So let me rephrase the question. What makes the EU a benchmark for "real costs" across the globe? Their prices aren't really a reflection of any accurate market trends.
EU pricing is the flip side of the same coin. The taxation applied to the cost of gas at the pump is the reason for what they pay. You acknowledged that.
But you didn't answer my question. What makes their prices a benchmark for "real costs"? Those were your words. You said that Americans don't know what things "really cost" based on what you saw in Finland.
Your statement was made in a tone and context as if Americans shouldn't be upset about gas prices because gas is cheap. It's cheap, but we have to pay out the a$$ for other things. I already told you much I pay for insurance...you want to know how much my boss pays for insurance: $1400 a month, for him, his wife and 3 girls. All are healthy and have no health issues. Ironically, his wife works at a hospital and gets a supposed break on insurance.
I know outsiders think that America is a country where everyone is born with a silver spoon in their mouth, but let me say that most people do not live that way. Many people have it rough right now. I would even argue that a lot of Americans have it harder than many Europeans, because of the lack of social safety nets.
The $5+ gas station photos in California they're been blanketing across the news are the exception (rich areas like San Francisco and West LA). Regular is $4.55 where I'm at in Ventura and the San Fernando Valley. Big deal, an extra $8 to drive 350 miles. That's 0.023/mile
also, just fyi, it doesnt matter where gas is drilled, refined or whatever. theres no law saying that oil drilled somewhere has to stay in the country so there isnt a surplus that drives the cost down when a country produces more oil.
creating a law that would do that would certainly help make us energy independent but also wouldnt help bring prices down. you think oil companies are dumb enough to accidentally bring too much oil to market? narrrrpp. and even if they did they could just store it or move it somewhere else.
if i recall correctly, Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) somewhat recently sponsored a bill to keep oil drilled in the US within the US but who knows where that is. seems like a bipartisan no brainer but with all the members of congress bankrolled by the energy industry and multitudes of different lobbying groups who knows if itll ever see the light of day.