Friday, May 23, 2008

Quit Your Bitchin' About Gas Prices!

Robert Bryce has a piece at www.Slate.com (the best d@mn read on the internet), that encapsulates my feelings about gas prices, which is essentially that everybody should quit complaining because we've been spoiled. To summarize why we're lucky:

1) Gas only costs 20% more than it did EIGHTY-SIX YEARS AGO.

2) Gas is cheaper by the gallon than beer ($11) or Starbucks ($23).

3) In 1975, gas was 33.4% of the total car ownership cost (gas, financing, licensing, taxes, insurance, and maintenance). Now gas is only 17% because all the fixed costs have jumped fivefold.

4) Americans only reduce oil consumption after prolonged "high" prices. This year will be the first in seventeen to show a decline in gas consumption.

5) Small car sales increased 17% in April while SUV sales fell 30%, which is good for the environment. In addition, Nissan is going to sell an electric car in America because (listen up, free marketeers)..."the shifts from the markets are more powerful than what regulators are doing." (Of course, since the regulators aren't doing anything, I guess this isn't too impressive, is it?)

6) We should all be glad we're not Brits, and not just because their food is bland. They're paying $8.38/gallon. American has the second-lowest gas prices among the 32 industrialized nations.

So, in short, Jill Long-Thompson, Hillary Clinton, or John McCain shouldn't cut our gas taxes until people first move closer to their jobs, ditch their SUVs, dust of their bikes, and keep their hands off of our wildlife preserves as a quickie fix. Only true energy independence will allow us to handle the Middle East in the way we should, not the way we HAVE TO.


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6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree with most of what this article says but............when I started driving gasoline cost about 25 cents a gallon....that was not 86 years ago and represents a lot large increase of 20%. Other than that, he made some very good points.

iPOPA said...

Twenty-five cents a gallon? You lucky (insert one of Cheney's favored expletives here).

Anonymous said...

My very first job in 1972 was as a 16 year old gas station attendant. Gas was 21.9 cents a gallon, we pumped it for you, washed your windshield, checked your oil, and gave you trading stamps that you could use to get free gas when you collected enough. Of course, I did all that for $1.60 an hour. Everything is relative, however, since an ice cream cone at the Dairy Queen next door was 10 cents and you could get a burger, fries, and coke for less than a dollar at the Burger Chef. At it's current price of $3.99 a gallon the price of gasoline is almost 20 times more than it was in that summer of '72.

Local Lawyer

Anonymous said...

I don't drink Starbucks coffee for that very reason. But I don't have a choice on gasoline.

Anonymous said...

IPOPA, the tradeoff for buying 25 cents a gallon gasoline is that you keep getting mailings from AARP to become a member.....the other posting didnt mention that while all of the things he mentioned that they also checked the air in your tires and added some if necessary.

mikeyc252 said...

20%? Gas increases 20% in a couple months.

Let's face it, American work and hobby culture is built around cheap gas. You can't change culture easily, but if gas prices won't budge, it will.