Sunday, April 20, 2008


Some days many different things sort of float around, and I have no idea why they are the things that interest me, or how they will ever come together...

1. Yesterday; or maybe a few days ago now, there was a sign in the CVS window for milk. $3.79. That day, it was exactly the same as the price of gas.

2. Today I read an op-ed column in The Times -- it said this is how it supposed to go -- steady upward pressure so that we change gradually. Economically, it explained, the price of oil is inelastic -- as in, it has to take a lot of pressure to get us to do anything really different.

This from the Forbes "Investipedia" web site:
The degree to which a demand or supply curve reacts to a change in price is the curve's elasticity. Elasticity varies among products because some products may be more essential to the consumer. Products that are necessities are more insensitive to price changes because consumers would continue buying these products despite price increases.

3. I just had a conversation in my English class about elasticity. Around the same time as I noticed that milk and oil were both hovering near $4/gallon, I noticed the price of cigarettes. $5 a pack -- for a generic pack inside of a carton. $5.50, it turns out. I was alarmed. How on earth can students afford to smoke? I asked them how much it would have to cost for them to stop -- I suggested that my tactic to use cheap books could be aiding their reckless behavior. I know, I know -- I used to smoke too.

They said they would go without food.



I wrote a while ago about the elderly, choosing between food and medication and heat. The price of oil is not inelastic because it is tied so firmly to our way of life. I worry that many kids -- not just college age ones -- will be going without milk soon; or already are.

I think it has something to do with relationships. To what is important and why. What nourishes us. What are we willing to give away not to see out of our routine -- our of our day as we imagined it -- out of our life... what is essential? What is necessary?
What would you give up?

Food; Shelter; Love; Avoidance of Pain.

Somebody told me I was necessary once. That may have been the last time we spoke.

My children.

The rest is luxury...

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