Missouri… the place to be this summer.

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Then there is the matter of your greenbacks.

WASHINGTON – Things in the U.S. sure are tough. Brother, can you spare a euro? Signs saying “We accept euros” are cropping up in the windows of some Manhattan retailers. A Belgium company is trying to gobble up St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch, the nation’s largest brewer and iconic Super Bowl advertiser.

The almighty dollar is mighty no more. It has been declining steadily for six years against other major currencies, undercutting its role as the leading international banking currency. The long slide is fanning inflation at home and playing a major role in the run-up of oil and gasoline prices everywhere.

Vacationing Europeans are finding bargains in the U.S., while Americans in Paris and other world capitals are being clobbered by sky-high tabs for hotels, travel and even sidewalk cafes. Northern border-city Americans who once flocked into Canada for shopping deals are staying home; it’s the Canadians flocking here now.

Everything made in America — from goods to entire companies — is near dirt cheap to many foreigners. Meanwhile, American consumers, both those who travel and those who stay at home, are seeing big price increases in energy, food and imported goods. The dollar has lost roughly a quarter of its purchasing power against the currencies of major U.S. trading partners from its peak in 2002.

Yup. The word is recession. Don’t fear it; embrace it. That’s the only way to accept reality and get on with your life. So much for the ‘Strong Dollar Policy.’

President Bush doesn’t talk about the dollar much, but when he does, he’s got exactly one thing to say about it: “We have a strong dollar policy.”

It’s becoming increasingly clear, however, that Bush’s “strong dollar policy” is driving the greenback into the ground.The dollar is hitting record lows this week amidst fears that the mortgage-market meltdown will spread to other parts of the economy and as the Chinese make noise about moving more of their investments into euros. But it is the underlying dynamics of the American economy — continued massive trade deficits and a whopping national debt — that have put the dollar in such a precarious position.

Instead, Bush just offers the strong-dollar line, without specifics, and moves on.

A true strong dollar policy, aimed at increasing the confidence of international investors, would require Bush to do a bunch of things he doesn’t want to do. For instance, he would have to stop borrowing so much money to fund his tax cuts and his wars. He would need to encourage the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates, rather than depend on it to keep propping up the domestic economy by decreasing them. That sort of thing.

Before you get all ranting about how that was from almost a year ago, consider it was written A YEAR AGO. I will wager it hasn’t gotten any better either.

WASHINGTON – Employers cut payrolls by 62,000 in June, the sixth straight month of nationwide job losses, underscoring the economy’s fragile state. The unemployment rate held steady at 5.5 percent.

The latest snapshot of business conditions, released by the Labor Department on Thursday, showed continued caution on the part of employers who are chafing under high energy prices and are uncertain about how long the economy will be stuck in a sluggish mode, reflecting fallout from housing, credit and financial troubles.

Heavy job losses in construction, manufacturing and financial services, along with cutbacks in retailing, eclipsed job gains in education and health services, leisure and hospitality, and government.

The report, however weak, was largely on target with economists’ forecasts. They had been expecting employers to reduce payrolls by around 60,000 jobs in June and for the unemployment rate to slip a notch to 5.4 percent.

The jobless rate spiked to 5.5 percent in May. That marked the biggest over-the-month increase in two decades and left the rate at its highest since October 2004.

There is some good news though. For all the spending without foresight by the GOP’ers (and the spineless Dem’s who can’t seem to get their heads out of their asses and say ‘NO.’) there is some good news.

From NBC’s Mike Viqueira
A former House GOP leader is calling this year’s political atmosphere “the worst since Watergate and is far more toxic than the fall of 2006,” citing “deep seeded (sic) antipathy toward the president.”

We are hearing a lot today from Republicans and their concern about their “brand,” and Davis takes it to another level in his memo; “a congressional GOP brand tied to George Bush is struggling”; “…deep seeded antipathy toward the president, the war, gas prices, the economy, foreclosures and, in some areas, the underlying cultural differences that continue to brand our party.”

And the kicker, “the Republican brand is in the trash can…if we were dog food, they would take us off the shelf.”

It’s about goddamn time.

—bikepunk

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About bikepunk

“Cuts, scrapes, bruises… all in a day’s riding. Then it’s off for some good german beer in a local biergarten.” Munich, Germany

19 thoughts on “Missouri… the place to be this summer.

  1. Here I thought that was a rainfall chart. Then I looked at Ohio and I realized, nawwwww.

  2. Yes, doom is impending. The price of oil is directly tied to the weakness of the dollar. The Chinese are holding billions and billions($1 to Carl Sagan) of dollars. They are also allied with Iran. If the Bush administration attacks Iran, or allows Israel to, the Chinese can retaliate by dumping dollars into the market. That, combined with the shutting down of the Strait of Hormuz that an Iran war would bring, would cauae the price of oil to quadruple. What would $500/bbl oil do to the economy? $12/gallon gas?

  3. Gas is one of the cheapest liquids money can buy these days though, think about the price of a bottle of water, starbucks coffee and even beer. As a soon to be geologist, all of the professors in the geology dept, most with a background in the oil and gas industry, say that if they were in charge they’d all be charging in the double digits for gas. But this shit is fucked up, its not my fault I don’t have a shit ton of cash in some roth IRA just in case like they all do!

  4. Who’s posting the WWIII party flyers? That’s all I wanna know. This shit is going to be a rock-out with your cock-out type of party. I can feel it!

  5. I definitely see a correlation of pissed-off colors and fuel dependancy here BP. California is absolutely pissed they got no cheep gas.

    The fly over states seem to be content with whatever they’re told.

    Of course, new york is holding steady with a bit of anger too.

    And of course, TexASS is holding out with good attitude given their own natural supply and they seem to be streaming that into a bit of the southern states. Definitely Florida.

    Vat game play?

  6. In Missouri, I’ve got a bud in Applied Stats at Wash U in St Louis. He knows theoilbidness pretty well as specialty in arbitrage.
    We’re in model strong inflationary cycle from being in the 7th year of a war.
    We’re 10 years from a petro low of 10% of the current price back in 98.
    We were doing good not to see $5 this weekend, but likely will soon.
    Here in Cali, I think that raising the gas price in the past will pay real dividends, people should be prepared, will have a less of a gas shock.
    7 years. Look at ’68 with the Vietnam effect on the US economy.
    That’s why the ‘Long War’ from W is such bullshit.
    ‘Long wars’ break central banks, the best price data goes back to the English debt (also huge) from the Napoleonic war.
    Anyone with a history book and a calculator could have seen this from back in W’s first term.
    Don’t believe 90% of what the news models on TV are telling you.
    They still can’t find their ass with both hands and a compass.

  7. Just think, your Lord & Savior Obama isn’t going to change shit either. Lame ass mother fucker is already backpedaling the Iraq pullout, and pandering to the god-bots.

    Fuckin’ McBush and O’Douche, it’s lose-lose in 08.

  8. Um…I grew up in Missouri and cheap gas won’t even start to tempt me to go back. Yeah, the cheapness might be a lure…but maybe you should also look up how many churches per square mile are there. Anyone see the movie Jesus Camp? Part of that movie was filmed less than a mile from where I grew up in Springfield. Evangels run rampant. Their churches…no wait…the overflow churches of the massive churches they have there are bigger than any church you have been to…I will almost bet a tecate to everyone reading on that. I have been in arguments with some of them about how more important parking lots are than fields. Parking lots “bring people together” and fields don’t. They also teach their children that “God gave us resources. People need to use those resources up so we can all die and go to heaven.”

    Screwed up.

    I’ll just keep with public transportation and my bike thank you very much. It’s not worth few cent discount.

  9. I LOVE Missouri. Be down at Lake of the Ozarks for Labor Day with my boat…and I’ll be sure to fill it up again before I tow it back to Chicago. There are VERY few churches at Party Cove, baby! See here: http://www.partycovexxx.com/

  10. http://www.jamesriver.org/messages/

    ….if I had a dollar for every time they talk about the government in their “messages”….I’d be able to wet my tongue with some extra brews this week. Bush speaks to the head of the church once every week/2 weeks.

    Know your enemy. Ignoring them doesn’t help.

    On another note…

    You wanna talk about the lake of the ozarks. I remember when you could go out on that lake and see no one. When houses the size of hotels were not as far as you could see on the shore line. And I remember when I felt a little better about eating the fish out of it. Now…you can go there without having a few near collisions with idiots on jet skis and running by you at full wake when you are trying to fish. Oh yeah…and good thing gas is cheap there…I know the hills there in the good ol’ show me state are not forgiving, and pulling a boat uses a lot of gas. Running a boat burns some as well…and not to mention that some of that gas and oil you use for your boat does get in the water.

    Then…….you are going to tow it all the way back up to Chicago.

    Lame. Why dont you just stay in Chicago? Is your lake not good enough for ya? If you love Missouri so much…why don’t you take a extra week off. Go buy you a canoe with a trailer you can pull behind your bike. Then you can show up at party cove in true style. Fit.

  11. Sheeeeet. I figure roughly $400 in diesel each way, with another grand for gas running around if I stay for 5 days. All in the name of having a good time. One thing that remains fairly great about this country…you can’t tell me how to spend my money (only the government can do that…and DOES). You have fun fishing in your canoe, I have fun hearing the roar of big-block motors and watching chicks in bikinis…it’s all good. Fit.

  12. Before I posted on this earlier, I was driving home at 8:30PM central, and gas was $3.95. I’m on my break from work right now, at 1PM, and now that shit is $4.15! Fuckin crazy….

  13. lopo, with that kind of blistering adherence to logic & reason, you’d be almost a better replacement than McCain or Obama.

  14. Wait, what…? You can buy buck-fitty gas for less than four dollars in The State of Misery?

    I’m driving down there right now and filling up.

    Four-fitty has come and gone up here in deep blue Warshington State.

    Mikey

  15. South Carolina looks pretty cheap too… I’d take that before Missouri. Both are crawling with NASCAR fans, but at least SC has some good beaches and good BBQ.