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Finally a Realistic Energy Policy

It only took 32 years for the Congress and the White House to finally realize that the sacrifice American’s need to make is in our energy consumption. All of the SUV’s that are gulping down the Go-go juice will have to change and that is just the beginning of the end of the oil monopoly in the world. President Bush has stated that he will sign the bill into law and frankly I thought he would have vetoed it based on some ridiculous facts. I am frankly and apologetical ly stating that I was wrong about President Bush and this issue. Stuff that up your back side Haszinski! That is another story from another post.

Through all the arguments in the House and in the Senate over the last few weeks we now have a compromise and an energy policy that just might reverse the madness that is our energy usage. Over at the New York Times they have this coverage on the only real energy policy change in 32 years in America…
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Bite Me Big Oil!

For the first time in 32 years the Congress is actually doing something about the real energy crisis here at home in America. I’m not talking about supply and demand. I’m talking about the reality that our nation is ruled by OIL. All hail his Majesty the King paid for by a generous donation by Exxon Mobil, Texaco, Chevron and Shell etc, etc.

America has a demand problem and as the largest market user of all oil based products in the world there is a market to manipulate when the ones producing the product are netting mega billions a quarter. I’m funny that way, billions of dollars in profit’s a quarter, hmm do you think they are using that profit for the greater good? I don’t think so either. Trillions are to be made on the open market and when you have billions of dollars piling up quarter after quarter it posses a ledger problem that becomes an accountants nightmare. If it isn’t spent on “Research and Development or other purposes investing in the corporation then those profits are taxable. Then again, maybe not given all the subsidies to the oil companies under W.
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Screw You OPEC and Wall Street!

With the never ending rise in the price of oil comes the never ending desire of Americans to find a better way. Some months ago I wrote a piece on the strangle hold that OPEC has on not just America but the world. In it I mentioned that the last stage coach was probably the best built carriage in the world but the combustion engine eventually put it out of its misery.

American’s can be a funny group of people. We are not well liked around the world for many reasons and one of them is our arrogance or intolerance of anyone saying “It can not be done!” Screw you, or some other creative twist of the English language is usually replied in return. Not in the board rooms of our nations corporations but in the barns, the sheds, the garages of Americans that know that IT can be done!
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Oil Markets out of Control

Once more the nation is facing $3 gasoline and home heating oil over speculation and what some would think is market manipulation . While the market and its volatility are soaring out of control you can almost here the cash registers ringing non stop for all of the friends of President Bush. With his lack of action on behalf of the lower classes of America he is proving the point made by thousands of political writers like yours truly that he is a puppet President.

This man that claims to be a great listener is tone deaf when it comes to the people that can least afford the greatest inflationary market driven product in the world. Oil and the price of it effects practically every product made in the United States. From your vegetables getting from the fields in California to the local supermarket in New England, to anything made with plastics. Take a break, look around you computer desk or just around your living room. The wires insulated with PVC that burn the lamps that you read or watch television by are oil based. The cabinet to your television, the keyboard of your computer and most of the parts inside of it, stereo, DVD player, surround sound speakers, the sneakers on your feet, the bottled water container that you drink because it supposed to be good for you. Just for giggles make a list, when you get over one hundred items in your living room, move to the kitchen. Take a deep breath and get ready for writers cramp. All of them are oil based products in one form or another. Everything in our society is linked to oil and the higher the price goes it seems the wider the smirk on W gets.
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Politicians & The Inflation Disconnect

The President and a number of politicians are scratching their heads as they attempt to understand why average Americans aren’t all that enthused about the U.S. economy. The solution to this “puzzling” lack of optimism is found in a new article at McClatchy News…and it clearly demonstrates the degree to which our elected officials lack an understandin g of the travails that face many of their constituents .

MIDLAND, Va. — The Labor Department’s most recent inflation data showed that U.S. food prices rose by 4.1 percent for the 12 months ending in June, but a deeper look at the numbers reveals that the price of milk, eggs and other essentials in the American diet are actually rising by double digits.

Already stung by a two-year rise in gasoline prices, American consumers now face sharply higher prices for foods they can’t do without. This little-known fact may go a long way to explaining why, despite healthy job statistics, Americans remain glum about the economy.

Meeting with economic writers last week, President Bush dismissed several polls that show Americans are down on the economy. He expressed surprise that inflation is one of the stated concerns.

“They cite inflation?” Bush asked, adding that, “I happen to believe the war has clouded a lot of people’s sense of optimism.”

But the inflation numbers reveal the extent to which lower- and middle-incom e Americans are being pinched.

Food Prices

We’ve all seen a politician tripped up by a reporter asking them the price of a gallon of milk…and we’ve often discovered that they either can’t answer the question or the answer they provide is woefully inaccurate. Therein lie the problem with many of our elected officials…th ey simply can’t empathize because they don’t face the same problems.

It goes well beyond inflation and the price of food staples. There are other examples. During a recent Democratic debate in Chicago, a gentleman was nearly in tears when he asked the candidates what they would do to fix the situation which allowed him to work for thirty years at a company only to end up losing a large portion of his retirement along with his family’s health insurance when the company filed bankruptcy.

Frankly, the experience of our elected officials lacks the same realities faced by voters. The fact that they receive generous retirement benefits and the best health care without having to worry that it could suddenly be lost leaves them sorely lacking an appreciation for the daily concerns that plague the average voter. The fact that politicians haven’t moved to protect their constituents from such situations only exacerbates the impression that they are out of touch.

Why are food prices rising?

It’s partly because of corn prices, driven up by congressiona l mandates for ethanol production, which have reduced the amount of corn available for animal feed. It’s also because of tougher immigration enforcement and a late spring freeze, which have made farm laborers scarcer and damaged fruit and vegetable crops, respectively . And it’s because of higher diesel fuel costs to run tractors and attractive foreign markets that take U.S. production.

To make more milk, or raise more chickens that lay more eggs, farmers need feed corn and other feed products. But corn prices have soared over the past year as Congress pushes ethanol, a renewable fuel made from corn. Fields that previously grew soybeans are now yielding corn, and that’s driven up the price of soybeans as they become scarce.

Again, these situations point out the lack of awareness found in Washington. Politicians, in their haste to demonstrate their concerns about U.S. dependency upon foreign oil, fail to realize that the average American stands to pay the price at the grocery store. Year after year, these same politicians drag their feet on passing legislation requiring automakers to improve the mileage standards on the vehicles they produce.

While I understand that such requirements might also have detrimental effects, it is clear that our elected officials pass laws without a full appreciation for who might benefit and who might suffer. Further, the ability of interest groups to impact legislation further relegates the concerns of voters to a secondary role as politicians pander to those groups that can afford to hire high powered lobbyists and bankroll a candidates campaign.

Recent abysmal approval ratings for Congress suggest that voters are keenly aware of the many inconsistenc ies and that they are growing increasingly weary of the apparent disconnect that exists. Perhaps a few more politicians should forego the next free trip to some remote region of the world in favor of an excursion to the neighborhood grocery store?

Cross-posted at Thought Theater


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