Jul 16, 2008

Oil, "Obama Boys" and Iraq

A very interesting and unfortunately far too brief interview with Naomi Klein on the above topics can be found here. Here are some snippets, so you can get an idea of what its about:

"I just want to add one more point, and I just want to take this opportunity, because I feel like people are being so bombarded with these oil industry talking points, and it really is changing public opinion. I mean, people need to know this. There’s—polls are being commissioned that are finding that 67 percent of Americans support offshore oil drilling, because they think it’s going to lower the price at the pump.

What’s actually going on is the oil companies may not even bother drilling. What they’re doing is they’re stockpiling leases. And what that means is that the oil companies will have a much greater control over the oil supply. When the oil companies have a much larger control over the oil supply, they can turn it on and off. They can control price. They can fix the price. So, in fact, what this is doing is the opposite of what they’re saying. It’s actually giving the oil industry much more power to drive the price of oil up by controlling supply, by just giving them all of these leases. And we keep hearing, well, they have all these leases already, and they’re not using them, and they want more. Why? Why do they want all these leases? Because that is what gives them control over supply. That’s what allows them to fix prices."


it’s shades of Bill Clinton’s first campaign, where he also campaigned very actively about labor and environmental standards and NAFTA. NAFTA had already been signed, but it hadn’t come into law. And then there was a turnaround, and there was a turnaround in the transition period, after the election but before he took office, where there was a sort of fateful meeting.

And I think the fear is that some of the same people, like Rubin, responsible for, you know, Rubinomics, which turned into Clintonomics, which was, you know, the Democratic full-scale embrace of the ideology of privatization and so-called free trade, that this same sort of group of people are following—are now surrounding Obama. And Jason Furman is a Rubin protégé and worked with him at the Hamilton Project, which is a sort of sub-think tank of the Brookings Institution, which emerged a few years ago to prevent the Democratic Party from embracing what they saw as populist economic policies, the centerpiece of which would have been a reexamine of the ideology of free trade, which is being discredited around the world.

Like I said, a fascinating listen, and highly recommended.

No comments: