Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Where Gas Costs Most, and Why It's a Bargain...

The NY Times published a little survey of gas prices around the country. At first glance I immediately started to grumble and feel abused. As I suspected! Prices in California are highest in the nation! Those lucky stiffs in the Mid-West have it so good they pay at least 20% less for their gas.

BUT my feelings turned around pretty quickly when I looked at the other two charts published as part of the same survey: median income and percent of income spent on gas... well, now that those two little pieces of data are added into the picture, it's time for me to shut up and give thanks. It turns out that some of those folks who pay least for a gallon of gas are spending a very high percentage of their income on the stuff that makes their cars go. Up to 16% in some areas, compared to the Bay Area's meager 2% or so.

Now that's what I call expensive gas. I think some of those guys should consider buying a hybrid.

It would be interesting to look at the relative cost of other items in the same manner. Two examples that come to mind are housing and childcare. I think that in Bay Area we are probably paying a dramatically higher percentage of our income on housing than most folks around the country, and the same is likely true for childcare. Maybe I'll take up the challenge and play a bit with census data to figure it out for myself.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I thought I'd help you out a little: In rural SoDak (where I live, town of 2k) I pay $2.25 per hour per child - 20 hour minimum - for daycare. This is the most expensive daycare in my town.

The problem with gas in rural sodak is that you HAVE to drive to get to where you need to go. There's no public transportation option. Sometimes I bike to daycare to pick up my kids and people look at me like I'm a lunatic. A famous saying here is: "If you go for a walk in the country, carry a gun. That way people will think you're hunting and not crazy."

Shadox said...

As a reference, we spend $1,000 per month, per child on day care. This is a city owned day care center which is SUBSIDIZED for residents... yes, it's nuts.

Next time I am hiking in the country, I'll be sure to take a gun...

Adamgv said...

Gas prices are waaay too high! We have videos of cars that run on water and magnetics! Total free energy!

When you get a moment, check out : http://www.conspiracybusters.com.

Shadox said...

Yes, yes, total free energy. AND if you believe any of that I got 200 acres of prime swamp land with your name on it...