Keeping US petrol below $4/gallon one pump at a time

Dubbed as the only way that gas will stay below four dollars a gallon, US papers have picked up on an interesting story that has arisen out of the huge increase in Oil prices over the last few years.

The Seattle Post Intelligencer reports:

As gas prices rise, some stations with older pumps are encountering an unexpected challenge: They can’t be set to charge more than $3.99 9/10 per gallon.

For example, take the three pumps at Vashon Island’s Engels Repair & Towing — please, said Lou Engels, 68, who has owned the garage for 41 years.

"When I bought these brand-new in 1995, nobody could imagine gas would ever be higher than $3.99 a gallon," he said.

"Now, it would cost thousands of dollars to replace them, and the upgrades for the pumps are back-ordered.

 Back-ordered?! Who says recessions aren’t good for (very, very few) businesses? But seriously, this is exacly the kind of real-world problems that occur due to currency inflation. In the abstract it hardly matters what number is assigned to what value, but when it comes to having to use a wheelbarrow to transport your wages home the economists have to take a break from the ivory-tower-thinking. 

Mark OByrne

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