When I bought my first car, with money earned from my first “real” job, I could purchase more than five gallons of gasoline with the proceeds of one hour’s minimum wage (not counting, of course the loss to taxes) .
In January of 2009, one hour of minimum wage could purchase a little over four gallons–a reduction in purchasing power of about 20%.
Now, one hour of minimum wage earnings can purchase–if one is fortunate to be in an “average gasoline cost” area–a little less than 2 gallons, or more than a 50% loss in the minimum wage earner’s dollar value, more than doubling the cost for many low-income workers to simply get to and from their work, such as it is. If they can find a job.
That’s one metric, but an important one. Any time ANYONE tries to defend The Zero, simply point out how his own administration’s policies in making it even harder for refineries to be built or even have access to plenty of feed stock (killing the pipeline from Canada to the Anadarko, OK refinery, for example), blocking American drilling in the Gulf of Mexico while sending YOUR tax dollars (and plenty of borrowed money, too) to Brazil to AID Brazil’s development of Gulf oil, and on and on and on have exacerbated fuel availability and costs, while allowing the Fed to engage in wholesale devaluing of the dollar by printing fiat money hand over fist have impacted everyone, but especially lower income people.
He and his ilk are uncaring, self-absorbed jerks at best, but I’ll not say what I really think.
Of course, diesel is much higher than gasoline, and diesel is a primary fuel for transport of, well, darned near everything, including food–another necessity that low income folks know is beating them up on prices.
Now, consider that the jackasses who manufacture the Consumer Price Index don’t think such costs as fuel and food should be included in figuring costs, because, well, they’re “gummint ‘workers'” and know they’ll be just fine, so they DGARA about real people. (Did I just imply that “gummint ‘workers'” aren’t “real people”? Yep. Most of ’em aren’t, IMO.)
Oh, well. <rant /off>