May 27, 2008

Driving costs more than minimum wage

I had a crazy realization last week. It cost more to operate a car than to hire a worker on minimum wage. We paid $4.19 for gas while on a Memorial Day weekend road trip. That's insane. (I have since seen multiple places where gas was over $4.25.) Here's something to think about:

-Federal Minimum Wage is $5.85.

-Our 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid got 40 miles to the gallon during that drive. (We have had poorer mileage in the last 5,000 miles and also since we got new tires...)

-We averaged 65 miles an hour during our drive up the 5 Interstate.

65 miles in an hour means that at 40 miles to the gallon, we were using 1.625 gallons of gas in an hour. At $4.19 a gallon, that was $6.80 an hour. Almost a dollar above minimum wage!

Now, I could admit that the California Minimum Wage is $8.00. ...but then I should also admit that most cars get far less than 40 miles to the gallon.

A car that get 30 miles to the gallon would cost $9.08 to operate at 65 miles/hour for an hour. (Even if gas only costs $4.00, the cost would be $8.67--over the CA min. wage!)

An SUV that gets 12 miles to the gallon would cost $21.67 @ $4.00/gallon and $22.70 to operate for an hour at $4.19/gallon.

I keep thinking about all those people who live in suburbs who have an hour commute and who own SUVs. Poor shlubs.

I'm not even going to think about taxis that have regulated prices...

I hope everyone has a nice summer. Enjoy your roadtrip...or maybe you could just hire a full-time person to entertain your kids in the backyard. That may be cheaper.

1 comment:

Evan Goer said...

Uncles work cheap...