16 July 2008

I can't drive 55, either.

So, just about everybody and their mother has sounded off about the possibility of the return of the NMSL. About time I did the same, to cap off a Slow News Day.

Oh, hell no.

The situation is much different now than when "55" was enacted in the first place. Back then, there was a real and present fuel shortage. If I remember my history (seeing as I wasn't even alive back then), there were huge lines and rationing of fuel.

We're not at that point yet. The only lines are at the stations offering cheap fuel (compared to other stations nearby). There's no shortage. If anything, production's been getting bumped up. Last time, OPEC was pissed off at us. They must love us now, considering how much the sheep are willing to pay.

The last time, the government had no choice but to enact some measure to rein in the idiots wasting a scarce resource. This time, there's still plenty of fuel.

And the last time, America's automotive lineup was anchored by guzzlers. Today... well, OK, some things don't change... but people are learning. Today, cars are built with their optimum mileage being achieved at higher speeds. We're not all using the Powerglide mated to a 305 anymore, you know. Today, the varying engine/transmission/"rear end" combinations and superior aero packages offer better mileage at higher speeds.

My own car's optimum mileage was achieved at an average over 70 MPH - 35 miles to the gallon at about 3750 RPM in sixth gear. Keep in mind that it's a 20-year old 4-door hatchback with always-on 4WD and the "extra" gear for the six-speed manual added as an extra low gear. I'm sure many other motorists can say the same, many more than can say different. (About their mileage, anyway.)

No, a new National Speed Limit won't solve a damn thing. It would only be a placebo to try to divert the people from those who are really to blame... speculators. Seems like if a pin drops anywhere in the Middle East, oil rises another $2. Tropical wave forms in the Atlantic? That's another $5. Bush speaks? $0.01 a word. The market for oil was deregulated, so now the price continues to move up, severely screwing over many Americans, and these thieves laugh all the way to the bank. This kind of action only hastens our demise.

So a speed limit won't do a thing, S&DDAM, no matter how much you whine for one. It'll only screw people, no matter how many Congresspersons hop onto the bandwagon to placate their herds and cover their asses. The speculators are the real terrorists, and they need to be stopped NOW, while the damage they've done can be undone. Otherwise, prepare for Eternal Destitution. We're heading there in a handbasket, and fast. And it's getting more cramped by the day.

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