Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Price Of Apathy Is Higher Than You Think

I've read some interesting articles recently that, together, tell the story of how we are being treated like sheep for the slaughter.

The first was a commentary called “Why Oil Prices Are So High

The speculation now doing so much damage at America’s gas pumps comes mostly out of hedge funds, those shadowy mutual funds on steroids open only to the deepest of deep-pocket investors. This special status largely frees hedge funds from any federal financial oversight and regulation...

Such trading, as billionaire investor George Soros told a June 3 U.S. Senate hearing, only serves to help inflate commodity price bubbles.”

So, oil prices are overinflated. That probably doesn't surprise anyone. But why now? It is very likely that we have reached effective peak oil. Oil production follows a bell curve. And recently worldwide oil consumption has been growing exponentially. Consumption was bound to outstrip production eventually. We all knew that. We all knew that 30 years ago.

Peak oil would be a pretty good impetus to spark a huge round of speculation and risky futures investments. It might even spark an oil grab. Why else would we still be in Iraq? To inspire some more terrorists?

The New York Times has reported:

Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total and BP — the original partners in the Iraq Petroleum Company — along with Chevron and a number of smaller oil companies, are in talks with Iraq’s Oil Ministry for no-bid contracts to service Iraq’s largest fields

If you think $4 a gallon gas is expensive, you haven't considered the hidden costs. Add another trillion dollars in taxes we have to pay to subdue Iraq – to get these no bid contracts – to help those giant oil corporations make more record profits.

And John McCain's idea of fixing things; cut gas taxes in the summer. Gee, won't that stimulate consumption and even further enrich the gas companies? Won't that ultimately result in less oil in the future – and even higher gas prices in the long run?

Oh yeah, John McCain has another “fix;” open up offshore drilling off the coast of the US – though he has admitted the benefits of this would be mostly “psychological.” Meaning the price of gas won't go down. Of course, the benefits for the oil companies won't be psychological. They will be able to sell US oil at overinflated prices.

AP has reported:

Yet energy experts and economists -- and even some of the candidates' own advisers -- say none of their signature proposals will have any impact on $4 gasoline or $130 a barrel oil in the near term, or even the intermediate term.”

So, who's side are these politicians on?

We all know the answer to that. They're on the side of those who will give them the most campaign contributions.

Until we fix the electoral process, everyone in this country who isn't filthy rich and immorally powerful is headed towards poverty.

And don't expect any politician to fix the electoral process for us. They've gotten elected by playing the game. They're not going to quit now – not without overwhelming pressure from us.

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