Rant of the Week: I paid $62 to fill my 18-gallon tank with gas on Thursday in New Jersey. With $4-a-gallon gas around the corner (I hear it's already here for premium in California), I have only one question: Where's the outrage? Why are our elected officials doing nothing -- nothing that any of us can see -- about it? I can afford gas, but how about the people who cannot? I can't believe we just let things like this happen in our society.
Let's take this apart sequentially. Now, my guess is that Mr. King is one of those people who thinks high gas prices can be traced directly to the war in Iraq. That's not it. Most of what we in the United States see as the increasing price of oil is actually the declining worth of the dollar. Debase the currency long enough -- in our case, for the last 4+ years -- and sooner or later people aren't going to be so happy about cashing your checks.
So if you want to bring down oil prices, stop the run on the dollar. (Which means maybe stop cutting interest rates so fast, dudes.)
As for the second part, what does Mr. King propose our elected officials do? We already sent Cheney to go beg OPEC to produce more oil. That didn't work. Should we be looking at price controls? Tapping the strategic oil reserve during an election year to suppress prices and keep people happy? (Who would ever suggest that...)
Of course, it's the last part that's really maddening. Yes, high gas prices do suck. They suck especially for industries like trucking and air travel.
But gas prices aren't that high. Check out this chart that shows real (not nominal, meaning they factor in inflation) gas prices for the last 90 or so years. Yes, gasoline is more expensive than it has been recently. But we're not looking at some crazy, never-seen-before peak.
And as for the people who "cannot" afford gas?
How do they afford cars?