Gas Consuption

I recently read in an economics magazine that despite the inflated gas prices Americans don’t seem to be curbing their consuming ways.
American lifestyles remain relatively unaltered. Large automobiles still dominate and vacationing remains unaffected.

Back in the 70’s a similar rise in prices caused panic.
Today there is no comparable reaction.

Experts claim that an added 10% rise will eventually result in a reaction.

What can be the cause of this phenomenon?
Are Americans, as representative of western man, so attached to the image of the automobile and has this technology been so ingrained in the psyche of western man that he cannot function without it?

The common belief that there are ‘innocent victims’ to terrorism is confronted with the idea that we all participate and therefore contribute to all actions and subsequent reactions.

Gas is cheap.

That’s pretty much it, in a nutshell.

  1. Due in large to my particular geographic region, No, I could not fuction without an automobile.

  2. I have ‘reacted’ to an extent: I cringe at the tought of buying gas, and I drive as seldom as possible. Yet, truth be told, even if I drove as often as I wanted, the current gas prices only amount to maybe an extra ten or fifteen bucks a week. If I’d just quit smoking I’d get that money back three-fold. Now if gas was five or six dollars a gallon, I’d guarentee you’d see the reaction you’re looking for. These prices however, while certainly inconvenient, are only marginally ‘high’, imo.

I don’t own a car.

I ride my bike everywhere.

Only thing that is really tough is grocery shopping. And rainy days. I hate being wet at work all day. But the bus usually is good enough to save me on those days.

Don’t higher gas prices have affects on all prices?

Pretty much. anything that is transported by motorised means.

Given that I run a pawnshop, I have the opportunity to deal with those on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder. I assure you, they are struggling with higher gas prices. Ultimately higher prices will be reflected in all business. Inflation is still relatively low, but it will inexorably have to creep up along with attendent interest rate increases. We cannot borrow ourselves into prosperity, although Americans seem oblivious to that fact. We seem to have forgotten the mid 80’s with 20% interest rates and double digit inflation. There isn’t going to be any big doom and gloom crash, but there is a pretty good fender bender on its way…

pffft, tentative has no idea what he’s saying …

I can borrow until my fingers bleed from signing credit card applications and loan applications … forever and ever …

Well, at least until the kids are old enough that I can just be declared “too senile to function independently” and then all my debt will just transfer to them and poof … no more debt problem.

See, America’s economy works fine: If you can’t afford the lifestyle, borrow against it, and then leave it to the next generation, it’s their problem …

You’re right tentative … there’s a rainbow at the end!!! I can be too negative … this is definitely a plus for American intelligence and ingenuity.

A friend of mine used the strategy of maxing-out his credit cards – he had collected a dozen or so before-hand – and then declaring bankruptcy.
He called it his “rebellion against the system and the moral stigma associated with bankruptcy".
He’s willing to take the 7 year loss of credit ratings and the 9 month probation, afterwards.

But, I think, in the U.S. this is no longer possible.
Didn’t Bush sign a law limiting bankruptcies?

Yes, we have new bankruptcy laws that limit how much can be written off on credit card debt so that what your friend did is no longer as attractive as it once was. This allows the credit card companies to continue giving cards to those least capable of paying themselves out of debt. Mastriani is right that Americans seem to be more than willing to let their great-grandchildren suport their spending habits. Is there a point where the wheels fall off the wagon? I’m sure there is, but everyone seems to be betting on the come, so…

Gas prices in the USA are cheap. I live in Los Angeles now but I am English…prices over there are about $10 a gallon and most americans complain about it being over $3

The price of gasoline in the US peaked at $2.05 in 1981. It should have been a wake-up call, but the consumer/public is short sighted and weak willed, so it was not heeded. That price adjusted for inflation since then would be about $4.67. Gas today is still, relatively, very cheap. So cheap that people buy gas-guzzlers instead of fuel-efficient cars. Its difficult to feel sorry for those who complain today.

The only conclusion I can reach from all of this is that the oil companies are in a secret conspiracy to keep gasoline prices artificially low.


Faust, I’m growing quite fond of your posting style.


I’m trying to make it to “number one” on your Social Sciences list.

I don’t know… you’d have to be greater than Superman p.I. M. P.
Are you the bat man?


No. But it’s good to have goals, even if they cannot be reached. I cannot seem to give a complete epistemological or political theory in one sentence or fragment thereof, so perhaps there is no hope.

Well, Imp’s brilliance is hard to duplicate…


Personally, I would like to see gas prices at ten dollars/gallon here. Then and only then would the Amerikan public get the point, and start demanding alternative energy sources to break the cycle …

Hydrogen economy anyone?

Sign me up. :slight_smile: