point to ponder…

point to ponder… In Jan 2001 when George W. Bush took office, crude oil was $23.59 a barrel. Shortly before Bush left office, crude hit a record high of $128.02 per barrel. Gasoline prices hit record highs and people didn’t have any money in their pocket to by anything extra and we were in a recession. Of course Bush and Cheney are oilmen and how better to pad your bank account than to have some control of prices while holding a government office.

At the beginning of Jan 2007, crude prices were $46 per barrel. When the official start of the recession began in December 2007, crude had almost doubled to $85.52 per barrel. In one year, crude prices increased 39% causing gasoline prices to increase.

Combined with the uncontrolled greed of a decade in the banking and insurance industries and lack of oversight on Wall Street along with the political greed, people didn’t have any extra money in their pocket because of the high gasoline prices and with 2/3 of the economy dependent on consumer spending, I think it all came to a head causing the collapse. They say there are some signs the economy may be improving as spending this Christmas is up and the economy hasn’t shed as many jobs so once again this speculation causes oil to increase on the commodities market back to a two year high. We have already seen the increase at the pump and it appears more increase will follow as gasoline prices on the market has increased faster than crude.

I believe that government shouldn’t stick their noses in places it doesn’t belong, however, I feel the government should do something about speculators on the market driving prices. These people buy and sell but do not accept delivery of the product at all. If they buy, they should have to accept delivery of the product before selling. In a sense it would be like them buying up a large number of cars, leaving them on the lot in Detroit never accepting delivery but holding them to drive up the price of them before selling them to a dealer. I don’t understand the concept other than to make money at the expense of the consumer. Manipulation of crude and gasoline on the commodities market is rampant. They can control whether the prices goes up or down, mostly up, just by the release of a government statistic, the threat of a storm that may or may not make landfall or any other world news event. I know our country was founded on freedoms such as free markets but to me, due to its importance in everything, from the making fr plastics to the running of power plants, manufacturing plants and automobiles, it should not be open to the dangers of speculation that is so prevalent on the futures market.

There is little doubt in my mind that gasoline and crude price is one of the main, if not the main, driving force of the recent recession and with prices increasing again, I look for a “double-dip” recession, if not a depression, very soon.

I still do not understand how crude oil prices could remain constant in the teens from 1978 to 1999 ranging from $13 to $19 per barrel and in the low $20s in 2000 but almost quadruple in price under a President who also happens to be an oil man. Something just doesn’t seem right there. Maybe I am way off base but it doesn’t seem fair to those of us who try to eek out a living struggling to make ends meet while the rich get richer and the oil companies continue making record profits at the expense of the little person, the working person, the consumer.

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