Over the past twenty years, which product do you think has risen more in price, milk or gasoline? Most of us would probably guess that it's gas, even just by the jumps in price of this summer. We would also be wrong.
Over the longer term, milk has actually had a larger price increase, as has bread and groceries over all. Gas is right behind them, of course, but food is getting to be more expensive than gasoline.
So why do we pay far more attention to the spikes in gasoline prices? An interesting article in the Seattle Times, Gas-pump angst: Why rising price riles us up, takes a look at that question.
I think most of the analysis in the article is right-on, and I found it very interesting. One thing it glosses over, however, is the connection between gas prices and political issues. Yes, food prices (particularly farm subsidies) have political overtones, but to the same extent, and not for the population as a whole.