Tuesday, October 08, 2019

A tale of two expensive places

It's a staple of conversation here on Martha's Vineyard: everything just costs SO much.

And there's truth to that. After all, this is an island. Most everything in stores here has to be brought in by boat or perhaps airplane.

Moreover, the island thrives on a summer tourist economy: visitors come here, many on day trips by ferry, to play and to spend. Naturally the local people understand they should set prices to capture as much of that play money as possible.

As well, some -- though by no means all -- of the seasonal residents here are among East Coast society's winners. There's nothing wrong with expecting those people with their yachts and McMansions to shell out.

There's a strong local agricultural economy, but locally grown food carries boutique prices since it has to support a short growing season and the high labor costs of a place with hardly any cheap housing.

And yet, and yet, to a San Franciscan, this island is an oasis of low gas prices!

Here's what I paid yesterday to fill up:

And here's what ABC News shows my California neighbors are paying at the moment:
Oh, I imagine careful shoppers in the Bay Area can do better, but not by that much. And a lot of the California price goes to infrastructure improvements and climate change mitigation.

But it is still a little amazing to realize I've dropped into a low gas price location.

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