Archive for March 11th, 2012

h1

What’s the REAL unemployment rate? It’s scary.

March 11, 2012

I heard Rush Limbaugh – yes, that eeeeevil Rush Limbaugh – mention a piece by James Pethokoukis in The American that lays out what the real unemployment rate is – not 8.3, but closer to 9.5-10.4, depending on who is counted in it. Rather than going through all of that right here, just go read it. You may also want to read some of the comments. Usually, comments on a piece like this might be funny, but are usually wrongheaded and often just stupid. There are actually some very insightful comments following this post, and some even present their data or sources.

Advertisements
h1

What can be done about gasoline prices? Turns out, a lot.

March 11, 2012

This article by John Merline in Investor Business Daily outlines a number of ways the price of gasoline, or at least the rapid climb in the price we’ve seen recently, could be reduced.

Some of the price increase is caused by the loss of several refineries. But most of the increases in price are due to Federal government taxes, regulations, and fines. Read the article for the full list.

My favorite: recently, according to the article, “Congress left in place a 2007 law requiring increasing amounts of ethanol (including so-called advanced biofuels) in gasoline, rising to 36 billion gallons by 2022.”

The article continues: “In any case, the law has cost refiners almost $7 million in fines this year after they failed to add 6.6 million gallons of “advanced biofuels” as required. The problem is these advanced biofuels don’t exist commercially, and nobody’s sure when they will, which means even bigger industry fines going forward as the mandated use increases.” (Italics are mine.)

I don’t use this term usually, but WTF? The Federal government is collecting fines from refiners because the advanced biofuels it has mandated don’t even exist? Am I crazy, or is this completely insane?

I’m very afraid that we as a nation are sitting at home, watching basketball on our big flat-screen TVs, while the folks in Congress run completely amuck. What has caused us to feel so disenfranchised that we do not hold these people accountable for their actions?

I suppose that is for another post, isn’t it? I’d be interested in any answers you folks out there have for my question. Come on, you have the time…at over four bucks a gallon for gas, you sure as hell ain’t goin’ anywhere!