The economy is getting so bad in the United States that everyone is starting to notice it. From gas prices to business, the changes are becoming more and more noticeable to all kinds of people. People are constantly talking about it everyday. There are rumors that there will be a so called “civil war” between all people who will be robbing and stealing trying to survive and feed their families. Our government needs to really start making some changes for our economy or this world will be in a lot of trouble. Some of the reasons are oil drops, the issues small business owners are facing, and the inconsistent behavior of our gas prices.
The stock market has gone up and down because it is our barometer of economic confidence. The price of oil has dropped to $58.00 a barrel. Xeta shares have increased 26 cents, or 18.98 percent and was the top percentage gainer at one point and time. Devon energy fell $5.97, or 7.84 percent last session. According to the Department of energy, natural gas supplies have increased by 62 billion cubic feet one week! Retail sales have dropped by 2.8 percent, and that is the largest drop on record. The realization that 2009 is going to be a very bad year is starting to dawn on people and they are starting to digest how bad the economy is getting.
Due to recent surveys, as much as 95 percent of small business owners are feeling like their business is being challenged. They are seeing things like “decreased amount of sales, less access to credit, health care costs and rising gas prices.”( Hudson Valley Business Journal ) According to many small business owners, they are doing things like reducing expenses, cutting back on staff, decreasing business travel, minimizing marketing efforts, and many aren’t giving bonuses and/or raises anymore. They are looking at ways they can “increase efficiency from valued employees, and increase productivity in any possible way, often through new technology”.( Hudson Valley Business Journal) More than 55 percent of small business owners that were surveyed by the Hudson Valley Business Journal reported their own personal business as being “down”( Hudson Valley Business Journal).
Gas prices have been going up and down so much, many people try to do whatever they can to save gas. A lot of people have adjusted their lifestyles in a way that will be more fuel efficient and that will save them money. For example,” people are driving less by car pooling, some people choose to ride public transportation, and many people have traded their gas-guzzling vehicles for newer and more fuel-efficient cars” ( Hudson Valley Business Journal) . About a year and a half ago, gas was less than a dollar a gallon and stayed that way for weeks. Where a few months ago, gas prices were so high and then recently started falling and continues to drop a little more every week. A record 86-day streak of falling pump prices ended Friday, with the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline at $1.656. Prices edged up to $1.66 on Saturday and hovered there the past couple of days, the Oil Price Information Service says. (USA Today)
The economy falling so fast is a very scary thing. All we can do is just live as carefully and wisely as we can because if the economy continues in this direction, it won’t be long before we have a world wide crisis that will be impossible to correct. Oil prices, gas prices, and small businesses are real proof that we are in trouble with the economy. Most people have cut back on all the unnecessary spending fearing that the worst might happen.