Tuesday, April 12, 2011

$5.00 Gas Just Another Reason to Leave California

We're starting to see record highs of $5.00 per gallon gas in California!  CNBC posted a video of a gas station in Burbank being the alleged highest in the state.  The average price for regular unleaded in the state is $4.10.  This is really scary news because, as most everyone knows, high gas prices drives up costs on everything.

California's really losing any appeal it once had as I uncover all these issues I've been posting about lately.  Within just a relatively short period of time things have shifted for the worst.  For instance, the golden state's property values are plummeting, its court system is overly politicized and largely corrupt, its taxes are too high, its public schools rate the worst in the nation, its prison system is too large, expensive and burdensome on tax payers, there are too many bad lawyers and regulations, its politicians are spend happy, illegal immigration is out of control and now this. Record high gasoline in the nation?

Story on new record of $5.00 gas in Burbank, California

Gas and me go way back.  I remember the late 1970's and early 80's era of long gas lines and people sleeping in their cars to get in front of the gas line the next day.  I later vowed never to allow myself in a precarious position regarding gasoline since way back in 1984 when I was a broke student I stole a few tanks of gas.  One could easily say I wasn't a very bright 24 year old.  Back then they didn't have ATM cards so you could filler up and drive off. I got away with it a few times with probably around $50 of free gas until they finally got my license plate number. 

Since 1986 I haven't owned a car having used motor scooters with high mileage per gallon ratios.  It wasn't self-inflicted punishment at all for me to ride scooters since it was a lot of fun.  I also saved tons of money not owning a car.  I was living in the beach areas of Southern California and the scooters had become more high powered and sophisticated so it was no problem at all.  I felt very fortunate with the 100,000 miles I eventually put on motor scooters from 1990-2003 never to have been in any accident or mishap though I had a few close calls like the time I put a karaoke machine on the back end and sang along to people on the road.  Like I said, I wasn't too bright back then.

Last year after doing the walking thing a while, I took the next step and completely got off the gas dependency with the purchase of an eBike.  An eBike is totally doable in San Francisco and more people with applicable biking communities should consider purchasing one.  You can now get a 10% Federal tax break of the total cost of a two or three wheeled plug-in electric vehicle unless you wrote off the purchase as an expense for business.

Zip Cars also make it easy to get your hands on a nice car within 1/2 hour of needing one.  Zip provides a slide card so you don't have to go through the red tape of renting a car. You don't pay for gas or insurance, only a small $50 fee per year and that's it. If you want insurance from potential liability it's up to you but you don't have to purchase it.  Zip Cars are available only in certain chosen cities however.  The costs last year were as low as $7.00/hr for a Toyota Prius but those vehicles were since removed from the Zip Car line due to the recall.  Cars now start at $10.75 per hour, a fairly large jump.  I anticipate more hikes as gas increases.

From my observation, it seems too many people are on the road doing a lot of unnecessary driving.   I anticipate seeing less vehicles on the road if the gas price hike trend continues which it's predicted to do thanks to Middle East unrest.  As I have, people with moderate incomes will be forced to change their lifestyles to accommodate these gas prices.