Thursday, July 10, 2008

What Does It Take?

In recent posts we have decried the malfeasance in the Congress to remedy, with simple solutions, the oppressive increases in the costs of fuel and food. We have witnessed continued ignorance on the part of our representatives of extremely simple economic principals and evidence of short-sighted thinking (?). More concerns of the voting public in their national legislature comes in the latest Rasmussen poll. In a very recent post we reported that Gallup showed approval of the Congress in the low teens. Today we find it at 9%.

This implies that the average “dunce” has a better understanding of the way the economy works than the $1000 “empty suits” in the hallowed halls of the nation’s capitol. Joe “six pack” knows full well the impact of increased supply counter balancing increasing demand and its affect on prices. We have a “town character” in a nearby community who makes his living pulling a cart and picking up recyclable cans from homes and businesses which save them for him. He is an extremely hard working man with a host of friends who observe him plying his trade from dawn to dark. In a jocular exchange yesterday at an intersection in town I congratulated him on his choice of fuel efficient vehicles. He good naturedly responded with a careful explanation of the inconvenience of a truck for his particular application. Although allegedly a victim of a degree of mental deficiency he revealed a keen grasp of the basics of fuel consumption and its relationship to his business. He performs a vital service in the city and his services would be greatly missed. That could not be said of most of the denizens of congress.

This morning we find a report in the news that even some of the most stubborn blockheads in Washington are being forced to acknowledge some basic truths about fuel production. I seriously doubt, in their conceit, they are even aware of how low they have sunk in the esteem of the American public.. Since they are mainly concerned with job preservation a few of the most influential offenders have decided to change their positions to better align with wishes of the people who elected them in the first place. It’s about time!

The most popular excuse offered by the lawmakers is that drilling offshore, using .01% of the Artic National Wildlife Refuge, and exploiting oil shale’s is that these efforts would not mature for years to come. They have been singing this song for decades and for lack of anticipation of need we are in the mess we now have. It also demonstrates verification of a previous complaint; they do not understand futures markets and the role they play in current pricing. In a short term example, if traders observe Midwestern spring floods in excess of normal, they go “long” on corn, soybeans and other crops which are destroyed by the ensuing floods. By anticipating shortages, they capitalize by buying futures which mature at a higher price due to diminished supplies. The reverse could be seen in oil futures. If an event were to take place which would increase energy production in the United States lessening our dependence on foreign oil the demand for high priced oil futures would abate and consequently drive down the current price. That event would be the congress allowing drilling in places of abundance which they now choose to ignore. The ball is in their court.

This decision is not the province of the current president. This is also not a matter to be decided by the next elected chief executive. To mindlessly blame this on Carter, Reagan. Bush, Sr., Clinton, or Bush, Jr. is to misunderstand the functions of government. In recent weeks, I have stood at the gas pumps and overheard each of the former blamed. It is equally false to anticipate that either Obama or McCain could remedy the situation. They do have opinions and they also have some degree of influence but it is not their role in the government to make the decision. It is up to the congress. Only they can get us out of this mess. As a note of bitter irony, they got us into it and only they can get us out.

We employ these people to do a job. I would strongly suggest that “the workman is not worth his hire” and that they be replaced. In an economy dominated by small private business, the concept of being “fired” is ever present. If you do not do your employer’s honest bidding then you may anticipate being released. It’s time we took our role as an employer seriously and discard partisan thoughts to find elected representatives who are willing to exert the will of the people. Only you can help to bring this unwieldy government under control.

I have a strong faith in the American people to recognize that which is right and to take action, as we have historically, to right wrongs. I also understand in this case, time is of the essence. We only have until November to remind them of who’s the boss. I pray that each of you will contact the appropriate ones and let them know how you feel. I thank you in advance for your participation in your government.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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