The cost of gasoline: Them and us

(Photo: Bloomberg)(Photo: Bloomberg)

Now this is a fun table to play with.

I’m all for this sort of interactivity if I know how to work it and it is not built solely for software developers, MBAs and chess champions.

Bloomberg looks at countries around the world and tell us in data from each country (a) the average price of a gallon of gas  (b) the percentage of a day’s wages needed to buy a gallon of gas and (c) the percentage of annual income spent on gasoline. The chart also lets you focus on each country and assess their situation vis a vis gasoline prices and usage

Incidentally, the U.S. ranks 51st in average gas prices, 55th in wages needed to buy gas and 7th in annual income spent on gas.

You’ll be surprised that you have gotten this far into a story about gas prices and I haven’t mentioned fuel taxes yet. Well… The missing link here of course is the state of transportation infrastructure, and without that that tax value calculations can’t really be done. But as Bloomberg points out, “only five countries have less pain at the pump; all but one are members of OPEC.”

So as reauthorization wanders on to the horizon and you prepare to put some pressure on your Congressional delegation, remind them that the fuel tax is till the basis of our transportation funding–now and in the short-term future–and a few added cents on the $18.4 cents federal gasoline tax that would do vital work for our aging transportation infrastructure would still leave us with some very impressive numbers on this chart.

I suspect if the chart were mined a little deeper and the state of transportation infrastructure could somehow be included in a measurable way, you’d find, as they say, you get what you pay for.