A middle-aged man dreaming of the day when he can stop begging for scraps and write for a living.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Two Dollars and Seventy-Two Cents

On my way back from installing equipment at a client office (don't ask; I only wish I were freelance) I passed a gas station advertising $2.72 for regular unleaded. It came as something of a shock to me, as I never expected to see gas prices that low again. It came as another shock to realize that I actually considered that price to be low.

Not a lot of people are talking about the price of gas these days. There's a bit of a grumbling over the fact that gas companies won't modify the price of gas when the temperature changes, effectively selling by volume instead of energy potential. The Boston Local News reports that gas is down nine cents in the last week, and twenty-nine cents since the end of May. Other than that, nada.

We've seen a significant drop in the price of gas, so why isn't anyone talking about it? Yes, $2.72/gal for low-grade fuel still hurts, but not nearly as badly as the $3.09 I've paid. And nobody even thinks about the fact that there's still a 9/10 stuck to any gas price, making us think the gas is actually a penny cheaper than it really is. Gas companies are notorious for lying, cheating and swindling people out of money. They're in the same league as the telephone companies when it comes to hoarding money and claiming hardship when the time comes to upgrade their service.

We really do have a short attention span in this country. We'll analyze a crisis to death, and when we're bored we'll find something new to discuss. Nobody cares that the President and his entire administration needs to be impeached, removed and prosecuted for innumerable crimes. Nobody cares that Congress continues to sell us out to that very same administration. Nobody cares that we're rapidly losing all the ground we gained in Afghanistan because we're allowing this criminal administration to distract us with a second, wholly unrelated war in an oil-rich nation, and won't let us out until the new rulers of that nation sign an agreement giving us a sweetheart deal for their oil. And apparently, nobody cares that gas prices have dropped.

How did this happen? When did we stop paying attention? Or has it always been this way, and nobody has ever been able to motivate us sufficiently to care about it? We are truly our own worst enemies.

I'm rather curious about this change in gas prices, especially with the oil companies moaning about how it'll hurt them to expand their infrastructure, but at the same time it's implausible to spend money on renewable energy resources. It's a mystery, and one that does not please me at all.

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