Thursday, April 27, 2006

Sympathy for Gas Guzzlers

From the front page of today's New York Times:

"Nobody has any sympathy for oil companies on Capitol Hill right now," said Representative Jack Kingston, Republican of Georgia and vice chairman of the House Republican Conference. "You talk to someone driving to work in an F-150 pickup and paying $75 to fill up his tank, and everybody's on his side."

But in reality, higher prices are not being caused by the oil companies. They are being caused by all the people driving gas guzzlers to work - the people Congress has so much sympathy for.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Letting Our Children Pay

On the front page of today's New York Times, there is a story about parents who are making their children pay their own college expenses, which begins with this description of a family's economic plight:

"[the student's] parents earn about $100,000, but her mother ... said little is left after paying for housing, three cars, gas, food, and utilities...."

It is a perfect symbol of the modern economy. The family's three cars are such an economic burden that they have trouble providing for their children.

This is our modern form of economic hardship. Families have no choice but to pay for the three cars, because they live in a suburb where it is impossible to leave your house without a car.

Future generations will pay for our consumerism.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Automobile Riots

At the next corner, a crowd was collecting round a highslung white automobile. Clouds of steam poured out of its rear end. A policeman was holding up a small boy by the armpits. From the car a redfaced man with white walrus whiskers was talking angrily.

"I tell you officer he threw a stone. . . . This sort of thing has got to stop. For an officer to countenance hoodlums and rowdies. . . ."

A woman with her hair done up in a tight bunch on top of her head was screaming, shaking her fist at the man in the car, "Officer he near run me down he did, he near run me down."

Bud edged up next to a young man in a butcher's apron who had a baseball cap on backwards.

"Wassa matter?"

"Hell I dunno. . . . One o them automoebile riots I guess. Aint you read the paper? I dont blame em do you? What right have those golblamed automoebiles got racin round the city knockin down wimen and children?"

"Gosh do they do that?"

"Sure they do."

--John Dos Passos, Manhattan Transfer