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Posts Tagged ‘costs’

       Here is something to think about with all of the financial crisis making the daily news.  Have you signed anything legal agreeing to rip yourself off financially?  Many people probably haven’t realized this aspect of the times yet…but, a normally smart thing to do each summer is to sign up for a budget plan with your winter heating fuel supplier…agreeing to “lock in” a price when the prices are low during the summer…just in case the price of heating oil/gas goes up, like it normally does in the fall and winter months.

        This year…against any predictable reasoning…gas prices have fallen, sharply.  Still, once people sign on the dotted line to lock in a heating source price…they truly are locked in at that price.   I think as people discover this situation for themselves…there is going to be alot of anger of being caught in this situation.  Some say, that most years it makes sense to lock in and it works out to their advantage…but, this year has really challenged that theory.

          Locking in makes sense usually; the agreement is usually accomplished in mid summer.  Well….if you remember correctly, in July…gas prices were sky high.  In my neck of the woods…gasoline prices have dropped from an all time high of approximately $4.25 down to now a $2.88 cents a gallon.  If you apply that thought process to home heating oil/propane….you can just imagine how much money that people are loosing.

          With the rising cost of food, rent/mortgage payments, health insurance, and other necessities…people can ill afford to pay extra when they don’t have to.  I, for one, am glad that i didn’t lock in my propane prices; like i was advised to! 

          Did you get ripped off by signing an agreement to lock in your heating costs this year?  If you did…you are not alone…and personally i don’t think anyone expected such a situation…but, it really is a gamble trying to predict the future with heating costs.  I am pretty sure that, next year, companies will have a hard time getting people who were burned this year, to sign on the dotted line.  Just stop and think about how many people are living on fixed incomes…i almost hate to see winter arrive because…we will see more people suffering and living in dangerous conditions, in colder climates, because of this.

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       With all of the economic shake ups taking place in the United States…i was just wondering…is anyone else feeling a rising, fearful sense of dread and panic?  It has building for the last year and a half with the mortgage crisis, rising costs of food, gasoline, home heating fuels, foreclosures, and job downsizings.  Now on top of all of that…we are seeing the fall of the major financial instutions in our country.

       Some Americans, in portions of our country, have been seeing and feeling the economic sense of dread and panic rising for quite some time.  It started with many job markets closing down or moving out of country (outsourcing) and then we started to see the domino effect from credit card lapses, missed mortgage payments, vehicle repossessions and then, foreclosures of homes that probably never should’ve been financed in the first place.  It has been, and continues to be, a chain reaction.

       The culture of over-indulgence, and pay later, mindset has decided to reveal it’s consequences.  There was no safety net in place to cushion the blow.  Once again in America, our quality of life is being threatened in a way that has the potential to bring our country to it’s knees; similar to the Great Depression that we all studied about in history class as children.  It has gone beyond a wake up call and moved to a place of drastic correction.  How are we going to deal with that as a nation?

      Tonight, President Bush is going to be speaking to the American citizens on the economic crisis that this country faces.  Minutes ago, Sen. John McCain made a statement saying that he is suspending his Presidential campaign to go to Washington to help deal with the historical financial crisis; McCain is calling on Sen. Barack Obama to put the campaign aside for the time being to focus on a bi-partisian solution.  Now is not the time for political game playing.  Anyone who dares go there…will loose the election for sure just because of it.  A commitment must be made to work on the issues that we are facing and stop playing word games and power plays to get attention.

        Time is of the essence at the moment; the impact has the potential to deconstruct the global economy.  Not only are our citizens watching and waiting to find a solution…other countries are doing the same.  Is there any possible way that we can as a nation and as individuals recover from this mess?

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        I became aware of an extreme example of those who have; and, those who have not.  The nation of Swaziland celebrated it’s 40th independence day as well as the King of Swazi’s 40th birthday in an ostentatious way.  The King Mswati was driven around in a convertible BMW flaunting his weath in a country that is overwhelmed with extreme poverty.  The nation has been devastated by the AIDS epidemic; it has the world’s highest AIDs rate.  This means that many households are not able to earn enough money to provide for their families; because many households are headed up by children because of the plague of AIDs.  Those homes that are affected by AIDS may not be healthy enough to work.  Many individuals only get enough food to eat because of international food aid.  This is a terribly sad event.

        This lack of basic necessities limits the average person’s ability to influence powerful changes, in a country that desperately needs to improve it’s quality of life.  In my mind, if the country has that kind of money…i have to wonder, why is the international community forced to provide food aid in the first place?  Those people should be coming first, in my mind, to the King of that country… he and his family should not be living a lifestyle that feeds off of riches…while his own subjects are forced to accept help from outside countries!  That should be considered shameful to the King of Swaziland and it’s officials.  It is, to me, a failure to fulfill his duties to provide care for the people under his rule. (more…)

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       If you knew that your child, sister, brother, father, mother or someone important to you was in danger…would you take action to change what was about to happen?  I would say that most of us would agree, that if we could change the chances of our loved ones being in danger or suffering….most of us would do the thing that it would require to keep them safe! (more…)

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        Senator John Warner has asked Samuel Bodman the Energy Secretary to review information that would reveal what the ideal speed limit would be that would allow the most efficient use of gasoline in our vehicles today.  With gasoline prices topping $4.15 cents a gallon around the country the timing couldn’t be better to encourage changes in the way that we drive.

         Many Americans have already started to alter aimless driving habits.  I see nothing wrong with that…we all could do better in planning where we go and what we do while we are out and about.  Some people are in denial about the severity of the situation regarding supply and demand as well as all of the damage to our planet that our carelessness has brought.  

         Would the general population get behind a national drive 55 speed limit?  I think it is going to take some convincing as it will be viewed by many as an inconvience after being legally allowed to drive up to 70 mph on some highways.  After all, it will take longer to get where they are going.  I think more people would be willing to do it if they felt that the automakers were doing more to ensure that we were getting more miles to the gallon by the way that they factory set the computers on our vehicles to use the gasoline we spend our hard earned dollars on. (more…)

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