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.