My donut costs 65 cents.

Though you could probably care less about me and my love of donuts, allow me to put this more in context. For the last couple of months, I nurtured a simple morning ritual: I break for a mid-morning snack around six in the morning, take myself down to Marsh, and I treat myself to a donut. The cashiers smile at me, I drop two quarters in their hand, and I go about my day.

Then last month I dropped two quarters in my cashier’s hand and she looked up and said “they’re now 65 cents.”

That’s a 30 per cent increase. For my donut. Did no one think that we’d notice?

We’ve always had pretty low gas prices, especially consider prices some are paying in other parts of the globe. We’re just now passing the (inflation adjusted) gas prices highs of 1981. Let’s face it, oil is not a renewable resource, yet from 1975 until now, fuel efficiency has improved little more than about 10 miles per gallon. Thirty years of technological advancement has only eked out an extra 10 miles per gallon. We need to be developing alternatives, seriously pursuing other technology, but we’re short-term thinkers, so we don’t unless we absolutely have to.

I wanted to take a family vacation, a nice drive down to Atlanta to visit some friends. I remember canceling this same trip last year when gas prices jumped to $3.50 or so. This year, the trip might be possible, but only in light of serious cutbacks in other areas of our life.

And the cost of my donut went up 30%. I don’t think you feel me.

We, as a nation, have had to drive our minivans less, car pool more, and take mass transit more. We had to cut back spending in other areas. What happens when things I can’t live without, things I can’t cut back on, go up? Bread, milk, eggs … 30% adds up quickly as the transportation costs of getting our products to us get passed along. At what point does the economy finally grind to a halt.

I have to start cutting back somewhere. But I’m going to miss my donuts.

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