For the past five years I’ve worked more than 20 miles from where I live. During that time the cost of gas has gone up about 400% but surprisingly enough my income has not gone up 400% during that same time period. So it continually costs me more money to get to work but I’m not getting paid anymore to keep pace with runaway gas prices.
Politicians have become very fond of saying that something needs done about the gas prices and then blaming the oil companies for the problem. Ultimately nothing changes because it is the politicians who are keeping gas prices high. They will pretend to care and throw blame at the oil companies but the reason for high gas prices is because they are the ones that won’t allow any new drilling for oil. We have more than enough oil underneath American soil to support ourselves but the politicians won’t let us get at it. Call your congressman and ask them why.
I don’t hold much hope that anything positive will happen with gas prices any time in the near future but I think there is something that we can do to help ourselves. That is to stop commuting so far to work. Not only do long commutes take time away from your home life but they also kill you financially. I’m proposing to start a campaign called “10 Or Less.” The premise of it is to try and commit to a ten mile or less commute from your home to where you work.
Much of working class America already falls into this category already but there are far too many of us who don’t. Changing your commute time has some very big implications for your life. If you are currently on a long commute then one of the following situations would have to happen for you to change this: 1. A new job – sometimes this can be hard depending on your career and geographic location. 2. A new home closer to job opportunities – also life altering and a bit drastic. 3. Getting your boss to let you work from home – great if you can pull it off.
Consider for a moment some of the potential side effects of a short commute. Less money wasted on gas, less time away from your family, less wear and tear on your car. Once you are working closer to home other transportation options open up to you. Like public transportation or a scooter. Scooters get up to 90 MPG and only cost about $1000 brand new!
I am trying my best to accomplish the 10 Or Less commitment in my own life and maybe it’s something that could work for you as well. I’m not fond of telling people how to live their lives but I am very fond of people who make smart decisions to better their lives.