Monday, March 10, 2008

Where's The Economy Headed?

I suppose some may think I'm silly to fret about losing readers, but as an author, I have to ask myself, when will people stop spending money on books in order to juggle the real necessities of life? I don't make a ton of sales, but suffering a decline is one more way that escalating gasoline prices will affect me and my fellow authors.

I don't know about you, but I'm worried. Every shopping trip reveals price increases since my previous visit. Today, I paid sixty four cents for one orange. Every time there's an increase in fuel prices, it doesn't just impact my private vehicle, it touches me and everything I need to live. From aspirin to toilet paper and beyond, everything is hauled by truck. The shippers have to show a profit, so they bump up their prices, and in turn, the retailers bump up theirs. In the end, consumers pay for it.

What's even more ridiculous is the price of diesel (which most trucks use) is at an all-time high. It's a bi-product of gasoline, and in reality, should be cheaper to make, but it's currently $3.77 per gallon as opposed to $3.13 for regular gasoline here in my neck of the woods. Who's gouging who and why can they get away with it? For years, diesel was the cheapest type of fuel.

Reports predict that gasoline will exceed $4.00 per gallon before summer. That means diesel will rise accordingly, and besides trying to juggle your own fuel concerns you'll be picking up an even bigger tab for the things shipped to the markets and shops. How much can the average American stand?

There was a time when people in dire straights could file bankruptcy and still salvage their lives, but now, thanks to the current administration and the change in those laws, people aren't able to fall back on that last safety net That's why millions of people are losing their homes to foreclosure. If you don't believe me, check the statistics for your own area. It's staggering. I'm not an advocate of using BK to wriggle your way out of debt, but think about it...the credit card companies have us in their clutches. They make money hand over fist in interest, can adjust your rates as they see fit, levy late fees that are ridiculous, and, in my opinion, victimize people that are already in financial trouble. That's my humble opinion, and I'm not asking anyone to agree with it.

As someone who lives on a fairly fixed income, I'm even more frightened about the future. My yearly cost of living increase is 10% and it doesn't touch the tip of what the true COL has become. Example" I broke a tooth a few days ago and it's going to cost me over $1000 to get it fixed. They want the money up front. How many people can afford that? I have a feeling that's why I see so many people here in TN with bad teeth. Most employers don't offer health and dental, so what options do you have: Let's see, feed you family or save your teeth. Remember, even the dentists supplies are delivered by truck. It's a big snowball that's going to touch every part of our lives, and it needs to stop. I hope whoever is elected to office doesn't have blinders on and can see the average American family and their struggles.

We're so concerned about reconstructing Iraq. How about some consideration for those needing a hand up at home. Being a tax-paying citizen should offer priority over those who aren't, but again, that's just my opinion and I'm not asking for a debate.

My publishers tell me I need to travel to promote my books--make personal appearances, arrange signings, be more visible than just on the internet. I'm pretty much thinking it ain't gonna happen unless something seriously changes with the current economic conditions. I'm not hopeful. So, I'll just continue to do the best I can and hope that the new releases I have coming out are interesting enough to warrant your purchase. We do, after all, still need something to help us escape from reality, or even better, find someone as a hero or heroine with whom we can truly identify. Please, keep on reading.

1 comment:

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