In today's pages: Gasoline prices, Olympic capitalism, predatory lending
In the op-ed pages today, Indur Goklany and Jerry Taylor point out the inconvenient truth that while gasoline costs more today in inflation-adjusted terms than it did in the early 1960s, it's more affordable in light of significantly higher household incomes. Welcome to the era of cheap gas, people! Of course, it's not all good news:
The problem is that our incomes aren't outpacing the increase in gas prices lumped together with increases in everything else -- air conditioning, food, etc. Our homes, meanwhile, are losing value.
Bummer. Elsewhere, Columnist Gregory Rodriguez, returning from China, discusses the nationalist marketing hooks of the Olympic Games:
Eager to tap the Chinese market, Western corporations are not shy about leveraging patriotism to move their product. McDonald's is airing a "Cheer for China" television ad. Pepsi has turned its blue cans red for its "Go Red for China" campaign, and Nike ads feature Chinese athletes triumphing over the competition. So much for "We are the world."
Finally, writer Mark Kendall says he misses the days when banks looked like banks. Personally, I miss the days when banks loaned like banks.
Speaking of lending, the editorial board today urges California lawmakers and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to agree on tougher measures against predatory subprime lending than the Federal Reserve recently adopted. It also throws its weight behind a bill requiring medical personnel to provide more information on end-of-life options to the terminally ill, and it muses about the mixed messages the band Buckcherry recently sent about file-sharing.
By the way, if you're convinced that the editorial board is staffed by illegal immigrants, you may have second thoughts after reading Sunday's editorial about building shelters for day laborers at home-improvement stores. Then again, you may not. As we like to say in the Opinion Manufacturing Division, our position is nuanced.
The photographic reminder of the oh-so-affordable price of gas in San Bruno, CA, on June 23 comes from AP Photo/Paul Sakuma.