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History repeats itself yet again

 

The reason history repeats itself is because people don’t learn.

The first weekend of November the price of gasoline rose 15 to 20 cents a litre. The reason? Nobody seems to really know. True, the wholesale price rose seven to eight cents, but nobody knows why that was, either, and it doesn’t account for the added approximately 10 cents.  There were some stories about a refinery having some problems or a pipeline leak somewhere but no evidence to support the stories. So, what really happened? History just repeated itself.

You see, every time we go through a boom and bust cycle, the price of gasoline rises in line with the rising price of oil, as it should. And, every time as the price of oil drops, the price of gasoline, well, sort of drops as well. The difference is that as the prices rise, they rise in unison; as they drop, gasoline lags way behind the price of oil. And, each successive time, as the price of oil continues to drop, the price of gasoline lags further behind to a point where oil continues to drop but gasoline prices stay artificially high. This last bust the price of gasoline stopped dropping once it reflected $80 to $90 oil even though oil dropped to around $40/bbl. Why? Because big oil learned they could get away with it. And, neither the people nor the government were going to do anything about it.

So, this time, even the though the people refuse to learn, big oil did learn. Even though the price of gasoline was already artificially high by 30 to 40 cents a litre, big oil raised it even further. Why? Because they could! And, guess what? Nobody cares. But, let the government raise taxes by a few cents and there is a holy uproar, not only by the people but also by the opposition parties. So, with oil around $55/bbl, gasoline has risen to $1.20 to $1.30 a litre.

And, guess what? The price of gasoline in Phoenix, AZ is still $2.15/gallon just as it was before our prices went up. I say this because some of the propagandists say our price is reflecting US prices. The truth is that that is BS.

The other thing is that the same thing that is happening in Alberta is happening is Saskatchewan as well as the rest of Canada. It doesn’t matter what party is in power, they are all the same. Why is that? Well, let’s look at history:

There was a time when only the wealthy paid taxes. This was because they owned, well, everything: the land, the businesses, the towns, everything. But, they were also the only ones who sat on government. Slowly the people gained more power but, again, it was only the wealthier ones who got to vote or had to pay taxes. That slowly changed until we have what we have now. So, along the way, the elite slowly had their power eroded away.  Do you think they liked that?

As far as taxation goes, until the Great War, there was still no corporate tax or personal income tax. These were both introduced to pay for the war. (Prior to that, the government raised money through customs and excise duties which were paid by corporations that were owned by wealthy people.)

The wars taught big business two things. (Interesting that they learn but the people don’t.)  One was that war was very lucrative and the second was that they could unload some of their tax burden onto the people. As time progressed, more of the tax burden has been unloaded onto us, the people, while the taxes of the wealthy have been lessened.  But, the wealthy still controlled the government.

Today, it is not as obvious, but it is as true as it ever was. Because they control the government, the elite ensure that bills are passed that are skewed in their favour. (One only needs to look at the Panama and Paradise papers as well as other tax schemes available only to the wealthy to see proof of this.) For instance, corporate taxes have continued to be reduced. And, yet, if anything, our economic situation is no better off than it was when corporations paid 50 per cent taxes.

As a result, we are now paying for gasoline that reflects $1.30 oil even though oil is still at about $55/bbl. And, that is how and why history repeats itself and will continue to repeat until people finally learn. How many of you have contacted your MP or MLA regarding this? If you haven’t, how do you expect it to get any better?

The hugely inflated cost to buy gas or diesel is enough to stop the current economic growth in Alberta and in Canada. Is this the reason? To ensure the NDP and Liberals don’t get re-elected? Are the powers that be willing to destroy Alberta’s and Canada’s economic growth to prove a point?

Since none of the political parties are standing up for Albertans or Canadians, I recommend voting for independent representatives since that would make it the hardest for enough of them to be controlled. At the very least, we need new parties or minority governments so that the people have a better chance of being represented.

Eugene Eklund

Whitecourt, AB

 

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