Where’s the Outrage?

On Monday, when I was on my way home, The gas stations were selling petrol for about $1.95, except for one that is always more expensive that was at $2.09. Let’s ignore the outlier and go with $1.95.

On Tuesday morning I noticed that one of them had gone to $2.35. By the end of the day all were at that level, except for the odd one out, who was now sitting pretty at $2.45.

Ignoring the outlier (who is always 10-15c more expensive than everybody else), By my FITA* calculations, $1.95 to $2.35 is about a 20% price hike.

In one day.

And nobody said a thing.

Let’s contrast that with the recent “tragedies” on the stock market. According to this page, the only bigger one-day drops in the Dow-Jones Industrial Average were in 1914 (24% though this figure is not considered reliable) and Black Monday in 1987 (22%). The only recent drops of note were a measly 7-8% each:

  • September 29th 2008
  • October 9th 2008
  • October 15th 2008

Since March 9th, The DJIA has risen from 6547 to over 8400. That means that the market went up by over 25%

And nobody said a thing.

But when the Dow drops by 7%, the newsies trot out all of the doom-and-gloom-merchants predicting the end of the world.

What’s wrong with this picture? And why is it that a one-day 5% drop in the Dow makes headlines while a one-day 20% rise in gas prices does not even merit a byline?

Have we collectively forgotten to do mathematics?

Where’s the outrage?

* FITA=Finger In The Air

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