Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The gasoline trap

It takes heavy fuel to transform a nation. - John Hayward at Human Events

We went from $1.84 gas at the time of Obama’s inauguration, to $3.56 ($4.19 in Eureka) and climbing today, but it took a little while to get there, so panic hasn’t quite broken out at the pumps.

Over the long term, high gas prices fuel the “transformation” of the populace, which has always been one of Obama’s most important stated goals. For one thing, it’s easier to hide a few more cents of tax in $4 gas than $2 gas. More insidiously, expensive gas begins changing public expectations about the ability to travel, and the ability of average people to afford automobiles. For an example of the former, look at the blossoming trend of stories about “staycations” as summer approaches. That’s a vacation where you don’t actually go anyplace. The Associated Press wrote about them over the weekend.

Soon you’ll begin seeing carefully placed stories about how wonderful staycations are. You’ll hear about the stress of packing the family into a car or airplane for a long journey, versus the marvelous relaxation of camping out in the backyard, or connecting with one another over kitchen-table games. Remember how the media started writing about “funemployment” when Barack Obama got his hands on the economy? Meanwhile, two months after her previous luxury vacation, Michelle Obama whisks the kids off to go skiing in Aspen.

Lowest Regular Gas Prices in the Last 36 hours in Eureka, CA - californiagasprices.com