If you are like most Americans and want to know who to blame for the price of gas, you don't have to look any farther than your own back yard furniture.
Your Average American, like maybe you, is not rich. I hate to tell you this, but there is a reason for that. Your Average American picks Cheap over Quality every day. He and she figure that less money for stuff means more money for both of them. And they are right, in the short-sight term. But in the long-sight term, they are ruining their own standard of living even as they spend.
For examply, shopping at Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer, prices are lower than your corner store almost every time. Wal-Mart don't buy from places that pay union wages. Heck, Wal-Mart itself don't pay union wages. No, Wal-Mart has like 80% of its stuff coming from China. In China, workers don't need to be treated so nice or paid so well in other countries, so prices is really, REALLY cheap. So you buy dishes and lawn chairs for a steal. There's more money in your pocket. You really saved.
Then you go fill up the gas tank and gasp. The price of gas has, like, doubled. The world price for crude oil has gone higher than even the oil-company CEO's themselves want. And the experts say it ain't coming down any time soon, because China can use whatever the Saudis can pump out.
China is supplying Sam Walton's retail juggernaut, and as money gets tighter, more American people figure to save a few bucks at Wal-Mart meaning China needs more energy, which means the price of oil goes up. Never mind the question about what happens when the well-paid workers have really vanished and there's nobody to buy what China makes any more.
Your dollar when you spend it is not just about you getting the cheapest deal at this particular store. My mom taught me to shop local, even if the little shops was more expensive. She lived in a community that she helped make by keeping it alive. Not all small store owners are good and not all big chains are bad, so pay attention to the whole story. And start taking responsibility for the world you live in by putting your money where it improves that world instead of saving a dollar at the register only to pay five more at the pump and not having any choice of where to shop but Wal-Mart.