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Oily? Or Slimy?

Posted by Rick · April 3rd, 2004 · No Comments

The Oil Men who now control the country are doing their best to limit the free market competitiveness by continuing the kind of mergers that once perpetuated the existence of “robber barons.” Those who went to school in the 1950s through the mid-to-late 1970s — when you could still get a decent education in the public school system — may remember having read about those times. It’s doubtful those educated afterwards will remember, since education is given short-shrift. Add to that the fact that the modern trend is to believe that large corporate entities like Walmart are actually good for communities and you don’t get a lot of people pondering the real problems in our society.

The direct impact of this upon Americans is rising gasoline prices.

By some estimates the shortage of refineries and diminished competition are adding as much as 30 cents to the price of every gallon. — Unattributed Story, “The Lowdown on the Gas Spike,” CBS News Online, April 2, 2004.

Of course, this sort of thing is nothing new. And it won’t change. Why should it? Not only did large corporations owned by Republicans manage to obtain large sums of money by controlling electricity in California, but they were able to actually spin the blame for their greed so that then-Governor Gray Davis was removed from office for incompetency when he tried to deal with the issue. The replacement — former part-time actor and full-time cyborg Arnold Schwarzenegger — was able to “terminate” all the state’s problems by convincing Californians to vote the government a credit card with a larger limit.

This is like you or me deciding that we’re running out of money on our Mastercard, then someone makes us an offer for a higher-limit card — they sweeten the pot with an “introductory” interest rate that’s lower than we’re currently paying — and all our problems are solved. Right?

Wrong. You still have the debt. You still have to pay the bill. You still have the same problems — usually even more so — but now you can pretend the problem went away and keep on spending.

The oil men running our government, meanwhile, are pleased to have you do this. After all, they’re the ones who — by buying the bonds you authorized the government to sell — are lending that $15 billion to California. They’re the only ones who can afford to do so. They will get back their $15 billion — as all government creditors eventually do — with interest.

Think about that the next time you drive — assuming you can still afford that — to your polling place to vote.

Categories: Oil & The Presidency


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