Pump Up The Volume

Gas prices provide Gore and Bush with a perfect issue for populist pronouncements. A pity the causes are too complex to fix real blame

O.K., so suburban mom Beth Ball, 34, may not have been cast on Survivor, but the Villa Park, Ill., resident is feeling pretty close to the subsistence level these days. Ball owns a 1999 Ford Econoline van but has to keep it parked, she says, because gas prices are so outrageously high. A few days ago, she shelled out $90 to fill her tank. It's still full, as if the fuel were a nest egg. To commute to work, she borrows her husband's Pontiac Grand Am. For errands, she walks. "I don't drive anywhere as much as I used to," Ball...

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