South Mississippians pinching pennies & doubting politicians

By Sylvia Hall - bio | email

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - When money gets tight, Derrick Gailes feels the pinch.

"Penny pinching," he joked. "I pinch a penny so hard the eagle flies off of it."

He makes light of the situation, but to him it's not funny. Prices are on the rise, and he's making sacrifices just to stay afloat. He's cut back on his grocery bill, and found new ways to spend time with his children.

"Instead of going to the movies or going skating, we have to do something to try to help put food in the house. We go fishing instead," he said.

Vernie Knowles is feeling it too. She lives on a fixed income, and it's getting harder for her to make ends meet.

"Our paycheck doesn't go up. Our paycheck stays the same, but the food and the rent goes up," she said.

For most people, the biggest economic problem is still the one at the pump.  High gas prices are going down, but they're causing people to make drastic changes in their daily lives.

"I don't get out and go run to Mobile or run to Biloxi, places that I normally would go," said Knowles.

Tommy Wilson lives in Alabama and works in Pascagoula. Gas prices could end up costing him his job.

"I'm spending twice as much as on gas. I'm thinking about getting a job closer to home because of the gas situation," he said.

Like many other South Mississippians, he doesn't think a new president will help average people solve their financial problems.

"They're millionaires, you know, and we're just the working man," he said. "I kinda wanna, would like to say that they're trying to look out for us, but it looks like they're looking out for the big corporations and the oil companies."

"They haven't been here to actually see what we're going through on a daily basis," said Gailes.