There are goods and services consumers can cut back on or cut out altogether, but riding on low tread tires should not be an option. Unfortunately, an article in today’s USA Today reports that some people are doing just that.
According to tire manufacturer Goodyear (GT), oil comprises 60% of the raw materials cost for a tire, and natural rubber is about 25%. Both commodities fall under the planetary rulership of Neptune (chemicals). Chemical-related commodities have been on an upsurge since 2003 when Uranus (sharp and sudden prices spikes) entered Pisces. Neptune and Pisces relate to price bubbles. The entrance of Saturn in Virgo last September accelerated prices as Saturn relates to supply and demand limitations and Virgo represents the products and services need for daily living. Saturn was last in Virgo in the late 1970s to early 1980s, and USA Today notes that the price of rubber is at a 28-year high. Neptune and Pisces rule tires as they are the "feet" of a vehicle. It’s interesting that USA Today chose to publish a story about tires while the Moon (consumers) is in Pisces.*
Tires that have good tread and that are aligned and balanced with the correct air pressure are important to personal safety and increase fuel efficiency. New tires also provide a better ride. My car needed new tires due more to their age (rubber dries out over time) than worn tread. Shopping around before new tires became a necessity that enabled me to buy a better quality tire than the almost $1,000 quoted on a lesser quality tire of the same brand at regular price. While I was waiting for the tires to be installed, a man came in with a big Lexus SUV who just wanted to replace one tire, complaining he couldn’t afford a new set. As USA Today points out, people who lease their vehicles will have to pay for a new set of tires if the dealer determines they are needed when the vehicle is turned in at the end of the lease.
The Federal Reserve and many economists believe that inflation will decrease over time as consumers cut back their spending. Policymakers fail to take into account the number of goods and services that cannot be eliminated without creating unintended consequences that could have tragic results, along with perpetuating the spiral of inflation. Saturn rules a vehicle's brakes – another vehicle expense that cannot be ignored. As Saturn begins making a series of oppositions to Uranus (accidents) later this year through 2010, the consequence of inflation could result in a higher number of traffic accidents. This, in turn, will increase auto premiums, auto repair, and healthcare (Virgo) costs.
*Many times the media will report stories that correlate with current planetary energies, offering yet another example of the "as above, so below" influence on earthly affairs.