September 8th, 2001


"Iowa Voice" Submission on Price Gouging

An open letter to Govenor Vilsack

Honored Sir:

When I was getting ready to wrap my garbage in the front page of a local free paper, my eyes lit on an article, "Vilsack 'troubled' by gasoline price spike".

You are entirely right to be skeptical. You need to have Attorney General Tom Miller collect facts from the general public, then have them checked out for veracity.

One place to start is the tiny town where I teach. The population is declining drastically, but hovers around 800-900. Gradually, the four gas stations it boasted at one point have dwindled to one, the local Casey's store, which in a GOOD week, MIGHT run through a load of gas.

But the week school started, if "refining problems" were behind the gas price spike leading up to the Labor Day high, residents are being asked to believe that they were emptying a tanker load in less than one day.

August 20, when I drove my diesel powered vehicle past the Casey's price signs, gas was $1.38, (up from a mid-summer low in the high teens) and I was beginning to regret my decision to switch to diesel, as I had to go many miles out of town to get somewhere that even CARRIED diesel.

I don't regret that decision any more! By Wednesday, when the children had to report, gas had jumped 10¢. Thursday, it went up another dime, and Friday saw it hit $1.70. One day, it jumped 10¢ between 7:30 and 4:30 alone! Monday, it was ten cents higher, then leaped up 16 cents over the next few days... prices dropped back to $1.84, the norm in the area, and stablized there through the holiday. But by Wednesday morning, gas was down 13 cents, dropping another 8¢ by Friday to $1.62, where it remains.

(I am still on the same tank of diesel I bought for $1.60 the Saturday before Labor Day, at a station in a bigger, but also dying, town. The stuff stinks, is messy to fill; the engine has to warm up even in the extremes of summer, but for "cheap", you expect a bit of discomfort.)

You are not a fool. When I heard that you "suspect price gouging", I want to stand up and shout "Right on, GV (Govenor Vilsack)! These are the times that try people's souls. Whenever the rights of Americans have been threatened, it is courageous politicians like you who have stepped up to the plate and swung their more powerful bat.

"Hit that ball clear out of the park and give 'em a good RUN for our money!"

Last updated 9/10/01 in response to an invite to submit revisions for consideration.

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Come-On to Sharp Witted Friend Whose Opinion I Value

Have I been keeping you abreast of the progress of the novel I have been working on off and on since sometime in high school? (It has been so long, the fact that I am "writing a book" has attained the status of a family joke. Everyone up 'til now has had a "Just humor her" attitude, but now, bits and pieces of it are involving THEM, sometimes more personally than is polite...)

It wants to come out, NOW... and it is school time, so I can't devote the time it needs to it right now.

Of course, as its creator, I find it terribly witty and fascinating. Obviously, I need some quick witted reparté‚ to take me down a peg or two. You game?

The pieces are sometimes posted at that spot... but just to make things interesting, they are in RANDOM order, and frequently don't get updated, subdivided, or corrected as people's feedback refines the prose...

Current Mood: Feigned indifference
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Indifferent is not synonymous with Feigned Indifference

Why does my mood, which I corrected to other, then entered as feigned indifference, not switch?

In utter frustration, I finally edited the post, copying the mood and music part too, and tried to make it display the same way the other parts did, but I could not get "smaller" and "end font" to work...
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