stocks are down due to oil futures. the oil industry is facing layoff and closures. the bakken oil field in north dakota, which only just recently began drilling (2007 or so) and brought north dakota the lowest unemployment rate in the country, is now looking at grim times.
and you know what? i’m don’t feel one bit sorry about this. i’m paying $1.70 or so at the pump (compared with $3.99 i was paying for a lot of years), i don’t feel anxious when i see the final price after filling my tank (oh, about $33 instead of almost $70 [i have an 18-gallon tank]), and i have some extra cash.
when gas prices surged in the early oughts due to the middle-east romps by baby bush, everyone was feeling squeezed by prices. people traveled less. bought more efficient cars. and one would argue, weren’t able to pay their mortgages. is it just coincidence that gas prices surge to $4 and suddenly the housing bubble pops? when you’re filling up 2 times a week at $70 a pop, that’s no chump change.
high gas prices made a lot of people in the oil and gas industry during the great recession pretty darn wealthy. ND average pay for oil industry was about $110,000 with entry level at $66K.
meanwhile, the majority of workers in the country lived in fear of layoffs from 2008 until, oh, 2012-13 or so. forced furloughs, early retirement packages, working a job that wasn’t your own as well as your own job because the person who worked next to you was laid off. at merrill, we were forced to take 10 days unpaid over the course of 2 months. i survived about five rounds of layoffs. for a year, the company didn’t match any 401k. everyone needed to use all their vacation time in the year or we would lose it. this was not uncommon.
not only that, but prices everywhere were going up, because transportation of goods was a lot more expensive. times were good if you were in the market for a house, though; those were cheap.
but now, i have more cash in my pocket, my job’s a little more secure, i don’t fear a layoff as much, and i can build my vacation time. the economy’s supposedly picking up, more jobs are available, and prices of goods are at least stable. gas prices? low low low. is this coincidence? not sure.
but now i’m supposed to feel sorry that a small pocket of USA jobs is going down the tank? welcome to what the rest of america was facing the past 8 years.
not one iota of sympathy.