Headlines like Yes, oil is dead. Just read the writing on the wall. , The coronavirus pandemic may have one silver lining: the potential collapse of big oil. and Green Party declares that “oil is dead” are not only misleading and inaccurate, but also dangerous. Unfortunately, these types of Read more…
UPDATE: Dec 18 2019: President Trump has been Impeached and we have a transcript audio recording of the Trump Zelensky call that resulted in this trainwreck HERE. There are just so many confusing details about how US President Donald Trump ended up being accused of trying to extort political support Read more…
After World War 2 the US (and West in general) supported its former enemies. Rebuilding cities, legal systems, and economies on a massive scale. Germany and Japan were the primary beneficiaries of that financial aid and guidance and today those two countries are large stable entities that improve the West’s standard of living by providing both solid trading partners and political allies.
Some argue that those countries now take “our” jobs when in fact the evidence is clear that those countries have expanded the global economy for all. It is true that the US, Canada and the UK have a smaller slice of the global economic pie in 2018 compared to1950, but the pie is many times larger, so the net benefit to those countries is irrefutable.
The rebuilding (not reconstruction) plan was named after then US Secretary of State George Marshall. Today the Marshall Plan is touted as the cure all for every failing state, from Afghanistan to Mozambique but, as this New Yorker article explains, for a Marshal Plan had a lot more to do with reassurance and a lot less to do with money than most people think.
Let me start with the obligatory, I do not particularly like Donald Trump, believe much of what he says or think his campaign was shinny clean. That being said I do like to listen to both facts and common sense, so let’s go:
How We Know Trump’s Campaign Did Not Collude With the Russian Government:
There are a few key points to consider when thinking about the claims that the Trump Campaign for President of the United States in 2016 was seriously aided by the Russian Government:
- It has firmly been established that almost no-one in the 2016 Trump Campaign, including Donald J Trump himself, thought that he had any serious shot at winning until a few days before the election (if then!). Why would anyone intentionally collude with a foreign power unless they thought they were close to a victory? The upside is questionable and downside is massive.
- Most people assume that large scale ‘attacks’ need co-ordination. This is false, From Al Qaeda to political operatives, all that is needed for an effective campaign is a general direction. Individuals and organizations know what do without centralized organization. For example, in the US, the Koch brothers do not need to talk to the Trump or Bush campaigns to know their job is to bang on the Democrats and promote the Republicans. Russia based organizations do not need direction from the Kremlin to know what to do.
It used to be very clear that Alberta had a spending problem and not a revenue problem. However, since the 2014 oil crash, the world and Alberta have forever changed. Historically, oil ‘busts’ were the result of a downturn in some key economy that reduced the demand for oil & gas products. Today we have the worlds first notable price downturn caused by over production of oil, with no end in site.
This over production was started intentionally by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in an effort to kill shale oil fracker’s and other non-state owned small players. The idea was to have OPEC lead an over production that would drop the price of oil for a few years and force the marginal upstart players (i.e. US based frackers) out of the industry. Then Saudi lead OPEC would reduce supply and drive the price back up. Well, the Crown Prince was wrong and it didn’t work.
More importantly it won’t work in the future. Saudi Arabia and friends can reduce the global price of oil by increasing production but they can no longer raise the price because they no longer control the global output, here’s why:
- American fracking companies scale up their oil production in a matter of weeks
- Canadian oil sands in Alberta and Saskatchewan have vast reserves backed by billion dollar upgrader investments that just keep coming online
- Iran, which has had its oil embargoed for decades, now is pushing 3 billions of barrels onto the open market as of the 2017 lifting of sanctions
- OPEC nations like Venezuela and Nigeria are desperate states the need cash and they will continue to cheat their OPEC agreements and produce produce produce
- Putin and Russia so desperately want to be a world powerhouse but only has an economy the size of Spain’s, with 20% of its citizens without even running water. The Russian federal government gets nearly HALF of its revenue from oil so when the price drops, they just produce more which keeps pushing the price down.