a bit ago i asked on twitter and and facebook, “Without googling it, when was gas under $1/gallon in the US?” and received a lot of answers, many of them wrong ( in retrospect i should have asked when was the last time prices were under a $1/per gallon because there was a the whole oil crisis which raised prices in the late 70s ). the answer? in nonimal terms – 1999, which is surprising. i guessed the late-80’s. that’s the answer to the spirit of the question, when was the last time you could stare at a gas pump and see a price under $1/gallon. an economist would ask, “yes but when was the real price ( i.e. adjusted for inflation ) under $1/gallon”. that answer is equally surprising. in 2012 dollars, a gallon of gas has never been under $1/gallon and the 2011 average price of gas was just over the real price paid in 1919.
good bye middle class? the top 10 percent of U.S. households account for nearly 50 percent of all consumer spending. but is the middle class disappearing because algorithms and machines are making middle-class skills obsolete.
mohamed a. el-erian ceo of global investment management firm PIMCO reminds us that “workforce participation” is at a multi-year low of 64.2%. i.e. dropouts are driving much the improvement in unemployment numbers.
americans now spend $1.2 trillion a year on stuff we don’t need ( nonessential goods ) which represents 11 percent of overall consumer spending, up from 4% in 1959. at least maybe some of all that junk will be around in 2016 which it the date the IMF says china’s economy will surpass that of america bringing an end to The Age of America.