Gas prices leave teens driving less -- Oh the humanity!


It's possible that I'm becoming a cold-hearted miser but many of the stories about the havoc wreaked by rising gas prices and a recessionary environment strike me as, well, kind of funny in that they expose the culture of entitlement that has taken hold of our country.

The New York Timesreports that $4 gas has made this "the summer the cruising died" for many teenagers. Some of the lines in this article are actually hilarious: "Police officers who keep watch on weekend cruising zones say fewer youths are spending their time driving around in circles, with more of them hanging out in parking lots, malls or movie theaters."

Oh the humanity! Teens have to spend their summers at malls and movie theaters instead of driving in circles? We need a law against that -- a bailout! A subsidy! A driving around in circles stimulus package!

The good news is that high gas prices combined with more restrictive laws governing teen driving mean that fewer high school students have cars at all -- which is good because that money would generally be much better used for college or, gasp, saving for the future.

Take the $6 thousand you were going to spend on a teen's car and put it in a savings account paying 3.5%, and it could be a down payment on a house in not too many years. Then add in the savings from less money spent on gas and convenience store sodas, and you realize that not buying your kid a car could be the best investment of her life.