As a reader of the Business Journal, you know how the high costs hurt the local economy. Virtually every product and most services have a fuel component to them, which means we must pay extra for everything.
And of course, the direct impact is on motorists. The high prices particularly burden the working poor, who may have to drive farther in older, less fuel-efficient cars and trucks to get to their jobs.
So, will voters continue to meekly accept the high cost of gasoline? Or are they finally fed up and ready to retaliate?
Well, consider this: There is a possibility that the fall elections could include a measure to repeal the 12 cents-a-gallon gas tax approved last year (which also included a 20 cents-a-gallon increase on diesel fuel and a 4 percentage point increase in the sales tax rate on diesel).
If it is on the ballot, it could energize voters, and we will get the answer to that question.
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For several months now, a few economists and market watchers have been saying that we’ve returned to the so-called Goldilocks economy of the 1990s and early 2000s. That is, not too hot and not too cold.
Lately, I’ve started to believe they might be right. Just last week, the Atlanta Federal Reserve’s forecast model said the U.S. economy is expanding in this second quarter at a 4.5 percent clip, which was a downward revision but still higher than anything we’ve seen in years. Another report last week said the number of job openings exceeded the number of job seekers for the first time since that record was started in 2000.
At the same time, there’s been only a little upward pressure on interest rates and inflation. In other words, the growth in the overall economy, to use Goldilocks’ words, appears to be just right.
Charles Crumpley is editor and publisher of the Business Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com.