Thursday, February 23, 2012

Congratulations Barack, Dad Will Just Stay Home

And wasn't that the point all along--getting consumers to reduce the amount of gasoline (and other energies) that they consume? After all, didn't then-candidate Obama tell us that energy prices had to necessarily skyrocket? Didn't he tell us that a slow increase in gas prices was a good thing? Didn't Sec. of Energy Stephen Chu admit his pining for European level gasoline prices? Didn't Interior Sec. Ken Salazar effectively (and illegally) remove millions of acres of approved offshore oil fields from exploration and drilling? Didn't Hillary Clinton's State Department, despite years of study and affected state approvals, put the kibosh on the Keystone Oil Pipeline in order to keep oil off the market?

Incidentally, this morning gasoline hit $4.59 a gallon in Oscoda County. (That's $1.15 a quart for those traveling short distances.)

And Barack Obama saw all this and said that it was good.

High prices are good because of the choices they force on people. This is the one economic truth that has permeated progressive politics--that is, except in the case of higher taxes which are truly designed to produce tons more revenue! So, except in the case of taxes, higher costs and prices will result in fewer purchases of the product in question.

Consumers, subjected to those beloved skyrocketing energy prices, will buy less of it. When faced with a shrinking disposable income, consumers make choices. They set priorities. They deny themselves pleasures for need of necessities. Once they buy a 4-pack of the new Chinese produced and Fred Upton mandated mercury engorged CFLs at the Home Depot, they will forgo McDonalds for fear of coasting back to Oscoda County on fumes.

And Barack Obama sees this and says that it is good.

One such consumer is my Dad. He is 92 years old, on a fixed income, too blind to safely drive, and an all around cheapskate--a condition that predates high oil prices. He doesn't need to go much of anywhere even though my Mom would like to get him out of the house once in a while.

Due to circumstances surrounding his age, disability, and a lifetime of vocations that left him less than wealthy in retirement, Dad finds himself in the bulls eye of the economic consequences of politically motivated high energy prices. After all, a man who needs to stay within a finite budget does not toss around dollars like certain presidential spouses do, you know, the ones that care little about the amount of fuel consumed during husbandless weekend ski trips to Colorado.

This summer due to skyrocketing gasoline prices, fewer people will be vacationing than in summers past and those that do vacation will generally be staying closer to home. This will not bode well for bed and breakfasts, novelty stores, or tourist attractions on and off the beaten path. While some people who would normally visit Europe during the summer might instead hit Mackinac Island, this change will not help airlines, taxi services, or Hare Krishna recruiters on a strict quota.

Businesses are going to be forced to pick the bones of fixed income consumers for survival at the same time that fixed income consumers will be picking the bones of their wallets. Any product shipped in America will become more expensive. Any product containing petroleum will become more expensive. Any company producing products normally purchased with disposable dollars will find it harder and harder to survive. Every one of these developments will force consumers into more wallet-sensitive choices.

These are good choices according to the ruling party in Washington. These are also good choices to a few sympathetic Republicans--a couple of which are currently running to depose our reigning King.

What it all boils down to is this--keeping Dad home is now a goal of the US government. Let him eat day old cake.

And Barack Obama sees this and says that it is good. But Mom is pissed.

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