How to cope

No Credit Card

No Credit Card (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How to cope with rising food prices. Eat less.

How to cope with rising healthcare costs. Don’t get sick. If you do, die quickly.

How to cope with high gas prices. Drive less.

How to cope with rising insurance premiums. Self insure.

How to cope with usurious credit card interest rates. Pay cash.

How to cope with high and rising costs of travel. Don’t travel.

How to cope with high ticket prices for entertainment. Don’t go out.

How to cope with high utility bills. Use less.

How to cope with high rents. Downsize or double up.

How to cope?

It’s called chained CPI and it is how some in Washington want to deal with those of  us on fixed incomes.

  • Coping (

Real price of gas

Catherine Crier in New York City

Catherine Crier in New York City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Patriot Acts by Catherine Crier. She suggests that the real price of gasoline is not the price at the pump; it should include numerous subsidies and tax breaks, the health costs of using a fuel that causes illnesses and the portion of national defense spending devoted to protecting oil shipping lanes and friendly and not-so-friendly oil-producing states. After everything is considered, she suggests that the price we actually pay is approximately

$15.00 per gallon.

Falling gas prices

On November 17, gas prices had dropped to $1.9...

On November 17, gas prices had dropped to $1.99 in Bakersfield, California, due to falling Oil prices (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Falling gas prices are a temporary blessing. The real story in falling gas prices is that they indicate a weakening global economy. The citizens of Greece, Spain and elsewhere are tightening their belts and buying less gas and the products that require petroleum to manufacture and transport. Falling gas prices are not good news. Pass the word.

Price of gas

Gas prices in late May 2008.

Gas prices in late May 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here it is the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend when gas prices usually rise for the summer driving season, and gas prices are actually falling. I think that is an ominous sign for the continued health of the economy. Additionally, it was only a short time ago that the GOP was blaming President Obama for the spike in gas prices. Now they are totally silent about the fall in prices. If he is responsible in one direction, he is responsible in the other. Come on GOP, you can’t blame Barack for everything, but you sure do try.

Gas prices part 2

English: Puck magazine cartoon, "The Infa...

Image via Wikipedia

I would like President Obama to release or threaten to release a portion of the strategic petroleum reserve to scare some of the speculators out of the petroleum futures market. If they lose their confidence that prices have nowhere to go but up, they may be more cautious in the future. And that will force the price of gas down.

As I wrote in a previous post Gas prices, the long-term solution, beside green energy, is more competition among the oil companies which now form a cartel. Teddy Roosevelt tried to bust the oil cartel in 1911 by breaking Standard Oil into several smaller companies. However, that victory was largely ineffective because the several parts of Standard Oil continued to collude with one another, and even maintained their main offices in the same building for a time. Breaking up the oil giants will be difficult, but it is a mandatory goal for Barack’s second term.

In the short-term, we can get relief from high gas prices if our government regulators police the speculators more closely and if prohibitive taxes are instituted on speculation. Additionally, some refined gas is being shipped abroad at a time when US demand is down. I would like to see a temporary ban on gasoline export whenever prices at the pump reach or exceed a certain level.

Finally, I suggest that you consider writing to the White House to express your thoughts on this matter and/or anything else you feel strongly about. Please express your thoughts in your own words; they will have more impact than repeating someone else’s words. The White House link is and the form to fill in is found about 2/3 of the way down the right side of the page entitled “Submit Comments Online ” I recommend also that you send a copy of your comments to Rachel Maddow of MSNBC at She is fighting for us, and  she is more effective than most at calling a spade a spade.