Calling in sick Monday would send an important message to elected leaders (and your boss, too)
By Jamie Miller
We’ve all gotten emails suggesting that we “not buy gas next Friday.” The email suggests that big oil companies will get the point because their sales may dip that day and reduce their prices the following day or two. The two obvious problems with such a scheme is that 1. People no longer pay much attention to those crazy emails and 2. It doesn’t reduce consumption at all.
Why don’t we Americans take the high gas prices into our own hands and get everyone’s attention including the government, oil, employers and fellow Americans? Call in sick on Monday, July 7, and leave your car parked in the driveway. Don’t go to the grocery store, don’t go to the beach, don’t run errands, don’t go anywhere. Stay at home with your family — watch movies, cookout, or read a book.
Then let’s call in sick on Tuesday, September 2, the day following Labor Day, and let’s continue to call in sick one day a month until it brings the prices down!
Of course, the real problem for this scheme is that OPEC will just pump less keeping supply low and demand great. America does not have energy independence. The positive of such a mass movement is that it will get the attention of government and corporations. Some governments and companies have started offering four, 10-hour days a week instead of five, eight-hour days. It’s amazing, but to many workers not commuting to work one day a week may mark the largest raise they’ve gained in the past several years.
Taking action will demand action.
It will require that federal and state government start developing more nuclear power as well as drilling more here at home. There are very few people, outside of militant environmentalists, who oppose drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge. Of course, we need to develop oil shale, wind power and solar power as well. It is ridiculous that we haven’t developed new nuclear power plants since an unfortunate accident nearly 30 years ago. We have the technology to be energy independent. Do we have the fortitude to demand change from our elected officials?
I consider myself a “blue collar economist.” It simply means that people need to be able to buy gas to go to work and inexpensive food for their families. When gas and diesel prices increase so quickly, it hurts nearly every segment of the American economy – American families, the poor and elderly are hit the hardest.
So, calling in sick on July 6 or September 2 may not affect national policy, the supply and demand of oil that greatly, but if Americans acted in mass, it would get attention and show our elected officials that we are tired of the hot air and want action on this issue today!
Jamie Miller is a political consultant specializing in political campaign management, strategic planning, public relations and crisis communications. He has been involved with running and managing political campaigns since 1994. E-mail him at: Repjam@aol.com.