1) Allstate

Have you seen this commercial?

Innocent enough right? Guy says something dumb and the girl pounces on it. But think about how this would play out in a real debate.  She’s getting a check for not getting in a wreck.  If she’s setting the bar for good driving at “not wrecking” then she’s not really helping the cause here.  The guy obviously has no check, but obviously also doesn’t know getting a check is a thing.  Meaning he likely wasn’t aware of the program because he doesn’t have Allstate.  This woman fails to prove she’s even a better driver than the dude she’s eating with.

Furthermore, even if everything up to this point made sense, her getting the check doesn’t prove men aren’t superior drivers. It’s hard to parse out whether men or women are better drivers. Men do engage in more risky behavior. But what does that mean in a vacuum of who the better driver is? Who knows, but here’s an interesting wrinkle.  This commercial has bugged me for years.  It makes absolutely no sense.  But here I am talking about it which is why I don’t work in marketing.

2) Regulating Supply And Not Demand

A lot has been said about the need to increase the efficiency of our vehicles and reduce oil demand.  Thanks to EPA regulations our cars are sipping fuel at lower and lower rates.  That’s a good thing.  And except for more recent events, fuel prices have been moving up and up in recent years.  We’re getting the hang of our addiction to oil.  But there’s a long way to go.

And our addiction may be coming back thanks to cheap gas.  With our fuel efficient cars and cheaper gas, we’re hitting the roads again.

This can be a problem as we already know our roads are in bad shape and we have no money to fix them. Cheap gas and fuel efficient cars make us want to drive. So how do we fix it? Long time readers know the answer. You can’t treat just one side of a supply/demand problem. The only way to cut the demand for gasoline is the increase the price. While gas is cheap today the way to do that is through taxes. This also helps road construction problem.

Perhaps there’s a different argument to be made. Maybe I don’t understand what we’re supposed to be doing. Perhaps our government would rather our infrastructure get so poor that we don’t even want to use it.

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categories: business, cars, economics, government