Originally Posted by mrblanche
Our European friends may not understand that our economy is set up in such a way that high gas prices are a serious problem. There's not that much public transit, and people tend to live quite a ways from work.
I think they/we do, but are merely pointing out that the problem definitely
isn't limited to the U.S., and that the States should seriously make an effort to provide more public transit, and municipal planning should take fuel prices into account, and make supermarkets, banks, etc., more accessible to those without cars.
We've, i.e., those living in Europe, really been hit by much higher food prices, too, in part because of the oil price. Most goods are transported by road in Europe, as freight and passengers use the same rails. That's one thing the U.S. has done right - separate lines.
A big part of the problem is that oil production in several big oil-producing countries, like Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela, etc., is in the hands of the government, and not the big multinationals, and restricting output has become a political tool. Another is the increased demand in emerging economies like China and India.
Governments can decrease the taxes on fuels, e.g., the "green tax", but in no way can they get fuel prices back to the old levels.
Gasoline cost about 32 cents a gallon when I first started driving in the early seventies. Unreal.