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High Gas Prices? Don't Forget to Mention How It Will Hurt Wal Mart

Reported by Donna - August 25, 2005

Yesterday on Studio B with Shepard Smith they ran a segment on high gasoline prices and how it could affect the economy. A report had come out from the Commerce Department that said sales for durable goods had hit an 18 month low. Durable goods, as reported by Smith are big ticket items such as tv's, refrigerators, household appliances, cars.

Smith said it made sense that if people are putting out more money for high gas prices this would leave them with less to spend on other items.

But Stuart Varney, Business Correspondant, who frequently fills in for Neil Cavuto, told Smith not to read too much into it. He said one month's figures shouldn't be taken too seriously as a volatile indicator. He reassured the audience and Smith that this was not all 'doom and gloom'.

He said that business spending is down but it's been up in past months. He went on to say that the economy is down from it's red hot pace because of the high price of oil and gas. (Comment: Red hot pace? I guess I missed that one.)

Smith said that if you're paying 50% more for gas and 40% more for heating costs this winter it makes sense that you have to stop spending on something else, especially if you are a family living on a fixed income. (Comment: Can't help thinking about my mother and other seniors and how they're going to make it through a winter on their fixed incomes with a 40% increase in heating costs)

Varney agreed with him on this point, "You are squeezed, case closed."
(Comment: You are squeezed, case closed? My, how caring)

Then Varney made the real important point, "Wal Mart sales are going to be squeezed, case closed. That is going to happen and it is the result of high energy prices."

Comment: Excuse me while I don't have a pity party for Wal Mart. Being the richest corporation in the United States and barely paying for their employees and not providing healthcare for them, I think they can take a bit of 'squeezing'.

Not so, however, for the elderly and disabled living on a fixed income.

Wal Mart can cut it's workforce and pass the increase onto it's customers - I'm afraid the fixed income seniors and disabled don't have these options.

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