I know people expect this post to be yet another complaint about "$3 is too much" and "I just paid $75 to fill up", but you know what, there's limited supply, there's elastic demand, there's increased demand, and we live in a capitalistic society...that's not price gouging, that's Economics 101 folks. No, what I have a problem with is people who constantly complain about the price and then do nothing about it. I have seen more pickups and SUVs on the road now than ever and traffic has actually increased. And I read that gas usage actually increased 4% in April!
People are so quick to blame President Bush or anything besides themselves. The ironic thing is that only drivers have the power to lower the prices. It's also the sad thing because apparently we as Americans feel it is our God-granted right to be entitled to cheap gas and if we don't get it, we complain to the President and Congress who, by the way, have far more important tasks than saving people 10 cents at the pumps. And that's assuming they had any influence over the price of gas at all...all they could do is reduce taxes on gas or use oil out of our strategic reserve but both would be just a temporary measure and wouldn't stem demand.
I admit, I am a broke college student who simply cannot afford $50 to fill up. So I now drive much slower and only go out when absolutely necessary and it's saved me TONS of money. People need to face reality and realize that the fault lies in our driving habits and choice of vehicles, not with the president or any other factor. If anything, these high prices are a blessing in disguise because they have reminded us that oil is not a renewable resource and it has a finite supply. Hopefully it will allow people to reflect on their own driving and vehicles and change for the better. Because if not, there isn't a thing that's going to help us and gas prices will just continue to climb higher.
America is a free country and has a free market so people are certainly free to buy whichever vehicle they like. But with that kind of freedom comes responsibility. It's clear that the American automakers have responded to the demand for big inefficient vehicles, but people need to see that with freedom comes responsibility in themselves and not in the automakers (who are also facing problems from their decisions by the way). And those people who shirk that responsibility and feel they are free to drive *anything* they want without consequences, well, we now see that the consequence is a stinging reminder of economics and supply and demand.
People seem to be very defensive about their SUV's so I'm sure I'll get blasted for this one, and for that I thank you for proving my point about some Americans feeling entitled to their grossly inefficient vehicles. It's just not necessary to get 13 MPG and have the cargo capacity to carry a couple refrigerators. The Toyota RAV4 has room for 7, gets 25 MPG and has 270 HP...not to mention the myriad of minivans out there. I encourage people to think about their own habits and preferences and to see that unless WE do something ourselves, nothing will change. Only when we remove the blinders and see that the fault lies within us will gas prices finally change.