Don’t let them spin away the pain they’re infliction on Americans.
Gas prices have hit record highs in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, according to AAA. We’ve achieved and exceeded the pain some of us remember all too well from the Obama years:
In one week, Rhode Island gas prices rose 58 cents and Massachusetts saw a growth of 54 cents.
AAA Northeast says Rhode Island’s average gas price of $4.17 per gallon is the highest average price ever recorded in the Ocean State.
During the last peak, I was a carpenter using my own van for work, and at $80, I couldn’t always afford to fill my tank. Younger folks and those who weren’t as attentive to the news back then may not remember how it became a joke that recovery from the recession was always just around the corner. In a sense, it turned out to be true; the corner was the presidency of Donald Trump.
Before that event, some said slow growth was just the new normal for a less-dynamic U.S.A. Others suggested that the Democrats’ economic error, nationally, was that they didn’t borrow, tax, and spend enough to realize the benefit of their Keynesian economic policies.
Well, they’re certainly testing that now. Personally, I marvel that so many people who are ideologically disposed not to care or too blinkered by their theories to evaluate reality have managed to take positions of serious responsibility.
They’re going to try to spin, of course. Here’s Mike Raia, an alum of Gina Raimondo’s PR machine, complaining that Washington Post economic columnist Heather Long didn’t adjust her price comparisons by inflation:
It’s not hard to adjust those comps for inflation, and it’s kind of reckless not to.
$4.11 in 2008 = $5.37 in 2022.
You know, I’m not sure inflation can be blamed for a 15% increase over one week or, for that matter, a 50% increase over one year, which is what Long’s table shows.
More relevantly, however, I wonder whether it is appropriate to adjust one of the most important drivers of inflation for inflation. The cost of fuel is so central to overall prices that Raia’s admonition is kind of like saying that we have to adjust price increases by the amount that the price went up.
Featured image by Gabriel Cote on Unsplash.