Today’s Global News Effects Budgets in Our Nation
Earlier this week, newscasters, with glee in their voices announced:
“Gasoline prices expected to reach $5.00 per gallon by summer. News at 11!”
The same day, our local gasoline prices began to rise and, on average, rose 3 cents per gallon. The news media kept harping on this “watch out for summer gasoline prices” story and every day the cost of gasoline crept up, increasing by 30 cents in some regions.
Today, television news stories graphically depict gasoline pumps in Florida and California at and over $5.00 per gallon. Interestingly, a graph breaking down costs shows that US taxes appear to be the smallest portion of the cost and the cost of crude oil is the largest portion of the cost. So how does what hasn’t been pumped from the ground yet, how does what is already in the gasoline station’s tank, suddenly jump dramatically while it is being pumped into your car. I don’t think your supermarket could reprice all the cans of beans now if news of a bean blight were announced today! But who knows. . . maybe I’m wrong about that too!
I saw and heard a number of reports from different sources that all pointed to the rising costs coming from Iran deciding not to sell oil to the UK and France. The interesting thing about that story is that, prior to Iran’s announcement, the UK and France announced that they wouldn’t buy oil from Iran. It appears that Iran’s decision was not a decision at all made by them but a way of spinning the story to save face. Clearly, Iran learned that schoolyard technique of taking away your marbles when the other kids say they’re not going to play with you.
It’s hard to believe that this week’s international banter about who is buying what from whom ends up with the cost of the gasoline already in the tanks at our local stations zooms through the roof. Worse than that are the broadly smiling ‘eejits,’ as my friends in Ireland would call them, who joyously announce that your wallet will be invaded by the oil companies.
You also have to wonder what manipulation of pricing is in play by those with political interests in an election year. If you want to prove a point that the economy continues to be in trouble, muck up the cost of gasoline whose ripple effect will dimish travel due to higher fuel costs resulting in fuel surcharges on airlines and fewer trips as we get into the best seasons for travel, raise the cost of food and anything that is delivered by truck, and play havoc with everyone’s buying power so if you spend it on gasoline you won’t have discretionary income for that special something you wanted to buy or do!
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could announce at the beginning of the week that you are going to get a raise by summer, or maybe sooner, or maybe on Friday and, magically, the amount in your pay envelope doubles by pay day? If it works for the oil companies, we should apply that magic in our own lives! Sounds like a plan. If you’re told it’s illogical and won’t work, then figure out how and why it works for oil and gasoline. Clearly, that’s illogical too.
In spite of these news-by-creation-of-news scare tactics on the coming of massive gasoline prices, a self-fulfilling prophecy, traveling by car for a family or group of friends or colleagues is still the cheapest way to get anywhere. Don’t let the pre-Easter/pre-summer vacation scare tactics make you a prisoner at home yet another time. Take a look at places that offer all the things that interest you within a roundtrip tank of gasoline now and start your planning so you can add spice to your life without breaking the bank.
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--Gotta Fly Now!sm
Your Personal Travel Expert
Nationally syndiated radio show host