Monday, July 11, 2005

Welcome to Weimar

Well, that was interesting.

One wonders why the American public isn't griping more about gas prices. Yes, I'm numerate enough to know that the current price of gas isn't nearly as dear as it was in, say, the early '80's; but then, just five or six years ago when Bill Clinton was president, I was paying under 90 cents/gallon. (But then, I am not among the half of Americans who were lulled by low gas prices into buying something monumentally stupid, like an SUV... no, rather, I seem to be among the few Americans cursed with a long-term memory. . . .)

A year or two ago, I once noticed a day in which the corner Mobil station had raised their price midday. (Usually, a gas station will have the decency to change their prices while they’re closed.)

Sunday, I realized that we’re about to see another surge in gas prices, and so I might as well top off the Home Fleet before the price increases hit. So, I filled the Miata (aka “the Red Menace” ) at about 5:30 pm at the cheapest station near me, the Rotterdam Hess: 231.9. As I was leaving, I noticed that the Hess gasoline truck was pulling in.

I went back with the minivan at 7:30, and only after I started pumping did I notice that in the intervening two hours(!), the price had been bumped up 2 cents/gallon to 233.9. In the middle of a Sunday afternoon. Noticing the new price gave me a bit of a 'runaway-inflation' frisson, it did.

Welcome to Weimar, Mr. Isherwood.

ADDENDUM, 8/11/05: The corner Mobil station was $243.9 earlier this week, 249.9 yesterday, and 253.9 today.
That's a rise of a dime/gallon just this week, and (I think) the first time they've gone over the $2.50 mark.
LATER: 263.9 on 8/13; 265.9 on 8/14. Ten cents in two days?! Twenty cents in a week??

Oh, and I was wondering above "why the American public isn't griping more about gas prices"? Well, the gas-price protests have started: truckers in Florida, but it's scarcely made the news.

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