The Star prints an article about every three months extolling the great bonus we Americans enjoy by having the price of gasoline as low as it is. The varied authors point out that some countries of the world pay the equivalent of $5 to $6 per gallon. The price comparison is approximately correct, but the advantages of the lower U.S. price are wrong, wrong, wrong.

2. We have to buy insurance, which usually costs more every year because the repair businesses charge more if the damage or loss is covered by an insurance firm.

On the other hand, those other suffering citizens in Europe and elsewhere have wonderful public transportation systems that are clean, efficient, on time and go everywhere within a city as well as into other countries and are very inexpensive. Those people suffer so much that they don't even have to own a car, as most of us certainly do.

Perhaps the next article will prominently and fairly discuss these differences instead of trying to convince us how well off we are as the politicians enjoy the bribes - er, campaign contributions - of the ever-richer oil companies.

The city of Thousand Oaks recently spent $70,000 on a "Buy Local" campaign, sending every resident three postcards explaining the importance of spending locally in order to help pay for police, schools, libraries, etc. Directly after concluding this yearlong effort of meetings and studies and direct mailings, the city awards a contract to a company 70 miles away - for our gateway signs, no less.

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