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How much is too much to pay for fuel?

It amuses me to see all the threads about saving fuel and the price of fuel. Every time the price of fuel spikes, I make the point that paying $4/gallon is a bargain. A gallon of gas will move a 3,000 pound car 30 miles. If you had to push a 3,000 pound car 30 miles, I think you would consider paying $4 or even $5 to effortlessly move your car that far a bargain.

It occurred to me today one of the reasons for the high prices is unrest in the middle east, caused by democratic revolutions in Libya and Egypt, as well as other countries in the region. Don’t we stand for democracy? Isn’t this what we wanted in the Middle East, both on the left and on the right? Have we become so complacent we can’t sacrifice for the sake of democratic revolution in other countries?

Before anyone complains about the price of fuel, I ask that you consider this might be the sacrifice we make in support of democracy in the Middle East. If I have to pay an extra dollar per gallon so the people of Egypt can be free, I am cool with that. The instability we are seeing in the Middle East is a good thing! Viva la revolucion!

I lived in London and Amsterdam 1998 – 2000 and paid the equivalent of $7.00 US per gallon over ten years ago. Gas here in the US is cheap in comparison. Gas in US cities should be at least $5/gallon to subsidize public transportation. I had a car living in Europe, but it was great not having to use it. Rural areas are a different story.

Here’s hoping, regarding middle east democracies. But there’s the real possibility of eventual problems. Look at where democracy ended up in Iran. And I just saw this article a few minutes ago about extremist parties jumping into the democratic movement in Egypt:

Iran may have had a spark of democracy in their last revolution, but what they have now, under the current regime, isn’t democracy. It’s a mix it theocracy and tyranny. We saw that with the last elections.

You can bet if we had a revolution here in the U.S.A., the Christian Right would make its move to usurp as much power as it could. It will be interesting to see what happens in Egypt.

Democracy is flatly impossible…anytime you have more than about 50 people. We like to pretend…but we’re just fooling ourselves

As for fuel prices…anything you have to pay is way too much. It should all be free…

Though if I had to get serious - ok well I was being serious…But if I had to actually address the conversation, then I agree with Whitey. WalMart would like us all to believe that the only secret to all that is good in the world is “low prices.” (What is it? Spend less, live better or something). Markets know the price of everything and value of nothing. Of course, markets are as impossible as democracy, so even there we have to stretch it a lot to pretend we have one.

P.s. for those who like to have frivolous arguments about nothing, I was not meaning to somehow directly link WalMart & gas prices. Bringing Walmart into it was just about the “low price” = “good” mentality.

I agree…$4 or $5 per gallon is still a deal. At the hotel I work at, a while back I talked to a couple from the U.K. and they thought that the U.S. gas prices were a joke.

As a society we spend huge amounts of $ on stupid junk like fast food, cell phones, name brand clothing, and fountain soda @ a 300% mark up but you don’t see the price of that stuff hitting the front page.

It shouldn’t be cheap to have a car and if the rising cost of fuel discourages people from driving obnoxious SUVs that cost as much as a house, great! Maybe higher gas prices = people discouraged from driving as much = less traffic.

How much is too much? $8+

Why don’t we put the cost of fuel in perspective. We can all agree that on average a 20oz bottle of water costs $1.00, right? So, since there are 128oz in a gallon: 128/20=6.4 So by virtue of drinking drinking bottled water instead of tap one would be paying $6.40/gal for water. Now I know not everyone drinks bottles of water, but I bet some of the people out there complaining about gas prices are also the same people spending $6.40 for a gal of water.

Now, lets add a little more perspective to this. Tap water provided by the Cleveland devision of water is $12.58/MCF. And since 1 MCF=7500gal we can derive this calculat’ion: $12.58/7500=.17?/gal. Yes thats right 17 hundredths of a cent! I will concede that is for only the first MCF of each billing cycle (subsequent ones cost $26.90/MCF).

In short I agree, Viva La Revolucion! Gas prices aren’t that high when put into perspective.

The problem is not paying more to drive a car, it is paying more at groceries and the rest that gas prices raises to feed your family. In four years the price went up 150% here in NJ and I got 1.5% a year raise for 3 years and this year maybe zero. You have to be a magician to make it at $20 an hour without overtime. If the gas goes up to $5 most people where I work will need a job to keep my job, while people are making buckets of money with speculation, it is like license to steal.

It would take fuel prices of $9-$10 a gallon or so before I would consider getting an econobox. My commute is only 4 miles, so fuel prices don?t impact me quite as much as the might someone with a 50 mile commute.

It should be mentioned that the most recent spike in fuel prices is due to speculators more than anything. The very nanosecond a camel farts in the middle east, there will be a run on oil futures. The obvious way to combat this is simply to have a law that states if you buy a barrel of oil you must take physical delivery of the product before you can resell it. Normally I’m against tampering with the free market, but I think this situation warrants some attention.

And yes gas is still relatively cheap.

Agree; high fuel prices are partly a result of the "fear factor, about $20 per barrel, and a degree of speculation. At $85 per barrel, producers would be happy and the gas price would still be reasonable, unless the governments put on more taxes to reduce consumption.

When oil was $1.80 per barrel in the 60s, Swedes were charged $0.85 cents a gallon for gasoline (about $0.30 cents in the US then), mostly through higher taxes. Countries that have no oil have to make gas expensive to preserve their trade balance. The US is rapidly going in that direction, importing nearly 60% of its crude oil and refined fuels last year. Combine that with very high imports of manufactured goods (compared to EXPORTS of those in the past) and the choice is obvious. Im not even citing the environmental reasons to cut down on carbon based fuel consumption.

If there was a way for Boeing, Caterpillar, John Deere, Texas Instruments, and the US entertainment industry to offset those high imports, that would be nice. But don`t count on it.

that’s ridiculous. Do you buy gas prepackaged in 20 oz bottles?

One of the problems with high gas prices is the impact it has on lower income folks. Our society has been built on gas-powered mobility, so we are really stuck having to buy gas at whatever it costs. A family of four earning $30,000, and there are a lot of those, is really hard-pressed to spend $4/gal or more for gas.

It’s a double edge sword. Supporting regimes that feed our oil habits while at the same time allowing them the repress their own people has been and continues to be our normal operation procedure. We are in this position, much because of our own greed as well as our altruism. Draining Texas of easy access oil through two world wars to save the very counties we get our oil now from has no easy solutions.

But the energy hording and profiteering at all cost is not the way. National defense is not just bombs and planes; it’s education, self reliance and respect for others, regardless of their choice, but on the part of all and not just the average consumer.

I’m with you. But, while hundreds of American companies a year renounce their citizenship just to get a tax break so the upper 10 percent can increase our burden and more wealth flows from not only we here at home, but from those oppressed in foreign countries, I’m struggling to see the equity.

Our reluctance to support developing democracies in the past has more to do with “lost profits” in doing so then a reluctance to sacrifice by the average guy.
When the price of gas goes up Whitey; do we actually think that corporate America and its high value shareholders are sacrificing ? NO. It’s being passed on to us, widening the distance between the haves and the have nots both here and abroad.

With the passage of unrestrained corporate influence, we are in the process of loosing our freedoms to profit minded multinationals as those abroad are trying to gain theirs. Yes, I stand for democracy…but not corporate democracy where our decisions to support or not support others is made in corporate board rooms and not in the voting booth.
Board rooms where all men are created equal but some are more equal than others.

Who is to blame for your employer not giving you cost-of-living increases? You might blame the oil speculators, but I blame the Tea Partiers and everyone else who is willing to take away your collective bargaining rights.

That’s ridiculous. Gas prices haven’t created barriers to upward mobility. Gas prices haven’t eroded the rights of the lower and middle classes.

Like I suggested below, what’s the issue here, high gas prices, or flat income growth that hasn’t kept up with the cost of living? It’s easier to blame some faraway unseen oil speculator or CEO, but why not blame the politicians who have taken away your collective bargaining rights?

If there was a way for Boeing, Caterpillar, John Deere, Texas Instruments, and the US entertainment industry to offset those high imports, that would be nice. But don`t count on it.
That’s because these same companies profit from imports as much as the foreign companies they compete against. John Deere is as American as Toyota. They have been selling hardware here in the US, made in India for over 30 years. All these companies export jobs and factories over seas when ever it’s profitable to do so and NO ONE asks them to sacrifice as we the consumers do. People like Dick Cheney, CEO and spokes person of our democracy will continue to shoot his own and other’s mouths off as long as he gets healthcare as the bionic man, long after the rest of us and our healthcare benefits dwindle in the face of our “sacrifices”.

To answer your rhetorical question, no, I don’t think paying higher gas prices is helping the revolutionaries. It’s more of a side effect, but it’s one I think we should suffer willingly since we claim to support democracy. Seeing the corporate influence in elections grow (thanks to the Supreme Court), and the propaganda-fed Tea Party attack unions, shows we are going in the wrong direction.

Most people do not have and never have had “collective bargaining rights”. Apparently you are either missing my point, or you are far removed from the economic circumstances of tens of millions of people in this country.

I feel our problem is we are as a nation being duped into thinking solutions are where they are not. Had we years ago, increased the tax on gasoline and made demands upon the auto industry that we are reluctantly doing now we would still be paying 3.75 a gallon, but; Our roads would be in much better shape and 40 to 50 mpg in cars and trucks would be the norm with a net gain and the pinch would not be felt.

The tea party is showing it’s stripes when they preach fiscal responsibility to get elected and spend the majority of their time and effort supporting NON equal rights issues when the elections are over. I am always amazed how people can support those who actual work against their own well being when it comes to the issues, just because they talk tough.

As pointed out, it’s not just the increased expense to propel your personal transportation. Virtually everything else goes up accordingly. We moved away from railroads to trucking goods around the country. The cost to make certain plastic parts and other petroleum based products, the cost for farmers to tend their fields and transport goods to market and on and on. If it was just our cars, not as big a deal.

I don’t care if it costs a million dollars a gallon elsewhere. Wages for many people are marginal at best and based on the prevailing, historical costs in this country. Any wage increases for cost of living will significantly lag the abrupt spike in fuel prices and many simply cannot afford it.

Apparently you are either missing my point, or you are far removed from the economic circumstances of tens of millions of people in this country.

Neither is the case. Your assumption is incorrect. My father had collective bargaining rights, as did his whole generation. If you don’t have collective bargaining rights, it’s only because you allowed them to be taken away, or you haven’t chosen to assert them.