Running Out of Fuel

Here is a news story I found from the Florida State News called The Getaway without Gasoline.

ORLANDO, FL — Two men accused of robbing a tourist for gas money were apprehended after running out of gas Sunday night.

Police said the men got out of their SUV in front of an International Drive hotel and held a tourist from Korea, demanding his cell phone and money for gas.
Their SUV stopped short of the nearest gas station because they ran out of fuel.

The two men were taken into custody.

What is interesting to me is the parallel to the economy. The line “Their SUV stopped short of the nearest gas station because they ran out of fuel.” makes perfect sense. People have been robbing their home’s equity but not really getting anywhere with it for years. And now they have run out of gas – and credit.

But now the problems get worse. The debt collectors are the same as the police in this example. People are out of gas financially. And the opportunities are all gone.

Where the story differs is that I don’t know where the next gas station is. I’m betting big on energy innovation. I feel like we are just on the cusp, but there needs to be a monumental spark. That could come this summer or in three years. Unfortunately, its going to take a major earthquake for our politicians to redirect how they view this issue. Why an earthquake? For one its figurative, but it is also literal. An earthquake will do major damage to the existing infrastructure since its been neglected (bridges particularly) and when it comes time to rebuild it a review of the system as a whole will take place. A financial analysis of the cost will result in a new appreciation for mass transit transportation and the distributed costs of it.

The tipping point is the ability to alleviate bottle necks. For instance, every fall people in Florida are faced with evacuations for a hurricane, but many people just sit in traffic. Imagine if a bridge was out of commission as well. Everyone is stuck.

Having multiple ways of moving people is key to safety and for stimulating the economy.


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