Sunday, May 07, 2006

People Are Beginning To Notice

That the price of oil affects every aspect of their lives. I was wondering why my former landlord felt comfortable handing out $100 a month increases, even to people who hadn't been there a year. As the housing market crashes, people have to rent. This will further depress the middle class, those old black and white movies of soup lines might be in color soon, but the haves and have mores won't even notice.
Rising Expenses Have Consumers Feeling Pinched: "Also, millions of Social Security recipients and federal retirees receive an annual cost of living adjustment, or COLA, that boosts their monthly benefits to cover inflation. And federal employees and retirees, and spouses of deceased fed retirees, have health insurance. This is a boon for the Washington area, which has more than 400,000 federal retirees and surviving spouses of deceased retirees.

'We're not pinched,' said Charlie Kearney, 71, of Rockville, who managed a federal budget office before he retired 20 years ago. With no commute to work and with a wife who is semi-retired from teaching, 'the gas thing is more an annoyance than a real pinch, because we don't do that much driving.
Kearney said their home heating bill rose by about $130 a month last winter. He knows a bigger electric bill is looming. He expects their property taxes to jump when their house is reassessed. And he pays 14 monthly bills today, compared with seven two decades ago. But he has a pension, health insurance and a house that is almost paid for. 'We're not hurting.'

But for workers such as Haydee Rivera, the math is tougher.

She earns $10.70 an hour at her job. Her husband is a restaurant worker. She used to spend $100 for a week's worth of groceries. Now the family of seven, which includes her mother, spends that much every three days."
I remember stories of seniors eating dog food, but they put way to much filler in there nowadays. Families with teenagers are really going to feel the pinch as the noose tightens and more kids jobs will be for family expenses instead of being disposable income.

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