FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

It’s the Manipulated Economy, Stupid

by MICHAEL DONNELLY

The first Fall rains arrive. Leaves begin to turn color. Species begin migrations. The airwaves buzz with vacuous political ads. Various pro-Democrat/Neo-liberal progressive groups are once again giddy anticipating the end of Neo-con iron fist control of the nation. Election season is upon us.

Ben Tripp threw cold water all over the hopes of the naïve pwogs the other day. Tripp predicted a Republican sweep, or, at least, the Republicans maintaining their grip on DC. Aside from the time-dishonored tactic of Election Fraud, the failure of the Peace Movement and others to hold anyone accountable –R or D –for votes supporting the Iraq war/occupation, incessant Terror Alerts, etc.; the bottom line ace in the hole for BushCo is manipulating the economy.

Could it be any more obvious? It doesn’t take a genius–Rovian or otherwise–to notice how things are aligning. Gas prices are headed to their lowest level in two years. On Thursday, September 21st, USA Today ran an article showing that “When it comes to President Bush’s approval rating –the number that measures his political health –one factor seems more powerful than any Oval Office address or legislative initiative.”

And what is that measure? The article cites a statistical analysis by the Left Business Observer’s Doug Henwood, which found “an ‘uncanny’ 78% of the movement in Bush’s ratings could be correlated with changes in gas prices.”

Using his research and recent gas price drops as a guide, Henwood accurately predicted last Thursday that it “wouldn’t be surprising to see his approval numbers rise into the mid-40s.” Polls over the weekend showed Bush’s approval climbing all the way to 44%, his highest in a year.

Continuing its usual election year pattern when Republicans control the White House, the Federal Reserve Board hasn’t raised interest rates since the end of June, when the Fed set the rate at 5.25%. (The rate was raised to 6.5% for 2000’s stolen election. Quickly, it was dropped to a mere 1.75% for 2002 and 2004.) Now, after raising the rate steadily since then, the increase was capped in June. The Stock Market has responded and we’ll be seeing all sorts of blather about the Dow “reaching its all-time high”–11,722.98–by November 7th. (The Dow is at 11,611.67 as I write this.)

Just what have the American public been told equals a “robust, thriving economy?” Most folks, and especially the press, are conditioned to look to two indicators–gas prices and the Dow Jones Average. Who isn’t happy when gas prices drop? Other than the EXXON/MOBILEs of the world, that is. Big Oil is smarting at having to give Cheney a mere two-month price reprieve–the oily EXXON cartel alone has been pocketing $1 billion per week in profits so far this year.

So, as you enjoy the spectacle of yet another Diebold election, do as my buddy Steve Spahr and wait to fill your heating oil tank until early November; fill up the old Chevy and take a scenic drive through the corporate industrial E. coli farms, feedlots, clearcuts and mined-off mountaintops of rural America; cuz, by Rove, we won’t be seeing gas prices and interest rates this low or stocks this high for, uh, let me guess, two years.

MICHAEL DONNELLY drives a beat-up 1996 Ford Ranger pick-up with a rack for hauling recycled lumber. It’ll be in steady use until the post-election, post-Iran assault gas price escalation. He can be reached at pahtoo@aol.com

 

 

MICHAEL DONNELLY has been an environmental activist since before that first Earth Day. He was in the thick of the Pacific Northwest Ancient Forest Campaign; garnering some collective victories and lamenting numerous defeats. He can be reached at pahtoo@aol.com

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

Weekend Edition
August 26, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Louisa Willcox
The Unbearable Killing of Yellowstone’s Grizzlies: 2015 Shatters Records for Bear Deaths
Paul Buhle
In the Shadow of the CIA: Liberalism’s Big Embarrassing Moment
Rob Urie
Crisis and Opportunity
Charles Pierson
Wedding Crashers Who Kill
Richard Moser
What is the Inside/Outside Strategy?
Dirk Bezemer – Michael Hudson
Finance is Not the Economy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Bernie’s Used Cars
Margaret Kimberley
Hillary and Colin: the War Criminal Charade
Patrick Cockburn
Turkey’s Foray into Syria: a Gamble in a Very Dangerous Game
Ishmael Reed
Birther Tries to Flim Flam Blacks  
Brian Terrell
What Makes a Hate Group?
Andrew Levine
How Donald Trump Can Still be a Hero: Force the Guardians of the Duopoly to Open Up the Debates
Howard Lisnoff
Trouble in Political Paradise
Terry Tempest Williams
Will Our National Parks Survive the Next 100 Years?
Ben Debney
The Swimsuit that Overthrew the State
Ashley Smith
Anti-imperialism and the Syrian Revolution
Andrew Stewart
Did Gore Throw the 2000 Election?
Vincent Navarro
Is the Nation State and Its Welfare State Dead? a Critique of Varoufakis
John Wight
Syria’s Kurds and the Wages of Treachery
Lawrence Davidson
The New Anti-Semitism: the Case of Joy Karega
Mateo Pimentel
The Affordable Care Act: A Litmus Test for American Capitalism?
Roger Annis
In Northern Syria, Turkey Opens New Front in its War Against the Kurds
David Swanson
ABC Shifts Blame from US Wars to Doctors Without Borders
Norman Pollack
American Exceptionalism: A Pernicious Doctrine
Ralph Nader
Readers Think, Thinkers Read
Julia Morris
The Mythologies of the Nauruan Refugee Nation
George Wuerthner
Caving to Ranchers: the Misguided Decision to Kill the Profanity Wolf Pack
Ann Garrison
Unworthy Victims: Houthis and Hutus
Julian Vigo
Britain’s Slavery Legacy
John Stanton
Brzezinski Vision for a Power Sharing World Stymied by Ignorant Americans Leaders, Citizens
Philip Doe
Colorado: 300 Days of Sunshine Annually, Yet There’s No Sunny Side of the Street
Joseph White
Homage to EP Thompson
Dan Bacher
The Big Corporate Money Behind Jerry Brown
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
DNC Playing Dirty Tricks on WikiLeaks
Ron Jacobs
Education for Liberation
Jim Smith
Socialism Revived: In Spite of Bernie, Donald and Hillary
David Macaray
Organized Labor’s Inferiority Complex
David Cortright
Alternatives to Military Intervention in Syria
Binoy Kampmark
The Terrors of Free Speech: Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act
Cesar Chelala
Guantánamo’s Quagmire
Nyla Ali Khan
Hoping Against Hope in Kashmir
William Hughes
From Sam Spade to the Red Scare: Dashiell Hammett’s War Against Rightwing Creeps
Raouf Halaby
Dear Barack Obama, Please Keep it at 3 for 3
Charles R. Larson
Review: Paulina Chiziane’s “The First Wife: a Tale of Polygamy”
David Yearsley
The Widow Bach: Anna Magdalena Rediscovered
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail