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Democracy

Gas prices have fallen for 70 days in a row, the longest streak since 2015

Good news for our wallets.

gas prices, gasoline, economy
Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

Prices at the pump have dropped for more than two months straight.

When the summer of 2022 began, prices at the gas pump were pretty dire. Hitting a record nationwide average of $5.02 per gallon on June 14, gasoline became a bigger chunk of every family's budget and was particularly painful for people who had planned summer road trips to save over flying.

But since that peak, prices have steadily dropped to an average of $3.89 per gallon as of August 23. In fact, the price of gas has fallen every day for 70 days straight, which is the longest consecutive downward streak since January of 2015, according to Bloomberg. Prices vary by location, of course, but that prolonged drop is great news for our pocketbooks.

Why are prices dropping, though? It depends on who you ask.


The Biden administration has touted the president's policies for the price decline, but the reality is a lot more complicated. Every president is quick to take credit for lowering gas prices and every political opponent is quick to blame them for rising gas prices. Unfortunately, our penchant for partisan side-taking tends to push us to follow suit.

But presidents actually have very little control over gas prices or the factors that influence them. Global crude oil prices, which have the greatest influence on prices at the pump, are mostly out of a president's control.

“No administration really has a lot of sway over gas prices,” Andrew Gross, a spokesman for the AAA, told Factcheck.org. Severin Borenstein, faculty director of the Energy Institute at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, told Politifact, “By far the biggest driver is the price of crude oil, which is driven by supply and demand factors. A strong global economy, which presidents can influence slightly, is likely to increase demand and drive up prices."

The global economy and crude oil prices have been affected by all kinds of things, from the COVID-19 pandemic driving down demand in 2020 to Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022, causing instability in the global energy market. President Biden has also released record amounts of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to try to mitigate the price spike, but gas prices have been up all over the world, and even with our prices remaining higher than average, our gas prices are still lower than most of the world.

The truth is complex. Lower gas prices are certainly good for our individual, immediate bottom line, of course, but focusing solely on our own savings ignores a host of other implications. For instance, higher gas prices can cause people to drive less, which is actually a positive for the environment. On the other hand, people who can't afford those higher prices but who have no choice but to buy gas suffer disproportionately from higher prices, making price fluctuations an equity issue as well. Sometimes low gas prices can be a bad sign, as was the case during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

And despite the long streak of falling prices, industry experts and former government officials say that prices could go back up again. So for now, let's just say yay that prices have been falling for a while, celebrate saving some money and keep working on ways to lessen our dependence on oil and gas so these prices aren't as big a factor in our lives.

Education

12 books that people say are life-changing reads

Some books have the power to change how we see ourselves, the world, and each other.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Books are powerful.

As a participant in the Amazon Associates affiliate program, Upworthy may earn proceeds from items purchased that are linked to this article, at no additional cost to you.

Out of all human inventions, books might just be the greatest. That may be a bold statement in the face of computers, the internet and the international space station, but none of those things would be possible without books. The written recording of human knowledge has allowed our advancements in learning to be passed on through generations, not to mention the capturing of human creativity in the form of longform storytelling.

Books have the power to change our lives on a fundamental level, shift our thinking, influence our beliefs, put us in touch with our feelings and help us understand ourselves and one another better.

That's why we asked Upworthy's audience to share a book that changed their life. Thousands of responses later, we have a list of inspiring reads that rose to the top.

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Community

Man uses social media to teach others ASL so kids don't experience what he did as a child

Every child should be able to communicate in a way that works best for them.

Man teaches people ASL so no child experiences what he did

People start communicating from the moment they enter the world usually through cries, faces, grunts and squeals. Once infants move into the toddler phase the combine all of their previous communication skills with pointing and saying a few frequently used words like "milk," "mama," "dada" and "eat."

Children who are born without the ability to hear often still go through those same stages with the exception of their frequently used words being in sign language. But not all hearing parents know sign language, which can stunt the language skills of their non-hearing child. Ronnie McKenzie is an American Sign Language advocate that uses social media to teach others how to sign so deaf and nonverbal kids don't feel left out.

"But seriously i felt so isolated 50% of my life especially being outside of school i had NONE to sign ASL with. Imagine being restricted from your own language," McKenzie writes in his caption.

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Family

Wife says husband's last name is so awful she can't give it to her kids. Is she right?

"I totally get we can’t shield kids from everything, and I understand the whole family ties thing, but c’mon."

A wife pleads with her husband to change their child's name.

Even though it’s 2023 and schools are much more concerned with protecting children from bullying than in the past, parents still have to be aware that kids will be kids, and having a child with a funny name is bound to cause them trouble.

A mother on Reddit is concerned that her future children will have the unfortunate last name of “Butt,” so she asked people on the namenerds forum to help her convince her husband to name their child something different.

(Note: We’re assuming that the person who wrote the post is a woman because their husband is interested in perpetuating the family name, and if it were a same-sex relationship, a husband probably wouldn’t automatically make that assumption.)

"My husband’s last name is Butt. Can someone please help me illuminate to him why this last name is less than ideal,” she asked the forum. “I totally get we can’t shield kids from everything and I understand the whole family ties thing, but c'mon. Am I being unreasonable by suggesting our future kid either take my name, a hybrid, or a new one altogether?"

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Joy

Bus driver comes to the rescue for boy who didn't have an outfit for school's Pajamas Day

“It hurt me so bad…I wanted him to have a good day. No child should have to miss out on something as small as pajama day.”

Representative Image from Canva

One thoughtful act can completely turn someone's day around.

On the morning just before Valentine’s Day, school bus driver Larry Farrish Jr. noticed something amiss with Levi, one of his first grade passengers, on route to Engelhard Elementary, part of Jefferson County Public School (JCPS) in Louisville, Kentucky.

On any other day, the boy would greet Farrish with a smile and a wave. But today, nothing. Levi sat down by himself, eyes downcast, no shining grin to be seen. Farrish knew something was up, and decided to inquire.

With a “face full of tears,” as described on the JCPS website, Levi told Farrish that today was “Pajama Day” at school, but he didn’t have any pajamas to wear for the special occasion.
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via Imgur

Memories of testing like this gets people fired up.

It doesn't take much to cause everyone on the internet to go a little crazy, so it's not completely surprising that an incorrect answer on a child's math test is the latest event to get people fired up.

The test in question asked kids to solve "5 x 3" using repeated addition. Under this method, the correct answer is "5 groups of 3," not "3 groups of 5." The question is typical of Common Core but has many questioning this type of standardized testing and how it affects learning.

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Image from YouTube video.

An emotional and strong Matt Diaz.


Matt Diaz has worked extremely hard to lose 270 pounds over the past six years.

But his proudest moment came in March 2015 when he decided to film himself with his shirt off to prove an important point about body positivity and self-love.

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