64. Skyrocketing Gas Prices: Stop the Policy Insanity
In this newsletter, I provide info on skyrocketing oil and gas prices, work on poverty relief efforts, reason to eliminate M&O property taxes, need for policy rules, and goodbye COVID.
Thank you for reading the latest Let People Prosper newsletter.
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Personal take: My apologies for the three-week delay in this newsletter. It’s been a trying three weeks as my mother has been in the hospital fighting end-stage liver disease. She needs a liver transplant or could have less than a year to live. She is improving some now and is in a rehab facility gaining strength but she has a long road ahead. We are praying and believing that God will provide her with strength and good health and wisdom and patience for the family. I lost my dad from sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP), which was a huge shock—you can read the story here. We appreciate your prayers as we have this weighing on us along with the excitement of our baby girl being born early next month. We’ve also been busy with sports starting this year and work keeping us on our toes. But you know what, even with all of that going on, I have so much to be thankful for, including each of you. Please share this newsletter with at least two people you know who would be interested in key issues that we discuss here usually weekly. And please reach out any time. Thanks!
Hot take: Gas prices have been skyrocketing. Policies matter! President Biden is blaming it on Russia. While oil and gas prices have increased since Russia inappropriately invaded Ukraine, those prices were already up substantially since Biden took office. Check out my commentary on this.
For example, the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil price for oil stored in Cushing, Oklahoma increased by 75% from Jan. 2021 to Feb. 24, 2022 when Russia invaded Ukraine, and is up 19% since then, for a total increase of 107% as of March 11, 2022. The problem was clearly not just the Russia-Ukraine conflict but a number of underlying market factors, with a driving force being anti-oil production regulations imposed by the Biden administration. Those should be rolled back immediately along with suspending/canceling the Jones Act to stop hindering more domestic oil supply now or in the future to bring down oil and thus gasoline rices. My research with co-authors finds that for every 10% increase in WTI crude oil futures price there is an associated 2% increase in the retail gasoline price, and there is a symmetric response for a decline in the oil price. My other research supports the view that what really matters is inflation-adjusted prices as relative prices matter to real economic activity, and real oil prices are still relatively low.
Here’s the latest price where I live, which is up almost $1 in two weeks.
TEXAS & OTHER STATES ECONOMIES AND POLICIES
Texans want to end the excessive burden of property taxes!
Great time at the Pelican Institute’s Solutions Summit!
Check out the recent Conservative Budgeting Workshop #4.
Don’t miss my commentary on how we need to rethink poverty.
Always a good day being around the Texas Capitol.
Texas looks good…but more to do!
Latest commentary with colleague E.J. Antoni on costs of enhanced UI.
My innovative idea is to transform safety nets to self-sufficiency.
U.S. ECONOMY AND POLICIES
Latest on the U.S. economic and fiscal situation.
Can y’all believe this nonsense…every day!
Latest CPI inflation data aren’t pretty. Buckle up for more…
Another commentary with E.J. Antoni.
Stagflation is here…let’s keep watching.
Just say no to the Build Back Better agenda, as I did in WSJ (click to view).
Don’t believe the Biden administration’s nonsense.
We need much higher interest rates as real rates remain substantially negative.
Good reminder about the problems with M1 after Fed made changes.
Latest info: TX DSHS Covid-related data here. The first 2 major waves had restrictions in place. Gov. Greg Abbott lifted state restrictions on Mar. 10, 2021, and blocked local restrictions on May 21, 2021. No need for government-mandated masks, vaccines, or shutdowns. Wave #4 (2021 Winter 2 Wave) is over. Latest tweet.
Policies matter…need more freedom!
From the GOAT.
My prayers this week are focused on this Bible verse, which I’ve needed lately.
Thank you for reading and sharing this newsletter. I pray that we continue to have peace that only Christ can provide. Many blessings to you and yours!
Overview of the Let People Prosper newsletter: We believe that an inclusive institutional framework with individual liberty, strong families, robust civil society, competitive capitalism, and a constitutional republic best supports abundant opportunities to relieve poverty and let people prosper. This prosperity isn’t just material but spiritual, psychological, etc. that satisfies human desires. Given this understanding and my experience and research as a free-market economist, I provide trusted views on economies and policies across America, especially Texas where I reside, and the COVID-19 situation.
Vance Ginn, Ph.D. | www.vanceginn.com | #LetPeopleProsper