Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Predictions and consequences

I commute 31 miles each way to my job. I get 28 mpg. Gas prices are just over $4 per gallon. Last May, I spent $182 on gas (according to Quicken). This May, I spent $278. That's a 52% increase in a year's time. Admittedly, gas prices are only up around 25-30% per gallon. However, we're talking about MY spending here. (grin) Besides, even at 25-30% per gallon, that's a huge impact.

It's no wonder that the cost of everything, especially food, is up. Most of our goods get to the stores we shop in by traveling hundreds of miles in fossil fuel-burning vehicles.

Since I got a standard (just under) 4% pay raise in January, I'm feeling the pinch. However, I'm not feeling it as much as those who make a lot less than I do are feeling it.

My current prediction is that gas prices will reach $5.20/gallon by Labor Day.

My next prediction is that masses of people will not be able to feed their children by October. If the administration doesn't offer a solution soon, the crash of 1929 and the resulting Depression will seem like a Disneyland fairy tale by comparison.


barbie2be said...

ya know.... they give us these "cost of living" increases of around 3-4%. the problem is that the actual cost of living increases WAY more than 3-4% per year.

briwei said...

It's amazing how poorly those of us in the "middle" keep up with inflation and how much more rapidly those at the bottom fall behind.

4% will barely cover the cost of living, if at all. So, what they are saying is "You are at the top of your game. We won't pay you less this year."

Summer said...

My husband works for a public utility and hasn't had a raise in years. The rate payers get all pissy because they're afraid the prices will go up. I haven't had a raise in 2 years because we didn't have a new contract. Now my husband has a second job. I hope your predictions are wrong!

Anonymous said...

I long had been amused by economists' soundbites that would state, "holding the price of oil constant, the economy is doing well." They did not teach us at school that one *could* ignore oil cost when it impacts at nearly every level of market indicators, but perhaps that is why I am not a theoretical economist.
I, too, expect $5/gallon petrol before year's end, and look forward to how Congress will attempt to address it - futilely, judging from history.
That this is an election year will make it all the more interesting, since there will be much more high-profile exposure and many, many rounds of finger-pointing.
I would not go as far as to predict Great Depression-like circumstances - our economic infrastructure is better safeguarded, despite recent leakage such as the real estate market collapse and the mortgage industry failures - but if and when such petrol prices arrive and stay, there will be some remarkable cultural shifts in the mainstream.

~ Gemin Blackmoor