The Lafayette Journal & Courier has a story on how gas prices have jumped in Lafayette, a subject near and dear to my heart since my present commute to work is about 25 miles. However, I’m moving to Lafayette in about 2 weeks which will cut my commute to about 3 miles. So each increase in gas prices make the enormous hassles of moving seem more worthwhile.
So, while I might find a short-lived and perverse sort of silver lining, on the statewide scale, it seems possible that the ever upward march of gas prices could tarnish the two brighter lights of Indiana’s economy in the news today: Toll Road privatization money and the new Honda plant. With increasing tolls and increased gas prices, driving on the Toll Road is a far more expensive proposition now than it was, say 6 or 7 years ago. Presumably increased gas prices will also reduce the demand for automobiles, even if the one’s produced by Honda in Greenville are comparatively more gas efficient.
With respect to these stories, mainly, I suppose, the cost of gasoline calls into question the wisdom of spending the Toll Road privatization money on more roads. I can’t say I know what the correct expenditure would be — I guess that’s where vision and leadership come in handy. (And judging from the quote in the toll road story, we’re not likely to get it from Pat Bauer any more than we’ve gotten it from Gov. Daniels. Bauer complains that, while we’re making interest on the privatization dollars, the foreigners are making a bunch more money. I don’t think foreign businesses making money is the problem — it’s the fact that Hoosiers are going to be paying an ever-increasing tab for the next 70 years. The two are related, of course, but I think it’s important to articulate what the real beef is. )