About 10 days ago I posted An Observation about a U.S. Department of Energy projection that gasoline prices would top out at $3.60 a gallon this coming June. I also mentioned that I had been paying more than that on a trip to San Diego and that the day after we returned, prices reached $3.75 a gallon in our area of Los Angeles County. Now I find myself adding to my call for a "reality check" at the federal agency that is supposed to know about all things related to energy. This morning, local radio stations were reporting that the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in the Los Angeles/Long Beach area was $3.82 a gallon. (Here on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, it is running from $3.85 to $3.87 a gallon.)
Bearing the weight of gas price increases by themselves is hard enough. But traveling down the aisles of the supermarket or thinking about a flight across country makes clear that the cost of living is getting out-of-hand. We are not only paying more for our gas but for the increased energy costs of those who provide us with our consumer goods and services. Maybe I would not feel so put upon if petroleum company profits did not continue to soar to new heights and if they paid their fair share of taxes. But it would still hurt us average folks just as much.
And more and more experts are saying that we are in a recession although not many of them actually are involved in setting the federal government's economic policies. I guess the administration's confusion is understandable. I thought I had learned in elementary Economics classes years ago that recessions were accompanied by a drop in retail prices, not the inflation we are currently experiencing.
I try not to be political in what I write but I certainly hope that the new President, whoever he or she may be, recognizes the economic calamity in which we find ourselves and presents some realistic programs to put the economy back together again.