Saturday, May 21, 2011

Americans Can't Afford Gas At $4

Gas prices are typically high during the summer driving season, when Americans exercise their birthright to go where they please regardless of actual need.  The fun fact for 2011 is that gas prices are already high prior to the traditional start of summer fun on Memorial Day.  Apparently all that money people are saving by not paying their delinquent mortgages on negative-equity homes is going right into their gas tanks.  Paying over $4 per gallon of gas is the new normal, just like permanent structural unemployment around 9%.  Note that the Joe Six Packs quoted for color commentary are cutting back on necessities like medicine and clothing before they cut back on gas. 

It's time to seriously think outside the box about drastically reconfiguring America's urban landscape away from dependence upon the automobile.  The suburban configuration of America demands that Americans impoverish themselves to drive to and from unlivable homes.  The American way of life needs a reset to something more sustainable.  European towns and Asian cities provide models of the future. 

Full disclosure:  No positions in oil producers at this time, although that may change later this year.