You know you live in a decadent country when basic facts of life are greeted with jeers and calls for excommunication from the realm like Paul Krugman is getting pilloried for his recent NYT piece on oil price inflation. Here's the deal folks, oil is priced in dollars and to bail out the U.S. banking system America's central bank is flooding the market with record amounts of dollars. What happens when too many dollars chase too few barrels of oil? Well, believe it or not, the price of oil goes up. Now this is not a political statement. This is a statement of fact. Speculators in the oil market (and the agriculture market) are a mere subset of the irresponsible credit expansion crazy people who run the Fed. And yes, the world has hit 'peak oil.' All three of the biggest oil fields in the world are now in decline. Demand for oil is rising toward 100mn. barrels a day, while production has peaked at around 86 mn. barrels a day. Too much money chasing too few barrels means the price goes up. And the Chinese are happy to pay. Seems simple enough...
But does this stop America's pundits from trying to avoid this economic reality, that oil is probably going to $160 in the near term and $200 in the medium term? No, they love to pretend that economics has nothing to do with the price of oil going up and that it's the fault of speculators and OPEC. You see the same myopic, "What me, worry?" Alfred E. Newman thinking on display in almost every facet of American political and economic life.
For example, did you know that soldiers in Iraq are not as bad off as we thought. There's not that much Post Traumatic Stress Disorder because it's politically inconvenient and much cheaper for the Private Equity run White House if it goes away.
From the Washington Post:
A psychologist who helps lead the post-traumatic stress disorder program at a medical facility for veterans in Texas told staff members to refrain from diagnosing PTSD because so many veterans were seeking government disability payments for the condition. "Given that we are having more and more compensation seeking veterans, I'd like to suggest that you refrain from giving a diagnosis of PTSD straight out," Norma Perez wrote in a March 20 e-mail to mental-health specialists and social workers at the Department of Veterans Affairs' Olin E. Teague Veterans' Center in Temple, Tex. Instead, she recommended that they "consider a diagnosis of Adjustment Disorder.
See, the economic and societal problems go away if you just put your head in a bag labeled CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, Fox and stomp your feet and cry "Mommy, mommy, make the bad people go away." Yes, it must be Osama's fault, Iran, Paul Krugman , the speculators, anybody and everybody but the real culprit; incompetent, decadent, dangerously out of touch crony capitalists undermining the system with trillions of worthless I.O.U.'s they choose to call, 'money.' It was great while all that fiat currency ersatz whip cream was boosting the 'value' of your house, until it's not, and now you're 'upside down' now that 'rat' of credit is appearing in the 'snake' of global finance in the form of runaway commodity price inflation. If you didn't sell your house at the top, like the guys at Toll Brothers housing who sold out of their stock at the top? Well, your continued participation is heroic and please accept this Purple Heart for suffering such equity loss.
Stressed? Eating too much? Please don't. Obese people are contributing to the global food crisis and climate change;
from the BBC:
Obese people are contributing to the world food crisis and climate change, experts say. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine calculated the obese consume 18% more calories than average. They are also responsible for using more fuel, which has an environmental impact and drives up food prices as transport and agriculture both use oil. The result is that the poor struggle to afford food and greenhouse gas emissions rise, the Lancet reported.
Since America's economy is over 70% consumption you don't hear this report mentioned much in the corporate controlled media outlets who are owned, or cross-owned, or influenced by the companies who treat Americans like ducks on afoie gras farm by stuffing them to death with worthless processed food and deadly mortgages.