Monday, January 12, 2009

Bad Timing for the Squirrels

I was listening to NPR this morning and heard a report on this year’s big auto show, which contained this weird comment:

“In an unfortunate bit of bad timing for automakers, this year's show will feature a number of fuel-efficient vehicles -- at a time when gas prices are less than half what they were just six months ago.”

Say what?

Let’s hear that again, but with squirrels:

“In an unfortunate bit of bad timing for squirrels, they just began to gather nuts for the winter today on December 15th, at a time when the temperature is twice what it was just two weeks ago!”

5 comments:

Robert Sievers said...

I don't understand Americans. Somehow, they don't realize that OPEC wants to keep gas prices high enough to maximuize profits, but never too high to make alternative energy feasible.

It seems we are doomed to send all our cash to Dubai and Riyadh, one way or another.

Dan S said...

Social policy, Bob. Collectively, left to ourselves, we'll choose what's good for us individually, not what's best for us collectively.

Social policy can circumvent Riyadh, either by making gas prices higher than market rates, or alternative energy lower. The martket is good as setting prices, but not necessarily good at determining collective good.

Clint said...

This is funny, but it's a broken analogy. The automakers are trying to sell nuts to a species of squirrel that only bothers to collect nuts after it's been really cold for a few months and they're starving.

So it is an "unfortunate bit of bad timing" for the automakers. And it's an unfortunate bit of complacency for the soon-to-be-very hungry squirrels.

brownie said...

We could build this giant wooden badger....

Dan S said...

That made me laugh out loud...

Yea, Clint, you're right, the analogy isn't quite right. But automakers are squirrels too, and also are greedy and behind the times.

Oh well, at least it was a little bit funny.