I'm tired of hearing the "This isn't REALLY the highest gas has ever been. Back in 1980, it was more expensive" crap. I was a young driver in 1980 with only a part time job and guess what, gas wasn't so painful on my budget then! I don't care what the egg-heads say about adjusted for inflation! From real life, experience, it's more expensive now!
I know the main reason that gas is so expensive it that we have fed the huge populations of China and India with money (by moving all manufacturing and off shoring jobs there) and now they are buying more cars and more oil. They're governments are also stockpiling oil (just as every other country does).
That's the main reason gas is so expensive now. All those $30 DVD players we have bought from China hasn't only cost us American manufacturing jobs but is now biting us our wallets via oil prices.
Don't get me wrong, the oil companies are doing thier part to gouge us also. They are raking in the profits while standing there, trying to look innocent and whistling at the sky. Their profits (and executive bonuses) are at record levels which means they aren't working very hard to ease the pain of us Americans.
Gas companies (and retailers) have it good. Even though there are several companies, there's no competition. They can demand any price they want and will eventually get it because, gas is a necessity in the US.
The worst part is the ratchet effect. The news will announce that oil prices have gone up and EVEN BEFORE that oil is bought and processed, local prices shoot up. The excuse I have heard is that the local guys have to jack to price up to pay for the next load. Sorry, I don't buy that 100%. That may be a minor excuse but, the prices never comedown as fast or by as much as they go up.
The retailers will jack the price up 30¢ in a week and drop it by 12¢ in two weeks and we are happy that it at least came down by 12¢!
We are getting shafted and we are allowing it to happen to ourselves.