Right now, the average gallon of gas in America costs $1.83. Adjusted for inflation, that’s exactly the price drivers paid in 1996, and about 40 percent less than the stuff with which Malaise Era drivers filled their Chrysler Cordobas. Go juice, motion lotion, dinosaur wine, motor spirits—whatever you call it, gas is too cheap for environmentalists (and still too expensive for owners of Dodge’s Hellcat line). But, for the first time in decades, it isn’t insulting to throw your friend a fiver for gas.
Thanks to OPEC’s posturing, pricing and politicking, gas is actually cheaper than milk. And bottled water. Even the goop that fills Mrs. Butterworth’s strange, anthropomorphic bottles. Think about that: Corn syrup, made of corn, over-produced and subsidized to the hilt—will set you back more than a gallon of liquid carbon extricated from the earth’s core, strenuously refined and trucked hundreds of miles. We’ve explained why gas is cheap, but maybe you’re the type of person who needs pictures to drive the point home. No shame in that.
What follows is an illustration of the absurdity of our current state of petroleum. We undertook some light math and heavy photoshopping to show the disparity in price between gallons of our favorite goods, from beer to Butterworth’s. We’re making no consumer recommendations except to say that, while ketchup is delicious, gasoline makes cars do this.
Price of gas, 01/26/16: $1.83/gallon
Price of Milk: $3.82/gal
Price of Poland Spring water: $3.79/gal
Price of coconut water: $14.08/gal
Price of Bud Light: approx. $8.00/gal
Price of Windex: $13.85/gal
Price of Mrs. Buttersworth’s maple syrup: $7.98/gal
Price of Heinz Tomato Ketchup: $15.36/gal
Price of Campbell’s Cream Of Mushroom Soup: $21.34/gal
Price of 1999 Chateau Lafite Rothschild: $3,745/gal