People Sure Are Driving a Lot, Gasoline Consumption Hits Record, But Flying & Mass Transit Lag Way Behind

The miracles of the new economy.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

Gasoline consumption set a new all-time record for a one-week period during the first week in July, at just over 10 million barrels per day, a figure never seen before, up 3.0% from the same week in 2019, and up 15% from the same week in 2020, according to EIA data. This is just gasoline and does not include diesel.

People are still not flying as much as they did before, and they’re barely using mass transit, but they’re sure driving a lot, particularly for a holiday week as in early July:

The chart also shows the long-term near-stagnation of gasoline consumption: The first time that gasoline consumption reached 9.7 million barrels per day –within 3% of the record in July 2021 – was over the Independence Day week in 2005. Before the Pandemic, gasoline consumption was roughly where it had been a decade earlier, after having recovered from the trough following the Great Recession.

The EIA tracks consumption in terms of gasoline supplied by refineries, blenders, etc., and not by retail sales at gas stations.

The four-week moving average – which irons out some of the week-to-week fluctuations – in the week of July 9 was flat with the same week in 2019; and for the most recent reporting week of July 16, it was down 0.9% from 2019. Demand for gasoline has now fully recovered.

But people are not using mass transit much. Much of that has to do with working from home or not working at all. And the rest has to do with not wanting to use mass-transit. We can see this in the San Francisco Bay Area. Other transit authorities have reported similar results. Traffic across the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge into San Francisco in June was nearly back to the average level in 2019, according to the Bay Area Toll Authority.

But ridership on the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system in June was still down 80% from June 2019. It’s ticking up from the lows, but the trains are still nearly empty – even as brand-spanking new trains are making their sporadic appearance:

And people are not flying as much. They’re flying a lot for leisure within the US, but they’ve cut business travel such as going to conventions, and they’ve cut international travel for business and leisure, given the travel restrictions. The EIA reported that the four-week moving average consumption of kerosene-type jet fuel, at 1.44 million barrels per day, was still down 22% in the latest reporting week compared to the same period in 2019:

This is another twist in the new miracle-economy, where 12.6 million people claim some kind of unemployment insurance, while 7.1 million fewer people are working than before the pandemic, and while companies across the board complain about “labor shortages.” But people sure are driving a lot!

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  154 comments for “People Sure Are Driving a Lot, Gasoline Consumption Hits Record, But Flying & Mass Transit Lag Way Behind

  1. Paulo says:

    Driving is still relatively affordable, there is pent up demand, other activities still discouraged, and people can remain isolated and in their safe zone. Plus, it’s summer and you have to justify the ride you just bought on time. :-) Add on a return to work and avoiding transit the numbers seem normal.

    Where I live the roads are way busier than normal with tourists towing RVs, etc. Of course there is no smoke here……yet.

    • Mike G says:

      One indication leisure road trips are way up is skyrocketing hotel/motel prices. Absolutely insane in my town, over $300 a night even for budget chain motels.

      • Joe Saba says:

        watch it all plunge in september

        at least I deduct every mile I drive – for business

    • MiTurn says:

      If you live in the mountains, summers always bring the RVers — sort of like locust, but you learn to work around them.

      But I agree, day trips can be fun and are a nice escape, especially during the weekdays. My wife and I haven’t stopped our twice-monthly excursions, as the cost of gas isn’t yet an issue. Now, once it nears $5 a gallon, maybe…

      • roddy6667 says:

        Get a more frugal car and keep driving.

        • cas127 says:

          This.

          The increasingly large demand bias towards SUVs/trucks over cars (Ford and GM have cut way back on cars) goes a long way to explain the new record in consumption.

          SUVs are classed as trucks for MPG requirements and frequently only get 60% to 80% of the MPGs of cars. More SUVs/trucks in the mix = higher gasoline consumption.

          Of course, quasi post pandemic demand is a huge factor but SUVification explains the intermediate term trend.

        • RightNYer says:

          cas127, while I agree with your general point, much of the growth in the SUV market has really been among “small” or “crossover” SUVs, which are NOT classified as trucks and do not get significantly worse mileage than a car of the same size. They’re basically just raised cars.

          In other words, the media might be reporting about “SUV sales,” but don’t conflate Chevy Suburbans with Toyota RAV4s.

        • Joe Saba says:

          yeppir sure did
          get 12 mpg now
          of course I pull 8 ton trailer

        • cas127 says:

          RightNYer,

          Fair enough, but I wonder what a close analysis of the SUV/truck mkt would show…a lot of MPG competitive crossovers but surely some gas hogs too (although less of a new trend, trucks top the list of top selling vehicles, yr after yr).

          Your pt is well taken but I still wonder about the incremental impact of vanishing *car* models.

        • Nick Kelly says:

          Years ago I noticed MPG was the biggest BS factor in used cars.
          Recently saw that gov stats for new are also BS.
          The EPA MPG assume 50% hiway. Few people drive 50% hiway. Most people live in cities.

    • David Hall says:

      People who delayed travel due to lockdowns are on the move.

      Some nations have banned fracking, but a few realize they may have rich oil and gas deposits in shale adjacent to depleted conventional oil fields. RECO discovered light crude in Namibia.

      There are not enough solar cells, windmills and batteries to shut down gas stations yet.

    • John Vermeer says:

      Paolo, I’m on the EAST coast and we have smoke. It even smells like a wood fire.

      • lenert says:

        Since the record heat event in June a consistent on-shore flow has kept western Cascadia cool and clear this summer but it may break the 2017 drought record of 55 days.

      • Joe Saba says:

        surely the epa has something to say about that /s

    • JOHN T. FOX says:

      WHERE ARE THE CARS AT? I DON’T SEE ANYWHERE NEAR THE VOLUME OF CARS ON THE ROAD AS PRIOR TO COVID! WE HAVE A GAS SHORTAGE DUE TO LACK OF DELIVERY DRIVERS. SO WHERE IS ALL THIS GAS COMING FROM AND WHO IS USING IT? THE NUMBERS DON’T MATCH THE LACK OF DRIVERS! PEOPLE WORKING FROM HOME AIN’T DRIVING. SO THEY AIN’T USING GAS. UNEMPLOYMENT IS MUCH HIGHER THAN TWO YEARS AGO, AND PEOPLE AIN’T DRIVING TO WORK. SO WHO IS USING THIS GAS AND WHERE IS ALL THE TRAFFIC?

      • Wolf Richter says:

        Please locate the CAPTLOCK key on your keyboard and use proper lower case typing. No more ALL-CAPS posts.

        I don’t know where you’re looking for cars and traffic, but it’s crazy here where I am. Weekend congestion is horrible — including lots of tourists from surrounding areas and further afield.

        • Swamp Creature says:

          Same here in the Swamp. Traffic is worse than before the pandemic. Road rage is also out of control. There is no law enforcement whatsoever. People run red lights and stop signs without batting an eyelash. The eastern section of the city over the Anacostia river has turned into a war zone. That’s where we have to go all the time, because that’s where the affordable homes are located. You can still get a decent renovated townhouse there for under $500K if you are willing to put up with a few murders here and there one block from your home.

  2. 2banana says:

    It truly is a miracle.

    I can’t believe no one in the history of governments has never tried this before.

    It’s just so easy.

    No hard work, sacrifice or risk taking is needed for a booming economy and prosperity for all…

    “This is another twist in the new miracle-economy, where 12.6 million people claim some kind of unemployment insurance, while 7.1 million fewer people are working than before the pandemic, and while companies across the board complain about “labor shortages.” But people sure are driving a lot!”

  3. Ron says:

    Airports suck you spend more time waiting and transferring on most regional destinations easier to drive

  4. Nacho Libre says:

    Jet fuel consumption is a decent enough proxy.

    If we want to know how many head of cattle, we can look at TSA daily traveler numbers. In July it’s risen to around 80% of 2019 levels. On couple of days it has even surpassed 2019 numbers.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Nacho Libre,

      Yes, but the only day TSA checkpoint screenings exceeded the same day in 2019 was due to the calendar shift of July 4th, when the biggest travel day in 2021 fell on a not-big-day in 2019:

    • Nick Kelly says:

      One airline has asked pilots to conserve jet fuel. Not sure what this means.
      Doesn’t the trip take whatever it takes? Please don’t tell me it means cut on -board fuel reserve.

      • Wolf Richter says:

        AA said that there are local fuel delivery issues at certain regional airports, where fuel trucks don’t show up as scheduled due to a driver shortage.

        One such regional airport ran out of fuel and flights were delayed until they could find a driver to drive the tanker truck. This is apparently an issue at a number of these smaller airports.

        People in planes don’t realize how important trucks and drivers are until suddenly the plane doesn’t get fueled.

      • Swamp Creature says:

        NC

        Good, better to conserve fuel than dump it in midair in order to avoid a fine when landing in an overloaded condition. I lived below the incoming flight pattern for National Airport and airlines routinely dumped their fuel mid-air before landing. You could smell this s$it every Sunday eve during peak hours.

  5. Brent says:

    “Driving without any redeeming social purpose” is the cheapest form of mental therapy.Compare the cost of driving a car-58 cents per mile according to the IRS-to the psychiatrist’s bills…

    Moreover, after visiting psychiatrist, one is a marked man.Turn in your guns etc…

    In troubled times ahead we’ll see even more mindless driving accompanied by “primal screams” (another therapy from the ’70s)

    • josap says:

      One of our “go-to” drives, just to get out of the house was 45 minutes one way to buy a pie. They are great pies, baked the night before you pick them up. Pricey, but worth the pie and getting out of the house.

      • Brent says:

        Best cure against mindless driving is car insurance based on mileage.Mine is 2 cents per mile.Insurance companies never mention it.

        Regarding food – I am on OMAD or One Meal A Day for the past 2 years.One pro powerlifter practices OMAD and his performance is not affected.What is good for the pro’s is good for the rest of us mere mortals.

        So,to fill the void in my life I prefer to do heavy squats.Which causes serenity of mood and,on rare occasions,NIRVANA !!! ?

        • Josie says:

          You neglected to mention all the pros are on hgh, trt and a smorgasbord of other pharmaceuticals. Sure, they can do OMAD but you should count the 153 “supplements” they take throughout the day

        • MiTurn says:

          OMAD + lots of snacking.
          That’s nirvana.

        • roddy6667 says:

          I’m 73 and looking at knee replacements sometime in the next few years. Back off on the heavy squats. Now I am doing dumbbell curls with a bottle of Vicodin.

        • kitten lopez says:

          Roddy6667-

          i have one bad knee bone on bone and with Mark Rippetoe’s method of doing squats (look on youtube for the videos or his book Starting Strength), it bypasses blowing out your knees.

          i was stuck at 25# on each side of my squats til i got it right now i’m almost up to 50# on each side of the 45# bar. not bad.

          i wanna do squats because it takes care of so much in one go and you don’t wanna be helpless and old in today’s America. you wanna fend ’em off as long as possible.

          x

          x

      • Sierra7 says:

        Josap:
        Now “pies” i understand.
        This “Lombard Street” economy I don’t so much!
        It’s really hard to find a bakery that does a good job on pies!
        So bad that some years ago I started to make my own.
        Not enough pie makers allow time for a good pie crust. Too mealy; taste of uncooked flour etc.
        And it’s so easy to do today. Excellent pie crusts already made available at local stores. Good canned pie fillings also. If apple pies I always add one or two fresh apples to the mix.
        Those good crusts only happen when you have the patience to use egg white brushing on the top crust (and inside the bottom before filling) and letting your good oven do it’s job…..time! Until that crust is looking deliciously brown!
        My book club loves my pies!!
        Take that, Jay Powell!

    • Dan Romig says:

      Brent,

      Yes indeed, I agree.

      My V4 Italian rocket-bike has a cool display on the video dash that shows the bike’s lean angle in two ways; digital numeric & a compass with a needle showing lean.

      Is there any purpose to wanting to lean it down at a safe and pedestrian 45 degrees on a cloverleaf? Nope. Do I like doing it? Yup.

      • Brent says:

        -Driving blindfolded with your buddy as a pilot in a car “borrowed” from the street ?

        -Driving backwards on the interstate shining high beams and causing everybody else to pull off in utter confusion ?

        If you dont do it at 20 you have no Heart.
        If you still do it at 50 you have no Brain.

        • kitten lopez says:

          (huuuuge smile)
          without you men life would be so boring.
          x

        • Dan Romig says:

          Brent,

          I’ll turn 59 in a month, and you have a point, but my bike can do this @ a 60 degree lean angle before things get dicey. Hence, “safe and pedestrian 45 degrees …”

          Favorite line from a classic Spaghetti Western ‘My Name is Nobody,’ “The secret to a long life is you try not to shorten it.”

          I always ride with a helmet, jacket, gloves & sturdy jeans — just in case. But, I worry more when descending down the river bluffs on my bicycle. A front tire puncture just before or at the apex of a corner spells trouble.

        • VintageVNvet says:

          Nice paraphrase of the old old quotation B,,, maybe from the older French back when they were the world’s best ”philosophers” or something like that.
          ”If you are not a liberal in your youth, you have no heart.
          “If you are not a conservative in your later years, you have no wisdom.”
          Or something like that, that being the best this old, now apparently ”elderly” can remember,,, eh

        • Brent says:

          @Dan Roming
          ???
          You are 2 steps ahead of me,doing it of your free will…

          I performed those miracles only because my Wop buddies often suffered from irrational exuberance and it was contagious.

          By nature I am quiet & contemplative.

        • Brent says:

          @VNV
          You made me curious too.Looked it up on “Quote Investigator”- first mention was in
          “Histoire de la Révolution de 1870-71” by Jules Claretie.

      • kitten lopez says:

        riding bitch with someone who can handle switchbacks is the purest most beautiful form of The Transcendence of Surrendering and Being The Bottom. / it’s almost an affront to God because The Missionary Position done brilliantly almost ALMOST comes second to riding bitch with someone who can lay down the bike around curves.

        TOO close because you feel like you’re riding bitch WITH GOD.

        ain’t nothing like it.

        nada…

        yum!

        girls! all you supposedly heterosexual women stop being lesbians for a change take a real ride on the wild side again. the WORLD depends upon it!

        who knew this article on gasoline would turn into a treatise on the magic power of semen coursing through life’s veins?

        i love Wolf.

        x

        • Dan Romig says:

          kitten,

          My Elizabeth surprised me the first time we rode together on my Honda 900F sport bike long ago. She knew that the passenger should lean into the corner and therefore keeping the bike upright. Her timing and movement was spot on!

          Instinctively passengers may want to lean away from the inside of the corner as they feel safer if they are further from the ground, but that just makes the bike lean farther down.

          On many occasions, Elizabeth has told me that if she could somehow get free, she wanted me to arrive on my motorbike to take her back home! But if by some stars being magically aligned, and it happens this December, I told her it’s going to be in my SUV – snow tires for the Minnesota winter time you know.

        • kitten lopez says:

          Of course Your Elizabeth KNEW to surrender and give in and lean with you and your body. it’s a dance of love and surrender and terror (same thing as going all in on this love thing)– it’s why you two are still in it and expanded your love to epic ..extensions. don’t know the word i want. it radiates OUT when you love epic big like that. it’s good for the entire COLLECTIVE to have such real and true stories of love to truly exist and not be b.s. like so much is now.

          i don’t say lifting iron only, because Wolf’s swimming out in the bay is the same training like a rock climber. anything where you have to focus and face your fears of snapping your back or dying out in the waters or dragging your ass back to shore or hanging from rocks and try and get back home without a helicopter or ambulance.

          you can’t just hit a button for the treadmill to stop and that does something to you to constantly revisit that trickle of terror.

          but that’s why we’re HERE, right? why Wolf has endless WTF subjects.

          the civil war we’ve got globally is a fight between those who’re trained in the magic of buttons and those who’re still in the magic of the real world, right?

          anyhow-

          Elizabeth TRUSTED you. when i rode bitch on the switchbacks of the Virginia mountains, i was in my late twenties with a stranger and suicidal because i was ready to die by 27, and i’d also loved when my art school friend raced back roads of rural Pennsylvania with the lights out. what do you do with an OLD me??? (i’m now finding out with the lessons and encouragement of my masochistic brothers like Wolf and James and others at the gym)

          i was outside watching the birds and smoking and was thinking how the gym IS Man Church, gay and straight, because for some unknown reason once when i was outside the gym taking a break from dancing in the sun, it was a MAN who started confessing out of nowhere, how he’s a bottom and finds receiving a man to be a sacred act, a holy act of communion that is transcendent and he finds religious to him.

          i smiled and agreed, wondering where THAT came from. but i needed it because it was the second such time i’d heard and agreed with another MAN on getting fucked and how transcendent it is.

          and after that second time out of nowhere, i realized i never heard a woman say that when we’re the ones who’re “supposed” to…. right?

          and that’s when i realized we got EVERYTHING all wrong with all this supposed “emancipation” we were wanting.

          emancipated from what into what? ALL THIS narcissistic look at me tinder crap?…

          all the sudden it’s feeling like i’ve been bamboozled about every little thing.

          so your Elizabeth– yes, Dear Dan Romig– all i wrote in the early days of our side friendship, is because it’s all connected and together: a woman can’t ride bitch and lean into the curve so’s you don’t lose control and crash, and NOT be dancing and fxcking you already right then and there.

          and conversely, it’s also why YOU are still there for her rock solid.

          you can’t find this stuff online on the innerwebs from the questionnaires and algorithms that these man children down in silicon valley have built to meet each other and come in each other’s faces on our way to never seeing each other again.

          that’s also why i wanted a cooperative private style hang out club house work out place. to introduce the meat dogs to the women who’d love to climb you all like trees.

          you can’t start an art culture until people start meeting and collaborating with each other in Real Life again and wanting to dance, dress up or some kind of way for each other.

          how do you bring back out the Brents’ and James’ and other of the underappreciated loves? because that kind of training and focus and power, like your Elizabeth will also have more of?…

          WOW…

          yes, we’re all on Wolfstreet lamenting how crappy everything is. but the good Black Swan no one is expecting is we US ourselves.

          we can give ourselves chills back from the National Anthem or get ’em for the first time because this is what we who’ve climbed back out of Hell can show us back to–like Your Elizabeth who also wants to reconnect humanity with its empathy.

          this Wolfstreet place is like the gym– it’s where i’m supposed to quietly up nod and politely keep all my leaky estrogen in its place–but no more! i will enunciate EVERYTHING because there’s no TIME for wink wink nudge nudge say no more…

          because Elizabeth is gonna be free and you can’t train with such heavy darkness for so long and NOT come out ready to ride bitch with her beloved leaning into the switchbacks.

          everything you two do til spring will be just physical practice now.

          some of us are miracles incarnate here. i don’t need to rediscover oil anywhere when WE our so precious, our own resource for chills.

          Your Elizabeth will say i’m right. / but she won’t wanna hear excuses from anyone about anything by then.

          x

        • NoPrep says:

          Yes all while imagining partner/boyfriend/hubby is John Bonham come back to life haha

        • kitten lopez says:

          NoPrep–
          no imagining NEEDED; that’s the beauty. whoever you’re holding onto for dear life IS your one true god in that moment and it is thrilling to have your life in someone’s hands and see how they not only care for it, but you feel every muscle of their body and how they react and …that’s perfection, no imagination needed. that’s the POINT. you’ve got Everything.

          and yes. i was like a suction cup on the back, but i always am riding bitch. you hear a big POP whenever i’m excited on leather or vinyl seats or upholstery on any vehicle. i love the smell of gasoline and grease / it makes me woozy because i’m also around people who FIX things.

          i know strong women crave alpha men to top them because i can ride handle and change the oil on my own cars and motorcycles thank you very much, but i love the awe of someone being better than me in whatever he or she can do well.
          x

        • Bill says:

          After reading all these posts, I feel the need to find my copy of “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.”

      • kitten lopez says:

        Dear Mr Dan-
        showed James your Aprilia and he says:

        “oh, he’s into sport bikes? that’s unusual. everyone’s into retro bikes now.”

        “but he’s our age.”

        “oh! so he’s into performance, then. makes sense. the younger ones are into looking cool. like they’d get a Cobra and drive it around like grandmas.”

        “what’s a Cobra?”

        he explained but all i heard was “Ford…blah blah blah Ginger…”

        i said, “you really should read Wolf’s article on gas and the comments because they were all talking about how men are pussies now,” and also because his friend from Colorado decided to DRIVE here instead of FLY here (just like the article said). he said flying here AND getting the rental car he’d need is still too expensive for the week.

        x

      • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

        Dan-highsides, like fate, are the hunter…

        may we all find a better day.

        • Dan Romig says:

          Many years ago I high-sided my Honda 750F. It was raining, and I was going through a corner slowly. Too much throttle on exit and the rear tire slid a bit. I backed off too quickly and was on the street so fast my hands were still on the bars.

          Yup, two cracked ribs on my left side, but the bike was unscratched as I had taken all the impact and nothing on the bike hit the street. In a weird way, I considered that a victory — but it hurt for a while just to remind me of the consequences to being careless.

          Seven years in the Pro-Am peloton on the road and five years racing on the velodromes; only went down twice. Both times in street criteriums, attacking solo, and clipping a pedal going through a corner. Once was in Winnipeg in front of a huge crowd and on CBC TV live. Yeah, that’s embarrassing, eh?

    • John Vermeer says:

      Brent, I think of Arthur Janov every time I try to do the right thing!
      As I recall, his thesis was: if life makes you wanna scream, just do it!
      It’s good for you.
      An unheard of luxury prior to that time. Still, how often do you find yourself screaming?

      • Brent says:

        ?
        Last time I dropped barbell on my toe I uttered suppressed yelp,thats about it.

        RN spoke about us as a “Silent Majority”
        Our grandfathers who survived Great Depression and WWII were silent types too.

        “Generally speaking, punishment makes men hard and cold; it concentrates; it sharpens the feeling of alienation; it strengthens the power of resistance”
        Ecce Homo

        • kitten lopez says:

          when they called the cops on me and i got kicked out of the YMCA in the richmond district here for making a white woman “uncomfortable” because i wasn’t the maid after all, and i ended up at my current gym with real lifters doing free weights and felt like i’d landed in Man Church.

          i prefer Man Church to Quaker Meeting or any other church now because in Man Church it’s 5D love being manifest in the body mind and reality.

          Man Church is how i re-fall in love with men all over again and again.

          i’ve never been so spoiled and helped out and seen and un-feared as i am at Man Church.

          as for hard and cold? hardly! the harder i lift, even wearing barbie pink lipstick, i get mad respect and help. they treat me like their baby sister even though some are half my age.

          on saturday i was deadlifting 48.25# on each side of the bar and my hands sweated through the chalk and i’d forgotten to alternate my grip so i nearly dropped the bar on my fifth rep, and i screamed for help and this cat just jumps up on the other side of the platform, lifts it up like nada and be bops away before i could thank him.

          had to chase him down but thanks only embarrassed him because Man Church is all up nods.

          and all these “hard cold men” who’re huge will come over and talk about how they can’t get girlfriends because girls want 140 pound guys who act like girls.

          you focused self-punishing guys are absolute sweethearts, and you tend to treat anything in your life with similar care because of all that practice, so i’m gonna blow up that cold hard reputation in a hot second.

          x

        • Brent says:

          @Kitten Lopez

          Gyms are of 2 types:

          1.Run-of-the mill gyms with rows of exercising mashines, each having 5 microprocessors & 2 displays, where people try to lose weight with a grim determination to succeed and zero results

          2.Hard core gyms.Concrete floors,chipped barbell plates,rusty squat racks and bench press stands.Once I visited such a gym in Chicago.

          Saw 20(!!!) Ader 106lbs kettlebells standing in a row.One guy hitched 3 106lbs kettlebells to his belt and started doing dips w/o breaking a sweat.

          I rendered military salute,made “ABOUT FACE” and left.

          Since I dont belong anywhere I am doing squats in splendid solitude.

          BTW “Gold’s Gym” was started by Joe Gold in the basement as a hard core gym.

        • kitten lopez says:

          Mr Brent-

          my deeper truer fantasy is to start one of those gritty free weights gyms out of an old commercial garage and have a patio with tables for people to hang out and talk because people who lift iron actually DO things in real life.

          i want to get us together even if just to fix bicycles and talk over donation coffee (i’ll try to open something that always creatively skirts onerous and expensive and prohibitive regulations – like when we’d have art events and sell drink tickets to skirt liquor license laws), because i feel like the new world will only happen or come into being if i court and attract guys like you and my James.

          you all are SECRETS and needed now more than ever. no lie.

          James paid whatever it took when the lockdown happened, to buy the over-priced pro weight sets and set up his own gym downstairs. he hated our previous gym because he didn’t like the foofy people.

          i use my exhibitionistic tendencies as this 5X Leo to step up my game. that’s why i’d wear absurd lipstick: because i’d BETTER be bad ass in crazy pink or else i’ll have to take MYSELF outside and kick my ass. (all mylife i used to make fun of girls who wore pink)

          and my gym STARTED as a gritty gold’s gym and still has and attracts those meat dog types. that’s what saves it/makes it.

          but the pressures are there to have the latest greatest b.s. technology crap.

          you just reminded me of my true dream. at night i’d make the space a performance arts hang out venue and invite all the neighbors to make them feel a part of it (and not call the cops or complain to the city to shut us down).

          thanks for reminding me of the core dream. because lifting iron is ALL magic.

          thanks, Brent.

          and Thanks off-side to Mr Romig for sending me the shot of his scary motorcycle dragon fly.

          x

        • Sierra7 says:

          Brent:
          “Generally speaking, punishment……”
          That’s called:
          “The Refiners Fire” (of life)
          And, yes I’m that old ++.

        • Brent says:

          @Kitten Lopez

          By the Power of the People invested in me by no one in particular I thereby appoint you The High Priestess of Hard Core Gyms.Keep the altar flames burning…

          All is not well.Norbert Schemansky died 5 years ago at the age of 92 lifting weights at the gym 1 week before his death.He was one of a kind,winning both bodybuilding and powerlifting contests.

          And the Greatest Of Them All Russian Yury Vlasov died Feb 2021

        • Brent says:

          @Sierra7
          “I am that old++”
          Aw,shucks ?

          When my Grandma was 95
          She did PT to stay alive
          When my Grandma was 96
          She did PT just for kicks
          When my Grandma was 97
          She up, she died, she went to Heaven
          When my Grandma was 98
          She meet St. Peter at the Pearly Gate
          She said “St. Peter, sorry I’m late”
          SHE WENT SIDE-STRADDLE HOPPIN’ through the Pearly Gate
          When my Grandma was 99
          She did PT mighty-fine
          She had Ol’ J.C. Doublin’ Time

        • kitten lopez says:

          With all due respect my dear Mr Brent!–

          what a funny/odd perspective you have, because i’d say ALL IS VERRRY WELL because he died on his feet, lifting weights up to a MERE WEEK BEFORE HIS DEATH without having to submit to today’s medical industry hell bent on keeping his heart beating by any mechanical means necessary, just long enough to squeeze every last dollar they could make out of him like toothpaste, by forcing him to let them wipe his ass or tube it out of him til the end.

          so as your personal high priestess of this dream, let’s fix that first, shall we? to:

          “ALL IS WELL: Norbert Schemansky died 5 years ago at the age of 92 lifting weights at the gym 1 week before his death.”

          the more i think of this perfect gym idea, the more i think it’s perfect. like everyone else’s nouveau Playboy club. meaning that i want cool old guys who have time to hang out and talk, hang out and talk. they teach and we NEED elders hanging out.

          and lots of gay guys just want a basic gym, too. so i’d copy their old bath house idea regarding live music shows (how Bette Midler and Barry Manilow started). but BYOB like the olden days.

          this would be about free weights and thus encouraging magic phones turned off because i want to promote real life politeness connection talking and friendliness.

          so it’s my nouveau form of how the gays artists and philosophers/thinkers/magicians will re-gentrify our own worlds and re-promote connections so we can collaborate on local businesses ideas or love affairs.

          free weights weeds out tech heavy people and inspires people on a different dimension and timeline.

          this idea is actually better than my fashion one but i have to start somewhere because there’ll be fashion in there and local music and whatever else.

          it’ll be different than i say it. i’m just throwing the party, that’s all.

          this feels defiant. hell, BYOB has become defiant alone.

          i just wanna cover the expenses. i want it to be cooperative because i’m not an administrator. i’m just trying to make a niche for myself as an artist and it turns out i have to repopulate a whole ignored world that has never ridden bitch on switchbacks in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

          they have no idea what is even POSSIBLE because if they had ridden bitch on those switchbacks, and come back alive and stuck with excited suction to the back seat, things wouldn’t be THIS WAY.

          x

  6. josap says:

    Mass transit in Phx Metro is still way down.

    The reason is covid and no one wearing masks.

    • MarMar says:

      This is a highly inaccurate analogy.

    • Miatadon says:

      My wife and I have worn 3M N95s in public places for many months. They are not uncomfortable, and protect the wearer and others. I do not understand why benefits of using high-quality masks is not publicized and why why people haven’t been educated about them. And worse, why in the fu@k the US government hasn’t pushed for massive production of these masks and free distribution to the public.

      • Heff says:

        “I do not understand why benefits of using high-quality masks is not publicized and why why people haven’t been educated about them”

        Perhaps the guv is not interested in promoting the efficacy of your N95 mask and only cares about theater and compliance? What did Fauci say about masking in early 2020?

      • MiTurn says:

        I see people driving alone in their cars and wearing masks.

        I don’t get it.

    • Swamp Creature says:

      Most of the virus infections were due to airborn contamination. Go into an infected space and you are a dead man. We got early warning of this in our appraisal business. Were warned not to go into properties that were occupied. Even if the occupants left a few hours ago. Spent the whole year just doing exteriors. Good move. The government and the CDC did not properly warn the public about this danger. Masks are practically useless against this airborn contamination in unventilated spaces. The governor of Maryland said people traveling over the holidays and visiting relatives in homes led to 70% of the infections.

  7. Depth Charge says:

    I have never seen so many cars on the road. The excesses are everywhere. We need a recession in the worst possible way, yet the cadaver in chief wants trillions more in stimulus when the eCONomy is overheated from the free cheese to begin with. Unreal.

    • RightNYer says:

      We need a recession for people to learn lessons.

      “Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, and weak men create hard times.”

      Right now, we have the weakest set of men America has ever seen in its history.

      I’m at the point where I’m so disgusted by this country, and my supposed fellow countrymen, that I no longer even feel a part of it anymore.

      I used to get an ingrained emotional reaction when someone sang the anthem. Now, nothing.

      • Brent says:

        According to “The Slaughter-House Cases, 83 U.S. (16 Wall.) 36 (1873)” state citizenship is separate from US citizenship…

        Well,were I Bill Clinton I would probably say “I feel your double pain” ?

        And to think,Remington closed its plant in Ilion, NY October 25,2020…

        Oldest manufacturer in the US.They were making rifles before George Washington was a glint in his daddy’s eye.

      • MCH says:

        No we don’t. A recession is an excuse for the J team to dump even more money into the system. Think about it, do you really want to carry a wheelbarrow full of dollars to your local grocery store.

        Ok, we are already on our way there, we just don’t want to get there any faster.

        • roddy6667 says:

          You won’t need a wheelbarrow. We’ll just use debit and credit cards like they do in Venezuela. Le papier, c’est passe.

        • MCH says:

          Hehe, with the Fedcoin and all electronic credit system where your $$$ are directly deposited by the government or can be frozen at will because of (pick a reason here)

      • The Real Tony says:

        It near a 100 percent certainty America will turn socialist then communist in the future just like Red China. All the lies we’re fed (pardon the pun) from Powell in time will just be the true stated facts under a communist regime. Free enterprise is dead forever.

        • roddy6667 says:

          China has not been Communist since 1978 when Deng Xiaoping turned the land back to the citizens and welcomed capitalism. 40% of China’s GDP is socialist, government owned enterprises. 60% is free enterprise. Almost 99% of new businesses are free enterprise. It’s easier to start a company and get rich in China than in America.

          In America, government spending is now 46% of the GDP. Stop worrying about when it will happen. It already did.

      • Swamp Creature says:

        Agreed

        What we are about to see is Stagflation on steroids. Rising prices in a declining economy seasoned with an energy crisis, rising crime and civil unrest. I call it an economic stew that is turning the nations stomach.

        Add, there have been many murders in DC Swamp in the last 2 weeks. People are afraid to walk the streets at night. Gunfights have broken out is some high rent neighborhoods. The police are useless and non-functional. Their budget was cut and they are quitting in droves.

        • RightNYer says:

          Yep. I’ve been saying for many years now that the only solution is a peaceable separation of the United States into two nations. Staying together for the kids is no longer working.

        • Swamp Creature says:

          I see some states breaking up. Its already happening in Oregon and Washington where the eastern portion is succeeding and merging with Idaho.

        • Rumpled Bemused says:

          Swamp Creature, Oregon and Washington are not breaking up. You are a victim of click bait journalism. Yes, there are those who would like to join Idaho. Of the 4.25 million people in Oregon, about 10,000 voted to do so. The ayes didn’t even get enough votes to carry their rural counties where this was on the ballot. If those 10,000 want to sell up and move to Idaho they are free to do so.

        • MCH says:

          Don’t worry, we will never get to that stage. Long before stagflation or a depression ever takes place. Our manufacturing and component supplier will be flexing their muscle and cutting off this country at the knees. Oh, sorry, delay on component A for your cars… your factory has to shut down… good news, component A is available but component D has extended lead times of six months, more shut down… meanwhile our leaders will keep priming the pump to rescue everyone.

          It’s absolutely laughable how the people in this place have been divided into two, and what’s worse, they each think they are the reasonable side all the while being so determined in their righteousness that they won’t even talk to the other side. I personally can’t think of a single country in the world that wouldn’t like the USA to split into two weak and ineffectual countries to be picked apart at will. We are the laughing stock of the world because of who we put in charge.

        • MCH says:

          P.S. in case it’s not clear, this is applicable to both Dumbos and Jackasses.

      • Bobby Bittman says:

        I wonder if this is a byproduct of these men having enlightened parents who decided that their sons are too historically privileged and needed to be put in their place. Image a generation of parents who are the enemy of their own children!

      • kitten lopez says:

        i’ve re-discovered/re-fallen in love with my former simplistic patriotism and now it’s graduated to a more grown up difficult love where you fight past the ugliness to rediscover the point of it all and stay together.

        i’m ashamed at how dismissive, passive, and spoiled i’ve been for so long.

        x

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          bobby/kitten/et al – an aphorism from R.A. Heinlein:

          “…Roman matrons used to tell their sons: ‘…come home with your shield, or on it…’. Later on, this custom declined. So did Rome…”.

          may we all find a better day.

    • The Real Tony says:

      Nothing changed where I live no one works. The Chinese are still in hiding from Covid-19 knowing full well they’re the root cause. The Chinese still embrace the save face motto. I have no idea when they’ll all show up amass at the malls.

    • David Hall says:

      Rental cars used to rent for $1000/day. I checked prices at a major airport and found $45/day for early September.

      The summer driving season has always resulted in the highest gasoline consumption of the year. People longed for summer vacations.

      A recession is like a kick to the behind. It is not a good thing to see people lining up for bread. We just had one last year. If you did not profit from it, wait for the next one.

      • RightNYer says:

        We didn’t have a recession in the traditional sense. In a real recession, people tighten their belts and reduce unnecessary spending. They don’t increase it.

        How long did the GDP contraction (which includes government spending) last? 5 weeks?

  8. MonkeyBusiness says:

    As long as crazy homeless people are allowed to run amok inside BART, Caltrain, etc, very few people will be taking public transport in the immediate future at least in the Bay Area.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      I take the BART. It’s just fine. It’s better now than before because there are so few people on the train. It’s a lot cleaner too. If you want to see lots homeless people, go to the Tenderloin/City Hall and a few blocks South of Market.

      But the BART still has the BART screech though they said they fixed some of it.

      • Swamp Creature says:

        The metro here in the Swamp is fine. Take it sometimes when my car is in the shop or have to go downtown. Its clean and not crowded. That’s the one bright spot during the pandemic. In the suburbs the rides are free.

      • Rcohn says:

        It’s not just BART.
        I have a friend who is a manager with the Golden Gate Transit system. He recently told me that bus traffic was still down 50% in Marin County.

      • tfourier says:

        Depends what line you are on and what time you are traveling. Its the stations that are usually sketchy and dangerous. Last time I used BART daily two of the four regular stations I used had memorials to murdered people at the entrance.

        Plus the old rule of only get into the busy carriage still hold. I often change carriages for just that reason. Unlike on MUNI street cars there is no easy escape if things go bad.

        BART was an engineering mess by design. The story of the gauge selection being a master class in corruption. I do miss the original very comfortable carriage seats and carpeting. The ones that were slowly poisoning the riders.

        Marin County really dodged a bullet when they bailed on BART. Then coming up with the scam of getting the GG Bridge to continue collecting toll after the bridge was paid for to heavily subsidize Marin buses and ferries.

  9. polistra says:

    Public transit is down for obvious reasons. It’s the last holdout of forced ballgags and SCREECHY BIG BROTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS and Lucite barriers. I don’t have a car, so I don’t have a real choice. I’d love to throw away the ballgag because it’s not required in the stores now, but I still have to keep it for the bus.

  10. Micheal Engel says:

    Weak men playing games reduced 2020 US birthrate by 4%.

    • Bobby Bittman says:

      Looks like the North American female is marketing a product that doesn’t appeal to the North American male.

      • Depth Charge says:

        Been occurring for quite some time.

        • RightNYer says:

          Who would want to date or marry a “woke” leftist woman who will use the power of the state against you at the first instance something goes wrong?

          There aren’t many traditional women left. Fortunately, I found one of them years ago.

        • Phil says:

          Female fertility is driven by women’s choices, not men’s, no matter how much you troglodytes would like to imagine it the other way.

          Source: I actually still deal with younger generations in my life & work

        • RightNYer says:

          Phil, right, until it’s time to pay the bills. Leftist women are so full of it.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Micheal Engel,

      A decision not to make babies did that — backed by taking birth control. It’s not rocket science anymore.

      People are figuring out that the population on this planet tripled in my lifetime, from 2.5 billion to 7.5 billion, and I’m not that old. And people are seeing that this is totally NUTS, and no matter what Michael Engels might think, they’re deciding on their own. Women are big decisions makers in this respect. This is a trend that has been going on for many years, thank god!

      A growing population is only good for politicians and Corporate America. Everyone else gets to deal with their smaller slice of the pie.

      Many countries are doing it this way, from Russia and Japan to Italy. Get used to it.

      • RightNYer says:

        But the third world is not doing it that way. That’s the problem.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          RightNYer,

          The “Third World” is no more. There is also no more “Second World” (Soviet empire). There are now emerging economies and advanced economies.

          China belongs to the emerging economies, and it has a low birth rate. Brazil also has below-replacement birth rates, as have many others. But some have high birth rates. No, not Mexico. Mexico has a birthrate that is at the replacement rate (2.1). There is a list at the World Bank website for more details.

  11. economicminor says:

    I’ve been traveling in my RV across the country and the major highways are jammed as are the major campgrounds, especially around the National Parks. My wife and I have been doing long trips for decades and this is the worst I have ever seen it.. YET when you get off on the secondary roads and the smaller, non reservation campgrounds, there are few people. Kind of nice except that the secondary roads are in such poor condition with lots of bumpity bumps and rough pavement. Even many of the Interstates are in poor condition.. No wonder so many Americans are behind fixing our infrastructure.

    The other thing very noticeable are the “We are Hiring Now” signs everywhere.. I mean everywhere. In the Parks, small towns, everywhere.. It is like there are no businesses with enough people to operate them efficiently. We were in a senior care facility yesterday to see my wife’s sister and I stopped and chatted with the woman that let us in. She ended up being the manager of 11 of these homes and they are so short staffed she ends up working shifts and hasn’t had a day off in a year. Fried she was.. Said they have tried raising the offered wage by $3/hr, hiring bonuses and using the hiring sites like Zip and she’s lucky to get 1 application every couple of weeks and the ones she get are mostly people who physically can’t do the work.. They are financially restrained because so many of the residents are paid for by the government which is extremely slow to raise the amount of pmts while inflation raises the costs. So now she is looking for new employment.. There are tens of thousands, probably millions of in need seniors who are not getting adequate care and things are just getting worse for them while this dilemma of raising prices and no workers continues.

    I asked her about her opinion on migrant and immigration and she was all for it.. She even said if I knew of anyone who wanted a job, legal or not, she would appreciate me sending them her way..

    What an interesting dilemma we have found ourselves in. Way to many people are rejecting the way things were/are and want a change yet positive change seems to be very illusive.

    • MiTurn says:

      In my area, which has seen a swift influx of folks escaping Cali, Portland, and Seattle, all available houses and property has been purchased and rents have skyrocketed.

      Consequently many locals, have moved into trailers, as in old RV trailers in the RV parks that are also popping up. It seems that these old RVs are the only affordable “housing.” Granted, many of these folks are on the waiting list for the multitude of low-income apartment complexes springing up — coincidentally, mostly near the only WalMart in the county.

      There is an increasing polarization of incomes in the county.

    • Paulo says:

      Mirror,

      Care home work is a tough and emotional gig. According to my US sister if you want to (hopefully not) end up in a good facility, you need a private insurance plan option in your back pocket. She has one. If you don’t have this it can be a bad place to be.

      My mom was in one for 8 years with Alzheimers. Luckily it was a Govt facility with unionised workers. It was a good place, actually, but very emotional for everyone.

      In our province CH workers have to be certified, which requires a 10 month course at college and practical work experience training. (You can’t just hire anyone). It is still a terrible job, imho. Covid has actually improved standards of care as the employment aspects have been leveled between homes. Plus, it is actually against the law for anyone to work at more than one facility, and facilities must now offer full time work. This is done to stop virus transmission.

      At least something good came out of Covid.

      My question is about your RV trip. Are you finding some/many RVers now just parking wherever and avoiding campgrounds altogether? This started here during Covid, and now we often see Rvs pulled out in viewpoint rest stops, alongside creeks, up logging roads…wherever. It used to be they were rousted, but no longer it seems. I saw one old Winnebago parked alongside a lake for 2 weeks (boat ramp road), and then he moved on to a viewpoint pullout (near a city) for weeks, then disappeared. I saw him back at the lake last week.

  12. Micheal Engel says:

    1) When BART fart SF will fall apart.
    2) When NY subway system will cut service and safety, the poor,
    who use the system, with no other options, cannot go to work.
    3) WFH will serve the upper echelons. The lower classes, the majority, will not be able to work.
    4) Do nothing all day is a curse.
    5) The young, hanging around out there in the street will do harm.
    6) Public transportation is the blood system of the city.
    7) When it’s clogged, cities cannot function well.
    8) Smaller cities, with little public transportation service, are more vulnerable. Higher cars cost + gas prices will affect them the most.
    9) The transportation cancer will spread to other sectors and
    nobody will know why and how.

  13. Glass Half Empty says:

    The cost of the important things in life for most people leaves no money left for anything else unless you use credit…and that’s the best case scenario.
    We have have come to the end result of that situation. I am constantly amazed why things are not worse but I think that is changing as we speak.

  14. Mike R. says:

    Gasoline consumption will fall back down over time. The current spike is pent up demand for travel and cars/RVs are the cheapest/safest way for most.

    Gasoline consumption will drop because our economy will continue to stagnate with higher prices. People will continue to be forced to pay for what is needed and forgo what is desired. Americans are just starting to realize how much needless/wasteful car travel they really do.

  15. Micheal Engel says:

    TSA retraced 90%, jet fuel only 60% : overseas flights suck,
    regional flights are booming.

    • Wisdom Seeker says:

      Translation (since this was a good observation):

      TSA headcount at airports has recovered 90% of the pandemic plunge, but jet fuel usage has only recovered 60% of its plunge.

      Plenty of fliers, but not as much fuel usage, implies peopler are taking shorter flights. (Alternative is that bigger planes are being used on shorter routes.) The implication (either way) is that regional flights are booming but international travel is still depressed.

  16. Micheal Engel says:

    RV shell game.

  17. c1ue says:

    Seems pretty likely that what we’re seeing is due to the bifurcation of employment: the smarter/lazier low wage people are better off staying at home, unemployed, with unemployment checks +$300/week federal add-on, tax free, vs. $600 pre-tax @ $15/hour.
    As for driving: between threatened COVID passports and required testing before international flights, plus the questionnaires (where are you staying? etc) – driving is so much less hassle.
    There’s also probably some self-reinforcement action with public transit. Many lines in SF are still out of service.
    I think Wolf’s next office-badgein report will be interesting.

  18. John Vermeer says:

    Michael, TSA “RETRACED?” You lost me on that one. Are you sure that’s the word you want? Sorry to be so dense but I’m old.

  19. Prue Grubstreet says:

    Have those of you who live in blue states that have opted to continue the extra unemployment benefits seen an influx of cars with red-state license plates? I’ve noticed a lot more down-and-out-looking people in my New England state sporting Texas license plates, and I’m wondering if they are stimmie migrants. If so, it’s an interesting phenomenon, and I wonder how it will all shake out for the states that are continuing with the largesse. (And will these people migrate back to their cheaper COL red states once the UE stimulus is cut off?)

    • RightNYer says:

      It doesn’t work that way. Unemployment benefits are provided by the place you worked, not the place you lived. You can’t move to get unemployment from the new state unless you work the required number of weeks in that state.

      • Prue Grubstreet says:

        Ah! There’s goes my theory then. Thanks for clarifying that. Now I need a new theory as to why so many downtrodden people from Texas are moving to my dumpy New England state… Perhaps they are all on road trips.

        • Harrold says:

          They are probably escaping that New England summer heat by vacationing in Texas.

        • Anthony A. says:

          Yes, PG, lots of pass throughs, and I drive to Waterbury, Connecticut once per year from Texas to visit my retired sister living in that slum city. My sister refuses to move as her kids are there living from paycheck to paycheck.

          I generally leave after two days and head to Pa to see a cousin for a day. Then I drive back toward Texas and stop and see old friends in W. VA and MO. I have been making this round trip for several years now.

          Most of Connecticut has gone to the dogs since all the manufacturing went south or to China. I worked and lived there 1/2 my life. Such a shame to see that industrial base gone and the old manufacturing building boarded up or turned into strip centers. The largest employer in the city of 100,000+ (Waterbury) is now the CITY! Great huh?

        • RightNYer says:

          Anthony, Connecticut is another victim of the fact that it is in a place with a poor climate, high taxes and high costs, and no famed cities that people are willing to live and work in in spite of those. People are willing to put up with Illinois and New York for Chicago and NYC. They’re not willing to put up with Connecticut for Stamford or New Haven.

        • Anthony A. says:

          RightNYer, when I left Conn. in 1981, it had lots of industry, good jobs, no state income tax and living costs were reasonable. Al that’s gone now and the large cities are crime ridden and trashed.

          The house my sister has been living in for close to 50 years is in a once nice neighborhood. Now she has metal bars on the windows and just won’t move. Ugh. Also, it has lost 2/3 of it’s value over time and her property tax just keep increasing.

          Not complaining, just telling a story here.

  20. I doubt if there are many people carpooling.

  21. ru82 says:

    Traffic in my area is pre-covid but maybe worse. Sure, many are still working from home and do not drive to and from work twice a day but I think they make up for it when they run several errands during the work day hours.

    I went to Ikea this weekend. Almost could not find a parking spot. Check lines were long.

    Consumer is still spending strong. Many received the child tax credit payments last week. Maybe that is why Ikea was so busy.

  22. Max Power says:

    This is useful as comparison across a small number of years but I Just want to caution folks from trying to draw conclusions using absolute gasoline fuel consumption amounts on a long term basis. Meaning just be aware that this measure is not an exact proxy for miles travelled or vehicles operated.

    One should take into account for example that on the one hand population has increased but on the other hand that gasoline fleet efficiency has increased a lot since 1994 but then on the other hands folks do like driving trucks more than cars nowadays.

    BTW… been on a couple flights recently and they were packed. People are definitely flying again although seems like mostly for leisure.

  23. DR DOOM says:

    Here is an EV fan nose tweaker. They are driving a lot using GAS not a battery. If 10% of the miles driven were in an EV the demand on electricity would set all of California on fire. PG&E better hurry up and bury them there wires. I am waiting for the first EV ladder/pumper fire engine rollout.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      DR DOOM,

      Data-free Nonsense. Here are electricity sales in California. This has been a declining business for over a decade. EVs are the best thing that electric utilities have been hoping for, except EVs are too slow in coming:

      • DR DOOM says:

        Gasoline consumption is the data. EV miles driven were not reported .

        • Wolf Richter says:

          I was replying to your statement: “If 10% of the miles driven were in an EV the demand on electricity would set all of California on fire.”

          I should have clarified that.

      • Brian says:

        But this is net sales offset by solar, yes? Solar only works during daylight hours, which is not when the majority of car charging happens, correct? So there is huge waste during the day and high demand on the grid when solar tapers off, leading to possible shutdowns. You would also think if demand was tapering, then prices would reduce, but the opposite is happening. CA electricity is a mess!

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Brian,

          You charge your EV when electricity is the cheapest. Where I live (San Francisco), the low electricity rates kick in a 9 PM. Other areas may have different “time-of-use” plans.

          The rates are the lowest from 9 PM on till the morning because there is very little demand, and utilities are hoping that people will shift demand into that time slot. Utilities are hoping to get some money for the very expensive idle capacity at night. It’s all about profits.

          So you put your EV charger on a timer, and it’ll top off the battery every night for the 30 miles you drove during the day. What’s your problem with that?

      • tfourier says:

        I’d be careful using those EIA numbers because like in so many areas, California is different. Plus that curve is flat if you change the y scale to a larger range..

        Its about 10 years since I did a really deep dive, been doing them since the 1990’s, but there are a whole bunch of different electric markets in Cal. The DWR has always being its own universe, accounting for about 25% of usage for decades but they have their own gen capacity. Even before the great DeReg debacle of the late 1990’s very large industrial users were already doing serious onsite power gen but for the last 30 years California has been losing high power use manufacturing industry. Its mostly gone.

        Remember when there were huge steel mills in Fontana. Or large car assembly plants all over the state. Or even aerospace assembly plants for that matter. With all those gone and the associated support industries both a lot of power use and a lot of private gen capacity is gone.

        So as the highest EV power load is going to be at the time of day when “renewables” have the lowest gen output and the state is piling on huge costs for all other power gen sources no matter how you cut it there is going to a power crisis even worse than the early 2000’s for the state sooner or later. And unlike the DeReg debacle its not going to be fixed by a simple – stop doing stupid stuff. It will take years to undo the last twenty plus years of bad policy decisions.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          tfourier,

          “Plus that curve is flat if you change the y scale to a larger range.”

          That’s silly. Electricity sales dropped 7% from 2008 though 2019. That is an industry facing declining demand. That’s the death knell on Wall Street, where everything is based on growth.

          This annual data comes out in the fall for the prior year. The 2020 data will be released in October. In 2020, electricity sales plunged, and the data will show that.

          This data here includes all electricity sales to ALL end-users. The decline is largely due to the push into highly efficient lights, appliances, and industrial equipment. This is a known and well-documented factor. A/C is not a big issue in California since the majority of people live somewhere near-ish the coast where it doesn’t get as hot as it gets inland.

  24. a) consumers are already pulling back.
    b) the widely anticipated fall delta variant surge may cancel the generally accepted meme that inflation is not transitory and
    c) the not so widely held notion that the fed is really thinking of reducing their balance sheet.
    d) tight labor markets are likely.
    e) balance sheet reduction (however minuscule, as Wolf says its really 200b)
    f) Some sort of government jobs plan, conscription needed to find fire fighters, and health care workers.
    g) republicans signing a new IMMIGRATION bill.
    h) inflation pulls back but price increases stick.
    i) china crackdown extends some call it the new cultural revolution. pro democracy dissidents take refuge in hong kong which becomes hub of global pro democracy movement. liken them to boat people fleeing vietnam.
    j) america offers sanctuary many refuse.

  25. Island Teal says:

    Ikea must have some kind of back office operation going on. I have never understood why soooo many people go there. ???

    • Artem says:

      It’s cheap.

    • Max Power says:

      Meatballs ?

    • roddy6667 says:

      It’s a cult that worships Swedish meatballs.

    • Anthony A. says:

      Free donuts…..and cold A/C.

    • RightNYer says:

      I haven’t been there since COVID, but they used to have free coffee if you signed up for their free rewards program.

      I’m a sucker for free coffee.

    • Always wondered how many restaurant franchisees were dealing drugs. You never see customers, the rent has to be punitively high, and they get all their food from corporate suppliers? Get rid of the food the put the proceeds from that kilo of crack in the register. Now that we drop ship from China maybe the fentanyl no longer has to go through Mexico. If they ever legalize drugs the economy will collapse.

      • Random guy 62 says:

        That happened at our town’s Taco Bell. They were selling drugs through the drive-through window – for years from what I was told!

    • Auldyin says:

      IT
      I never go anywhere with lines and arrows on the floor for me to follow.

  26. Artem says:

    Jetfuel consumption hasn’t caught up because international flights aren’t that popular yet. That will change soon enough.

  27. Micheal Engel says:

    1) Amazon is back from space to report sales on Thursday 7/29.
    2) AMZN is kind and give their customers credit for returns, but many items are written off.
    3) US & China are no longer in bed with each other, tension between them is rising.
    4) Xi might constrict shipments, choke and export inflation to US, to cause harm.
    5) Didi should educate AMZN whether to be or not to be so dependent on Xi.
    6) Covid might stay and keep US in a semi comatose mode.
    7) US gov balance sheet is minus : (-) $4.65T. Help and support will be limited.
    8) Moratoriums move over. The RV shell game will cont until Sept, but Oct will be cold. The RV train will move south, but they will be hunted by the reds.
    9) AMZN total assets are growing, but sales and turnover will be
    falling.
    10) Investors are in love with AMZN, they will not sell on round #1.

  28. Micheal Engel says:

    Sikorsky and Groton nuke subs are near by.

  29. Micheal Engel says:

    1) Spare your joints. Repetitions kill them. Find the optimal
    way to keep and preserve your capillaries and veins pipeline
    in a good shape, for old age.
    2) Don’t push it too hard, don’t try to impress anyone, including yourself. It doesn’t pay.
    3) Whatever u do, start your day with 1.5 cup of water, room temp, after morning activity and 30 min before breakfast, to flush the nightly toxicity.

    • Anthony A. says:

      My two hip joints are mechanical. Those new implants have me a new life at 77. My golf game is as good as it was at 50. Plus, I walk about 10,000 steps per day. Strange that I wore my hips out before my knees (knees still good). Maybe 20 years of steady running had something to do with that.

  30. Trucker guy says:

    Except Remington went the way of the free market. The most fitting and American death you could imagine. A pump and dump by capitalist greed.

    They were bought out by a financial company that gutted quality, fired the senior and knowledge labor, left the equipment to fail, and marked up their now faltering products. Suddenly nobody that knew anything wanted Remington junk and the company was sucked dry to be liquidated once it was formed into a zombie company. The American way. Now they’ve been bought out and their assets and brands disbursed to the highest bidder to resurrect the name and clean out what remaining value is there.

    In short, who cares. Tradition only matters if it is functional and necessary. And by the way every generation have been bemoaning the weakness or whatever of the current generation. A quick crack open of a history book will show Greek philosophers belly aching about the kids these days.

    The only constant is change. You can adapt to it or be left behind in nostalgia and misery wishing for something to come back that has died. Does anyone who isn’t mentally ill think that this generation of men in America will be the certain downfall of everything we’ve ever known? I shudder at the thought.

    The people leading and controlling this country aren’t the new generation of millenials. It’s the baby boomers… You know those good for nothing draft dodging hippies with their free love and drugs. ~”The greatest generation”
    Supposedly the country is on the verge of collapse at the hands of “sissy millennial manchildren” yet only near death geezers “from the good old days” are running the show. Curious…

    • drifterprof says:

      The U.S. military drafted 2.2 million American men out of an eligible pool of 27 million. “…more than half of the 27 million men eligible for the draft during the Vietnam War were deferred, exempted, or disqualified.”

      “…approximately 570,000 young men were classified as draft offenders, and approximately 210,000 were formally accused of draft violations…

      There were approximately 570,000 draft offenders, of some type or another. This is about 2% of the male boomers eligible for the draft at the time. Furthermore, free love and drug use were nothing compared to current culture. So such false generalizations about the boomer generation are misplaced anger.

      The year I was up for the draft, the lottery system, based on birthdate was applied. My queue number was 297 (out of 365) so no chance I would be drafted. However, I was radically against the war, so may have ended up a Canadian citizen.

      Lastly, describing people “running the show” as “near-death geezers” is a piss-poor way of analyzing the current sociocultural situation.

      • Trucker guy says:

        Way to completely miss the point. Everyone categorizes millennials as limp wristed whiney losers but suddenly when your generation gets accused of being hippy draft dodgers you have stats to shoot it down. The whole point is that each generation says the one after them is the absolute worst.

        Also if you look at stats on millennials and especially gen Z they are a bunch of asocial shut ins who don’t have sex or drink or do much of anything but sit on the internet in some form or fashion. So what is your made up point about how this generation doesn’t compare to the generation of free love where alcoholism, sex, and drug use surpasses the current one?

        Lastly, a quick look at the age demographics will show the average age of Congress is around 60 years old and sometimes higher. Pretty sure that means boomers and the generation after them. It isn’t millennials and definitely not gen z running the show. Any other fallacies you want me to clear up?

        • drifterprof says:

          “Everyone categorizes millennials as limp wristed whiney losers.”

          You start off with a ridiculous straw-dog fallacy in that false generalization. The rest of your spiel is more ridiculous generalizations that lack logical premises and coherence.

          You state: “Lastly, a quick look at the age demographics will show the average age of Congress is around 60 years old and sometimes higher. Pretty sure that means boomers and the generation after them.”

          Not arguing with that. What you wrote was:
          “…yet only near death geezers “from the good old days” are running the show.”

          Nice.

      • Swamp Creature says:

        drifterprof

        I don’t know where you are getting your numbers from but they don’t seem remotely connected with reality. The fact is every abled bodied male under the age of 26 was drafted during the Vietnam War. I was there and was drafted like everyone else, except those who got married, faked disqualifying health issues. and flat out draft dodgers. I got number 69 but was already enlisted under the delayed enlistment program, same as draft dodger Bill Clinton. I was against the Vietnam War and the way it was conducted but serve 3 years anyway and was the better off for it.

        • drifterprof says:

          Swamp Creature,

          You need to understand what “being drafted” means. It means that you are actually enlisted in the military. As I stated, about 2.2 million males were drafted out of ELIGIBLE pool of 27 million.

          Maybe you mean the law required everyone under the age of 26 to REGISTER for the draft.

  31. David W. Young says:

    This behavior may partially explain why Americans are springing for some very overpriced Used and New vehicles like there is no tomorrow. Can’t be seen driving an old ride with Cicada carcasses on it!! Freebies from Uncle Sam have also fueled this behavior.

    No surprise that mass transit is suffering, since Social Distancing will be a social behavior that stays with the American populace for many decades into the future. Deadly infectious bugs are a reality in a global community that just is not going away. And we never know if there is not some population culling strategy via unleashed germ warfare element to this whole deal! Conspiracy theories always have some roots in reality.

    But I think we will continue to see higher and higher petroleum prices going forward. It may not be because of continually higher demand from Get-Me-Out-Of-Dodge Americans since I think we are at the beginning of a rather severe economic downturn, but because oil exporters will see supply problems due to armed conflicts flaring back up, persistent supply chain constraints, or because they choose to use oil as a political weapon. Wouldn’t be the first time.

  32. CreditGB says:

    Air travel has become a pschitt show of epic proportions. They can have their sweaty cues, their searches, their iron maiden like seats, and all the rules they want to impose, but not my money any more.

    If I can’t drive there, I’m not going. Like pro sports and others, just another industry that has self destructed and is whining about their lost revenue.

    “See the USA in your Chevrolet”

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