Defusing the Middle East Would Lower Gas Prices

Saber rattling with Iran has sent oil prices through the roof.

Republicans see rising oil and gasoline prices as an opportunity to score political points on President Obama. To be sure, Obama is partly responsible for the rise in world prices and could do something about it. The irony is that Republicans would emphatically oppose the one measure that would be most effective in easing the pressure on prices right now: defusing tension in the Middle East by taking the war threat against Iran off the table.

Tension in the Middle East tends to push prices up, because the threat of war puts this major oil region under a darkening cloud of uncertainty. With Iran the tension is even greater because it is located on the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow waterway between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, 21 nautical miles at its narrowest point. Roughly 20 percent of the world’s oil moves through the strait, which is key for getting oil from the gulf countries to the rest of the world.

Iran has threatened to mine or close the strait in retaliation for an attack by Israel or the United States. The danger to oil tankers traversing the strait would shoot insurance prices through the roof, and the price of oil would follow as the supply diminished.

Since American and Israeli war talk directed at Iran is undoubtedly responsible for much of the recent price rise, it stands to reason that ceasing that talk convincingly would take the pressure off and would allow prices to fall again.

So why aren’t the Republicans calling on Obama to extend an olive branch to Iran? The answer is simple: Republicans (excepting Ron Paul) place American imperial bullying ahead of everything else. They may talk about the virtue of free markets and private property, but clearly their priority is American hegemony, no matter the cost in taxpayer money and freedom.

They would rather risk cripplingly high gasoline and oil prices — not to mention crippling American military personnel and Iranian children — than pass up an opportunity to rattle their sabers in defense of the American empire and to show how fierce these chicken hawks are. (Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich spent no time in the military, much less in a war zone. Such politicians are often the most eager to send men and women to war.)

To hear them tell it, the very existence of the United States and Israel is at stake in the confrontation with Iran over its alleged nuclear-weapons program. Nonsense. American and Israeli intelligence say that the Iranian government has not decided to build a nuclear weapon. Every pound of uranium in Iran’s possession is under an International Atomic Energy Agency seal. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, issued a fatwa against nuclear weapons years ago, and repeated this prohibition as recently as February. Furthermore, no American or Israeli official seriously believes that Iran would use a nuclear warhead to attack, even if it did build one. Why not? A nuclear strike on Israel or the United States would summon a devastating second strike that would destroy Iran and its government — and no one believes the Iranian regime is suicidal. Israel’s defense minister, Ehud Barak, himself says survival is the regime’s top priority.

So why the loose war talk? Why does Obama menace Iran without provocation by declaring that “all options are on the table,” including “all elements of American power” (emphasis added)? Why has he imposed harsh economic sanctions, which inflict pain on the Iranian people and which constitute an act of war under international law?

The reason is that America’s top politicians, Republican and Democrat, are locked into the imperial mindset. In their view, this country — more precisely, the man who presides over the national government — is the policeman of the world. They embrace President George H.W. Bush’s decree from 1990: “What we say goes.” If the president doesn’t like something, he reserves the authority to do something about it — militarily if “necessary.”

So they are willing to go to war, or to risk it in a deadly game of chicken, regardless of the cost in human life or economic growth.

More expensive gasoline for the rest of us is a small price to pay for their imperial ambitions.

Sheldon Richman is senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation in Fairfax, Va., author ofTethered Citizens: Time to Repeal the Welfare State, and editor of The Freeman magazine. This article originally appeared at The Future of Freedom Foundation. 

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Firstises.

    Stop devaluing the USD, Mr Bernanke.

  • Projection of Power||

    Projection of Power is required to keep the petrodollar functioning.

    Ron Paul and Reason, and any market fundamentalist anti-war idiots are full of shit.

    No projection of power? You americans wouldn't be able to afford a pint of gasoline.

  • I Blame Videogames!||

    No projection of power? You americans wouldn't be able to afford a pint of gasoline.

    If they don't want to sell it? Without people who want it and can pay for it, petroleum goes back to being what it once was: stinky goop.

  • Suki||

    +1

  • I Blame Videogames!||

    +1

    Thank you. Even a blind squirrel...

  • KOCH Ind. and United Defense||

    yeah, right, market fundie boy

    Your hatred of gummit make great cover for our using gummit as a hired middle management cut-out for the violence we innocent capitalist need to get things, you know...done.

    Now shut up while I clip my bond coupons and write another check to those Koch-sucker whores blowing smoke up your ass.

  • Yes Mary Stack||

    Still hasn't taken her meds or gotten the treatment she so desperately needs.

    Don't laugh. That is mean. Just look away.

  • Fibertard Soviet Medicine||

    Any political dissent is a mental disease to tyrants (well, tyrant-wannabees, nobody ever votes for them) like Fibertards.

  • Part of being insane||

    Is not knowing you are.

  • Correct.||

    Market fundamentalism has failed.
    www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfr.....new-vision

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: White Imbecile,

    Market fundamentalism has failed.


    The cute part is where the author believes that the UK and USA were enjoying a free market. Or that there is such a thing as "market fundamentalism," which makes as much sense as "evoluntionary fundamentalism." Neither the marker nor evolution would care one bit.

  • Oh, the US isn't a free market||

    but I thought it was.

    you'll read below that it is.

    You flip-flopping Fibertards need to make up your mind and stick to one story.

  • Mary Stack||

    Has trouble grasping fine distinctions.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: White Imbecile,

    Oh, the US isn't a free market


    The US is a country. What you probably meant is that the US, as a country, does not enjoy a free market. But I cannot know for sure what you meant anymore because you ramble incoherently like a person who lost half his brain in a Russian Roulette "accident."

    but I thought it was.


    You thought that because you're stupid.

  • anon||

    Still hasn't taken her meds or gotten the treatment she so desperately needs.

    Do you think we should notify someone? I mean, I don't personally care, but there's no reason to expose her daughter to such insanity.

  • anon = Nancy Pelosi?||

    so funny, every day, how Fibertards go all nanny-statist when it's convenient to them

    Can't tell 'em from Nancy Pelosi.

  • Mary Stack||

    Is very sensitive about being called crazy. She has more than likely spent a good part of her life receiving some kind of treatment or in some sort of institution. She probably had some kind of career in finance before her illness ended that. If you notice, her shrike character occasionally shows some real understanding of finance and claims to have "once worked in finance". Sadly, Mary is probably too far gone now to even know enough to accept the help she needs.

  • I Blame Videogames!||

    yeah, right, market fundie boy

    "Market fundie?" Fine, if that's what you want to call it. I just want to be left alone to live my life. If you manage to crash it all, my family will be fine, even if eating will get a little boring. OTOH, I don't think you'll be able to grow and eat your spools of cable.

  • ||

    Indeed. I mean, there's an argument that the price could somehow go up (though I disagree), but the idea that somehow the stuff would sit unsold is wacky. (Unless certain environmentalist extremists get their way, I suppose.)

  • Extremism is no vice||

    ...except when a Fibertard says it is.

  • ||

    Did I say it was a vice? I completely understand why from their point of view that they wouldn't want the stuff to be used. I merely disagree. However, it is the one situation where I can imagine the stuff unused.

    Ah, well, if only you had logic, reading comprehension, and an ability to actually understand others' arguments.

  • dodge and weave, FIBERTARD||

    now you're just lying.

    You know what you meant by extreme, and then I called you on it, and then you got mad.

    FUNNY EVERY DAY

  • Mary Stack||

    Likes to chew her toenails and invent names to call people.

  • I Blame Videogames!||

    Interesting. In my youth I referred to myself as a moderate extremist because people thought my goals -- get the busybodies and bullies out of my life -- were extreme, but that my methods --doing it as peacefully as possible-- were moderate.

  • Mary Stack||

    Likes to laugh at strange things that no one else can see the humor in.

  • Mary Stack||

    OH GOD this White Cherry Powerade goes great with my daily box of Crunch-Berries!

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Projection Of Power,

    Projection of Power is required to keep the petrodollar functioning.


    It also explains why it is doomed to fail.

    No projection of power? You [A]mericans wouldn't be able to afford a pint of gasoline.


    Actually, Americans would.

  • Petrodollar||

    Evidently Old Poodle never heard of the petrodollar.

  • Old Mexican||

    Evidently the racist fuck White Imbecile never heard of the end of the petrodollar or even of how it came to be.

  • Old Mex proves WI's point||

    Me givum you big thank, chief.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: White Imbecile,

    Me givum you big thank, chief.


    What point was that, you racist fuck? It is inevitable that the PD will fail - MY point is proven. You just continue the fallacy that all it takes is throwing billions towards military might. Don't be so proud of this technological military marvel; the power of the US armed forces is insignificant next to the power of the market.

  • The POWER of money?||

    You mean to tell me that market money is POWER?

    I thought you said it wasn't.

    Anyway, thanks, once again, for proving my point. Capitalism is violence whitewashed.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Economics Ignorant White Imbecile,

    You mean to tell me that market money is POWER?


    Economics Ignorant White Imbecile thinks the market = money.

    Thank you for playing. Next contestant?

    Oh, right - the right answer was: The power of the market is derived from all living individuals' purposeful actions.

  • Keep preachin' the gospel, bro||

    What's "purposeful" about turning a forest into desert?

  • Mary Stack||

    Likes to call people bro, right before she spits on them and starts screaming.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Economics Ignorant White Imbecile,

    What's "purposeful" about turning a forest into desert?


    Let's ask Mother Nature.

    Mother nature: What is the purpose of turning a previously lush Sahara into a desert? The economics ignorant and geological history-ignorant White Imbecile wants to know.

  • Old Mexican in denial||

    ...about deforestation and desertification.

  • Mary Stack||

    Thinks the desert is invading her basement.

  • Whitey Imbecile confuses||

    causes for an effect, and cannot differentiate between natural desertification and that produced by nitwit natives in his beloved "original affluent society" as they burn down forests to make pastures for the sheep he likes to fuck.

  • H. Rearden||

    Insanity is when square pegs of perception are hammered into round holes of reality, and the less comfortable the fit, the more frenzied the pounding becomes.
    (Paraphrased from a line John Hayward over at Human Events used)

  • Appalachian Australian||

    I've been able to buy many litres of gasoline just fine in Australia and Canada.

    Plus, the U.S. produces over half of its own oil now and is well on its way to being a net exporter if oil prices go up, which makes the petrodollar a lot less important

  • A mathematician||

    We are net exporting refined oil products like gasoline since this country has the best refineries. We are nowhere near being a next exporter of Crude.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    I've been able to buy many litres of gasoline just fine in Australia and Canada.

    Plus, the U.S. produces over half of its own oil now and is well on its way to being a net exporter if oil prices go up, which makes the petrodollar a lot less important

  • o3||

    read an interesting article about if we should join OPEC

  • Masturbatin' Pete||

    I'm not clear on how an olive branch from Washington to Iran will do much to defuse Mideast tension, unless you think that Israel will follow Obama's lead. Isn't it more likely that Israel's gonna do what Israel's gonna do?

  • Israel=Anglo Power Projection||

    Israel would be gone in 2 minutes without Anglo/American power. With Submissive German Saxons paying for nuclear cruise missile armed submarines. So funny!

    Israel is the connection proxy to God so that the Anglo-Americans can be viewed as God's Chosen People.

    And did those feet in ancient time
    Walk upon England’s mountains green?
    And was the Holy Lamb of God
    On England’s pleasant pastures seen?
    And did the countenance divine
    Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
    And was Jerusalem builded here
    Among these dark satanic mills?

  • HeroicMulatto||

    Israel would be gone in 2 minutes without Anglo/American power.
  • HeroicMulatto||

    Fucking squirrels.

    Israel would be gone in 2 minutes without Anglo/American power.

    * You've never heard of the Six-Day War?

  • Suki||

    The end of that one marked the beginning of Zionology from the Russian propaganda industry. You can relive it by watching #OWS freaks recite the talking points.

  • Zionology from Russian Pravda||

    Do you speak of Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum?

    The Arabs are one of the least developed cultures. They are typically nomads. Their culture is primitive, and they resent Israel because it's the sole beachhead of modern science and civilization on their continent. When you have civilized men fighting savages, you support the civilized men, no matter who they are."

    ~Ayn Rand, Ford Hall Forum lecture, 1974

  • Mary Stack||

    Likes to read Ayn Rand.

  • Mary's Stacked||

    It's hilarious how batshit crazy market fundamentalists have such a love-hate relationship with their market fundamentalist goddess.

    Atlas Shrugged: Part II Greenlighted, In Theaters Next Fall, Joshua Swain, March 18, 2012
    http://reason.com/blog/2012/03.....ghted-in-t
    Special Edition Reason Atlas Shrugged DVD Now Available for Order!, September 23, 2011
    http://reason.com/blog/2011/09.....rugged-dvd

  • Mary Stack||

    Likes to call other people crazy even though she is barely coherent most days.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Economics Ignorant White Imbecile,

    It's hilarious how batshit crazy market fundamentalists


    You know that the expression "market fundamentalism" makes as much sense as "evolutionary fundamentalism" as both the market and evolution (both actual phenomena and not just ideas) could not care less about what economics ignorant nitwits like you call either.

  • Evolution is science||

    Tell us more about your conversion to Fanatical Fundamentalism, Ol' Dirty Jose.

  • Mary Stack||

    Hates Mexicans, especially smart ones.

  • Whitey Imbecile thinks that||

    "Evolution" (a natural phenomenon) is "science" (the pursuit of knowledge).

    Whitey Imbecile has a problem with concepts.

  • Suki||

    Nope.

  • ||

    Yeah - maybe in some other universe, the Bolsheviks ordering people to death camps in the 1920s weren't, *easily* about 75% Jewish in a country that was less than 5% Jewish...

    but not in this universe - you'd have learned it in school, and you'd be able to go online and do some searching and find out yourself, and then, knowing such inconvenient, awkward facts, enjoy being called names for liking to try to stick to facts.

    Facts used to be stubborn things.

    Now, they're as fickle and insipid as the lead singer of your youngest cousin's favorite band.

  • Yes Mary Stack||

    Is a raving Anti Semite who blames the Jews for everything.

  • What blame was assigned?||

    Fibertards gonna fib.

  • Fibertard||

    Actually I am going to fiber.

  • Mary Stack||

    Likes to talk to herself.

  • ||

    The war threat against Iran comes mainly from Israel. How exactly are the Republicans supposed to take that off the table, even if they want to? Enter into a mutual defense pact with Iran?

  • Ex nihilo||

    They could say that as long as Iran does not threaten the security of the US, we will not attack them. That way Israel knows that it is up to them, and them alone, to deal with Iran if they feel threatened. I know Rommney in the past has said that Iran must not ever get a nuke, and that the US should be prepared to do whatever it takes to prevent them from getting one. Ratcheting back on that type of rhetoric would help.

  • o3||

    all iran has to do is fire a missle at a tanker. even if it misses, lloyds of london will cancel all tanker insurance.
    >the gas price will rise to teh heights of jesus!

  • I Blame Videogames!||

    Wherever there's injustice, oppression, and suffering, American drones show up six months later and bomb near there. That's war where nobody gets hurt, don'cha know!

  • Suki||

    Since nobody (okay, maybe somebody but not enough to matter) drives cars that run on crude oil, there is another important factor that gets routinely ignored: refinery capacity.

    Until the worldwide refining capacity outstrips demand, the price of refined product will continue to rise.

  • I Blame Videogames!||

    Until the worldwide refining capacity outstrips demand, the price of refined product will continue to rise.

    Thank you. When was the last time a new refinery was built in the US? Marathan Ashland in Garyville, LA was completed in 1976. Anything after that?

  • Suki||

    I have heard that existing refineries have increased capacity since then, but US refineries are not the only ones in the world. Recent reports state that the US has become a net gasoline exporter. First guess is that foreign buyers are willing to pay a higher price than domestic, in addition to their need for additional capacity.

  • I Blame Videogames!||

    Net gas exporter? Maybe. Seems unlikely, but the petroleum market ain't my pidgin.

    Yes, expansion of existing refineries has been expanded, but that doesn't put that increased capacity in the right places. Also, there are limits placed on that expansion as well, the most obvious being from transport capacity, EPA and NIMBY.

  • ||

    Poking Iran with a sharp stick is hella stupid. But as long as the FED keeps printing the money the price of oil (and everything else) will keep going up. Unless you price it in gold.

  • ||

    Well, Sen. Rand Paul is doing his part to help.

    He just blocked unanimous consent to allowing a bipartisan tougher sanctions on Iran bill to pass without amendments. He's insisting on offering an amendment saying that "nothing in this bill shall be taken as authorizing war against Syria or Iran."

    Pissing all the right people off.

  • ||

    "Senator Rand Paul formally objected to taking up the legislation unless the Senate would also consider his amendment to it saying that nothing in the bill could be construed as an authorization of war against Iran or Syria. This effectively blocked the bill from advancing."
  • Imperial Japan||

    Harsh economic sanctions are all good. Nobody would ever go to war over those.

  • Boom||

    So? Couple of nukes solved that. Clean and tidy

  • ||

    What about how oil is priced?

    It's not supply and demand so much as the net result of the bets of speculators. You might think this is great since, next to sex, pure free markets are the best thing eva - but it's actually a really inefficient way to sell a commodity.

    I can't plan my transpo costs well if gas jumps every time Bibi farts.

  • ||

    yeah no.

  • ||

    I can't plan my transpo costs well if gas jumps every time Bibi farts.

    So you're actually arguing that we shouldn't be encouraged to conserve gas if it looks like there's going to be an idiotic war threatening supply? Huh.

    I suppose you could make a case that prices go up (and then crash) because too many people believe the warnings about peak oil.

  • Suki||

    That speculator argument is lame enough to be a product of an Axlerod talking point.

  • ||

    to the contrary?

    This isn't very chewy, even for you.

    The price is determined not by supply and demand, but by fears, speculations, etc. etc. of large buyers.

    As a matter of physics, this ain't efficient... but if you want to tell me it's good because it's the market, and the market is good because you say it is, I guess I'll strike up your argument to something like:

    I know gOd wrote the bible because the bible says god wrote it.

    Cute.

  • Yes Mary Stack||

    Has a new alias to post the manifestations of her illness.

  • Libertard=zero empathy autism||

    Libertarians are the ONLY group that scored higher on systemizing than on empathizing—and they scored a lot higher. The authors go on to suggest that systemizing is “characteristic of the male brain, with very extreme scores indicating AUTISM.

    The Science of Libertarian Morality
    http://reason.com/archives/201.....ibertarian

    and don't forget...

    What’s the Matter with Libertarianism?
    Its models of human nature and society are terminally deficient.
    Psychology Today
    www.psychologytoday.com/blog/t.....rtarianism

    But go ahead and keep projecting, spoofertard.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    What's wrong with autistic people?

  • Mary Stack||

    Is very sensitive and defensive about her illness.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    If we really have a mental disease, aren't you being the unsympathetic one by mocking us for something we cannot help?

    FACT PWNED, Mary.

  • My Inner Democrat whines||

    You reject empathy, until you realize the consequences and the error of your ways.

    Welcome to the Democrat party, boys.

  • Mary Stack||

    Likes to post strange things no one understands.

  • Empathy. Fibertards no get.||

    And admit it.

  • Mary Stack||

    Likes to call people made up names.

  • Statist! Socialist!||

  • Do White Imbeciles fling their||

    shit as part of a defensive strategy or as a reflex?

    "The several studies done of White Imbeciles in the wild does shed some light on the curious behavior of shit flinging. I believe it is part of a reflective reaction, as they fling shiot at the merest of provocations. I don't see yet the evolutionary basis for such behavior," said Dr. Susan Leyden, head of biology at the University of Biteme.

    "It is an interesting behavior and the subject of of a coming paper that I intend to publish. Knowing that White Imbeciles are animals of no cognitive ability, one conclusion is that their shit flinging is an entirely instinctive behavior, but I believe it is even less than that: A mere reflective behavior, not having any specific survival purpose."

    "The Behaviors of White Imbeciles in the wild" by Dr. Susan Leyden, University of Biteme,pages 322 through 324.

  • I've got real, you got spoof||

    ...but you are funny! That is a great parody. Bravo!

    And if your realize that funny is all you are, and why people don't vote libertarian, you've come a long way in your education.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Economics Ignorant White Imbecile,

    I've got real, you got spoof


    Yeah... not that having "real" makes you any better (or less obnoxious) than your spoofer.

  • Old Poodles piss on economics||

    real economics based on empirical data, that is.

  • Mary Stack||

    Likes to curse a lot and pretend she is smart.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Economics Ignorant White Imbecile,

    real [sic economics based on empirical data, that is.


    World, meet the nitwit who seriously believes people behave like particles rather than fickle, thinking individuals.

  • Old Poodle hates science||

    like a Kentucky Creationist Museum Fundie

  • Mary Stack||

    Thinks churches send out waves that control her brain.

  • Fibertard blame gummit||

    that controls women's brains

    Why Mommy Loves the State
    Bretigne Shaffer

    one of the funniest volumes ever

  • Mary Stack||

    Thinks Libertarians are trying to kill her cat.

  • Whitey Imbecile thinks that||

    "science" means empiricism.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Whimsical Johnny,

    It's not supply and demand so much as the net result of the bets of speculators.


    What do you think the speculators use to place their bets - the cards? The stars?

    Speculators place bet on future supply and demand, in th end helping to stabilize the price of oil and giving confidence to the market. Speculators fill the valleys and cut the peaks, not the other way around, making a profit along the way.

  • Brandon||

    "but it's actually a really inefficient way to sell a commodity."

    [Citation Needed]

    Also, what's a better way? Government setting prices? Because that always works out great for everybody.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Every time you wait to buy gas (or buy gas early) because you think the price will go up/down, you're "speculating". Speculating = normal market activities.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Rev. Blue Moon,

    Speculating = normal market activities.


    Well said. It irks me when blowhards like Bill O'Reilly and the other socialists show their ignorance by perpetuating the myth of the "eeevil" speculator.

  • Bill O'Reilly is socialist||

    Old Poodle told me so.

  • Racist Whitey Imbecile||

    has a problem with Mexicans who point out what is obvious to everybody else but Whitey Imbecile.

  • Old Mexican||

    The reason is that America’s top politicians, Republican and Democrat, are locked into the imperial mindset. In their view, this country — more precisely, the man who presides over the national government — is the policeman of the world.


    And it has been like that ever since the days of Teddy... and I don't mean Ruxpin.

  • ||

    But as long as the FED keeps printing the money the price of oil (and everything else) will keep going up.

    You've got it backwards. Benny needs to print fasterfasterfaster, and make us all millionaires. Then we will be able to afford gas even if it's twenty bucks per gallon.

    If you had studied economics at Princeton, you'd know that.

  • Suki||

    +1 ROFL

  • shrike||

    More Inflationista bullshit.

    Coal has fallen from $140/ton to $68/ton since the Fed began "printing money".

    NatGas is only 20% of old highs. Crude is down as well.

    But wingnut economic myth? Way up!

  • Mary Stack||

    Likes to lie and call herself Shrike.

    http://oil-price.net/dashboard.php?lang=en

    Oil is up over the last quarter.

  • Fibertards have bitched||

    ...about the Fed for only the last quarter.

  • shrike||

    Crude is down 15% from last year's spring spike.

    Gas is selling at less than $3 for November delivery. Gas prices are almost certainly headed down.

  • ||

    And yet last week you tried to argue with someone that inflation was fucking up some such or other.

  • ||

    One area where I will agree with you, shrike. The inflation hysteria is ridiculous. The Fed has sterilized a fair amount of its monetary injection with interest on reserves.

    In any case, inflation related to both monetary supply and monetary velocity, as Milton Friedman could tell you. M may be up, but V is way down.

    There's absolutely no reason to have crippling deflation right now, yet too many people argue for it.

    All it does is make Keynesian fiscal stimulus more attractive to the rest of the populace.

  • shrike||

    We're in what would be a natural deflationary period that will persist as long as we see overcapacity in plants, production, labor, homes, and CRE.

    World crude demand rising doesn't matter.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Bomb the factories, burn the machinery, kill the labourers, and spread land mines in the commercial real estate.

    And then everything will be better?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: shrike,

    We're in what would be a natural deflationary period that will persist as long as we see overcapacity [sic] in plants, production, labor, homes, and CRE.


    "Let's dig us some ditches to fill them up again!!!"

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Why is deflation "crippling", yet robbing the public via inflation is wonderful?

  • shrike||

    And the IOR pays only 1/4 of 1% on $1.6 trillion.

    Its not much of a plum for the banks.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Shrike,

    Coal has fallen from $140/ton to $68/ton since the Fed began "printing money".


    Also: Manufacturing has gone down since the Fed began priting money, especially and tragically the Cement business which uses oodles of coal...

    ... oh, you forgot that, didn't you, shriek?

    By the way, there's no longer a "Dollar Value Menu" at McDonalds ever since the Fed started "printing money."

    But Keynesian economic myth? Way out there.

  • No Cement used since 1913||

    Weird Fibertarian Belief system.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Fly ash is used to create Portland cement . (It used to just be released into the atmosphere.)

    OM oughtta know; CEMEX is one of the biggest users of fly ash in the world.

    Just drove past a giant cement plant (owned by some Italians?) whilst scoping out a new manufacturing facility. Lots of railcars full of coal on the siding by it.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: White Imbecile and Economic Ignoramus,

    No Cement used since 1913

    Weird Fibertarian Belief system.


    Q.E.D. the White Imbecile is an economics ignoramus.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    It would be fun trying to see any of these people take care of themselves without a free-market capitalist economy to rely on.

    One where, y'know, they'd have to figure out how to build their own shelter, grow/hunt their own food, protect themselves against murders, etc.

  • I thought we didn't have that.||

    You flip flop more than Mitt Romney.

    Do we have a free-market capitalist economy, or NOT, Fibertards?

  • Do White Imbeciles fling their||

    shit as part of a defensive strategy or as a reflex?

    "The several studies done of White Imbeciles in the wild does shed some light on the curious behavior of shit flinging. I believe it is part of a reflective reaction, as they fling shiot at the merest of provocations. I don't see yet the evolutionary basis for such behavior," said Dr. Susan Leyden, head of biology at the University of Biteme.

    "It is an interesting behavior and the subject of of a coming paper that I intend to publish. Knowing that White Imbeciles are animals of no cognitive ability, one conclusion is that their shit flinging is an entirely instinctive behavior, but I believe it is even less than that: A mere reflective behavior, not having any specific survival purpose."

    "The Behaviors of White Imbeciles in the wild" by Dr. Susan Leyden, University of Biteme,pages 322 through 324.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Economics Ignorant White Imbecile,

    Do we have a free-market capitalist economy, or NOT, Fibertards?


    Not since 1913.

  • Oh, so we don't.||

    But I thought we did.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Economics Ignorant White Imbecile,

    But I thought we did.


    Well, yes, but only because you're stupid.

  • We do/don't have free market?||

    Appalachian Australian|3.28.12 @ 11:49AM|#

    It would be fun trying to see any of these people take care of themselves without a free-market capitalist economy to rely on.

    Is Appalachian Australian stupid too?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Economics Ignorant Whtie Imbecile,

    Is Appalachian Australian stupid too?


    No, Economics Ignorant White Imbecile. Just you.

  • so you go both ways||

    depending on what's convenient

    nice

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Economics Ignorant White Imbecile,

    so you go both ways depending on what's convenient


    Yeah, whatever turns you on, White Imbecile.

    The fact is, we don't have a free market because of government-influenced central banking. What Appalachian Australian was alluding to is productivity and entrepreneurship, which exist despite government. Since you cannot see the difference, then the conclusion is that you're stupid.

  • ||

    shrike is famous for cherry-picking his data-points.

    He/she/it argues as if the Fed's money-printing operation happened all at once, and nothing else affects these markets.

    Let's say QE started in November, 2008, with the big MBS purchases. At the end of November, 2008, crude was priced at just over $50/barrel.

    Since then, it has doubled.

    shrike picks the pre-crash peak of crude oil prices, which happened in the summer of 2008, before QE was begun.

  • Mary Stack||

    Likes to call herself Shrike and lie and selectively choose facts.

  • sarcasmic||

    Those damn speculators speculatin' that there could be conflict in the Middle East that causes a drop in the supply of oil, thus causing that price to rise!

    It's the damn speculatin' speculators' fault!

  • ||

    Which would be worse for Iran? American drone bombing of nuke facilities or Israel off the leash?

  • Charlotte Corday||

    Israel off the leash, especially with the secret support of Saudi Arabia. If you are an Iranian and actually care about your country, you really want it to stop building nukes.

  • Suki||

    Maobama regime action will be worse. Israel tends to stick with self preservation missions rather than electioneering imagery.

  • ||

    Don't you see? We have to take liquidity out of the market! Because... um, because, that's why.

    If you had studied economics at Princeton you'd know that.

  • Suki||

    I shall be totally ripping off that Princeton thing from now on.

  • ||

    Lots of things would lower gas prices. Lowering the taxes on gas, for example. Or allowing drilling in places where it is momentarily taboo (does anybody actually believe that we are NEVER going to drill where we know there is oil?). or allowing the construction of more (and more modern) refineries, which would ease a choke-point.

    Gas prices are high because there are people who WANT gas prices to be high.

  • Ocean View Condo||

    I'm Republican, and I don't want my property values lowered by Fibertard collectivists who demand we drill and lower my property values.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    (1) Mary Stack is a Republican?

    (2) In American law, a nice view is not a property right, so you have no more right to complain about "lower property values" than you do if undesirable people move in next door to you and lower the value of your neighbourhood.

  • Stupid Fibertard||

    Nice views = high property values.

    If you gotta deny that, go ahead. You're batting zero on getting elected anyway, because of such stupidity.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    In times past, no black neighbours = high property values.

    I was unaware Mary Stack was a racist, but I'll add that to her sins.

  • SCIENTIFIC RACISM=Libertarian||

    In short; racialist science is properly not an act of aggression or a cover for oppression of one group over another, but, on the contrary, an operation in defense of private property against assaults by aggressors.

    ~Murray Rothbard
    Murray N. Rothbard (1926-1995) was the dean of the Austrian School of economics and the founder of libertarianism.

  • Do White Imbeciles fling their||

    shit as part of a defensive strategy or as a reflex?

    "The several studies done of White Imbeciles in the wild does shed some light on the curious behavior of shit flinging. I believe it is part of a reflective reaction, as they fling shiot at the merest of provocations. I don't see yet the evolutionary basis for such behavior," said Dr. Susan Leyden, head of biology at the University of Biteme.

    "It is an interesting behavior and the subject of of a coming paper that I intend to publish. Knowing that White Imbeciles are animals of no cognitive ability, one conclusion is that their shit flinging is an entirely instinctive behavior, but I believe it is even less than that: A mere reflective behavior, not having any specific survival purpose."

    "The Behaviors of White Imbeciles in the wild" by Dr. Susan Leyden, University of Biteme,pages 322 through 324.

  • Quote Rothbard = Fling Shit||

    gotcha

  • Mary Stack||

    Likes to quote Murry Rothbard.

  • Read Rothbard||

    Champion of Racialist Science
    www.libertymaniacs.com/rothbard_read_250x250.gif

  • Mary Stack||

    Really likes to quote Murry Rothbard.

  • Read Rothbard! ||

  • Mary Stack||

    Loves Murry Rothbard

  • ||

    Bolshevism was weirdly disproportionately Jewish - i.e. European Jews who probably have more ethnic connections to the Russian steppes than to the Levant.

    So is neoconservativism today.
    There's a theme, to whatever degree unfair, of a minority rising to positions of power in media and finance and politics and showing more loyalty to one another across borders than to their countrymen...

    This theme suggests there wasn't 'no reason' for the serial expulsions from dozens of lands - maybe beginning with Cyprus after the Jews massacred tens of thousands of Greeks and Romans to try to create a new homeland.

    But that can't possibly, possibly be true, I suppose.

    Some facts are too ugly to be true.

  • ||

    Bolshevism was weirdly disproportionately Jewish - i.e. European Jews who probably have more ethnic connections to the Russian steppes than to the Levant.

    So is neoconservativism today.
    There's a theme, to whatever degree unfair, of a minority rising to positions of power in media and finance and politics and showing more loyalty to one another across borders than to their countrymen...

    This theme suggests there wasn't 'no reason' for the serial expulsions from dozens of lands - maybe beginning with Cyprus after the Jews massacred tens of thousands of Greeks and Romans to try to create a new homeland.

    But that can't possibly, possibly be true, I suppose.

    Some facts are too ugly to be true.

  • Mary Stack||

    Gets angry, obscene and defensive when confronted.

  • matches reason's discourse||

    reasonoid gets mad

  • Mary Stack||

    Likes to pretend everyone is mad at her.

  • teh gummit gonna git ya||

  • Brandon||

    This is a really weak troll even by white indian standards.

  • got something against property||

    ...and maintaining high property values?

  • Mary Stack||

    Has run out of proxies and has to be careful of being banned until she gets some new ones.

  • Projecting again, Fibertard?||

  • Mary Stack||

    Likes to make up words.

  • portmanteau||

    Fibertard never heard of

  • Mary Stack||

    Learns a new word every day. And likes to use them even if she doesn't really understand them.

  • portmanteau|||

    is the name Mary Stack calls the rag on a stick she uses to wash herself.

  • ||

    If you have an ocean view you are the beneficiary of subsidised insurance that allows you to rebuild on land that Mother Nature scours clean with some regularity. If they decide to drill for oil in the middle of your view, suck it up, whippo.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Every pound of uranium in Iran’s possession is under an International Atomic Energy Agency seal."

    And just how do you know that to be the case?

  • Never heard of the NPT?||

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Does the existence of the NPT prove that there is no uranium anywhere on earth not accounted for by the Atomic Energy Agency?

  • Unicorn||

    Sure.

    I'd exist, too, if a treaty said so.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Is the uranium in Isreal's nuclear weapons under the Atomic Energy Agency's seal?

  • ||

    anti-semite!

    you said something which impugns something and/or is truthfully or rhetorically negative about Israel and/or Jews!

    anti-semite!!!!

    Fuck all arabs by the way - they were invented by some filthy Greek.

  • ||

    Even the uranium at the "secret" facilities that weren't even known to the West?

    Even the uranium at the facilities that the IAEA is not allowed to inspect?

  • Unicorn||

    Sure!

    Want to go for a ride to the end of a rainbow? Come on! It's fun!

  • ||

    shit-flinging monkey

    reeking rancid runny smear

    where is your diaper

  • i know you are but what am i?||

  • Do White Imbeciles fling their||

    shit as part of a defensive strategy or as a reflex?

    "The several studies done of White Imbeciles in the wild does shed some light on the curious behavior of shit flinging. I believe it is part of a reflective reaction, as they fling shiot at the merest of provocations. I don't see yet the evolutionary basis for such behavior," said Dr. Susan Leyden, head of biology at the University of Biteme.

    "It is an interesting behavior and the subject of of a coming paper that I intend to publish. Knowing that White Imbeciles are animals of no cognitive ability, one conclusion is that their shit flinging is an entirely instinctive behavior, but I believe it is even less than that: A mere reflective behavior, not having any specific survival purpose."

    "The Behaviors of White Imbeciles in the wild" by Dr. Susan Leyden, University of Biteme,pages 322 through 324.

  • reeking rancid runny smear||

  • Shit, "nice" comeback, turd||

    .

  • Barry D||

    It takes two sides to make peace.

    As many times as appeasement has been tried, it doesn't work.

    I'm not pro-war. I'm just anti-magical-thinking. Iran's nuclear program is there because they intend to have MORE power over the Strait.

    I can't say what the best answer is, but I do know that simple-minded doctrinaire anti-war "answers" aren't real answers to international conflict at all. They're just stupid bumper sticker slogans.

  • never heard of the NPT?||

  • Cytotoxic||

    Since it is Iran that is constantly destabilizing the ME, the article's premise is wholly false and can be dismissed. Further, rising oil prices are probably a function of The Bernanks War on the USD.

  • ||

    That is undoubtedly a contributing factor. I also don't believe Iran would continue destabilizing the Middle East if /other nations/ would back off. Iran's actions thus far have been little more than a cry for attention, rather than any real threat.

  • Barry D||

    Uh, if they're a cry for attention, why would they stop if everyone "backed off"?

    Is it not more likely that they'd escalate their threats?

    We forget that Iran has internal political problems. It's naive to think that only OUR politicians could possibly think to "wag the dog". It's entirely possible -- quite plausible, actually -- that Iran's actions have more to do with Iran than with us.

    If that's the case, our simply ignoring Iran could have the opposite effect from what you suggest.

    There's the problem. What if Iran's threats are NOT really about us, at all? What if Iran's animosity towards Israel has little to do with Israel, and everything to do with those in power wanting to stay in power?

    Most anti-war simpletons believe that we cause war, and by simply not signalling that we are willing to fight, we will immediately stop war. That's just plain stupid.

  • The Enemy||

    Gets a vote too.

  • ||

    Hey now, personal insults and attacks are the calling card of a poor argument.

    It is true that Iran would likely intensify it's belligerence temporarily but when ignored long enough it takes no more than an "anti-war simpleton" to realize it would stop. Dragging this out with politics and nuanced threats hidden in well-crafted rhetoric doesn't help.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Hey now, personal insults and attacks are the calling card of a poor market fundamentalist argument.

    FIFY

  • Mary Stack||

    Thinks posting under other people's handles keeps the churches from controlling her brain.

  • Barry D||

    So once again you refuse to so much as acknowledge what I wrote, which is that Iran's actions are most likely driven by internal politics and power plays.

    Hence, "anti-war simpleton". Not an insult. A description. It applies to Ron Paul, too, even though I'd vote for him to be President if I were given the chance. I figure he, like Jefferson, would quickly learn that reality doesn't match his wishes, when it comes to war.

  • Barry D||

    BTW that doesn't imply that everyone who doesn't like war is a simpleton. That was intended as a brief, descriptive way to refer to a quite-recognizable "type", within a 900-character limit.

  • ||

    No one can stop all war. But that doesn't mean that the only alternative is to pour gasoline on the fire.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Uh, if they're a cry for attention, why would they stop if everyone "backed off"?"

    Indeed.

    They have the example of North Korea to follow.

    Continual threats of belligerence to get handouts from the appeasment crowd.

    And the appeasement crowd, predictably, steps up every time to keep the gravy train rolling.

  • Barry D||

    And how quickly the anti-war types forget that we have 28,500 troops in Korea, to this day...

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Kind of like the way that liberals who are so enamored of the European social welfare states forget that the economic model of those states is entirely predicated on free riding on the United States military for their protection.

    If they had not been getting miltary protection welfare from the US ever since the end of WW2, not only would none of them have ever been able to afford their welfare programs, not a single one of them would even be existence as independent nation states at all now.

  • ||

    Barry D, agreed 100% here. But I think non-pacifists are in the minority on Reason.

  • Geuss who's Stack? Stack again||

  • Citizen Fiber-tard||

    I just pooped myself a little. (I should probably lay off the bran.)

  • Mary Stack||

    Get's increasingly strange and hostile as the day goes on.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Naw. That was me being tickled by "fibertard/fibertarian"

  • A spoof is a Fib, Fibertard||

  • Citizen Nothing||

    What do you get when you cross a Paultard with a Fiber-tard?
    Someone who wants to bring home General Allen and audit General Mills!

  • Retarded Libertarian Liar||

    or Fibertard. It's economy of words. You get economics, right?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    If only there were a free market in "b"s, you could probably afford "fibbertarian/fibbertard" and coherence.
    Alas for Fiber McGee and (Moly).

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Of course, with Fiber McGee, that loud cacophony one often heard didn't come from his closet.

  • Whahappan?||

    Tain't funny, McGee!

  • Appalachian Australian||

    So Mary Stack constantly carps about winning elections, yet is most likely not eligible to even vote in the U.S.

    And she still hasn't owned up to her quote that autism = bad. I guess Mary Stack hates anyone who is "different".

    She's cut from the same cloth as President Obama, who uses "special Olympics" as a way to joke about the handicapped, whilst pretending to be the advocate of the "other" and the disabled.

  • ||

    Bolshevism was weirdly disproportionately Jewish - i.e. European Jews who probably have more ethnic connections to the Russian steppes than to the Levant.

    So is neoconservativism today.
    There's a theme, to whatever degree unfair, of a minority rising to positions of power in media and finance and politics and showing more loyalty to one another across borders than to their countrymen...

    This theme suggests there wasn't 'no reason' for the serial expulsions from dozens of lands - maybe beginning with Cyprus after the Jews massacred tens of thousands of Greeks and Romans to try to create a new homeland.

    But that can't possibly, possibly be true, I suppose.

    Some facts are just too ugly to be true.

    Not many Correspondence Theorists here, I reckon...

  • ||

    Cool story, except that American Jews largely vote Team Blue and embrace its penchant for despising Israel and indulging Zionist conspiracy theories.

  • shrike||

    Britain Deserves Better

  • ||

    The irony here, of course, is that the "saber rattling" actually began when the religious fundamentalist nutcases who run Iran decided it would be a good idea to tell the entire world that they want to wipe Israel off the face of the earth, use any means necessary to defend their country from imaginary attack, etc etc etc. Perhaps Mr. Richmond should take his message of peace and love to the backward fucking primitives who incite this shit in the first place.

    Oh, and that whole thing about all of Iran's uranium being under IAEA lock and key? Bullshit: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/.....sites.html

    Since when does not being a war monger or "chicken hawk" automatically entail shilling for a batshit crazy theocracy trying to swing its dick at the world and pretending that it has noble intentions when it demonstrably doesn't?

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