"Gas Prices Are Sky-High, But Are Today's Times Really So Hard?"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, May 13, 2011

We see a reports daily of how hard times are, but how accurate are they?

Yes, I know gas prices are ridiculously high, and yet according to news reports there is no shortage of gas. Oil prices are shooting up yet it’s been reported full oil tankers waiting off shore are requesting assignment of where to unload.

Our citizens in the U.S. were asked to take the leading role of UN forces in Libya. This request was made by the Arab nations. Are we their puppet? They request we clean up their mess without their help yet they not only offer no funding but increase our cost for oil based upon the upheaval they requested. Something is seriously wrong with this picture.

As I see it, it is time to point out our need of OPEC oil is limited. We could increase our oil imports from Canada or even better demand a larger amount for the U.S. from the offshore wells in the Gulf. What percentage of oil taken from Gulf rigs is actually delivered to the U.S. — without being billed through another country? Why can’t more U.S. companies take Gulf oil and produce the fuel we need here? If these questions were addressed and answered, wouldn’t gas prices go down?

If they would not we could be assured the high prices are unnecessary and clearly driven by GREED.

Enough about gas prices — but it is the No. 1 topic on everyone’s mind.

How can people complain about hard times, yet pay the high price for large, flat screen TVs, Blue Ray, 3D and all the other electronic marvels? People are so addicted to cell phones and electronic devices they can’t be without them.

On my recent trip to Phoenix, a flight attendant had to argue repeatedly with a passenger about turning off his electronics. He was so loud and combative, she had to threaten to put him off the plane.

As I traveled through two major airports, Miami and Phoenix, I found it hard to believe how many people are flying around the country — yet saying times are tough. The cost of tickets is three times what they were not that long ago, yet planes are packed full. Seating space has again been reduced to make room for more passengers to squeeze in.

Doesn’t it seem an insult to be charged, on top of the high price of the ticket, fees to send your luggage? These fees have created a run on large carry-on bags that somehow are allowed on. Many of them could not fit in the device intended to measure them.

So it cost more to fly, plus added fees and there is NO FOOD offered on a 4-1/2 hour flight, not even a snack (which you would have to pay for). Of course you could pay twice as much and travel first class, where you still get treated very well — food, wine and roomy seats. Times may be tough, but airports can’t expand fast enough to meet our demand.

Another surprise about tough times I encountered was when I toured Hoover Dam. It was a Tuesday and the place was jammed. You spent $7 to park and if you wanted to enter the Visitor Center, there was another fee, and so on. Yep, times must be hard, but if so, how do so many people find ways to spend so much?

Another reason I wondered how tough times really are is when I visited Las Vegas. You literally could not walk down the Boulevard — it was so jammed with people, many of them young. The casinos I visited were packed, even on a week day. There were no big conventions in town or new shows opening. The shows I attended were almost sold out.

Are times really so bad? If people can afford to travel, visit Hoover Dam and Las Vegas, they must have funding, so why do we keep saying times are so bad? You may be wondering how I get to do all of the above. For one thing, I worked my butt off all of my life (and am still at it). For another, I don’t whine about how tough I have it, matter of fact I’m pretty grateful to be doing as well as I am.

OK — back to earth and Huron County, where times really are tough, but let me assure you it’s not that bad in other parts of the country.



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