24 Jun 2004 Gas Prices Are About More Than Saudi Arabia
Correspondent Edward Kitsch recommends this fine article by former Delaware Governor Pete DuPont of the National Center for Policy Analysis in today’s Wall Street Journal putting all the “gasoline prices are rising” news media stories in perspective.
…in spite of what you read in the paper — outrageous gasoline prices entered into Google gets you 15,000 links — its current inflation-adjusted price of $2 a gallon is about its median price over its 85-year existence, and with the exception of the 1980s spike, it has been steadily declining over the decades.
Better still, improving technology has increased the number of miles one can drive on a gallon of gasoline, to 22 in 2000 from about 13.5 in the early 1970s . So the cost of gasoline per mile driven has fallen nearly in half, from more than 13 cents to a bit more than seven cents. Meanwhile median income for a family of four (in inflation-adjusted dollars) has increased to more than $63,000 today from less than $46,000 in the 1970s.
The article contains a lot more of interest.
As a side note, the next time I hear a broadcast media report that gas prices are higher I think I might scream. The fact that gas prices have increased led the local radio news stories in DC today — despite the fact that they’ve been reporting this story for over a week!
It would be different if they added new information to the story each day, but they don’t.. It is always the same thing: Gas prices are over $2! People don’t like it! And then they invariably talk about OPEC, as if OPEC production levels were only factor involved in the pricing of gasoline.
As Pete DuPont’s article shows, there’s a lot we Americans could do if we really care to reduce the price of gas at the pump. This isn’t all about Saudi Arabia.