In Response, If Response Were Appropriate
Now, someone please give me logical and true explanation as to why gas is now under $2/gallon? The neo-con response is it is the end of summer driving, and prices always drop this time of year. But this is a 90+cent drop since the Lieberman/Lamont primary! Or since Isreal and Lebanon "quit" the shooting... both events heralded the slide.I elevate my answer to her to an editorial post, and I do so in part specifically because I am interested in avoiding giving answers to her query. I leave it to the readers to understand why I would not want to answer a question about the current state of gasoline prices.
Hence, herewith is my response.
Good morning, Wild Clover.
It never ceases to amaze me that the mainstream media pundits find all kinds of irrelevant reasons for what happens in the world.
The truth of the matter is that, a few months ago, there were pinches in the extracted hydrocarbons supply chain. These were not all that notable; but what was notable was the violent price reactions in the futures markets for raw and, by consequence, retail hydrocarbon products.
More notable still was that I did not hear one media punditnot one of any significancemention the fact that some of the biggest participants in those futures markets for crude, gas, and distillates are the oil industry companies, themselves. Every last day, those corporations are in the markets hedging and playing with open positions in the billions of dollars; and lots and lots of tradersmost of whom are way too smart to buck hurricane price movementsfollow the herd, even when the herd is led by a bunch of bull(s).
That part of my preamble to a rant might sound good to the weary heart of a progressive person, but there's a whole lot more to the story than just the tale of a bunch of greed-driving, multi-national corporations that are, by their very presence in futures markets, affecting and maybe even manipulating gasoline prices. The rest of the story has parts with the serious potential to irritate some on the Left as well as just about everybody on the Right.
Folks, for the next fiveprobably ten or moreyears, there's going to be plenty of oil. Major new platforms are going to be springing up, pipelines are coming online that will allow for better distribution, and we might even get our heads out of our butts and get some better refining capacity of our own lined up.
That doesn't mean there won't be problems. We are competing with aggressive, nasty cheaters: Russia is in the business of trying to exercise something that looks like monopoly control over hydrocarbons not just within its own boundaries, but all through the region. China has a history of cheating like a mo'fo' at everything it does in international trade. The Middle East will remain about as stable as a drunkard standing in a canoe to pee.
We used to be pretty good at the games, too, but we're being out-maneuvered, out-flanked, out-smarted, and out-spent everywhere we turn, these days.
In a nutshell, we are getting our butts kicked.
But "we" refers to you and meto all of us, both individually and as a nation. Oil companies will do quite well because they're not in the business of protecting the "we" that includes you and me and all of the rest of America, and they're most certainly not in the business of protecting the "we" that includes you and me and all of the rest of the peoples, animals, plants, ecosystems, nation-state autonomies, and postulates on human rights and dignities of the world, even though it is nation-states that ensure the massive financing through the World Bank and its affiliates for their profitable ventures.
And the "we" that includes the you and me and all of those other non-corporate things and ideas? We're on our own.
And as an aside, we've gotten ourselves pretty much roundly hated just about everywhere, but that's not really the important part; what will become overwhelming to the dialogue of the future about the American economic empire is the reality in the here and now that we have lost the world's presumption of the enduring standard of our currency. It is no longer respected; and in time, just like our military might, it will no longer even be feared.
Now, don't get me wrong: it's going to be years before the dollar loses its status as the denominating currency of choice in international contracts, but the handwriting is on the wall. We've squandered our future for a few short years of butch cowboy stupidity and national financial irresponsibility; and no amount of military firepower, swaggering neo-conservatism, and vapid flag-waving is going to fix that.
We had our fun. And just for old time's sake, let's pull out a credit card for one more toy we don't need, and let's go get a mortgage for a house far beyond any semblance of basic, reliable shelter. Yes, let's do that: the Communist Chinese government has its wallet open for one more round of beggars.
Of course, among us are those who honestly do live by the maxim that enough is abundance, but no one gets to walk away clean. Unlike Jesus, who insisted He was in but not of this world, we don't get to die brutishly but with a really cool Get-Out-of-Hell-Free card. We're in and of this world, whether or not we particularly like the blood and misery it lays to our own material lives and eternal souls.
Here's the good news: it is not "we" who will pay. Most of us will be dead before the time of reckoning is upon us. If we're lucky, we shall be buried deep enough to be spared listening to what the "we" of our world's future will say of us.
Yes, for a while longer, oil will be relatively plentiful, competition for it will be fierce and nasty, and gas prices will go through spasms of economically debilitating volatility.
But there will be enough, at least for the "we" of this moment.
That's what I want to say; but I won't.
The Dark Wraith believes that sometimes it is best to let the future tell its own story.