(Photo taken on June 1st, 2008 between Groveland and Yosemite along Hwy 120.)
In the mindset of your average, middle class American consumer in 2008 goods are broken down into the following approximate categories based on price:
- $0.01 – $0.09: completely useless. A historical artifact, and a waste of time.
- $0.10 – $0.99: I don’t think twice about spending this. Gum.
- $1 – $5: a small/simple meal.
- $5 – $20: a full individual activity, a solid dinner out.
- $20 – $100: a durable good, a group activity.
- $100+: something special.
Gasoline is in the process of changing categories. The upcoming growth in gasoline prices from $4.50 a gallon to $5.50 a gallon will have a greater effect on transportation mode share, local environment/air quality, global warming, health, life expectancy, land use, socio-economic segregation and social justice issues and blah and blah and blah…. then any other of our gazillon fancy (and expensive) programs we have out there to fix these problems. The rising cost of gasoline is doing what we as a society haven’t had the balls to do – address the root cause of these problems: 60+ years of heavily subsidized and thus artificially deflated costs of private vehicle use.