Gas too high? Aw, stop griping

As gasoline prices creep up, I keep waiting for some clown to complain about how he's getting hosed at the pump.


Put aside the fact that gasoline is still cheaper than many brands of bottled water. Give me two reasons why that should be true. For Pete's sake, we refine crude oil into resins that we turn into plastic bottles for water we import from Fiji. This makes sense?

But more important, we're not getting hit in the wallet the way we did back in the era of gas lines.

Consider this stat, which William Strauss, senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, delivered at a recent Society of Automotive Analysts meeting.

Even with today's higher gas prices, average household spending on energy is about 6 cents per $1 of household income. That's below the average of 6.7 cents for the last half a century.

The figure peaked above 9 cents, but below a dime per dollar of income, in the 1980s.

Nobody likes paying more for something. But let's not pretend this is the worst of times.

ATTENTION COMMENTERS: Automotive News has monitored a significant increase in the number of personal attacks and abusive comments on our site. We encourage our readers to voice their opinions and argue their points. We expect disagreement. We do not expect our readers to turn on each other. We will be aggressively deleting all comments that personally attack another poster, or an article author, even if the comment is otherwise a well-argued observation. If we see repeated behavior, we will ban the commenter. Please help us maintain a civil level of discourse.

Email Newsletters
  • General newsletters
  • (Weekdays)
  • (Mondays)
  • (As needed)
  • Video newscasts
  • (Weekdays)
  • (Weekdays)
  • (Saturdays)
  • Special interest newsletters
  • (Thursdays)
  • (Tuesdays)
  • (Monthly)
  • (Monthly)
  • (Wednesdays)
  • (Bimonthly)
  • Special reports
  • (As needed)
  • (As needed)
  • Communication preferences
  • You can unsubscribe at any time through links in these emails. For more information, see our Privacy Policy.