Sunday, September 8, 2013

Time vs. Money

Here’s a letter to Consumer Reports

Dear Consumer Reports,

In your most recent issue (August, 2013, “Step on the gas? Not so fast!”) you analyze the effects of gas mileage at varying speeds. You aptly conclude: “True, driving 200 miles at 75 instead of 55 shaves an hour off your trip.  But in the cars we used, it also wastes 1.5 to 2 gallons and costs about $5 to $7.”

Could you not also have concluded that bicycling the 200 miles would have saved about 4.5 gallons of fuel and $15? 

While only those who value money over time would consider such a trek, you incorrectly label the reverse as waste.  Those who drive faster simply place more value on time than money.  And since the proper level of trade-off can only be determined by individual preference, your outside observation is irrelevant.

1 comment:

  1. Given the minimum wage is above $7, that savings doesn't beat the opportunity cost smell test. Not that I support a minimum wage, it just helps to put that tiny amount of savings in perspective.