My friends and I were discussing the economic outlook and were amused that gas prices directly influence the amount of change in our pockets. We came up with this truism. The economy starts to suffer and people stop buying gasoline. In turn - just like magic - gas prices fall. The economy starts to pick up again - and magic happens - gas prices rise. Related or Unrelated? Gallup provides the latest graphs and charts to show Americans are feeling better about the economy. Hidden are the ideas that millions of households are learning to live with less due to taking lower pay, lower paying jobs, or part time jobs. Or - the gas prices fell off from their earlier highs and people are feeling a little relief. Eh - too bad - prices are going to go up again. In reality, the charts show the same ups and downs over the past 3 years. We are no where near the euphoric feelings of 2007. Now consider Exxon Mobil's 41% increase in profits. Ah - that's where all of your money went !