Will all due respect to our brethren across the pond, Europe is relatively tiny
While you guys pay more per gallon, you have to travel far fewer miles per year than most Americans do, and Americans lucky enough to have a job don't
have one that covers the cost of living as it is.. Where I live, I'm pretty lucky, if push comes to shove, I have stores within walking distance: two
miles each way. Unfortunately, to supply my home would mean several trips as I can only carry so much, and that would severely impact what else I
could do. Getting from here
in America means travelling much further than what Europeans are used to: try tripling or
quadrupling your annual driving distances to get to the proper scale. And public transportation is mostly a joke, an afterthought in the US. Last time
I rode a bus a few moths ago, the one-way fare was $2.50, and it took aa hour to get to where a had to go, a ten minute journey by car. Not to mention
the fact that public transportation is highly unreliable: to make sure
you get to where you are going on time you need to to take the the bus
before the one that will get you there, costing an extra half-hour to an hour in time.
To get my brother to the doctor means a 30 mile one way drive. No choice there: he's on MediCal and that's the only doctor willing to treat him. I
myself haven't seen a doctor in a decade or so, I can't afford to. We grow a lot of our own food and herbs. We've cut and shaved until there is
Hidden inflation is rampant in the US. I say hidden because it takes the form of unannounced size redutions: containers that used to be a pint or a
pound are down to 13.5 ounces usually, but the recution was never announced, and because the price is calculated per unit rather than per ounce, it
isn't reflected in the Consumer Price Index, as the price of gas and electricity also isn't included.
I' m not sure if Europe understands how dire the situation in the US actually is. The unemployment rate is actually double the official numbers at
least. Municipal and county budgets are already busted, more states are broke than not, and the politicians refuse to consider increasing taxes,
preferring to increase unemployment instead.
If gas goes to $5 a gallon (we're not that far from it here in California, it's already brushing $4 a gallon today), it will be the final straw for a
lot of individuals I know who work part-time as the best they can get. At $5 a gallon, it will no longer be affordable to work, as fuel costs will
exceed the paycheck.
It will also be the final straw for a lot of government budgets, too, especially if /when another big storm demands using a lot of gas in less than
best mileage conditions.
In the US, $5 dollar gas will probably put around half a million people out on the street when those on the margin lose the ability to support
The rest of us will be pushed into the margins ourselves, awaiting the next little economic shove to push us over the edge and out into the
edit on 25-2-2011 by apacheman because: (no reason given)
edit on 25-2-2011 by apacheman because: sp