Author Topic: NYT Mag: Rising Gas Prices Don't Actually Affect Americans' Behavior  (Read 3711 times)

the fixer

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https://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/magazine/rising-gas-prices-dont-actually-affect-americans-behavior.html

"Those darn gas prices! They're making my trips to restaurants, billiard halls, casinos, and movie theaters more expensive!!!"

velocistar237

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Re: NYT Mag: Rising Gas Prices Don't Actually Affect Americans' Behavior
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2012, 04:36:11 PM »
That's a bit of a fluff piece. The quote about casinos, etc., is from a 2007 study. Everyone felt rich in 2007. It's possible that when gas prices actually start taking off, compared to wages, Americans will change their behavior.

menorman

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Re: NYT Mag: Rising Gas Prices Don't Actually Affect Americans' Behavior
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2012, 11:17:40 PM »
I also will disagree somewhat with the article. I personally know plenty people who have cut back on driving trips (including myself). I can also see the difference out driving, especially during rush hour. While I'm sure the highway improvement funds are part of the reason, I've also seen a decent decrease in traffic in the last several years and especially the last few months. Drives that used to take 45 mins now take 30, I see massive (1/8-1/4 mile) gaps in traffic even during what would be considered rush hour, etc. As an article pointed out in another thread, ~47% of people would drastically alter their habits before gas reached $5/gal, which isn't quite the majority but definitely not a small portion of the population either. I think I'm seeing the effects as related to those statistics. It could also be because I live in CA, where the prices are somewhat higher than most other places.

MrSaturday

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Re: NYT Mag: Rising Gas Prices Don't Actually Affect Americans' Behavior
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2012, 08:23:44 AM »
I'm noticing a lot of posts on personal finance forums from people looking for advice on choosing and financing a new vehicle to "save money on gas".  But nobody's doing the math on how many miles/years it takes for the gas savings to make up for the costs of replacing a perfectly working vehicle and they tend to get pretty defensive if I try to help.

So the main effect I'm seeing is higher gas prices being used as an excuse to waste more money.


arebelspy

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Re: NYT Mag: Rising Gas Prices Don't Actually Affect Americans' Behavior
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2012, 08:37:24 AM »
I'm noticing a lot of posts on personal finance forums from people looking for advice on choosing and financing a new vehicle to "save money on gas".  But nobody's doing the math on how many miles/years it takes for the gas savings to make up for the costs of replacing a perfectly working vehicle and they tend to get pretty defensive if I try to help.

So the main effect I'm seeing is higher gas prices being used as an excuse to waste more money.

Good for you, being the contrary voice.
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nondualie

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Re: NYT Mag: Rising Gas Prices Don't Actually Affect Americans' Behavior
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2012, 10:58:55 AM »
I'm noticing a lot of posts on personal finance forums from people looking for advice on choosing and financing a new vehicle to "save money on gas".  But nobody's doing the math on how many miles/years it takes for the gas savings to make up for the costs of replacing a perfectly working vehicle and they tend to get pretty defensive if I try to help.

So the main effect I'm seeing is higher gas prices being used as an excuse to waste more money.

Yup.  When all you've ever used is a hammer, you tend to screwed.

menorman

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Re: NYT Mag: Rising Gas Prices Don't Actually Affect Americans' Behavior
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2012, 06:12:56 PM »
I'm noticing a lot of posts on personal finance forums from people looking for advice on choosing and financing a new vehicle to "save money on gas".  But nobody's doing the math on how many miles/years it takes for the gas savings to make up for the costs of replacing a perfectly working vehicle and they tend to get pretty defensive if I try to help.

So the main effect I'm seeing is higher gas prices being used as an excuse to waste more money.
Yea, I've long wondered (and run the numbers) on that same topic several times and always conclude that buying a new "fuel efficient" car to "save money on gas" is a foolhardy proposition, especially if the current low mpg vehicle is owned outright (unless we're talking about an M1 Abrams or something with similar fuel usage). Now if someone were to find a decent used vehicle in the "fuel efficient" category (easier nowadays than in the past) and are able to sell their guzzler, then it should definitely be possible to come out ahead. But no one apparently thinks buying used cars is possible option for anyone but the poorest among us.