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Monday, March 20, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 114

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High gasoline prices mean no Cornnuts

Rohith Nandagiri

In the last three months my gas bill has been considerably higher than usual. Instead of getting my usual Cornnuts and a coke, I need to use that money for an extra gallon of gas.

It is for this reason that I am calling for some sort of action to get these prices out of the stratosphere and back to a respectable level. I need my snacks.

But seriously, the United States government needs to put more pressure on the oil producing countries to increase the production of oil so the prices will fall. America has definitely done its part to help Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other countries which produce more oil than water. If it weren't for America, Saudi Arabia would have joined Kuwait as part of the Iraq Republic in the early 1990s.

Back then, economics brought us to war. If Iraq had invaded Mongolia, America would have sent diplomats. But since the United States had a vested interest in Kuwait, they sent an entire battle fleet equipped with a carrier division, a Marine ground assault team and the vaunted Patriot Missle. Hell, we even sent CNN's Wolf Blitzer, who probably did as much damage as any Scud missile from the Iraqis.

But now, the prices of oil are being driven up by the cheap OPEC leaders who are not allowing the normal amount of oil barrels into this country. Pressure is being put on the leaders of these countries from President Bill Clinton, and it seems to be working. They are meeting later this month to try and come up with a plan to send more oil to the countries which need it most.

It is simply an issue of supply and demand.

But this is not the first time the United States has not been properly thanked for doing something noble. How many times has America gotten involved with a cause only to come back and be taken advantage of? With the trade deficit, immigration and foreign policy the United States always seems to get the short end of the stick. This issue of gas prices is just the latest in a long line of things. But in the end, America always comes out looking rosy and clean.

Especially here at UH, gas prices are a big issue because most of the students drive to campus. But be thankful you live in the south, because up north the prices are even higher. In California, regular gas prices are about $2 a gallon. If you fill up your gas tank once a week and you have a 15 gallon tank, it can run you about a $100 a month to drive your car. After adding insurance, repairs and a dangly air freshner, having a car can be more a burden than anything else. But that brings us to the issue of the lack of decent public transportation, which is a whole topic by itself.

But, it is time to put pressure on the countries which have the oil for the betterment of our society here in this country. Otherwise, all the economic prosperity our country has experienced lately will be washed away by a few gallons of gas.

Athletes getting paid

Two weeks ago, I wrote a column about college athletes not getting paid a stipend. It turns out I got some confusing information from the athlete I spoke to. No athlete at UH receives a stipend apart from his scholarship.

If he receives any money from the athletic department, it is actually for room and board money. If an athlete receives a full scholarship and lives off campus, he or she is eligible to receive either some or all of the money in a form of a check each month. But the money is a part of the scholarship.

There is no across-the-board stipend for any athlete at UH. 

Nandagiri, a senior business (MIS) major, 
can be reached at nandagiri@hotmail.com.

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