Want to measure Americans’ mood? Go to the gas pump.
When the average American sees gasoline prices go up, he realizes he has less money for other necessities and entertainment. Combine higher gas prices with the average American’s stagnant pay and rising health care costs, and the family budget takes a beating!
This year a typical family spent $4,155 filling up … 8.4% of what the median family takes in. It’s the highest share of the family budget since 1981.
When gas prices drop, it puts billions of dollars into Americans’ pockets … which they either spend or save.
I don’t advocate artificial controls on gas prices, though I think we should look at speculation in the crude oil market’s impact on the prices we all pay.
The impact of gasoline prices is much less for the wealthy … and for our rulers in Washington. They don’t feel any pain at all.
Our thought for today is from William Ellery Channing:
“Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict.”