Too much huffing?

What a bunch of whiners. Sure, gas prices have gone up, but is it really that bad? If you adjust for inflation, the average price for a gallon of gas in the U.S. in 1950 was actually $1.91, which makes the $2.23 today not look too shabby. Besides, you can bet that the price will magically come way down as the presidential election draws near. We should be counting ourselves lucky. Except for Venezuela (where gas is produced by the government, and prices are kept as low as possible as a service to its citizens) and the major oil-producing countries, the U.S. is better off than most countries.

*Nation (City) Price per gallon

Venezuela (Caracas) 14¢ b

Egypt (Cairo) 55¢ c

Kuwait (Kuwait City) 69¢ c

Azerbaijan (Baku) $1.15 b

Russia (Moscow) $1.45 b

China (Shanghai) $1.48 b

Thailand (Bangkok) $1.60 b

United States $2.23 a

Australia (Sydney) $2.63 b

Canada $2.64 c

Japan (Tokyo) $3.84 b

Switzerland (Geneva) $4.56 b

France $5.10 a

Italy $5.33 a

Germany $5.45 a

Hong Kong $5.62 b

United Kingdom $5.72 a

Netherlands $5.94

aa May 24, 2004 prices, U.S. Department of Energy

b May, 2004 prices, CNN Money (from AirInc statistics)

c Feb-May, 2004 prices, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (from MJ Ervin survey and U.S. Department of Energy)

*Where no city is listed, price is based on the national average.