Listen now (7 mins) | Missing the big story
Aren’t we already an Oligarchy? Maybe the Kochs, Tillersons, Cheneys, Bezos, Musks, Zuckerbergs, Trumps, DeVoss and on and on don’t live in a country where our leader own’s 25% of every business. But, these families are using their wealth to influence every aspect of policy, politics, media, healthcare, voting rights, policing, environmental policy etc .
For the first time I look at the world with a different lens. My heart brakes for the Ukrainian people. Putin is the monster of our generation. Zelensky is a model of courage & leadership as are his people. But, again I listened today to Mika & Kady imply they are more deeply impacted because the people fleeing look like them. I’ve NEVER heard any of the people in media say that about Syria, Sudan, the Philippines the Uyghurs except the black and brown people they had as guests when talking about police shootings in our country. Reaction & reporting are all intertwined. I guess I digress.
When President Biden told us to expect "pain at the pump," he should have told Big Oil that a windfall profits tax was on the way. Firing that shot across Big Oil's deck would have served notice on other practitioners of gouging, and possibly caught the ear of tone deaf news editors.
CONTEXT! INFORM! Same crap, different day. The oil companies are known for gouging. Eric is dead on. The msm ignores the meaty, important news and opts to rinse, wash, repeat political and partisan pablum. The world is on fire and big biz is profiting, and doing so proudly. MSM is failing us big time.
It is ironic that, as globally connected as we claim to be, we become more morally disconnected with each passing day. Here's a bold statement: there is NO shortage of oil in the world, only short men with corrupt minds.
Let us not forget that the pandemic disrupted the daily flow of coins into the oil oligarchs' piggy banks. 2020/21 were not good years, but they all managed to stay afloat. We are now in Act 2 of As the World Turns, and the players are squeezing the jugular of humanity by inflicting pain on those who need the resources the most. If Covid did not kill you, the price of oil will. So the real and big question isn't the predictable behavior of the worthless few, but why does the World bequeath its vital resources to a few who hold it hostage for its own survival?
Andrew Vachss, writer, summed up the greed of corporate oligarchs perfectly when he said, " In my world, people are always plotting. You have no idea of all the crimes people in business commit everyday. Like it was nothing. Or there’s a set of special rules for them. Remember when Bush made that whole speech about ‘corporate ethics’ last year? What a fraud. You think stuff like Enron or
WorldCom is an aberration? It’s only the tip. Business is a religion. Probably the only one practiced all over the world, "
How truthful is that ?
Paul Krugman’s op ed today included a graph showing how global use of oil per unit of production dropped sharply beginning in the late seventies/early 80s and has been steadily dropping since then.
Scroll down to figure 2 to the graph “Global oil intensity and time trend”
I have not seen anything written about this for since the Iraq invasion but the last time I did the goal was to explain how Carter’s energy independence push was responsible for this drop and had continued despite Reagan’s attempt to undo it. Carter’s programs incentivized corporations, not just individuals, to become more energy efficient. I assume that the savings corporations realized has encouraged them to continue down that path. The intent of that previous article was to explain why spikes in oil prices no longer lead to the drastic rise in inflation they way they had before Carter’s energy efficiency push.
It drives me crazy that the same media who joyfully proclaimed that Romney was right about Russia will never, ever acknowledge that Carter was right about the crucial need not only for energy independence, but also for green energy and that Reagan was wrong — dead wrong — to promote dependence on oil and gas.
The media’s disdainful treatment of Carter — who they saw as just a “peanut farmer” rube from nowheresville Georgia — their willingness to blame him for things he had little control over (e.g. OPEC’s restriction of oil production) coupled with their refusal to give him credit for the many great policies he implemented did a lot to help get Reagan elected. We and the world would be much better off had Carter been reelected and empowered to continue pushing green energy technology.
So many scales. So many thumbs.
Truth social? trump's new media platform name seems to have been inspired by George Orwell. That's one lie that won't come true no matter how many times it's repeated.
To refer again to my favorite all-time editorial name, Benjamin Crowninshield Bradlee, he once said that he would rather hire a scientist who knew the field who they could teach to write than have a reporter start covering science and need to get up to speed. I wonder how many economics degrees there are among DC's political media brothel and, more crucially, among those, how many trained at the University of Chicago, which demonstrated its lack of interest in actual economics by hiring Milton Friedman.
Morning Joe had some guy from CNBC on this morning talking about oil prices. In his one line about the huge profits the oil companies are making, he suggested, in passing, that those companies should use the money to invest in more exploration. Totally ignored the fact that oil companies are sitting on 9000+ leases they don't care to exploit. Or the need for a windfall profits tax. Not that we would expect anything like talk of raising taxes, even on those that deserve it, on Morning Joe.
“Thank God the party that unanimously voted AGAINST reducing childcare costs and pre-K costs and insulin costs and prescription drug costs is looking out for us when it comes to gas costs. Whew.”
Once again we as a nation are caught with our pants down because at every opportunity throughout recent history, we refused to stop stroking the balls of oil billionaires. Imagine if we had actually listened to Jimmy Carter almost 50 years ago and got our energy independence act together, how things could have been so different today. Even if we had paid attention to Al Gore twenty years later and so many others since, not only would our environment be on the road to recovery but two-bit dictators like Putin and Middle East oil tycoons would have had no market for their dirty oil. Yes, I'm glad the majority of Americans are willing to pay higher gas prices for the benefit of Ukraine but it sure is hypocritical when you consider how many oppressed peoples we didn't give a shit about who live under oil rule in the Middle East or how many third world peoples have faced genocide over the years. I guess it has something to do with the fact that this time, the people being oppressed are white. Here we are at yet another moment in history where we might decide that now is the time to seriously move to green energy like land and space based solar, wind, and offshore. We can decapitate the power of big oil. But somehow I have a feeling that if we're still here in twenty years, we will still be sucking the teat of the oil companies. And finally since this blog is mostly about media, where the hell are they in pointing these things out?
First, Truth Social: When has Trump and/or his name ever been associated with something that isn't a piece of crap? So, I, personally, am disappointed because I so long to be able to bring truth to #MAGAts and I remain stymied and frustrated because TS is so far a Trump Shit Show®.
As for the actual focus of the post: How is this crappy reporting not harmful, how does it inform people in any way that's, you know, good for society?
And I have to say, despite being soft on Ukraine -- tl;dr: I don't see how in a real world Hod do we get there way ending well for Ukraine -- while Ukrainians are literally fighting for their lives and independence, we can't make the sacrifice of temporary higher gas prices. Now, maybe a functional state (which we're not) would impose an excess profits tax ASAP and use same to mitigate the price gouging...
But the infantilism of the American people here as well as with their opposition to responding to a global pandemic by wearing masks and getting vaccinated, I mean, JFC, what a fucking disgrace. (Full disclosure: Got my Covid, in all likelihood, from some local cracker who believes in freedumb and therefor was incapable of going out in public masked, you know, like any decent person with a scintilla of compassion and responsibility. But, you know, being led by an infantile bully for four years was taken by some as encouragement.)
As for the beating of the drum for more oil: Well, the dependency on fossils is actually a huge problem in the context of the invasion and, of course, more generally, climate change. OTOH, mainstream reporting on the invasion has been both grossly excessive and conservatively 90% bullshit/propaganda. So this, sure, why not.
Which brings us back to my question above.
I hope I am not blaming the victim here, but I could not help but notice some of the man-on-the-street interviews with pumping gas/sticker shock were with SUV (and larger) vehicles with notoriously bad mileage.
Second point: Isn’t the Consumer Protection Bureau supposed to have some ability to stop price gouging?
Last point (I promise): Americans generally do not understand the dismal science of economics (which is not an actual science) and so we are very gullible to this sort of reporting. Again, I think that journalists need to have something akin to the American Bar Association and police themselves, enforce standards, and enable a code of ethics.
1) Fossil fuel companies have never put public interest anywhere near the top of their priorities. Maximizing profit and shareholder value is job one, always has been. That's why they have invested so heavily in climate denial.
2) They are not investing in more drilling because they know there will be increasing pressure to get off fossil fuels, to eliminate reliance on volatile suppliers in uncertain regions for strategic reasons, as well as the growing impact of climate they can no longer deny/ignore. They are cashing in while they can rather than making long term investments.
3) The media obsession with blaming Biden for high gas prices demonstrates that they are taking their talking points and narratives directly from the right wing. It's no longer possible to excuse it or deny it. As long as Democrats are unable to push back, it will only get worse.
4) This goes hand in hand with media reluctance to call out fossil fuel companies for price gouging. Talking about corporate responsibility is dangerously close to Socialism as far as the media and the right wing are concerned.
Corporate interest, media and oil, are always driven by the bottom line- which becomes predatory when media and oil have market power due to their massive corporate size and concentration in a few players. By high gas prices and misleading reporting, both oil and media aim to influence the way Americans will vote. We basically have oil and media cartels favoring the election of an authoritarian GOP. Their best interests, not ours.
The only people who seem to be aware of it are retailers of fuel oil and gasoline (a certain Mr. Metz who owns dozens of filling stations in CT MA and NY for example), but a lot of the price we pay goes directly into the pockets of bankers (Goldman Sachs, for one) who deal in oil futures. The man who delivers my fuel oil said there's pretty simple fix - if they were required to actually take possession, rather than leaving in in tankers moored offshore while they play around with it, the trading would stop and prices would go down by as much as 1/3. Something that deserves investigation.