With the price of oil at $95 a barrel, economists estimate that U.S. households will spend an additional $90 billion on costlier gasoline. Estimating our population at 300 million, that’s an average of $300 per person. Between my wife and I, that means we’re giving up $600 of our economic pie to the recently increased cost of transportation, on average.
What would you do with $300? You can do something. You can minimize your use of oil, and when those price increases happen, you won’t be counted within the statistic (except to the extent there’s an oil premium in the food and products you buy).
While everyone else is further strapped to oil, you can do something else with the money. But what? Put more money in the 401k? Eat more healthy food? Spend more time exercising? The great thing about our country is, we don’t have to wait for the government to decide whether we’ll be subject to the statistic.
There’s a lot of finger pointing in the environmental movement. Some of that is genuine, it’s an attempt to cause change. But some isn’t: You made the gas-guzzling car, not me. You built the over-sized home in suburbs, not me. You made the highway too thin, not me. Or is it: You fill up the tank. You bought the car. You chose the house location. You pay the gasoline bill.
I hate to be insensitive, but for all of us that can’t hack the increase in oil prices, doesn’t it sound like a personal problem? Doesn’t it sound like a $90 billion personal problem?