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I'm sure you'll understand my resounding lack of sympathy

Old 08-12-05, 08:02 PM
  #1  
sswartzl
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I'm sure you'll understand my resounding lack of sympathy

"Poll: Many Fear Gas Prices' Financial Hit"
http://apnews.myway.com//article/200...D8BUJDNG1.html

My favorite tidbits from the article:
"I filled up last Monday and it cost me $53," said Gary Spaulding of Fulton, N.Y., referring to his Ford Explorer. "One of the cars we're going to get rid of. We can't afford both of them."

"It cost $65 last week for a fill-up of our Expedition," said Carla Woyden, a mother of four from the Philadelphia area who works part-time.

"It has a rather large effect...It directly reduces their spendable income, because they are not able to conserve their use of gas very easily."

Hmmm...I bet I can think of a way to conserve my use of gas. In fact, now that I think about it, my car gets a fill-up about once a month, and only gets about half the mileage of my commuting vehicle of choice.
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Old 08-12-05, 08:38 PM
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Funny thing is......we, in the USA, pay the cheapest gas prices compared to the rest of the world and have been doing so for decades but it costs more than anyone else in the world to fill up our gas tanks......
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Old 08-12-05, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by The Fixer
Funny thing is......we, in the USA, pay the cheapest gas prices compared to the rest of the world and have been doing so for decades but it costs more than anyone else in the world to fill up our gas tanks.:
--- Yeah, and it is going to get worse as the supply of petroleum peaks out. No matter how much the SUV'ers can afford, expensive gasoline will be followed by NO gasoline:
www.peakoil.com/sample/index.html
www.socsci.mcmaster.ca/polisci/gcpr/oilprod.cfm
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Old 08-12-05, 08:58 PM
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There may be some benefits.. The secretary at my client's plant commented that since her truck now drinks $50+ more than once per week, she's going to have to quit smoking to afford her gas bill
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Old 08-12-05, 09:01 PM
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I've never really understood why so many people in the US and Canada feel the need for these giant petrol guzzlers- as a foreigner, I find it completely baffling!
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Old 08-12-05, 09:22 PM
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Well it s going to be a long time before there is no gasoline.

Its just going to be expensive from here on in.
I expect we will see the end of the behometh SUV but it will take a few years as people go through the car buying cycle.

I was a kid during the last "oil crisis" in the seventies, I can remember suddenly the much derided Japanese "rice-burners" became cool and the Volkswagen diesel rabbit
became almost impossible to buy.
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Old 08-12-05, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by womble
I've never really understood why so many people in the US and Canada feel the need for these giant petrol guzzlers- as a foreigner, I find it completely baffling!
I'm a native-born US citizen and I don't get it either, so don't feel like you're all alone there.
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Old 08-12-05, 09:43 PM
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Before everyone starts talking about that everyone should commute on bikes, I just want to remind everyone that it is not always possible. For example most people who work in Bay Area commute to work on a car because they can't afford to actually live within walking/bike distance from their place of work. Public transpartation isn't all that cheap eather. During a semester I take Bart to school, it costs me about 100 bucks a month.
That said I have no sympathy for people who whine about gas prices and then get in to their giant SUV that gets about 15 miles a gallon. Sell that over priced shopping cart and get a car that gets 30+. My next car is going to be a hybrid.
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Old 08-12-05, 10:09 PM
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I know lots of people with huge vehicles, and so far, none have complained about the price of gas within my hearing range. Maybe they know better.
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Old 08-12-05, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by skookum
I was a kid during the last "oil crisis" in the seventies, I can remember suddenly the much derided Japanese "rice-burners" became cool and the Volkswagen diesel rabbit
became almost impossible to buy.
I was there, too. Remember the "odd-even" license plate days? They did that in NY for awhile.
I was originally planning on commuting 2 or 3 days a week, but it's looking like it's gonna be 4 or 5 now. Hope I can handle 120 miles a week on the bike
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Old 08-12-05, 10:24 PM
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My commute takes 90 minutes by car/subway and there are no bathing facilities at my office. Commuting by bike would be impractical. Good thing I bought that old Honda for $750. Cheap gas and insurance.
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Old 08-12-05, 10:48 PM
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The hypocrisy of these complaints comes from the fact that, despite a 26% increase in prices from this month last year, the demand is 1.4% higher.

Fortunately, they've found something to blame for it.

Originally Posted by NY Times
Only about a third in the poll said they think President Bush is handling the nation's energy problems effectively, while almost six in 10 disagree. When asked whom they blame most for the rise in gas prices, people were most inclined to blame the oil companies, followed closely by politicians and countries that produce oil.
(Only 7 percent said people who drive gas-guzzling vehicles, 9% said environmentalists)

Meanwhile, viable fusion power is still "20 years" away, just like it was 2 decades ago, and France and Japan are the only real investors in the technology.
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Old 08-12-05, 11:09 PM
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I blame people driving gas guzzling monstrocities for showing Oil companies that hey are willing to pay the price.
I blame Oil companies for raising prices just because they can, and know that American's will pay the price to drive their gas guzzling monstrocities.
I blame the President for a bad foreign policy and for handling the whole cituation very poorly.
That about covers everyone.
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Old 08-12-05, 11:14 PM
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$1.08/litre in montreal.
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Old 08-12-05, 11:33 PM
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In a somewhat related note, has anyone seen the ad for an Expedition bragging about its increased FUEL EFFICIANcY? I was laughing out loud when I first saw it, then read the fine print at the bottem of the page: 14 MPG city and 18 hwy. I thought I was reading the Onion and it was a joke, but no they were serious. After awhile I quit laughing, and became depressed.
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Old 08-13-05, 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by UmneyDurak
Before everyone starts talking about that everyone should commute on bikes, I just want to remind everyone that it is not always possible. For example most people who work in Bay Area commute to work on a car because they can't afford to actually live within walking/bike distance from their place of work.

This is a major problem with California because the Bay area ran out of room since they placed hight restrictions on buildings resulting in over construction of single family homes for too few people. But the jobs did not leave the Bay area so your stuck having to commute by car.
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Old 08-13-05, 01:00 AM
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The real issue in the article was the fact that most of those who responded said they were going to spend less on other areas of their life like dining and travel. It's a sad state of affairs when Americans are so attached to their vehicles that an increase in gasoline prices puts them on the verge of bankruptcy!
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Old 08-13-05, 01:15 AM
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Well get ready for it to get worse dudes, we are going to have $100/barrel crude beofre it starts to come back down again. There are a bunch of contributing factors including hedge fund investment strategies, exploration, quality of drilled product, refining capacity etc. contributing to this and they all seem to be pointing to a steady increase in crude prices for the foreseeable future. Actually believe it or not, its not really dumbass Bush's (or any other politician's really) fault, its factors way beyond the scope of their control..
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Old 08-13-05, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by UmneyDurak
That said I have no sympathy for people who whine about gas prices and then get in to their giant SUV that gets about 15 miles a gallon.
I think you are overestimating the gas mileage of the large SUVs. Try 10 to 12 mpg.
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Old 08-13-05, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by kevink159
In a somewhat related note, has anyone seen the ad for an Expedition bragging about its increased FUEL EFFICIANcY? I was laughing out loud when I first saw it, then read the fine print at the bottem of the page: 14 MPG city and 18 hwy. I thought I was reading the Onion and it was a joke, but no they were serious. After awhile I quit laughing, and became depressed.
What makes it worse is that mpg figure is with the a/c off. In Texas, people drive with their a/c on most of the year.
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Old 08-13-05, 08:56 AM
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No way, Scroz! It's perfectly plausible that everything that's wrong with this world can be attributed to the actions of one man! He is the embodiment of all that is wrong and in a few years we'll just have to blame the next guy. It's so much easier than everybody examining what they can do to alleviate the problem by their own action.
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Old 08-13-05, 09:20 AM
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I have an uncle who is an independent engineering and financial consultant to refineries (he takes his engineering expertise and management expertise and divises a way to maximize profit). We asked him about prices. The main reason for the prices is that we don't have enough refining capacity to keep up with demand. The refineries out there are old and things are breaking down regularly. I asked him if any companies have plans to build new refineries. His answer was there are no plans in the foreseeable future. The refineries are enjoying margins they haven't seen in ages and don't plan on letting them go anytime soon.
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Old 08-13-05, 09:31 AM
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Arcane regulations make it difficult and time consuming to build more refineries.
I'm not saying the regulations are bad, most of them were put there for environmental reasons. It just makes it part of the trade-off.

The best way to ensure conservation and alternative energy sources is high prices for conventional oil. As soon as those high prices occur, the same people that are always yabbering about conservation and alternative energy sources start whining about high prices.

Demand is not inelastic, it will respond to price. The biggest worry is that high oil prices will lead to a recession as has happened before.
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Old 08-13-05, 11:17 AM
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My dad works in the energy industry, and warned me about this over 10 years ago, back when gas was cheap and SUVs were just taking off. For the next decade, I always bragged about the gas mileage and reliability of my Honda Civic whilst everyone I knew laughed and talked about their horsepower and towing capacity. (How many times a year do you tow a house, anyway?)
Now, same conversation, and all my friends nod appreciatively. Funny how that works out. The part that gets me is I've been robbed of almost all of my "I told you so's" since all but one of my buddies can even recollect that I've been speaking about this for so long. (Selective memory, I suppose...they want to pretend it's been a big shock, these gas prices. Oh well.)
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Old 08-13-05, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by skookum
Arcane regulations make it difficult and time consuming to build more refineries.
I'm not saying the regulations are bad, most of them were put there for environmental reasons. It just makes it part of the trade-off.

The best way to ensure conservation and alternative energy sources is high prices for conventional oil. As soon as those high prices occur, the same people that are always yabbering about conservation and alternative energy sources start whining about high prices.

Demand is not inelastic, it will respond to price. The biggest worry is that high oil prices will lead to a recession as has happened before.
The only "arcane" thing in this argument (which smacks disturbingly of Libertarianism, that most vile form of political animal) is the suggestion of a repeal of regulation. There is no more arcane concept in the capitalist world, and there is nothing that corporations would like more. Since the advent of the regulatory state, capitalists and corporations have long sought it's repeal. Why did the regulatory state come about? Maybe because there was ample cause (pause to read history book here) for the citizens of a democracy to exercise the power they had (and in theory still have) over a corporation. But, there is a reason that corporations LOVE fascist governments. Look around the world, and see how much money is being made for Western corporations with friendly fascists to enforce for them in a society without a social contract or any "arcane" regulation.
"The Market" is not this benevolent, omnipotent entity that we should bow humbly before and simply expect that it's machinations will bring about the justice and order that we has human beings should be striving for. Quite the contrary, "the market", in any unregulated form, has consistently throughout human history done quite the opposite. Our economic order is Feudalism, all over again. There is nothing new about that, just as there is nothing "arcane" about the need for a regulatory state. In fact, the very idea that citizens, with one vote apiece, can regulate the powerful...now that's still the newest idea on this planet! That's also why the concept pushed for so long by the wealthy of citizens as "consumers first" is so very dangerous.
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