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excellent article...I am worried

What do we go as individuals to change this situation? Are you feeling a crunch personally as the prices for groceries and fuel rise? Do you worry about this?

I wonder where we are headed in the US. Yesterday I was driving and it appears the gas prices have shot up 40 cents in the last week. Today I need to go grocery shopping and I am putting it off. I am not even close to any of the things outlined in this article but I am worried what the future holds. I wonder what I can do to make a difference.

What about you?


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Thu. Apr 24, 12:49pm

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I personally feel I have very little control over this, and it would take more time, money, and energy than I am willing to expend to make my voice heard.

So no, I choose not to worry about it. I have to buy gas, I have to buy groceries, and I have not changed my habits to save money in these two areas. Just my opinion. :)

Thursday, April 24, 2008, 1:09 PM

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I figured that with my car, it's about 15 cents a mile for me to drive and I live less than a mile from work.
I do worry because it doesn't seem to be getting any better.

Thursday, April 24, 2008, 7:17 PM

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The Economy

Note that this is not a political comment or an Anti-Bush posting but I saw a bumper sticker that literally stopped me cold.. It said "Gas was $1.49 a gallon when Bush 1st went into office.."

I mean, you realize the pain when you fill up at the station but in that context, to see how quickly it has skyrocketed in comparison to inflation, its mind boggling.. And frightening..

Thursday, April 24, 2008, 11:39 PM

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I looked that up on the computer not too long ago and that is correct. And have you heard of which companies this year made the most profits. I don't remember the actual numbers but those companies in the top 3 are oil companies. Doubling the profits of Wal Mart and some other major organizations scary. So why the gas hikes if they are just doing it for profits?

Friday, April 25, 2008, 12:26 PM

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grocery delivery

I feel very good about using a grocery delivery service for a lot of reasons and one of which is definitely the fact that one person delivering everyone's groceries keeps all those cars off the road for that errand! It's like all their client's carpooling to the grocery store!

this is also not nearly as expensive as one might think - if I order over $35 dollars worth of produce the delivery is free! the individual item prices vary and I find some things very expensive and others not ... Having fresh produce arrive on your doorstep each week really promotes healthy eating in our family too! we have salad with dinner daily ...

I think eventually in shopping for things like this, online ordering and delivery will become the norm.

Friday, April 25, 2008, 12:41 PM

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Ah, but that's an example of "post hoc, ergo propter hoc." We're smarter than that now. Could be any number of related or unrelated reasons. One thing I learned during an earlier administration is that international groups are organized enough to create a situation that reflects badly on a president they don't like. I'm not saying that's what's going on; I'm not a huge fan of the current administration. But I prefer to avoid jumping to conclusions, and I don't think a clever bumper sticker carries real authority. So dig deeper and make sure there's something solid; there may be, or there may not.

1:09 pm--I think you represent a lot of America, which is why gas prices continue to go up. America and Europe can't be fairly compared (the historical and geographic reasons are too long for this forum, but consider scale, scope, and historical setting during the time of development). But Americans *could* make some changes. We have, in fact, for only the third time in the history of oil--amazingly, we are actually driving less. Only 2% less. But if you consider that normally our driving increases annually, it tells you something when it goes down even a little. Some Americans are bothering.

I'd love to use a grocery delivery service, but there's nothing available where I live. So instead, as soon as spring really gets here (we had snow last week), I'll be biking again as much as possible. I'm no wild environmentalist, but this is serious enough to get even to me. I actually started biking functionally (as opposed to just recreationally) the day I heard that the EU was considering giving some of its oil stores to the US to help with the Katrina cleanup. That day, that minute, I was sitting in the parking lot of my kids' school, and of the 20 cars there, 3 or 4 were Hummers. And I had seen those Hummers being piloted around town by women, alone, no passengers. I thought, Here it is: the EU is going to send oil stores so that Americans can keep driving exactly as we've been driving, even now.

So I converted an old kiddie carrier into a grocery wagon. This summer, I'm marking off every day I don't start my car. There won't be many; my eldest son has a job 10 miles from home (lifeguard). But it's what I can do.

Gas will go up as long as we keep paying up, and it won't have anything to do with anything but economics. I will say, that earlier administration--as soon as there was a change, gas went down. It was the oil-controlling nations voicing their approval of the change. I don't want to be manipulated by an oil-funded President, but neither do I want to be manipulated by oil-controlling nations. The only way to avoid both is to make oil less important.

Friday, April 25, 2008, 2:13 PM

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PP, I couldn't have said it myself. It really scares me that people aren't willing to be "bothered" to make small changes their lives for global (i.e. drive less -- if you're willing to do more -- switch your hummer for a mini or prius, take public transportation once a week or more if you feel obliged, buy local organic produce, start using reusable grocery). So have your fun and live it up, the ones that will have to pay for it our kids. And it'll come sooner than you think.

Saturday, April 26, 2008, 3:13 AM

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oops, i meant reusable grocery bags

Saturday, April 26, 2008, 3:13 AM

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It might cut back on people buying Starbucks daily, one person owning two cars, and a new cell phone every six months. Do you really think our population will be hurt with these "sacrifices?" The US people are a bunch of spoiled brats..............for the most part.

Saturday, April 26, 2008, 8:09 AM

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2:13 Great post! But I'm not sure the EU was talking about your neighbors' Hummers. When Katrina hit, I lived in an area of NC which was supplied by a pipeline from New Orleans. The price of gas went up $1.30 in one day, and then gas ran out. That Labor Day weekend we bicyclists had the roads mostly to ourselves! There really were some areas where even emergency vehicles might have had a hard time finding fuel.

Saturday, April 26, 2008, 9:06 AM

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I realize the EU wasn't talking about Hummers, PP, but the fact is that if the EU did indeed send oil stores to help with Katrina, they also helped my neighbors keep driving their Hummers, in a roundabout way. Europeans were considering making sacrifices for Katrina that the majority of Americans weren't even thinking about making themselves.

Saturday, April 26, 2008, 11:15 AM

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To April 26, 8:09
I'm an American and I have to wholeheartedly agree with you....for the most part.
I have not heard, not once, anyone say that you would be mistaken in your statement and that "Americans are a thrifty and practical bunch!" I try to do what I can, and I think most of the people that post here might attempt this also. It's those that we don't hear from here that are driving the Hummers and having all the kids.

Saturday, April 26, 2008, 12:03 PM

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We have much more control than we may realize. People can make changes big and small, collectively we have a big voice. It's just like with the food industry - if we stop buying junk and start demanding wholesome - the markets will follow. They want to make money, not force a product down our throat. If we stop buying gas guzzlers they'll start producing more energy efficient cars. And, so on. And, even the people who stop buying Starbucks and start saving money - perhaps they'll be one less family that has to declare bankruptcy or foreclose on their house b/c they never changed their spending habits or altered their standard of living to save for a rainy day. Some may not think Starbucks (or other nickel and dime spending) matters, but for anyone who's living with big credit card debt or beyond their means - it's a pattern of unnecessary consumption.

Myself, I'm getting my bike tuned up and a basket put on the front so I can bike to do grocery shopping, which I'm fortunate to be able to do. We'll walk where ever we can if it's inside of 2 miles (and I have a 4 year old who will walk!) I'll buy from my local farm, I'll cut down on my meat consumption. And we already decided to buy our home close to where we work and conduct most of our business - so that alone cuts down on gas.

Saturday, April 26, 2008, 12:04 PM

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I love this post. Prior to reading this, I was talking about some of these topics with my husband. I am fortunate to live within walking distance to my job, so that saves on having a second car and all that comes with that. We are also considering moving back downtown (we live outside a large city) in order to get rid of our car altogether (we would then take public transportation such as the train and bus, and we would also belong to our city's car share program for when we want to go outside the city).

I, actually, think gas prices getting out-of-hand is a good thing. It's good because now we are forced to change our habits. Forced to walk, bike, and conserve energy while moving our bodies more.

My conversation with my husband started when we saw one of those new two seater city cars (so neat looking). Neither of us has seen one on the road before today. I can't remember what it was called.

I'm imagining eventually having cars that don't require oil, that may run on solar energy, electric energy, or whatever it may be. And this would be free or close to free. I know they can do it. All the advancements that we've made in technology...We need to start demanding more!

Buy smaller. Walk. Bike. Live close to work. Let them know we want more.

Saturday, April 26, 2008, 1:30 PM

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I am planning a larger garden this year. When I do buy produce I try to purchase items grown locally. I make every effort to stay out of Walmart which imports practically everything.

My father (an economist) argues this point, says it hurts the economy. So we have this ongoing debate..which is more important.the economy or the environment. I think they are intertwined and you can improve one while not hurting (or even helping) the other.

Sunday, April 27, 2008, 9:18 AM

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the rising prices worry me. right now i'm uneducated working low income jobs and i have to choose between paying my bills or driving..which obviously i've chosen paying bills.

next year i will be in school, working less, and needing to drive, i dont know how i'm going to do it.

Monday, April 28, 2008, 4:05 AM

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As beef farmers I can see why the price of groceries are increasing. Less than 5 years ago fertilize was $100.00 per ton, this year it is more than $700.00. Hay was sold for $15.00 per 1200 lb. roll last year and this year from $85.00 to $100.00 if anyone was fortunate enough to find it. The price of beef as well as vegetables will certainly reflect this increase.

Monday, April 28, 2008, 9:38 AM

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Yesterday I bought gas...the transaction took about 15 minutes. I had to wait in line. The gas station was jammed and cars were snaked around. The prices were 3 cents lower than many of the neighboring gas stations. I paid more than 40 dollars for 2/3 tank of gas.

I stuck to the speed limit (55mph) on the way home.

Went to the grocery store a couple of days ago and everything is up. I was doing a quick pick up of staples (milk, fresh fruit and veggies) and spent about $60.

Went to Home Depot to get something for a repair and walked through the garden shop. Ended up getting 3 tomato plants, green bean and lettuce seeds. I had a few tomato plans in a pot last summer...this year I am definitely planting more than flowers.

I am wondering about collaborating with neighbors. Should we decide on a few vegetables each and trade? I live in a large urban area and I have a brick patio with flower boxes. I don't have land.

I occasionally wonder what will happen if this continues. What will we do if there are real shortages?

Monday, April 28, 2008, 1:32 PM

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It is a bit scary. I was worried cause I was paying 14 cents a mile and when I checked with some others that I work with, they're paying 40 cents.

Monday, April 28, 2008, 5:34 PM

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All gas should be $10 a gallon. That would keep the SUV's (guzzling gas with an I support the troops ribbon on the trunk) off the road. It would also force the government into truly looking into alternative forms of fuel and transportation. It might also cause more people to walk and bike to destinations thus helping to fight the obesity problem. It would help the economy, because there would be a return of the locally owned business. Helping residents of communities to own their own business as opposed to all the consumers driving miles away to go to some corporate temple of consumerism. I say keep supporting the troops by buying all that gas we are fighting over. Don't worry, your petroleum based magnetic ribbon makes it alright!

Monday, April 28, 2008, 6:03 PM

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Why does the government have to get involved with this? Can't people be responsible and quit buying Hummers and gas guzzling cars? I don't think people are as responsible as you all think they are................

Monday, April 28, 2008, 7:40 PM

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Gas is going to get even higher maybe 4.50-5.00?? Make more money. There are opportunities but you need to be willing to work.

Link

Tuesday, April 29, 2008, 2:12 AM

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The government and their policies are what got us into this mess. Still giving tax shelters to oil companies making billions in profits quarterly. I do not think the average American is going to get together with their friends and the tools from their garage and build a light rail system on the weekend. I don't really understand the " I don't think people are as responsible as you all think they are...." comment. I think people on this matter are extremely irresponsible and spoiled.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008, 2:42 PM

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Mm, I think the best way to counteract the financial burden of fuel-related inflation is to invest your IRA $$ in the oil companies. They're so not hurting.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008, 5:04 PM

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I know this is not a total solution in any way, but the factors on this thread increase my committment to buying from farmers markets, community supported agriculture, food coops, and eating from local producers.

Thursday, May 01, 2008, 8:39 PM

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Dear PP

Now your talking! That is the way to go. Stay local, stay healthy.

Friday, May 02, 2008, 11:29 AM

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First of all, yes we are feeling the crunch. But gas prices have not shot up 40 cents in a week. Maybe over the last 7 months but not even that. The cost of everything is going up because of the oil prices and crops. But if you look at other countries we are still a country that pays very low prices for things, gas especially. Over in Isreal gas is $7 a gallon and that was back in 1998. In Italy gas is about $ 6 gallon. We still have cheap prices we are just feeling it because it has never been this expensive. People are pushing for alternative fuels, we have corn but in the process that ends up driving the food prices higher. Yes this country has a problem but we really need to stand back and look at what and where its coming from.

Friday, May 02, 2008, 12:55 PM

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People in this country need to stop bitching about gas prices. WE have the best in the world. The real problem is that everyone drives around in these gas guzzling tanks that only get 8 miles to the gallon. If we were a nation like over in Europe where the cars are smaller and more economical we would feel the cruch so much. I was at Target the other day and was walking to my car and in the very long lane I was walking down there were only 3 cars, the rest were SUV's. Bigger is not better and we don't need to be driving around in these massive cars. If you drive an SUV and are bitching about gas then trade in your monster. Oil companies need to be taxed more and regulated so the people who keep them in business can afford gas. I live very comfortable but I do think about the people who are living from pay check to pay check and these people I worry about. With the way the economy is going there could be a hell of a lot more homeless in this country. We spend billions of dollars helping other countries, thats nice of us, but maybe we should spend a bit more time on our own people.

Friday, May 02, 2008, 1:02 PM

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After going to the store and buying bread, milk and the basics I walked out of there with what used to cost about $40 now cost me $65. I will be going to my local farms as much as I can, if I am going to pay high prices then I would rather go it locally.

Friday, May 02, 2008, 1:10 PM

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I LOVE YOU ALL

The folks that are on my side about the SUV's. I am so glad. I thought I was the only one disgusted by seeing one person driving around in a huge gas guzzler that could hold 10. You are restoring my faith in the common sense of Americans! THANK YOU!

Friday, May 02, 2008, 3:51 PM

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Gas saving tips

In addition to not driving an SUV, all of us can save on gas by following the tips outlined in the following link.

Link

Saturday, May 03, 2008, 1:51 AM

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This is to 1:02.
Correct me if I'm mistaken on this point but one of the reasons why those overseas are ok with paying 6-8 dollars a gallon is because they're mph is about double what it is in the states. Is that right. Clearly the technology is there but the US and the people therein are ok with 7 mpg.

And I heard Bush the other day talking about drilling for more oil is the answer.
To quote one of my students, "Bush is the biggest D-Bag."

Saturday, May 03, 2008, 11:38 AM

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There IS something you can do

I agree with the answer earlier: "Make more money." Gas is still going to climb, grocery prices will continue to climb, and our conventional income is going to continue to lag behind average inflation. It's time for those of us who see the writing on the wall to do something unconventional during periods of market instability and correction. Bill Farley's newest company is about to launch, and his track record (BVD, Fruit of the Loom, Jordache, etc.) strongly indicates that it will be nothing short of a billion dollar home run. I am an independent executive with his company, (Zrii) and I need team members who can begin work immediately to make June deadlines and secure royalties for themselves that will make this economic turmoil seem like a little hiccup. email me aaron@soundamalaki.com and I'll let you know how you can not even be phased as gas continues to skyrocket.

Link

Saturday, May 03, 2008, 4:28 PM

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silent tsunami

There was a good NPR segment called "The Silent Tsunami" on yesterday. You can stream it to your computer or put in on an iPod. It's worth the listen.

Link

Tuesday, May 06, 2008, 10:07 PM

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