Count one more amongst the casualties from Katrina: common sense is dead. People in Atlanta have made a run for the gas stations fearing that they wouldn't be able to get gas or that gas would shoot up so much in price that it would cost a small fortune to fill up the tank. Of course, as anyone who has taken an economics class will tell you, when demand rises and supply falls, the price is likely to go up. So thanks to panic and speculation and rumors and people's complete abandonment of common sense, the gas price is shooting up astronomically today. I read a CNN report that said gas might hit $4 a gallon in a couple months, but people are fearing that it'll be there today. Some places already had the price hiked up to $3 and change. WTF?
It doesn't take a commissioned sociological study to figure out that people are generally selfish assholes. This picture I nicked from the WSB website tells the tale:
This drives me up the wall. To start with, look at the ratio of passenger cars to SUVs and vans in this picture. Topping off an SUV with a 30 gallon tank is like filling up my car when it's on dead fucking empty! Thankfully we live in an economy based on the principle of 'get as much as you possibly can from people for your products and services,' so the result will be a nice surplus of cash for the gas stations. This reminds me of when we have storms and people raid the grocery stores for batteries and bottled water like it's the coming of the apocalypse. Bitch, have some batteries and candles and soap tucked in a closet for next time!
I hate to think of what's going on closer to the epicenter of the hurricane destruction. Jackasses were selling bottled water at a 300% markup when the big hurricane hit Miami in the 90s. It's sickening. I actually think I have more respect for the people looting stores in New Orleans than I do for gas stations trying to bleed people dry. At least the looters are reacting to a situation that's so unfair and unjust and unexpected that property laws seem to make little sense. I realize that people will be opportunistically evil in some cases, but if I had just watched my entire city block wash away in a flood along with every one of my earthly posessions and quite possibly the bodies of some people I knew, I would think the idea of paying for a walkman or some tennis shoes would seem kind of stupid at that moment.