HAIKU, MAUI, HAWAII AMERICAN/GLOBAL AFFAIRS
Governments, Oil Industry, Not Just Bankers, Are Continuing to Skin U.S. Taxpayer As Post-Election Greed Sets In
Gouging the American Consumer
U.S. Retail Gasoline Prices Are Soaring As Global Crude Oil Plummets; Governments, Not Just Oil Companies, Keep Raking It In As a Result
HAIKU, Maui, July 7 - A little over six months ago, I wrote the editorial Squeezing the Consumer Dry (Greed Was the Fuel That Drove Both Bankers, Govts & Oilmen to Try to Squeeze Blood Out of Stone - American Consumer). At the time, many of my friends with liberal leanings were enthusiastic, if not ecstatic, about the "new era" that the new President-elect would usher. "Things will get better from now on," they said. They hoped for more fairness, less greed in government as in business. They prayed for more compassion, less aggression. In short, they took the politicians at their word. Bad move.
For, "every time you hear a politician scream, you know that someone has just told the truth," I told some of them. They laughed at the joke. But it was more than a joke. It was a time-proven statement about human behavior and gullibility. For, it took less than three months for President Obama to reverse himself on more of his campaign promises than you can shake a stick at. And it took only six months for the American public to see that the executives of Greed Inc. are still in charge of both the American government and its economy. And that the U.S. presidential elections are no more than a very expensive "Demo Farce," as I wrote in a Washington Times column in Nov 1996 (see "Demo Farce and the American Century,” Nov 1996).
"Those who cast the vote - decide nothing. Those who pick the candidates - decide everything," I have said many times in the past. "Fielding two horses from the same stable," as I put it in that 1996 Washington Times column, is how the New World Order "elite" ensure that they control the game no matter who is in the White House. Which is why, "the U.S. democracy is turning into a New World Order plutocracy," I concluded 13 years ago. So there is no chance that anyone with an independent thought or bent will every become an American President.
That's a bitter pill that some of my liberal friends found hard to swallow last year and on the eve of Obama's inauguration. But it did not take long before a series of proof points of these theories emerged...
The insertion of another Clinton (Hillbilly - left) into the Obama administration, for example, illustrated how even a relative newcomer to Washington is kept on a short leash. It is done by surrounding him with people whose moral corruptibility and servility to the New World Order "elite" has been proven over many years in government and the White House. No wonder it did not take long before Obama morphed in a "Bushama," as my photo cartoon (right), designed in the first quarter, depicted.
When it comes to politicians, "read my lips; no new taxes" (a famous line uttered by Bush Sr in 1988) is a decoy statement. For, once he became president, Bush raised taxes in order to reduce the budget deficit/
So "watch their hips (moves), not lips" is the only way to see the truth.
"Words are cheap. Action speaks louder that words," is another old adage. And Obama's moves since taking office have shown that he is no different than Bush Jr. Or Clinton. Or Bush Sr. Which is why "they" picked him as a candidate.
I am not referring here only to huge government bailouts of bankrupt bankers and gas-guzzling automakers. What happened with the U.S. retail gasoline prices in the midst one the greatest economic slump since the Great Depression is another case in point. If the Obama people and other state and local officials were really "government of the people, by the people, for the people," would they allow the skinning of the American people to take place in full public view at the nation's gas pumps as has been happening again this summer?
When I moved to Maui in late March, the local regular gas price was $2.58 per gallon. Yesterday, I paid $3.58 - up a dollar or 38% in a little over three months!
The national trends are the same, as you can see from the above chart, only the rates of price increases differ from state to state. On average, they range between 31% and 38% since March.
Ironically, the global crude oil prices have been plummeting lately.
"There is a glut of oil in the world at the moment," energy experts tells us.
You don't have to be an economist to know that whenever there is a surplus of something in a free market, the prices tend to... DROP, of course. One year ago, crude oil prices were approaching $150 per barrel (they peaked at $145 - see left chart). Now, they are around $65 per barrel, less than half of that in July 2008.
So you'd expect our gasoline prices to be declining, too, right? Don't hold your breath.
Had the retail gas prices, which were $4.10 a year ago, followed the same trend as crude oil, they would be $1.84 per gallon today. Instead, they are almost double those in July 2008. Why? Because Greed, Inc. executives are still running the country. And the sheeple (American public) are meekly paying up, recession or not. I have not heard of a single public protest, let alone a gas price riot, in this vast country of over 300 million people (like those in Britain or Brussels, for example, back in Sep 2000 - see U.K. Gasoline Pumps Run Dry).
So whenever someone tells you that we have a "free market" at work in America, feel free to call him/her a liar. Even the OPEC cartel-dominated global market behaves more like a market than our economy, as you have seen.
As for the governments who claim to be acting "for the people," they were actually front and center in the gouging of American consumers, even ahead of the oil companies.
That's because taxes accounted for about 20% of the prices we paid at the pump back in April. Oil companies' distribution and marketing ate up a 12% share. Another 12% went into their refining income (left chart). So every time oil companies hiked up the price in the last three months, they also created more income for the government. It's another form of "progressive" taxation that his the rich and the poor equally.
So whenever someone tells you that we have a "fair" taxation system at work in America, feel free to call him/her a liar.
Furthermore, since the crude oil's share of the total retail price has dropped from 56% to about 52% in the last three months, while the prices have risen about 38%, the difference was pure profit for oil companies, and unearned income for governments. Is that "fair?"
Yet I don't see criticisms or an outcry in the nation's media about this form of consumer rip-off. Why not? Because the same kinds of people who control the governments and big business are also in charge of the mainstream media organizations. Which is why we have been referring to the latter for years as the "lamestream" media.
So whenever someone tells you that we have a "free press" at work in America, feel free to call him/her a liar as well.
What's To Be Done?
What's to be done? Speak up and speak out against such practices. We still have the right of free speech enshrined in our Constitution, at least on paper. And if we don't practice our rights, they will go away. A form of "taxation without representation" was one of the reasons for the American Revolution 233 years ago. Skinning the U.S. taxpayer alive is a form "taxation without representation" being carried out by our "representatives."
This holiday weekend, a group of patriotic Americans used a Fourth of July parade in Makawao (Maui, Hawaii) as an opportunity to do just that (see above pictures). They protested both the increased taxation and our loss of other freedoms that were supposed to be our birth rites. Yet even these brave men and women did not carry a single banner criticizing the gouging that is taking place at the gas pumps by both governments and oil companies. Which is why this erstwhile political commentator has felt compelled to dust off his pen, dip it again, and pen this editorial as his way of speaking up and speaking out.
Click here if you want to send me a note of either support or disagreement. Thank you.
Also check out... Squeezing the Consumer Dry (Greed Was the Fuel That Drove Both Bankers, Govts & Oilmen to Try to Squeeze Blood Out of Stone - American Consumer); The Great Divide Widens (The rich are getting richer and the poor poorer in most developed countries – latest OECD study, Oct 2008); Wall Street's Financial Terrorism (a 1997 Chronicles Magazine column that's as current today as it was when it was written); Just Say NO to Greed - Killer of Dreams! (Mar 2008) and Just Say No to Greed 2 (Oct 2008);
Also, “Plutocrats of the New World Order,” Mar 1997; “Demo Farce and the American Century,” Nov 1996; “The Great Wall Street Hoover,” Nov 1997; “The Great American Divide,” Jan 1998; “Wiping Out the Middle Class,:” May 1998; “When Will Wall Street Bubble Burst?”, Aug 1998; etc.