Podcast 271

Gas Oil Collapse. Energy and Oil and Politics. We may be at the beginning of the end of an era in the energy markets, politics and economic policy but people are never going to figure it out with the terrible job the media is doing reporting on these topics. Gas is below two dollars in 13 states, crude trading at 55 dollars a barrel, with more drops expected. Meanwhile, OPEC refuses to cut production, even refuses to hold a meeting to discuss it. The drop in oil over the last few months of 40 percent so far, most of it in the last two months is beginning to have an effect. OPEC’s price war on Frackers in the US, Canada and Brazil, the international version of a gas war, is beginning to have economic and political effects. When the cheerleaders talk about oil ‘acting like a tax cut’, remember there is a lot more to this story. If energy production in the US is a big piece of the manufacturing boom, what happens when lower prices curtails exploration? Will lower oil and gas prices still act like a tax cut? What about disinflation, or outright deflation in commodity prices? What about dropping demand due to economic slow downs in China, Europe, and Latin America? Do you think the US is ‘decoupled’ from the rest of the world’s economies? On Wall Street, the story is completely different. There, investors are moving money from the market to long term Treasury Bonds, an indication of expected weakness? Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve will be hard pressed to raise interest rates (which its wants, and perhaps needs to do) in the face of declining commodity prices. This isn’t just an international problem. A Minnesota State Legislator wants to reduce farm property taxes, due to the decreased revenues farmers are seeing on their crops. As the sun sets on the Democrat Senate Majority, and rises on a huge Republican majority in the US Congress as well as state legislatures and governor’s mansions, we’re also about to enter a new era in politics, or perhaps close an old one. How will the last two years of the Obama administration differ from the previous 6? Despite the President’s progressive rhetoric, does the budget deal indicate will be a little different when it comes to horse trading with Congress? Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating and Depotstar

Podcast 62

Use of the word technology is common these days, but the convergence of technology in all kinds of places is changing the world we have grown up in, completely. If we feel the upheaval, so does business, and government. The effects of the third industrial revolution are decentralization, diffusion and independence. Why then do our government, big corporations and social institutions hang on so tightly to central control. Is it a death grip? Sponsored by www.xgovernmentcars.com.