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

 

 

More articles by:

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

January 23, 2018
Carl Boggs
Doomsday Panic in Hawaii
Mark Ashwill
If I Were US Ambassador to Vietnam…
Jack Rasmus
US Government Shutdown: Democrats Blink…Again
Nick Pemberton
The Inherent Whiteness of “Our Revolution”
Leeann Hall
Trump’s Gift for the Unemployed: Kicking Them Off Health Care
Dean Baker
Lessons in Economics For the NYT’s Bret Stephens: Apple and Donald Trump’s Big Tax Cut
Mitchell Zimmerman
Law, Order and the Dreamers
Ken Hannaford-Ricardi
The Kids the World Forgot
Dave Lindorff
South Korea Slips Off the US Leash
Ali Mohsin
Extrajudicial Murder of Pashtun Exposes State Brutality in Pakistan
Jessicah Pierre
Oprah is No Savior
John Carroll Md
Keeping Haiti in Perspective
Amir Khafagy
Marching Into the Arms of the Democrats
January 22, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
It’s Time to Call Economic Sanctions What They Are: War Crimes
Jim Kavanagh
Behind the Money Curtain: A Left Take on Taxes, Spending and Modern Monetary Theory
Sheldon Richman
Trump Versus the World
Mark Schuller
One Year On, Reflecting and Refining Tactics to Take Our Country Back
Winslow Wheeler
Just What Earmark “Moratorium” are They Talking About?
W. T. Whitney
José Martí, Soul of the Cuban Revolution
Uri Avnery
May Your Home Be Destroyed          
Wim Laven
Year One Report Card: Donald Trump Failing
Jill Richardson
There Are No Shithole Countries
Bob Fitrakis - Harvey Wasserman
Are the Supremes About to Give Trump a Second Term?
Laura Finley
After #MeToo and #TimesUp
Howard Lisnoff
Impressions From the Women’s March
Andy Thayer
HuffPost: “We Really LOVED Your Contributions, Now FUCK OFF!”
Weekend Edition
January 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Dr. King’s Long Assassination
David Roediger
A House is Not a Hole: (Not) Caring about What Trump Says
George Burchett
How the CIA Tried to Bribe Wilfred Burchett
Mike Whitney
Trump’s Plan B for Syria: Occupation and Intimidation
Michael Hudson – Charles Goodhart
Could/Should Jubilee Debt Cancellations be Reintroduced Today?
Marshall Auerback – Franklin C. Spinney
Boss Tweet’s Generals Already Run the Show
Andrew Levine
Remember, Democrats are Awful Too
James Bovard
Why Ruby Ridge Still Matters
Wilfred Burchett
The Bug Offensive
Brian Cloughley
Now Trump Menaces Pakistan
Ron Jacobs
Whiteness and Working Folks
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Keeper of Crazy Beats: Charlie Haden and Music as a Force of Liberation
Robert Fantina
Palestine and Israeli Recognition
Jan Oberg
The New US Syria “Strategy”, a Recipe For Continued Disaster
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
The Return of the Repressed
Mel Gurtov
Dubious Partnership: The US and Saudi Arabia
Robert Fisk
The Next Kurdish War Looms on the Horizon
Lawrence Davidson
Contextualizing Sexual Harassment
Jeff Berg
Approaching Day Zero
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail