Mainstream journalists are beginning to notice that $3 per gallon gasoline now looks routine and that it won't be too long before we see $4 a gallon.
Hmmm. Which candidate for Texas Attorney General said a year and a half ago that the 2006 escalation in gasoline prices was not a temporary up-tick and that the price at the pump would keep going up?
For approximately 20 years, from the late 1970s to the late 1990s, gasoline prices were relatively stable.
But in the late 1990s, the biggest of the giant Big Oil companies began to merge and create even more gigantic companies in a series of mind-staggering mergers. Exxon and Mobil; Shell and Texaco; etc. The continual escalation in gasoline prices of the past 9-10 years began with the beginning of the Gigantic Oil mergers and corresponds with the series of mega-mergers that took place over a few years' time.
These mergers naturally decreased competition. That was their purpose. When competition decreases, robber baron monopoly power increases, and unless there is government price regulation, prices go up. It is a rule of economic power as old as time. Instead of a free market, we end up with a monopoly market and a robber baron economy. It wasn't an accident that we ended up here. It is the very reason for the mergers.
Today, under the Clintonite-Bushite economy (sorry folks, some may find it hard to admit, but Big Bill opened the floodgates to the runaway monopoly economy), our government institutions protect monopolies from the people instead of protecting the people from monopolies.
As long as our public institutions continue to protect the monopolization that is at the root of the robber baron economy, there will be no end in sight for we the people from ever-worsening Giganto-Oil price squeezes - not to mention from the similar depredations of the Big Insurance, Big Health Care, Big Pharmaceutical, Big Toll Road, Big Banking, and other Big Robber Barons. And as long as we the people stand back and fail to take control of our public institutions, then those institutions will continue to protect the robber baron economy.
Isn't it time we get serious about taking control?
Let's see ... here's more on that Clinton angle:
The toughest brawl Bill Clinton was willing to wage (besides saving his own hide from impeachment) was against the Democratic base: for the corporate-backed NAFTA. Through the 1996 Telecommunications Act, Bill brought us far more media conglomeration than George W. He pardoned well-connected fugitive financier Marc Rich, while leaving Native American activist Leonard Peltier to rot in prison despite pleas from Amnesty International and others.
Hillary’s contribution to Clinton I was her botched healthcare proposal, a corporate-originated “reform” that would have enshrined a half-dozen of the largest insurance companies at the center of the system, and was so convoluted it never came up for a vote.
What we’ve seen of Hillary Clinton in the Senate and on the campaign trail suggests that Clinton II would indeed be a sorry sequel. Today she’s winning the endorsement of Republican CEOs, after having had (Rupert) Murdoch host a benefit for her at the Fox News building in 2006. Just as Bill Clinton’s spine achieved a rare firmness while battling for NAFTA, we recently observed in Hillary a rare passion and firmness on a single issue: her YearlyKos defense of lobbyists, including those who “represent corporations that employ a lot of people.”
And, via my other man David, my man John: "Corporate interests have literally taken over this government":
We need different kinds of leaders going forward. I'm giving thanks tomorrow for many things, and one will definitely be the wisdom of voters in 2008 to discern the difference between politics-is-business-as-usual, and to discontinue that program.
That's thanking in advance. Or paying it forward, if you prefer.