Higher cost of fuel hits where it hurts most the pocketbookFamilies no longer able to do the extra fun outings BY CHUCK TUCK | JOURNAL REPORTER In the first quarter of 2008, Moody’s economy.com polls showed Washington as a whole expanding and Mount Vernon to Anacortes at risk for recession.
In our talk this week with local citizens, the tide of recession is what is in expansion as families and individuals continue to brace themselves with across-the-board price increases.
“This sucks,” said blue-collar worker Fred Metcalf of the current gas price situation.
With unleaded gas fast approaching the five dollar per gallon mark, and diesel fuel already there at many of the pumps, the question was how it is affecting people.
Metcalf commented that he now spends more in gas money filling up his truck per month than he does on rent.
“I just spent $257 for gas in six days,” Metcalf said.
When asked if public transportation is a thought for consideration to saving money, Metcalf said that it would not be practical for him to carry his tools on the bus.
Between Metcalf and his girlfriend Donna, she has the more economical car of the two. Jokingly she said that her car is very economical.
“It’s broken down right now,” she said.
They all laughed, but the serious side of things was that it was not a joking matter to any of them, as each has felt the hardship of increased fuel costs affecting their style of living.
Tony and Sharon Burghduff have a daughter, and find that the increase of gas has affected every part of their living, from grocery bills to doing things that they enjoy.
“It does hurt,” said Tony. “I work in Smokey Point and that gas money was our spending money.”
Tony says that taking public transportation for him would be a hassle having to be on someone else’s schedule.
“I’d have to get up an hour or hour and-a-half earlier, and besides, I like my privacy,” he said.
The direct effect on this family is also affecting what they can and can’t do for their daughter in terms of extra curricular play activities.
Many schools are also feeling the hit of rising fuel prices and some are currently seeking ways to offset transportation costs for sports activities.
The July 2008, Bureau of Labor Statistics shows Washington’s unemployment has gone up one full percent since January 2008, and the civil labor force is dropping slightly.