Gallons per hour: a new metric for the lousy Øbama economy?

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.

9 replies
  1. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    Considering that about 8.4% of the median income of an American family is spent on gas, this metric does not appear to have a lot of “weight”.

    • Dimsdale
      Dimsdale says:

      That’s only if you consider that all fuel expenditures are direct, as in buying fuel for cars and probably home heating oil (you didn’t say if this was included in the figure).? The indirect costs are far in excess of that, i.e. costs for transportation and manufacturing, the costs of electricity, maintenance costs for brick and mortar stores, costs for growing, gathering, distributing and processing farm goods, petroleum based plastics and packaging etc., etc.? When I say “lifeblood” I mean lifeblood!
      Also, as best as I can determine, those income figures are for gross incomes, not net.? If they are gross figures, that number will rise significantly.

  2. winnie
    winnie says:

    I hate to say it (no, I reeeeeeally hate to say it), but both my husband and I are in Manchester together Monday thru Thursday.? I’ve looked at the logistics of doing so, & I think we could commute (ugh) together 3 out of those 4 days.? It’s now costing us $100/week to drive two separate cars which — excuse me for saying so — pisses me off.? So, while it will be inconvenient because he never gets out of work on time and my schedule is set in stone, I’ll take it like a man and sock away the cash we save to be used for our now outrageous grocery bill.? Because what the heck happened to that?? Oh yeah…the price of fuel affects EVERYthing.

    • Dimsdale
      Dimsdale says:

      Your “gph” has dropped significantly, as has your personal freedom, as it has for most of us since ? took command.

  3. Open4FreeDebate
    Open4FreeDebate says:

    In 1936 FDR signed the Commidity Exchange Act. This act was designed to prevent speculators from increasing futures prices of day to day necessities like wheat, corn, soybeams, oil, and gas. this system worked well for fifty years. Then in 80’s wall street firms started buying trading firms with seats to the commodities futures market. Begin to?smell Goldman suks stench.In 1991?Goldman worked the Commodities Futures Trading Commission to change its REGULATIONS ending position limits and removing the balance between physical hedgers and speculators in these markets. ?Exemptions were secretly handed out to selected firms. By 2008 80% of all trades had become speculative. Swaps loopholes, Enron loophole, London loophole all exceptions creating another new casino table. Commodities Index Investing is the result and main reason foodand energy? prices soared world wide. Not all REGULATIONS are evil, we need to go back to the regulations of 1936 to reset the commodities market and return normalcy to food and energy pricing.

  4. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    Dims, I was? confused with this post.? Statistical links to gasoline consumption, what??? Way beyond my comprehension. But then, “GPH …. one measure of the personal freedom that is being taken away from us”, now that speaks to my soul!? My one correction would be “one measure of OUR personal freedom” , even more personal. President Obama has given us “collective freedom”, equal misery for all. Now, that is what hurts.

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