Outside, it's America.
Where the Predatory 1 Percent celebrates "free trade" only when it can be used to hurt workers, and curtails it the rest of the time.
Like when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries price fixing cartel stifles free trade by reducing the world's oil supply to manipulate oil and gasoline prices upward. As it's doing right now and has been doing since its founding in 1960.
Look for gasoline prices to surge in the next six months in response to OPEC's latest tactic to promote industry collusion and price fixing in this global industry.
This is due to an OPEC agreement to cut supply, according to the International Energy Agency. IEA originally expected this “rebalancing’ – a financial term for consumers getting railed – to take place by the end of next year.
The agency projects oil stockpiles will decline by about 600,000 barrels a day in the next six months as curbs by OPEC and its partners take effect more quickly than previously expected. The world uses about 94.4 million barrels a day.
World supply exceeded consumption by 2.1 million barrels per day in the second quarter of 2015, which led to more affordable prices at the pump. OPEC has already helped reduced that slack to 500,000 barrels a day.
Less slack between global supply and consumption means higher prices.
You dont have to be a genius to figure out that trimming another 600,000 barrels is not going to have a happy ending for the faltering middle class. Particularly when OPEC is projecting that demand will increase by 1.115 million barrels per day.
Russia, the biggest producer outside OPEC to join the price fixing deal, will gradually implement the full reduction it promised. America’s longtime rival is on a roll in The New Cold War after helping Donald Trump - perhaps the most unqualified candidate in U.S. history - win the 2016 presidential election.
Russia's participation in the production cutbacks virtually guarantees huge price hikes at U.S. gasoline stations now that Rex Tillerson is set to take over as U.S. Secretary of State. The former Exxon CEO is a close friend of the House of Saud - the world’s largest oil exporter and a financial backer in the 9/11 attacks.
The Saudis and Exxon both love high oil and gasoline prices.
A barrel of oil sold for $1.63 in 1960. The same barrel of oil was $145 in July 2008, when high oil prices helped trigger a global economic downturn. One which has congealed into an full-fledged Depression for a faltering middle class now being torn by the highest suicide and joblessness rates in nearly 40 years.
Oil prices have increased a staggering 8,796 Percent from 1960 to 2008. Normal inflation during the same period was 717 percent. Meaning that the same barrel of oil would have sold for just $13.44 in the absence of other factors. Like price fixing.
One barrel of oil can be refined into 42 gallons of gasoline. The average price for one gallon was 25 cents in 1960. It peaked at $4.11 in July 2008.
That's an increase of 1,544 Percent. Normal inflation during the same period was 717 percent.
Meaning that the same gallon of unleaded regular which sold for 25 cents in 1960 would go for just $2.04 today after being adjusted for inflation.
Oil prices are up about 17 percent since No. 30, when OPEC's 13 member states agreed to trim output for the first time in eight years. The accord was expanded on Dec. 10 to include Russia and 10 other non-members states.
What's the moral of the story?
A global economy with no global government and no global regulation is a license to steal for monied interests. And they're doing it.
Editor's note: Prices at the pump rose by more than 20 cents in some areas within 48 hours of this story's publication.