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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Even Republicans Are Advocating Cheap Gasoline

As a conclusion, if the Republicans are advocating cheap gasoline, why can't Anwar Ibrahim. Those who criticize Anwar for wanting to lower the gasoline prices, my advice for them is "GO TAKE A HIKE".

Where I am located right now, I have access to the US Armed Forces radio. It is essentially a talk radio and yes, there's no music. It is all talk and despite being so, it contains so many programs. The programs on the radio covers all topics, which includes politics. The good thing about the US Armed Forces radio is that it gives coverage to both side of the political divide in America, the Liberals and the Conservative.

For Conservative programs we have talk show hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, Dr. Laura Schwelsinggger. For liberal talk show hosts, we have the Dan Shultz. Of course the hottest political topic right now is, apart from the Presidential election, is the hike in oil prices. Latest report from American Automobile Association says that average gasoline price per gallon has breached the USD 4 mark.

What surprises me is that, on both political divide, the message is the same. There must be an initiative to reduce gasoline prices. It seems that consumer spending is seriously hampered when gasoline prices are high.

When consumer spending falls, so will profits and business confidence suffers too. As a result the country's economy will suffer. Businesses will be closed down, people will be out of work, collection of taxes will also fall, which means government revenues will also suffer.

In short, high gasoline prices is bad news and a solution must be adopted. The Republicans/Conservative adopts a supply side solution, in which they advocate increasing domestic output of crude oil. THe downside is that supply of crude oil in the world is hampered because of Bush's invasion of Iraq. The oil in Iraq remains stagnant and what Bush is doing right now is blaming Saudi Arabia for not boosting production.

The Democrats wants to adopt a demand side solution in which they advocate the adoption of alternative energy. But, this solution is not a simple and short term. It takes a huge investment and will take time to realize. In any case, the people will have to suffer for the next few years before the Democrat solutions can take effect. The Democrats is also pushing for a Greenhouse Emission bill, which will result in gasoline prices going higher. I guess Al Gore's policy is not as popular as we think.

The point is despite the absence of any permenant short term solution, both divide agree that gasoline prices must be lowered. Sad to say, here in Malaysia, the BN government has not come out in strength to support this solution. It's almost like the BN agrees wholeheartedly to the hike in oil prices.

It seems BN do not mind drop in consumer spending due to inflationary pressures. They don't care that this would mean more businesses being closed, more people will be out of job, more children will be denied nutrious food, more parents cannot spend quality time with their children, more marriages will end up in divorces, crime rising and all the problems that entails a drop in economy. Yet, what's weird is that the country's GDP is actually recording a positive growth and no one is prediciting recession anytime soon.

It only means that most of the wealth this country is making goes to a small group of people and the rest of the people are left to die a slow death. And that also explains why the BN refuses to slap a windfall tax on commodity corporations like Petronas, Guthrie, Sime, MMC and many more. These commoditiy corporation ensures easy wealth to a small minority of corrupt UMNOPUTRA.

My argument above is also a slap in the face to certain quarter in the Pakatan Rakyat who supports the removal of oil subsidy, albeit quietly. My question to them is, how does reduction of consumer spending good for Malaysia's ecnonomy and Malaysia's GDP specifically?

Also, despite all of America's economic indicators spiralling downwards, the only indicator that's going up is the salaries of executives of major corporations. It seems, even when these companies are making losses, their salaries kept getting increased. For instance, General Motors. GM has recorded losses, and instead of firing their CEO, he was given a raise. So much for America being a country based on merits. It's only empty rhetoric.

As a conclusion, if the Republicans are advocating cheap gasoline, why can't Anwar Ibrahim. Those who criticize Anwar for wanting to lower the gasoline prices, my advice for them is "GO TAKE A HIKE".
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