Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Economic Stimulus?

So there's an economic stimulus check from the federal government with my name on it in Atlanta for $600 dollars. In the next day or two it should be making its way over here.

There's a bunch of things I appreciate about this attempt to allow me to stimulate the economy. I'll be able to fix that back windshield now which has been held together with tape for two months. I'll be able to get a few more housewares I could use like something besides my leaking thermarest to sleep on and some coat hangers and such.

Then I thought it will also be great because I can use the rest of what's left over to pay for gas to do various expeditions to scenic and mountainous parts of the state. So that rocks.

So the stimulus is good and welcome.

But then I thought of this:

Did you know that before bush was in office oil was at $30 ish a barrell, and had been relatively stable around that price for around 10 years? Now it's at what, $100 or more above that?

If oil didn't skyrocket in the past year, I'd have saved way more than $600 which I spent on gas. Then I think about how much more I would have saved over the past seven years if there were never these stupid wars. The whole point of them was to secure our control over middle east oil against rising competitors but that's totally blown up in Bush's face and just fucked things for us more than leaving them alone would have.

So in essence, all the stimulus really is is just a handout to oil companies. The price of transport and food and everything else rose because the price of gas rose. That's a main reason why people have less money now. The stimulus helps us keep living a bit more comfortable for a month or so, but only because we can use it to pay oil companies the outrageous inflated, speculative prices they've invented. Not just at the pump, but you use it to buy groceries which are more expensive and Safeway uses that to pay truckers or farmers and they give it to the oil companies. It all trickles up.

So that's a little weird. I think it would be easier just to confront the oil companies politically and try and do things to decrease the amount of speculation possible.

I know some people are afraid of government intervention in the economy, but how much worse could it possibly be? We deregulated banks about what, a decade or a decade and a half ago? And now they're collapsing in a speculative housing bubble that's costing the government billions to bail out anyway, as well as encouraging people to dump their dollars and invest in oil futures instead?

So much for the invisible hand.

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