nothing is as it seems

The Musings of an aging mind


Over the years, I have always tried to understand why things are the way they are. One thing that I did learn is that there is a relationship between comfort and complacency. If we are comfortable, we burp and fart. If we become uncomfortable, we rant and roar and look for someone to blame.

Am I getting a little set in my ways or is this a case of rumination? And no, there is no rum associated with rumination.


On the Cost of Oil versus the Cost of Gas

When oil was $110.00 per barrel, gas was $1.10 per liter. Then, the price per barrel halved to $55.00 per barrel, yet gas was still at $1.10 per liter. Is this a case where we got comfortable with the $1.10 per liter?

Another question; where is all this profit going?


On Road Taxes (gasoline taxes, diesel taxes, drivers license fees, parking fees, traffic violation fees, ???)

It was always my understanding that the amount of road taxes/fees collected was directly related to the amount of gas purchased, which in turn was directly related to the number of miles driven. So, if the revenue is increasing at the same rate as the increase in fuel consumption (fuel is taxed by volume) and drivers fees, which is directly related to the volume of traffic and the need for new roads, why do we continuously have to increase the road tax rate?

In recent years, we have decided for some reason to sell some of our highways to foreign interests, at which point we have to pay to use them? The charges to use these highways are called "tolls". What is the difference between a road tax and a road toll?

In more recent years, there has been suggestions (from politicians) that we should start charging tolls on some existing highways. Can we expect the removal of road taxes as our highways move to the private sector?

On Governments selling Assets

Over the years, I have often compared the financial decisions of governments with my personal financial decisions. Although there is the difference of scale, I believe that the fundamentals are the same.

There were times when I got myself into situations where my expenditures exceeded my income. I always came to the same conclusion. I had 2 options. Either, I had to increase my income to match my expenditures or I had to decrease my expenditures to match my income. In other words, I had no choice but to live within my means.

Overspending is a serious financial problem at any level. And yes, you can sell your assets to cover off some of your overspending for the short term, but after that windfall runs out, you still have the spending problem.

If I personally develop a spending problem, it does dose not make good financial sense for me to sell my boat, and procrastinate my real problem. What do I sell when the proceeds from the boat sale are spent, the lawnmower?

And yes, I do understand that increasing taxes (revenues) and/or cutting spending (expenditures) can have negative consequences for the  politician and that sound financial decisions can adversely affect their chances of re-election.


On Money

To date, I have spent most of my money on wine, women and song...........and boats, the rest I wasted.