What high gas prices really impact

Discussion in 'Energy' started by Onevoice, May 15, 2011.

  1. Onevoice
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    Onevoice Rookie

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    I'm not a very political person in general, but, I think I represent a good portion (sadly) of Americans. The politics of how and why mean very little to me. This is how I, an average American, sees this problem. Anyone actually do the math? The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. And, we'll round up here, gas is (almost) $5.00 per gallon (where I live). Most people work 8 hours a day. Most gas tanks are anywhere from 12 -25 gallons. Some are more. We'll stick to 15 gallons for our math for now. So, if you think, $7.25 x's 8 hours = $58 per day of work (before taxes). And on the gas side, $5 x's 15 gallons = $75 per tank if you fill up a full tank. If you don't wait to fill up your tank, you're still spending $30-$35 each time you go to the gas station, which could be up to 4 times a week or more. If you already understand what that impacts, that's more than half of one day's worth of work if you're making minimum wage. I understand that plenty of people make more than $7.25 an hour (many only $1- $2 more), but those minimum wage workers provide all the rest of the people with those things such as our gas, and fast food, grocery stores, and entertainment, among other things. If these people can't afford the gas, then everyone else suffers. It's the people on the bottom that support the top. Think of a pyramid. I hope you get my point by now. Something has to be done. Yes, we need to be more efficient with our gas usage. However, those of us who went through the drastic increase in price in 2008 already learned that lesson. I had to leave my job as an insurance agent, which required a considerable amount of driving, due to the gas prices. I lost business due to clients not being able to pay, so I lost money, and could no longer afford to keep my job. I learned about fuel/energy efficiency then and have not changed my habits. What do I, and others in the same boat, do now? Except yell at the top of our lungs (metophorically speaking), and hope someone at the top hears us? Maybe my voice added to the others will help make our cry for help a little bit louder. What I hope to see this post get loud enough through responses to be heard at the top.
     
  2. RGR
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    RGR VIP Member

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    Use less. Otherwise uou give the oil companies the power to control your financial health. If you have honestly modified your behavior significantly, fuel prices just won't matter all that much.
     
  3. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    While there will still be ups and downs, the end of cheap oil is now. A rising tide in Asia, a flat production rate guarentees that. For those on the bottom end of the economic scale, living 30 miles from work will no longer be an option. When choosing a vehicle, one might look first at the economy of operation and what you really need before considering style.

    The increased costs of transportation are going to be reflected in the grocery store as well. Add in the recent agriculteral problems that extreme weather have created, and you have a real problem for those on the bottom of the economic pyramid. When I was a boy, we kept chickens, gardened, canned, and used everything until it wore out. That is where it is now for those in the minimum wage category that are in position to do any of those things.

    Essentially, for todays young people, they are in the position that their great-grandparents were in. They are not going to get to enjoy, the most of them, the economic status that I and my parents, in the last half of their lives, enjoyed. They will have to work harder for less.
     
  4. RGR
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    RGR VIP Member

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    Technically, cheap oil ended right around 1969/1970. Just about any linear trend drawn from that point in time to the real price of crude to any point afterwards has a slope >0.

    Its been downhill for nearly 4 decades now, amazing how even those of us who have lived through the entire increasing sequence only notice it during more extreme price periods.

    I am of the belief that those who work harder will do okay, it is those who think they are "owed" who won't fair so well.
     
  5. Onevoice
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    Onevoice Rookie

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    I would first like to thank you for your responses. I'm going to try to address everything that has been said so far, in short. I live in the mountains. My job is 12 miles away. I have no car payment and a car that is fairly well on gas. I have children and a military disibility that prevents me from working more than 3-4 days a week. My extended family also grows a garden and cans food, as do most of the people here in WV where I live. Due to the mountains, we have become very resourceful. However, all this said, it doesn't fix the problem for me when I have to pay almost $5 a gallon for gas...when the minimum wage is $7.25. I'm a server and on average, I make $10 an hour...but with only working 3 days a week and less than 20 hours a week, that's not much money to pay for gas, among other things. Also, being in the food and beverage business, we are hit by the gas prices a second time because when people can't pay for the gas to get to the restaurant, they can't pay for the food, and can't pay me. I only make $2.13 per hour by my employer...the rest is tips. So I am heavily dependant on people being able to pay for gas. I know there are some of you who would like to tell me to get a different job, but given my limitations, that's not possible right now. So please don't tell me what I can do better or that I'm not doing enough. All that said, this isn't just my problem. This is a national problem and something needs to be done. Everyone who has the power to do it are arguing over the best way to do it. How about keeping those Commodities futures traders from screwing with the prices? Like restricting them from even bidding. I had never heard of such a thing in my life. Futures traders??? That's obscene! This isn't football, where you can bet on who is going to win. Everyone is suffering because of these traders...not just the few people that made the bet.
     
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  6. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    Gas is not going away. And we are dependent on other Countries ONLY because Democrats won't let us drill for oil that is in our Country already. If gas stays at 4 ( not 5) dollars a gallon then we are looking at the feasibility of converting shale to gas, it becomes profitable around 90 dollars a barrel of oil.

    Again the problem is that Democrats are opposed. They opposed offshore drilling, they oppose drilling on Government land, they oppose opening parts of parks to drill and they oppose the building of new refineries.

    Obama did an interview in California in the first couple months of 2008. He is on record as stating he WANTS gas to cost so much only the rich can afford it. He wants natural gas to do the same and he wants to tax coal out of business.

    His great plan? Some unknown undiscovered alternate fuel source that will magically be found when Industry can no longer run on affordable coal , gas and Natural gas.

    Besides the fact that over 60 percent of our electrical grid is run by COAL FIRED plants our entire automobile infrastructure is built for gas and diesel. Even if some unknown new energy source was discovered tomorrow it would be years and billions of dollars before the Country could be converted to use it.

    We have the resources already in the ground to run our economy for years. We have more in shale as well. Another maligned source is Nuclear. The Democrats have spent 40 years opposing the use of our own resources.
     
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  7. Old Rocks
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    People like you spend hours memorizing talking points without looking at any of the problems attendent to the sources of energy. As those problems become more evident at the grocery counter, people will wake up to what fools like you have cheered on.
     
  8. Care4all
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    Care4all Warrior Princess Supporting Member

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    FYI
    ONLY 45% of our electricity comes from coal, not 60%
     
  9. zzzz
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    zzzz Just a regular American

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    And I have not altered my driving to accommodate the rise in gas prices. I just don't buy other products and eat out as much. I think many Americans are doing just this and that in the long run will lead to higher inventory fo products, and layoffs die to lack of demand for many products. I think we are seeing this now. Americans will always drive first and cut back on other things. But we cannot cut back too much on food which is increasing in cost. That leaves everything else's future production bleak and can lead to massive layoffs again except that a large portion of the manufacturing workforce is temporary laborers and it will be they who suffer the most. The permanent employees who get unemployment will start to to be laid off a couple of months later.

    If fuel prices drop and stay down the economy may pick up a little but if they continue to stay where they are at, this fall will be a dark time in history.
     
  10. Care4all
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    very very true!

    but for those that already had cut back....no eating out, no spending money on clothes and gadgets in order to "get by" are going to have a tough time with it.....like the person in the op.

    we have it even worse up here in Maine....heating oil! :eek:

    it darn near broke us this winter....we had to fill the oil tank 3 times this past winter at $800 a POP.....$2400 bucks to just heat this small cape cottage....and gas price hikes to go to work, 30 miles each way for the hubby!

    The economy is going to be hit hard by this....if it continues.
     

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