Wednesday, June 22, 2022

"It’s Not the Economy; it’s the Constitution!' - One of The Most Critical Denver Post Pieces Of All Time

"We’re Americans. We do not swear an oath to a leader or to a political party. We are a nation of laws and owe allegiance to the Constitution alone. We have fought for it, died for it. When the Constitution is subverted, the danger to our Republic reaches far beyond our disagreements about politics and culture. Within it, we can accomplish anything, debate anything, fix anything. Outside of it, the American enterprise dies......It grieves many of us that a significant minority of our fellow citizens, and the leaders of a once-proud political party, lack the courage and character to state clearly that defending the Constitution is more important than the price of gasoline." - Maj. Gen. Irv Halter, June 14, Denver Post, 'It’s not the economy; it’s the Constitution!'

Maj. Gen. Irv Halter’s column ('It’s not the economy; it’s the Constitution!') in the Denver Post (June 14) is perhaps the most salient at this time - when too many American heads are in a spin over gas prices.  To the point they are actually thinking of voting "change" in November, meaning voting for the Trump Cult and 'Big Lie' promoters.  As one letter writer wrote yesterday regarding the piece:

"Maj. Gen. Irv Halter’s column should be read in every civics class in AmericaI totally agree that the defense of our Constitution is more important than a gallon of gas. Whatever you think of President Joe Biden and his performance is irrelevant to what is important.  We’ve had bad and good presidents; he may go down as mediocre at best. None of this matters at this point. What matters is who is going to side with the defenders of the Constitution? "

But how many will process that? More importantly, how many will apply it instead of allowing emotions to rule their heads?   Instead of wallowing in miasma Americans  - real ones not pretenders and paper patriots - need to grasp that gas prices are soaring globally and in many cases worse than here in the U.S.

The news yesterday (out of the BBC and a CBS Mornings spot e.g.

Watch CBS Mornings: London cabbies on spiraling U.K. gas prices - Full show on CBS

ought to make sober Americans think twice before continuing to engage in their gas price whine fest.  And that includes blaming Biden!   The CBS spot - see link above- shows London cabbies ready to toss in the towel and find new lines of work with gas there now hitting $8.39 /gallon (equivalent) in U.S. terms.  Prices are  almost as high in Barbados - which must import all its gas, so $2.18 a liter  ($8.26/ gal) is common.  Are Bajans upset?  Uh yeah, but see they aren't dumb enough to blame Prime Minister Mia Mottley!

Meanwhile, a BBC report disclosed 56% of UK citizens struggling with the soaring cost of living  causing them to adjust and adapt, i.e. many are cutting back on food and car journeys to save money, according to a BBC-commissioned survey.

The findings reveal the widespread impact of prices rising at their fastest rate for 40 years but with the pain much worse in the UK.  And they import 6% of Russian oil compared to 8% in the U.S. - so the pain coming here will be comparable.  I already posted about the factors earlier, e.g.

I Predicted High Gas, Grocery Inflation Months Ago..

In addition, the BBC survey found many people have cut spending on clothes and socializing. Some say their mental health has been affected. Two-thirds of those surveyed also suggested government support provided so far was insufficient.   This is in contrast to the U.S. where a comparative bounty of support has been provided - thanks to President Biden - but assorted Right wing media are bitching about a "transfer state"  e.g.

  • Daniel Henninger's Misplaced Economic Reality 
    • And that generous support causing inflation!

      The British, unlike too many whiny Americans, still adhere to the World War II maxim 'Be Calm and Carry On'- meaning persistence in the face of severe challenges.  In WWII that meant accepting severe gas and food rationing instead of bellyaching every two minutes.  In modern Britain it translates into day-to-day changes made by individuals to better manage their budgets and lives. The BBC survey suggests this can be as simple as going on fewer nights out, or getting a haircut less often. Or biking to work - or lordy be - walking or taking the bus.

      The published survey quoted one charity worker Janine Colwill and the changes she and family have made:

      We get together with the family every Sunday, religiously, for Sunday roast – but my family and other families are starting to grow their own vegetables,” she said. Those people who may not have worried about these things before are now worrying about them constantly.  With advances in technology, I never would have thought that people would be relying on a food bank or growing their own – and just penny-pinching,” 

      The survey also showed people are finding various ways to manage and save their money,  including:

      • Some 82 per cent of those asked had switched off lights in the previous week to save money
      • Trips taken in the car had been limited to varying degrees in the previous six months by 72 per cent of those asked
      • A large majority (84 per cent) said they had spent less on their clothes at some point in the previous six months
      And the challenge of adapting to higher gas prices (which are bound to get worse as the war in Ukraine drags on)  is not just in Britain and Barbados. Across the globe, drivers are rethinking their habits and personal finances amid skyrocketing prices for gasoline and diesel, fueled by Russia’s war in Ukraine and the global rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic. Most also know that energy prices are a key driver of inflation that is rising worldwide and making the cost of living more expensive.  

      Decisions across the world’s economy are as varied as the consumers and countries themselves: Walk more. Dust off that bicycle. Take the subway, the train or the bus. Use a lighter touch on the gas pedal to save fuel. Review that road trip — is it worth it? Or perhaps even go carless.  Such decisions range - according to an AP piece yesterday - from a motorcycle taxi driver in Vietnam turning off his ride-hailing app rather than burning precious fuel during rush-hour to a French family scaling back ambitions for an August vacation.  

      As I wrote in my earlier  gas cost 'prediction' post, gasoline and diesel prices are a complex equation of the cost of crude oil, taxes, the purchasing power and wealth of individual countries, speculation in the commodities markets, and the cut taken by middlemen such as refineries. Oil is priced in dollars, so if a country is an energy importer (like Barbados and most of the EU)  the exchange rate plays a role.     Then there are the  geopolitical factors, such as the war in Ukraine. Western plans to ban the country’s oil have jolted energy markets already facing tight supplies from the rapid pandemic rebound.  Much of this, of course, had to do with the necessary lockdowns to keep Covid deaths down.  Nonetheless the irrepressible WSJ asswit Daniel Henninger continues to blame those lockdowns - and the inevitable renewed demand now for raging global inflation especially in the U.S.  e.g.   
      This troll clearly would have preferred zero lockdowns and trade, consumption going on apace, never mind likely more than 100 million global dead (as opposed to 8-10 million) and 20 million here in the U.S.

      Henninger's bunkum notwithstanding, all that early bravado I'd heard and seen from Americans, i.e.  to 'make them Russkies pay' for the Ukraine invasion, now appears to be empty boasting. From my earliest post in March I wondered if Americans were really willing to pay the cost of cutting Russian oil inflows and assets. Clearly - from the polling on Biden- we now know they aren't. They'd rather whine and vote Repuke  (for "change")  in the fall when they ought to know the 'pukes will merely make their lives 1,000 times worse. Like uh, repealing Obamacare if they get back enough House and Senate seats, e.g.

      If Americans accepted  Maj. Gen. Irv Halter's premise that the Constitution trumps the economy, Trump's threats would not be an issue. Nor would the specter of millions losing essential benefits -  like having pre-existing medical conditions covered - after turning governmental power over to deranged Reepo imps and assholes in the midterms.

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