Free Gas Instead of Cash?
In yet another sign of how gas prices are affecting the economy, several states, including Florida, Georgia and Oklahoma, have begun offering free gas for life instead of the usual cash prizes in lotteries. Of course, there's a catch: in Florida, for instance, free gas for life means that "each winner will be awarded 26 prepaid gas cards, each worth $100, every year until death." Interestingly, in Florida the free gas will go to the second-prize winner, while the first prize winner will win a cash prize. What's interesting about this is that many people say that "gas has become more precious than cash now," and therefore they would rather win the gas--even though the cash value of the gas is far below the cash value of the first-place prize. Valuing gas more than money? Has our addiction to oil become that endemic?
Real Solutions Are Being Ignored
In fact, Florida decided to start awarding free gas after "90 percent of regular lottery players, responding to a poll in which a year's home mortgage payments were among the other choices, said the prize they would most prefer was free fill-ups." Of course, this is much like the idea of a gas-tax holiday and off-shore drilling: gimmicks that make people feel like something is being done about gas prices. Meanwhile the real measures--efficiency, better public transit, alternative fuels, etc--are ignored.
Via: ::NY Times