By Beatriz Garay
Record high gas prices and rising expenses of necessities in California make the inflation relief checks a ray of hope for some hard-working middle class families.
Some in the United States say that the use of relief or stimulus checks are causing inflation to be much worse. Some California residents find this method to be a form of financial help.
The action of releasing relief checks are necessary due to current financial programs not necessarily helping all Californians. Even if this relief check is a short-term solution, it is something that can bring a form of ease for those who are working many hours to provide for their family.
“The short-run economic impact may be helpful for households that qualify for the full $1,050 as we will see an increase in utility bills due to the change of seasons as more natural gas will be consumed,” Dr. Coson from the East Los Angeles College Economics department said.
This shows just how these short-term solutions can, in a way, provide a form of relief for hard-working families even if others think that it could make things worse.
“Moreover, even though the winter blend gasoline is available one month earlier than the usual November 1 date, gas prices are still relatively high compared to last year’s prices, so households that qualify for the full $1,050 can use the relief funds to ease the economic pain as they travel for the Thanksgiving and holiday season,” Dr. Coson said.
This course of action, which is defined as an altered formula of gasoline that enables a car to start in cold temperatures, can also be seen as a protective measure by the California state government as a way to compensate for the troubles its residents are dealing with on a daily basis.
“From a political standpoint, issuing stimulus checks sends a message that the government is acting in the public’s interest,” Professor Garcia of ELAC’s Political Science department said.
The inflation relief payments demonstrate that the state government does take notice of the public’s struggles and partially mends it in a way to help them feel at ease.
Many people in the U.S. still fear that this type of assistance could make the inflation situation worse than it is currently. However, Professor Garcia said, “there is no evidence that these programs add to the inflationary problem.”
There is a lack of clear messaging where Californians are not getting the full picture in understanding that inflation is not just a U.S. problem, it’s a global issue.
The invasion of Ukraine has caused the supply of oil to decrease and the price of it to increase drastically. This has left the U.S. to use their oil reserves.
“Today, the U.S. exports more oil than it imports. This also means that the U.S. is in a much better position to react to oil shortages, at least in the short run.
Recall that in April, the Biden administration released 180 million barrels of oil from our national petroleum stockpile, which had the effect – briefly – of bringing down gas prices to just over $4 a gallon,” Professor Garcia said.
Even if we were to use more of our reserves, the demand is still high while the amount of supply is limited.
Gas is $6-7 a gallon in California, while the national average is barely $4 a gallon. Releasing the oil reserves helped greatly provide relief for many middle-class Californians.
But, it was just a band-aid that did little to really mend the problem in steadying gas prices in populated states like California.
The state government is doing its job in handling the daily problems we face but it is up to California residents to make the necessary choices to be able to rely on ourselves to fix the current energy problems.
It is indeed an eye-opening revelation to see that these relief checks are actually a good thing because it is the federal government’s fault for relying on other countries for fuel rather than relying on domestic energy to keep things running.
People just need to see the bigger picture in order to fully understand something before jumping to conclusions on things such as relief checks.