The 1973 oil crisis accelerated the inflation created by Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society, which was a program to eliminate poverty and racial injustice. This inflation, similar to what is affecting the United States today, was due to an increase in money in the economy, as well as high government spending.
In 2022, high inflation rates have strongly affected gasoline prices. Since many Staples students drive or learn to drive, these inflated prices prove impractical.
“Gasoline prices are very high right now, and that’s not fair to people,” Mary Bazile ’24 said. “Especially during the pandemic, because there is a crisis for other things.”
According to American Automobile Association, the average price of gas in Connecticut has risen from $2.825 per gallon last year to $4.475 per gallon today. This poses a problem for all Connecticut residents, as their gas expenses have nearly doubled. These prices continue to rise and show no signs of slowing down.
At the end of February, inflation jumped and the consumer price index, which measures the evolution of the prices of consumer goods and services, increased by 7.9% compared to the previous year, which is the highest in the last 40 years.
There are many plausible explanations for this rise in inflation, such as supply chain disruptions, labor shortages and the current Russian invasion of Ukraine. An article from CNBC explains the rapid increase in gasoline price inflation.
“A raging crisis in Europe has only fueled price pressures as sanctions on Russia have coincided with soaring gasoline prices,” CNBC said. “Prices at the pump are up about 24% over the past month and 53% over the past year.”
Many economists believe that bad economic policies, similar to the 1970s, such as federal spending and budget deficits, in which the government spends more than it has, as well as excessive increases in the money supply, have caused the recent inflation. These policies were implemented due to the negative effect of COVID-19 on the economy. While this likely avoided a depression, it helped create the current inflation problems the country is currently experiencing.