Publications: Notes at the Margin

Panic at the White House: Tweets Cannot Power Cars and Will Not Prevent $100 Crude (July 2, 2018)


Donald Trump is panicking. Higher gasoline prices cause significant harm to a key portion of his base, the poor white voters who have suffered the most from globalization. The Trump voters in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, who put him in the White House, are particularly vulnerable. Gasoline prices matter to them.


In the last few months, these voters have seen fuel prices rise as much as twenty-five percent. While these prices have recently declined, moves on the futures market last week suggest a further surge will occur in July. Trump hopes his friendship with the Saudis will slow the increase.


The president will be disappointed. All the tweets in the world will not stop oil prices from moving to $100 per barrel, probably by the end of the year. Regular gasoline prices that averaged $2.80 per gallon last week will likely rise as high as $3.50 by election day.


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