Sunday, September 8, 2013

Quote of the Day (Plus Charts)

April 19, 2010
U.S. Urban Residents Cut Water Usage; Utilities are Forced to Raise Prices

The unintended consequence of using less in most cities is that ratepayers pay more. The Cleveland region has increased water rates 45 percent to 80 percent since 2007. Cleveland Water Commissioner Chris Nielson explained to the The Plain Dealer last week that “revenue was $25 million below projections last year because of a decrease in consumption.”


“It’s funny, in the sense that it’s a double-edged sword,” Lamb told the Kane County Chronicle. “We tell people all the time to conserve water, conserve water. But then we, as the municipality providing the water, suffer because there’s less money coming in to maintain that system.”


Despite the perils of the death spiral, the argument for conservation is strong.

Let us use this same theory for gasoline stations and see what happens.

Click to enlarge.

Since 2011, each gasoline station employee is selling less and less gasoline (by volume). This is unprecedented during an economic expansion. I wonder what could explain it.

Click to enlarge.

Why has there been so much gasoline station hiring since 2010? Perhaps gasoline station owners have been getting drunk on the free money Kool-Aid? Capital misallocation for the win?

The "recovery" is strong! It can only get better from here! No "death spirals" possible! Blah, blah, blah.

This post inspired by fried in the comments found here.

Source Data:
EIA: Petroleum Product Supplied
St. Louis Fed: All Employees: Retail Trade: Gasoline Stations

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