Friday, February 24, 2012

Falsely inflated gas prices

Randi Rhodes made me aware of this McClatchy report on the recent spike in oil prices. Given the state of working people's economy it seems unlikely there has been an increase in demand and it turns out there hasn't been. According to the report US demand is down so sharply since last year that we are now a net exporter. There is also no supply problem, with unusually high inventory. So what's causing the prices to rise?

While there are other legitimate factors involved it seems speculation is responsible for the majority of the rise. Again. Speculation now accounts for about 70 percent of the trading on commodities. Hence speculative bids on rising prices are a self-fulfilling prophesy. And who makes money on this when everyone else, the 99%, suffer? I think you know the answer. So why have we as yet to curtail such commodity speculation? You know that too, as our government is bought and paid for by the speculators and the multi-national oil barons.

It seems most Pollyanna to believe we can work within this corrupt system to initiate progressive and transitional change to a more democratic and equitable political economy. The Occupy movement knows this most emphatically. Perhaps this is why Rifkin works with those countries that have socio-economically evolved? Or at least working on it.

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