Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Price of Oil, Yesterday and Today

Did you know that the price of a barrel of oil during the first years of the Bush administration was $25 a barrel, the same price that Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez is suggesting be set for developing countries, instead of the $100 a barrel crude is going for today? Chavez’s suggestion thus, while laudable, is a return to the same price everyone was paying several years ago, which no doubt was a considerable strain for the Third World at the time. His suggestion then, seems far from radical, but merely a return to price patterns before the Iraq war. The Venezuelan president it appears is merely suggesting that the rich pay more, kind of like (and this may be comparing apples to oranges) setting taxes for the rich to pre-Bush or pre-Reagan rates. Hardly revolutionary, something even a good liberal or centrist might (and should) propose, should a political realignment take place in Congress in 2008. But when things are pushed to extremes, even a return to the status quo ante, seems radical, especially when proposed, by Latin America’s chief proponent of a new renovated 21st century socialism.

Joe Sims

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