My car was on empty so I pulled into the neighborhood gas station this morning, before the once-a-week trip to Sacramento. I hit a record this morning:
My wife also filled up her tank this morning. Her total: $61.24 for 13.61 gallons, at $4.49 per gallon. So, all told, we spent $116.09 for 25.968 gallons. This is going to turn into an election issue, of course. I appreciate the honesty with which Sen. Obama is addressing the issue. I like some of his ideas. Sen. McCain in a posturing move, also agreed that gas prices wouldn’t drop before the November election.
In other news, there has been discussion of drilling in Alaska again. It’s not a workable solution. What is needed is a lifestyle change, which the average person is unwilling to support in this country. We hear the news but we think it somehow doesn’t apply to us. We want what we want, a nation of overstimulated brats used to having our way. What a mess.
I’m still aghast at the number of full-size SUVs I see cruising around town with one passenger, although I will say the decrease in big cars and trucks on the streets is noticeable. Beyond the foreclosure crisis, there are a number of economic “indicators” that are also prevalent in our city:
- I see more and more older people in entry-level retail and customer-service jobs. There has been a shift in the past 20 years, in which immigrants, mostly from Mexico and Latin America, work the fast food jobs that were largely populated by teen-agers when I was that age in the (cringe) mid- to late-1980s.
- A number of Mom-and-Pop businesses are folding. And not only in certain neighborhoods. I see businesses failing in high-visibility sections of the city.
- I notice businesses cutting back on services. I went into a nationally recognized chain store to purchase some items for the house, and when I attempted to use my credit card, the machine where customers could swipe their card and enter their pin or signature wasn’t working. Instead, there was some complicated procedure in which the sales person had to call an 800 number and validate the purchase by entering my information. I was amazed that they could be so backward.
Does anyone else notice less-reported signs of the economic downturn? I’d be curious to see how things are in your part of the world.