|Royal Enfield motorcycles are easy on gas. But does anyone care?|
"But you'll be thankful for it if gas goes back up."
Commuting to work on a Royal Enfield — before I lost the job I was commuting to — was always a joy. I never thought about the gas I was saving.
I vividly remember filling up at more than $4 a gallon in 2008. Sure, we knew that Europeans and others paid more. U.S. drivers pay an average of just 48.5 cents a gallon in taxes.
But the price per gallon seemed like an awful lot to me.
Peoples' memories are funny.
Tim McMahon, who writes about monetary inflation at InflationData.com points at that even though U.S. gasoline prices adjusted for inflation were low in 1998, most people didn't realize it since the pump price then seemed high.
"But they knew it intuitively since a smaller portion of their budget was going toward gasoline. In fact, gas had gotten really cheap by historical standards allowing people to buy gas guzzlers like SUVs and Hummers."
Americans who bought Hummers as fashion statements were in for a shock in 2008 when gas prices rose. General Motors, maker of the Hummer, filed for bankruptcy in 2009 and the last Hummer, by then a symbol of wretched excess, was produced in 2010.
Today gas prices at the pump seem low but, in fact, according to McMahon, they are no where near as low as they were (adjusted for inflation) in 1998. In fact, he noted in 2013 that the average price of gasoline in the United States (adjusted for inflation) has been $2.60 per gallon since 1918!
In other words, the price we pay today at the pump in the U.S. is below average, but not by much. Prices may go lower and they certainly will go higher.
Hang onto that Royal Enfield.