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Ninety-five Percent of Americans Think Gas Price is Too High Says New Survey


Provo, UT, United States, 07/09/2007 - Ninety-five percent of Americans think recent gas prices are too high — according to a nationwide survey by Qualtrics. But many may be mistakenly casting blame at the wrong group for their pain at the pump.

Complaining about oil company money-making conspiracies may be an effective anger management channel, but according to Ben Stein, Yahoo Personal Finance writer, these conspiracies don’t exist. Stein — known by many for his cameo appearance as the painfully monotone teacher in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off — says gas prices aren’t set by oil companies at all.

“Oil is a world commodity like tin or copper or rubber or coffee,” Stein says in a recent Yahoo Finance article. “The price is set by traders anticipating supply and demand.”

But what may be common knowledge to the former white house consultant might have somehow missed the mainstream consumer. Seventy-two percent of Americans think our gas prices are a result of price gouging by major oil companies.

Moreover, results from the Qualtrics Survey Software questionnaire show that 54 percent of respondents feel that prosecution for price gouging is a viable solution for the price hike. But economists and analysts like Stein suggest consumers are often eager to place the blame on someone — and it feels good to pick on the rich and powerful for once — even if they’re innocent.

“The problem is that if we keep punishing the companies that in good faith give us the energy we need to power our lives at market prices…eventually, they’ll go away,” Stein continues. “Or they won’t have the ability to do their jobs as well because of all the restrictions we’ve put on them.”

If that’s the case, someone had better redirect the American public’s anger toward the deserving parties — although we might try to find someone with a more engaging voice than Stein; his high school students had the tendency to take “days off.”

Qualtrics is a market leader in Internet-based, electronic survey software creation, analysis and distribution. More than 30,000 customers prefer Qualtrics for their market research and survey software needs, including representatives from Fortune 500 companies and the nation’s top business schools.


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