Oil Speculators and Panhandlers Are Both a Bummer

We always try to make it back from wherever we are to catch Sunday’s 60 minutes. It’s still one of the few shows you can say that has real ‘water cooler’ cred, many, many people I know watch it and often a segment I watched they watched too.

Last night the opener was about how speculation in commodities caused an incredible one-day per barrel price hike (on Sept 14, 2008) of $25. The experts on the show said that there was no reason for this other than hedge fund and brokerage company manipulation. Dan Gilligan of the Petroleum Marketers Association also said that only one out of twenty barrels of oil was ACTUALLY bought and sold by oil companies…the vast majority was just paper buys enriching clever men in New York. My pal Sony was so angry about this that she sent out the article with the details to a bunch of her friends.

On a totally unrelated note, I was incredulous reading last week’s Gazette and saw the photo of the protesters marching in support of panhandlers. Come on! The city is proposing that these bums, and let’s be honest and call them that, that the bums can be restricted from asking for loose change. Now we have a cadre of defenders raising their voices and writing letters to newspapers defending these damn bums who bum money. Get a job!

I wrote a blog about one of the men who stands by the I-91 offramp with a cardboard sign asking for money, saying then that it’s a helluva way to make a living. The guy’s SUV was parked nearby, so he could drive back down to Connecticut hauling his loot.

These panhandler defenders strike me as misguided do-gooders who are defending people whom the city is right to try to get rid of.