[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/24/art.five.gallon.gi.jpg caption=" AAA reports the national average for regular unleaded is at $4.07, up nearly 37% from a year ago."]
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
When former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan speaks, people listen. He says the United States is on the brink of a recession. There's more.
He warns that the chances of a recession happening are more than 50%, and that a quick recovery is unlikely. Greenspan says that there are still "very considerable structural problems" in our financial system and that it's going to be "very difficult."
And Americans seem to be on the same page as Greenspan. The Conference Board, a private business research group, reported today that consumer confidence dropped to an all-time low of 50.4 in June – a significant decline from last month.
It's because people are dealing with tough situations, everything from falling home values, to tight credit to rising prices for everything from food to energy, especially gas prices. Toss in rising unemployment, inflation, a loss of jobs and the decline in the value of the dollar and, well, you get the idea.
The national average for a gallon of gas is still more than $4, and there probably won't be much relief anytime soon. Energy experts say that despite all the squawking from lawmakers, don't expect them to do much to cut gas prices. That's because Congress can't really control the price of oil, which is in part due to worldwide demand from places like China and India.
But the candidates continue to rattle on about gas prices nonetheless, because polls show that energy – including gas prices – is now tied with the economy as the top issue on voters' minds.
Here’s my question to you: Do you agree with Alan Greenspan that the U.S is on the brink of a recession or are we already there?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Anne from Texas writes:
Let me count the ways: Gasoline prices through the roof, groceries higher every time we go to the store, the annual summer vacation trip is just wishful thinking now, and we haven't had a cost-of-living increase in our pension since 2001. I can't speak for the country as a whole, but I'm sure as heck in a recession.
Bill from Albuquerque, New Mexico writes:
I think we're on the brink but not quite there. Of course, we can quibble all day about the exact definition, but I don't get the feeling that things are sinking fast. On the contrary, maybe that stimulus package really will help keep the economy from plunging into a "true" recession.
Molly from California writes:
Recession? Depends entirely on where you live, Jack. Here in Hollywood we're just beginning to feel the pinch. But I know a lot of people in Detroit - and there it's almost a depression.
Andrea from Fayetteville, Georgia writes:
We are already there. There is no job market unless you happen to speak Spanish. The job market has been dead for over a year and our gas prices at $3.99 to $4.06 a gallon are making it impossible for us to pay our utilities and grocery bills. It is very sad.
Cathy from Maryland writes:
If a recession means that money's tight and there's no end in sight, then I'm there.
Annie from Atlanta writes:
Just ask the millions of Americans on fixed incomes, or those who have lost or are losing their homes or jobs and benefits what they think. Of course for all who have benefited from the lawlessness of this administration, life has never been better.
Paul from Florida writes:
Jack, We're not in a recession. Those stimulus checks from China fixed everything.