I believe there should be balance and judgement in economics. Personal needs and available economic resources guide the decisions of all. It may not be an economic “imperative”, but to a lot of us “regular folk”, with gas in the $2.70 a gallon range, it makes sense on a personal level to conserve some and not just throw money away. I could afford it, but I am not going to go out and buy a Hummer; neither am I going to buy a Smart Car or a $70,000 pick-up truck.
At 2.70 gas is cheaper than it was fifty years ago.