In recent weeks, Americans’ pain at the pump has eased as gas prices reached record highs and then came to rest below, but still within striking distance of the $4 a gallon mark while oil companies reap record-breaking profits quarter after quarter.
Logic would argue that higher prices at the pump dictate a change in lifestyle, with driving fewer miles the obvious modification to daily living. But our penchant for chasing the American dream into the hinterlands where it’s affordable to own a home means that we, as a nation, are spinning our odometers faster than ever, navigating traffic-choked highways and byways to and from our positions at distant corporations that rarely reward such behavior with pay raises in the twisted mentality that nothing matters anymore but quarterly profits, rising stock prices, and fat executive bonuses. Want to work at home? Not unless your boss knows how to manage by task. After all, you might be watching “Oprah” on the company dime.
So downsize already. Go get that Honda Civic that manages 40 mpg on the highway. Nevermind that the neighbors might think you’ve been downsized, outsourced, checked into the boards of the corporate rat race. Not so easy, dumping that Chrysler 300C or Land Rover LR3 for something that makes sense as a commuter vehicle, is it? In America, you are what you drive, and what you drive tells your peers what level of success you’ve attained, so damn the torpedoes and widen that hole in the ozone layer even more.
And we call corporations twisted.