im pretty sure scott meant that at 5 a gallon, americans will crumble... cities and public transportation will boom, suburbs will die. housing prices in the suburbs will drop even more simply because it takes a gallon of gas to go to the city to work, and another gallon of gas to come back, and times that by the amount of family members that have cars and need to travel to whatever they need to go.
at 4 a gallon last summer, we all seen stories of people buying a pos 93 geo metro for 8000, V6 and 8's suv's dropping in price rapildy, and 10 year old Japanese hybrids being sold for their brand new price 10 years ago.
i think that the price going to $5 overnight(fairly quickly) could cause some economic woes, but if it gradually rises to that price...
there are sooooooo many ways Americans can cut back in spending(waste), i believe that a slow and deliberate increase would be accepted as inflationary and part of a routine.