That person in Congressman Ron Paul, whom the media ignores and maligns, gets the largest crowds, more donations from our Military than ALL the other candidates combined (including Obama), gives specifics on cutting the deficit by $1 Trillion dollars the first year, will downsize the govt., eliminate the Federal Reserve, promote private enterprise, and supports freedom and prosperity for all, NOT the elites and corporatists and international banksters!
Panic is in the air as gasoline prices move above $4.00 per gallon. Politicians and pundits are rounding up the usual suspects, looking for someone or something to blame for this latest outrage to middle class family budgets. In a rare display of bipartisanship, President Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner are both wringing their hands over the prospect of seeing their newly extended Social Security tax cut gobbled up by rising gasoline costs.
Unfortunately, the talking heads that are trying to explain the reasons for high oil prices are missing one tiny detail. Oil prices aren’t high right now. In fact, they are unusually low. Gasoline prices would have to rise by another $0.65 to $0.75 per gallon from where they are now just to be “normal”. And, because gasoline prices are low right now, it is very likely that they are going to go up more—perhaps a lot more.
What the politicians, analysts, and pundits are missing is that prices are ratios. Gasoline prices reflect crude oil prices, so let’s use West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil to illustrate this crucial point.
As this is written, West Texas Intermediate crude oil (WTI) is trading at $105.88/bbl. All this means is that the market value of a barrel of WTI is 105.88 times the market value of “the dollar”. It is also true that WTI is trading at €79.95/bbl, ¥8,439.69/barrel, and £67.13/bbl. In all of these cases, the market value of WTI is the same. What is different in each case is the value of the monetary unit (euros, yen, and British pounds, respectively) being used to calculate the ratio that expresses the price.
In terms of judging whether the price of WTI is high or low, here is the price that truly matters: 0.0602 ounces of gold per barrel (which can be written as Au0.0602/bbl). What this number means is that, right now, a barrel of WTI has the same market value as 0.0602 ounces of gold.
During the 493 months since January 1, 1971, the price of WTI has averaged Au0.0732/bbl. It has been higher than that during 225 of those months and lower than that during 268 of those months. Plotted as a graph, the line representing the price of a barrel of oil in terms of gold has crossed the horizontal line representing the long-term average price (Au0.0732/bbl) 29 times.
At Au0.0602/bbl, today’s WTI price is only 82% of its average over the past 41+ years. Assuming that gold prices remained at today’s $1,759.30/oz, WTI prices would have to rise by about 22%, to $128.86/bbl, in order to reach their long-term average in terms of gold. As mentioned earlier, such an increase would drive up retail gasoline prices by somewhere between $0.65 and $0.75 per gallon.
At this point, we can be certain that, unless gold prices come down, gasoline prices are going to go up—by a lot. And, because the dollar is currently a floating, undefined, fiat currency, there is no inherent limit to how far the price of gold in dollars can rise, and therefore no ultimate ceiling on gasoline prices.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke uses a “core CPI index” that excludes food and energy to guide monetary policy. From Big Ben’s point of view, rising gasoline prices are not a problem. For the rest of us, they are becoming a big problem.
Over the centuries, gold has been “the golden constant”. Eventually, all prices equilibrate with gold. This is why gold represents the best available standard in terms of which to define the value of a monetary unit. Forty-one years ago, when the value of the dollar was defined in terms of gold at $35/oz, WTI was selling for $3.56/bbl.
Right now, the threat posed by rising gasoline prices is not just to family budgets. An even greater danger is that the government will use escalating oil prices as an excuse to do something stupid.
After President Nixon abrogated the Bretton Woods monetary arrangement in stages starting in September 1971, both gold prices and oil prices started to rise. The government responded by imposing wage-price controls. This made a bad situation much worse.
This time around, the stupid policies being considered to “deal with” rising gasoline prices include additional cuts in payroll taxes and higher taxes on energy producers.
During the 1970s, the toxic combination of a weak dollar, high tax rates, and onerous regulations introduced a new word into America’s economic vocabulary: stagflation. Reaganomics banished this word to the history books. Now, President Obama and Fed Chairman Bernanke are teaming up to give stagflation another try. It is not likely that Americans will like it any more this time around than they did 40 years ago
I agree, We should always keep learning. When someone flaunts a degree or anything to prove anything, it is anoying. That doesn't mean all people with degrees or Jeff is doing that. Just as looking isn't always seeing, listening isn't always hearing, education isn't always learning, but we should encourage all, especially kids to learn and educate as early and as much as possible because it only gets harder to as we get older. There are many problems with education as with most concerns today but the biggest problem is we leave more and more learning responcibilty with the school that used to be taught at home. With the busy American lifestyle schools end up trying to teach values and morals that some kids aren't getting at home and then folks get bent out of shape when their kid is exposed to one ah%^# professor with radical ideas and the empty headed kid that didn't get enough at home repeats it after spending the day playing video games. If we teach our kids more at home we will not have to worry as much that their weak empty head will get "endoctrinated" by some idiot proffessor. Bashing education because of a few bad teachers is like burning the whole library because a few "bad" books.
Agree, but I will go one step further. Home schooling OR additional teaching when the kids get home from school. They no longer read the classics; they are taught to 'share' everything, regardless if earned or not. So, some daily uneducating is required (if parents want their children to be successful).
A Thomas Jefferson Education is an excellent resource for home schooling, and is age appropriate.
Personally, bringing them up with faith, and attending Church and Sunday School, and all the activities assist in their moral character as well. Finally, setting the example as children learn from when we are teaching, and even more, when we are not...
$1 million over a working lifetime of 40 years discounted at 8% annually = $46,000 net present value....Now, how much does that college degree cost in today's dollars?
good one Chartist... why didn't I factor that in this equation - oh well, can't think of everything! The ROI isn't quite as presented when you factor inflation.
Rich Dad/Poor Dad - I think I watched that mini-series back in the 70's.
To determine what is common sense, as Jeff D. invoked, I think we must first find what the meaning of is is. Once we have determined what is is in this context, we can then attempt to determine common sense among the peoples, both the unedgeecated and the educated peoples. What an intriguing idea. I wonder if any of our Oxford educated leaders have figured out the meaning of is yet?
And, Jeff D., I mean no disrespect by this, but...I didn't think you'd be able to write all that and then walk away from it. Common sense told me you wouldn't be able to resist ;) And, I'm not too educated!
@mcb - you make excellent points and don't let 'educated' people make you feel less than you are, whether a formal schooling or not, you've been educated - you've spent your whole life educating yourself.
So, this became an issue with me with Jeff because he tried to flaunt his 'schooling' to make a point. They have noting over on our education because we never quit learning until the grave...
“Observe in this context, the intellectual precision of the Founding Fathers: they spoke to the right to the pursuit of happiness --- not the right to happiness. It means that a man has the right to take the action he deems necessary to achieve this happiness; it does not mean that others must make him happy.” Ayn Rand
Thanks Jeff -
My intention was never to be critical of advanced education, it was to point out that alternative education (aka life) has as much an impact on happiness and earnings as formal schooling. While mentioning your education, even as a joke, it was still meant to impact the 'validity' of your responses. If you combine your interests with your education, formal or not, you are on a path to live the quality life everyone desires. Many feel intimidated or feel less than they are when exchanging ideas with someone with your background.
My granddaughter is in grad school, as we speak. Yes, I encouraged her formal schooling not only because it would require a license to practice her profession, but because that was her desire.
Likewise, Steve Jobs, dropped in and out of college, took the subjects which interested him, and went on to his own success.
If you thought my intent was to malign formal schooling, then my intention was sorely missed, which is easy when exchanging views in this type of format. The point is there are alternative means of education and people should never feel like less than they are because they don't have the formal degree.
The daughter and son-in-law who both have formal degrees, train and show quarter horses all over the country, and are quite successful. It is their love of horses, their natural ability, their interest, their commonality, and their passion. Could have easily done that w/o the thousands spent on a degree. Those are my takeaway points for you.
I've really enjoyed our exchanges and merely wanted you to have an additional perspective. It's now clear of your background in statistics *grin as well as my passion of personal responsibility to this country and it's condition for my children and grandchildren. We view that differently, but I've had the time to read, research, follow the votes, read their 'stands' on issues, which is more than their education.
Boehner: Some of America’s Dumbest and Raunchiest Serve in Congress
"Congress includes some of the “dumbest” and “raunchiest” people in the country — but also some of the smartest — House Speaker John Boehner said in a report published this weekend." Wall Street Journal
"You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with." Jim Rohn
We should all have two friends we consider 'above' us (peers from whom we learn), one on the the same level, and two below our level in order to assist them in their accomplishments or life goals.
This is true in faith, in careers, and in personal growth.
Enjoy your day, as will I. Am in charge of a horse, a pet goat, two cats, and a dog while husband is in TX attending a funeral.
aren't unpaid student loans approaching $1t?
This time Bernanke is going to prop up stock prices in an attempt to prop up the economy and inflate away $15 trillion in recognized federal debt.
There's no gold standard coming because we can't pay back our federal debt except through inflation...I suggest you all read about post WW1 Germany and the Weimar Republic.
@Chartist Most of our debt is to the Federal Reserve - which is quite interesting as they perpetrated the debt. Everyone would take a hit if we went back to the gold standard, but if and when it is ACROSS the board, it effects everyone. Our dollar is only worth one penny today compared to in 1913. The law of supply and demand, free market, would then determine cost of goods and services.
"We are capable of believing things which we know to be untrue. And then, when we are finally proven wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right.
Intellectually, it is possible to carry on this process for an indefinite time; the only check on it is that sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield." George Orwell, "in Front of Your Nose" (pub March 22, 1946)
In the same essay, Mr. Orwell also states, "Medically, I believe this manner of thinking is called schizophrenia. At any rate, it is the power of holding simultaneously two beliefs which cancel out. Closely allied to it is the power of igniting facts which are obvious and unalterable, and which will have to be faced sooner or later. it is especially in our political thinking that these vices flourish."
I think someone else also wrote a book a while back and He made note of not being able to serve two masters too. ;)