Archive for April 17th, 2012

It’s an election year and that’s why President “Wall Street” Obama “urged Congress to toughen penalties for improper manipulation of oil markets and called for stricter government oversight of energy markets.” Apparently, the president thinks there is a proper way to manipulate the market. Nobody should take the president seriously.

The price of gasoline in the United States is probably two to three dollars per gallon higher than if there was some kind of real, competitive, market. Gasoline may be even three dollars or more per gallon higher than it should be. The United States has been exporting more oil than it is importing for several months now, for the first time since the late 1940s. That suggests the market has been manipulated for a long time, that US production has been artificially curtailed and manipulated for decades, and that there is an overabundance of oil available, but the president hasn’t done anything as the price of gasoline has risen, fueled by the demands of the financial markets. The big boys are making us pay so they can keep their stock values high. It’s been a scam for a long time and the president hasn’t instructed his Department of Justice to use the Sherman Anti-Trust Act to break up the oil oligarchs and send some of these big and slick oil barons and their Wall Street cronies to prison for their crimes.

Related Story

The Myth of Peak Oil

click here for the complete story

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The Oregonian writer Steve Duin wrote a nice piece about teacher cutbacks at Franklin High School coming in the next few months. He only told the effects, and I asked him to write about what has caused these cutbacks. Below is a link to his well written column, and below that is my response.

At Portland's Franklin High School, the Bell Tolls for…Them

Dear Steve Duin,
I appreciate your nice, but short-sighted, story titled, “At Franklin, the bell tolls for…them.” You quote teacher Portia Hall as saying, “’I’ve been teaching for fifteen years, and I’ve never had a year when we didn’t cut. Even when times were good.’”

Why don’t you tell the whole story about school funding and teacher cut backs? Why don’t you write about how free trade treaties have shipped jobs and much of the tax base overseas? Why don’t you write about how those treaties make it more profitable for American businesses to create jobs in other nations rather than here? Why don’t you write about how the difference between the old higher wages in the US and the new lower wages over there go into the pockets of Wall Street fat cats and other rich people via higher corporate profits, enhanced dividends and rising share prices? The people that lose those jobs wind up searching for work. That’s not a very good trade. This leads to a good question.

What are the federal government and the American economy for? Is it to redistribute more income to the already rich at the expense of working people? That’s been happening for the last thirty years.

These agreements are the primary reason why the rich are getting richer. They’re why the one percent received 93 percent of total US income growth from 2009 to 2010.

Why is the tax base crumbling? Why are teachers being laid off three years after the official end of the recession? Why can’t the economy create over 12 million jobs with rising real wages nowadays, like it did when Jimmy Carter was president and the economy and the population were only about 60 percent the size of what they are now? Why have only 4 million jobs with declining real wages and salaries been created in the twelve years since George W. Bush took office? Why is the economy so weak?

Free trade “income redistribution” agreements are the greatest reasons the one percent receive nearly 25 percent of the total US income nowadays compared with about 8 percent under Carter. The result has been devastating to the 99 percent in lost jobs, declining real income, demand too weak to create jobs in the US at previous levels, evaporating tax bases, teachers voting to strike in Gresham-Barlow and the Parkrose districts. These agreements are also the primary reasons why Portia Hall has never seen “a year we didn’t cut.”

Just open your eyes and look at those free trade treaties and ask yourself what the upcoming Trans Pacific Free Trade Agreement is going to do to 99 percent of Americans. If it’s implemented, the agreement is going to redistribute even more income to the one percent from the 99 percent, leading to more jobs shipped overseas, jobs created in other nations rather than here, shrinking tax bases, cutbacks in education, police, firefighters and all kinds of government positions and programs that the 99 percent rely upon. Are these the results we want from our federal government and our economy? I don’t think so, but that’s what we’ve got.

So I ask you again, Why don’t you write about the causes, as well as the effects? Why don’t you tell the whole story?

Warmest Regards,

John Hively

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