There are lots of things that stick in my craw and one of them is when I hear the numbskulls and dimwits in the MSM blather on about relief at the pump when gas prices drop a few cents over a couple week period. They tout this as proof that the consumer will soon have gobs of discretionary dollars to start buying more igadgets. I don’t know about you, but I need to fill my gas tank up every damn week. Gas prices rise and gas prices fall, but the only thing that matters is the average price you pay from year to year. Below is a chart that details the average monthly price for a gallon of regular gas going back to 1990. Think about this chart when Bernanke tells you inflation is well contained. You might notice that you were paying an average price of $1.42 per gallon from 2000 through 2002. Then our friend Bush decided to make the world safe for democracy. Well done Georgie.
Now let’s deal with reality. The average price over the last few years has been:
2006 – $2.57
2007 – $2.80
2008 – $3.25
2009 – $2.34
2010 – $2.78
2011 – $3.52
2012 – $3.67
So enough with the bullshit. We have paid the highest average price in the history of the country for a gallon of gas in 2012. The previous highest average price in history was last year. These prices are much higher than 2008 when oil spiked to $140 per barrel. Now put on your thinking caps. Our gasoline usage has dropped significantly since 2007, but we are paying 31% more for a gallon of gas. We were paying under $1.00 per gallon in 1999. I’d like all the peak oil deniers to explain the 267% increase in gas prices since 1999.
We know for a fact that real median household income has fallen by $4,000 since 2007. If the average household drives 20,000 miles per year and gets 25 mpg from their vehicles, then they are buying 800 gallons of gas per year. These households are paying $1,000 more per year than they did in 2009. They are paying $1,800 more per year than they were in 2002, before we began our never ending wars in the Middle East.
The moronic pundits and shill economists can’t seem to understand why the economy continues to suck and the middle class is slowly and methodically being wiped out. It may have something to do with the combo of declining income and the highest energy costs in history.
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Contributed by James Quinn of The Burning Platform.
James Quinn is a senior director of strategic planning for a major university. James has held financial positions with a retailer, homebuilder and university in his 25-year career. Those positions included treasurer, controller, and head of strategic planning. He is married with three boys and is writing these articles because he cares about their future. He earned a BS in accounting from Drexel University and an MBA from Villanova University. He is a certified public accountant and a certified cash manager. Visit The Burning Platform for news, commentary and humor.