markmcb writes "It seems that a week cannot pass without finding big news about gas prices. They're up, they're down ... but why do we care so much? OmniNerd posted an article that aims to put gas prices in perspective. The author takes a look at other commodities and their price variances and applies some simple math in order to make the claim that best-gas-price-hunting is an effort that could be better used on other products. From the article, 'Why the disproportionate emphasis on gas prices in our culture, then? Although some cite a failure of politicians or media populists to account for inflation and purchasing power changes, I think it is simply because gas prices are in your face.'" IMO, the other side to the price of gas is that, especially in developed countries, it has a pervasive effect throughout all layers of the economy — food prices (because of the trucking), schools (busing), etc., etc.