The real cost of gasoline

The real cost of gasoline

Remember a few months ago I blogged on the fact that gas prices today are lower than they were twenty years ago in comparison to median household income? As a layman, not an economist, I thought I did a decent job.

Of course, here’s an economist who does a better job, but comes to about the same conclusion. In fact, according to her data, the ratio of the price of a gallon of gas to medium household income has declined by about half. But since economics education is so poor in this country, it’s not a surprise that most people don’t understand that. All they see is “price go up, more money out of pocket”.

She also tells you exactly why oil prices rise and fall and what’s causing the present spike. It might not be what you think it is: environmental regulations, taxes, China’s rising demand, uncertainty in the Middle East, Venezuela, and Africa, and “expectations of future scarcity relative to demand and risk.”

Notice what is not on that list: Bush and Cheney funneling money to their greedy oil buddies who are gouging consumers.

But don’t believe me. Read the professor, and check her data. She’s the expert.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
  • I think using “household income” rather than “per capita income” skews the data at least slightly.

    I imagine that over the past 25 years some (maybe a lot) of the real-dollar increase in household income has actually come from the emergence of more two-earner families, separate from wage increases.

    But I grant the general point.

  • >>Kucinich wants to impose a 100% profit tax on oil companies.  Genius<<

    My congressman (in California Bay Area), has proposed a $5 per gallon gas tax in response to the high gas prices. Guess he wants to force us to stop driving or to become more like the Europeans.

  • What is unchristian about “joe sixpack”? It’s a generic term to describe an average guy. It’s a very common term and I even heard it used in my theology classes to talk about your average Catholic—as opposed to pointy-headed intellectuals.

    Has political correctness gone too far again?

  • “What is unchristian about “joe sixpack”?”

    Come on Dom, get with it… the term obviously is not very inclusive. Is Joe straight or gay? What about “Jane sixpack”? Is he Irish? African-American? Mongolian? Is it a sixpack of beer or diet soda?