During a friendly hello call to Paul, he mentioned that oil was a topic of real concern for him. I know Paul he’s a level headed fellow with a great guitar boutique in Cave Creek, AZ. Paul like all of us is suffering from the economic catastrophe. He is a true news hound so when he told me that the price of oil is expected to hit $200 a barrel because of the unrest in the Middle East, I took notice. I knew it would go over $100 but not that high. Being the curious about this I did a bit of research on the internet. I discovered a site that had information about the top 15 exporters of oil to the US.
Here’s the list:
The numbers above represent millions of barrels per day. As you can see from the list we consume 18.7 million barrels of oil per day. We import 57.39% of our oil from these 15 countries. That means that 42.61% comes from other countries not listed. Look closely at the list. Unless my geography is real rusty there are only two countries in the Middle East in the top 15: #3 Saudi Arabia and #11 Iraq for a total of 1.41 million barrels per day. The basis for the oil price panic is the unstable political situation in this region. If almost 60% of our oil comes from other places how is the political instability in this region driving these wild fluctuations in oil pricing? It’s a lie. There is no connection except in the mind of the speculators. This is why the price of oil keeps going up for no apparent reason. Saudi Arabia stated that they would personally make up the deficit in production to control oil prices.
Speculation is the practice of betting on the rise or fall of a commodity. You can place orders to buy or sell your share of these commodities based on setting price thresholds. The best way to ensure that your share of a commodity goes up is to create panic. The speculators are gambling through the commodity brokers – bookies. They all make money in these schemes.
We are in a situation we have seen all too many times before. Someone drops a match in the Arabian Desert and the speculators start screaming FIRE! This effectively drive the price of oil goes up, the guys who bought low sell high and make a ton of money. Then these same guys that just made a ton of money bet that the price will go back down. They relieve the tension they just created, buy more shares when the price drops. Wash, Rinse, Repeat…
The tensions in the Middle East now directly affect us here in the US. There may be some prices changes but not to the extent that we’ve seen in the past few week; especially in gasoline. Prices for February, 2010 averaged $2.90 per gallon; prices this morning were $3.59 per gallon – an increase of $0.69 per gallon in a year. I’m certain that the price will continue to increase. As the petro-barons speculate we may see prices over $4.50 per gallon or higher by summer.
So far no one can give me a logical reason that the price of gasoline in the ground at your local fueling location goes up every time some Arab farts. OK so the price of crude fluctuates. That is potential gasoline, not the product in the ground for sale. Why did I see a $0.45 per gallon rise over night? They didn’t extract the gas in the tanks and re-refine it. They didn’t do a damn thing to it, but they have the right to raise the price because the product they may purchase in the future went up! WTFO? (Send me a private email for the code to this acronym if you don’t already know it.)
I though it was illegal to change the price of products on the shelf… Well maybe for everyone but the oil companies.
It is time that we demand an explanation of how this works. I am really serious about this. We are being sodomized by the retailers and not even getting dinner or a kiss. How long are we going to sit still after being buggered by the retailers? There should be a class action law suite or some arrests for violating the Rico Act for racketeering. I drove about fifty miles yesterday and there was only a 2¢ variation across the metro Phoenix area.
How is it possible to increase the price of items in stock? I thought there were laws protecting consumers from predatory pricing. If it isn’t illegal, it certainly should be.
At issue here are the long reaching implications of this increase in gasoline. Every facet of our lives is affected. Have you noticed the price of groceries lately? Transportation costs are doubled, so the result is a commensurate increase in food process. Other goods are affected as well. All of the prices are climbing. Why: because of the speculation on crude oil prices and the associated increase in fuels.
Something occurred to me the other day after a conversation with a Canadian friend. His brother worked in the oil industry for many years. It is said that Canada has one of the largest reserves of oil in the world. That reserve extends into the Northern United States; far into it. There is enough oil in this reserve to last the next 2041 years. It’s called the Bakken Oil field. There are others of smaller size up to 2 trillion barrels. These are not misprints. This is fact. http://bakkenshale.net/bakkenshalemap.html Why aren’t we using this vast reserve?
So what’s the game? I can only guess but it does make sense so follow me on this. Since the world economy is petro-chemically based and no one is seriously interested in the next fuel replacement. It makes sense that the game is about power; and that power comes from oil. When the Middle East and the rest of the world run out of recoverable oil, America will have the only reserve. We will have the only readily available source of oil. When everyone runs out, when they have pumped their last drop, we will have all the power. We will have the oil. The world will then have to dance to our tune. They will have to pay our price.
The environmentalists are a convenient excuse not to start drilling in Montana, North Dakota, and elsewhere. We curse them as anti progressive and overly cautious; but that is an excuse. We could find safe ways to extract the oil without harm to our precious environment but that doesn’t fit into the long range plans of the oil companies and our government. They both know that the power this represents is massive, mind boggling, almost unimaginable so they blame the environmental lobby; we don’t drill. We pay premium prices for foreign oil to support the rich getting richer and gaining power at our expense.
In January Exxon’s fourth quarter profits (Q4 2010) were up 53% over the last quarter; representing a profit of over $105.2 billion (for the fourth quarter). Add this to the other major company’s profits and we are being hoodwinked. The only people happy about this increase are the stockholders.
What to do? There are several recommended boycotts and blackout days for buying gasoline. There are recommended boycotts of specific producers. There are even recommended violent approaches. All this does is hurt the people that can stand it the least. Two income families working minimum wage jobs and attempting to raise a family are impacted the most. It is impossible for them to absorb the cost increase; yet there are no alternatives for them. They need the fuel to attend the jobs so they can feed and support their families. What we must do it to let our leadership know that we will not stand for this any longer. Their anti-american practices will not be tolerated. We will replace them with representatives willing to save America from the clutches of big business.
“There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible.” – Henry Ford
Unfortunately Mr. Ford is no longer with us and his sentiment and brilliance is lost on the profit at all costs generation running our companies and government. People like Mr. Ford were true Americans in the sense that they were concerned for the welfare of the country and her people. They realized that by providing quality products, good paying and secure employment their workers could afford to live and enjoy the products they made. These industrialists understood the principals of making money through investment in the people and the business. If you make a quality product and charge a fair price for it, people will buy it and you will make money. Look how large Ford Motor Company was in 1970. In fact all of the manufacturers in this country enjoyed a position of distinction. The only thing we make now is dept.
The only way to fix this problem is to replace the people in control with people that embrace the ethics of business, not ignore them. We need people that will lead our country in the right direction; that is away from our multi-cultural debacle and toward a unified America for Americans. What we have now is a fractured shell of a country, run by an elite group of pompous disconnected millionaires whose aim is to secure their futures at our expense. They create an environment of chaos and tumult to keep us off balance and distracted while they create laws to pick our pockets. None, none of our problems are insurmountable. We can solve our difficulties through leadership willing to help us make the tough decisions necessary to correct our errant course. We have the brightest and most creative minds in the world at our disposal; ready to correct our course and make us once again a proud nation. All we lack is the leader.
Start by asking yourself… Do we need another self-serving politician full of empty promises and an empty head or do we need solid business like leadership that has our country in mind.
The Zen principle is… Do what is right and all else will follow. That means that doing the right thing for the right reason will bring in more wealth than concentrating on wealth alone.
I am an optimist, but also a realist. I know that it is possible for us to weather this temporary storm if we really want too. We can change this country if we really want too. I also realize that too many people are looking to place blame and are not at all interested in the solution to the problems.
Personally, I am looking for the solutions through new and very different leadership. I already know whose fault this is.
March 11, 2011
~ The Author ~
Charles R. Dickens was born in 1951, is a veteran of the Vietnam, for which he volunteered, and the great-great grandson of the noted author, whose name he shares.
He is a fiercely proud American, who still believes this is the greatest country on the planet, with which we’ve lost control and certainly our direction. He grew up in moderate financial surrounding; were not rich by any stretch, but didn’t go hungry – his incredibly hard working father saw to that. As most from that era, he learned about life from his father, whose story would take too long to tell, other than to say that, he is also a fiercely proud American; a WWII and Korean war, veteran Marine.
Charlie was educated in the parochial system which, demanded that you actually learn something, and have capability to retain it before you advance. He attended several universities in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree, and chased the goose further to a master’s, and has retained some very definite ideas about education in this country.
In addition, Charlie is a professional (struggling) blues guitar and vocalist – a musician. This is his therapy career. Nothing brings him as much joy as playing music, and he wishes that he could make a living at it… maybe some day!
That’s Charlie… a proud, opinionated, and passionate American.
Mr. Dickens can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org