Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Gouged At The Pumps For A Reason

Well, it's finally happened. They are now beginning to tell us that the prices at the pumps are approaching an all time high. It should happen this week. To this I say "No S--t, Sherlock!"

The P.R. people from the Energy Department has been trying to convince us for weeks now that the record was set in March of 1981 when the price of a gallon of gasoline peaked at $1.417. Adjusted for inflation at today's dollars that price would be $3.223. Well I'm here to tell you I don't care about inflation even though it's an evil we have to live with. We all know that there is a helluva difference from $1.41 versus the $3.19 we're paying around here. Truth is 26 years ago I was earning more money than I am today. I got laid off from that good paying job and now work another but inflation didn't dig so deep in my pockets then as it is now.

While oil companies continue to rake in obscene profits they and the Washington politicians try to salve our feelings with various reasons why gas prices are going up. We hear about lack of refining capacity, catastrophic weather, war, etc...etc... I'm beginning to think if they hear someone fart near an oil well they jack the price up a little more. They haven't one concern about the effects of raising the price gas. They don't care that when gas goes up groceries follow along. Instead they tell us that the unemployment rate is down, wages are up and people have more disposable income. Just remember that all comes from accountants that use pencils to do their calculations. Many of those accountants work for our national administration. Their jobs depend on making us feel good while the we suffer. They try to ease our pain.

I may be getting whacko here but I'm beginning to wonder if there isn't something more cynical behind the reason of rising gas prices. Is it all political with the growing discontent with the wars in the Mid-East? Back when Clinton was in office it was said it was better to leave Saddam H alone rather than upset the status quo of a whole region. That's all changed and now there doesn't appear to be any way to get gracefully out of what Bush started. There is growing talk of impeachment. There is a huge anti-sentiment at the loss of life and limb and the money we're pouring into America's efforts over there. It's not only in this country.

There is an old adage that when you want to hurt a man you attack his wallet. I wonder if this is what is going on. We're having to dig deeper to pay for gas and other things. It's hurting us and we're looking for whom to blame. The folks that control the flow of oil damn well know this. They can cut back production at a flip of a switch and put a hurting on a whole lot of us. In turn we're going to remember this especially at election time. Do you think it's political?

1 comment:

M. said...

I think politics and the oil business are essentially the same thing, especially with two oil men--Cheney and Bush--in the White House. Beyond that, I believe gasoline prices are controlled by what the market will bear. In other words, as long as Americans keep building and buying large, energy-inefficient vehicles, the message to the oil companies is that we will pay anything for gas. So what if we complain. We still buy inefficient cars and pay for the gas.

Oil companies are in business to make huge profits for stockholders, not to make it easy for Americans to drive cheaply. Because they all raise their prices at the same rate at the same time, there is no genuine competition between producers/refiners. Since we all need gas for our cars, we have to pay whatever they charge, even as the oil companies make record profits.

I don't think Bush will be impeached. I'm afraid we're just going to have to wait it out until the end of his term.