Sunday, April 23, 2006

City living in the face of gas hikes

You will never hear me complain about the cost of a gallon of gas. Surprising considering I'm a Realtor who basically lives out of his car. Okay, maybe I'll complain about the cost of the actual gallon of gasoline, but not oil prices. Let me explain.

Crude oil prices are subject to a free market. Crude oil is a very special market commodity affected by the widest range of global issues, trends, and conflict. It is also a market commodity that, effectively, can and will change the daily course of our lives. The countries that produce oil will enter into agreements with the countries that want it. Then... we buy it.

Gasoline in the states is also highly taxed... not as high as Europe... so the cost is highly subjective to governments. Something very worthy of complaining about if you feel tax money is being squandered.

So when gas prices go up I feel it as much as anyone (due both to my dependence on my car and my indignation towards the use of tax money), but complain less. This is because I live in Chicago and have a choice to drive less. Even as a Realtor, I can take public transportation on certain days when I predominately work in the office.

Because of the centralization of jobs and industry downtown, a nice little condo by public transportation is a much more valuable commodity than oil. So I don't complain... because the higher gas prices get, the more it makes sense to live near work and take public transportation. And the Chicago housing market thrives.

Remember, the market can change the cost of goods and services on a dime. The location you choose to live will help you weather those fluctuations and dampen their effects.

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