The slow economy has its effects on everyone, including students and faculty at the University of Mary Washington.
Paychecks stay without raises, but food and gas prices are on a teeter-tottering incline.
Though the price per barrel fell briefly toward the end of the summer, giving students a little more spare change, oil giants like Exxon-Mobil and Chevron jumped on the opportunity created by the falling dollar and the money coming out of the market this week.
The oil surged $6 a barrel Wednesday, to its second largest one-day increase to date.
Perhaps it was an attempt to provide more investment stability in an entirely volatile Wall Street.
The stock market is plummeting, and UMW students have noticed the increasing tuition rates, the cost to drive home for the weekend or fly back for break, even the prices of fruit at the Nest.
It is questionable though, if financial pinching is acknowledged beyond the University’s wrought iron fence.
Yesterday, the Federal Reserve Board purchased Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, rescuing American International Group’s (AIG) 30 percent fall from bankruptcy with an $85 billion loan.
Unfortunately for Lehman Brothers, which dropped 36 percent yesterday morning, the government did not have the same response.
The stock now sits, tail between legs, as the media projects its terminal condition.
The Dow is in a debated recession, suffering a 400-point drop after Lehman filed bankruptcy, and it is a position that the market has wavered on nearly all year.
Walking down campus, some of this economic struggle permeates student conversation.
“Did you hear about the crashing stock market?” a girl asked her friend at the Eagle’s Nest.
“Obama,” she said and then “Obama, Obama!” they both yelled to whomever they could find with open ears.
The non sequitur does make one’s ears peel. Peel, really, because that ballot vote for Obama does not secure an economic turnaround come November.
Obama’s bold proposals to spend great masses of money from an already inflated Federal Budget on healthcare, education, and energy does not seem to have any more financial substance than Lehman’s current vault. His plans do not address anything about creating jobs for Americans to help relieve the job slump of the current market.
It is not to say McCain is America’s economic solution, and his magnanimous price tag regarding corporate tax rates, government spending, healthcare, and the war is not cheap.
In Andrea Nealon’s Sept. 18 news article on jobs after college, she reports on the possible career paths out there for students, the statistics associated with UMW graduates, and which career fields are most viable.
It is crucial, however, that students pause a moment before once again criticizing the economy, politics, and large market that runs this economy, and take into account their self-interest as they step off the podium at Ball circle and step into this nation’s job market.
It is exactly that. The stock market, with its great big oil and financial corporations, runs this economy.