It's fun to sit around talking about boards of inquiry or who went to the local massage parlor, even lamenting the fate of Tom Christy. But you know what? When the rubber hits the road, none of it means a damn hill of beans. And despite the fact that those of us who read and participate in blogs and message boards love to do so, the reality is that what is said on sites such as this one is of small consequence.
What does matter is the economy and soaring energy prices. Sure, we watch the news most nights, and yes, they touch on economic news. But now it's starting to hit home for a lot people.
Gas prices aren't only affecting your wallet at the pumps. Everything that is transported will be impacted.
A simple glimpse of a couple of newspapers is more horrifying than a Stephen King novel. Manufacturers were walloped by zooming prices for energy and other raw materials; Lofty energy prices are squeezing businesses' profits and pinching consumers, leaving them with less money to spend on other things; The housing market continued to be stuck in a rut; The weak dollar. Soaring oil prices drove wholesale prices up 1.1% in March from February, the second-largest increase in 33 years.
Even Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke recently acknowledged for the first time that a recession was possible. That was a rare utterance of the "r" word for a Fed chief.
There are some beautiful vehicles on the road right now. The Escalade, the Avalanche, the Tundra, even the new Charger and soon-to-be released Camaro is going to turn alot of heads. Unfortunately, I don't know how anyone who drives significant miles can continue to own a vehicle that is getting 12 miles to the gallon. Actually, I do know how they will be able to afford it: They'll cut back in other places, and that will send a ripple effect through the local economy, especially local restaurants. When times are tough and people start cutting back, entertainment is the first luxury to go.
Having recently celebrated a birthday, my in-laws gave me a check for $50. Sadly, my first thought was, "Woohoo, I've got gas money for part of the week!". Hell, maybe I'll forget about throwing it in the tank and go for a fish fry instead - nothing like living on the edge.