Monday, June 09, 2008

Whining 'Bout $4 Gas in the US?

Consider the average dollar price for a gallon of premium gas in Europe versus the US:
Belgium $9.20
France $8.80
Germany $8.93
Italy $8.93
Netherlands $9.89
United Kingdom $8.74
United States $4.20
Still whining now that you know gas costs twice as much in each of these countries?

Now consider this, the price of premium gas in the US in January 1996 was $1.27, the price for the countries above was:
Belgium 3.95
France 3.93
Germany 4.07
Italy 3.89
Netherlands 4.32
UK 3.20
So what were you doing in 1996 when gas was $4.07 in Germany?

I was living in Virginia and driving a Ford Escort station wagon. I could almost get a full tank of unleaded for $6.00.

On another sad note, General Motors is thinking about selling the Hummer brand! Unfortunately, there are no buyers on the horizon.

Wonder why, it is such a fetching murder-mobile ain't it?


The figures above are compiled by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. HT to the LA Times' BottleNeck Blog.


Dade said...

Hi, Ridwan.

It all goes back to the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980. Jimmy Carter, his predecessor, had tried to awaken the American public to the coming energy crisis. But people didn't want to hear it, and they elected Mr. "Feelgood," the moronic Reagan, who told them to live for the day, as if there was no tomorrow.

Well, tomorrow is here now. And we Americans are starting to rue our short-sightedness.

The Hummer thing is funny though. Who was the genius that thought THAT thing was a good idea in the first place?


Ridwan said...

Thanks for your comment Dade. You are absolutely right, "tomorrow is here".

The Hummer 3 is built in South Africa will you believe? And yes they on the roads here too.

GM builds them here and then exports them to Australia and other markets.

Arnold of governor fame is reputed to be one of the movers that brought GM to build the Hummer for personal use.

I read he has 5 Hummers at home.

Guess the moron streak runs in the governorship of California ;)

Peace to you,

Erica said...

Why do you have to be such the devil's advocate Ridi? You know the Montero Sport is killing me softly, but damn if I don't envy the above prices. Guess I need to stop whining,huh!

I see my dream car (PT Cruiser) on the horizon.

Wouldn't you agree that Hummers are for people who feel the need to compensate for something that they are seriously lacking?

Can you say E-G-O?

Ridwan said...

Sorry Erica. But you should talk to some other folk who believe that the rest of the world has been subsidizing the US's appetite for gas.

Make sure that PT Cruiser is a manual 4 cyclinder. You will thank me later :0)

Gas prices are going to get worse for sure. It will never be the same again.

Sad too when one realized the connection between gas and food.

Both are about to become short, too short.


Thanks for your comment Erica.


Dione said...

Hi Ridwan,
Hey, I think you forgot to tell us what the price of gas is in South Africa right now. What would that be in US dollars?
I like what your saying, about drawing attention to how the price of commodities is directly linked to the rising prices of fuel.
Many people are unaware, and need to be.

The rice shortage, is going to hurt a country like India for sure, and many African nations who depend on food banks and aid that is delivered from around the world. This is where, from a humanitarian stand point it would be nice if the world could pull together for these people who did nothing to anyone. Charity should be a common goal, but the world is too greedy, not just the US. Rice farmers in Asia are hording the rice crop, not just to feed their nation, but because they know that they can sell it for almost whatever they want in the next 12 months. It seems to me, that they could do their part in contributing to the impovershed nations who need that food.
There are American suppliers that are hording as well for the same reason. The small business owner is really going to hurt, and many of them don't understand that it is only going to get worse for the next year. You can purchase rice, and hord your own for up to 18 months.

I still think, that at least in America we need to get ourselves self sufficient, and this would mean getting off fossil fuels. We are like the Six Million Dollar Man up in here
we have the technology, better, stronger, ect. lol I can't agree with our ties to middle eastern oil, and our ties to Europe for that matter, that insist upon our keeping those ties, so that their price doesn't go up further. The world, needs to work on bio fuels, and electric transportation.
There will always be problems; right now so many farmers are growing corn instead of their other crops because bio fuel is becoming more lucrative due to the situation, yet corn does nothing for the environment. Also it has been found recently that while hybrid cars are better for the environment, they are not better for your body since the battery and radiation is not 100 percent known, but the data they do have, doesn't look that great.

In 1996, I was at PSU filling up my Chevy V6 for about 19.00 a tank, at the Chevron that used to be up the road on Broadway.
Today my Scion TC gets pretty good gas mileage and it's the first time that I have had a car with a noticeable difference in fuel and performance when plus is used.
For better gas mileage, it is recommended to keep a clean air filter, fill up in the evening when it's cooler outside, general car maintenance, and good acceleration without punching the gas unnecessarily. I was shocked yesterday at Trader Joes, that someone left their old beater running in the parking lot. Gee, thats a no, on so many levels.


Ridwan said...

Hello Dione. Thanks for looking in and commenting.

The price of gas in dollars for a US gallon is about $6.00 give or take.

Diesel is about a half a dollar more expensive.

Believe it or not in the last few weeks the consumption of gas in the US has decreased by 4.5%.

In SAfrica it has actually risen by almost 2%.

SAfricans are also hardly buying smaller cars. In fact GM SAfrica says they can hardly keep the Hummer on the showroom floor.

I have been thinking about the consumer habits of SAfricans in these terms.

We pay about two or more times more for cars here than in the US. Yet the consumer is hardly worried (is changing though) of taking on debt for cars.

Our infrustructure is literally falling apart yet you will see half a million rand BMWs everywhere.

The bubble is about to burst though.

The debt to income ratio is huge. And tomorrow the reserve bank is putting up interest rates yet again. This means that with the heraled 2% rise the prime rate would be 17%.

We expect that it will, however, be raised to 16%. And so folks car and house payments will go up because most banl debt is variable and not fixed in SAfrica.

The stuff is gonna hit the fan Dione. Watch. So much for living for stuff huh?

So, you should think about public transport too, maybe a motorbike

Peace to you.


Dione said...

really love cars, I mean seriously my first love was a 66 mustang convertible! My favorite vintage years are the fifties to early mid sixties. They are all gas guzzlers with their smoking v-8's. If I'm in the position someday to own one, it would naturally be my once in a while pride car, lol. Motorcycles are hot too, but I have never been on one. I'm surprised you would recommend that for me. Should I be flattered? I will be insulted, however if your intentions were for a sissy moped, lol. haha, maybe if I move to Europe..... think of that movie from the 80's, "loverboy 1989", with the Italian guy driving a moped along side the older woman driving a car he was after.

In the mean time, I made a pretty decent down payment on my scion, and am looking forward to the fact that I will be able to pay it off way early, like in another year. :) I'm into retro TV, like the Bionic Woman. I consider my car to be the Datsun Z of today, hehe I try and kick ass like a super woman.

As for public transport, U never know. When I thought I would be moving to New York for a "job opportunity", everyone takes mass transit, it's a way of life there. Here, I have to say that I have been harassed every time I have taken a bus anywhere. I have to lie, and tell them that I have Aids, and they still won't leave me alone. The last six months have been stressful, so maybe that won't be a problem anymore. lol Still, some idiot wants to know if I speak English or they would like to point out something annoying. We really screwed ourselves in Portland with early city planning. With so much underground it will prevent a much needed subway system in the future.

The price of gas and other cost of livings is stressful for people in America and world wide. Thanks for providing info on your home front, I find that fascinating. It's not surprising to me that people love hummers over there. American television and western influences has made that the cool, bad ass vehicle of choice and the world responds to that kind of advertising. I told my dad to get a hummer awhile back, jokingly because he is so dam hard on his rides. If you have a car, you need to take care of it!