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A survey recently conducted for the Kaiser Family Foundation found the rapidly increasing cost of gasoline is the No. 1 “economic woe” facing families in the United States.
The survey, which was meant to measure how changes in the economy have affected everyday life, showed 44 percent of participants said paying for gas is “a serious problem.”
More than 25 percent of households earning more than $75,000 a year and about 63 percent of households earning less than $30,000, felt paying for gasoline was the biggest issue their pocketbooks will face this year.
And with gas averaging $3.60 this past Monday, it’s easy to see why.
I stopped by the gas station Monday myself, just after my low-gas, get-to-the-station-now-unless-you-want-to-push-your-car-home light came on.
Not having a lot of time or patience to fill the entire tank, I stopped at $15. That only got me about four gallons.
Fifteen dollars used to buy me a whole tank of gas and the biggest size fountain pop they make.
When I was in college, my parents used to give me a $100 gas card every few months, and I thought this was the best gift ever.
That used to buy me so many tanks of gas that I could drive anywhere and never run out or have to worry about my next fill-up.
My sister and I used to go to the beach every day one summer when gas was a mere 99 cents. I have a feeling I’ll never see those days again.
If my parents bought me a $100 gas card today, I’d be lucky to get two tanks out of it. Forget about the fountain pop.
The survey said the second place “economic woe” was finding a “good-paying job.” That’s understandable, as well.
I’m not sure how a minimum-wage employee can afford to live anymore when it takes them about an hour to make enough just to buy one gallon of gas.
Coming in a close third was paying for healthcare and health insurance.
The National Coalition of Health Care said 16 percent of the American population—47 million people—were without healthcare in 2005.
Twenty-nine percent of people with health insurance did not seek treatment or proper medical care because their coverage left them with a co-pay that was too outrageous.
Is it right that people die every day from illnesses that could have been cured just because they could not afford it?
I’d definitely say no, but I don’t know what the answer is.
But there must be someone out there with the answer. Someone who knows the hardship American families are feeling because of these increasing and burdensome costs.
I can only hope this person is the one elected into office this November.
KATHRYN JACEWICZ is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or email@example.com.