Week in Review
Remember the movie Monty Python’s Life of Brian? If you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it. The politics they lampoon of the Roman occupation? Funny stuff. Yes there’s a bit of nudity in it and some may find it a bit blasphemous. So viewer discretion is recommended. At the end as Brian was being mistakenly crucified the guy being crucified behind him to his right tried to cheer him up in song. And told him to Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. And the people sang. From atop their crosses. If these fictional people can see the bright side in their impending long-lasting deaths then we, too, should be able to see the bright side in the continuing bad economic news (see Gas prices are silver lining as economy weakens by Sandy Shore, The Associated Press, posted 6/1/2012 on Economy Watch).
There’s some good news behind the discouraging headlines on the economy: Gas is getting cheaper. At least two states had stations selling gas for $2.99 on Friday and it could fall below $3 in more areas over the weekend.
A plunge in oil prices has knocked more than 30 cents off the price of a gallon of gas in most parts of the U.S. since early April. The national average is now $3.61. Experts predict further decline in the next few weeks.
If Americans spend less filling their tanks, they’ll have more money for discretionary purchases. The downside? Lower oil and gas prices are symptoms of weakening economic conditions in the U.S. and around the globe.
On Friday, oil prices plunged nearly 4 percent as a bleak report on U.S. job growth heightened worries about a slowing global economy and waning oil demand. The unemployment rate rose to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent. Sobering economic news from China and Europe also contributed to the drop…
Phil Flynn, an analyst for The Price Futures Group, believes falling gas prices could give consumers a psychological boost. But that could evaporate if hiring doesn’t pick up and stock markets keep swooning.
“If you don’t have a job, it doesn’t matter if gasoline prices are $5 or $2 a gallon,” he said.
So President Obama may get his wish after all. To have low gas prices while he runs for reelection. And all he had to do to lower gas prices was to destroy the economy with bad economic policy. Shut down the oil exploration business when oil was in high demand. Stop the building of a pipeline that would have put hundreds of thousands of jobs into the economic pipeline. Unleash a wave of new regulations that have stunned small business. Especially Obamacare. Leaving them afraid to hire anyone as they fear what the Obama administration will do next to them. And President Obama’s open attacks on capitalism haven’t assuaged anyone’s fears in the business community that his next policies will only harm them more. The president has wasted trillions of dollars in stimulus and green energy subsidies that resulted in no net new jobs but in the bankruptcy of the businesses they backed. And massive new debt that we can’t afford. The future is bleak indeed. But gas prices are falling because of it. So there’s one thing the president can run on. Things could be worse. Gas prices could be higher.
It’s the one message President Obama can tell the American people. That we should, like Brian, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. No matter how bad the economic news continues to be. Because he alone brought down the price of gas. It’s just a pity so few have a job or feel secure enough in their job to enjoy these low prices.