The New York Times has a piece this evening about how the rising energy costs are having a much greater effect in rural parts of the country (particularly the south) than they are in the urban ones:
“Across broad swaths of the South, Southwest and the upper Great Plains, the combination of low incomes, high gas prices and heavy dependence on pickup trucks and vans is putting an even tighter squeeze on family budgets.
Here in the Mississippi Delta, some farm workers are borrowing money from their bosses so they can fill their tanks and get to work. Some are switching jobs for shorter commutes.
People are giving up meat so they can buy fuel. Gasoline theft is rising. And drivers are running out of gas more often, leaving their cars by the side of the road until they can scrape together gas money.
The disparity between rural America and the rest of the country is a matter of simple home economics. Nationwide, Americans are now spending about 4 percent of their take-home income on gasoline. By contrast, in some counties in the Mississippi Delta, that figure has surpassed 13 percent.”
Read the full article here.
Food prices are already rising. This, combined with the crackdown on immigrant labor, is going to drive those prices even higher. And I’d imagine that spot shortages are not out of the realm of possibility as well.