Wednesday, September 13, 2006

This is What Our World has Come To

I went by the gas station today, and it was $2.40 a gallon. I was excited...I can't believe I'm getting excited by $2.40 a gallon gas. Why would the price of gas come down almost 40 cents a gallon in about a month? It was almost $2.90 a gallon a month ago.

I know about market fluctuations, blah, blah, blah, but come on....40 cents in less than 30 days just can't be entirely due to market influences.

I confess that I read Bill O'Reilly's column regularly, and although I don't agree 100% with some of the things he said, his rant about the oil companies artificially inflating prices and playing fast and loose with our money, not to mention the obscene profits they post. Seems to me that if they can artificially influence the price of gas to go up, they can do the same for consumers to make it go down, too.

  • The Factor has accused oil companies of gouging consumers, and now posits that prices are falling because big oil fears a congressional investigation. Economist Ben Stein disagreed with any suggestion of price manipulation. "Your whole thesis just doesn't make sense. Oil prices are set on world markets, and profits are good things. Profit is not a dirty word, and oil companies are owned by ordinary Americans. There's never been evidence of gouging." Stein was seconded by investor Wayne Rodgers, who blamed high gas prices on regulation. "I agree with Ben in that this is a free market out there. It's about supply, and we haven't had a refinery built in this country for thirty years. You can not just sell oil in the ground, you have to have a refined product." The Factor reiterated that oil companies are manipulating prices. "People who work in the gas business told me that these guys gouge whenever they can. The price is coming down now because oil companies are scared. There's a cabal, not a free market. This is about people heating their homes, people suffering, and these are greedy oil companies."

I guess this is where I earn my tinfoil hat...


Blogger KnightErrant said...

I know what you mean. We are down under $2.70 here in California, a figure I never expected to see again absent devaluation of the currency. My gut reaction is to rejoice. My cynical mind tell me that this will be fleeting; the price drop is a necessary move to undercut the alternative fuels movement.

11:17 AM  
Blogger a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

You are repeating an historical mistake. In the process of going to revolution, the French, who were too good to eat potatoes, devil's food as growing underground or (barley)cakes, found that, I believe as part of the mini ice age, the price of wheat in Paris was going up. They attributed this to speculators, greedy people, and demanded that prices be held down. The King, responding, agreed. The next year, it being hard to make a profit on anything other than the most easily obtained wheat, there was little wheat. Blood and sadism, sexual and otherwise, came in rather copious supply shortly however. Narcissism, see link in blog above, at first tied to, "You will deliver me my wheat at my price," was not denied.

9:25 PM  
Blogger linearthinker said...

After our exchange over at Simon's place, I thought a little more on this. If there's any room for big oil to maneuver around their price point, of which I'm still skeptical, I suspect they might see a falling gas price as favorable to the Republicans in November, and figure they're better served by the GOP than by the LLL. Which, all things considered, isn't a bad thing. Have you located that big ol' gas tank up north yet?

12:16 AM  
Blogger Duchess Of Austin said...

Nah...I know it's not true, but I can't help thinking that there's a plot afoot, especially when the price of gas, as of today, is now fully 70-75 cents a gallon less than 6 weeks ago.

I think it's human nature to be suspicious of such a drop in the price.

2:48 PM  

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