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Old    SamIngram            05-03-2011, 3:15 PM Reply   
I wanted to start this conversation outside of that other thread that was going...

Anyhow, this article was on the daily Mises.org site and I thought it was interesting.

Another Reason to End the Fed

I have been hearing the discussion about gas prices a lot lately. I just wonder if we are the new Zimbabwe??

This post was taken from a thread on Mises.org regarding oil prices and inflation.

The increase in the price of oil is the result of inflation, not the cause of it. It's interesting that when inflation sets in, corporations, 'evil speculators', immigrants, foreign governments, et cetera are the typical scapegoats.

Speculators cannot indefinitely inflate or depress the price of something. If you are speculating in an attempt to prop up the price above equillibrium, then i need only short my position and wait for my windfall of cash when the price corrects. If speculation worked over the long run then it would only require a sufficiently large pile of money to corner each market (mr buffett anyone?). If you watch Nixon's speech in 1971 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRzr1QU6K1o ,when he announced that he was taking the US off the gold standard, he blames speculators as the root of the problem. The problem wasn't the market adjusting the price of gold to reflect the number of dollars in circulation, the problem was the US federal government printing too many dollars to support gold at the fixed exchange rate.

Today the inflation rate in Zimbabwe is estimated at somewhere between 150,000 and 200,000% per annum. The only way prices can increase at that rate is for government to print money. The government recently introduced their new 50,000,000 dollar note. In an attempt to combat inflation they have outlawed 'hoarding' of money, exchanging zimbabwean dollars for foreign currency, instituted price controls, and siezed businesses that closed their doors rather than lose money at the government dictated prices. The government has completely wrecked their economy. Zimbabwe now has the lowest life expectancy of any nation on the planet (37/34), unenployment of 80%, and the highest inflation rate anywhere. Government and government alone created these problems by printing too many bank notes.

Yet the government there doesn't accept any blame for the problems. If you read the official government statements the causes of inflation are labor unions, greedy businesses, "evil" speculators, and foreign governments. Central planners are experts at song and dance routines.

Here in the US the price of oil has more than quadrupled since Bush entered office in january 2001. If you price oil not in USD but in gold, however, the price is barely changed in that same 7-year span. With the price of oil, and gasoline, and food, and gold, and housing, and medicine, and education, et cetera increasing rapidly politicians here in the US increasingly scapegoat greedy corporations, speculators, mexican immigrants, and foreign governments for the problems. Do you see a pattern here?

Members of congress are talking about 'unfair, windfall' profits of oil companies, 'speculation' in the housing market, 'open' borders, and 'manipulation' by opec nations as the causes of our increasing prices. They are scapegoats. The cause of widespread increase in prices in the US (including oil) is from a marked and sustained increase in the US money supply.

Again, to be crystal clear rapidly increasing oil prices (as measured in US dollars) is the effect and not the cause of inflation. An increase in the money supply is the culprit, the increase in the price of a barrel of oil is the result of federal government action.

Does this mean that the price of oil would be static without the government printing presses running overtime? Of course not. We have a fixed supply of oil on the planet, and an increasing demand from an growing population and industrialization around the world. WIth a fixed supply and an increasing demand we would expect the price to rise over the long run. Demand, however, hasn't increased enough in the past 7 years such that the price of oil is four times more expensive than it was in 2001. Nearly all of the price increase in oil isn't from the increase in the cost of oil, but from the decreased value of the dollar.

I hope that helps.


Did anyone else see Speaker Boehner's blog this week? Will either of these bills have any impact on gas prices anytime in the near future?

H.R. 1230, the Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act, passed the Committee with bipartisan support. It would require the Administration to move forward promptly to conduct offshore lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Virginia that have been delayed or canceled.

H.R. 1229, the Putting the Gulf Back to Work Act, passed the Committee with bipartisan support. It would end the de facto moratorium on American energy production in the Gulf of Mexico in a safe, responsible and transparent manner by setting firm timelines for considering permits to drill.
Old    SamIngram            05-03-2011, 4:32 PM Reply   
This is linked in the first article above.

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Old    Ron T (wakemetoday)      Join Date: Mar 2006       05-03-2011, 6:24 PM Reply   
IMHO, until demand for oil decreases--both here and abroad--or the local supply increases, and the dollar strengthens, oil prices will contimue to rise.
Old    Brett W (brettw)      Join Date: Jul 2007       05-03-2011, 8:57 PM Reply   
We'll pay the high prices, and it's those higher prices that will drive research and investment in alternative fuels and more efficient use of oil like hybrid cars and such.
Old    Jason G (jason_ssr)      Join Date: Apr 2001       05-04-2011, 5:21 AM Reply   
Usage habits will change. I spend less on fuel today than I did in 2004. Why? Because in 2004 i drove a Hummer that got 13mpg, and had a boat that I gassed up 3 or 4 times every week for 9 months out of the year. I commute 70mi round trip for work. Today I drive a 2002 VW Beetle TDI that gets 50mpg. I sold the boat, and took up kiteboarding instead.

With fuel prices low, we basically started not caring about the fuel cost of our activities. When I was a HS kid, i had to think long and hard about whether it was worth the gas money to drive an hour away to some activity. Today, the fuel cost isnt even a consideration when doing activities for most americans. As the cost rises, it will again matter and we will adjust our behavior accordingly.
Old    Joe B (sailing216)      Join Date: Oct 2007       05-04-2011, 5:43 AM Reply   
Value of the dollar versus other currencies is a big part in the recent runup in commodities. Other factors yes, but 'quantitive easing' or printing money is hurting us. I don't think gas will ever be less than $3 again even when the over speculating is over as inflation will return the norm of a barrel to $80-90 or $2.99/gal.

I'm not buying a new gas guzzler, tow with my old truck on short trips only. Gas sipper cars for the wife and I.

I'd rather spend $80 on a day of gas for the boat that's paid for versus taking the family to the movies for more. 4 kids and these damn 3D movies are expensive. It's what's important to you.
Old    Cory D (cadunkle)      Join Date: Jul 2009       05-04-2011, 7:10 AM Reply   
I just crunched some numbers on gas vs. gold prices in the past decade. While I despise the Fed, and inflation, it does not seem to be the sole cause (or even most significant?) of increasing gas prices. As much as I'd like to believe it, the numbers don't back it up as I see it. I'm no statistician or mathemagician so I may be wrong.

Gas $/gal...
Jan 2001: $1.377
May 2011: $3.906
Increase: 273.66%

Gold $/oz...
Jan 2001: $271
May 2011: $1540
Increase: 468.27%

Gas oz/gal...
Jan 2001: .00508
May 2001: .00254

I'll leave someone else to interpret these numbers.
Old    SamIngram            05-05-2011, 10:50 AM Reply   
Obama administration floats draft plan to tax cars by the mile
Old    John Anderson (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       05-05-2011, 11:07 AM Reply   
Hmmm, the text of the article contradicts the title. But I have an idea along similar lines that doesn't involve either the expense or the reprehensible invasion of privacy of electronic tracking equipment. Put a bar code on the inside of the fuel door of fuel efficient high mpg cars that gives a tax discount on the price per gallon. Scan the bar code and you pay less per gallon than other cars.
Old    Cory D (cadunkle)      Join Date: Jul 2009       05-05-2011, 11:09 AM Reply   
Sam, logically one would assume this would be in place of the gas tax? Of course it would be implemented in addition to, with the nice benefit of gathering more info on people's travel habits for whatever purposes the government wants. That's really the only reason I could see this being implemented, given the infringement on privacy, logistics, and cost that would be involved in any implementation of this scheme.

To me it seems the gas tax is already proportional to miles driven. The more you drive, the more gas you burn. Heavier vehicles, vehicles towing trailers, etc. put more wear on the roads but also burn significantly more gas, thus paying significantly more tax per mile driven. Adjust gas tax as needed to pay for the road and highway infrastructure.

Heck, if this scheme were forced on us, I'd just disconnect my speedometer. Takes a few seconds to reach up behind the dash in any of my vehicles and unscrew the plug. Could even make a quick disconnect for it more accessible in the event of those roadside checkpoints: "Why yes Comrade, my odomoter is quite functional!"
Old    Adam R (wakecumberland)      Join Date: Oct 2007       05-05-2011, 11:10 AM Reply   
Consider this; In 1964 the cost of a gallon of gas was $0.30. Today we are right at $4. At the current price of silver today (Off 30% from its high in the last week), the melt value of a 1964 dime (90% silver) is $2.29. Given that, you can buy a gallon of gas today for less than $0.20 in 1964 dollars. Interesting to think that gas prices have actually gone down in real dollars over the last 40 years!
Old    SamIngram            05-05-2011, 11:35 AM Reply   
Another interesting article...

Oil plummets nearly 7 percent as commodities battered
Old    Adam Van Dyke (lfadam)      Join Date: Nov 2008       05-05-2011, 11:50 AM Reply   
I just skimmed that article ^^^ but I gathered that oil dropped 10$ a barrel yesterday and something about the Euro slipping against the dollar.

Does that mean a drop in gas prices will be coming soon (albeit most likely a temporary drop) and the USD/Euro exchange rate will be going down from 1.48 or whatever it is?


...because that would be awesome. Im about to blow all of my money on gas and euros (study abroad) in the next 3 months.
Old    Ron T (Laker1234)      Join Date: Mar 2010       05-05-2011, 5:51 PM Reply   
It always takes longer to go down. My guess would be sometime in he next week or two gas may go down, depending on the dollar and demand.
Old    Jim Zarin (jimmy_z)      Join Date: Jun 2009       05-07-2011, 4:56 PM Reply   
Look at the chart.

The key issue is that there is a 50% reduction in refining. Your answer lies there.

There is a gluttony of crude waiting to be refined.

We need more refineries.....Oh wait.....the EPA is going to have a say in that!!!

Win for the Dems.....Loss for America.

We the People have been fleeced. And will continue to be until enough People open their eyes!!!!!!
Old    Ron T (Laker1234)      Join Date: Mar 2010       05-08-2011, 7:14 AM Reply   
You're right, Jim. I know several people who work at a refinery. I can't quote exact numbers, but the EPA passed some regulation about fencing, so the company installed the fencing, and then in less than a year, the EPA changed the dimension of the fencing regulations by one foot--or something silly like that. That meant the old fencing had to be torn down and replaced. The total cost of wasted money totaled around 1 million dollars and did not accomplish one thing but a waste of money and time.
Old    Cory D (cadunkle)      Join Date: Jul 2009       05-08-2011, 10:52 AM Reply   
More regulation is bad for everyone. The more government meddles in these things the more we all pay. Gonna be an expensive summer.
Old    Jim Zarin (jimmy_z)      Join Date: Jun 2009       05-08-2011, 8:44 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laker1234 View Post
You're right, Jim. I know several people who work at a refinery. I can't quote exact numbers, but the EPA passed some regulation about fencing, so the company installed the fencing, and then in less than a year, the EPA changed the dimension of the fencing regulations by one foot--or something silly like that. That meant the old fencing had to be torn down and replaced. The total cost of wasted money totaled around 1 million dollars and did not accomplish one thing but a waste of money and time.
Thank you for that.

You see....we need more refineries....but the EPA is nit picking about fencing around the current ones????

Hmmm...Why create another refinery if the EPA is cracking down on fence lines for established refineries??? You have a negative bazillion chance in getting past the red tape.

A revolution is in order....EPA heads on a stick would be my first order of business!!!!!

Im willing to represent....just need my fellow Americans to get on board!!!!

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