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Many ill informed Americans of the conservative persuasion have been banging their predictable ANWR and off shore oil drums in response to $3.50 per gallon gasoline prices. If all of ANWR's oil were pumped out it would make a .3% world supply difference. Obviously, at least to reality based folks, that is not the answer or even A answer to the gouging that's currently going on.
Here are a few simple points about the greed-game responsible for high gasoline prices AND now, high food prices....
Bernanke's "weak dollar" policy has ignited a wave of speculation in commodities which is pushing prices into the stratosphere.
The US is exporting its inflation by cheapening its currency. Now a field worker in Haiti who earns $2 a day, and spends all of that to feed his family, has to earn twice that amount or eat half as much.
Food and energy prices are sucking the life out of the global economy. Foreign banks and pension funds are trying to protect their investments by diverting dollars into things that will retain their value.
According to Tim Evans, energy analyst at Citigroup in New York, “There’s no supply-demand deficit". None. In fact suppliers are expecting an oil surplus by the end of this year.
"The case for lower oil prices is straightforward: The prospect of a deep U.S. recession or even a marked period of slower economic growth in the world’s top energy consumer is making a dent in energy consumption. Year to date, oil demand in the U.S. is down 1.9% compared with the same period in 2007, and high prices and a weak economy should knock down U.S. oil consumption by 90,000 barrels a day this year, according to the federal Energy Information Administration." ("Bears Baffled by Oil Highs" gregory Meyer, Wall Street Journal)
There's no oil shortage; that's another ruse. Speculators are simply driving up the price of oil to hedge their bets on the falling dollar.
It's Enron redux, where Ken Lay Inc. scalped the public with utter impunity while regulators sat on the sidelines applauding. Great. Now its the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) turn; they're taking a hands-off approach so Wall Street sharpies make a fortune jacking up the price of everything from soda crackers to toilet bowls.
About the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. George, The Younger, and his hack Treasury secretary Paulsen looked to take advantage of the gambling-greed-game, which is producing higher energy and food prices, by proposing that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission be placed under the umbrella of the Federal Reserve. It kind of reminds me of George, The Younger's, placing FEMA under the umbrella of the Department of Homeleand Security. That worked out very well, as you might remember.
People who advocate for even less regulation and less oversight of the "free market" would have a large portion of the world's population, literally, starve to death.....just as long as a tiny handful of already very wealthy people can enrich themselves even further.
Advocates of a hands off approach to the economy, those who believe so religiously in the invisible hand of supply and demand to work it's divine magic have absolutely NO answers to the material in this post.
Unbridled greed has brought about our current dilemma. Basic market principles are no longer anchored to supply and demand. Instead, they are based on nothing other than greed. Greed that would be perfectly satisfied with world starvation, the steady decline of America's standard of living and a bankrupt national Treasury, just as long as those working the greed game benefit.
This is the sickness created by voodoo economic religion and the laissez-faire deregulation schemes of the Republican Party. All of this, for the most part, has come about from a long history of very rich people bribing government officials to get what they want. Beginning with the voodoo master himself, Ronald Reagan, a bosom buddy if there ever was one of the richest in America, the American people have experienced 28 straight years of riches flowing upward to the already rich.
Now the greed-game is running out of back alley gambling venues and so it attaches itself, like the parasite that it is, to commodities. Metal pricing, crude oil pricing, and now food pricing are completely out of kilter. People will starve, harsh recessions endured, the weakest and most vulnerable will suffer.....and John McSame wants to stay the same economic course of George, the Fool. More, lassiez-faire, supply side gibberish without any new regulation.
None of this is mysterious, eye-glazing over, hard to understand economic mumbo-jumbo. None of it. It's simply the unregulated and unaccountable greed of the richest folks in America.
Republicans are for it. Democrats, not so much.