Monday, May 30, 2005

Hitting the Highways --- What? Me Worry?

Memorial Day has consistently provided American families the time to hit the road and enjoy a three-day weekend in the wilderness, a national park, at the beach or visiting family on the Jersey shore. With gas prices where they are (arm or a leg a gallon) the question is, will Americans take to the road this holiday weekend in the midst of the highest nominal gas prices ever recorded during a national holiday? The CS Monitor says "Yes." A record 37 million will get behind the wheel and many will opt to rent a car rather than take to the air with Delta, USAir or Southwest. Even more impressive is the recent predicted rise in driving by 2.2% nationwide. Why are Americans still paying such inordinate costs for fuel? Cato Institute's Jerry Taylor says its because over the last few decades average salary in the US has risen right along with gas prices. Others say its because they are willing to skimp on other expenses like eating out, accomadations and in-between costs like taxis and airport limos. Whatever the reason, it seems Americans will never be able to let go of the car society. Lets hope we memorialize our fallen heroes with more than a drive to the beach in the future.

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