Politics, money, gasoline, bin Laden, inflation, and debt

5 May

Politics and politicians.  Money, gasoline, inflation and debt.  Bin Laden and gasoline and money and debt and politics.  Seasoned with conspiracies and secrets.  Pressurized by budgetary concerns.  Trivialized and sensationalized by the press.  2012 and the end of the world.

Yeah, we’ve got a lot going on.  For Joe AverageCitizen, it’s way too much with too little and no control over any of it.

We all know Obama is going to run for president again, that’s a given.  So, he’s highly motivated to stay well regarded in the polls.  Does that mean he’s going to get something DONE though?  I mean actually DONE not pushed through in a half baked form that nobody likes.  He stands a very good chance of being re-elected.

After all, who do the Republicans have?  John McCain is unlikely to run again.  Sarah Palin isn’t likely to get elected to anything outside of Alaska.  Donald Trump?  Well, the press and his potential opponents alike have painted a very unfavorable picture of him in office, and he does have a reputation more for grandstanding than solving touchy international issues.  Can he garner enough support for a serious bid at the Republican party?  Maybe there is a dark horse that will emerge from the shadows…but I’m not holding my breath.  I don’t think they have anyone who can make a serious run for the presidential office in the coming election, and they had best start grooming some potential candidates for the next round.

In the meantime, we’ve got financial issues.  Not just in our own bank accounts, but budgetary concerns at the Federal level.  Logic says that we can’t keep on spending like there is no tomorrow when we are all hoping that tomorrow does in fact arrive!  The dollar isn’t doing well on the international market either.  We need to revive our own manufacturing base and increase our gross national product somehow.  We need to not increase the debt further too.

All of this financial turmoil relates to the price of gasoline.  With prices now hovering near $4 per gallon, commuters and vacationers alike are reeling in shock…and avoiding the gas pump as long as possible.  That means a lot of other spending isn’t happening either, because people don’t have the extra money to spend and aren’t going anywhere to spend it…because of the price of gasoline.  Goods are becoming more expensive to deliver too, which increases prices on everything  from rice to building materials.

Inflation, no matter how long the Feds deny it, has already arrived and will continue to get worse.  Jobs are still scarce, which means that people were just barely able to get by in many cases, and the rising prices have them afraid to buy much of anything.  People seem to be in a holding pattern, fixing and repairing, but not starting from scratch and building new stuff.  I know many people who, in the past, would have traded off their car/truck/minivan when it started having mechanical troubles, and instead have continued to repair things rather than buying even a newer used car.  The only purchases I’ve seen anyone make have been to replace severely damaged (as in collision) cars/trucks or when down-trading to get out from under an expensive vehicle’s payments & operating costs.  The repair industry is doing well–from lawn mowers to computers to cars to houses…people are repairing rather than replacing, if possible.

And then, there’s Osama bin Laden.  We saw people celebrating his death, and I’ll admit, it weirded me out.  Not that I was “sorry” he was dead, but I find it creepy to celebrate a death that way.  I’m not sure his death has improved anything for anyone either.  I wonder about the daughter he left behind, the one who saw him shot.  What will happen to her?  How will she grow up?  What kind of life will she have?  Even if he was the evil  mastermind behind countless deaths, I seriously doubt that she realized that or even knew that others believed such a thing to be true.  I don’t know what kind of a father or son or brother or uncle or husband he was…but he was those things too.

And we’re getting down to the wire now, just a bit over 18 months until the end of the world in 2012.  What exactly does that mean anyhow?  Like is the planet going to explode or something?  How does anyone know its ending anyhow?  Maybe that’s just where the one tablet ended, and lost forever in the Mexican jungles, there’s the second “page” waiting to be deciphered.

I’d really rather not see the end of the world.  With or without Osama, Obama, debts, inflation, or $10 per gallon gasoline…

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