A Consumer Based Economy – Merry Christmas to Us All! (but the Brother’s Koch)

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Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 10.17.14 PMImmediately after the horrific attacks on 9/11, President George W. Bush repeatedly stated that we have consumer based economy.  If you want to recover from the terror attacks, go out and start spending money.  As a patriotic American, I did my best in this endeavor.  I did quite well, I might add.  The nation’s economy then exploded, maybe too much.  Real estate did.  Anyone watching the housing market, and knew anything about real estate knew that people were spending cash like fools, paying far too much for homes which were not worth the price, living well beyond their means, or just hanging in there.

Along came 2008.  Oil prices became ruinous.  The economy tanked and we the little people have suffered as we have not suffered since the Great Depression.  Gas and oil profits skyrocketed.  People like Charles & David Koch owned the world.  They became richer than Richie Rich.  They became Kings of the World, basically buying the GOP.   There is something else, I must add, or I am remiss.  I will never forget the speech then candidate Barack Obama gave in Las Vegas, telling people to start saving money, and stop spending.  It hurt the city, badly. I can say this, because 4 years later, I proudly voted for Obama.  But – I think he was very wrong about things then.

Today, the economic outlook is at its best since 2003. Even Bloomberg reports one of the primary reasons is a drop in energy prices.  The Dow is over 18,000 for the first time in history. GDP is heading toward a 5% growth.  This is huge.  The jobs outlook is back at pre-recession numbers.   That is – except for New Mexico.  Here job growth is -0.1%.  Thanks to Susana Martinez, the state also has the worst quality of life.

There’s a good reason for mentioning this.  Like several other ‘small’ states, New Mexico is a gas/oil economy simply because no one gives a damn about economic development here.  When the WSJ reports that we are nearing the end of civilization as we know it, because of the fall in oil prices, it isn’t about we the little people, but the gas/oil billionaires who are sucking the live-blood out of the rest of us.

“...Here’s the reality: The net winners from lower gas prices far outnumber and outweigh the losers. Yes, U.S. producers of oil and gas in Alaska, Texas, Oklahoma, North Dakota and Pennsylvania are seeing big declines in profits. New drilling permits are down by about half as crude prices have dropped too low to justify costly long-term investments.

But for nearly every other industry, a falling energy price is a Christmas gift from God that looks to last well into 2015, if not longer. Low energy prices are a big-time boost to productivity, profitability and output. Big winners are transportation, manufacturing, construction, plastics, chemicals and high tech.

Low domestic energy prices in the U.S. have fostered a major manufacturing renaissance in the country, and this will pay rich dividends in the near future. A new normal of $55 to $70 a barrel is a big plus. For every firm hurt by low energy prices, at least a dozen benefit. Then there’s the windfall for American consumers. The American Automobile Association reports the average motorist is saving $100 a week in fuel costs….”

If the average motorist is saving $100 a week, now, that’s a good $5100 a year.  I don’t know about you, but that’s a heck of a lot of money which is going to be directly pumped back into the economy.   It benefits the consumer, directly.  When the consumer has more money to spend, the consumer spends it.  We the little people have been hurting for so long, have been almost robbed a gun-point by the gas/oil industry, that we need so darn many things.  When we need so darn many things, and we have the money, we cautiously buy them.

For example, in ABQ:

“...With the extra cash, a mother of two, Lauren Newsom Gonzales says she’s able to buy more for her family this holiday season. She’s also saving money filling up her SUV, which is costing around $30 to fuel up right now. “It’s great you know for our pocket books,” said Newsom Gonzales. David Luna is expecting to drive 400 miles round trip to Red River this week. Luna expecting to spend about a hundred dollars less in gas money this holiday season. “It’s not going to be as expensive because that was a major cost of the trip so we do a lot of fishing, major cost was gas,” said Luna, who lives in Los Lunas. An Albuquerque driver, Tim Lopez is saving between 30 to 50 dollars each fill up. He says the extra money is going to gifts. “Especially being the Christmas season, gifts and stocking-stuffers, so it has helped,” said Lopez….”

(Of course, where I live, we are paying a good 50 cents more a gallon, due to the fact that the gas/oil billionaire who controls the state, and the governor, can jack the prices up to rob the tourists.)

Getting back to we the little people, there are tens of millions of us to one of the billionaire oil barons.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind people having billions.  Fact is, I aspire to be part of that group, but let’s face it, right now, I’m glad to have the cold hard cash to fill up the tank, at the lower prices.     When we the little people have money for what we need, the economy grows.

It’s like this.  My favorite example is a refrigerator.  It is something you don’t buy every day of the week.  I’ve lived in the same condo since 1998.  I’ve bought 2.  I like the one I have, so much, I’m seriously thinking of taking it with me when I move.  Just how many people are going to need a new fridge every year?  When you do the math, and take into consideration the number of households in the country,a few million new fridges are going to be purchased, when we the little people can afford them.  But, when we can’t, we make do and get out the duck tape.

Sure, if you have money you can afford a new one, but even billionaires don’t need all that many new refrigerators each year. In order to keep the industry going, we the little people must be in a position where we can afford a new one.  When we don’t have the money we need to buy one, we don’t.  When we don’t, then stores don’t order as many refrigerators.  They don’t need as many employees.  The factories don’t need as many employees.  People lose jobs, and fewer people can afford new refrigerators.  It becomes a vicious circle, getting worse and worse until something happens to break the cycle.

Until 2008, people had money to buy new refrigerators.  We had money to buy a lot of things.  Now, we don’t.  When we don’t have money to buy things, people lose jobs. When people lose jobs, the economy tanks.  The reason people did not have money was due to the obscenely high cost of gas/oil.  The only people who do have money are those who are making a fortune due to the rising cost of gas and oil, which is robbing we the little people to the point of poverty.

Suddenly, the price of gas/oil is dropping like a rock.  We the little people now have money.  The economy is starting to grow at a startling rate. One of these days, economists and politicians are going to realize that the reason our economy is growing at such a startling rate is because we the little people now have money to spend on something other than gas/oil.  There’s a vicious cause and effect here.  When we the little people don’t pay as much for gas and oil, the Brother’s Koch don’t make as much money.  In fact, they start hemorrhaging money, almost daily.  So is Steve Hamm in Oklahoma.  So are any number of big gas/oil corporations.

ICIJ
ICIJ

We could get in to the discussion about the way big businesses like the Brothers’ Koch funnel their cash elsewhere, avoiding billions in taxes in this country, but what’s the use?  When people like Chuck & Dave Koch have big bucks they buy politicians who help them hide their money and avoid paying taxes, while we the little people get soaked.  When people like Chuck & Dave Koch don’t have as much money to spend buying politicians, they don’t have as much power.  But, a funny thing happens, all that money which was just relaxing off shore, not going into tax revenue, is now going into sales tax, and tax revenue as we the little people start buying new refrigerators.

This country requires cheap gas/oil.  Every nation does.  There is no excuse for the prices we have been paying, other than it helps the billionaires make more money.  The more money they make, the more they do to bribe politicians to destroy alternative fuels, solar and energy.  They have money to throw away on such mischief.  It rather makes you wonder when those in power are going to realize that cheap gas/oil benefits everyone but those who have been put in power by their pimps and the billionaires who are pimping them?

Merry Christmas, the Koch Grinch isn’t feeling so well this year.  As long as gas/oil prices stay low, which they are predicted to do for the coming year, if nothing stupid happens, our economic recovery will finally be assured – maybe. When one realizes that recovery will bring up the poll numbers of Barack Obama, well, we all know what is coming next.  Someone is going to be sandbagged.  We all know it will be Obama.  The extreme right may have lost the two biggest pimps in all of Christendom, but they still have enough deep pockets to make a heck of a lot of mischief.

 

 

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