we got to $3 a gallon.

    I was somewhat surprised when I read, "Crude oil and taxes represent about three-quarters of the retail price of gasoline; refining, distribution and marketing account for the rest."

  2. You moron!

    You think ultra-high gas prices are a good thing? Do everyone a favor and get your head out of your ass!

    As a college student, I live on a FIXED income and I can barely afford to drive my little econo-box-on-wheels at $3/gallon! And don't try telling me that I should ride the bus or a bicycle, it's not an option in my case.

    Not to mention the fact that I come from a poor family and $6/gallon gas will kill us financially if it happens. And we're not the only ones in that boat, either!
    So why don't you try thinking about the poor when you start advocating jacking-up gas prices to an unaffordable level?
    Is getting rid of SUVs REALLY worth the impact it will have on low-income families? If you can answer "YES" to this with a straight face, then you're even more out of touch than I thought.

    I hope when prices do reach that level that you end up out of work and in a situation in which you are forced to drive several miles to go to the store or unemployment office. Then let's see if you think $6/gallon is such a good idea!

  3. I read anonymous' comment twice to make sure he (I mean that androgenously) confessed to attending college. His response confirmed two things; first and most importantly, his college education left him bereft of the ability to detect sarcasm. This suggests he's similarly unable to discern editorial bias in the popular media. He should get his tuition money back. Diagnosis: he's a liberal. Prognosis: he'll believe what he reads in the paper and hears on television. My mother would call this being a good Catholic.

    Second, well... I forget what the second one is. Without recognizing sarcasm and how the article actually (though obliquely) expresses sympathy for his predicament by ridiculing people for whom gasoline and the extravagant vehicles they drive over the distances they take them weekly could fuel an armored division for twelve days in Iraq makes the second point, well, moot.

  4. Anonymous,

    that comment may have been a slight overreaction. But it was fun to write.

    Put simply, my article was intended to parody folks that use their uber-suburban estates, unnecessarily large vehicles, and daily commutes to and from work as status symbols. The larger the car, the more affluent they look. The further they live, the more affluent they seem in seeking retreat from the harried life of simpletons living closer to work or school or (gasp!) use public transportation.

    If you re-read the article, let me know if you still don't see the humor. Honestly (really!) it means I need to work harder at my writing to make sure I can be more obviously sarcastic so I offend the people I intend to and not the ones I don't.

  5. lets all play with the internet. hurray