The day after President Obama was first elected, I wished him well in these pages. But since he was entirely unqualified to be President I wrote The 8 Myth of Obama. A link to that 2008 message appears at the end.
It is now clear that Obama was elected because he is a novelty: our first President of color. The polls for 2016 show another novelty in the lead: an equally unqualified person, whose novelty is her gender. She would be the first female President.
We cannot stand two novelty Presidents in a row.
To prove this point, here is an update of my 2008 piece, showing how Obama has been an abject failure.
Myth 1. Obama will remove U. S. troops from combat zones.
Obama began his campaign as a single-issue candidate: he would end the Iraq War. Since then the Iraq situation has improved somewhat. But Afghanistan is worse. More dangerous is Pakistan and they have nuclear weapons! Iran continues to terrify, while we are rearming Lebanon to help them combat Hamas incursions from Iran. Not a pretty picture.
Prediction: One year after Obama’s inauguration, the U.S. will have more troops in harm’s way then we do now. But we will be winning and this will be a reason to elect more Democrats to Congress in 2010.
Result: Deployments did expand.Then we abandoned Iraq and are about to leave Afghanistan to bad results.Obama’s doctrine is called Lead from Behind. This is the opposite of Teddy Roosevelt’s “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” We now have stickless blather. Obama has made the world a more dangerous place.
Myth 2. Obama will make us energy independent and solve Global Warming.
Obama plans to control all this with so-called carbon taxes on energy producers he has demonized. Coal-fired power plants are his main victims. The problem is that over 50% of our electricity is produced by these coal-fired plants. We have awesome coal reserves. Nuclear plants are clean, efficient and could solve the problem but they take years to bring on line. And they too have been demonized by The Left.
Further, global warming and cooling are really caused by changes on the Sun’s surface. The same solar activity that causes the aurora borealis—the Northern Lights—causes changes in our complex atmosphere, which in turn causes the Earth’s temperatures to go up and down. Also, the greenhouse gases surrounding the Earth are primarily water vapor. Human-caused carbon is about 1/4 percent of the total—an insignificant rounding error. Unfortunately, few Americans have sufficient science education to understand all this. So they are easily mislead by failed presidential candidates and other demagogues.
Back to the carbon tax. It will damage key industries and raise costs to consumers directly for their energy and indirectly for all products and service that require energy. When this is actually understood by the voters, there will be a huge backlash.
Prediction: At the end of Obama’s four-year term, neither a carbon tax nor any meaningful alternative energy solutions will have occurred. But billions of dollars will have been spent on “studies” for projects, which could be implemented “soon”. This will be a reason to reelect Obama.
Result: Obama could never pass a carbon tax, so he pulled a Fast One with Draconian EPA regulations. Then he wasted billions on hare-brained Green Energy boondoggles. He has delayed a vital pipeline from Canada to help Democrats get elected. He prohibits petroleum extraction from Federal lands. He will not allow natural gas exports.
Myth 3. Obama will solve the financial crisis.
Obama is trained as an ultra-Liberal community activist. As such, his only solution is to extract taxes from the successful and give the money to the Downtrodden. In return the Downtrodden will not come to you house and scream at your family. This is called Fairness if you receive, Extortion if you are taxed.
Meanwhile, the financial crisis will solve itself. It will require home values to stabilize and lending to begin again by banks. Any governmental assistance will only prolong matters, then cause hyperinflation down the road.
Prediction: By the end of Obama’s four-year term, the financial crisis will have abated. There will have been little redistribution of wealth. Nevertheless, Obama will take credit. He will have had little to do with it. This will be a reason to reelect Obama.
Result: Now 6 years later, the crisis is over. The Federal Reserve is beginning to raise the cost of money. The poor are still poor.About the time of the next Presidential election, we will see high inflation again.
Myth 4. Obama will provide universal healthcare.
This is rich. The healthcare industry may be the most lobbied industry in the United States. The lobbyists will never allow universal healthcare. Also, the delivery of healthcare—especially the development of new treatments and drug therapies—is so complex, that fitting it into a one-size-fits-all program would take years.
If you do not believe this, find a person who has just turned 65. Ask them to describe to you signing up for the various parts of Medicare. It ain’t easy.
Prediction: By the end of Obama’s four-year term, billions will have been spent on universal healthcare studies but no program will be in place. Look for the proposed program to be downsized into medical catastrophe insurance with sliding coverage determined by your net worth, income, party affiliation and ethnicity. This will be a reason to reelect Obama.
Result: I was partly right—we have no universal healthcare. Instead we have the strangest churkendoose medical insurance legislation the world has ever seen. It puts Federal mandates for all and subsidies for a few in front of what is State-run health insurance. Millions have lost their coverage. Obamacare plans cost much more than the old insurance. For more fun Obama has illegally modified the program over 30 times to rescue Democrats in the next election.
Over 50% of Americans hate this mess.
Many of the Haters are angry that it is not free enough. They want “Medicare for All” without understanding what they are saying. For example, when I reached age 65 my employers and I had been forced to contribute over $140,000 to Medicare. While I do now get Medicare health coverage, I still pay over $5,000 a year in various health premiums.The Medicare for All crowd wants what I have for Free.
Myth 5. Obama will deliver for his base.
If the global financial meltdown had not occurred, he might have been able to do some of this. But there will be insufficient money in the near term to do any of his extreme programs. Therefore, he will propose token laws that will placate his base but cost little.
Example 1. Facilitate union organization by eliminating secret ballots.
Example 2. Revive the so-called fairness doctrine. This doctrine demands “equal time” for opposing points of view on FCC-licensed broadcast venues. It is guaranteed to silence conservative talk radio.
Prediction: When Obama does these things, Example 1 will inflame organized small business. Example 2 will inflame fans of Rush Limbaugh. The Democrats will be further hurt by the disappointed first-time 2008 Democrat voters. Much of this group will cease voting in 2010, now believing the process is a sham. This all means Republicans will stage a come back in Congress in 2010.
Result: Republicans did gain seats in 2010. Obamacare is such a mess it is poised to deliver a Republican landlside in 2014 election.
Myth 6. Obama will bring everyone in the country together.
There is always a honeymoon period for any new President. Supporters and campaign workers have huge emotional investments in Obama’s success. Everyone feels good. This is the time to lock up the “warm tummy feeling” among The People.
Prediction: Unfortunately for Obama, I expect his honeymoon period to end long before he takes office. Say around next Friday. This will all come to a head when The People realize he is trying to orchestrate systems he does not understand and does not have the money to do it anyway. Obama will then spend the next four years trying to dig his way out of this hole. In 2012 he tell us he did a great job, so we will want to reelect him.
Result: I was wrong. Obama spent Trillions he did not have to provide “shovel ready jobs.”These were a fantasy and nobody knows where the money went.
Myth 7. Obama will solve every need—real and imagined—for all African Americans.
The enslavement, then subsequent mistreatment of supposedly freed African Americans throughout the history of the United States is a national disgrace. Even today, this group has shorter life spans, higher infant mortality and huge over-representation in the ranks of never-married mothers and our criminal justice system. Examples: 50% of homicides are committed by Blacks and 70% of their children are illegitimate.
So can Obama get them to lower their blood pressure, take care of their babies and quit committing crimes? I suppose anything is possible. I have seen tears streaming down every black television personality’s cheeks this week. For the first time, they say—in the manner of Michelle Obama—that they feel proud and equal in this country.
If this joy and rapture reduces African American obesity, unprotected sex, convenience store holdups and drug dealing, we may have a winner.
Prediction: African American behavior statistics will miraculously improve near the end of Obama first term. This will be a reason to reelect Obama.
Result: African Americans have fared worse than any other demographic under Obama.Behavior has improved a bit. Obama’s Big Solution is “My Brother's Keeper”, an initiative to help Black and Hispanic young men. While this sounds good, its real purpose is to introduce more politically correct speech into the school environment to somehow make black misbehavior OK.
Myth 8. Obama will show his “backbone of steel” when he is first tested by an enemy.
The Testing Enemies have already begun. Just hours after Obama won, the Russians announced they will deploy missiles unless we pull back our planned antimissile systems in Eastern Europe.
Prediction: Obama is clueless about international Realpolitik.During the first bad thing, he will stop to contemplate his principles and respond too slowly. This will embolden our enemies and things will get worse. Compare his response to McCain’s when the Ruskies invaded Georgia several months ago. [McCain spoke up, Obama wanted to “study the situation”.] Does anyone hear the word “draft”? This will be a reason to not reelect Obama.
Result: Our antimissles were pulled back. After 6 years of international ineptitude, Obama totally caved when his buddy Putin took over Crimea. Obama’s response was to disallow a few of Putin’s rich friends from entering the U.S.
Conclusion. If Obama were not a person of color, I believe he would have been impeached long ago. As it is, we must live with our novelty president another 2 years and 9 months. Let us hope we avoid the next novelty candidate, Hillary Clinton.
Original piece may be found at
“Please, Sir, may I have some more?” Oliver Twist
With unions it always comes down to “more”. There is always talk of fairness and solidarity. But every union breath demands More.
That's OK. The bosses want the most work for the least pay. Otherwise, the customers go where they get the cheaper prices. The stockholders want profits. Why shouldn’t union folks get More?
However, this concept falls apart with public employee unions. Firstly, these workers already have More. (See below.) Also, their purpose is not to generate profits. Rather, they provide a public benefit for their customers who are also their bosses: Us.
Our deal with them provides wonderful job security compared to the private sector. (I have never heard of a public worker being fired for anything short of a criminal conviction.)
They have a fat deal. It seems ungracious for them to want More, doesn’t it?
Let’s probe a little deeper. I found a complete BART salary report online. The median worker is Shayla M., a station agent on page 68. Her numbers are typical.
Her base salary is $62,573. Not bad for needing only a high school education.
She also got $19,320 in overtime. OK.
She got some money for vacation and bonuses: $3,710.
This means her gross pay was $85,603.
Now it gets better. BART gave her $16,295 toward her medical, dental and vision insurance. Her share was about $90 per month. Do you know any private sector worker with such a fat deal?
BART contributed $7,649 to her pension. How many private workers get any pension at all? VERY FEW.
This means her compensation easily exceeded $100,000.00. And she is on strike for More.
Here’s the salary data: https://www.mercurynews.com/salaries/bay-area?Entity=Bay%20Area%20Rapid%20Transit
The BART strike is costing us some $73 million each day. The best solution is to follow Chicago and Washington DC’s examples: transit workers–like air traffic controllers– are not allowed to strike.
Until this happens, union demands for More will continue to bled the public.
We are learning that the IRS has singled out conservative groups for harm. So who are these IRS people? How did this happen?
This is a result of unchecked government expansion. I blame Uncle Sugar and the tar baby.
For most of our history, only 5% of GDP was spent on Federal government–except in time of war. Now we are at 25%.
Of course this has happened because we “get more” than ever from the government.
What we get is really expensive. Is it worth it?
Military. Over the last few decades our troops have been involved in Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan and apparently permanent occupations in Europe, Japan and Korea. Lives have been lost, troops maimed and trillions of dollars spent. As a result attacks within the U. S.–attacks by Muslim radicals–have increased.
Seniors. When I retired, my employer and I had contributed over $700,000 to Social Security and Medicare. (This includes interest.) Now I am constantly insulted with the word “entitlement” –for what I myself paid. It makes me sound like a welfare case. Now we hear these programs will “go bankrupt” soon. If so, the programs were obviously mismanaged from the get-go. A cynic would say the real purpose of these programs was to support reelection of Congress people who gave us stuff. This is the creation of Uncle Sugar.
Food stamps. Poverty and hunger are awful. But I see nothing in our founding documents about Free Food. How about free water? We need that too, don’t we? And I get cold in the winter. I could use some free heat. (Uncle Sugar has some work to do.)
Environment. When I was young the Cuyahoga River in Ohio was so polluted it actually caught fire. The EPA fixed that. Now with a budget of $9 BILLION and 17,000 employees, the EPA sees most everything as a problem to fix. So we get Federally subsidized electric cars, solar panels and really expensive light bulbs. Even our auto fuel is full of corn distillates. Way to go, Uncle Sugar!
Stimulus money. To prevent any discomfort from a bad business downturn, Uncle Sugar came up with a new one: give us money from our unborn descendants. (So-called Deficit Spending for Investments in America.) Hey, the Unborn don’t vote, so it's a Win-Win, right?
IRS. This huge government expansion is funded by the Taxman–106,000 of them. They now appear to be “helping” the Administration by harassing its enemies. Thousands more are coming to collect for ObamaCare.
We let this happen. We assumed public service workers were good folks, working in boring jobs for less pay. Of course, they did have outstanding job security, but that seemed a fair trade off.
Now we know these workers actually make MORE than we do, have killer benefits and pensions and go on all kinds of Vegas trips, yukking it up about taxing us to death.
And just today it came out that ex-IRS Chief Shulman, a supposedly non-political appointee, has a wife who is a supporter of, and active participant in, the Occupy Wall Street movement!
Years ago The Incredible Bread Machine by R.W. Grant explained how much tax we really pay for loaf of bread. Since labor and profits are taxed at each stage of production–grow the wheat, mill the flour, bake the bread, ship the loaf, run the store–over 90% of the cost of bread is taxes.
Like sheep to be fleeced, we silently pay and pay for all the stuff Uncle Sugar pretends to give us.
Uncle Sugar, you see, actually is the tar baby. Just like foolish Brer Rabbit, we have stuck ourselves to it.
Two months before Obama’s reelection, an Islamist attack in Libya killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador. This truth is just beginning to come out:
These are three separate events. Yet they are being mashed together in the media. This makes them more difficult to understand and unravel.
The first two are planning and execution challenges. They can—with some effort—be analyzed and corrected. The last issue is more complex.
Obama won the 2012 election by a popular vote margin of just 3.8%. That means if only 2% of the voters switched their vote, Obama would have lost. So his Administration’s cover-up was the pragmatically correct thing to do. It likely saved Obama’s reelection.
This cover-up is also criminal and hateful to everything we stand for as a free people.
Obama can never be elected again, so who cares? We should because if he gets away with this crime, he will continue to use such tactics to push his agendas, agendas repugnant to most voters. Examples are ObamaCare, failure to constraint resident Islamist terrorists, redistribution of wealth, endless expansion of government and job-killing regulation.
As Congress moves forward with its investigation—Benghazigate, if you will—one is reminded of these satirical project steps:
Step 1: Unlimited enthusiasm
Step 2: Total disillusionment
Step 3: Utter chaos
Step 4: Search for the guilty
Step 5: Punishment for the innocent
Step 6: Promotion of nonparticipants
Let us hope Congress does not fall into this hole. Rather, that they prove this self-serving conspiracy of Obama and his fellow travelers.
Such is vital for the health and security of each of us.
I have just read all 82 pages. There is no way the average person can complete these.
My conclusion: the entire Affordable Care Act is a sham. In fact it is a Trojan horse, a gift with horrible consequences. Its real purpose is to make us so exhausted and angry we will beg for National Health a la Britain. We will simply give up all control of our medical treatment to Federal bureaucrats.
Don’t believe me? Skim these forms and decide if this will ever work:
Application for Health Insurance – 21 pages
Appendix A: List of Questions in the Online Application to Support Eligibility Determinations for Enrollment through the Health Insurance Marketplace and for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program – 61 pages
After reading this one friend sent an AP article Affordable Care Act Benefit Application Forms May Prove Daunting. These lines set off alarm bells:
"An online government clearinghouse called the Data Services Hub (?) will ping Social Security for birth records, IRS for income data and Homeland Security for immigration status. 'That is a brand new thing in the world,' said Sam Karp, a vice president of the California HealthCare Foundation."
Here in California––like many other states––handling this information has been contracted out to a non-governmental organization, Maximus, based in Reston, Virginia. This company has had problems with their employees improperly accessing beneficiaries’ private data.
Since I have had my identify stolen, once had a 4-figure income tax refund stolen (it took 2 years to fix), and am getting no response from the VA on my disability claim, I think the odds of this working safely in my lifetime are Zero. To say nothing of the fraud this will expose us to.
“Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." Red Saunders, UCLA Bruins coach
One guy won, one guy lost. Voter fatigue makes us miss the point: elections have been changed forever.
A lifetime ago we read Vance Packard’s The Hidden Persuaders for extra credit. This became the basis for the advertising industry and inspired the TV opus Mad Men. It also bedrocks the success of Obama II.
Never again will we vote our personal values or what is best for the country. Now we are all fully trained to salivate like Pavlov’s storied dog at the clanging bell of personal desires. Do otherwise and we will not be counted.
So next election Republicans will also pander with gusto to demographic niches.
These and other marketing techniques will get the Republicans up to Ground Zero with the cradle-to-grave Dems. Of course, social conservatives may all move to Utah and secede. But that didn’t work in 1861 either, did it?
Only then can the true battle be enjoined: our precious freedoms vs. repressive government explosion under troglodyte elites. The City on the Hill vs. “What In It For Me?” led by the Yellow Jester, below.
“Let us shut our eyes/ And talk about the weather!”
from The Pirates of Penzance, W.S. Gilbert 1879
On the 11th anniversary of the Muslim Terrorist attack on New York City and the Pentagon, mobs attacked our embassies in Egypt and Libya. Our Ambassador to Libya and three other there were killed.
An initial response: "The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of--as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions."
The offense was a YouTube video demeaning the prophet Mohammed. This video is speech protected by the First Amendment.
Furthermore, the vile and subhuman behavior of Islamic terrorists calls into question if Islam is really a religion at all. While it includes religious practices that involve a Higher Power, it also has a history of gruesome violence, medieval repression of women and the goal of subverting civil law with bizarre Sharia controls.
Since it only succeeds by grinding the human spirit into dust, Islam seems more like Stalinism with minarets.
Meanwhile, a friend wrote that she posted this on her Facebook page:
Her prerogative, of course. But the news from Libya was that the supposedly spontaneous mob that killed our officials was gathered by posts to the rioters’ Facebook pages. Ironic. A regular 911 celebration, wasn’t it?
“Maybe we should call the cops
And try to stop the pain
But Monopoly is so much fun
I'd hate to blow the
“And I'm sure
It wouldn't interest anybody
Outside of a small
circle of friends”
Phil Ochs, 1967
Once again, it is time for the Presidential Voting Guide. This year we are faced with the greatest difference between candidates in my lifetime.
Incumbent Obama believes in the government fulfilling more and more of our needs. He plans to continue such expansion. This requires ballooning Federal employment and spending more money each year, which we must borrow from China. Obama famously nationalized a failing automaker—General Motors—and saved thousands of jobs.
As a consequence, children are born with a huge debt load on their tiny shoulders. The General Motors bailout cost the bond holders over $25 Billion, so this was de facto redistribution of wealth to the union workers. Business leaders are hesitant to hire in the face of over-zealous regulation and a stalled economy. Some commentators feel that Obama’s activities are damaging America’s exceptionalism and traditional economic success.
Challenger Romney brings both governing and private sector experience, two areas in which Obama is sorely lacking. Romney claims he will eliminate costly complex programs such as ObamaCare, welfare explosion and harmful over-regulation. While Romney understands “business” better than any candidate since World War II, some fear he might “put profit over people” to allow inefficient companies to fail, resulting in occasional job loss in the short term.
1. If you want the government to take care of and control everyone, vote for Obama.
2. If you want us to have the freedom to be highly successful—based on our own efforts—vote for Romney.
There are many shades of gray here, but that is the basic reality.
Voting Suggestions for Special Groups
Private sector workers. You understand that your career growth depends on a lightly-regulated, strong economy. Romney is your best choice.
Public sector workers. Your high pay, high job security and over-the-top pensions will no longer fly. If you believe the Federal government will bail you out, vote for Obama. If you think an improved economy will help more, vote for Romney.
Retirement income recipients. This includes current retirees and those who hope to retire in the future. All of you are dependent on a growing U.S. economy. 401Ks rise and fall with the stock market. Public employee retirement earnings are often directly connected to the stock market. For example, the California Public Employees' Retirement System—CalPERS—has 58 percent of its funds invested in the U.S. private sector: stocks, bonds and real estate. Any unfunded public benefits come from tax revenue, so you depend on actually having tax revenue! This is doubly true for Social Security recipients. Conclusion: everyone in this group has a huge interest in the most successful U.S. economy possible. For your independence and safety, your only choice is Romney.
The Unemployed and Underemployed. I am sorry for your troubles. Many of you are suffering due to Federal polcies that curtail business and promoted home sales to the uncreditworthy. Also, milliions of you have lost your jobs to Illegal Immigrants. Obama has made all this worse. Romney will likely improve the economy, allowing you and your family to get more and better jobs.
Active duty military. Thank you for protecting us. Please vote for whomever wants the type of America you are fighting for.
Seniors. Your wisdom keeps us afloat and you have the highest voter turnout of any group. You need no advice. Nevertheless, prepare for the coming inflation. After five years of pumping money into the economy, inflation is sure to follow. Select the candidate best equipped to stop inflation in its tracks. You know what to do.
Under 25s. Recent discoveries in brain science show you cannot make good decisions under pressure. Your brains have just not matured yet. Examples: you join the military or burden yourselves with HUGE student loans. Before you vote, read this whole Voters Guide. Then ask for help from a trusted older person, perhaps from the previous group.
Union members. Most of you are in the public sector. Your leaders have been using your hard-earned dues to game the system. Your long-term finances and children’s future will be best served by voting for Romney.
Latinos. You are a wonderful, growing U.S. Demographic. Your hard work proves the American dream. While aiming speeches at you, Obama has really done little. You and yours are best served by a growing economy. Vote Romney.
Illegal Immigrants. Legally, you cannot vote. If you do, you should vote for Obama. Welcome to America!
Africans-Americans. Obama is the first president to come from your ranks. This made you feel good at the time. Unfortunately, his inexperience left him naïve about what he could do. Some of you live in terribly dangerous areas with the worst crime rates in America. As a group your involvement with the criminal justice systems is much higher than whites. Obama has done NOTHING to fix this national disgrace. He has failed you. For your personal safety, vote for Romney.
Unwed Mothers, Welfare recipients, Food stampers. If you plan to continue as wards of the state, vote Obama. Vote Romney if you want a way out and a better life. Good luck either way.
TEA Partiers. The Taxed Enough Already [TEA] Party will go down as the most important populist movement in the 21st Century. Help the rest of us understand. Never give up. Vote Romney.
Libertarians. Do NOT vote for Ron Paul! This is not the time for a protest vote. Remember how Ross Perot split the Republican vote in 1992 to elect Bill Clinton? But your voice is vital to maintain our freedoms and stop military adventurism. Vote Romney and keep talking.
Environmentalists. Obama has throttled both the petroleum and nuclear power industries, while supporting all manner of failed “green” energy schemes. He is a member of Al Gore’s Global Warming cult. If you are independently wealthy or an anarchist, you would vote for Obama. But you should stay home as a meteoroid could strike your polling place.
Elites: rich actors, limousine Liberals, tenured professors. In a way you are all Artists. I honor your success. Seriously. You want to make the world a better place. You believe the government is the best vehicle for this. Yes, the government is great at taxing and regulating and giving away money to pet groups. Unfortunately, it is extremely bad at nurturing success: the key measure of making the world a better place. Example: the Dept. of Energy has just released a report that Obama’s green energy jobs each cost $9.3 MILLION! If you have advanced training in Economics or Finance, please vote whomever you feel will do best. If you want free publicity, hold fundraisers for Obama. And gosh, most of you sure are good looking.
“Off the Grid” If you are truly off the grid, you do not pay taxes. But be warned: if Obama is re-elected, he will be forced to institute some type of national sales tax. This means you will now be taxed on every purchase. Vote for Romney, early and often.
Addicts. If you are buzzed or use any illegal drugs, you fall into this group. If you want help, I hope you get it. You won’t vote. You do not even know who is running. And by the way, DON’T DRIVE!
There are some single-issue voters (anti-abortion, gay marriage, anti-war, Occupiers) but your passion shields you from rational thought.
So there you have it for 2012. Vaya con Dios until 2016.
The President cannot control retail gasoline prices. However, does his behavior affect prices? Is he The Tail That Wags The Dog of what we pay at the pump?
Let us see how gasoline price is determined, then see if the President is helping or hurting us.
The oil business is huge with many moving parts. Gasoline is refined from oil. Most of gasoline’s cost is based on the price of raw oil.
Raw oil out of the ground is a commodity. It is traded globally and priced in U. S. dollars.
This global trade is both day-by-day—the spot market—and activity for “future delivery—the futures market.
The purpose of the futures market is to help producers and consumers of commodities nail down future price uncertainties. These people do this by agreeing to buy or sell the commodity at a future date at a particular price. Since there are often insufficient buyers and sellers, the market is aided by so-called “speculators”—investors who neither take delivery nor make delivery of the commodity. Speculators’ cash makes the futures market work. Occasionally, however, speculators can push the futures market to irrational extremes.
Futures prices are also affected by perceived supply and demand. Although economists represent all this mathematically, reaction to perceived supply and demand is highly emotional.
Factors that drive these emotions:
OK, so exactly what factors–emotional and otherwise–are affecting gasoline prices now?
Geopolitical: Iran’s behavior, risk of war and supply reduction
Producer politics: OPEC, Middle East instability
Politics and policies of the United States:
Weakening US dollar caused by Federal Reserve and our fiscal problems. (Remember, global oil prices are “in US dollars”. So when the dollar looses value, we pay more for oil and gasoline.)
Over-regulated local and seasonal gasoline blends
Lack of adequate refinery capacity in the U.S due to over-regulation. No new refineries in decades.
President Obama behavior and his strange unofficial energy policy:
Conclusion: The President’s every action is driving oil and gasoline prices higher. Obama is hurting most Americans.
For details, see