chrism39's Blog

May. 29, 2008 at 11:15am

sad economy

I just had to make payment arrangements with tacoma public utilities. Oh the shame. I saw on 26th and stevens today that the gas prices have risen 6 cents over night. Now I just want to know when our govt plans on doing something about this? Last month the oil companies ( shell, 76 cant remember which one) disclosed that they had made more money than any american company ever. Now if that is the case how can they be charging these prices? I'm just so sick of it. I have stopped driving almost entirely, but my husband commutes to seattle 5 days a week and since he has to be at work by 4 am he cannot use any public transportation. We have even thought of moving back to seattle, but the astronomical rent prices have made that a null issue ( and I don't want to). and the really scary thing is, if we are struggling what is it like for people who are truly poor? I don't know if politics is welcome on this blog, but I for one cannot wait until that idiot is out of office. OBAMA for 08.

comments [25]  |  posted under sad economic times


by KevinFreitas on 5/29/2008 @ 12:33pm
I'm sorry to hear about that. We're fortunate to both work and live in town but I'm still wanting to cut back on gas usage. I'm hoping to start riding my bike next week and might get a scooter for motorized treks.

As for politics, I'm with you. :) Go Obama!

by fredo on 5/29/2008 @ 12:41pm
We are Tacomans and my wife works in King County so we are feeling the same challenges that you and your husband are Chris.

You will be happy to learn that the current president will be leaving office in January, 2009. Bush has certainly been anything but the best president ever, but to make him the whipping boy for the world energy crisis is a little unfair. Our country has been petroleum guzzling diet for at least 80 years.

by Twisty on 5/29/2008 @ 1:19pm
The day is coming soon when employers such as your husband's are going to have to be more accommodating. Either they will need to adjust his work hours, step up to cover his commuting costs, or deal with the loss of a valued employee.

Personally, I am lucky. I also commute up there (er, here) every day, but I am able to use ST. It was a no-brainer when gas was $2.75; it's a real winner with gas at $4.00.

Fredo has a point, fuel prices are not Bush's fault. OTOH, I don't see him doing anything about it. I don't even see him paying the issue credible lip service. He seems OK with it.

And... how I wish that I could vote for Obama, if for no other reason than to make a statement. Alas, I cannot.

by Heather on 5/29/2008 @ 1:31pm
I don't think that we should make Bush our whipping boy for all of our problems, either. But, in the case of gas prices, his background and connections in big oil cause me to suspect that he is consciously choosing to not (at the very least) verbally condemn the price gouging. OTOH (thanks - that is a new one for me, and I like it!!), while I am concerned about how fuel costs are affecting us all and our economy, I am glad that people are looking at alternative transportation and thinking about their overall consumption. Buy Local!
Oh, and GO OBAMA!!!

And, ChrisM, thanks for sharing candidly; you have my heartfelt empathy.

by Keeper on 5/29/2008 @ 2:01pm
Don''t forget that the price of gas here is no where near what it costs across the pond to the right of us. I gotta side with most of you that have posted and say that Bush isn't really all that responsible for this "oil crisis". But it makes me soooo mad to see the oil companies making money hand over fist while the rest of the economy is slipping.

I'm not one for "big government", but this seems to be a case where our elected officials should get involved and do something.

by ensie on 5/29/2008 @ 2:10pm
I totally understand where you are coming from. Frinklin has been out of work for several month now and calling around to the companies we owe money to hasn't been the most fun. We've had to dip into our retirement savings more than once (not that it was all that much to begin with).

While we're saving a lot on our commuting costs, I'd gladly be paying for gas to get to a job as opposed to receiving unemployment checks.

I'm all about OBAMA '08. I really hope he looks beyond ethanol once the election is over and he no longer has to kiss the ass of the midwest.

Also, Twisty? You wish you could vote for Obama, but can't? Are you Canadian? I believe you can vote you want in this country.

by AP on 5/29/2008 @ 2:20pm
@KF: "might"???

@Everyone else: Why do so many people feel that gasoline should be cheaper than milk? I don't get it. A non-renewable, limited natural resource...coming from halfway around the globe...sounds like it should cost more than milk to me. Not trying to be an ass - just want to understand the logic. "It's not convenient for me" isn't good enough, unfortunately.

by KevinFreitas on 5/29/2008 @ 2:29pm
We've been spoiled, no doubt. Such a habit will be hard and difficult for folks to break. Especially those whose lives don't exist nearly exclusively in a single urban center. But none of that matters to folks who have difficulty making ends meet. Either gas needs to be cheap or an alternative needs to present itself as just as affordable/easy as gas was 5-10 years ago.

@Chrism: I agree with Twisty and hope your hubby's employer will be flexible to help make the commute easier or unnecessary on certain days. I have a friend who just worked with her office to justify her working from home 3 days of the week.

by Erik on 5/29/2008 @ 3:48pm
China and India are exhibiting massive demands on raw material and oil which is not going to end anytime soon.

The price of gas may drop but I don't think we are going to see under $2.00 a gallon gas anytime soon if ever again.

SUVs are already starting to sell at a discount.

I gotta side with most of you that have posted and say that Bush isn't really all that responsible for this "oil crisis".

I like Obama as well. However, Bush can't be blamed for lack of infinite amount of oil in the world. He can be for other disasters, but not for the lack of endless cheap oil.

Realistically though, I don't see a significant change in people's behavior until gas gets up to $5.00 a gallon.

by Twisty on 5/29/2008 @ 6:28pm
Also, Twisty? You wish you could vote for Obama, but can't? Are you Canadian? I believe you can vote you want in this country.

Above, I was just wanting to touch on this, and let it go without elaborating, purely to remind you lovely people that the movement to elect the man is far from unanimous. I can see that this is a heavily pro-Obama crowd, my gut tells me that minds are made up, and I can't think of any good reason to open up the debate here.

But since you asked...
His politics are way too far to the left. Indeed, I fear that he is even farther left than many of you imagine.

Years ago, prior to gaining the last twenty years or so of accumulated life experience, I probably would have voted for him. Before I came to understand how this Democratic-owned and operated state works. Before I learned to decode the politics of entitlement and victim status. Before I came to understand the grotesque pandering and cynicism that is required to create entire new classes of Democrat Party clients.

OK, rant over. Point is... yes, I can vote for whomever I choose, but my conscious won't allow me to vote for Obama. He isn't just 'not the right choice'; he is the wrong choice.

That'll be $.02, please.

by NineInchNachos on 5/29/2008 @ 7:16pm
politics politics... that's all I hear these days. Me? I'm going to let the free market decide my vote. Come November tune in to You'll find my vote for sale to the highest bidder.

A mighty day for das kapitalisim! And the entrepreneurial spirit for America. JUST KIDDING!!!!!! (wink wink)

by chrism39 on 5/29/2008 @ 8:12pm
If you vote for McCain, you are basically voting for Bush again. He never wants to pull out of Iraq, he was quoted as saying he though the economy was doing fine and he is very old. But that's just my opinion. Obama is not to far to the left he is for the people. As many of you have pointed out Europeans have been paying high gas prices forever, so I guess we should just suck it up. I saw someone driving a Hummer the other day and I was just amazed.

by jcbetty on 5/29/2008 @ 9:10pm
a vote not for Obama is not necessarily a vote for McCain... I think there will be other names on the ballot, no? And is Hillary officially out of the running??

Chris-- I hear ya on the economic woes. We all face 'em. When my man wasn't in the process of being shipped overseas to Iraq, he was also a Seattle commuter. I am (albeit not frequently) a Seattle commuter. Thing is, it was a choice we made: get a better paying job and drive, (oh yeah, and sign up as a Reservist) or eke out a living in the South Sound job market. I don't think a particular politician or government can help, right now, with any of our immediate economic concerns; I think it's kind of like a storm we all have to ride out. Fortunately, there are enough of us in the same boat, so that that we can relate to the seasickness...

by Twisty on 5/29/2008 @ 9:17pm
If the Europeans all jumped off a cliff, would you think we should do it too?

Sorry, couldn't resist that one. But seriously... those people over there are whacked, in sooo many ways. Saying that "gas prices are high in Europe, so we shouldn't complain" is like saying that there are a lot of AIDS cases in Africa, so we shouldn't worry about the AIDS problem here.

And, just because we don't think Bush is to blame, is not to say that the government isn't to blame. Remember when gas prices spiked right after hurricane Katrina? Back then, they told us that there wasn't enough refining capacity to take up the slack. Well, why not? Because of environmental politics (read: lefties).

And BTW... I haven't said that I'm voting for McSame, either.

by ensie on 5/30/2008 @ 3:02am

I love you, but give up the dream. Hillary is out. There is no mathematical possibility that she can get the nod. It's over.

by chrism39 on 5/30/2008 @ 9:12am
I think Hillary is out of the running and was out a long time ago. Who else is on the ticket?

by thriceallamerican on 5/30/2008 @ 10:10am
I think jcbetty was referring to minor party and non-partisan candidates such as those from the Greens, Libertarians, Prohibition Party (a personal favorite), etc., and of course our good buddy Ralph Nader. (Speaking of Ralph, did anyone else see the picture of his Tacoma appearance in the TNT? Way tiny audience...)

by jcbetty on 5/30/2008 @ 10:21am
last I heard, she was still in. TIll she's officially out, I'm gonna guess she's in, for now, mathematical potentialities and suppositions aside. Not that I necessarily said, "I dream of HIllary" (although it is true I like her) and won't support whomever is supporting those ideals I believe in, however.

--I was merely pointing out that assuming Twisty was "for" McCain when he didn't say such a thing was kind of premature, when the ballots usually have more than one name on 'em, come election time. Green Party, Communist Party, Independents, Republicans, Democrats --all will share the ballot.

One problem I have with conversations like these is that comments are based on solid thoughts and pure beliefs, but sometimes the reasoning and logic gets skewed and words get misinterpreted. For instance, "across the pond to the right of us" --might be referring to gas prices in England, though people jumped to the European assumption (true, both have high prices on petrol, true, both are "to the right of us" --but both have vastly diffferent systems and resource constraints; lumping 'em as one is kind of arrogant and really kind of...well...American.)(and yes, I am American, but have European parents and relatives, and lived in England for a while with my sister, who'd lived there for 11 years. Yeah, they had a host of problems in the UK, and Europe has a host of problems, too, but kinda', we're all in this world together, we can learn from reach other.)

I think we as Americans have a long history of saying "we're number one! and our beliefs are the best beliefs!!" and not keeping a more open-eyed, broad-based approach, perhaps learning from the other side --whether it's the other side of the pond, the other side of the political spectrum, or the other side of the same political party.

That kind of single-mindedness can be pure and beautiful, for sure, but it can also come back to haunt us.

point? None really, I guess I'd just like to see more fluffy bunnies and hearts and less divisiveness.

by jcbetty on 5/30/2008 @ 10:21am
dang, Thrice-- you read my mind :D

by thriceallamerican on 5/30/2008 @ 10:45am
First time I've ever successfully read anyone's mind. And I know you'll be pushing the plunger for the Prohibition Party guy (from Vashon!) in November, glass of wine in hand.

by fredo on 5/31/2008 @ 8:17am
A couple of postings have alluded to "big oil companies" and the harm that they seem to be inflicting on the helpless citizens of the US. Here's an economic primer for you. Those companies are primarily owned by shareholders such If you own mutual funds or sector funds through a pension plan or 401K you probably have a small position in Exxon, Mobil, BP, and the rest. The unconsionable profits alluded to are driving the value of your investment up.

by Twisty on 5/31/2008 @ 9:07am
Yes, driving up the value of our investments... while driving our descent from being the world's largest creditor to being the world's largest debtor. For myself, it isn't the profits that bother me; it is the gargantuan transfer of unearned wealth to the other side of the globe.

by fredo on 5/31/2008 @ 9:25am
Good point, Twisty. If American's want to stem this transfer of wealth then they will have to make some sacrifices. People must use alternative transportation and I don't mean just to busses and streetcars, I mean walking and bicycling. The the consumer movement-that's dead. We had all better join in with Reverend Billy's Church of Stop Shopping or we're headed to the ultimate Shopacalypse.

by chrism39 on 5/31/2008 @ 10:54am
I just read the best book ( which I did got at the library) it's called the ultimate cheapskate's roadmap to riches. It was so good and provided so many insights I had never thought of. There is a chapter called the financial fast and it entails not spending money for an entire week. I think we're going to give it a try in a couple weeks after school is over. My children will be so thrilled. I thought my son was going to kill me yesterday when I bought a birthday party present at teaching toys instead of caving into his demands for a trip to target. I hope he isn't scarred for life.

by Twisty on 5/31/2008 @ 11:18am
It's good that you are going to perform your fast soon. Eventually, if the environmentalists get their way, such a thing might not be possible. You may well be able to get through a week without expending any money, but you most assuredly will never be able to go a single day without emitting any carbon, and they want to put a tax on that.

I suspect such a tax might eventually be extended to exhaling. Imagine... racking up taxes, even while you sleep.


community matters, my kids, running and whatever pops in my head

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