Economics

Unsecured Debt

Low inflation is a veneer on unsecured debt

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culture, Economics, life, philosophy, predictions, thoughts

Gas-Ex

EV owners have a problem: detachment from the daily anxiety of driving a gas-powered vehicle.

This might seem a bit odd given how often the idea of range anxiety and long charge times come up about EV ownership, but those are obvious anxieties. The daily anxiety experienced by ICE drivers is much more subtle and happens much more often. It’s based upon psychological conditioning, and most ICE drivers will experience it multiple times in a single day along their daily commute.

The concept is fairly simple to understand in that it’s not a shocking, jarring anxiety like what one would experience during an automobile accident or by having a boss constantly yelling at you at work. This is an extremely subtle anxiety along the lines of living paycheck to paycheck and coming home during the summer to realize you forgot to turn off your air conditioning unit. Or getting your property tax bill.

It’s something I noticed the other day while driving my EV along PCH and passing a gas station I used to stop at near Zuma Beach when I would take a motorcycle ride down the coast. PCH is a wonderful highway for a relaxing, yet exhilarating motorcycle ride The scenery is some of the best coastline and mountains you can find in the world. There’s a reason it’s been used in so many movies over the years. I digress to help paint the serene picture of riding through Malibu on a warm summer beach day. It’s pure bliss. Kinda…

Over the years, I’ve chosen that particular station because it was consistently the least expensive gas in the area. On my latest drive by the gas station, I was reminiscing of my motorcycle rides through Malibu and stopping at that gas station because it was the least expensive. That’s when I had the realization about what I’d like to call Acute Gas Price Anxiety.

The concept is pretty simple and easy to replicate for your scientific sample size of one (or more, depending upon how many drivers one has in their household). Why do you choose the gas stations that you choose? If you have an app on your phone like GasBuddy (which has been around since 2000) you are likely weighting your gas station choices heavily towards gas prices. Even if you don’t have GasBuddy on your phone, if you are presented with no time constraint and an intersection with 2+ gas stations, you’re going to pick the one with the lower prices, then brand preference, then lines.

What does any of this have to do with anxiety?

This is something along the lines of what the guys over at Cleantechnia alluded to years ago, identifying 4 types of gas station anxiety.

Driving an EV allows you to become conscious of the subtle anxiety our minds create when driving by gas stations. An ICE driver will glance at gas prices even if there is no need for gas at the time of driving by the gas station. The train of thoughts that continue are where the subtle anxiety comes in. Thoughts about whether you should get gas now, before gas prices go up heading into the weekend. Thoughts about how unfair gas taxes are. Thoughts about how you might not take that trip to the beach this weekend because it’s going to require getting a fresh tank of gas that you don’t have the money to pay for until you get paid the following week.

This subtle anxiety compound any negative trains of thought you are already having. The results can be detrimental to your short-term well-being as well as your long-term mental health. Constant exposure to this subtle anxiety might seem, on the surface, trivial or a problem for the “weak-minded”. Yet, plenty of psychological studies suggest that prolonged exposure to subtle stress is detrimental to our health.

As an EV driver, you silently glide by the stink of the gas station. Silent in your vehicle and also silent in your mind. There isn’t the chatter of stress nipping at the heels of the back of your mind. An EV driver experiences driving completely differently from an ICE driver, not just because an EV doesn’t pour exhaust out the back, constantly vibrate from the engine, make noise, accelerate slowly, and have noticeable transmission shifts no matter how smooth its transmission is.

No, the daily life of an EV drive is delusional: absent the daily subtle anxiety of gas prices and the trains of thought tied to gas prices and the oil industry.

Business, Economics, Education, Environment, life, philosophy, predictions, technology, thoughts

I Can’t Say I Don’t Like to Say I Told You So

Today gives me yet another day to gloat about the idiotic college professor I had years ago at Strayer University (yes, avoid this college. It is a waste of time and money). The CEO of Dow Chemical borrowed a page straight out of my economic philosophy and is proving that energy based inflation is a reality, not some idea that deserves a B on my term paper. Dow is going to raise their prices immediately by up to 20%

Dow is just the start too. Energy based inflation starts here. Energy prices increase, putting pressure on businesses to either cut profits or slow down. Traditional economist, aka most college professors, will tell you that energy prices will come back down and everyone will be happy. However, in the real world this doesn’t and didn’t happen over the last 10 years. The result is that every company in America (except big energy, and miraculously Walmart) is being squeezed to the brink of no ability to make a profit or even be productive at any level.

There is a solution. It isn’t cheap, but it wouldn’t cost any more than the failed tax rebate of 2008. This solution would provide a long-term solution to the energy crisis in America and heavily stimulate the US economy while building the infrastructure needed.

Where have all those “tax rebates” gone? Hats off to anyone who spends it on anything other than energy.

Business, Economics, Environment, thoughts

China’s Steam Engine Running out of Steam

Being from California, I’m familiar with rolling blackouts. But nothing could have prepared me for an email I received from a purchasing manager I know today. It was an email thread with a factory in China explaining the reason for the delay in certain shipments: 2 days a week without power!

I was disappointed when California would have our 30 minute blackouts. I can’t imagine 2 days… each week! Sounds like they need to start putting solar panels on the factory. 😀

blogging, Business, cool stuff, Economics, life, Politics, thoughts, Work

If Everyone Watched The Big Idea…

What would happen if everyone in America watches The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch on CNBC? First, there would be a run on the cable companies because you can only get CNBC on cable. Second, fellow blogger Tony Iovino would take his $600 check he’ll receive from the Federal government in May and actually cash it to invest it into a new invention (and he would start using the vastly superior WordPress blogging system). Third, the US economy would flourish.

Today, Bush signed his stimulus package, creating checks for millions of people in our economy. Lots of people love to complain about the symantics of the deal. Call it welfare. Call it a rebate. Call it what you want, it is our Federal government giving money to people that live in America.

Using some of the people I’ve seen on The Big Idea as an example, what those $600 checks have the potential to do is generate billions (yes, you read that correctly, BILLIONS) of dollars in revenue/income for Americans. How? Well, you should watch The Big Idea. The show has featured scores of people who have started their business for little more (sometimes even less) than $600. These people has created jobs, used resources that support other businesses, and made people a lot of money.

Sure, if everyone who receives a check goes a spends it on a toy at Walmart, it won’t do much for boosting the economy. However, let’s have a little fun with the math here. 130,000,000 Americans are going to receive a check. If even 0.1% of the people who receive checks become Donny Deutsch success stories, we are talking about generating $130,000,000,000 of revenue for the US economy over the next year! That’s correct, just one-tenth of one percent of the people who receive the checks need to become Donny Deutsch success stories for the checks to pay for themselves in just two year. One-tenth of one percent. That is about the same as a run-of-network banner advertisement on ValueClick!

blogging, Economics

A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned

I’ve been trying to avoid the ATM lately. My goal is to see if I can keep my cash spending to less than 60 bucks each week. This is difficult given the number of times I eat out for lunch each week and the number of times I go dancing. I need cash at many places I go, but I’m not much of a fan of good ol‘ fashioned cash. I’d much rather be a member of the cashless society (you know, the one that is going to take over the world and plunge us into Armageddon).

In order to save me a trip to the ATM, I chose to cash in my change jar. Yes. Yes. I know that a trip to the ATM would have taken less time. Yes. Yes. I know that the damned Coinstar machines charge a ridiculous premium to sort and count the change.

I’m standing at the Coinstar machine, talking to my little brother. He can’t hear anything but the change being sorted, and I can’t hear anything that he is saying. The coins are being tallied up. Dollars, 50 cent (the coin, not the rapper) pieces, quarters, dimes, nickels (again, coins not bags filled with contraband), and pennies (yes, the most pointless coin in America), oh my!

Everything tallies up to $110.55! Now, some people might think that this is a butt load of change. I can certainly agree that from a given perspective, $110.55 is a large quantity of change. Even the girl at the cash register (who I know from a swing dance class I took at Moorpark College many moons ago) asked the question: “Who has this much change?”

The funny thing is that I’ve cashed in my change jar for as much as $160 before, so this was actually a small payout compared to other times. Damn pennies! So, there it is folks. The old adage, “A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned”, still hold true today. I just need to add to it:

A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned is a Penny Spent

… And a trip to the ATM saved 🙂

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