Price of gas has B.C. residents digging deep into their pockets and cutting back elsewhere to make ends meet. (File photo)

EDITORIAL: Paying high prices getting too painful

Gas, real estate remain a heavy burden on consumers

Prices keep going up, up, up and people continue going down, down, down with the ship.

Trying to swim rather than sink in today’s society is becoming increasingly more difficult. The cost of just about everything is still rising and most wage-earners aren’t receiving anywhere near the corresponding amount in raises.

The leading culprit of the big dent in our wallets remains fuel prices. Notice that prices have now stabilized at $1.56.9 per litre after huge surges a couple of months back.

We were told refineries in Washington state and California were all shut down at the same time and that was one of the main reasons for the increase. Well, those refineries are presumably fully operational again and we haven’t seen a price decrease.

Of course, then we were told the switch to the more expensive summer blend of gasoline was pending and that was going to be a factor as well.

There’s a lot going on in the industry that we’re not being told and, significant taxes aside, the question of price gouging keeps arising.

The problem is no one is going to abandon their cars anytime soon so we’ll just continue paying whatever price is being charged. Part of the ploy seems psychological and, if the price ever does drop a couple of cents to say $1.54.9, we’ll think we’re getting a bargain when it’s far from it.

People will sacrifice anything else to pay for gas and that means going out less to eat, spending less on clothing, etc. and none of that is good for the economy as a whole.

Gasoline is only the tip of the gas can with our high cost of living, as we’re finding out the extent of how we’ve been literally taken to the cleaners in this province through money laundering.

That has severely affected an already expensive housing market on a rapid scale during the last decade. Maybe an inquiry will get to the bottom of it, although that’s going to take a couple of years, and bring at least some aspect of living in this province back to reality for most people who aren’t exactly millionaires.

But we let some millionaires flourish in B.C. far too long through illegal means and that’s proving costly for all of us.

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