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US Oil Independence (re: Ukraine/Russia conflict)


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5 hours ago, TexasTiger said:

Treating not completing XL as having an impact on current gas prices is pure politics, zero fact.

And that was why I said maybe. The price increase in oil is there for a reason. 

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Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, who served under Donald Trump, criticised President Joe Biden on Sunday over reports that the president and his team had urged China’s government behind the scenes to help persuade Moscow against going to war in Ukraine.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/nikki-haley-biden-china-russia-b2029830.html

March 7 (Reuters) - Iran believes a deal on its nuclear programme can be quickly reached if Washington accepts points made by Tehran at talks in Vienna, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday, adding that Russia's contribution to negotiations so far had been constructive.

https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/iran-nuclear-deal-possible-shortly-if-us-accepts-tehrans-points-iranian-2022-03-07/

Washington — Senior American officials are in Venezuela this weekend to meet with the government of Nicolás Maduro, whose authoritarian rule of the oil-producing country has meant no formal diplomatic relations between the two countries since 2019.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/venezuela-russia-ukraine-biden-team-nicolas-maduro/

What is our foreign policy?  It seems the Biden Administration is working with our enemies to secure deals with out enemies.

Iran, that shouts *death the America* is brokering a deal with the US as moderated by Russia who is one of our biggest threats.  Asking China for help with the ongoing war in Ukraine and, in stead of producing our own gas, we are willing to finance the dictator of Venezuela so he can oppress his people while he gets rich on the US market.

This is madness.

 

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What's "madness" is Republican willingness to push for cutting off Russian oil while at the same time anticipating using the resultant economic blow to oppose Biden.

 

The dark, unsettling truths behind Biden’s reluctance to ban Russian oil

Today at 10:58 a.m. EST
 

We all know exactly what will happen if President Biden goes through with plans to ban imports of Russian oil amid mounting horrors in Ukraine, as he has been reluctant to do. The same Republicans loudly demanding this step will turn around and attack Biden over any resulting economic fallout.

Republicans are already telegraphing this intention, and this is to be expected from today’s GOP. But the very fact that Biden and Democrats are vulnerable to such a bad-faith ploy in the first place points to dark and unsettling truths about our politics in various unexpected ways.

With the brutality of the Russian invasion of Ukraine getting worse by the minute, Secretary of State Antony Blinken disclosed Sunday that the United States is in talks with European allies about a “coordinated” ban on such imports.

The goal, said Blinken, is to pursue this while ensuring “an appropriate supply of oil in world markets.” One big worry is this could fuel rising gas prices; in fact, the White House has been reluctant to ban Russian oil for exactly this reason.

But now the pressure from lawmakers is intensifying. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says the House might vote on legislation banning Russian oil imports this week. Many others in both parties are calling for the same.

This has put Biden in a jam. As the Wall Street Journal reports, Republicans are both calling for this ban while also attacking Biden over inflation and already-high gas prices. The Journal suggests that if this ban goes ahead and drives gas prices even higher, Republicans will attack Biden over this, boosting their chances of taking control of Congress.

As absurd as this is, it poses a serious problem. And this points to deeply unsettling dynamics in our politics.

First, it seems predictable that media outlets might largely let this bad faith slide. For instance, a New York Times piece reports on the schizophrenia underlying the GOP approach, and notes in passing that it rests on a substantively flimsy case, but then turns around and suggests it’s “unifying" Republicans and could be “potent” in the midterms.

Get ready for more like this: The mere fact that Republicans are using something as political ammunition justifies treating their claim about it like a newsworthy and thus respectable argument, regardless of how painfully ridiculous it is.

Second, this situation points to a confounding problem, one that is illuminated in this conversation between journalists Ezra Klein and Fareed Zakaria. As Klein noted, a deep “asymmetry” here is that Biden must worry about the domestic politics of higher energy prices, potentially constraining him, even as Russian President Vladimir Putin worries far less about the political fallout of consequences being imposed by the United States and our allies, such as crushing economic sanctions.

This asymmetry exists precisely because we are a liberal democracy and Putin is a repressive autocrat. In response to this, Zakaria noted that democracies often are capable of absorbing larger sacrifices than they are given credit for, particularly when the stakes are very high.

And here the stakes are indeed extremely high. As Zakaria argued, the success of the “international system” going forward depends on demonstrating to Putin that the horrifically violent annexation of a sovereign nation has “very, very high costs.”

It might be argued that Biden will have to communicate those stakes to the American people to get them to accept the sacrifice of higher gas prices to achieve that higher aim:

To be sure, it’s unclear how much of an impact a Russian oil ban would have on domestic gas prices. As the Atlantic Council’s Edward Fishman helpfully explains, merely banning imports to the United States might not produce such onerous costs. But the broader goal should be to try to disrupt Russia’s oil sales globally, which could produce more economic turmoil, though there are various ways to mitigate it.

Which brings us to yet another conundrum revealed by this debate.

In his excellent book about our imperiled international order, foreign policy analyst Robert Kagan chronicles the reluctance of the American people to enter World War II. This was due to another asymmetry: On one hand, the economic and human costs of entry were intelligible and easy to grasp. On the other, the potential international costs of refraining were vague and unpredictable.

The parallels to this moment are far from perfect, but they’re instructive. Higher gas prices and other economic fallout are very legible, whereas the long-term downsides of not extracting a huge cost for Putin’s assault on the international order are far less so.

“You’re constantly forced to make the case that you need to pay costs now to prevent further dangers and crises in the future,” Kagan, who’s also a Post contributing columnist, told me. “But the dangers and crises are theoretical, whereas the costs that Americans are being asked to pay are concrete.”

This problem, Kagan continued, “is common to democracies at all times.” And it’s a problem with no easy answers — but with immense potential consequences.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/03/07/biden-oil-ban-russia-blinken-ukraine/

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It appears "energy independence" doesn't mean as much as we all thought.

Maybe we would be better off if the capital class did not run our foreign policy?

 

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2 hours ago, I_M4_AU said:

 

Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, who served under Donald Trump, criticised President Joe Biden on Sunday over reports that the president and his team had urged China’s government behind the scenes to help persuade Moscow against going to war in Ukraine.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/nikki-haley-biden-china-russia-b2029830.html

March 7 (Reuters) - Iran believes a deal on its nuclear programme can be quickly reached if Washington accepts points made by Tehran at talks in Vienna, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday, adding that Russia's contribution to negotiations so far had been constructive.

https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/iran-nuclear-deal-possible-shortly-if-us-accepts-tehrans-points-iranian-2022-03-07/

Washington — Senior American officials are in Venezuela this weekend to meet with the government of Nicolás Maduro, whose authoritarian rule of the oil-producing country has meant no formal diplomatic relations between the two countries since 2019.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/venezuela-russia-ukraine-biden-team-nicolas-maduro/

What is our foreign policy?  It seems the Biden Administration is working with our enemies to secure deals with out enemies.

Iran, that shouts *death the America* is brokering a deal with the US as moderated by Russia who is one of our biggest threats.  Asking China for help with the ongoing war in Ukraine and, in stead of producing our own gas, we are willing to finance the dictator of Venezuela so he can oppress his people while he gets rich on the US market.

This is madness.

 

No.  This is not madness.  This is crisis management, a crisis that has been decades in the making.

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51 minutes ago, homersapien said:

What's "madness" is Republican willingness to push for cutting off Russian oil while at the same time anticipating using the resultant economic blow to oppose Biden.

 

The dark, unsettling truths behind Biden’s reluctance to ban Russian oil

Today at 10:58 a.m. EST
 

We all know exactly what will happen if President Biden goes through with plans to ban imports of Russian oil amid mounting horrors in Ukraine, as he has been reluctant to do. The same Republicans loudly demanding this step will turn around and attack Biden over any resulting economic fallout.

Republicans are already telegraphing this intention, and this is to be expected from today’s GOP. But the very fact that Biden and Democrats are vulnerable to such a bad-faith ploy in the first place points to dark and unsettling truths about our politics in various unexpected ways.

With the brutality of the Russian invasion of Ukraine getting worse by the minute, Secretary of State Antony Blinken disclosed Sunday that the United States is in talks with European allies about a “coordinated” ban on such imports.

The goal, said Blinken, is to pursue this while ensuring “an appropriate supply of oil in world markets.” One big worry is this could fuel rising gas prices; in fact, the White House has been reluctant to ban Russian oil for exactly this reason.

But now the pressure from lawmakers is intensifying. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says the House might vote on legislation banning Russian oil imports this week. Many others in both parties are calling for the same.

This has put Biden in a jam. As the Wall Street Journal reports, Republicans are both calling for this ban while also attacking Biden over inflation and already-high gas prices. The Journal suggests that if this ban goes ahead and drives gas prices even higher, Republicans will attack Biden over this, boosting their chances of taking control of Congress.

As absurd as this is, it poses a serious problem. And this points to deeply unsettling dynamics in our politics.

First, it seems predictable that media outlets might largely let this bad faith slide. For instance, a New York Times piece reports on the schizophrenia underlying the GOP approach, and notes in passing that it rests on a substantively flimsy case, but then turns around and suggests it’s “unifying" Republicans and could be “potent” in the midterms.

Get ready for more like this: The mere fact that Republicans are using something as political ammunition justifies treating their claim about it like a newsworthy and thus respectable argument, regardless of how painfully ridiculous it is.

Second, this situation points to a confounding problem, one that is illuminated in this conversation between journalists Ezra Klein and Fareed Zakaria. As Klein noted, a deep “asymmetry” here is that Biden must worry about the domestic politics of higher energy prices, potentially constraining him, even as Russian President Vladimir Putin worries far less about the political fallout of consequences being imposed by the United States and our allies, such as crushing economic sanctions.

This asymmetry exists precisely because we are a liberal democracy and Putin is a repressive autocrat. In response to this, Zakaria noted that democracies often are capable of absorbing larger sacrifices than they are given credit for, particularly when the stakes are very high.

And here the stakes are indeed extremely high. As Zakaria argued, the success of the “international system” going forward depends on demonstrating to Putin that the horrifically violent annexation of a sovereign nation has “very, very high costs.”

It might be argued that Biden will have to communicate those stakes to the American people to get them to accept the sacrifice of higher gas prices to achieve that higher aim:

To be sure, it’s unclear how much of an impact a Russian oil ban would have on domestic gas prices. As the Atlantic Council’s Edward Fishman helpfully explains, merely banning imports to the United States might not produce such onerous costs. But the broader goal should be to try to disrupt Russia’s oil sales globally, which could produce more economic turmoil, though there are various ways to mitigate it.

Which brings us to yet another conundrum revealed by this debate.

In his excellent book about our imperiled international order, foreign policy analyst Robert Kagan chronicles the reluctance of the American people to enter World War II. This was due to another asymmetry: On one hand, the economic and human costs of entry were intelligible and easy to grasp. On the other, the potential international costs of refraining were vague and unpredictable.

The parallels to this moment are far from perfect, but they’re instructive. Higher gas prices and other economic fallout are very legible, whereas the long-term downsides of not extracting a huge cost for Putin’s assault on the international order are far less so.

“You’re constantly forced to make the case that you need to pay costs now to prevent further dangers and crises in the future,” Kagan, who’s also a Post contributing columnist, told me. “But the dangers and crises are theoretical, whereas the costs that Americans are being asked to pay are concrete.”

This problem, Kagan continued, “is common to democracies at all times.” And it’s a problem with no easy answers — but with immense potential consequences.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/03/07/biden-oil-ban-russia-blinken-ukraine/

If we are honest, this is simply another ankle grab from Greg Sargent. The GOP taking a political victory on inflation  happens with or without this situation. And why wouldn't they? I await the latest example of Democrats laying down when handed a silver platter of GOP stupidity.

On to reality:

First, The economy already sucks and yes you'll pay for that Mr. President, so don't let that deter you. 

Second, Continued strategic military blunders will cost you. Those are past. That should not stop you from doing the right thing here. The chance to earn trust and respect is also on the table. Drink it.

If words of the POTUS matter, we stand with Ukraine. Time to pony up.

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11 minutes ago, AUFAN78 said:

If we are honest, this is simply another ankle grab from Greg Sargent. The GOP taking a political victory on inflation  happens with or without this situation. And why wouldn't they? I await the latest example of Democrats laying down when handed a silver platter of GOP stupidity.

On to reality:

First, The economy already sucks and yes you'll pay for that Mr. President, so don't let that deter you. 

Second, Continued strategic military blunders will cost you. Those are past. That should not stop you from doing the right thing here. The chance to earn trust and respect is also on the table. Drink it.

If words of the POTUS matter, we stand with Ukraine. Time to pony up.

The economy "sucks"?  Unemployment is low, jobs are being created at an insane rate, the rich are getting richer fast than ever.  The economy grew by 5.7% in 2021, highest since 1984.

Perhaps a meaningful analysis is beyond the simplistic partisan political debate?

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5 minutes ago, icanthearyou said:

The economy "sucks"?  Unemployment is low, jobs are being created at an insane rate, the rich are getting richer fast than ever.  The economy grew by 5.7% in 2021, highest since 1984.

Perhaps a meaningful analysis is beyond the simplistic partisan political debate?

You should ride with me to the projects in downtown Bham. Let's chat with the residents about this so called great economy. My guess is they will instead speak of $4.00 a gallon gas and increasingly expensive food, so be prepared. 

As a tryout, go ahead and give me your best sales pitch to this single mom of 4. Make it count.

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2 minutes ago, AUFAN78 said:

You should ride with me to the projects in downtown Bham. Let's chat with the residents about this so called great economy. My guess is they will instead speak of $4.00 a gallon gas and increasingly expensive food, so be prepared. 

As a tryout, go ahead and give me your best sales pitch to this single mom of 4. Make it count.

Them people just aint tryin.  At least that is what the inhumane, disingenuous usually say.

You missed the point.  But, the point is beyond a partisan political discussion.  Think about who the economy is serving and, who owns the government.

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10 minutes ago, icanthearyou said:

Them people just aint tryin.  At least that is what the inhumane, disingenuous usually say.

You missed the point.  But, the point is beyond a partisan political discussion.  Think about who the economy is serving and, who owns the government.

No, unfortunately you missed the point. This was simply do you stand for Ukraine and against Putin or do you allow gas prices to dictate. As usual you attempted to move the goalposts. It is expected at this point. Carry on.

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1 hour ago, AUFAN78 said:

No, unfortunately you missed the point. This was simply do you stand for Ukraine and against Putin or do you allow gas prices to dictate. As usual you attempted to move the goalposts. It is expected at this point. Carry on.

When you decide what you wish to discuss, let me know.  I don't have time for dumb.

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1 hour ago, icanthearyou said:

When you decide what you wish to discuss, let me know.  I don't have time for dumb.

Pardon me for thinking you could read.

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8 hours ago, icanthearyou said:

The economy "sucks"?  Unemployment is low, jobs are being created at an insane rate, the rich are getting richer fast than ever.  The economy grew by 5.7% in 2021, highest since 1984.

Perhaps a meaningful analysis is beyond the simplistic partisan political debate?

The economy grew from its lowest doldrums from the destructive Covid pandemic. So many people have stopped trying to get jobs that it reset the job market. The reality is a bunch of Americans are lazy and would rather get a government check than work. 

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16 hours ago, autigeremt said:

The economy grew from its lowest doldrums from the destructive Covid pandemic. So many people have stopped trying to get jobs that it reset the job market. The reality is a bunch of Americans are lazy and would rather get a government check than work. 

No.  The economy grew during the pandemic.  No.  Workforce participation grew.  No.  Your fellow Americans are not/never were deadbeats.  We have data.  It is clear that almost five decades of stagnant wages are the issue.  The power of capital versus labor is the issue. 

At the heart of politics is class warfare for some, the prevention of class warfare for others.  The working class has been getting killed since the day we started to believe FDR was a socialist.

The poor and , the working class have nothing to do with why we are over $30 Trillion in debt.  Think about who received the big COVID money. 

Don't look down the food chain in order to understand our problems.  That is the contrived distraction.  Society is led from the top.

Edited by icanthearyou
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1 hour ago, icanthearyou said:

No.  The economy grew during the pandemic.  No.  Workforce participation grew.  No.  Your fellow Americans are not/never were deadbeats.  We have data.  It is clear that almost five decades of stagnant wages are the issue.  The power of capital versus labor is the issue. 

At the heart of politics is class warfare for some, the prevention of class warfare for others.  The working class has been getting killed since the day we started believe FDR was a socialist.

The poor and , the working class have nothing to do with why we are over $30 Trillion in debt.  Think about who received the big COVID money. 

Don't look down the food chain in order to understand our problems.  That is the contrived distraction.  Society is led from the top.

That’s not what’s happening on the ground in my neck of the woods.

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1 minute ago, autigeremt said:

That’s not what’s happening on the ground in my neck of the woods.

I think you might want to broaden your perspective.  What you observe is meaningful but, understanding is found in asking,,,  Why?

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On 3/7/2022 at 12:48 PM, homersapien said:

What's "madness" is Republican willingness to push for cutting off Russian oil while at the same time anticipating using the resultant economic blow to oppose Biden.

 

The dark, unsettling truths behind Biden’s reluctance to ban Russian oil

Today at 10:58 a.m. EST
 

We all know exactly what will happen if President Biden goes through with plans to ban imports of Russian oil amid mounting horrors in Ukraine, as he has been reluctant to do. The same Republicans loudly demanding this step will turn around and attack Biden over any resulting economic fallout.

Republicans are already telegraphing this intention, and this is to be expected from today’s GOP. But the very fact that Biden and Democrats are vulnerable to such a bad-faith ploy in the first place points to dark and unsettling truths about our politics in various unexpected ways.

With the brutality of the Russian invasion of Ukraine getting worse by the minute, Secretary of State Antony Blinken disclosed Sunday that the United States is in talks with European allies about a “coordinated” ban on such imports.

The goal, said Blinken, is to pursue this while ensuring “an appropriate supply of oil in world markets.” One big worry is this could fuel rising gas prices; in fact, the White House has been reluctant to ban Russian oil for exactly this reason.

But now the pressure from lawmakers is intensifying. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says the House might vote on legislation banning Russian oil imports this week. Many others in both parties are calling for the same.

This has put Biden in a jam. As the Wall Street Journal reports, Republicans are both calling for this ban while also attacking Biden over inflation and already-high gas prices. The Journal suggests that if this ban goes ahead and drives gas prices even higher, Republicans will attack Biden over this, boosting their chances of taking control of Congress.

As absurd as this is, it poses a serious problem. And this points to deeply unsettling dynamics in our politics.

First, it seems predictable that media outlets might largely let this bad faith slide. For instance, a New York Times piece reports on the schizophrenia underlying the GOP approach, and notes in passing that it rests on a substantively flimsy case, but then turns around and suggests it’s “unifying" Republicans and could be “potent” in the midterms.

Get ready for more like this: The mere fact that Republicans are using something as political ammunition justifies treating their claim about it like a newsworthy and thus respectable argument, regardless of how painfully ridiculous it is.

Second, this situation points to a confounding problem, one that is illuminated in this conversation between journalists Ezra Klein and Fareed Zakaria. As Klein noted, a deep “asymmetry” here is that Biden must worry about the domestic politics of higher energy prices, potentially constraining him, even as Russian President Vladimir Putin worries far less about the political fallout of consequences being imposed by the United States and our allies, such as crushing economic sanctions.

This asymmetry exists precisely because we are a liberal democracy and Putin is a repressive autocrat. In response to this, Zakaria noted that democracies often are capable of absorbing larger sacrifices than they are given credit for, particularly when the stakes are very high.

And here the stakes are indeed extremely high. As Zakaria argued, the success of the “international system” going forward depends on demonstrating to Putin that the horrifically violent annexation of a sovereign nation has “very, very high costs.”

It might be argued that Biden will have to communicate those stakes to the American people to get them to accept the sacrifice of higher gas prices to achieve that higher aim:

To be sure, it’s unclear how much of an impact a Russian oil ban would have on domestic gas prices. As the Atlantic Council’s Edward Fishman helpfully explains, merely banning imports to the United States might not produce such onerous costs. But the broader goal should be to try to disrupt Russia’s oil sales globally, which could produce more economic turmoil, though there are various ways to mitigate it.

Which brings us to yet another conundrum revealed by this debate.

In his excellent book about our imperiled international order, foreign policy analyst Robert Kagan chronicles the reluctance of the American people to enter World War II. This was due to another asymmetry: On one hand, the economic and human costs of entry were intelligible and easy to grasp. On the other, the potential international costs of refraining were vague and unpredictable.

The parallels to this moment are far from perfect, but they’re instructive. Higher gas prices and other economic fallout are very legible, whereas the long-term downsides of not extracting a huge cost for Putin’s assault on the international order are far less so.

“You’re constantly forced to make the case that you need to pay costs now to prevent further dangers and crises in the future,” Kagan, who’s also a Post contributing columnist, told me. “But the dangers and crises are theoretical, whereas the costs that Americans are being asked to pay are concrete.”

This problem, Kagan continued, “is common to democracies at all times.” And it’s a problem with no easy answers — but with immense potential consequences.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/03/07/biden-oil-ban-russia-blinken-ukraine/

And Pelosi is also leading the charge to ban Russian oil.  The idea of doing this without previously replacing that oil shows that many of these "leaders" are isolated from understanding the economic burden that this will place on the American public.  Oil is climbing back to yesterday's high and will surpass it.  $147 is the next target.  After that price, history will be made.....probably soon. 

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On 3/7/2022 at 2:25 PM, icanthearyou said:

The economy "sucks"?  Unemployment is low, jobs are being created at an insane rate, the rich are getting richer fast than ever.  The economy grew by 5.7% in 2021, highest since 1984.

Perhaps a meaningful analysis is beyond the simplistic partisan political debate?

Glad to see that you have posted ICHY.  

Awwww, this must be sarcasm, or is it ?  This wonderful American economy that you portray is because we are on a sugar high from the $7 trillion increase in national debt in just 2 years.....TWO YEARS.  That much money released into the economy cannot help but give the appearance of making the economy "great again" because people and businesses have been able to literally dump it into the economy and make businesses flush with cash...for the interim.  I'm sure you would be willing to give your children a similar credit card and then watch them spend you into oblivion, then gleefully tell you how much they helped everyone.  This is the dilemma which Congress and the Presidents have placed us.  We, the citizens of America, are bestowed with the dubious honor of paying for these horrible policies.

Unemployment is seemingly low only because of the catastrophic drop in the labor participation rate.  As of 2/20, the number was 63.4% which then dropped to a low of 60.2% in 4/20, which is a 5% drop in the total labor force of 2/20.  America has not experienced such a drop since the Great Depression.  The labor market was destroyed by the combination of covid and the overabundance of cash doled out by Congress.  As of 2/22, the participation rate was 62.3%, which means that America remains significantly below the rate prior to covid.  The 5.7% rate which you quote is not because of growth, it is because of replacement.  The 5.7% figure you quote is primarily a rebound, not creation.  The number of employment increase needs to be much, much higher than that to dig our economy out of the hole.  America lost over 5 million jobs during covid and we are far from restoring those before even considering the idea of "growth".

Many basic products have increased in price from 10-50%, petroleum is far worse.  Oil, since election week 2020, has climbed from $37/bbl to $130/bbl, which is a 450% increase.  Wholesale gasoline was $1.05 as of election day 2020 and was over $3.90 yesterday, a 470% increase.  My favorite bacon has increased 50% since 1//22.  Pick your grocery item......it has increased dramatically in price.  Pick your items from Amazon.....the prices have increased, significantly.  The costs of petroleum products alone will filter into the bottom line of ALL manufacturers and they will have to pass these costs to the public.  Those in the lower economic strata are and will be suffering the most for a long time to come.  Without cheap fuel, all suffer.

America is headed for very troubled waters.  To reiterate, yes, this economy SUCKS !!!  It will only grow worse under a Democrat administration.

https://www.bls.gov/charts/employment-situation/civilian-labor-force-participation-rate.htm

 

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2 hours ago, Elephant Tipper said:

Glad to see that you have posted ICHY.  

Awwww, this must be sarcasm, or is it ?  This wonderful American economy that you portray is because we are on a sugar high from the $7 trillion increase in national debt in just 2 years.....TWO YEARS.  That much money released into the economy cannot help but give the appearance of making the economy "great again" because people and businesses have been able to literally dump it into the economy and make businesses flush with cash...for the interim.  I'm sure you would be willing to give your children a similar credit card and then watch them spend you into oblivion, then gleefully tell you how much they helped everyone.  This is the dilemma which Congress and the Presidents have placed us.  We, the citizens of America, are bestowed with the dubious honor of paying for these horrible policies.

Unemployment is seemingly low only because of the catastrophic drop in the labor participation rate.  As of 2/20, the number was 63.4% which then dropped to a low of 60.2% in 4/20, which is a 5% drop in the total labor force of 2/20.  America has not experienced such a drop since the Great Depression.  The labor market was destroyed by the combination of covid and the overabundance of cash doled out by Congress.  As of 2/22, the participation rate was 62.3%, which means that America remains significantly below the rate prior to covid.  The 5.7% rate which you quote is not because of growth, it is because of replacement.  The 5.7% figure you quote is primarily a rebound, not creation.  The number of employment increase needs to be much, much higher than that to dig our economy out of the hole.  America lost over 5 million jobs during covid and we are far from restoring those before even considering the idea of "growth".

Many basic products have increased in price from 10-50%, petroleum is far worse.  Oil, since election week 2020, has climbed from $37/bbl to $130/bbl, which is a 450% increase.  Wholesale gasoline was $1.05 as of election day 2020 and was over $3.90 yesterday, a 470% increase.  My favorite bacon has increased 50% since 1//22.  Pick your grocery item......it has increased dramatically in price.  Pick your items from Amazon.....the prices have increased, significantly.  The costs of petroleum products alone will filter into the bottom line of ALL manufacturers and they will have to pass these costs to the public.  Those in the lower economic strata are and will be suffering the most for a long time to come.  Without cheap fuel, all suffer.

America is headed for very troubled waters.  To reiterate, yes, this economy SUCKS !!!  It will only grow worse under a Democrat administration.

https://www.bls.gov/charts/employment-situation/civilian-labor-force-participation-rate.htm

 

I actually agree with much of this.  However, the assumptions and implications stated are partisan fantasy.  Which is why the depth of analysis is so short-term and shallow.

The partisan political implications are the least of our problems.  We have two very small classes of people who now hold virtually all of the power in this country.  We are in more serious trouble than some silly ideology can explain or repair.  It's the clash of ideologies that makes the theater.

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A wise strategy (which we are obviously incapable of executing for political reasons).

And a good way to make potential remedies such as "carbon capture" potentially viable. ;)

 

How the U.S. could show it’s finally serious about the geopolitics of energy

March 8, 2022

Once again, motorists in the United States must cope with a gas-price surge, this one due to the global market disruption brought about by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, and the democratic world’s retaliatory sanctions.

It’s too late to avoid this shock, and its consequences, economic and political. It’s not too late to think about preventing the next one.

If we want to render ourselves less susceptible to the havoc that Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela occasionally wreak around the world, we’re going to have to face facts.

The fact is that U.S. energy policy — to seek environmental sustainability and energy independence, while keeping gas cheap — mires us in contradictions and leaves us geopolitically vulnerable.

Ramping up oil and gas production is part of the solution, as Republicans argue. So is increased use of renewables, as Democrats argue — though another fact that needs facing is that it will be years before green alternatives replace very much of the 88 percent of U.S. primary energy that comes from fossil fuels and nuclear power. Putin is a threat in the here and now.

In addition to taking advantage of its domestic production capacity, the United States must exercise more control over its share of global demand. A substantial increase in the federal gas tax would put powerful market forces — which our adversaries have been exploiting — to work on behalf of U.S. national security.

Of course, a gas tax raised from its current level — 18.4 cents per gallon — would sting consumers. Thereafter, though, they would adjust by consuming less, which would, over time, weaken the pricing power of Russia and OPEC (and, indeed, domestic companies).

To the extent that drivers could not reduce their consumption — demand for gas is relatively “inelastic” in economic parlance — the tax increase would “stick.” This is a feature, not a bug: both a long-term incentive to conserve and a long-term revenue stream for the government — the U.S. government, not the ones in Moscow, Riyadh, Tehran and Caracas.

Instead of funding those tyrannies, more of the dollars that drivers pay at the pump could be put to work in this country, building highways or mass transit, or reducing the deficit, or bolstering our national defense.

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that a 35 cent per gallon tax increase on gas and diesel would raise $512 billion over 10 years. In 2018, a study for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce found that a 25-cent increase would reduce consumption of 30 million to 35 million barrels of gasoline per year.

Admittedly, this suggests that we would have to increase the tax much more than 25 cents to put a significant dent in current annual consumption, which exceeds 3 billion barrels. (Reality check: Total average U.S. gas taxes, state and federal, were 52 cents per gallon in 2019, as compared to an average of $2.24 in other industrialized countries.)

What matters most, though, is a commitment to dampen consumption through ups and downs in the business cycle — and through geopolitical crises, thus improving the United States’ freedom to act in its own interests.

A gas tax is no panacea. It might help avoid a repeat of the current situation, though. President Biden finds himself justifiably punishing Russia by banning imports of its crude oil, and telling Americans that possible higher gas prices are the cost of "defending freedom” — while the short-term profits go either to other foreign producers or Big Oil.

As if this wartime windfall for the Saudis and Exxon isn’t confusing enough, the Biden administration has just put out some diplomatic feelers to the Russian-backed dictatorship in Venezuela, seeking a deal whereby the United States would drop sanctions on Venezuelan crude imports the Trump administration imposed in 2019. Venezuelan oil is interchangeable with oil from Russia, imports of which the United States ramped up in the first place to offset what it had lost by sanctioning — Venezuela.

Obviously, a higher gas tax is a nonstarter right now — economically and politically. Even before Putin’s invasion, expensive gas made for a cheap Republican talking point, to which six Democratic senators — four facing reelection — responded by calling for a suspension of the existing federal gas tax.

Once this emergency passes, though, politicians are going to have to level with the public: The federal gas tax has not been raised since 1993, which means it has been cut 50 percent in real terms, and is long overdue for adjustment. Painful as filling up feels now, gas prices actually remain well within historical norms, adjusted for inflation.

The alternative, imposing higher federal fuel-economy standards on car manufacturers, is politically expedient because the costs to consumers are less transparent. Yet, a 2013 study by MIT’s Global Change program found that higher gas taxes were a far more cost-effective way to reduce fuel consumption.

Yes, there is a price to be paid for defending freedom. Let’s pay it to ourselves.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/03/08/get-serious-about-energy-geopolitics/

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9 minutes ago, homersapien said:

A wise strategy (which we are obviously incapable of executing for political reasons).

And a good way to make potential remedies such as "carbon capture" potentially viable. ;)

 

How the U.S. could show it’s finally serious about the geopolitics of energy

March 8, 2022

Once again, motorists in the United States must cope with a gas-price surge, this one due to the global market disruption brought about by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, and the democratic world’s retaliatory sanctions.

It’s too late to avoid this shock, and its consequences, economic and political. It’s not too late to think about preventing the next one.

If we want to render ourselves less susceptible to the havoc that Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela occasionally wreak around the world, we’re going to have to face facts.

The fact is that U.S. energy policy — to seek environmental sustainability and energy independence, while keeping gas cheap — mires us in contradictions and leaves us geopolitically vulnerable.

Ramping up oil and gas production is part of the solution, as Republicans argue. So is increased use of renewables, as Democrats argue — though another fact that needs facing is that it will be years before green alternatives replace very much of the 88 percent of U.S. primary energy that comes from fossil fuels and nuclear power. Putin is a threat in the here and now.

In addition to taking advantage of its domestic production capacity, the United States must exercise more control over its share of global demand. A substantial increase in the federal gas tax would put powerful market forces — which our adversaries have been exploiting — to work on behalf of U.S. national security.

Of course, a gas tax raised from its current level — 18.4 cents per gallon — would sting consumers. Thereafter, though, they would adjust by consuming less, which would, over time, weaken the pricing power of Russia and OPEC (and, indeed, domestic companies).

To the extent that drivers could not reduce their consumption — demand for gas is relatively “inelastic” in economic parlance — the tax increase would “stick.” This is a feature, not a bug: both a long-term incentive to conserve and a long-term revenue stream for the government — the U.S. government, not the ones in Moscow, Riyadh, Tehran and Caracas.

Instead of funding those tyrannies, more of the dollars that drivers pay at the pump could be put to work in this country, building highways or mass transit, or reducing the deficit, or bolstering our national defense.

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that a 35 cent per gallon tax increase on gas and diesel would raise $512 billion over 10 years. In 2018, a study for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce found that a 25-cent increase would reduce consumption of 30 million to 35 million barrels of gasoline per year.

Admittedly, this suggests that we would have to increase the tax much more than 25 cents to put a significant dent in current annual consumption, which exceeds 3 billion barrels. (Reality check: Total average U.S. gas taxes, state and federal, were 52 cents per gallon in 2019, as compared to an average of $2.24 in other industrialized countries.)

What matters most, though, is a commitment to dampen consumption through ups and downs in the business cycle — and through geopolitical crises, thus improving the United States’ freedom to act in its own interests.

A gas tax is no panacea. It might help avoid a repeat of the current situation, though. President Biden finds himself justifiably punishing Russia by banning imports of its crude oil, and telling Americans that possible higher gas prices are the cost of "defending freedom” — while the short-term profits go either to other foreign producers or Big Oil.

As if this wartime windfall for the Saudis and Exxon isn’t confusing enough, the Biden administration has just put out some diplomatic feelers to the Russian-backed dictatorship in Venezuela, seeking a deal whereby the United States would drop sanctions on Venezuelan crude imports the Trump administration imposed in 2019. Venezuelan oil is interchangeable with oil from Russia, imports of which the United States ramped up in the first place to offset what it had lost by sanctioning — Venezuela.

Obviously, a higher gas tax is a nonstarter right now — economically and politically. Even before Putin’s invasion, expensive gas made for a cheap Republican talking point, to which six Democratic senators — four facing reelection — responded by calling for a suspension of the existing federal gas tax.

Once this emergency passes, though, politicians are going to have to level with the public: The federal gas tax has not been raised since 1993, which means it has been cut 50 percent in real terms, and is long overdue for adjustment. Painful as filling up feels now, gas prices actually remain well within historical norms, adjusted for inflation.

The alternative, imposing higher federal fuel-economy standards on car manufacturers, is politically expedient because the costs to consumers are less transparent. Yet, a 2013 study by MIT’s Global Change program found that higher gas taxes were a far more cost-effective way to reduce fuel consumption.

Yes, there is a price to be paid for defending freedom. Let’s pay it to ourselves.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/03/08/get-serious-about-energy-geopolitics/

I can't go along with this one.  I see it as solving one problem while, creating many others. 

I just cannot support anything that further shifts the tax burden downward.

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On 3/8/2022 at 2:35 PM, autigeremt said:

That’s not what’s happening on the ground in my neck of the woods.

Got data or is that simply an uninformed opinion?

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On 3/8/2022 at 8:36 PM, icanthearyou said:

I actually agree with much of this.  However, the assumptions and implications stated are partisan fantasy.  Which is why the depth of analysis is so short-term and shallow.

The partisan political implications are the least of our problems.  We have two very small classes of people who now hold virtually all of the power in this country.  We are in more serious trouble than some silly ideology can explain or repair.  It's the clash of ideologies that makes the theater.

What, exactly, is fantasy ?

  • Haha 1
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