Sunday, June 22, 2008


I've been thinking a lot about gas (and of course the price). Today the formerly elusive $50 tank hit me. I remember in 2000 when I had my first $25 fill-up, just after buying a new car (with a much larger tank than the old) and freaking out. Now a $30 fill-up would be nice.

I'm pretty lucky as we clearly don't fill-up as much as many people. During the week I ride to work (or sometimes in the morning carpool in with Ade) but nearly always ride home. Sure there are those days I have to drive, or want to drive (like to go mountain biking before/after work), but those are about once every 2-3 weeks. But still our primary car gets filled-up about every 10-14 days and the cost sucks.

When I've been thinking about gas, I start to blame us, collectively; the U.S. In 2001 my company looked into "outsourcing" jobs to India, as did many others. We ended up with our own staff in Bangkok, but the fact is big businesses desire to cut labor costs has come back to bite us again. India (and other places, China, Thailand etc.) have had huge economic influxes; creating a middle class that can afford cars and therefore needs gas. This money flowing into developing nations in many cases is the direct result of job cuts in the U.S. and causes a double economic problem in the U.S., job loss and now increased gas/food/materials prices because of the supply and demand of oil/gas.

I've had the opportunity and privilege to work with many people in India over the past three years and know that the jobs they have are great for the individuals and extended families. I would never dismiss or do away with the benefits of a global economy as the benefits out-weigh the negatives (gas prices, employment concerns) in my mind. I do think that big business does need to look beyond the short term cost savings (labor) and look at long term cost implications (gas prices) before making moves. We do live in a global economy and a choice here affects the world economy on many levels.

So for now I'll keep riding my bike to work (as many friends and co-workers in India do) to help reduce the demand for gas.


Anonymous said...
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Racing Green said...
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Anonymous said...

I would say this double economic problem in the U.S. is just a rebalancing of globalization. I don't think there is anyone to blame and I think it is good for those participating in globalization because it levels the playing field. If you don't play then you fall way behind (ie. North Korea).

Shawn said...

Good write up. I say fine, let us fall behind. It would be nice to be off the main stage, and live a little more like Canadians! Not so much everyman for himself, but everyman for everyman.