A guest post from my colleague Mike Giberson:
In response to your ENOUGH ALREADY ON “RECORD HIGH” GAS PRICES, note that the Washington Post does, on occasion, adjust for inflation in its commentary on gasoline prices:
For one, it is worth pointing out that gasoline prices, while higher than a few years ago, are still well short of their historic highs. Adjusted for inflation, gas prices are still significantly lower than they were at the beginning of the 1980s, and they have been at historical lows for the past decade: No wonder demand is high.
In fact, the Post almost always gets a few things right as it bounces along to an erroneous conclusion.
Given the hidden costs of high fuel consumption – pollution, urban sprawl, time wasted in traffic – it can be argued that this country has paid a high price for not having higher fuel prices. A price rise now hurts people all the more because they have made choices – living in distant suburbs, driving large cars – predicated on low fuel prices. That fact, to no small degree, is the fault of this administration, as well as those that preceded it, for not having had the courage to wean the country off low-priced fuel when it would have been easier to do so.
The conclusion seems to raise more questions than it answers. Let’s do a little Q and A:
Q: When were those “good old days” when it would have been easier to wean the country off low-priced fuel?
A: From the logic of the sentence they were during “this administration, as well as those that preceded it,” so I’m guessing that they start in the last year or two and then in prior years.
Q: So, when were those choices made – to live in a distant suburb, to drive a large car – predicated on low fuel prices?
A: Well, they must mark the end of the “good old days” period, because once the decisions were made a “price rise . hurts people” and it is no longer easy to “wean the country..” We know this was just in the last year or two, otherwise “this administration” wouldn’t have to share the blame for a lack of courage with “those that preceded it.”
Q: What can we conclude from all of this?
A: My guess is that the Post editorialist bought a Lincoln Navigator and moved out to Potomac in the last year or two.