The Price of Gas (on the rest of the economy) / by Nate Westheimer

Cousins & Brother,

It was wonderful too see you all this weekend (and I'm sorry Jenny and Susie couldn't be there!). Seeing you reminded me, among other things, of how delinquent I've been with this blog of ours. I've been a poor facilitator in recent months!

Anyway, I wanted to share a thought with you and then ask you a question:

Because I was unable to spend much time with my best friend over the weekend, I solicited his transportation services earlier today to get back to the Cincinnati airport and so we could hang out. When I asked him to drive me, he said "sure, but could you throw be 5 bucks for gas?" I looked in my wallet, and though all I had was a 5 spot and a single, I said, "No problem." But then I'd only be left one dollar for the airport. "There goes the magazine I was going to buy," I thought.

I felt there was something wrong.

Eric has never asked me for gas money before -- and he's bene driving me around for years -- but then again gas hasn't been this expensive for a while. Living in the City, and not being around cars, has largely sheltered me from this dilemma (though I'm sure they've trickled into my everyday purchases), but today I saw first hand: high gas prices are having a big effect on the economy. Today, I didn't buy this week's copy of Barron's because high gas prices directly affected my discretionary budget. What I'm wondering, especially from all you drivers out there, is this: How has the price of has affected your spending habits, if at all? Do you see gas prices affecting your local economy at all?

Here are some articles related to the subject:
From LA Times
Article about how gas has affected Wal-Mart's sales
A great article from Salon.com's "How the World Works"