The bad news is that we're broke. The good news is that Big Oil is having a really hard time screwing us these days because we don't have any money to be screwed out of. Crude prices fell to $36 a barrel yesterday
--down from $50 just last week. And despite the oil industry's attempts to jack prices--through cutting production and going Chicken Little on the fighting in Gaza--nothing seems to be working. That's because you can't raise prices when nobody's buying.
After the $4-a-gallon episode of last fall, it appears that Americans are finally taking the oil crisis seriously. Or maybe we're just too broke to have a choice. Either way, surpluses are soaring due to decreased demand. And as long as we're not spending, oil companies will have no choice but to keep prices low--unless they can get really inventive with fresh ways to screw us.
Consider it a small burst of sunshine during a dark economy.