The price of nearly everything will be going up
Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle
Dow Chemical Co. Sunday raised the price of all its products 20
percent, reflecting the steep climb in the cost of crude oil, gasoline,
natural gas and electricity. Blaming irresponsible politicians, Dow
Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris stated, "The country now faces a true
energy crisis, one that is causing serious harm to America's
manufacturing sector and all consumers of energy."
Consumers, already hit by $4 gasoline and rising food prices, now will
see rises in the price of almost every product and many services,
including essential government services such as education and police
Across the nation, school districts are limiting field trips and, in
some cases, canceling classes one day a week because they can't pay the
doubled cost of operating school buses. In Texas, the Legislature is
going to have to revisit the subject of school finance, again, because
the Rube Goldberg system won't let school districts increase revenues to
pay for higher fuel costs, threatening some districts with teacher
layoffs, even bankruptcy.
Gasoline at $4 a gallon is burdening most consumers and changing
behavior in a way that $3 gasoline did not. Before, Americans could
afford to pay more for gasoline by spending less on recreation and other
discretionary activities and goods. But the sharp rise in the price of
basic food items and, to come, almost everything else means many
families just can't buy the gas they once did.
An added hardship inflicted by high fuel prices is the rise in crime:
Thieves are driving off from gas stations without paying and siphoning
gasoline from other cars. Some crooks, defeated by locked gas tanks,
dangerously drill holes in gas tanks, risking fire and explosion that
could destroy property and take life.
It's unlikely, but perhaps now the U.S. government will adopt a sane
energy policy that will provide the nation with more fuel * both
hydrocarbons and alternatives * and place downward pressure on price.
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