During the past couple of years there has been a disturbing upward trend concerning people, and no, it’s not children’s weight. It’s the steadily increasing price of gas. We’ve seen the price of gas go from $1.35 in 2000 according to an online report from PBS, to a national average of $3.01. That’s an increase of more than 200 percent, which means people are left with less money to spend after walking away from the pump.

In response to the gas hikes there are a few different choices for the public in terms of getting back at the oil companies which have fielded much of the blame. There are the ‘Boycott “Insert- Particular-Gas-Chain-Here”-on-This-Date’ emails. With the theory being that if everyone boycotts one particular chain it would force the profits of the company down so far that they would drop their prices in attempts to recoup the losses from one day. This would force other gas chains to follow suit to remain competitive creating enough money left over for consumers to go wild on McDonald’s Dollar Menu. Others have chosen to use various forms of alternative transportation, like riding bicycles, walking or public transportation. Still another option is using some web sites existing to guide commuters to the cheapest gas stations in the area.

Of course, perhaps I have been viewing the glass as half-empty. In other countries, the price of gas is more than USD 5.50 in Germany and the UK, and more than USD 4.00 in Spain and Japan. Factor in the fact that the U.S. dollar is the lowest it has ever been versus the Euro and maybe we aren’t getting such a bad deal. Americans are giving essentially less in value while receiving an equal amount. Couple these factors with the progress that has been made during the past few years by the automotive industry (finally) regarding alternative fuel and hybrid cars that increase miles per gallon, those controlling gas prices may be wringing the shammy one last time with their declining resources.

When looking at some of these factors people can be upset with those in control of gas prices, or possibly excited about the new changes that are on the horizon. To me, we Americans are starring down the barrel of a ‘something’s gotta give’ scenario. All the factors which seem to work against each other are still collectively calling out for change. – Josh Culver