mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Why I paid $3.04 a gallon for regular, but don't plan to drive any less...

I've written before about how gas prices tend not to be very elastic - that is, a large increase in price only causes a small drop in demand.

News outlets are once again reporting that demand is high despite high prices. Via Instapundit, Ron Coleman blames wealth effects and the fact that, adjusted for inflation, gas is still cheap.

I think that's part of it, but I still think most of it has to do with the fact that people can't easily make major changes to their driving, especially in the short time. Sure, you can combine trips and maybe skip a trip here or there, but for the most part, you can only do so much. I've still got to go to work - I can't call off because gas prices are too high. I still need to run errands - buy food and the other stuff that keeps my household running. What little leisure driving I do is usually for hobbies that I enjoy, so I'm willing to spend the money.

Most memorial days I drive up to NJ to visit the parents. I didn't this time, because I wanted to go to the memorial day hamfest. I will be driving up to Jersey for the 4th of July, though - no matter how high gas prices are.

And the last time I mentioned something similar, someone pointed out that I could have taken public transportation. Except Greyhound or Amtrack would still cost me more than gas. Plus, I enjoy driving, and like having my car available while I'm in NJ. The fact is that gas is still a fairly small part of owning a car, compared to car payments, insurance, maintenance, ect. My insurance and car payment are the same if my truck is on I-78 or sitting in it's parking space in front of my townhouse.


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