On This Week In History, Gas Prices Have Never Been Higher

Tyler Durden's picture

To the vast majority of the US citizenry, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is an odd number that flashes on the new 42" plasma-screen during dinner; wedged between a news story about a panda sneezing and some well-endowed weather-girl saying "hot, damn hot". This is why the behavior of Ben Bernanke this week might go unnoticed by most of the great unwashed. That is, of course, if they do not drive or eat food. For those that do eat or use vehicles; for the first time in history, national average gas prices for the 2nd week of September were over $4.00. Of course, this is mere transitory market speculators - and is not real money leaving their EBT card.



(h/t @Not_Jim_Cramer)

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arm50's picture

can't buy gas w/ ebt

Fleecer's picture

Tyler, what pump price broke the consumer's back in 2008?

Good thing we don't have high food prices coming too.  Corn, now soy... and the final nail next spring... Beef.  Making even your big mac cost more.  

LasVegasDave's picture

you oughta apply, its still all over your face, scumbag

Bob's picture

Meanwhile, the cop who falsely imprisoned and assaulted them was simply fired for "poor judgement."  Anybody else would go to prison for many years (regardless of any settlement paid by the employer) . . . why don't laws apply to cops? How about his buddies who played the roll of assistants?  My guess is they might have suffered an inservice or two. 

Why aren't penalties greater when cops are the thugs, rather than less/non-existent?

And, of course, where are the values of the pompously self-worshipping "Liberty Movement" (including the blowhards at oathkeepers) when it's the hippies being abused?


CPL's picture

Egyptian Rave time.  Laser light show, smoke, men in dresses.  The usual.



NotApplicable's picture

*grabs pacifier and vapo-rub*

fuu's picture

How you doin'?


They really are using green lasers to mess with the riot cops. The cops appear to be throwing rocks at someone off camera. Someone really should crank that siren up to about 130 bpm.

fuu's picture

Too bad it switched to the Mass Marriage Hour. The Egyptian Security Forces had just adopted the Tetsudo formation with their riot gear as the protestors set up barricades and lit fires. The Third Battle of Cairo looked about ready to go.

HungrySeagull's picture

Green Lasers?

Those can burn retinas. I experimented with these as targeting devices for my weapon some time ago. I chose to stay with the red laser instead. Faster anyway.


I am not certain but I think there exists eyewear that can filter green/red lasers... but not sure if billy bob and toothpick Joe can by them online.

quasimodo's picture

That might change if barry needs more votes

Wakanda's picture

Word up - BO's gonna turn the fuel pumps wide open befo' the 'lection to get the animal spirits howlin'.

knukles's picture

Substitution effect.  Spend enuf on food/necessities with the EBT card, there's plenty left over for pistols, drugs, women, booze and Cadillacs with da cash.

Called Enabling

Rainman's picture

Toss out the old supply/demand = price textbooks. US gas consumption for 2011 was 6% lower than 2007.


Roubinesque's picture

Textbooks still work. Supply of green paper is driving up the price.

CrashisOptimistic's picture

Global consumption increase ate up the US consumption decline, and more.

Oil extraction rate from the ground globally didn't keep pace.  Flat or maybe even down, depending on whose measure you look at (see JODI).

And so up goes price.

adr's picture

Extraction is still way ahead of demand. Why would you increase the extraction rate if people are using less of the commodity?

Much of the extracted oil went straight into Chinese storage facilities. That really doesn't count as consumption.

If you were running a bakery, would you produce 300 donuts a day if you were only selling 200?

CrashisOptimistic's picture

You probably need to look into the size of Chinese storage facilities.

No real evidence extraction is ahead of demand.  Besides which, taking oil from underground one place to underground another place doesn't put it "on the market" and would have no price impact.

Look, guys, just think it through.  If there were plenty of oil and all things are rosy in fueling the world, then why would you drill in 3 miles of ocean and down another 8 miles from there?  If it were abundant, why would you not go get it from Oklahoma, where the entire state has authorized leases and no environmental impediments?

Reality is . . . You don't get it from Oklahoma.  Oklahoma produces the tiniest fraction of its max in the late 1930s.  Why?  Because oil is not abundant.

That which is not abundant is, by definition, scarce.  Scarce things get pricey when there is demand for it.  The price then crushes demand for the next cycle, which must necessarily be far worse as scarcity gets far worse.

forwardho's picture

Crashisoptimistic, My entire world veiw and thoughts about our future, contained within a single persons ZH screen name. Outstanding sir, I bow to you.

CrashisOptimistic's picture

It's actually not rocket science.  X calories per day required of people.  So much surface area of arable land on the planet.   Y number of people.  Solar constant averages about 1000 watts / square meter.  Tack into that the poor energy conversion/storage efficiency of food plants.

Work it out and you get a lot less than 7 billion mouths.  We're eating 80 million year old sunshine in the form of oil.

That's coming to an end.  A lot of people will die.

forwardho's picture

Yes, same logic used, same end result. All this nonsense will keep the masses busy till the ovens are in place. Nice to know I'm not alone in my conclusions.

Slightly Insane's picture

That's exactly why nuclear energy is the "green" energy.  At present rate it's limitless.  Also, using your psuedo proof, the whole climate warming hoax can be solved (when the sun can change the daily temperature 50 deg. delta in a period of three hours ).... you come to understand that man is like a flea on the tail of an elephant.   (The flea has a minor impact on the elephant .... unless he carries disease or parasites).

GeorgeHayduke's picture

Good points Crash. Just remember, when it comes to talking about oil (gasoline for their cars) most Americans lose all sense of rationality and reason. They believe there is ALWAYS tons of oil, it's just those greedy oil companies and wacko environmentalists who are causing the price to rise. Hell, most believe you can simply sink a well anywhere and oil will gush out of the ground, but those oil companies cap them off and hide them away so they can increase profits.

Then there's the abiotic oil crowd who thinks the Earth bleeds oil and we can get it easily if we just drill deep enough. Those folks are caught in the techno-utopia mindset. We have never seen any exhausted oil fields resupply themselves with abiotic oil on a human timescale, but what the hell, this is 'Merica gawd dangit, and if we say there's plenty of oil then by gawd there's plenty of oil. Just send in the military to bomb some people and shit and it'll work out. /sarcasm

The problem is most folks see it as an economic issue, as most posts here indicate. They don't see it as a resource or geologic issue. Hence my problem with so much of today's "free market libertarian" style wishful thinking. They only have a portion of the picture and that portion is biased. Oh well, geologic and resource reality will dictate the outcome as Nature does not care at all about economic theories and their associated political ideologies/dogmas.

HungrySeagull's picture

I argue that it is the very freedom of Americans to jump into a car and do whatever, go whereever etc is at risk here.

Rainman's picture

You would appear to be correct, Crash. And I seem to recall China's state controlled gas pricing just went down 14 cents. So USA is wedged into a profit subsidy position for China and emerging market's growing oil gluttony. That sucks.



LawsofPhysics's picture

Devaluation still works, textbook. Stop focusing on the U.S., plenty of demand elsewhere.

LMAOLORI's picture



I thought they get cash in addition to the ebt plus you can look on Craigslist and they buy food charge you half for cash. They used it for alcohol & cigarettes and gambling at the casinos and strip clubs.

adr's picture

You can use a percentage of your card and get cash at any ATM.

There are also multiple programs that allow you to double and triple dip, getting WIC benefits and EBT.

One of the best ways to scam the system is to have an unmarried couple living in the same residence with six kids, with both of them claiming three kids each. This allows the maximum benefit amount for an individual, but allows the household to receive double the level of benefits if the couple were married.

The people that have been on welfare for years all know the tricks to live better than most working people. I know people on welfare that scam upwards of $100k a year from the system.

optimator's picture

And pay no tax.  Life is good for the very bottom and top.

blunderdog's picture

Your bullshit would be a lot more believable if you bothered to get the context right.  Here's some background for the next time you feel like making up some stories...

EBT = Electronic Benefits Transfer
EBT is a generic term for many different types of entitlement/welfare programs, including foodstamps, aid to working families, subsidies for mass-transit and school-lunch programs, etc, in which the benefits are provided through a debit-card system.  It doesn't refer to any source of money itself.

WIC = Women/Infants/Children
This is a more specific term used to describe various benefit programs which provide aid for those demographics.  Single mothers living with kids qualify for this sort of thing pretty easily, but single dads tend to be fucked over by the application process.

You should really read up a bit on this stuff so you have a clue about how to lie effectively.  Get good enough and you can become a politician!

Anyway, for those scammer folks you know--why wouldn't a right-thinking citizen like you sic the cops on 'em?  See something, say something.  Intention to defraud welfare agencies is a serious crime that's easy to prosecute.

(Don't worry, we all know the answer: they don't exist.  They're hanging out with Reagan's welfare queen who collected 22 Social Security checks and drove a Cadillac.)

AetosAeros's picture

Blunderdog, you and ADR both have a little to learn.

Yes, EBT is Electronic Benefits Transfer, but it is a Dual use card in most states. First is the Food Stamp or SNAP benefits. These are benefits (assistance/ tax payer assigned monies) that come from the Department of Agriculture rules on household size, income levels, eating arrangements, etc. (program rules) and can only be used for the purchase of food, plants that can grow food, seeds, and other food items; except certain things like energy drinks.  THe program is full of holes and scamming is done quite readily. No, you can't have 6 kids and split them in the same household the way that ADR presented. You CAN have 2 seperate addresses where each parent supposedly lives and then each one claims the children as he presented.  

Fraud in the FS/SNAP program can be caught, but it rarely, if ever, followed through to a jail conviction, or even monetary. I know, I was an eligibility specialist (case worker) for a few years and caught an 11 year $250,000 fraud case that actually went up for a court case. Again, this was one of many that I caught, and nothing much really happened to the couple, other than they, not their actual kids (he claimed 2 that didn't exist) were banned from the FS/SNAP program for life. So all they had to do was keep having kids and the kids get the benefits, not the parents. Much the same as illegals with anchor babies do.

Some of the benefits on the EBT are bought/sold/traded from others, a lot like a PM, in order to get goods and services. It ain't right, but it's done, and the money involved to track each and every case would collapse the entire state economy and tie up all the law enforcement just to get a 6 month-1 year- 5 year- or Lifetime ban from the program. WHen you two get done griping and can come up with a sane and reasonable way to actual control this, I suggest you call your congressman and see where that gets you.  

Also, in most states, and this one should stick in your maw as it did mine; you can sell your food after you've purchased it, and it's NOT against the law or the Dept. of Ag program rules.

Give a person an inch....

So you see, the program is designed with problems. And the cash that people get off the card from the FS/SNAP benefits are very rare. Most states only allow a cash withdrawal from FS for certain elderly and people with certain disabilities that must pre order their food from certain grocers who don't have a way to put the food into the inventory management. And that money is not put ON the card as a FS/SNAP benefit, it's put on as a CASH benefit. BUT......

the Financial Assistance program for most states is paid out in a  cash amount, based on the program rules for a contract with the client and the state; for the client to pursue certain work programs or education programs to reduce the barriers to work. This money is also based on the income levels, household size, etc. and can change only if the person fails to meet the monthly criteria, or they do and are awarded for whatever next step they need for money. And yes, they can withdraw cash from an ATM, at the register, or pay for any other goods and services that accept the EBT card for the transaction. But a person doesn't get cash back from FS, they are getting if from the Financial Assistance side of their card. If a MERCHANT is offering this option somehow from the SNAP/FS account, then the MERCHANT is the one who should be reported. Trust me, they won't be in business 5 days after they get caught.

And again with the fraud, you can report it until your blue in the face, but per one of my old co-workers I spoke with last week and who still works for the state "They told us to stop turning people in for fraud because it is taking too much time to follow up on, so we just process our cases and hope the people move away who are lying to us". 

Also, some states have been known to place a clients Child Support onto the same card, in order to keep from having to issue seperate cards (although most are going to a 2 card system now), and this money is money (fiat all the same) so it can be withdrawn as cash as well.

Just an FYI view on part of the machine that enslaves.....

blunderdog's picture

     WHen you two get done griping and can come up with a sane and reasonable way to actual control this, I suggest you call your congressman and see where that gets you.

Nah, government solutions are a joke.  This is a social problem.

The obvious suggestion is a labor-exchange system which doesn't shuffle money around, but just provides food and shelter.  The technology does exist to track the "employees" of an all-volunteer corporation which provides food and housing to its own employees and shareholders.

It's not like this hasn't been discussed by smarter people than ourselves.

AetosAeros's picture

While I agree with you that there is a solution, and a labor exchange is a viable option, I always have to apply the 'Government Applied Program' concept to it. This means that no matter the idea or way to do something, what happens when Uncle Sam decides he has to oversee and run the entire operation?

In this case, he already has, although it's not what we call a 'voluntary' program, and I hear tell that Uncle Sam might oversee it, but he pays private corporations to actually run it. And boy are they making out with the products being developed and sold. Oh, and they are doing a great job of tracking the clients in their housing units too.

But the word for it on the street is "Prison". And the US is #1 worldwide in instituting a full program, with more being built every day. Client committment to the program is getting easier and easier too; all we have to do is keep outlawing the exercising of the freedoms granted in the Constitution and pretty soon the whole country will be in the program via relocation from the FEMA camps.

blunderdog's picture

You're suffering from the delusion that government just "decides" to take shit over.  It's not like that, and it never has been.  Government is DRAGGED kicking and screaming into these disputes because the parties in conflict demand it, and they buy various politicians to represent their interests.

Think about this: why hasn't government done ANYTHING meaningful about illegal immigrants?

A common answer would be that "these" badguys or "those" badguys are in control of goverment, and they prevent anything from being done.  It's satisfying enough if you're content with platitudes, but it's way too simpleminded to be true.

The real reason is that there are powerful interests which WANT illegal immigrants around as well as powerful interests which want them to go away.  Because the constituents on both sides of the issue wield a great deal of political power, government is at an impasse.  There's no way to keep BOTH the business-owners who employ illegals AND the citizens who cry about them happy, no matter what you do.  So government does NOTHING.

Back when the Feds passed the DMCA, how did this happen?  Did Congress just *decide* one day that people running certain software on their computers had to be turned into criminals?  No....the MPAA and the RIAA, which had enormous amounts of money to contribute to campaigns, DEMANDED that intrusive legislation be passed to help them maintain price control over the market of copyrighted creative works.

The next two paragraphs of your post are nonsense.  Equating having a job which provides survival needs with being in prison?  Rhetoric fail.  It doesn't even make any sense.

TheProphet's picture

You mean serfdom?

It's OK. All ideas good and bad go to one side when insolvency hits.

blunderdog's picture

If you think people working together for their own benefit is "serfdom," I don't think you're equipped to have a discussion about any sort of social change at all.

Slightly Insane's picture

Blunderdog, thank you for the "free" education on the basics of the welfare system.  How does one turn someone in on fraud in the welfare system?  Please explain.  I know of some participants that need to be rejected from the system.

blunderdog's picture

Based on where *I* live, IF I BELIEVED in enforcement of government policy, I'd start here: http://otda.ny.gov/resources/welfare-fraud/

(I don't.)

If you respect the authority of government policy and our current legal framework, you may want to do some research of your own if you live in a different state. 

PLEASE NOTE: The enforcement of law in the USA is, at BEST, a whimsical and capricious affair.  Another option which might be more personally satisying would be to go murder the fraudsters.  Do what you like.

LULZBank's picture

Atleast gas prices are performing well.

LMAOLORI's picture



For who not the average person that's for sure

What’s today’s lesson. Crude oil in the US is back up to $96 a barrel in the light of an extraordinary rise in the volume of trading in energy futures. The speculators are betting big time on QE3 damaging the dollar, driving up the price of oil– and putting us back in another recession in 2013. So far in 2012 futures trading is running at the shocking level of 25.2 times world demand for energy. This compares to 14.7 times in 2008 when crude oil hit $147 a barrel, and George Soros went short. Sharma is showing us what his hedge fund clients are doing and it is not beneficial for anyone below the wealthiest segment of the nation.

Schmuck Raker's picture

I expected the headline: "Meanwhile in West Texas"

GFKjunior's picture

I'm from West Texas but don't get it?

dwdollar's picture

How about:

Meanwhile, parts from Solyndra are being used in an art exhibit...


ACP's picture

So many records have been broken the last several years, andnot in a good way.