"Independent as a hog on ice"
July 4, 2008 | Get out your fireworks ("safe and sane" of course)! Fire up the BBQ! Have a parade! It's time to celebrate the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, Cheap Gasoline, and the pursuit of Happiness.
Actually, "pursuit of Happiness" and "Cheap Gasoline" are pretty much the same thing in the eyes of many Americans.
You can be sure that self-evident patriotism will be on full display today, with flags everywhere. In these post-9/11 days patriotism has become excessive, verging on jingoism and xenophobia.
The irony is that the United States is more dependent these days than ever before. We hardly manufacture anything any more, importing everything from toys to food to cars, and everything in between. Our economy is mortgaged to foreign bankers, especially the Chinese. If all those people braying about globalization and world trade had to get by with things grown and made only in America they'd be sorely deprived indeed.
Back to that gasoline. The price-point at which people actually care about the cost of gasoline has been determined to be $4 per gallon. Until gas got to that point, people continued to drive their pick-up trucks and SUVs. Now that it's more than $4 per gallon, people are actually looking for alternatives, and Detroit finally seems to have gotten the point.
The search for scapegoats is on. The same people who tell us they believe in a free market are crying Speculator! and making noises about windfall profit taxes. Mind you, I do begrudge the ExxonMobils of the world their ginormous profits — I wish they were mine! Far-sighted politicians — if such a thing actually existed and were not such an obvious oxymoron — should be telling Americans to get over themselves. High priced gasoline (and other energy) is here to stay.
The rest of the world has known this for years. They laugh at us complaining about $4 per gallon when they regularly pay twice as much. For example, check out the prices for gasoline on June 23, 2008 (right).
Last updated on Sep 6, 2016