Sunday, February 26, 2012

Our Economy? It's a Gas!

There is a common disconnect among the people of America when it comes to personal economy and the world as we know it.
First of all everyone has to admit that with the advent of the internet and the proliferation of smart phones and other hand held devices you can be in touch with anyone anywhere and at any time of the day or night no matter where they are in the world. And in some cases astronauts orbiting the earth are as easy to reach as grandma down the street, more so at times if her hearing aid is off.
Television ads touting one company’s financial services boast of their ability to relate the flapping of butterfly wings in Arizona with the price of tea in China (sic.)
And with the idea that anything that happens anywhere in the world can and will affect you in some way it would behoove us to understand what’s going on.
Let’s look at oil prices and on a more personal level the price of a gallon of gas.
For many years we have been railing about gas prices and the rise thereof without being able to stop them.
The government tells us that ‘supply and demand’ dictates the fluctuation in price but that is incredibly far from the truth or at least the whole story.
When a corporation tries to steel itself against a future downturn or upturn in the economy it hedges its bets by buying so called oil futures.
The price they pay for the ‘future’ oil affects the current price and even though the actual supply of oil in the, sorry for this, pipeline does not change the price at the gas pump does.
If a corporation sees a chance to raise the price of its product without actually paying more for it, well you can guess what they’ll do.
But when the price of the crude oil comes back down do the crude people of those corporations lower the prices back to where they were or should be?
Without making fun of anyone who thinks there are two answers to the above question let me merely say not if their mother’s lives depended on it!
The above simplified fact is but one of many reasons oil companies have been raping the consumer and getting away with it.
Without a government complicit in the fraud it would not be feasible.
Dead ducks courtesy of Exxon Valdez
And all one must do is look at the incredibly obscene profits posted by companies such as Exxon, proud owner of the Valdez, or BP of Deep Water Ocean murdering platform fame to see how firmly entrenched their tentacles are around the testicles of those in our government.
With all the profit these giants are making getting favorable legislation or tax breaks with subsidies to boot is as easy as flicking a flea off fur.
And all the while these humongous multi-national behemoths are controlling the world’s energy they have their puppets in Congress and on the campaign trail circulate anger at the Arab world and the purveyors foreign oil!
So what if foreign oil had real competition?
What if someone could come up with a way to produce energy without having to beg the Arab sheiks not to turn off the spigot?
What if we weren’t seduced into believing that every time someone in Iran farts the price for a gallon of gas goes up a dime?
What if we could harness the renewable energy of the sun or the ocean or the wind or even the volcanic heat within the bowels of Mother Earth without spewing harmful death laden pollutants into the atmosphere?
Well we can, and we have been able to do so for decades.
The problem however is the same one we have had to contend with for that long and longer, who will actually control the power?
Who will make the obscene profits of that new clean energy venture?
In America until the leaders can come up with the backbone needed to legislate in favor of alternative energy the scenario of a country free from the oppressive thumb of foreign oil will never come to fruition.
And of course it is not foreign oil at all that creates the impasse for the needed change but rather our own quiet behind the scenes American monsters known as Big Oil.
So why are they so anti-American?
Does the sound, Ka-Ching ring a bell?
If we would just promise to give EXXON and friends all the profits made by harnessing the power of the sun we would finally be able to have solar power, probably within a year!!!
How about if we change the name of that heavenly body and lasso it for them?
One of the big oil companies is already primed for the transition as their name implies, the SUN Oil Company.  They'll just drop the word 'oil.'
We could divvy up the rest of the natural resources of the earth to the other huge corporations and finally rid ourselves of Arab oil!
For example Exxon could get the wind franchise.
And speaking of that the windbags of Congress could take bids on the others such as Ocean tides, although BP probably should be given a leg up on that one since they already have some former company men on the ocean floor.  Of course merely giving these bastards the profits the new industry would create might not be enough since they are used to mega-billion dollar profit quarters so we might have to kick in some subsidies as well but hey, at least we'll save the planet.
The point of this sarcastic yet true post is not that we cannot find a way out of foreign oil or even that we as consumers use too much or that President Obama is at fault for the rising prices at the pump but that Big Oil controls the conversation and owns Congress.

Nothing will change until and unless we the people demand it happen.  We can do that with our votes and our voices but we must not continue to allow Big Oil to rape us and reap the benefit of our complacency!

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