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Gas is "cheap"
Old 06-15-2005, 06:25 PM   #1
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Gas is "cheap"

From a local newspaper (I wonder who funded the study!):

Despite the hike, gas still a bargain

Does filling up the car leave you fuming these days? And you don't give a hoot how much the Europeans pay, right?

To offer some perspective this summer driving season, energy research firm John S. Herold Inc. researched consumer price growth for some common products and concluded that regular unleaded remains a true bargain for Americans.

Since 1982, the increase in gas prices is 25 percent lower than food costs, 50 percent less than housing, 70 percent less than medical costs and 80 percent below the surge in college tuition costs, according to Houston-based Herold.

And consider the increases in concert tickets, Major League Baseball or college tuition.

An outing to the average professional baseball game -- including tickets, parking, food, drinks, programs and baseball caps -- costs $164.43 for a family of four, according to the Fan Cost Index, compiled by Team Marketing Report. That's nearly 70 percent higher than a decade ago.
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Re: Gas is "cheap"
Old 06-15-2005, 06:53 PM   #2
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Re: Gas is "cheap"

What did they say about the increase in take-home pay for the average American over the same period?

Wouldn't that be the number to compare to?

Caroline
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Re: Gas is "cheap"
Old 06-15-2005, 07:31 PM   #3
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Re: Gas is "cheap"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroline
What did they say about the increase in take-home pay for the average American over the same period?

Wouldn't that be the number to compare to?

Caroline
Good question... This isn't take home pay... but income as reported by the Census Bureau

http://www2.census.gov/prod2/popscan/p60-142.pdf
1982: Median Household income 20170

http://www.census.gov/prod/2002pubs/p60-218.pdf
2001: Median Household income 42228

http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/incom.../statemhi.html
(3 year Average Median) (2001-2003)
Median Household income 43,527

That appears to be ~115% increase to me. (from 20170 to 43527)
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Re: Gas is "cheap"
Old 06-15-2005, 07:33 PM   #4
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Re: Gas is "cheap"

One of these days we will here that same dribble from the good folks in Washington. *Yup, vote for me look what I did--gave you a bargain at the pump.
Actually, I do have some grip on the supply and demand concept, but I get a little fussy when the CEO of 7/11 gets all giddy about how they have been able to squeeze us for several extra pennies over and above their normal profit margin.
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Re: Gas is "cheap"
Old 06-16-2005, 08:16 AM   #5
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Re: Gas is "cheap"

I wonder if the airline industry feels the same way about the fuel costs.
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Re: Gas is "cheap"
Old 06-16-2005, 09:27 AM   #6
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Re: Gas is "cheap"

Nords may be on to something.

I plugged the price of regular gas in 1967 ($0.25 per gallon in California, I remember stuff like that) into my trusty Westegg inflation calculator.

Price today should be $1.42 if it had stayed the same in real terms.

Given that gas around NY costs $2.50 a gallon today, clearly it is up in real terms.

However, if you lived in pretty much any other developed country, you'd say our gas here was cheap. In fact you might have a few choice words about Americans driving pickup trucks, SUVs and Winnebagos.
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Re: Gas is "cheap"
Old 06-16-2005, 11:02 AM   #7
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Re: Gas is "cheap"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
From a local newspaper (I wonder who funded the study!):
Fifty bucks says theres an oil company or related lobby group attached to the tail end of this dog.

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Re: Gas is "cheap"
Old 06-16-2005, 08:28 PM   #8
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Re: Gas is "cheap"

The lowest pried gasoline I've ever purchased was $0.25/gal.

I recently purchased gasoline for $2.10/gal.

1970 v. 2005

According to my trusty calculator, that's a 6.3% annual inflation rate.

How much has the CPI (yeah, yeah, CPI, grumble, grumble) increased since 1970?
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Re: Gas is "cheap"
Old 06-16-2005, 08:34 PM   #9
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Re: Gas is "cheap"

http://www.westegg.com/inflation/infl.cgi

according to the above link 25 cents in 1970 would be equal to $1.26 today
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Re: Gas is "cheap"
Old 06-16-2005, 08:45 PM   #10
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Re: Gas is "cheap"

UPDATE:

Sorry, but I just lost the link with this information so you'll have to trust me

In 1960 the average price of a gallon of gasoline was 25 cents. Lower in some places like Goober's Fillin' Station in Mayberry. Higher in The Naked City, or on 77 Sunset Strip. That would be $1.58 today

In 1970 the average price of a gallon o' gas was 34 cents. Today that would be $1.66 which is pretty close to where the price was, say prior to 2 yrs ago, before all this sudden escalation of price wasn't it? I only top off my tank maybe twice a year so I never really look at the price anyway.
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Re: Gas is "cheap"
Old 06-16-2005, 08:50 PM   #11
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Re: Gas is "cheap"

I remember gas being around $0.32 cents most places when I first started driving, in 1970. But for a short time, in Seymour, In., at a Gulf station, it was twenty-four nine. That's when "gas war" had an entirely different meaning...
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Re: Gas is "cheap"
Old 06-16-2005, 09:07 PM   #12
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Re: Gas is "cheap"

For me the lowest price was when I started driving in '92 - 99 cents a gallon.
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Re: Gas is "cheap"
Old 06-16-2005, 09:13 PM   #13
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Re: Gas is "cheap"

Quote:
For me the lowest price was when I started driving in '92 - 99 cents a gallon.
Go to your room!
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Re: Gas is "cheap"
Old 06-16-2005, 10:02 PM   #14
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Re: Gas is "cheap"

razztazz,
either you have a very big tank or you're doing some serious bicycling -- tell us more.
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Re: Gas is "cheap"
Old 06-16-2005, 10:11 PM   #15
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Re: Gas is "cheap"

Quote:
Originally Posted by razztazz
UPDATE:I only top off my tank maybe twice a year so I never really look at the price anyway.
Holy cow. Why do you keep the car? It would seem that if you couldn't beg a*ride on the few occasions you need one, a cab or rental would be very cheap compared to owning a car.

Do you live in Manhatten or Boston or similar?

Haha
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Re: Gas is "cheap"
Old 06-16-2005, 10:27 PM   #16
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Re: Gas is "cheap"

I live in Omaha Nebraska. I used to be Warren Buffett's driver and when I retried he let me keep the car.
Just kidding!

I live in a very convenient area. Hell, there's a Walmart right across the street and a Target about a mile away. Shopping plazas, restaurants, banks. And I hate to travel. Hate it! And of course, I don't drive to work anymore.

Yes I know it sounds pretty screwy to keep the car but hey, when you need it you need it! And I have many medical problems the past 6 yrs so was always better to drive a mile than to walk a mile. Besides it's a 1993 Dodge Shadow so it cost's nothing to insure (liability only) and tune up (every other year). And peanuts to register every year. Like 25 bucks. If I ever buy a new car it will cost hundreds to register every year till it gets old. My next car will be something that has a crappy resale value so I can clear the books with that regsitration fee asap.

Back to Warren. When I'd tell people I'm retired ( moved here at age 39 about a yr after leaving the Air Force) people always say "How could you retire so young?" I used to tell them, "As a teenager I mowed Warren Buffett's lawn and he paid me and my brother very well". You'd be surprised how many people simply belived that as if it made perfect sense.
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Re: Gas is "cheap"
Old 06-16-2005, 10:55 PM   #17
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Re: Gas is "cheap"
Old 06-17-2005, 01:27 AM   #18
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Re: Gas is "cheap"

Quote:
Originally Posted by razztazz
Go to your room!
Amen brother...I remember 59c just before the '79 embargos...
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Re: Gas is "cheap"
Old 06-17-2005, 10:13 AM   #19
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Re: Gas is "cheap"

The thing is, inflation adjustments aside, 99cents felt cheap. We teenagers would drive around L.A. because that was cheaper than any other activity. My allowance was $20 a week, and that kept my tank full and fed me all the Taco Bell I wanted. Probably the richest I ever felt!
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Re: Gas is "cheap"
Old 06-17-2005, 11:39 AM   #20
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Re: Gas is "cheap"

When I started driving in 1963 a gallon of gas was 35c but I was making $3/hr so it took 7 min of work to "earn" a gallon of gas.

Before the '73 embargo gas was still about the same but I was up to $7/hr so it only took 3.5 min to earn a gallon.

Between '74 and '94 gas bounced between 50c and $1.50, I made more like $25/hr in '94 (2.4 min for a gallon of $1 gas).

Now in 2005 gas is about $2 and I make $30/hr - back up to 4 min. to pay for a $2 gallon. It would have to go up to $3.50/gal to be as expensive for me as it was in 1963.

BTW the cheapest gas I've ever seen is 24.9c/gal in Kansas in 1972.
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