Wednesday, May 19, 2004

A interesting note from today's chatterbox column in Slate:

Gasoline is now selling at more than $2 a gallon, which, after inflation, is higher than it's been since 1981. But that's not the amazing part...

Amazing Part ... is that this is happening during the first time in history when the United States belongs to the international cartel that controls gas prices. A rarely discussed benefit of invading Iraq was that, since Iraq is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the United States, which controls Iraq, became a de facto member of OPEC. So, until June 30, the date when we turn Iraq over to some sort of sovereign government, we get to belong to OPEC. Why aren't we mau-mauing from within to boost production or, better yet, to dismantle the cartel altogether? Well, there's the fact that President Bush, who is from Texas and formerly worked in the oil bidness, is a bit of an OPEC-o-phile ... Another complication is that our interests diverge from those of the future sovereign state of Iraq when it comes to the price of oil; Iraq wants it high, while we want it low. Apparently the interests of the future sovereign state of Iraq won out. Clearly, this empire business isn't what it's cracked up to be.


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