It may seem simplistic, but wouldn’t measuring they buying power of your salary (or what’s left of it) in terms of gallons of fuel per hour make a certain amount of sense?
Think about it: it will make the effects of increasing fuel prices something directly relevant to everyone except the minority of people that don’t own cars (perhaps they can use some measure like Starbucks lattes per hour!), using terms that are more universally understandable than dollars per barrel or consumer price and inflation indices, the ups and downs of the stock market or other even more ethereal measures of the effects of rocketing fuel prices.
It will link the price of oil (which is still the lifeblood of our economy) to stagnating (or worse, decreasing) salaries, the relative ability of people to get around and the general importance of petroleum to our economy and our lives. In other words, it will tell you how much you have to work to get to and from work, as well as do all the other things you need to do involving transportation. It will tell you how many hours you will have to work to buy heating oil if you use it (there should be an equivalency for natural gas, propane and electric). It will also tell you what you will have left after buying fuel. It will tell you just how much you will have left of your fixed income every month. It will help you predict how far your 401K or IRA will go. It will tell you what effects inflation is having on your buying power. Best of all: it will ram home the fact that the economically vacant policies of this administration and Democrats in general are destroying middle income America (which “Slow” Joe Biden is hard at work projecting on the Republican candidates) and obliterating the poor.
Even the “dreaded 1%” will care, as even though they make enough to have it not really affect them on a personal basis, the fact that the businesses etc. that they may own or invest in will have to raise prices or reduce returns on investment based on the number of gallon per hour they spend vs. gallons per hour they take in.
The bottom line is that you will easily be able to judge your current buying power and compare it with previous years, or better, previous administrations, i.e. you got twice as many gallons per hour (or had to work half as much) during the bulk of the Bush years than you do for the bulk of the Øbama years.
The automobile is the means for us to go where we want, do what we want, work where we want and live where we want. Gallons per hour is a measure of the amount of personal freedom left to us, or better, one measure of the personal freedom that is being taken away from us.