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Higher gasoline prices shouldn’t be so bad, James Surowiecki seems to say: “Gas is a...

Higher gasoline prices shouldn’t be so bad, James Surowiecki seems to say: “Gas is a relatively small percentage of most household budgets, and prices are now about $0.85/gallon higher than they were 12 months ago, which translates into a few hundred dollars more a year... It’s less than the increase in income that most Americans will get this year as a result of the new payroll tax cut.”
Comments (22)
  • DubyaT
    , contributor
    Comments (42) | Send Message
    Hey, I can't eat an iPad!...this my canned response to anyone trying to calm me down about anything these days.
    12 Apr 2011, 05:47 PM Reply Like
  • Art Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (120) | Send Message
    Not so bad. But gas/diesel/misc petrol prices will be bad for anyone that uses anything that comes from farms, factories, factory farms, or anywhere that is not within walking distance (ie everything) or comes on a plane, train, automobile or a boat that doesn't use sails (ie everything), or arrives shipped in plastic (almost everything). Moderately higher 12 month consumer prices for gas - yippee!
    12 Apr 2011, 05:52 PM Reply Like
  • Dude_Reino
    , contributor
    Comments (145) | Send Message
    12 Apr 2011, 07:04 PM Reply Like
  • Righteous
    , contributor
    Comments (17) | Send Message
    Wow! Talk about elitist and out of touch. I suppose this is why I don't read the publication for which he writes.
    12 Apr 2011, 05:55 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3333) | Send Message


    Between heating oil and many families Gasoline bill, it can be $300 per month, not per year.


    He probably takes Gov't subsidized, Mass Transit to work, unlike most of Middle America.
    12 Apr 2011, 05:57 PM Reply Like
  • Updawg1310
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    James - I believe your "few hundred dollars more a year" comment is a bit on the low side. An 0.85 cent increase in gas price can affect some by $1,000's in a year, not a few hundred.


    Other view points see that gas increased 30%. I would agree that the pain is more psychological than tangible, yet the distraction and disturbance in comfort is still the same.


    Unless you drive a Prius, a 30% increase in cost of anything causes significant ripples in the consumers mind. I believe trying to minimize the increase in gas as a "few hundred dollar a year" inconvenience is insulting and narrow minded.
    12 Apr 2011, 05:58 PM Reply Like
  • Morg
    , contributor
    Comments (250) | Send Message
    As if gasoline were the only cost that is rising. Throw a few extra $100 (assuming his estimation is correct) on to extra cost for food, education, medical bills etc... and you have the recipe for a real lifestyle crimp. Not to mention less consumer spending and economic activity as demand destruction begins to occur.
    12 Apr 2011, 06:07 PM Reply Like
  • schwabbie
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    Last year we drove just about 20,000 miles between two vehicles that avg 20 mpg. Our family budget for 1000 gallons of gas has popped from well under $3000 to almost $4000, and I'm adding more $$ to the line item. Needless to say, some other budget items are being cut. Input costs are going up - this article spotlights the tone-deaf academic. I can't eat an iPad, but I can spell double-dip.
    12 Apr 2011, 06:34 PM Reply Like
  • tigersam
    , contributor
    Comments (1711) | Send Message
    Gas price should to $12 per gallon. This will stop big SUVs on the road and make road much safer.
    12 Apr 2011, 07:41 PM Reply Like
  • Capt Herlock
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
    Yes, I agree. We should ban all vehicles smaller than SUV's and full size pickup trucks from the road as they are inherently unsafe.


    Seriously, if you lived out here in rural WV you'd be singing a different tune. I don't know anyone who doesn't drive at least 20 or 30 miles each way to work or even the grocery store, and I've never seen anyone who could carry a 4x8 sheet of drywall, twelve 40lb bags of livestock feed, and half a cord firewood in the back of a Prius. Come to think of it, I don't know anyone who would want to either.
    12 Apr 2011, 08:58 PM Reply Like
    , contributor
    Comments (99) | Send Message
    Tell that to the (CEO'S) and rich Politician,not the guy who lives from paycheck to paycheck.


    12 Apr 2011, 10:22 PM Reply Like
  • tigersam
    , contributor
    Comments (1711) | Send Message
    Point well presented. You are in 5% of the population who needs SUV. But my neighbor does not his hummer. If guy like my neighboor can drive Prius then gas will be lot cheaper for guy like you who need SUV.
    14 Apr 2011, 10:39 AM Reply Like
  • 7footMoose
    , contributor
    Comments (2266) | Send Message
    This guy is an idiot. i didn't bother to try to figure out who he is because he is just so out of touch with reality it's not worth the effort. It is clear that he has zero grasp of economics. The cost of fuel feeds into virtually everything we eat, wear or touch. Okay, maybe the direct cost is a few hundred dollars per year. US Air has just announced the tenth fare increase in the last year. i am certain UPS and FedEx are right there with them. As for the payroll tax cut, it has zero affect upon the millions of unemployed Americans and the other millions of Americans who live on fixed incomes. As I opened I close, this guy is an idiot.
    12 Apr 2011, 07:42 PM Reply Like
  • tigersam
    , contributor
    Comments (1711) | Send Message
    Idiot says. Idiot does.
    12 Apr 2011, 07:57 PM Reply Like
  • bhaavik
    , contributor
    Comments (11) | Send Message
    Another American idiot. That's why intelligence of Americans is considered at the bottom level. Thank you for proving it. It is not just Obama who is making you all fool, there are so many economical analysts like this who distract your attention from bankruptcy, poverty, unemployment, crime to fighting war against different countries. Please resolve your own internal issues first before interfering in other country's matters. Idiot economist, even a child would know that this is thousands of dollars increase in any family's budget.
    12 Apr 2011, 08:07 PM Reply Like
  • tigersam
    , contributor
    Comments (1711) | Send Message
    Only idiots in this world are who put the gas in the car and burn it. This valuable resouce should not be used for burning. In few years once the oil is gone everithing will be gone. Go take chemistry course and find out what you can make out of oil.
    12 Apr 2011, 08:17 PM Reply Like
  • tigersam
    , contributor
    Comments (1711) | Send Message
    That includes me.
    12 Apr 2011, 08:17 PM Reply Like
  • kcr357
    , contributor
    Comments (567) | Send Message
    Don't burn it? What in the hell else is gas good for? getting high?
    12 Apr 2011, 11:42 PM Reply Like
  • KJP712
    , contributor
    Comments (458) | Send Message
    He lives in New York City and does not need a car.
    12 Apr 2011, 08:28 PM Reply Like
  • buyitcheap
    , contributor
    Comments (1901) | Send Message
    AS a % of real discretionary spend, it is substantial. Once the rent/groceries, etc are covered, you've got fuel costs, and if those double, then that's less spent at retail, amusement/sports, invested in mutual funds (aagh!!) etc.
    12 Apr 2011, 08:30 PM Reply Like
  • Poor Texan
    , contributor
    Comments (3531) | Send Message
    Must be nice to have a guaranteed inflation adjusted income. (Using real inflation calculations).
    12 Apr 2011, 10:04 PM Reply Like
  • User 371097
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
    Jimmy's analysis is correct for many of us who don't drive much or have mileage-efficient cars. While it may be true that the payroll tax cut will offset the gasoline increase for many working folks, it certainly wasn't the intention of the administration to reduce our taxes and then pay that "savings" to OPEC or our Chinese debt-holders.
    9 May 2011, 10:08 PM Reply Like
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