Movie theaters capture more windfall profit than oil companies.
With this summer's high gas prices, Americans are trading in their traditional vacations for "staycations" – vacations much closer to home.
But compared with other things Americans might do, driving is still a bargain.
Consider, for example, the costs of going to a movie:
To take a family of four to a movie at an AMC Theatre, it will cost anywhere from $55.75 to $71.50, depending on whether the family shares movie snacks or not, and this does not even include gasoline.
For that same $71.50, the family could purchase enough gas for their car (of decent gas mileage) to drive from Disneyland to Las Vegas and back again. And for the price of tickets and extra-large refreshments, , they could drive from Disneyland to the Grand Canyon and back again.
Where are the calls for federal investigation into price gouging at concession stands?
For years, populist politicians have dragged oil industry executives to Capitol Hill and accused them of price manipulation. Every time gas prices increase, liberal lawmakers direct the Federal Trade Commission to investigate oil industry price gouging. To their chagrin, the FTC has never found oil industry price manipulation.
What evidence does congress use to back their price gouging claims? Try none.
In 2005, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D) of Washington responded to a question on whether she believed oil companies were price gouging, "[a]bsolutely." she said. "I just don't have the document to prove it."
And this past May, in a speech on the House floor, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) of Florida targeted oil company executives when she said, "I can't say that there's evidence that you are manipulating the price, but I believe that you probably are."