Give me a break from John Stossel (read full):
Were you “gouged?” buying gas this week? Or maybe over the Memorial Day weekend? Did you pay those record high prices we’ve heard about? It’s time to say give me a break! But & to whom? Drivers we spoke with called gas prices “ridiculous.” And the media says it’s a new record. Newscasts on CBS, NBC, ABC all announced new record highs. On Fox News, Jon Scott told viewers, “the average price of gas has hit a record high of, get this: $3.18 a gallon.” Well, get this: It’s not a record high. That’s what they say in the media, but it’s only a record high if you don’t adjust for inflation. And that’s just silly. You might as well say the movie “Rush Hour II” made more money than “Gone with the Wind.” The media ought to quote prices in real dollars, but maybe when they get excited, they just don’t bother. Once you adjust for inflation, it turns out gas cost more 25 years ago, in March 1981. When the 1981 price is converted to 2007 prices (not 2006 prices, as the EIA did), last week’s average price of $3.22 is seven cents below the record, $3.29, which by the way was a monthly average.