Sunday, November 11, 2007


The recent surge in oil prices is the epitome in white collar crime. One cannot help but wonder how long people and politicians will sit idly by while oil corporations steal from the poor to fatten their overflowing wallets. On Friday oil hit $95.93, down slightly from Wednesdays high of $98.62 a barrel. Just out of shear delight my guess is that forces are at work to reach the $100/barrel mark, just to say that it did.

The rationale for such high prices has become an annual refrain. One reason is the drop in U.S energy reserves. How do people become billionaires by not having enough reserves for the winter? This excuse is heard every year. Do oil companies not have calendars? Why should reserves be low going into heating and holiday travel season? That would be like stores letting their stocks of goods dwindle before the holiday shopping season. Does that make any sense? Is it a secret that people use oil to heat their homes?

Another excuse is the proverbial storm. Okay, a North Sea storm closed some Norwegian platforms. Doesn’t this happen at the beginning of every winter? Of course there are storms. In hurricane season there are, let me guess, hurricanes? We all know this and so do the oil companies. Don’t they plan for this?

These are my favorites: there might be a revolution somewhere so prices go up. There may be a storm somewhere, so prices go up. A prince in Saudi Arabia sneezed, prices go up! This is all ridiculous. There is no question in my mind that oil prices will have to rise. This will probably be the major stimulus to forcing people into using alternative energy, most of which products are owned by oil companies anyway. Oil will not last forever.

The Washington reported that consumers are paying $4-5 billion more per DAY for oil than they did just 5 years ago. This adds some $2 trillion to the oil companies bank accounts. How much more do oil companies want? When oil hits these kinds of levels it affects every aspect of the economy. The list of petrol based products is astounding. As consumer dollars are increasingly spent on energy, little is left for other products. My guess is that this year’s holiday retail sales will be abysmal. Who will lose? The outlook is not good for small businesses who cannot offer deep consumer discounts. So the winners will be Wal-Mart and other super retail chains. Can we see the trend here? Small will not only “not” be beautiful, small will not exist!

So where does this leave us? Up the creek, I would say. Oil companies and speculators are going to destroy small businesses and drive the consumer into the ground while they fill their bank accounts. Where are our political leaders? Why are they not forcing change? Why are they letting oil companies commit the crime of the century? The middle and lower classes in America are bleeding to death and they do nothing. Have they given us an alternative? No! Are their heads in the sand? Yup! Elections are coming and he/she who is willing to take the oil companies on will get my vote!

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