Do the Math

In the last few weeks there have multiple articles, evening news reports, and instances of political posturing in regard to the oil executives and their quarterly profits. The Washington Post ran an article saying, "Senate Democrats want a temporary windfall profits tax, and some consumer groups say the profits should go to build new refineries. But most drivers just want the prices to come down, so they don’t have to shell out wads of money to feed the profits that have America fuming." The Post quoted one man as saying, “I feel cheated. We’re all getting cheated.”

But are we getting cheated?

Consumers are quick to run to the phones or take out the pen and paper to inform their respective elected government officials about the evil profiteers, but they rarely sit down to think about how much they waste on products that surely will not, and can not, run their SUV down the local state highway. The next time you hear someone ranting about paying more than $2.10 for a gallon of gas, it would be interesting to see their daily expenditures on products that might be considered by some to be "non-essential" items compared to what fuels their means of transportation:

1 Gallon of Lipton Ice Tea – $ 9.52
1 Gallon of Gatorade – $10.17
1 Gallon of Evian Water – $21.19
1 Gallon of Scope – $84.48
1 Gallon of Vick’s Nyquil $178.13
1 Gallon of Pepto Bismol – $123.20

Without even touching the low-fat soy mocha latte, the point is clearly made. While we all want the cheapest gasoline available, we must all realize that almost always, that is exactly what we are getting.

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