...if there wasn't enough strangeness in my own small corner of life, everyone else is making up for it. Irrationality increases.
I'm hearing voices.
I wish I believed that the voices I hear were in my head, not actually out there in the real world. It would be easier to believe that I'm nuts; it appears to me, however, that it's all those Other People.
Locally, the price of gas has gone up again. The voices I hear are reacting to this in bizarre ways.
Those called "liberal" want to add another tax to get a big piece of the incredible profits being generated by $3.20/gallon gas (this will "punish" the oil pirates, they say), and they want to investigate, find out if the oil companies are doing anything illegal by raking in so much loot. Some called "conservative" are calling for such measures, too.
Others called "conservative" tell me that this is just the American Way at work. Find a need -- fuel for transportation, to heat our homes, etc. -- and fill it, and watch the ol' mazooma roll in. Profit, they say, is never obscene.
And, of course, members of the latter group love to point out all the extraneous reasons for the price rises: refineries damaged by Hurricane Katrina last year that have not reopened, tensions in the Middle East, and so on.
There is a disturbing element to all this: does adhering to the "American Way" mean we are somehow compelled to enrich the few at the expense of our own futures? Are we compelled to watch jobs vanish and industries crumble so that politicians and some business executives can continue to rake in the benefits?
While I have no answer for the basic problems, I can see that just about everyone who is opening their mouth -- and taking a so-called "leadership" role in this -- is totally out to lunch.
As matters stand, whichever side prevails in the current argument will do so at the expense of the public:
If government takes action, the oil companies will pass the new taxes on to us, and the revenues that will flow into D.C. will be dribbled out to the favored few. In essence, we will pay twice, as we always do when politicians meddle in areas where they do not belong.
NOT-SO-PARENTHETICAL NOTE: The oil companies are already reaping incredible benefits. They get a tax break for every drop of product they sell -- the so-called "oil depletion allowance" -- and get tax money and tax breaks for research into new energy sources that they have no economic interest in promoting.
If we accept the "free market" theories, we simply have to pay whatever price is set, plus the taxes we already pay, and accept the hardship that ensues as the "price of freedom."
And the "domino effect" -- when the price of oil rises, so does the price of everything else -- goes on. This, at a time when the politicians' immigration policies are forcing wages down and adding huge costs (paid by the average citizen and legal resident in this country, the same ones who are seeing their jobs and income vanishing) in welfare, medical care and education.
If it's any consolation, some people will profit handsomely.
Neither corporations nor politicians feel compelled to act in a moral way. What they are doing is simply immoral (for which there is no punishment), not illegal. It's impossible to pass laws forcing them to change their ways.
I said I have no answers, and I meant it. The answers have to come from people who feel no pressure to provide them.
The foxes are in charge of the henhouse.
1 day ago