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Gasoline at $3 a gallon isn’t as painful as it used to be

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Given oil’s sharp drop, U.S. gasoline prices should soon fall somewhat. In any case, this most recent bout of pain at the pump was never really very painful to begin with.

Any price per gallon beginning with a “3” in the United States tends to provoke panic. But on a number of relative measures, recent gasoline prices don’t look particularly high. In this chart they are adjusted for inflation, for example. Yes, they’re a lot higher than last year. But that’s no surprise.

And gasoline’s share of the American wallet is lower than it has been.

Another way of looking at this is to tweak the familiar metric of miles-per-hour to miles-per-hour-worked: How much driving distance does an average hour of labor buy at the prevailing pump........

© The Japan Times

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