FUEL PRICES HURT MIDDLE CLASS AMERICA 

The chain of events that derivate from the price of fuel is hitting middle class Americans hard. We use oil for heating our homes, transportation and even to make some of the basic products in the market. Every business depends on the transportation structure that works with diesel and the price of it keeps on going up. The Main problem is that we are getting to the point in which if we donít do something to control this problem soon, we will get in a hole in which we will not be able to get out. I have talked to people that have decided to change their basic way of life to be able to survive the increasing oil prices and are living the consequences. 

There are different factors that affect the price of oil but the biggest one could be with relation to the supply and demand of this natural resource. The United States is now competing for this product with countries that have increased their demand like China. There may not be enough efficient refineries to process the crude and the speculation to keep the economy supplied with enough oil helps raise the price. In other words the US Government is not at fault for the price of Diesel. Another factor that has affected the prices of crude oil is the supply that the producer countries can generate at this time. Since the demand has increase and this is a non renewable product, some countries that used to supply others do not have the same capacity of doing it anymore. 

One of the biggest problems middle class families are facing at this time is to have to live with the same salary when every product around them is more expensive. When diesel cost more, the transportation of every product will also increases. In order to compensate for this increase we have to pay more money for the basic goods and services. Well, we face inflation in prices but we are not seen any more money in our pockets therefore we are falling in to a personal recession. 

I was told about a family that could not afford the increasing cost of heating their home and they had to opt for an alternative resource. From one month to the next the increase of that service was about 100%. It was imperative to keep the house warm due to the crude winter therefore this family started using wood-fire heaters which provoked a fire in which they died. Another person, making the minimum wage, could not afford his car gasoline anymore and decided to walk to work which was about two miles from his home. Unfortunately he got fired from that job because he was late a couple of times and the employer was not in the position of paying more for the type of job he was doing. Being over 50 years of age he was still far from retirement and too old to get another job like the one he had. There are many other different stories that Americans are living at this time and are due to the sudden increase of the oil prices. 

Some families are making more drastic changes in their lives. From living out of their cattle they have decided to change and grow corn because the cost of the transportation has increase. They can not feed their animals and make the profit they were making before. Things like that affect everyone because even the price of milk is going up due to the oil prices. 

But what can we do? As I said before one of the main reasons the oil prices are going up is due to the demand for its products like diesel and gasoline. Well, we could try to lower the demand for those products and that way force the market to lower its prices. There are times in which we do not need to drive to the corner store. We could take it as exercise and feel better knowing that we are helping lower the price of fuel and helping the environment. If we can find a way to consume less fuel and we could try it for a while we could be doing something for the rest of the society. If enough people stop consuming derivates of oil we should be able to see the difference in a short period of time. Also, a little help from the government could be appreciated. There are tax brakes for people that buy low fuel consuming automobiles. If the interest rates for loans to people that buy this type of vehicles was lower it could also help. 

There may be many other ways to help the economy from our perspective and, if you know of one, try it. We should make some conscience about this subject. Fuel prices are hurting Middle Class Americans but We may be able to do something about it. We could blame the big Oil Corporations, the Government and other countries for the situation but we could do something about it.

Luisrcg

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