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Forum Post: Gas Prices

Posted 2 years ago on May 15, 2012, 8:57 p.m. EST by uhandleit (43)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

According to the Huffington Post. US gas prices are the lowest in the World. News to me.

69 Comments

69 Comments


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[-] 3 points by Calsium (6) 2 years ago
[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Yes (our gasoline tax is lower than Europe's anyway), but what's the point?

[-] 2 points by Shule (1696) 2 years ago

Actually it is. And it is heavily subsidized too.

[-] -3 points by Shutoffthelights (-13) 2 years ago

Subsidized? Is that what you liberals now call less taxed than in Europe? Gas is about $9/gallon in Italy and something not far beyond in the U.K.

[-] 5 points by Shule (1696) 2 years ago

Yep, believe it. $9/gallon is the more realistic price of gasoline when all is said and done. We here Stateside just don't see it, because a lot of the cost of gas is covered up by our taxes taken from elsewhere. If you haven't noticed, there was a bill up in Congress to cut out a lot of oil industry subsidies just this past winter. The oil companies were cranking up their prices to cover themselves. The legislation was voted down, and the prices have been coming down lately. So yes, your paying for it; but just not at the pump.

So what does one call liberal? Liberal, conservative, whatever else, I think what we all are really dealing with is corruption.

[-] 3 points by gnomunny (6647) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

They sure have us by the balls, don't they? If we scream for an end to the subsidies, they'll just crank up the price and make it worse for the consumer.

[-] 2 points by Shule (1696) 2 years ago

Yes, it basically come down to that. One way or another we have to pay. Afterall, gasoline is a valuable commodity. Think about what you'd do if you didn't have that gallon of gas. Is a gallon of gasoline worth $9.00 to you? Considering the alternatives, I believe you'll say it is.

Personally, I think we need to learn not to consume so much.

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6647) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

True on both counts. In fact, one of the most valuable things you can own if the shit does indeed hit the fan is a still. Alcohol would be worth more than gold. You can drink it, burn it, use it to sterilize. And a still is a pretty basic, inexpensive tool.

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

Either way we lose? At least let's have the true cost of gas visible at the pumps, not part of it hidden in our income taxes.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

Corporate and gas taxes are regressive punishments for the poor. It is also a devious way the the Gov raises opaque taxes on poor people. A more just alternative is to eliminate corporate and gas taxes and rely on the graduated income tax for revenue.

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6647) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

I've heard of a graduated income tax, but admittedly, know nothing about it.

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

as income rise so does the percent paid to taxes

a gradual rise can assure as income increases,

net income after taxes will still increase

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6647) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

That sounds like a good thing. Someone on here (a few weeks ago) said a graduated tax was a bad thing, but I don't remember his (or her) reasoning.

Is there a downside?

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

doesn't address the issue of who owns the property or wealth of the land

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

A graduated income tax is also referred to as a progressive income tax. The graduation is normally step-wise. Income above a particular step threshold is taxed at a higher rate.

[-] 0 points by Shule (1696) 2 years ago

Poor people don't need to buy gas. They need to learn to take the bus. Driving automobiles is a rich man's luxury.

[-] -2 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

Not only do the poor rely on gas and spend a greater % of their income on it than the rich, but they also buy food, clothing, and other goods transported in vehicles using fuel that is also taxed. That tax is again borne unfairly by the poor. Gas tax is despicably regressive and unfair.

Corporate taxes are even tougher on the poor because they burden goods like food that is not normally affected by sales tax. It is a hidden tax imposed by cowardly politicians.

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (27763) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

WoW.

You said something I agree with. Will wonders never cease.

This has truly been a weird day.

Ooops - correction - you were doing so well until you got to that corporate bit.


[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (466) 0 minutes ago

Not only do the poor rely on gas and spend a greater % of their income on it than the rich, but they also buy food, clothing, and other goods transported in vehicles using fuel that is also taxed. That tax is again borne unfairly by the poor. Gas tax is despicably regressive and unfair.

Corporate taxes are even tougher on the poor because they burden goods like food that is not normally affected by sales tax. It is a hidden tax imposed by cowardly politicians.

↥twinkle ↧stinkle reply permalink

[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

I always knew that deep down you were really fond of me.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (27763) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Well - lets not get carried away.

[-] 2 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

I understand how you came to the conclusion that corporate taxes are regressive. When ever the gov't taxes corporations they past the taxes to the consumer and those with the least amounts of money feel the tax the most. But to blame the government for the fact that the least payed consumer is hit the hardest, Is to let the ones who chose to pass on the taxes of the hook. When do these corporate taxes come out of their profits, instead of our pockets? I always thought it uncompetitive of industries deciding to pass taxes on to the consumer. Why hasn't a single company ever chose to eat the tax and capture greater market shares? It kinda makes me believe that Industries collude more than they compete and this, I believe, is an example of collusion. so I believe the reason corporate taxes are regressive is because of cowardly CEOs, not politicians.

[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

Suppose there are two gas stations on the same block (not so uncommon). They compete every day for the same customers. Their biggest product differentiation other than price is frequently convenience. Their profit is based on their costs (fixed and variable) and market price. The margin is pennies per gallon. If the Sate and Fed add $0.49 in taxes they have no choice but to add it to the price. If not they go out of business. (see link below)

Why not implement a graduated gas tax? The poor would get a discount on the gas they buy via their State and Fed filings.

http://www.dailymarkets.com/economy/2011/04/27/gasoline-taxes-vs-exxon-profit-per-gallon/

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (27763) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Sorry but fix a price cap and leave the tax hike in place for obscenely profitable corporations and they would have to knock that money from off of the top of the pyramid. That is of course if they were also locked into a minimum "living" wage for their employees so that they couldn't further starve the work force.

[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

Not a fan of caps. Caps stifle supply and for a commodity like gas the shortage again hurts the poor more than the rich.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (27763) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Wrong perspective the rich still need their income = sales. So they need to continue selling. If they can't rape the employee for profit and they can't rape the consumer for profit. They will have to look at cutting back on their personal arterial fat clogging profits.

[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

The shortage occurs when the profit to the producer falls below the profit that can be made with other endeavors (or, worse yet, below the producers cost). There are many examples of this, some classics from the Nixon era, and he was a Republican.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/commandingheights/shared/minitextlo/ess_nixongold.html

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (27763) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

I think in many of today's obscenely wealthy/profitable corporations - that there is a fair amount of leeway ( Profits at the top able to stand substantial reduction ) before costs will be endangered.

[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

State and Fed taxes have a much bigger effect on $/gal than corporate profit. If you capped corp profit at 0 % it would only save consumers a few pennies per gal. Why not create a graduated tax on gas? It could be given in the form of a credit on State and Fed tax filings. This would be a huge help to the poor.

http://www.allamericanblogger.com/15382/chart-shows-exxon-profits-per-gallon-of-gas-vs-taxes-collected-per-gallon/

[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

“Our bill requires the CFTC to invoke its emergency powers within 14 days to: (1) curb immediately the role of excessive speculation in any contract market within the jurisdiction and control of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, on or through which energy futures are traded; and (2) eliminate excessive speculation, price distortion, sudden or unreasonable fluctuations or unwarranted changes in prices, or other unlawful activity that is causing major market disturbances that prevent the market from accurately reflecting the forces of supply and demand for energy commodities.”

All goals must be measurable, achievable, timely, and precise. Without a defined goal the above statement is meaningless. Sanders uses words like “ eliminate excessive speculation, price distortion, sudden or unreasonable fluctuations or unwarranted changes in prices”. This could mean anything. Does it also apply to falling prices? It is likely that Sanders is intentionally vague because: 1. He knows this will not be implemented, and 2. The actual implementation of this is complicated and very dangerous. This kind of action can actually drive up prices.

One theory of Government meddling in markets is that the Gov is simply out of their depth. How can a few dozen people in Washington possibly compete with millions of traders working 24/7 and all pursuing self-interest? The Gov just can’t compete and it is very dangerous to try.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (27763) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

1st step is regulating gas futures.

2nd step is capping price at the pumps.

3rd step is to remove extraneous taxes on gasoline State And Federal - except for the extremely wealthy and profitable businesses and individuals.

While all of this is going on - continue to push for better gas mileage alternative fuel and/or motive power - electrical.

Continue to push fossil fuel out of power production and heating and cooling etc etc.

Create that huge gas and oil glut we all dream about then sell it cheap at home and expensive away from home.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

Step 1 is dangerous. Oil futures are Oil Corp insurance policies. They spread the risk. If you get rid of them the oil corps will charge more for gas to self-insure. (Check it out, Delta just bought an oil co & refinery for this exact reason).

Step 2: Creates shortages and hurts the poor disproportionately.

Step 3. We agree.

I also agree with pushing for better gas mileage. Thanks to better fuel efficiency we currently enjoy gas prices that are more than 4 times lower than they were in 1918 (see link below) and at the same time the cars are cheaper (thanks in large part to the free market).

The electric car is my favorite . It should be a much cheaper vehicle to own and operate, it's quiet (sometimes too quiet, pedestrians get hit because they can't hear them coming), the brakes practically last forever, less to go wrong, and it is cheaper to maintain. The problem is range. Currently ~ 70 miles. We need to find some way to charge them on the go; and then build a bunch of nukes to generate the electricity.

http://www.pewenvironment.org/uploadedFiles/PEG/Publications/Fact_Sheet/History%20of%20Fuel%20Economy%20Clean%20Energy%20Factsheet.pdf

[-] 0 points by Shule (1696) 2 years ago

Don't mean to sound mean, but reality is gas prices are not going to go down (much). And if the tax is taken off, the price will only rise to compensate. Bottom line is gasoline is an expensive commodity; and if one doesn't have plenty of $$$ one is best off figuring out how to not rely on it so much, rather than hoping it will become affordable again.

[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

Actually, gas is pretty cheap. It costs less than it did in 1918.

http://inflationdata.com/inflation/images/charts/Oil/Gasoline_inflation_chart.htm

[-] 0 points by Shule (1696) 2 years ago

So then, what is everybody complaining about?

[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

Well everybody always wants to pay less for stuff; can't blame them for that.

BTW, if you factor in the increase in auto fuel efficiency the cost of gas is actually more than three times less today than it was in 1918.

http://www.pewenvironment.org/uploadedFiles/PEG/Publications/Fact_Sheet/History%20of%20Fuel%20Economy%20Clean%20Energy%20Factsheet.pdf

[-] 1 points by Shutoffthelights (-13) 2 years ago

No, gasoline is more in Europe because they've loaded it to the gills with taxation. We tax less, our gas costs less.

[-] 0 points by Shule (1696) 2 years ago

Still don't get it? If they tax the gasoline less, sure the price of gasoline will go down, but some other tax that you must pay will go up. What is left in your pocket remains the same.

[-] -2 points by Shutoffthelights (-13) 2 years ago

The oil companies weren't "cranking up their prices" to cover less subsidy. The market decides prices. You should know too that the subsidies you talk about are maybe 1/2 cent per gallon. It's a lot of gallons, so it can matter to the industry. But it's nothing at the consumer level.

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (27763) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

All the more reason they don't need the subsidies. Transfer them to green energy tech R&D and implementation.

[-] 3 points by gnomunny (6647) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

You've never heard talk of oil subsidies? Where exactly is that rock you've been living under?

[-] -1 points by Shutoffthelights (-13) 2 years ago

Your head is full of propaganda. Gasoline is cheaper here than in Europe because we have lower taxes, not more subsidy.

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6647) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

It's both. Take away the subsidies and watch the price of gas skyrocket.

[-] -2 points by Shutoffthelights (-13) 2 years ago

Hardly. The subsidies aren't that much and the price is also determined by demand. Demand has already fallen on price increases over the past few years. Large additional increases would see more demand destruction and that would restrain price increases. But the only way to get Europe-like prices is to have Europe-like TAXATION.

[-] 4 points by gnomunny (6647) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

No shit. Why do so many of you people focus on one aspect of a problem while ignoring all others? The US gives fossil fuel subsidies at least a couple billion a year. I'm not saying it's much, nor am I saying they should be eliminated. And, demand has a lot less to do with the price of gas than it does most other products. In that respect, your head is full of propaganda. Most gas expenditures in the US are fixed; most of us, especially businesses, can't cut the distances we travel every day by much. In other words, the distance I drive to work every day can't be decreased just because the cost of gas increases.

[-] -2 points by Shutoffthelights (-13) 2 years ago

You're right, it isn't much.

Demand has less to do with it? No, it doesn't. Your confused about the difference between demand and elasticity of demand.

[-] 2 points by gnomunny (6647) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

Please explain elasticity of demand. I've never heard of it.

[-] 1 points by Shutoffthelights (-13) 2 years ago

Sure. It's how much demand changes with changes in price. Demand isn't the same at different prices. With gasoline, demand is fairly inelastic, especially in the short-run. As you mentioned, people can't adjust their commutes overnight. That's part of why gas prices are so volatile. If supply is a little short, it takes a big change in price to get people to use a little less to balance things out. Similarly, if supplies are ample, prices need to fall a lot to balance things out because people don't suddenly burn more gas just because it got a little cheaper.

[-] 1 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 2 years ago

If you add the cost of the oil wars and the environment, it's about $14 - $15 per gallon.

[-] 1 points by john23 (-272) 2 years ago

Check out the real reason for rising gas prices:

http://hmscoop.com/MoneySupplyvsCommodities.html

[-] 1 points by Shule (1696) 2 years ago

Interesting. So the price of gas and everything is not really going up, but it is that our money is becoming worth less....

[-] 1 points by john23 (-272) 2 years ago

Yeah, as long as the printing presses keep going, the price of oil isn't going to be getting any cheaper any time soon.

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6647) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

It's been that way for decades. According to 'About.com,' prices in Europe are almost two and a half times higher than here. It used to be worse.

[-] 0 points by MattHolck2 (44) 2 years ago

rent still cost more

[-] 0 points by alexrai (851) 2 years ago

Anyone ever think of driving less?

Get went up $1? Get off your ass and walk a bit more...

[-] 0 points by SteveKJR1 (8) 2 years ago

Where's the link - I doubt this is true - they just want the people who read this to feel good. Gasoline in Venezuela and Saudia Arabia are less then $1.00 a gallon. So with that being said, the report is not true. And if you don't believe me here's a link to educate those who don't know.

http://hereandthere40.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/list-of-countries-with-the-cheapest-gas-prices/

So the question that has to be asked is why is gasoline so cheap in these countries - answer - they have the refining capacity to refine the oil and turn it into gasoline.

Not like the Unted States who at present is producing more oil then we ever were but we don't have the refining capacity. As a result, we ship curde oil out and buy it back as gasoline.

[-] 2 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 2 years ago

"Not like the United States who is at present producing more oil than ever..." Sorry, that's not even close to accurate. US oil production peaked in 1970 at 10.2 million barrels per day. The link below shows a graph of US oil production since 1920. On tour next point; "...We ship curde (sic) out and buy it back as gasoline." Wrong again. We ship a small amount of "finished products", ie. gasoline and diesel out. http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=MCRFPUS1&f=M http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-29/u-s-was-net-oil-product-exporter-in-2011.html
The US has a surplus of refining capacity. That's why several refineries in the US have recently shut down, (because they were losing money). Gasoline consumption in the US is at a 15 year low. http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-02-23/angry-about-high-gas-prices-blame-shuttered-oil-refineries

[-] 2 points by gestopomillyy (1695) 2 years ago

here is a list of refineries in the usa. so your theory is incorrect. we have the capacity.. its the 1% that make it cost so much for gasoline.. not the structure. its to satiate the greed.. nothing else.

http://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/index.cfm?page=oil_refining#tab4

[-] -1 points by Pequod (17) 2 years ago

Gasoline is cheaper than bottled water, orange juice, beer, wine, milk, whiskey!

Gas is the greatest bargain known in human history. Aftershave costs more than gas. Coke/Pepsi cost more than gas.

[-] 2 points by gestopomillyy (1695) 2 years ago

wrong.. milk 2.89. gas. 3.89. you dont live in america do you?

[-] -1 points by Pequod (17) 2 years ago

Show me your link to the $2.89 gal milk, or admit you were wrong.

[-] -1 points by Pequod (17) 2 years ago

So i was wrong about one. How about the others? Argue those. And with about $1.00 in taxes, gas would be cheaper than milk.

Something tells me you arent yet 20 years old.

Btw check out this link blowing your post to shreds and confirming me

http://springsbargains.com/2012/05/milk-price-update-5-88-at-walmart/

Milk: $5.88/gal, Walmart.

Please acknowledge your error.

[-] 1 points by jimmycrackerson (940) from Blackfoot, ID 2 years ago

Haha $5.88 for a gallon of milk? hahaha. Maybe if you bought it at the gas station.

[-] 1 points by Pequod (17) 2 years ago

You guys are hilarious. Show me milk for $2.89 gal.

I win, losers!!!

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

Gas today is actually more than 4 times cheaper today than it was in 1918 when you include improved auto fuel efficiency (the price of a car is also lower). Milk, on the other hand, is up by nearly two times over the same period, and we consume about the same amount per day.

http://inflationdata.com/inflation/images/charts/Oil/Gasoline_inflation_chart.htm

http://www.pewenvironment.org/uploadedFiles/PEG/Publications/Fact_Sheet/History%20of%20Fuel%20Economy%20Clean%20Energy%20Factsheet.pdf

http://timerime.com/en/timeline/1113737/Costs+of+Bread+Milk+and+Beef+Over+Time/

[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

Gas today is actually more than 4 times cheaper than it was in 1918 when you include improved auto fuel efficiency (the price of a car is also lower). Milk, on the other hand, is up by nearly two times over the same period, and we consume about the same amount per day as we did in 1918.

http://inflationdata.com/inflation/images/charts/Oil/Gasoline_inflation_chart.htm

http://www.pewenvironment.org/uploadedFiles/PEG/Publications/Fact_Sheet/History%20of%20Fuel%20Economy%20Clean%20Energy%20Factsheet.pdf

http://timerime.com/en/timeline/1113737/Costs+of+Bread+Milk+and+Beef+Over+Time/

[-] 0 points by occupybrains (30) 2 years ago

Forcing all middle eastern oil to be sold in dollars has it's benefits. Along with relatively low taxes on it to keep everyone driving like crazy out to the suburbs.

[-] 0 points by Slabbers (10) 2 years ago

Most other nations tax the shit out of gas.