The media presents this election as a fight over the economy. Even the contentious abortion debate has been distanced and marginalized by unemployment, housing, mortgages, credit... Heard anything about Oil lately? $85 per barrel was BIG NEWS 3 years ago... now? Barley a sniff.
As always, the media has it completely wrong. The political struggle going on right now is nothing short of a battle for the continuation of the Republic. Look at our circumstances. We have large states that will absolutely need to be placed into receivership (there is no protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code for states) because their tax receipts have no shot of covering their liabilities; a vast proportion of the electorate that has been successfully indoctrinated with the idea that something can be had for nothing and that the U.S. Constitution need not be adhered to (while at the same time their political leaders draw their authority from the document); extreme political groups seeking absolute control of the populous dominate the political debate out of all proportion to their number; and nearly 1/3 of the populous has been hopelessly addicted to government assistance, assistance whose sourced resources comes at the "point of the sword" held by the U.S. military whose binary function is to enforce US$ hegemony and petroleum transit protection.
I am simply not poetic enough to describe the level of denial going on within much of the American Body Politic. The U.S. REAL, as opposed to NOMINAL, economic woes stem from 2 disparate sets of phenomenon:
1. The U.S. has experienced the mother of a all credit bubbles. Real Aggregate Credit growth is NO LONGER POSSIBLE, and it is very debatable as to whether or not nominal Credit Growth (inflation) can be induced in this environment.
2. The U.S. has absolutely, positively experienced its peak share of World Oil Exports (a.k.a. "Peak Imports"). I say this without equivocation even if Iraq's production is everything any optimist ever dreamed about. (The perfect scenario in Iraq could put Peak Oil off 5 years, + or - 3, for the world... but this does not do as much for the importers as one might think... though it would flatten the slope of the decline somewhat... but only if Iraq can be brought on to Saudi type production within 6 years... and I got a better shot, given my leanings, at a Nobel Prize in economics.)
This from the most recent EIA short term energy outlook:
Crude Oil and Liquid Fuels Overview. As member states of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) prepare to meet on October 14 to discuss market conditions, they face an oil market outlook largely unchanged from the previous few months. While commercial oil inventories in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries remain high, floating oil storage has been declining, and EIA believes that a gradual projected reduction in OECD oil inventories over the forecast period should support firming oil prices. The economic outlook has also remained substantially the same, with Asian countries continuing to lead global economic growth. World oil prices are expected to rise gradually as global economic growth leads to higher global oil demand and growth in non-OPEC oil supply slows in 2011. EIA expects OPEC production will rise over the forecast period, keeping oil prices from increasing dramatically. Should OPEC not increase production as global consumption recovers, oil prices could be significantly higher than the central forecast. Conversely, should the global economic recovery be slower than expected, prices could be lower than our forecast.(World economic growth has far more to do with absolute population growth than anything else. Population growth is still with us... and that is the base cause of what we call "economic growth". Total energy consumption from all sources likely peaked in in 2007 for the U.S.... not so the world.)
OK... with that Debt and Oil background, we find ourselves swimming in the disinformation campaigns of those that have their mouths (and both hands and both feet) at the political trough... and their only goal is to remain there. They have the absolute support of the elderly, the near elderly, the unwell, and all others addicted to "Big Government", which believe it or not includes most of the Healthcare industry, the Industrial Food industry, the Defense industry, the Education monopoly, and every single government worker from the President on down to the local dog catcher.
How do we extricate ourselves from this morass? There are no shortage of cleared eyed and clear thinking analysts to make these points... only to then run into what our leaders call "The Political Realities" - a misnomer for weaknesses inherent in our system in the age of cheap oil and fractional reserve banking. Our electorate is populated with "believers", not analysts. Most folks don't know who the Vice-President is, how many senators there are, or who is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court... but they do know how much their unemployment or social security check is and they "believe" there is plenty of money to keep it coming... and don't try to confuse them with the facts, thank you.
Our Republic is truly at risk here. There simply is not enough blame to go around.
To Be Continued...