Wednesday, August 31, 2005

 
Gallon of Gas
Just a note on comparitive gas prices. The cost of oil is hitting drivers everywhere, but as someone who hasn't sat behind a wheel for about two years I've been fairly oblivious to the situation except when editing yet another narcoleptic inducing business story about $70/barrel for oil blahblah. But two HK auto-owning coworkers just clued me in to how relatively lucky US drivers are.
Adjusting for liters vs gallons ("petrol" is priced per "liter" here for those who want to "go motoring" on their "tyres" and look through their "windscreens") and currency rates, HK drivers are paying about US$8.35 per gallon of gas. One said it costs him more than US$100 to fill his tank. He's been walking and taking a lot of buses and subway trains lately.***************************
My comments feature has never worked but in the interest of equal opportunity dialogue and to reveal my gross ignorance in all things regarding economics ("invisible hand" always confused me, I thought it was a Vincent Price movie or something) here's an e-mail I received from a from a trained economist in New York City: "I always love to see gas comparisons - gas prices are hign in many other countries because there are huge excise taxes and VATs on them. The tax structure in the US is based on income, property and consumption, with most of the burden tied to income and property. In most other countries consumption is taxed more highly. Sooo gas price comparisons are like comparing apples to crabs - they just aint so.''
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