Americans Change Habits, Blame Others For High Gas Prices

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
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americans change habits blame others for high gas prices

Consumer Reports have a brand-spankety new survey out, and it says that Americans can tell that gas is expensive. Oh yeah, and that they might do something about it. Survey says that four-dollar gas™ has 79 percent of us car-shopping Yanks wanting a "car with better fuel economy," and 74 percent driving less to keep costs down. Even though the respondent-identified $4.32 per gallon "tipping point when drivers would further drastically curtail driving" is only upon those of us on the left coast, a full 80 percent of prospective buyers are considering a "diesel, flex-fuel, or hybrid vehicle." Too bad those numbers aren't broken down between those three very different options. So America has taken notice of pricey gas, but the real question is who do Americans blame? And the answers are as unimaginative as you might expect, with the federal government (77 percent), oil companies (75 percent), foreign oil producers (70 percent), and Middle East conflict (68 percent), taking the rap for pain at the pump. When asked what the feds should do to fix the mess, 90 percent say "increase support for alternative energy development", 84 percent say "negotiate lower prices with oil-exporting nations", 83 percent say "encourage conservation through tax incentives for alternative transportation", while 81 percent want to "allow more drilling in the U.S. and offshore." Interestingly, "Putin-style nationalization of oil firms" and "wholesale invasion of the middle east" weren't polled, suggesting there might not be convenient solutions to scapegoats number two, three and four.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Anonymous Anonymous on Jun 27, 2008

    The Federal Reserve does set the Fed Fund Rate, the rate that banks pay to borrow money. How can they possibly do this except through the authorization of more money in the economy? I'm not talking printed money; money does not need to be printed to exist. When a bank borrows $10 million dollars from the Federal Reserve Bank at 2.5%, they don't actually receive a shipment of $10 million paper dollars; it is just electronically transferred. The paper money kept in the vault is a totally seperate process. I am sure that you are aware of this,as I am aware that long-term interest rates (mortgages) are set by the bond markets. But, could you explain how the Federal Reserve can set a low interest rate and not increase the money supply. The lower the rate, the more money banks will borrow with the intent of loaning it out at a profit to individuals and businesses.

  • Nonce Nonce on Jun 27, 2008
    If supply is static and demand is now falling Demand in the US is falling. Demand worldwide is growing. And oil is a global product.
  • Beelzebubba Beelzebubba on Jun 27, 2008
    Robstar : June 27th, 2008 at 10:24 am I am seriously thinking of picking up an 2004 ninja 250 if I find out it gets better gas mileage than my current bike. Should be fun and something easy to hand down to my brother who is currently working on his m/l class. Hey Robstar- I just sold my best friend's bike for him because he never gets to ride it. He lives on the road at least five days each week and drives a company-provided Ford Fusion (SEL V6, leather, not bad for a freebie) and they cover gas for it, too. So his bike never gets used except the occaisonal weekend ride and he asked me to find a buyer for it. The funny thing is that the bike is a 2004 Kawasaki Ninja 250R! Pricing guides consider up to 6800 miles average for an '04 under-350cc, but his only had 2200 on it and was in as-new condition. Retail value on KBB shows $2230, so I priced it at $2000 and hoped it would sell... I posted it on Craiglist at 8:30 on Wedsnewsday night and by 10:00 on Thursday morning I had almost 30 email inquiries and 12 voicemails! By 2pm, I had the $2k in hand and the bike had a new home. I was NOT prepared for that sort of response, but it's clear that bikes an increasingly hot commodity much like econocars. I should have asked a little more....but the buyer was an 18-yr old kid and this was his first bike, so at least I did a good deed by pricing it where I did... I wonder if you build any good karma for accidental/unintentional acts of kindness? =)
  • Beelzebubba Beelzebubba on Jun 28, 2008

    I respect every individual's right to hold their own views and opinions and to speak freely as long as it doesn't impede any other individual from doing the same. It doesn't mean I'll like it or agree with it...but everybody deserves the right to run their mouth. In other words, I support your right to "dish it out", but you're most likely going to have to "take it" in return. Turn about and all that... I can't stand Dubya and am often dumbfounded when I spend much time thinking just how much damage his administration has caused or allowed over these last eight years! The knee-jerk reaction for a lot of voters will be to vote for ANYTHING that is different from the current administration- in their simplistic, ill-informed naivety rejecting all things Republican will make it all better. We have the most 'moderate' Republican candidate of my lifetime (33yrs) on the ballot and I'm ecstatic about the possiblities but also terrified that enough Americans could be foolish enough to squander our country's greatest hope! He has the intelligence, common sense and most importantly- the BALLS to get us back on the road to recovery! The sheer number of Obama-supporters who are "blind sheep" literally keeps me up at night terrified of how tragically wrong things could go in November. I have read/heard at least three different reports in the last few days citing that the majority of Hillary supporters are undecided now that she is out of the race. Their support didn't automatically transfer to Obama as many expected. Even though I expressed my disdain for bumper stickers in last week's posting, I decided that some things are too important! My Mazda3 now has a McCain for President sticker on the hatchback window.