Somebody had a piece in some paper lately demonstrating that the price of gasoline was a mere flea bite for people's budgets, but I think he was calculating from a yuppie's budget, not from the budget of a villager who drives 40 miles each way to work a low-wage job.
The Kansas City Star had a recent story on the malign effect of high gas prices on small towns around there.
[E]conomists predict that over the next few years, the country could see a migration that would greatly reduce the population of Small Town America - resulting in a painful shift away from lifestyle, family roots, traditions and school ties.
Read all that story here.
And the sudden abrupt sinking of large American newspapers goes on. From a piece in the Guardian of the UK:
In the first three months of this year, print advertising sales by American newspapers charted their biggest drop since records began in 1971. And it was the eighth quarterly drop in a row.
You can read the rest of that with a click. For years, newspapers earned outrageously high profit margins. Twenty percent was not unusual. The investors who have bought publicly traded newspaper stocks expect the money to continue to gush like that, and that won't happen ever again.