Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Economy

Gas Prices: How Much Lower and Longer?

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, December 5, 2014: 

On November 17, gas prices had dropped to $1.9...

It made headline news when a OnCue Express station in Oklahoma City dropped its price for regular unleaded gasoline to $1.99 gallon on Wednesday. What didn’t make the headlines is what happened next: Drivers seeking to save a few pennies created long lines at OnCue, and so another station down the street, responding to the competition, cut its price to $1.98 a gallon. By the end of the day, another station located in nearby Moore, Oklahoma, cut its price to $1.95 a gallon. 

Gas wars are back, helping consumers and providing living, breathing proof that, despite everything, the free market still works. 

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Crude Oil Price Declines Reveal Who’s Swimming Naked

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, December 3, 2014: 

Ali Al Naimi

Ali Al Naimi

One of the most famous homespun quotes Warren Buffett ever uttered is this: “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.” With the decline in crude oil prices of nearly 50 percent since June, more and more people are finding themselves swimming naked, or they’re about to.

Consider the formerly invincible oil cartel, OPEC, which seems to be suffering from delusions of its former glory by taking on oil producers in America. Instead of cutting production in order to “stabilize” oil prices, the cartel, led by the aging big kahuna, Saudi Arabia, has decided to

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Pressure Building to Repeal Two Laws Keeping Oil and Gas Prices High

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, November 17, 2014:

Senator Lisa Murkowski

Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski

Alaskan Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, soon to chair the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, is already setting the table for a serious conversation about getting rid of at least one archaic law dating back to the mid-1970s: the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975.

That law bans the export of crude oil (with some minor exceptions) and could endanger the oil shale boom as a result. Said Murkowski:

The price American drivers pay for gasoline at their local station is linked to the price of oil set by the global market.

 

Exporting U.S. oil to our friends and allies will not raise gasoline prices here at home and should, in fact, help drive down prices.

As the price of crude oil drops, it increases the chances that smaller marginal crude oil producers will be forced to close unless they are allowed to find buyers outside the United States willing to pay more for their product. One of the bottlenecks has already been opened:

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Obama Way Over His Head at the APEC Summit

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, November 14, 2014:

Xi Jinping 习近平

Xi Jinping. China’s “Paramount Leader”

Nowhere was President Obama’s shrinking influence in world affairs more apparent than when he opened the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Beijing earlier this week by announcing an “agreement” with China’s “paramount leader,” Xi Jinping, to extend visas in both countries from one year to ten. The enhancements will have little real world impact but they served to give Obama the appearance of being a player.

A U.S. visa only serves as preliminary permission to seek admission to the United States. Final admission remains, as it always has, in the hands of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer who, after questioning and investigation of the nonimmigrant’s purposes, will then issue a Form I-94. That form serves as the official government document authorizing the alien’s stay in the country.

Nevertheless, Obama made the most of it:

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GOP Midterm Victories: The GOP’s Plan and Path

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, November 5, 2014:

Thanks to a groundswell of unhappiness over the economy, healthcare, a porous southern border, and increasing distrust of government in general, Republicans who were swept into office run the risk of thinking that Tuesday’s nearly complete sweep was a vote for them and their policies. As the Wall Street Journal noted, “Many voters said they cast [their] ballots more in opposition to one candidate than [in] support for the other.” New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, got it right: “The president took a beating last night!”

Republicans used the president’s increasing unpopularity to connect their opponents’ support for his policies like a millstone, dragging them down to defeat. This marks two mid-term defeats that, according to the Journal, “rank among the

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Fracking Boom and the Development of America’s Energy Resources

This article will appear as the cover story in the next issue of The New American print magazine:

Travis Wright’s first impressions of Williston, North Dakota, in January 2012 remain vivid. It was bitter cold and the Walmart parking lot was filled to overflowing with campers and RVs whose owners were using them as de facto homes while working in the oil fields. Once inside Walmart, Travis discovered pallets of goods blocking the aisles as the understaffed nighttime crew of stockers simply couldn’t keep up with demand. He quickly learned to do his shopping in the middle of the night when the lines were only 30 minutes long. He learned later that this Walmart in Williston was the highest-grossing one in North America. The local economy was booming to such an extent that even paying $17 an hour for entry-level jobs, store officials couldn’t find enough employees to work for that amount.

Travis — at 6′6″ and 280 pounds, his friends called him Big ‘Un — was also astonished to learn

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo gets a “B” from Cato

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, October 29, 2014:

In a remarkable display of pure unadulterated pragmatism, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law in 2014 an unheralded tax reform bill that has won approval from two conservative think tanks: the Cato Institute and the Tax Foundation. In Cato’s “Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors” released earlier this month, the authors were positively ecstatic about him:

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OPEC’s Hegemony is over

This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, October 27, 2014:

English: Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia

Tim Treadgold, a Forbes contributor who watches the world’s energy markets, decided to break the journalist’s unspoken rule: never forecast the demise of an individual (or an institution) until he is holding the coroner’s report (or bankruptcy judgment) in his hand:

At grave risk of committing [that] cardinal sin … this time it might be different because OPEC is steadily losing control of the oil market….

The irony, he said, was staggering:

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Relying on a Pizza Ad to End Scott Walker’s Governorship in Wisconsin

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, October 20, 2014:

On September 18, 2014, a new TV campaign ad supporting Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s reelection bid showed the governor smiling into the camera and saying, “Thanks to our reforms, the average family will have an extra $322 to spend. What are you going to do with your savings?” A number of regular folks then answered: gas up the car, put on new tires, and buy things such as clothes, school supplies, and diapers.

PolitiFact.com looked into Walker’s claims and concluded that he was basically right: The income tax and property tax reductions that he had engineered during his first term would save the average family in Wisconsin somewhere between $330 and $350 a year. Said PolitiFact: “Either way, the figures support [Walker’s] ad’s claim of $322.”

Mary Burke, a member of Madison’s school board and Wisconsin’s former secretary of commerce from 2005 through 2007, decided not to try to refute Walker’s claim but instead to belittle it.

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National Debt to be $27 Trillion in 10 Years, Says the CBO

This article was first published at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, October 16, 2014: 

English:

There was something for everyone in the release last week by the Congressional Budget Office of its August update and outlook. The federal government’s revenues are expected to top $3 trillion this year for the first time in history, thanks to individual income taxes rising by six percent, payroll taxes by eight percent, and corporate income taxes by 15 percent. Those infatuated with big government are celebrating the event as a reflection of an improving economy resuscitated by government spending and stimulus programs. Small government advocates, on the other hand,

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Canada’s Energy East Pipeline to make the Keystone XL Pipeline Irrelevant

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, October 15, 2014:

Keystone XL demonstration, White House,8-23-20...

Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper must not have been happy following receipt of a phone call from President Obama on November 10, 2011, telling him that he was going to put the Keystone XL pipeline approval on hold. Obama no doubt claimed that the pending environmental lawsuit in Nebraska gave him plausible deniability in delaying his approval.

An immense part of the Bakken shale formation is under Canadian soil, and Harper was hoping that its development would continue to strengthen Canada’s economy. Estimated at up to some 24 billion barrels of recoverable oil, the Bakken formation is one of the top two or three largest oil discoveries in history. Not only was Obama’s call a reflection of his pandering to his environmentalist supporters, it also, no doubt, infuriated Harper that a foreigner

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China’s Economy Now Number One? Not Quite

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, October 10, 2014: 

English: Roadside billboard of Deng Xiaoping a...

English: Roadside billboard of Deng Xiaoping at the entrance of the Lychee Park in Shenzhen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Following the announcement by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that China’s economy has just surpassed that of the United States, headline writers and establishment economists had a field day. According to the Wall Street Journal’s Business Insider, “China Just Overtook the US as the World’s Largest Economy,” while London’s Daily Mail chortled, “America Usurped: China Becomes World’s Largest Economy — Putting USA in Second Place for the First Time in 142 Years.”

A cursory glance at the charts and graphs provided by these worthies shows the size of the U.S. economy at $17.4 trillion by the end of this year compared to China’s, which is predicted to be $17.6 trillion. The IMF estimated that as recently as 2005 China’s economy was less than half that of the United States, and forecast that

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Saudi Arabia Cuts Oil Prices, Could Spark Price War

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, October 3, 2014:

In a surprise move this week, Saudi Arabia cut the price of its flagship Arab light oil, which it sells mostly to its Asian customers, by one dollar a barrel. It also cut prices to its customers in the United States and Europe by $.40 a barrel. This brings Saudi Arabia’s prices below those offered by OPEC member Qatar and non-OPEC member Oman. Oil futures traders are holding their breaths, waiting for Qatar and Oman to cut their prices in response, setting off a full-scale oil price war.

The simple economics of supply and demand have already driven the price of oil down by almost 20 percent since June, and a number of traders and other observers are suggesting those prices have

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Fracking Revolution: U.S. Replaces OPEC as World’s “Swing Producer”

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, October 1, 2014: 

 

After reviewing the numbers from America’s oil and gas patches, Per Magnus Nysveen of Rystad, an international oil consultancy in Norway, declared that the United States is now taking on the role of “swing producer” that used to be played by Saudi Arabia and other members of OPEC, the oil producers’ cartel.

Those numbers are impressive. Fracking technology has led to a 65-percent increase in U.S. crude oil output in just the last six years and, according to Wood Mackenzie,

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California Governor Being Challenged by Republican Upstart in November

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, September 23, 2014:

English: Photo of California Attorney General ...

California Governor Jerry Brown

In response to a challenge posed by his Republican opponent for the governorship in November, California Governor Jerry Brown said:

A lot of people forget the mess that California was in just four years ago. There were 1 million jobs that had been lost. Our budget deficit was astronomical: 27 billion. We hadn’t had a budget on time in probably 10 years.

Brown’s challenger is Republican Neel Kashkari, a practicing Hindu born of Indian parents with a background as a Bush appointee and a former executive with Goldman Sachs. While his political positions on key issues qualify him as a RINO — Republican in Name Only — he is already closing the gap on the once-invincible California governor.

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Will Tax Cuts Rescue Kansas Governor Brownback in November?

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, September 22, 2014:

Sam Brownback, member of the United States Senate

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback

Rarely has a governor’s race had such a clear-cut focus. In Kansas, Republican Governor Sam Brownback is facing a strong challenge from Democrat Paul Davis, who is concentrating on Brownback’s tax policies, which were designed to stimulate Kansas’ moribund economy. They’re not working, says Davis, and the tax cuts passed by Brownback 20 months ago need to be repealed to save the Kansas economy and protect government services.

Davis is getting a lot of help from liberals and from moderate Republicans who

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Luddites Foiled Again: low-cost Robots Making Workers more Efficient

This article was first published at the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, September 19, 2014:

Rage Against the Machine

Rage Against the Machine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus Fernandez got nervous when his company installed 21 new Universal Robots that were supposed to make his life easier and safer by helping him move parts in and out of its metal-cutting machines. At $20,000 apiece, the robots threatened to replace him altogether, or so he thought: “At first, I had doubts the robots could do what I did, moving the parts around, handling the parts.” But he timed himself against one of them and concluded: “I’m fast, but the robots are faster.” Fernandez accepted the new technology and now operates three of the so-called collaborative machines, reducing labor costs for his company while simultaneously increasing his take-home pay.

Fernandez’s boss, Gregg Panek, president of Panek Precision, Inc., a machine shop in Northbrook, Illinois, said one of the reasons for the improved efficiency is “because

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Obama’s Poll Numbers Continue to Drop

This article was first published at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, September 17, 2014:

English: In January 2009, President of the Uni...

In January 2009, President of the United States of America, George W. Bush invited then President-Elect Barack Obama and former Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter for a Meeting and Lunch at The White House.

With the midterm elections less than seven weeks away, pollsters are coming out of the woodwork expressing their opinions on the outcome on November 4. The latest CBS News/New York Times poll, focusing on President Obama’s handling of the ISIS crisis and terrorism and foreign policy in general, shows him not only setting new personal lows, but lows never before recorded by the survey:

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Fracking Boom Continues to Set Records

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, September 17, 2014:

Logo of International Energy Agency

Logo of International Energy Agency (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The explosion in production in the oil patch makes it nearly impossible to keep up. Economist Mark Perry is trying. On September 2, he reported that Texas crude oil production in June topped three million barrels per day, noting that, as a separate nation, Texas would be the world’s eighth largest oil producer. The very next day Perry reported that natural gas production from the Utica Shale formation has increased by a factor of seven in just two years, and it’s just getting started.

Less than two weeks later, Perry reported that

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Mexico Doubles Car and Truck Production in Five Years, Thanks to NAFTA?

This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, September 8, 2014:

English: A North American Free Trade Agreement...

In her promo for her article titled “America’s Car Capital Will Soon Be … Mexico,” which appeared in Forbes on Monday, Joann Muller claimed that “wise trade policies south of the border have quickly created the global auto industry’s factory floor” and wondered rhetorically if Washington was listening or watching to learn Mexico’s lesson. She wrote:

Seemingly overnight, Mexico’s automotive output has soared, bolstered by a flood of investment from foreign-based carmakers, including Nissan, Honda, Volkswagen, and Mazda. With $19 billion in new investment, production has doubled in the past five years to an estimated 3.2 million vehicles in 2014.

And it’s all because of NAFTA, she claims:

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.