Mitri Shatara

Why Inflation Isn’t Falling Like Gas Prices

Inflation hit the highest yearly increase in four decades, primarily due to the cost of gasoline.

Gas prices contributed to the 9.1% increase in consumer prices in the U.S. in June compared to the same month last year.

For more than 50 days in a row, gas prices have been trending down, providing much-needed relief for drivers’ wallets at the pump.

But don’t start celebrating yet.

Despite the significant contribution that gas prices have made to the current wave of unprecedented inflation, researchers caution that there are still several factors that will prevent overall costs from reducing anytime soon.

Everyone is affected by the rising inflation of today and the rate hikes designed to combat it because of commodity prices. Although commodity markets are challenging to grasp, they are essential as the Federal Reserve decides how much to raise interest rates.

Since food and fuel prices vary significantly from month to month, core inflation does not include these costs.

So, while rising gas prices did not significantly increase core inflation, the subsequent drops will not considerably lower it either.

The Covid epidemic caused major commodities to rise by as much as fourfold, contributing to the inflation boom.

Before the first U.S. Covid case in January 2020, crude oil was trading at $64 per barrel. By June, it was trading at $124.

Corn doubled, and the price of wheat went from $195 to $351

The cost of lumber—used in construction and renovation—rose from $426 to $1,686.

The price of natural gas has increased fourfold since the beginning of 2020 and doubled in the previous year.

All of this has an indirect impact on consumer costs.

Now let’s take a look at a few more things influencing inflation.

The Outlook On Oil Remains Vague

Currently, the average cost of a gallon of gas is down almost a dollar since they peaked in June– but the long-term outlook for oil suggests low inventories will keep prices elevated.

In addition to Russia’s war with Ukraine and the sanctions disrupting its oil exports, the unwillingness, or inability, of members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to increase production limits how much additional oil is being added to global markets.

U.S. producers are hesitant to invest significant sums of money in the extraction and refinement of fossil fuels due to long-term policy objectives pushing renewable energy sources.

Housing Prices Stay High

The cost of housing accounts for a sizable portion of the ordinary family’s budget and a sizable portion of the government’s inflation-calculating basket of goods and services.

The way the Bureau of Labor Statistics determines housing costs makes them an essential component of the Consumer Price Index.

Existing home prices increased by 13.4% from a year earlier to a new record high of $416,000 in June.

The Federal Reserve’s aggressive rate hikes have forced more and more families to put off buying a home as prices increase due to the double whammy of rising prices and high mortgage rates.

Housing costs will probably continue to rise, prolonging high inflation.

Crazy Demand And Worker Shortages

There has been an increase in demand for physical goods since the start of the pandemic. With worker shortages increasing, it has turned supply chains upside down, snarling logistics and triggering substantial price fluctuations. 

The main factor driving inflation is an overwhelming demand for too few available items. Until demand is under control, it will be hard for inflation to come down.

Is There A Light At The End Of The Tunnel?

There are some encouraging signs despite predictions that inflation would probably persist through 2023.

In addition to paying less to commute and run errands, high-flying airfares may return to normal, and grocery customers may experience a decrease in price if producers and distributors don’t have to spend as much on transportation to get their products onto shelves.

You could start seeing some food price competition enter the marketplace as transportation costs begin to decrease.

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Why Toyota Is Buying Back An Electric Car

Back in June, Toyota warned the owners of its BZ4X electric SUV that they should stop driving the vehicle and have it transported to a dealership.

They issued this waning because of a severe problem; the wheels could fall off while driving even after a short time on the road.

At the time, Toyota did not know why this was happening.

The automaker said it would investigate the problem and have it corrected once engineers figured out why the wheels were coming loose.

But over a month later, Toyota engineers still haven’t figured it out.

Now they are offering to buy back the SUVs from customers who don’t want to wait for the problem to be resolved.

The recall was announced after Toyota sold 258 units.

Toyota sent a letter to bZ4X owners letting them choose between a loaner vehicle, an incentive package, or full repurchase of cars.

Toyota sent the letter as they continued to struggle to keep the wheels on their first electric car effort.

The main takeaways from the better are:

  • Owners should not drive the vehicles and should return them to Toyota as soon as possible if they haven’t yet.
  • Toyota has not yet identified a solution to the issue and has no timetable for when it will.
  • Toyota is giving current owners the option of a full repurchase, a loaner car with fuel reimbursement, a $5,000 credit, extended free charging, and a warranty extension.

The safety recall also affects the bZ4X’s sister car, Subaru Solterra.

However, none of those have yet made it into US owners’ hands.

Toyota is being hit especially with its trouble selling new units of the bZ4X, as any electric vehicles purchased from the automaker after September 30 will not be eligible for the full federal tax credits.

Toyota is running out of time to offer its buyers a $7,500 credit if they cannot purchase a new bZ4X any time soon, even though the rules under the Inflation Reduction Act are likely to change.

And the recall is coming at a time when new car owners don’t have a lot of options for replacement.

Demand for EVs is high, and supply is low, leading to high dealer markups everywhere.

Used and new gas cars also command higher prices as the global vehicle shortage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic persists.

So bZ4X owners who are turned off by this recall saga might still stick with the loaner offer due to the lack of replacement options.

Toyota is not the first automaker to recall electric vehicles in recent years.

General Motors recently offered to buy back Chevrolet Bolt EVs after reports of battery fires.

That recall involved more vehicles than the handful of BZ4Xes, but Bolt owners could continue using their vehicles with certain restrictions.

GM eventually discovered the cause of the fires and could replace batteries in vehicles that needed them.

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The Democrat’s Climate And Health Care Bill

The Democrats passed their $750 billion health care, tax, and climate bill on Sunday afternoon.

The passing was a significant win for President Biden and his party.

Vice President Kamala Harris had the tie-breaking vote in the final party-line vote of 51-50.

The package results from careful negotiations, giving the Democrats a chance to achieve significant policy objectives ahead of the upcoming midterm elections.

On Friday, August 12th, the house of representatives is expected to pass the bill.

They have to approve the bill before Biden can sign it into law.

President Biden said in a statement on Sunday, “Senate Democrats sided with American families over special interests, voting to lower the cost of prescription drugs, health insurance, and everyday energy costs and reduce the deficit while making the wealthiest corporations finally pay their fair share.”

“I ran for President promising to make government work for working families again, and that is what this bill does — period.”

How The Senate Democrats Passed Te Bill On A Party-Line Vote

Joe Manchin, the Democratic senator from West Virginia, played a crucial role in shaping the legislation.

The bill only moved forward after Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced a deal at the end of July.

After earlier negotiations had stalled out, the deal was a significant breakthrough for Democrats.

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema offered critical support for the bill only after party leaders agreed to change new tax proposals.

Sinema indicated she would “move forward” on the sweeping economic package.

Democrats were able to hold off most GOP efforts to change their fragile deal.

However, they did make a change before the bill’s final passage, adjusting the corporate minimum tax provisions.

“After more than a year of hard work, the Senate is making history,” Schumer said shortly before final passage.

“This bill will kickstart the era of affordable clean energy in America; it’s a game changer, it’s a turning point, and it’s been a long time coming.”

What’s In The Bill?

The new legislation is the single most significant investment in the climate in U.S. history.

The recently passed bill includes standards to lower emissions and provides tax incentives and grants to help transition to clean energy to help combat the climate crisis.

It invests nearly $400 billion in clean energy to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2030.

The investments include tax credits to stimulate the manufacturing of equipment like solar panels and wind turbines and the purchase of electric vehicles.

The bill also includes:

  • Money for decreasing pollution.
  • Protecting forests and coastal habitats.
  • Funding state programs and research.

Manchin also scored some wins for the oil pipeline industry, which has been one of his financial backers.

The bill allows Medicare to negotiate directly with prescription drug companies on the healthcare side.

This will lower the cost of medications and cap out-of-pocket drug costs for older Americans.

It also provides subsidies for premiums set to expire, so many Americans’ health care costs stay down.

The bill will be funded by raising taxes on some corporations that make over $1 billion annually.

Moreover, it will tax corporate stock buybacks and provide money for the IRS to pursue tax evaders.

Over the next ten years, the entire legislative package will be anticipated to reduce the government deficit by up to $300 billion.

Senate Democrats wanted to include a provision to cap the cost of insulin at $35 a month for all Americans with private insurance.

Democrats have decided to maintain the legislative filibuster, so the party in power tried to reinstate the removed section of the bill with 60 votes, requiring the support of 10 Republicans.

The measure fell short by three votes, earning 57 yes votes to 43 no votes, so it could not satisfy the rules of the Senate and failed.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what’s included in the bill:


The bill’s minimum tax rate of 15% on corporations with annual profits over $1 billion is expected to generate at least $258 billion in revenue over the next decade.

It gives the Internal Revenue Service $80 billion more over ten years, which will be used partly to fund more jobs and improve tax collection and enforcement, especially regarding corporations and the wealthy.

The Congressional Budget Office projects that the IRS’s new investment will generate additional revenue of $203 billion over the next 10 years. This would make a net gain of $124 billion.

It does not include new taxes on families making $400,000 or less and no new taxes on small businesses.

Health care:

The bill increases health care spending by $98 billion.

The new spending is primarily on extending enhanced Affordable Care Act subsidies created through the American Rescue Plan by an additional three years.

Medicare is now allowed to negotiate the prices of certain drugs, and there’s a $2,000 cap on out-of-pocket prescription drug costs.

Senate Republicans blocked a provision that would have limited patients with private insurance to a $35 annual out-of-pocket maximum for insulin because it was deemed to violate reconciliation rules.


The bill is expected to become the most significant climate bill in U.S. history due to the roughly $370 billion it invests in promoting clean energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Renewable energy sources will have a tax incentive. This includes wind and solar power, as well as existing nuclear power plants and advanced nuclear technologies.

Buyers who purchase North American-built electric vehicles get up to $7,500 in federal tax credits to encourage buying electric cars and jump-start America’s electric vehicle industry.

The bill will also create a methane fee program to fine corporations emitting harmful greenhouse gas above federal limits.

The bill’s climate provisions put the U.S. on a path to reduce its carbon emissions by up to 40% based on 2005 levels by 2030.

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Four Current And Former Officers Charged After Breonna Taylor’s Death

Four former and current Louisville, Kentucky police officers, were charged with federal crimes connected to the 2020 fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman asleep in her home, in a case that sparked nationwide protests.

Taylor’s death, along with the deaths of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, fueled a summer of protests against racial injustice and police violence.

The protests were sparked two years ago in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The charges were a result of the Justice Department’s effort to combat abuses and racial inequities in policing, which came in the wake of a surge of controversial police shootings of Black Americans.

The federal charges are being called a huge step toward justice.

The Death Of Breonna Taylor

Prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump said in a statement that it’d been a difficult two years since Breonna Taylor’s death for her family and advocates fighting for her.

Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician, had police enter her home during a nighttime “no-knock” warrant.

They stormed her home while she was sleeping with her boyfriend.

Her boyfriend, believing the police were intruders, fired one shot at the officers using a legally-owned handgun.

Taylor was hit by a fatal shot to the chest by one of the 22 rounds that the officers fired in response.

The Police Officers Charged

The four officers have been charged in regard to this case. The officers are former officers Joshua Jaynes and Brett Hankinson and current Officer Kelly Ann Goodlett and Sgt. Kyle Meany. Goodlett and Meany are in the process of being terminated. 

Jaynes and Meany

Joshua Jaynes, former Louisville Metropolitan Police Department Detective, and current Sergeant Kyle Meany were charged with civil rights violations and obstruction of justice.

According to the Justice Department, the two men are accused of using fraudulent information to get the search warrant that allowed the disastrous raid on Taylor’s home on March 13, 2020, which resulted in her death.

Taylor’s constitutional rights were allegedly intentionally violated by Jaynes and Meany, who are accused of creating and approving a fraudulent affidavit to get the search warrant.

Kelly Goodlet

Along with Jaynes and Meany, current Detective Kelly Goodlet also “took steps to cover up their unlawful conduct” and “conspired to mislead federal, state and local authorities who were investigating the incident,” U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a press conference. 

According to the prosecution, Jaynes and Goodlett gathered in a garage days after the shooting to come up with a fabricated narrative to explain and justify the fabricated evidence they had used to support the disastrous raid.

Brett Hankison

A fourth officer, former Detective Brett Hankison, faces civil rights charges for allegedly using excessive force.

Hankison fired 10 shots into Taylor’s home and was acquitted on state wanton endangerment charges earlier this year.

He was indicted on two federal counts of deprivation of rights under color of law.

Louisville Metro Government 

Federal investigators with the Justice Department are also investigating to determine if the Louisville Metro Government and Louisville police have a pattern of abusing residents’ civil rights.

“Breonna Taylor should be alive today,” Garland told the news conference.

“The Justice Department is committed to defending and protecting the civil rights of every person in this country. That was this department’s founding purpose, and it remains our urgent mission.”

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Do Truck Drivers Follow Different Laws?

All drivers in every state need a valid driver’s license to operate a vehicle on public roads.

Each state governs the licensing of its drivers, but most states adhere to the Uniform Vehicle Code.

Drivers with valid licenses in one jurisdiction can safely operate a vehicle in another state because to the uniformity of licensing laws.

States have an interstate agreement that ensures a driver with a license from one state can lawfully drive in all states because they all have equivalent licensing criteria.

But things are a little more complicated regarding commercial truck drivers.

There are federal laws regulating commercial drivers. 

Regulations add rules commercial drivers must follow, like the number of consecutive hours they can drive without a break and how many hours off duty they have to have before they can drive again.

These regulations keep everyone safe and help avoid trucking accidents.

In the article below, we will discuss the additional rules and regulations truck drivers have to follow.

What’s Considered A Commercial Vehicle?

A commercial motor vehicle is defined by law as any vehicle used or maintained for the transportation of persons or property for compensation or hire.

This includes buses, trucks, vans, tractor trailers, dump trucks, and more.

In most cases, you must carry liability insurance while operating a commercial vehicle.

You could face fines and penalties if you fail to maintain the required insurance.

Regulations That Apply To Trucking Companies

The trucking industry has several additional rules and regulations, some of which apply to the trucking companies.

One of the most important rules they must follow is testing for drugs and alcohol.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, FMCSA, says that trucking companies must conduct drug testing on all of their drivers of commercial motor vehicles.

Although laboratories and service representatives might be hired by trucking businesses to do the testing, the employer of the driver is ultimately responsible.

The trucking company can receive civil penalties if they don’t comply with the regulations.

After an accident involving injuries, truck drivers must be tested for alcohol and controlled substances as soon as practicable to see if they are over the legal limit.

If the controlled drug test does not take place within 32 hours of the accident and the alcohol test does not take place within eight hours of the collision, the employer must explain why the tests were not conducted.

Special Laws For Truck Drivers

The trucking industry is one of America’s most dangerous professions.

More than 2 million people work in the transportation sector, and about 40,000 die yearly from occupational injuries and fatalities.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), commercial motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among young men aged 15–24.

A study by the NHTSA found that nearly half of fatal accidents involve commercial trucks.

Truckers face many dangers on the road every day.

They risk being involved in collisions, getting into accidents caused by distracted driving, falling asleep behind the wheel, and even dying in a crash.

In response to these risks, Congress passed several special laws designed to protect the public and drivers.

tired truck driver causes accident

Hours Of Service Restrictions

The hours of service regulations ensure safety for commercial vehicle operators and passengers.

They require drivers to rest every eight hours during driving shifts and limit how long a driver can work without taking breaks.

But unfortunately, some companies encourage drivers to ignore those rules to meet strict deadlines.

In January 2018, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigated a fatal crash involving a tractor-trailer operated by a driver who worked for a trucking company that encouraged him to operate his rig for longer periods of time.

NTSB investigators found that the driver had driven for 14 straight hours before the accident.

Another investigation into a deadly crash revealed that the driver had been operating for 16 hours straight prior to the collision.

In both cases, the truckers ignored the hours of service requirements and drove beyond the prescribed limits.

A recent report showed that the number of hours of service violations increased by nearly 50% in 2017 compared to 2016.

And according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were 4,858 incidents of fatigue-related crashes in 2017.

Some trucking companies think paying a fine is better than losing money because of delayed shipment.

Adverse Driving Conditions Exception

The Adverse Driving Condition Exception allows drivers to extend the maximum driving limit by two hours during adverse weather conditions.

This includes thunderstorms, heavy rain, snow, sleet, hail, high winds, fog, dust storms, extreme heat, extreme cold, freezing temperatures, and anything else that might force the truck off the road.

Drivers must travel to a designated area to take advantage of the exception.

They must stop at the designated location and wait for the adverse weather to clear before proceeding on the trip.

Once the adverse weather clears, they must return to their home base before continuing their trip.

Truck Driver Logs

Commercial truck drivers must also keep records of every trip they take.

Their driver logs should include information such as where you picked up the load, how long it took to complete the route, what type of truck you used, etc.

These records help prove negligence in lawsuits.

These logs used to be handwritten, but now FMCSA requires most drivers to use electronic logging devices (ELDs) instead.

If there is evidence that a driver did something wrong, he could be held liable for damages caused by his actions.

There are also penalties for incomplete logs.

Enhanced Insurance Rules

Truck drivers also have special insurance rules.

For example, drivers transporting hazardous materials must carry an enhanced liability insurance policy.

This includes a minimum of $750,000/$5 million in liability insurance coverage per incident.

CMVs transporting hazardous materials must also meet certain weight and size restrictions.

Inspection Requirements

Truck drivers are required to inspect their vehicles before, during, and post-trip.

This includes checking the tires, inspecting the load, making sure there are no leaks, and ensuring that the vehicle is properly loaded and secured.

If you fail to do this, you could receive fines and penalties.

truck crashed on road causing injuries

How These Special Rules Affect Liability in Collisions with Large Trucks

If truck drivers don’t follow their additional regulations and take enough rest breaks, follow posted speed limits, keep proper hours, and ensure that they do not drive while fatigued, they could face legal action if there is an accident.

The purpose of the special laws and regulations that apply to truck drivers is to keep truckers and the general public safe.

When a trucking company or driver breaks the law and the violation causes someone to get hurt, the company, driver, or a third party may be liable. 

Contact A Truck Accident Attorney Today

Truck accidents are one of the most catastrophic types of car crashes.

They happen every day across America.

If you’ve been injured in a truck crash because the driver or trucking company wasn’t following the rules, it’s essential to know how to protect yourself and your legal rights. 

The Shunnarah Trial Attorneys have advocated for truck accident victims for years and can discuss your case.

Reach out to a personal injury lawyer at Alexander Shunnarah Trial Attorneys to schedule a free consultation.

Get a free case evaluation from an expert truck accident lawyer without worrying about commitment and learn how to get the financial compensation you deserve.

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Oil Prices Rebounding After Dropping

To the relief of everyone reading this article, global oil prices dropped on Thursday to their lowest levels since before Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

As traders worried about the likelihood of an economic recession later this year that could scuttle demand for energy, prices fell to their lowest since Feb 18. 

The sudden fall in oil prices will come as a relief to large consumer nations, including the United States and European countries.

These countries have urged producers to ramp up output to offset tight supplies and combat inflation.

Earlier in the year, oil had surged to well over $120 a barrel.

During the early days of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the demand was lower. The rebound in demand overlapped with supply disruptions due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Current Demand

The selling on Thursday came after an unexpected increase in U.S. crude inventories the previous week.

The Energy Information Administration had stated that the demand had slowed when gasoline prices were near $5 a gallon.

The demand decline and gasoline stocks also created an unexpected build.

The Energy Information Administration had stated that the demand had slowed when gasoline prices were near $5 a gallon.

However, the demand outlook remains clouded.

Future Demand

The picture is clouded by growing concerns about an economic downturn in the United States and Europe, debt problems in emerging market countries, and China’s rigorous zero COVID-19 policy, which makes up the majority of the world’s oil imports.

“A break below $90 is now a very real possibility, which is quite remarkable given how tight the market remains and how little scope there is to relieve that,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda in London.

“But recession talk is getting louder, and should it become reality, it will likely address some of the imbalance.”

The Bank of England (BoE) increased interest rates on Thursday as they spoke about the risk of recession.

Many analysts view the OPEC+ agreement made on Thursday as bearish. The agreement was based on increasing the output target by 100,000 barrels per day (BPD), which is about 0.1%, beginning in September. 

Informed sources believe that if needed this winter Saudi Arabia and the UAE will step in to supply a significant increase in oil output. 

Contact Alexander Shunnarah Trial Attorneys For Your Legal Needs

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