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Message Subject Tweets from around the U.S. " long lines at gas stations right now!" Panic buying! Fights!
Poster Handle Copernica
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#1 question I was asked when visiting Europe - Do you Americans REALLY need all those cars?

The answer: Yes, we do.

Euros really cannot grasp how big the US is and how far apart things are.

So for some perspective - Most people in the US travel about the distance from Versailles to Paris to get to work. Many work 2x that far or the distance from Chartes to Paris. In many areas of the country, people have to travel at least an hour to just get to the grocery store. I have a friend in the southwest with a 2 hour drive one way to get to any major retail stores. Unless you live in a large city - there is no public transportation available. Even then, if you live any distance outside of town, and work odd hours - you can't rely on buses that only run during rush hours.

The US just couldn't function with high gas prices. $5/gallon is a major tipping point. That's when our economy will just about collapse. It's where it becomes too expensive to get to work. Even at current rates and with a small car - people are paying up to a full day's wages to fill their tank for the week. If the price goes up - then you're looking at working for nearly 2 days just to pay to get to and from the job. THEN, you have stores that have to raise their prices because the companies that supply the product have to raise their prices to cover the cost of gas. So now you have 3 1/2 days pay left to buy the necessities whose prices have just gone up. AND your gas and electric bills have also gone up.

Since many people live paycheck to paycheck - gas price increases can be the difference between having a roof over their head or living in their cars.

I really believe that the monster gas prices we had a few years ago, where we nearly hit the $5/gallon mark nationwide, was a test to see what the tipping point was. We barely survived the $4.59 - $4.89 range. (Many states halted their gas taxes to help keep the gas from going over $5)

If the government could figure a way to get our gas prices back down into the $2.50 range - we could actually see an uptick in the economy. It's not that we're gas greedy - it's just that our entire country depends on it because we are so large.
 
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