Friday, March 11, 2011
The Atlantic Monthly looks at the trickle down effect of rising gas prices:
Jeff Grant is an ER technician and a paramedic. He lives in Waldoboro, Maine. He works two jobs, and his wife works one. Last month between them they spent $760 on gasoline, car payments (for two modestly used cars), and car insurance. This month the 50-cent increase in the cost of fuel means they'll spend about $828 for transportation. That means that Jeff is working one job just so he and his wife can get to their other two. This is astonishing, but there is nothing statistically unusual about his situation—and its implications for the American Dream (for lack of a better word) are stark and depressing.