On Spending to Save . . .

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Hybrids are getting popular again – because gas is being made expensive again. It’s an interesting – a bizarre and entirely artificial – dynamic.

The government – which is to say, the relative handful of thugs who exercise violence legalized upon the 99-plus percent of the rest of us – make a thing that is not expensive in itself, such as oil (of which there is plenty in the ground) artificially more expensive by making it more costly to get it out of the ground. Or by making it more costly to ship or via the simpler and more direct expedient of applying taxes.

All of which artificially increase the price of oil and thus, the price of gasoline.

The problem is obvious – and  it’s not “Big Oil” or “high gas prices.”

It is the handful of thugs who exercise violence upon the 99.9-plus rest-of-us. But because these thugs have the ability to use violence to make things like oil (and so, gasoline) artificially expensive the 99.9-plus rest-of-us must pursue equally artificial “solutions” to the problem manufactured by government.

Hybrids are an example of this.

In order to “save” on the artificially induced expense of gasoline that costs $3 per gallon – and rising – people spend money on hybrids, which cost several thousand dollars more than their non-hybrid equivalents.

This isn’t a criticism of hybrids as such. The technology is impressive and there are other reasons to buy a hybrid than maximizing gas mileage – such as the hybrid’s quieter operating characteristics, for instance. And – if you buy a “plug-in” hybrid – the capability to operate the vehicle for significant distances and at normal road speeds for 10-15 miles without using any gasoline at all. Such hybrids are the functional equivalent of electric cars, without the range/recharge problems of 100 percent electric cars, since they don’t have to stop for a recharge when their battery pack runs low on charge.

But most people buy hybrids to save money on gas, which they well may – in a perverse kind of way – when the cost of gas is high enough to offset the cost of the hybrid itself. But there’s no getting around the fact that in such a case, the victim is paying more than he otherwise would have had to, in the absence of government thuggery.

We can get some idea of just how much this has cost so far by considering the fact that until the government changed hands a few months ago, gasoline was only about $2 per gallon – of which about 50 cents per gallon is taxes and probably another 20 cents (or more) reflecting the cost imposed by other government mandates relating to the “cost of doing business.”

But in any event,the cost was about $2 gallon.

It is now almost $3 per gallon, a substantial increase in cost for everyone – including those who don’t buy gas at all. Assuming they buy food, clothes and other such goods which are brought to stores by trucks that burn gas (and diesel) and which use gas (and oil) in the course of being manufactured. This is why the cost of food and everything else is going up, too – although it’s harder to separate out. So let’s stick with the artificially induced – as via the cancellation of the Keystone pipeline – increase in the cost of gasoline.

I recently calculated how much it has cost the average person so far – based on the increase in cost to fill up a 15 gallon tank with gas that costs $2.80 per gallon rather than about $2.00 per gallon. It works out to about $12 more per tankful, which works out to about $48 per month, or $576 annually.

Over six years, that works out to about $3,456 in money you wouldn’t have spent if gas had remained at about $2 per gallon.

In which case, it makes a perverse  kind of sense to buy the hybrid version of a vehicle like the 2021 Lexus NX I test drove and reviewed recently.

The hybrid “only” costs $1,150 more to buy than the non-hybrid version of the same thing ($40,160 vs. $39,010) but you’d likely “save” that sum and perhaps more over six years in reduced fuel costs since the hybrid can travel about 11 miles farther on a gallon than the non-hybrid.

But you’re not really saving anything when you’re paying more than you would have absent artificial increases in the cost of things, imposed by the fiat decrees of political thugs who have the power to force us all to pay whatever they decide to be worth the cost as they see it.

. . . 

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12 COMMENTS

  1. People respond to stimuli

    We aren’t going to change the artificial price of gas, so the hybrid may be a smart option.
    Especially when they finally crush the remaining value of the dollar & gas really gets high.

  2. https://hardware.slashdot.org/story/21/03/17/2244204/nissan-finds-a-second-use-for-old-leaf-batteries

    “Nissan has found a second-life for old LEAF batteries inside mobile machines that help workers at Nissan factories worldwide. The old batteries are being used in automated guided vehicles or AGVs used for various tasks inside the manufacturing facilities, including delivering parts to workers on the assembly line.”

    Looks like Nissan has a good idea to re-purpose used Leaf batteries. Could become a whole industry of AGVs.

    The United States has approximately 600,000 oil wells, Texas has 173,000 active oil wells.

    At an average of 15 barrels per day, it is 9,000,000 barrels easy.

    There are plenty of wells out there that produce 100 bpd, so it is not hard to have 9,000,000 barrels of oil at the end of each day in America alone.

    The EIA would have all of the numbers, don’t have to be all that accurate to know that there is plenty of oil wells producing millions of barrels of oil each day just in the US.

    Last March pf 2020, gas at the gas station in a small town was $1.29. The price has increased to 2.79 USD today. The dirty dogs are not playing fair.

    • Well unlike the ev’s which become lawn ornaments when their batteries give out most hybrids will run without their batteries only problem though is now you have an underpowered sedan or suv trying to drag 500 to 1000 pounds of useless dead batteries around along with their occupants.

  3. I used to pose the argument to my shopaholic ex-wife. She would return from a shopping safari, and proclaim how much money she “saved” by buying this or that at this or that sale price. I would ask her, “so where in the process of spending money did you save any, please show it to me.” Successfully Investing in a hybrid and gaining a return on it is entirely dependent upon what the Psychopaths In Charge do next. They could accidentally lower fuel prices and so dispose of the hybrid advantage, or intentionally dispose of that IC engine your hybrid has in it. At which point it becomes a not very good EV. The “commerce clause” in the Constitution was intended to keep States from becoming predatory against each other, not to allow the Federal government to become predatory against all of us.

    • Wife bought shoes on sale last night. Of course the sale price came out to $2 below the free shipping price. Shipping was $6.99. I’m convinced these companies do this purposely to get you to spend twice as much to save $7. She being smart enough to smell bull excrement when she sees it but needing shoes to replace a pair that fell apart ate the $7 charge and ordered only 1 pair.

  4. ‘Let’s stick with the artificially induced – as via the cancellation of the Keystone pipeline – increase in the cost of gasoline.’ — EP

    Sadly, Old Corn Pop’s intentional throttling of supply may prove to be minor in the overall scheme of things.

    Yesterday our officially licensed counterfeiters, the Federal Reserve, made crystal clear that ‘free money’ (a near-zero interest rate for overnight borrowing by banks) will remain in place for nearly three more years — no matter what.

    At the same time, the Fedsters upped their estimate of this year’s GDP growth to 6.5%. The US economy is on fire, but the quaint 20th century duty of removing the punch bowl before party guests veer out of control has been relegated to the dustbin. Instead, the Fed is instigating a chugging contest to see who passes out first.

    With a large swath of shale oil production shut down after last spring’s bizarre interlude when crude oil briefly sank to minus $37 a barrel, the US is no longer an energy exporter. Dump $1.9 trillion of thin-air Yellenschrift into an overheating economy, and the question to Clowngress and Old Corn Pop as shortages start to bite is … what the HELL did you expect?

    As the ship of fools in Washington hostilely imposes their energy embargoes on great powers such as China (forbidding it to buy oil from nearby Iran) and Russia (forbidding it to export gas via the Nordstream 2 pipeline), possibly an unexpected bonus looms: turbo WARTIME inflation, on top of plain old over-stimulated, restricted-supply inflation.

    Politicians hide themselves away
    They only started the war
    Why should they go out to fight?
    They leave that role to the poor, yeah

    Day of judgement, God is calling
    On their knees, the war pigs crawling
    Begging mercy for their sins
    Satan laughing, spreads his wings

    Oh lord, yeah!

    — Black Sabbath, ‘War Pigs’

  5. Instead of competing with each other, and so producing better products at lower prices, businesses compete with a gang of goons with guns, aka government, that don’t put up any start up capital, and in fact aren’t even responsible for their payroll. The businesses they compete with are.

  6. You may have already noted that (P)Resident Biden has also cancelled the Louisiana gas and oil leases.

    I’m encouraged that some state legislatures are nullifying this outrageousness. What if LA oil and gas companies just ignored and kept doing their thing?

    • It would indeed be outstanding if any corporation told the Psychopaths In Charge to eff off. They won’t, because they are in bed with each other. They are after all a creation of the state. There’s no such thing as a naturally occurring corporation. Which makes it hard for corporations to oppose the state, since the state is the source of every single aspect of the corporation, from what “rights” it has to how much it pays a part time janitor.
      I am encouraged that States, and their subordinate political units, appear to be directly and actively opposing more and more edicts from the Psychopaths In Charge. Insanity is not a thing to be embraced.

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