Sunday, February 24, 2013

High Gas Prices

With prices hovering over $3.50 per gallon locally, I'm aware that we're below the national average of $3.78, but I'm also aware that I have to spend a certain amount of money each week simply to get back and forth to work, to run my errands, to take care of family.  That cost increases or decreases as the price of gasoline fluctuates.  When gas prices are high, I've got less money to spend elsewhere simply because I've got to have enough fuel to make a paycheck.  It's the one thing I notice as it rises and falls.  Apparently, I'm not the only one noticing.
The government regularly issues reports on unemployment, housing starts and manufacturers' output to track the economy's progress. But for the average person, the top economic indicator is the price he or she pays at the pump, experts said. And at a time of record-high gas prices -- combined with long-term joblessness, greater personal debt and paychecks reduced by higher taxes -- the consumers whose spending drives the economy are unwilling, or unable, to part with their money.
If President Obama wants us to feel better about the economy, if he wants to stimulate trade, the one single thing he could do that would have an immediate impact is to un-do the regulation that drives fuel prices.  I note that when Obama took office, gas prices were about $1.68 per gallon.  Today they're twice that.

I've got to have gasoline to get to work.  If I'm spending it at the pump, I'm not spending it for other things.


Old NFO said...

California this morning $4.43/gal regular... be happy...

BadgerMedic said...

Rrrr - $4.43? It averages $3.65 here in NC. Right now the commute to my current station is 12 miles roundtrip. Next month it jumps over 4 times longer to 52 miles.