Why are gas prices suddenly PLUNGING?
It’s a miracle, isn’t it? A few months ago we were hearing all about the increased demand from Asia and India and how this was going to push the price of crude oil up and up forever and ever. Yes, some conspiracy-theory nutcase liberals speculated it was all market manipulation. No, we were solemnly told by economics and think-tank people who it turned out, if anyone wanted to do a little Googling, were and are in cahoots with the Republicans and the oil industry, it’s all because of increased demand. Nothing that can be done about it—just suck up and pay more. You shold be grateful anyway, because for years oil’s been so much more expensive in Europe. (Never mind how they have made infrastructure investments we can only dream of and so have more options than we do. True American patriots don’t ask questions.) Here in the US of A, fuel prices have nearly doubled in a year. A back-of-the-envelope calculation isn’t even needed to see that China and India have NOT doubled their growth in a year. Nonetheless, the “experts” say that there’s no manipulation going on here for $hareholder gain. It’s (everyone kneel now) The Free Market at work.
See, if you were smart, like those Fox and Wall Street Journal commentators are, you’d understand this is how things work.
Well, suddenly the price at the pump starts falling. Plunging. And lookie here, at the same time, this—unreported by the mainstream media—is also happening:
Yes, the flaccid dollar is suddenly kicking serious ass versus the Euro; you know the Euro, don’t you? It’s that currency that so many American economic “experts” laughed at at the beginning of the new millennium, saying no one would want it, and today more and more banks are making it their reserve currency over the American dollar. At the height of oil prices, the dollar was trading at about $1.64 to one Euro. If you went to Europe a few months ago, you saw how much buying power Americans had—fucking none. Some French restaurants even had specials specifically for “poor Americans” who couldn’t afford the prices. Europeans, meanwhile, were and are snapping up high-end goods in departments stores there and (even cheaper!) here, enjoying a healthy economy and living at a higher material standard than we are. They have been coming over to the USA to shop, because of our low prices—they may seem high to you, but see, theyhave more discretionary income than you do, although we’re still in denial about this: y’know, those Socialist economies, like Socialist healthcare, are doomed. Doomed! Just don’t tell them. They might drop their Prada and Rolex and Waterford shopping bags as they put their hands to their mouths.
Lately the dollar has done a reverse, rising steadily, far more than can be expected from sheer market forces. In just two months, it’s surged to $1.39 to the Euro. That’s a better surge than Iraq, actually. Someone is propping our currency up, because this sort of abrupt change doesn’t just happen on its own. And simultaneously, oil futures are plunging. You see, traders buy commodities like oil and natural gas when currencies sag. The surge in gas prices coincided perfectly with—not increased demand from Asia, which has not nearly doubled in the past year—but the performance of the dollar, which has weakened almost that much. Mysteriously. —Or maybe not so mysteriously, if you check the calendar.
Just a couple months before election day, the dollar suddenly, miraculously, finds new, heretofore unseen strength. It’s a miracle, Lawd, Sarah Palin musta prayed over da money! No, it’s probably just the Fed, doing what it does best, tweaking the economic engine by removing some of the paper from circulation, just as it put more paper into circulation previously, to make the debt look even less scary than it really is and to help pay off the cashsuck that’s called our “victory” in Iraq. (By the way, don’t ask why we’re still subsidizing them when they’re making billions off oil. The mainstream media isn’t; why should you.) This is how fiscally-responsible Repiglicans “manage” the economy—with smoke and mirrors. And dummies that are The American Public fall for it every time. You really believe they are better at handling money than Democrats. You are really really stupid. You might try studying Econ 101 someday at your local community college. then maybe you’ll understand the baby-tricks being perpetrated on you by those leaders who pose for the cameras in front of huge American flags. (You also believe they are better at handling terrorism. Now imagine what a beating Bill Clinton would have taken had he sat in a classroom for eight minutes staring stupidly after the second plane rammed into the WTC, and then had the audacity a short while later to don a flight suit and stand atop an aircraft carrier declaring victory when he’s never gotten a rash from khaki for real. You would have CRUCIFIED him.)
Okay, class, now for your first assignment. Write a brief essay explaining what will happen to the strength of the dollar, and the price of oil, if Republicans win the election. Of course those “experts” you hear on TV and the radio will have the usual handy-dandy explanations: “It’s the start of Winter Driving Season.” “Santa needs oil for his sleigh.” “China’s back to full throttle after the Olympics.” “Those hurricanes took their toll.” And the mindless American Idol-watching sheep with intellects no deeper than wondering who makes Sarah Palin’s glasses will eat it up, just like the rugged, individualistic, free-thinking Americans they are. These guys are petroleum experts, after all. Katie Couric tells me so, and Katie wouldn’t lie because she’s an average American, just like Sarah, right?