** I wrote this blog post a while back and chickened out of actually publishing it. But a recent story about a gas attendant being dragged to his death while chasing a man stealing gas reminded me that it’s something worth putting out there.
Last night, Global News covered a story about people stealing gas from gas pumps. It included many interviews with people on the street who sympathized with gas stealers because gas is so expensive.
One person said that she could understand why people were stealing gas because they probably just can’t afford it.
If you can’t afford gas, you can’t afford to drive. And you should probably take the bus. I realize some neighbourhoods don’t make this possible but a personal vehicle is a luxury – not a right. I can’t afford to eat at restaurants all the time. I choose to stay in rather than dash and dine.
If you need to drive to work and you can’t afford to drive – you can’t afford that job.
Another person thought stealing was justified because the price consumers pay for gas doesn’t reflect how much gas actually costs.
So many products are marked-up in stores. I really, really want a MacBook Air. But I think the price is exorbitant compared to other laptops. I also know that it costs pennies to make in some horrible Foxconn facility. But I can’t justify stealing one either.
Because it’s wrong to steal. And it’s not the corporate giants that lose out when you steal. It’s the little people like you and I making average wages who see their bonuses get docked at Christmas. It’s the gas station attendants who lose their paycheck.
Is gas too expensive? I don’t know. It’s still cheaper than coffee – even though it’s not renewable like coffee. Either way, stealing isn’t the answer. Write a politician. Stand outside Esso headquarters with a sign. Create an awesome YouTube video labeling Big Oil as the next Kony. Ride a bike. All great options that won’t get you arrested*.
Can you justify stealing from gas pumps for these reasons?
* Unless you’re naked outside of Esso HQ.