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Essay/Term paper: Why are gasoline prices going up so high?

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Economics

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Why Are Gasoline Prices Going Up So High?

If everyone else in the world is paying a lot more for gas, why shouldn't
Americans? Take your average spoiled American who blames the Arabs for raising
the gas prices unfairly in order to make a bigger profit. It's true, gas prices
have gone up by a lot in the last few months, but is that unfair? Prices still
are a lot higher in Canada, Europe and just about any other developed nation,
according to Mike Royko in the May 2, 1996 issue of the Chicago Tribune. Ted Z.
Manuel in a letter entitled "Voice of the People" of the Chicago Tribune, said
"Most anywhere in Europe, gas costs are from $3.00 to $5.00 per gallon. We
scream when it hits a $1.35 to $1.75 a gallon, which if adjusted for inflation
actually is cheaper than 25 years ago." It seems that Americans just think the
world owes them a favor. Maybe it's time that they start playing fairly and
stop feeling so sorry for themselves!!!

According to many articles, Americans have a lot more to be thankful for than
they do to complain about. For one, cars use gas a lot more efficiently than
they did in the past. According to Royko, "even today's luxury cars give you
better gas mileage than the cheapest Chevies, Fords and Plymouths did not that
long ago." What does this mean? This means that gas prices should logically go
up. It's the basic law of supply and demand. It's true that more Americans are
driving, but the gasoline suppliers still deserve to get paid fairly.

And what about inflation? Well, when you take inflation into account, the price
for gasoline is less now than it was forty years ago. Just another example of
how Americans are spoiled brats.

According to Charles Krauthhammer of the May 6, 1996 issue of the Washington
Post, increases in gasoline prices aren't as simple as supply and demand. He
feels that there are short run and long run reasons for the increasing prices.
On the short run, we can thank an extra long winter for using up a lot of our
gasoline reserves. For the long run, we can thank car loving American drivers,
who like to go really fast and really far in their fancy sport cars that get
terrible gas mileage.

Another reason for an increase in price, is that U.S. crude oil production is in
serious decline. According to Krauthhammer, "in 1970, it was 9.6 million
barrels a day. Today it is 6.5 million." The reason it's in serious
decline is simple. We're using it up, and at increasingly fast rates. The more
we use, the less there will be, so doesn't it make sense that we should pay more
for something that is becoming extinct? According to Mary McCormick-Barger, in
a Chicago Tribune article called Fuel's Paradise, "present estimates show that
oil will be gone in 35 to 70 years." If we are not careful and don't find
alternatives, none of us will be driving!!!

The gasoline issue is not cut and dried. Many Americans may blame it on money
hungry Arabs and whine about having to pay more to fuel their expensive cars,
but can we really feel sorry for them??? I myself am from Europe and think that
people in America have it pretty good. If anything, maybe they should stop
driving such expensive cars at the speeds that they do, and maybe take a bike
trip every once in a while.


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