Wednesday, May 23, 2007

About those 'high' gas prices

Loathe as I am to even address "high" gas prices, the stories just don't seem to go away.
Yes, it sucks paying $3.45/$3.55/$3.65/Diesel $2.99 a gallon, but it's like when your cable bill goes up. It only sucks because it's an additional expenditure compared to what we're used to.

Found an interesting article, written by the Cato Institute, that ran in Investor's Business Daily in May 2006 and does a pretty good - though slightly eye-glazing - job of putting current gas prices into perspective.

Its basic point is that prices, as a percentage of disposable income, are actually lower today than in 1981, and at other times in the last 50 years when we might have thought gas was so much "cheaper."

Meanwhile, the media keep trotting out stories about how gas prices are "at an all-time high," without telling us that gas prices have almost ALWAYS been at an "all-time high." The Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration (EIA) has an interesting table of statistics tracking gas prices since 1992. Note the peaks and valleys regardless of administration, with the final spike above $3/gallon really only coming in May 2007.

Interesting to bear in mind for those accusing President Bush of being too dumb to tie his own shoes but yet somehow behind this massive collusion in the oil industry. I'll believe gas prices are too high when people stop buying premium.

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