Craig There's a war in Iraq with potentially no end in sight, inclement weather damaging parts of the Midwest, increased food prices, overall economic woes, and in 5 1/2 months, the country will attempt to wade through the campaign rhetoric and elect a new president.
America has its problems and uncertainties, no doubt.
But, for all these issues, it is seemingly the ever-rapid increase of fuel prices that occupies the worried minds of many Americans.
And, rightly so.
In today's uncertain economic climate, when the dollar is not only losing its value, but also harder to come by, when industries are cutting jobs or shipping them overseas, times are tough and can be disheartening for the average person working and trying to raise a family.
The Editorial Board pays the same prices and sympathizes with our fellow consumers. The last thing a person on a budget wants to see is more of his or her hard-earned dollars lost to the pain at the pump phantoms pulling the strings a world away.
But, we must.
For all the talk of rallying cries and coordinated consumer efforts to protest these prices, it is unlikely that this will occur on a broad enough scale to leave its intended impression and make a dent in fuel prices.
So then, what are we left to do?
Stop complaining and put that effort into making decisions leaned toward conservation and cost cutting.
Riding the bus.
Buying fuel efficient vehicles.
In other words, take the power out of the hands of the energy industry and put it back into your own.
Are these steps desirable?
Of course not.
Is it ridiculous that the state of fuel prices and the economy has become so drastic and has alienated consumers to the point that measures such as these need be considered?
Is it our reality? Without question.
It's the American way to be independent and being free to hop in the car whenever we choose is part of that sense of independence. It just so happens that following that same line of traditional thinking might doom us to dire financial straits after it's all said and done.
There shouldn't be any doubt that increased fuel prices are here to stay. There shouldn't be any doubt that the candidates spending so freely in hopes of earning our votes this election season are basically as powerless as we are.
Our fuel situation could get better - let's all hope that it will - but until then, we are left to adapt to the times.
Without some steps to lessen costs, motorists - you, us and everyone else - might just be working so we can earn enough money for the privilege to drive there.