Thursday, September 14, 2006

Birthday of Dependency

The use of crude oil as a source of fuel is nothing new in human history. The mass use of it has been going on for the past 150 years. But the absolute control of its pricing and shipping is 46 years old today. It was on this date in 1960 that one of the worst ideas since the Industrial Revolution was formed, OPEC.
OPEC defines the aim of their group as, "the coordination and unification of the petroleum policies of its member countries and the determination of the best means for safeguarding their interests, individually and collectively; devising ways and means of ensuring the stabilization of prices in international oil markets with a view to eliminating harmful and unnecessary fluctuations; giving due regard at all times to the interests of the producing nations and to the necessity of securing a steady income to the producing countries; an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consuming nations, and a fair return on their capital to those investing in the petroleum industry." That's a great line. I call the aim of their organization theft. And what's worse is our country is completely dependent, and therefore, controlled by it.
Unlike oil companies, OPEC is called and operates as a cartel. A cartel is defined as, "a group of formally independent producers whose goal it is to fix prices, to limit supply and to limit competition." They are also banned in many countries by antitrust laws. That has always bothered me, because the only other thing I ever hear about being controlled and sold by a cartel is drugs. And the people running them are always being chased by law enforcement. Yet, the United States has no problem doing business with one. Sad really.
We are so dependent on oil in this country that we have no problem with a bunch of thugs robbing us blind. We have too many good ideas in this country to still be as oil thirsty as we are. If we just had some leadership that wasn't afraid of big companies and the thugs of OPEC, maybe we would be better off. On this day, remember why it is a good idea to get a hybrid car as soon as possible. These guys don't need another palace any time soon.

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