It is interesting to me how quick we are to lay the blame for an economic crisis, gas or otherwise, at the feet of the current administration, whatever or whoever they be. It is as if the economic crisis is a plant that sprouted overnight. It’s ridiculous. It is true the flower might have finally appeared, but the seeds were planted years before. History and economic trends teach us that.
The seeds of today’s gas prices were planted years before. In terms of gasoline prices, a look back is revealing. Looking at the history of gas prices from 1913 to 2020, when you adjust for cost of living and inflation, the highest average gas prices were during the term of President Warren Harding, a Republican, when gas was $4.03 per gallon. The lowest was during the term of President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, at $1.73 per gallon. Looking at gas prices by all presidents from 1913 reveals an average of $2.69 for Democrats and $2.79 for Republicans, which for all practical purposes, is the same. Conclusion: In the long haul, it doesn’t make much difference if the current president is Democrat or Republican when it comes to gas prices. One reason, and only one, is that there are too many factors influencing gas prices beyond the control of the president. Of course, we have to have someone to blame and who better than the one sitting on the “throne.”
Have you heard of the marshmallow experiment of about 50 years ago? Children were given a choice between one marshmallow now or two if they could hold off for 15 minutes or sometimes longer. The children were tracked for years. Those who could delay gratification were most likely to go to college, be happy and successful in life. We have turned into a society of children who want gratification now and struggle with linking our wants and today’s action with consequences. We run up huge credit card bills. We want green policies, then moan when the price of energy rises. We applaud business lockdowns, then complain about inflation. We ask for handouts, subsidies, grants, and for tax cuts at the same time. We advocate for defunding the police and then demand tighter control on rising crime. We want the president to do more to control gas prices and inflation, which means stepping into private business, but do not want socialism. We are indeed strange creatures.
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