An article this week in the digital US News Weekly talks about the impact of the rise in the price of a gallon of gas from $3.50 to $3.80 and how it "puts a real crimp in the budgets of middle-class and poor households." This prompted me to do a little research and some math.
According to the Department of Transportation, the average American driver travels about 259 miles per week. The average is higher for the 20-34 and 35-54 age groups, 290 and 294 mpw respectively.
Let us presume that someone in these groups has a car that gets really lousy mileage, say 10 miles per gallon. Said driver needs about 29 gallons of gas per week. So a 30c price increase means an increased cost of $8.70 a week.
Drivers with cars that get 15 miles per gallon are looking at a weekly increase of $5.90 and those who get 20 mpg will pay $4.35.
Are the households in this country in such dire straits that less than $9 a week "puts a real crimp" in their budgets? "Sorry, Billy, but we had to pay more for the gas to come to the drive-through and now we can't afford your Happy Meal."
A recent news story -- might have been about people who have ever eaten red meat or drink a lot of alcohol or don't get enough sleep; it doesn't matter -- said that this group of people, whoever they are, have a 17% greater chance of dying.
That's it, "a 17% greater chance of dying."
Guess what! Nobody's chance of dying is any greater or any less than anyone else's. We're all going to get there eventually. Some folks might get there sooner because of what they do, but, overall, our "chance" of dying is 100%.