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Here in southern England, regular is $8.24/US gallon. This is considered pretty normal and we still get around.

You all realise, don't you, that, to us in Europe, this thread is equivalent to several western millionaires sitting in the middle of a refugee camp in East Africa discussing how outrageous the price of foie gras and bottle of Bollinger has become... just sayin'

If gas cost that much in this country, we would grind to an immediate halt. Not that that would be a bad thing, but it would be hard on our morale. And pocketbook. America is just plain bigger than Europe, and the state I live in, Montana, is three times the size of England. A friend of mine just got back from bidding on a job 600 miles from here. And still in Montana. He had to drive over, assess the job, come up with a bid, give it to the owners, and drive back home to work on other jobs in the meantime. His business is not one that can always be done locally (not enough work), and if someone in Homestead, Montana (the place he had to go) wants the type of service my friend provides, there is nowhere local for them to go. So someone has to do some driving. The same homeowner also is getting bids from people who live in Wyoming and Colorado.

Until I more or less stopped working in recent times, I had to travel all over the country, doing very specialized work, both because I couldn't work locally and survive, and homeowners and builders who needed the type of service I provided couldn't get it easily. I've driven east of the Mississippi as many as five times a year doing that work.

The logical thing to do would be to eliminate the type of work I did (which almost happened because of the housing bust) and get rid of the need for such a specialization. However, supply and demand are seldom willing to work with the logicians of the world. When someone with money wants something, others who want money are willing to do it. And yes, if we were paying $8.00 plus a gallon, that would definitely crunch a few wallets and make the work I did (and the similar work my friend above does) much less in demand.

This is not an excuse, it is simply the way it is in this country right now. Many of us have given up on, or at least greatly curtailed, recreational driving. When I was a kid, it was routine to "go for a drive", where Dad and Mom and my brothers and I would just get in the car and go someplace. And while I'm sure there are people who still do that, they are far fewer in number.

Gas should cost more. We should drive less. But that isn't the norm right now. And oil companies would loose a lot of money if they couldn't sell their gasoline because it cost too much.

Oh, and by the way, the main reason your gas is so much more expensive is taxes added to your fuel costs. We have them too, but not nearly as high. I believe your tax surcharge on fuel is around 60%, ours is closer to 15%. Hopefully you get something in return for all those taxes. We don't. Our roads are falling apart because we are told there isn't enough money in the government coffers to pay for all the repairs needed.
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Nam wanted to reply similar, couldn't think of right words. September 22, 2013, 09:12:56 AM