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Observations The Sunday Post

The Sunday Post 59

Since I turned 200k miles in my MINI, I’ve spent an additional 1,800 miles in my MINI.

How bad can it be?

Sure the stock market is tanking. Housing starts are down. The price of oil keeps dropping no matter how much production is cut. And unemployment is at all time highs.

Or is it?

You see, I can use traffic on Southern California freeways as a pretty good barometer for what is happening out here. I’ve been driving in it enough that I notice patterns for holidays, closed roads and what not.

When we were paying almost $5.00 a gallon for gas, traffic was the lightest I’ve ever seen. It might have been lighter during the ’84 Olympics, but I wasn’t driving then.

When there is a holiday, especially if schools aren’t in session, like Christmas, Thanksgiving or Spring Break, traffic is light. Traffic is even lighter during the summer since all schools are usually on break.

Lately however, traffic has been anything but light. As you read in a previous post, earlier this week it took me 8 hours to drive about 200 miles. No roads were closed and there was only one accident.

So I ask, how back can it be? If there are so many jobs being lost and the economy is in such bad shape, getting worse everyday, then why is traffic so bad? When people are out of work, they don’t usually spend their mornings and evenings driving do they? I know I don’t, using that time instead to search for work or other things.

Maybe everyone is just so excited that gas is less than $3 a gallon that they feel compelled to get out on the highways in their SUVs again. People have short term memories like that, so it wouldn’t surprise me.

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