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An economic whisper


Last Edited: August 18, 2005, 8:42 am

Sometimes I'm almost tempted to read the newspapers or even watch television.  The insanity usually passes quickly, but it happens.

That's sort of where I am this morning.  Sniffing the air, twitching my ears and nostrils, finding myself on the brink of investigating something that is none of my business, something that is outside my ability to have any influence on it, something I could find myself getting angry about, nevertheless.

I'd noticed gasoline prices hanging around a fairly high level for some time.  My mind toyed around with it in the background, couldn't help it, I suppose, feeling around for an explanation.  Tossed it off as something outside my range of interest, something to be ignored and lived with.

But yesterday when I went down to Bernalillo to buy a couple of PB tickets for the $3 million dollar jackpot they're running at the moment, I couldn't help noticing the pump prices.  It was an eyecatcher.

I assume this is true everywhere in the US.  I saw it at all the other stations down there after I once began looking. 

The highest gasoline prices I've ever seen in the United States.

Six decades of price wars, wars, oil embargos by the folks in turban country..... I've never seen anything approaching this before.

Which, naturally leads me to wonder what's going on.  And wonder what is going to happen to fuel oil prices this winter.  Electricity.  What's to happen in the stores when the price of transport gets translated into the price of bread.

Someone mentioned this on a thread yesterday.  DVdiva, maybe.  Spoke of it in the context of the astronomical price of housing.

So.  We have become a country with no industry to speak of, a country with no industry.  We've become a consumer economy, but our dollars have no meaning outside the context of commodities we produce that are worth something to someone.  Dollars have no value unless they can buy products, and they derive their value from products produced inside the US, products that can be traded to some CHICOM gent for the rubber monster toys he produces and sends to us.  Traded to some guy in a robe and turban with a lot of gold hanging off him for a barrel of oil.

And, of course, there's now the fact that people gas up, gnash their teeth, walk inside to take a bath in the wallet department, and then, while the drums point and the audience waits with baited breath, while the chorus girls pause, right leg lifted,  yeah, right then when he feels the pinch of something happening that's entirely beyond his ken, he has to make a choice about whether to buy a lottery ticket.

Those lotteries are going to have to scrape around before too long, be satisfied what's scraped off the bottom of the pot after the groceries, gasoline, insurance, and a six pack of Jim Beam.

Can't help wondering if the chickens are finally coming home to roost, or whether this is just something related to the war we're fighting somewhere, something that will pass and soon be forgotten.





Entry #193


LottoVantageComment by LottoVantage - August 18, 2005, 10:40 am
When dawn arrives and the fog finally lifts this great country is going to experience devestation beyond imagination. We are in this for the long haul with no turning back. I am so sorry for our children and their children of the future. Political greed has ruined this great country and the population is blind to what is unfolding right in front of them.

Comment by Rip Snorter - August 18, 2005, 11:29 am
You might well be right.

The good news is that I've thought for 40 years that things couldn't go on this way. Even wrote a book about it around 1970, about the crash I believed was coming, soonest. I never dreamed we'd last until 2000.

I was wrong.

We can go on being wrong a lot longer, hopes I.

JAP69Comment by JAP69 - August 18, 2005, 5:44 pm
Fuel efficent technology was bought off and buried by the oil industry.
There have been many innovative ideas and actual products developed for fuel efficency but never used.
Comment by Rip Snorter - August 18, 2005, 6:03 pm
Maybe the oil industry's decided, then, that Americans are now living too high.   Maybe they've decided to tighten the thumbscrews and squeeze us down to a living standard more akin to other non-industrial countries. 'Developing countries', I think they're called.

Thanks for the comment, JAP69
JAP69Comment by JAP69 - August 18, 2005, 7:38 pm
We also might want to think about what the high price of oil is going to do to these people in this country who do not want new oil refineries. restrictive oil drilling on U.S. soil.
Public anger about high oil prices is going to railroad those people out of town.
I heard on radio this a m that gas prices can go way higher yet. Like $10.00 a gallon.
Comment by Rip Snorter - August 18, 2005, 7:48 pm
That would be a serious error on the part of oil companies and the government, letting things get much worse with oil prices. It's entirely possible the people can still be aroused to anger, though I've suspected otherwise. The socio-economic scenario that accompanies $5 a gallon would be a disaster in the western US. $10 would probably result in a lot of witch-hunts and people of all sorts who might bear some responsibility hanging upside down from lamp posts.

Lets hope what you heard was merely a trial balloon.... running it up on the flagpole to see if anyone salutes.
konaneComment by konane - August 19, 2005, 2:35 pm
China's economic boon is creating demand for petroleum products, also concrete.

Environmental regulations have stifled domestic oil exploration, closed down many refineries saddled with too many rules .... so we're living with what we've created through demanding too many laws.

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