December 9, 2008

583 words 3 mins read

$1 Gas – Good or Bad?

So not too long ago, we were at $4 a gallon for gasoline and the price was climbing every week. It seemed like the sky was the limit. It was stupid as everyone knew oil was wildly over priced, but still it rose. Gas was on the way to the very “real” possibility of $5 a gallon. Then “pop”, down it went. Back below $4 a gallon, a number which wasn’t that big of a deal when it was hit. Farther along, it slid below $3 a gallon, another number that was barely mentioned when it was on the up and up. Then not too long ago the prices went below $2 a gallon, which was hell on earth when we hit the first time (Why $2/gal was a big deal and $3/gal wasn’t, I don’t know). Now… more than a few news articles have been emerging on a real possibility of gas hitting or sliding below $1 a gallon.

When I started driving, gas in California was already above $1 a gallon. I don’t know exactly where it was, but it was sub $1.50. This wasn’t a terribly big deal, as I simply accepted the number. I don’t even remember gas when it was below $1/gal (didn’t care much when my parents were driving, apparently). So this new development is very amusing to me. Anyways, the important part is: $1 Gas — Good or Bad?

Short Answer: Good. Why? Well I know that many news outlets are ranting and raving about how $1/gal gas just goes to show how bad our recession is, but that really isn’t true. Yes, we’re in a recession, but no it isn’t as bad as many people make it out to be (at least not yet). Many people are out of a job, and that sucks. Hell, even our company is concerned about things and we’re small and have been doing fairly well as of late. I don’t believe that this is a real recession, at least not yet. It is more of an adjustment of wildly inflated prices. No one I know really believed that Google’s stock was worth $700 a share, or that $140/barrel was the real cost for oil. Things had just gotten crazy and kept going. Now we are resetting.

Gas prices dropping and housing prices dropping are good for most people (not all, because if you paid $2mil for a house last year and now it is only worth $1.5mil, you’ve lost a good chunk of change). When gas prices were at their highest, many people spoke of how they were having to cut back on the extras, travel less, etc — all to save money for the gas fund. Now it is a non-issue again. People can afford to take that money and drive again, or buy Starbucks. Ok, people are out of work and the market has sunk, but it is stabilizing. Everyone is just overreacting. The market shouldn’t drop as much as it does, people shouldn’t panic as much as they do, but people (on the whole) are stupid.

$1 gas is good because now people don’t have to worry about every little thing, all the way down to “How am I going to afford to get to work?”. They just need to worry about “Do I have a job?”, and let’s be honest — everyone is ALWAYS worried about that, good times and bad. A little less stress will go a long way to soothe people’s frayed nerves.