posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 06:06 AM
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not a tree-hugging socialist or anything; but I am a Brit, and I did also live in the states for a while, and everytime
I read Amercians bitching about petrol/gas prices it really makes my blood boil.
Just to dispel a few myths here - Europeans don't get paid vastly more than Americans in real terms, and on average our tax burden as a whole is much
higher. Plus, I often here Americans say 'We have to drive further' - maybe some do out in the sticks, but most suburban/urban dwellers don't and
you should see the traffic in the UK! I lived in Arizona and believe me, my car would get a whole lot better gas mileage cruising around on those
flat, straight and uncrowded roads I knew in Tucson, than it does over here on our windy, hilly, clogged roads.
Basically it boils down to a technology gap. For many years the American market has been buying incredibly inefficient vehicles - and I'm not just
talking about big pick up trucks and SUVs. Even the Japanese cars like Hondas, Toyotas, and Nissans that are sold in the US tend to have much larger
and thirstier engines than the same models sold in Europe. For example, when I lived in the States we had a Nissan, with a 2.4L engine - there is was
classed as an 'economical sub-compact'!! We imported it back to the UK when we came back and good grief! We promptly got rid of it! A 2.0L engine
here is classed as very big. To put this in persepective the average family car in the UK has an engine of around 1.3L - 1.6L!!!! The same is true in
Europe as a whole. The car I currently drive is a Fiat 500 1.3L Diesel. It is a small car, even by UK standards, but it gets 60-80 MPG depending on
how you drive it.
This is like everything else - for so long Americans have had so much of everything, and been used to large portions, cheap gas etc etc, - and now,
when even Europeans are finding things extra-expensive of course Americans are going to notice the difference even more!
My message for Americans: welcome to the real world!