OPEC has decided to raise the price of oil, and by the time you read this it will probably be old news, so I'm not going to waste my time hunting for a link to a source, or try to hunt down a clever photo to try to cast a humorous slant on the matter. The point is, while I see their dilemna it bodes no good for the US or the West in general. The drop in oil, gas, and heating prices-and for the matter housing-has been one of the few good things in the current economy, and now soon enough, that too will be gone. Bottom line, in order to maintain their current levels of spending, OPEC needs gas prices to hover close to the three dollar per gallon range. Now the US average is 1.67, a price we all should have known was unrealistic to maintain for any length of time.
In the meantime, there are murmurs that Toyota likely will record it's first loss in twelve years. What does that mean? It means the US Congress, or possibly President Bush (by way of executive order) is going to be throwing more bad money after bad money and bail out the American auto industry. I know, I supported loans to the industry, and still do, but I'm just afraid the loans are going to turn into "loans", with no oversight, just another example of money disappearing down a rat hole.
It's a sure sign that America is quickly becoming a third world nation when the most powerful people in our society, the captains of industry, start behaving like Third World Thugs with American taxpayer money. Only in our case, the soldiers and mercenaries are the unions and their supporters in Congress. Yet, they should see that if Toyota falls on hard times, it's a safe bet that GM, Ford, and Chrysler are not going to fare any better any time soon. Don't think for one minute, however, that will give them pause.
The futility lies in the face of the facts that, bottom line, no one is eager to spend any more money than necessary and a new car doesn't make the top ten list of necessities, especially when there is no assurance that there will be a supply of replacement parts in production within the near future. It would be quite foolish to plop down twenty or thirty thousand dollars on an item that you might possibly not be able to have repaired or serviced.
In the meantime, China is quickly disintegrating. Factories are closing due to falling orders from overseas, especially the United States.
Why is all this happening? Because we have grown an insatiable government bureaucracy whose appetite never wavers, and like some malignant tumor, it has grown and intertwined with similar entities across the world. These kinds of government bureaucracies thrive on money, and the higher are the prices of commodities and necessities, the more they can rake in in the way of taxes.
That's the reason these people and their political allies want to keep prices artificially inflated on anything from automobiles and the power sources that fuel them, to houses and the power sources that heat and cool them, to the very food that fuels and provides our sustenance. When these prices fall flat, their tax structure falls apart, and then the world falls into chaos.
Thus, you have a desperate scramble to fund, to bail out, to loan, to fund government make work projects, all in a vain attempt to keep prices, and thus the tax revenue they bring in, artificially inflated.
Of course, some people see the silver lining in the potential of the auto companies potential failures. This might actually be the best time to invest in GM stock. After all, if the current owners can't save the company, somebody somewhere is surely going to buy it for a song, which is a major factor behind objections to any auto company bailout. The stock might not be worth much now, but someday, it surely will. It's worth a gamble. On the other hand, if the unions aren't reined in, maybe not.
The American people of course tend to see lower prices as a good thing, but when was the American government and bureaucracy ever in sync with the American public?