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Relief needed from sky-high gasoline prices

Published: Friday, June 28, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

I’m no economist; however, I submit one of the greatest transfers of wealth in U.S. history has to be taking place. The transfer is money from citizens and industry to the oil companies. It appears to be a blatant rip-off by oil companies and speculators.

For example, as all know, gasoline prices are all over the lot, sometimes changing on a daily basis. A few weeks ago, I left Dixon for Oak Park, and gas was $3.89 a gallon in Dixon. Arriving in Oak Park 90 minutes later, the pump price was $4.49 a gallon.

On a trip last weekend to Northern Wisconsin, I noticed prices varied to as high as $4 a gallon.

In remote Goodman, Wis. (unincorporated), where there are more coyotes, wolves, and black bears than people, one would think bulk tanker transportation costs of gasoline would be reflected in out-of-sight pump prices, right? Wrong. The price in Goodman and other small towns was $3.69.

There appears to be no logical rhyme or reason for widely different prices from one town or area to the next. This huge transfer of wealth cannot help but negatively impact the overall U.S. economy.

How many millions of young working couples with a couple of kids are spending as much on gasoline as they are on monthly household expenses? They can’t afford to travel and enjoy many other family activities putting $70 to $80 a week or more in gas tanks.

I’m a free-market, capitalistic businessman who doesn’t want government setting prices of anything. However, common sense beckons me to think about Shakespeare’s quote, “There is something rotten in the state of Denmark,” when it comes to gasoline pricing.

It’s past time for the U.S. Senate to start asking serious questions and seek relief for our citizens and economy. This letter is being mailed to all U.S. senators. I suggest you contact them also.

Note to readers – Jim G. Burke is the mayor of Dixon.

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