How does the war in Ukraine specifically affect Americans’ daily lives?

You, the average student, may feel that the war all the way on the other side of the world is irrelevant to you. Although you are displaced from the conflict and thousands of miles from it, you should be aware of the effects it has on you and your community. 

The war will have the largest effect on two main parts of America: the economy and public policy. Two students from Baylor University, Harrison Webb (sophomore) and Martina Ghabour (sophomore) have provided their insight on how they feel their lives will be affected by the war.

GAS 

Gas seems to be the most evident and immediate effect of the war. 

“We have already seen a lot in crude oil prices and how that is going to trickle outwards throughout residential gas prices but more so into everything that petroleum is involved in manufacturing,” Ghabour said. 

The rising price of gas is an effect of the war that is being felt around the United States. Image courtesy of Wallpaper Flare.

What most people don’t understand, though, is that petroleum is involved in manufacturing many other things besides gas. According to an article by the US Energy Information Administration, “Petroleum products include transportation fuels, fuel oils for heating and electricity generation, asphalt and road oil, and feedstocks for making the chemicals, plastics, and synthetic materials that are in nearly everything we use.” This means that overall prices will increase rather than just gas prices alone. 

Do not worry, though, because America currently gets about 3% of imported oil from Russia, meaning that there is not a significant amount of oil income that would need to be replaced, thus the gas prices should not skyrocket. A Wall Street Journal Article explained, “America gets most of its crude imports from Canada, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia. Smaller countries in Latin America and West Africa also typically send more crude to the U.S. than Russia had been sending.”

So, gas prices will be on the steady increase for a while, and no one is going to be able to predict when or if they will stabilize, but it may be something that Americans are going to have to get used to. 

“Across the country, there has been an effect on gas prices whether it be back home in Colorado or in Texas, gas prices have nearly doubled from what I would have expected,” Webb said.

STOCKS 

Another concern and immediate reaction to the war was the stock market. 

Webb, a self-proclaimed “stocks guy” said “The stock market is extremely volatile just due to the uncertainty behind it. My stocks have dropped but not that much. One day the Dow might be down, but it will probably come back up. So, there is absolutely volatility, but overall holding value has not been affected.” 

According to an article by Commonwealth that studied the trends of stock during the war, stock could drop, but after the war, (usually within six months) it tends to bounce right back or come back even stronger due to people being sick of the stocks being dropping. 

So, your stocks may be dropping, but keep the faith and don’t panic and sell them all. 

FOREIGN POLICY 

As a result of no longer receiving oil from Russia, America is now turning to Venezuela and Iran for some oil which is a “very, very interesting place for the U.S. to turn to and an interesting position for the U.S. to take up. It will be interesting to see how that affects us in the long run,” said Webb. The United States is funding two governments that Americans would not typically want to fund, whether it be due to socialism or the nuclear conflicts with them. This means that foreign policy-wise, there could be a shift in better relations in the future with these countries that are now sending America oil. 

“I think lots of Americans are intrigued in our foreign policy right now because who we decide to create relationships with will entirely affect our economy and also will be reflective of America’s morals as a whole,” Ghabour said. 

“So, how does this affect my daily life?” 

If you are still confused, in short, expect prices to increase. 

“I feel like the war in Ukraine is going to affect our day-to-day lives here by making it more difficult for average Americans to afford what they need every day,” Ghabour said. 

It is a concern that this war is going to cause an even deeper divide among Americans right now than there already was through political disagreements. Another divide that may grow deeper is the gap between the poor and wealthy. During this time, people on tight budgets are going to struggle to put food on the tables and properly support their families as prices continue to increase. The poor will become poorer and the rich will not suffer. This could have parallels to the effect COVID-19 had on the wealth gap in America. 

“On a day-to-day basis I don’t think it is going to affect the American economy too greatly unless it escalates into china getting involved or anything further,” Webb said.

If there is one thing you learned, it should be that war is expensive and affects everyone, even across the globe. Although you as a student may not be experiencing first-hand suffering, it is still important to know how this war affects you. 

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Comments

  1. Great article ❤️

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